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Bomb squad blow up ‘viable’ hand grenade found in Derbyshire garden | UK News

Specialist explosives experts have carried out a controlled detonation on a hand grenade found in a garden in Derbyshire.

Police were called to the address on Sunday afternoon after a member of the public found the device.

Officers called in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit to investigate and the surrounding roads were closed as a precaution.

The device, in a garden on Woodville Road, was found to viable, police have confirmed, and it was destroyed in an explosion.

Road closures in the Hartshorne area near Swadlincote have since been lifted.

Penny Mordaunt’s endorsement is a boost for the Truss camp and a crushing blow for Rishi Sunak | Politics News

It’s the endorsement both candidates desperately wanted in the battle for the Tory crown.

And potentially the biggest vote winner, declaring for Liz Truss so far.

Penny Mordaunt was runner-up to Rishi Sunak in all but the final round of voting by MPs, before being narrowly edged out by Liz Truss in the nail-biting 11th-hour showdown.

Politics Hub: Live updates as Truss and Sunak go head-to-head once again

In round one she won 67 votes to 50 for Ms Truss, in round two it was 83-64, round three was 82-71 and round four 92-86, before she finally polled just 105 to 113 for Ms Truss.

Now, in a shock move after the bad blood between their two camps during the MPs’ voting, the former magician’s assistant has sprinkled her stardust on the Liz Truss campaign.

In a stunning piece of theatre at the Tory party’s hustings at the University of Exeter, she dramatically climbed on board the Truss bandwagon and almost certainly earned herself a cabinet job if the foreign secretary defeats Mr Sunak.

Cynics will claim Ms Mordaunt’s endorsement of Ms Truss would have carried more weight had it come earlier.

But the timing – the day ballot papers were being sent to party members – is ideal for Ms Truss and a crushing blow to Mr Sunak.

Read more from Sky News:
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Liz Truss can bask in the glow of a double boost

Inside the hall, the moment when Ms Mordaunt was introduced as Ms Truss’s cheerleader and warm-up act was pure box office.

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Penny Mordaunt has backed her rival in the Tory leadership contest against Rishi Sunak

The backers of the two leadership candidates had been kept under wraps until the hustings got underway.

Her backing for Ms Truss is a remarkable U-turn.

When her campaign to reach the top two had real momentum last month, there were claims that she was the victim of smears and dirty tricks by the Truss campaign.

Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was forced to bow to demands from Ms Mordaunt’s supporters for an inquiry after accusations that civil servants leaked information to the press to damage her chances in the race.

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As the early bookies’ favourite and the darling of party activists according to several polls, she had been attacked over her stance on trans issues and claimed her views had been misrepresented.

Later there were claims that she was lazy and “went missing” in her job as an International Trade minister, neglecting her duties because she was plotting a leadership campaign.

Aged 49, two years older than Liz Truss, Ms Mordaunt is a Royal Navy reservist and took part in a TV reality show called Splash wearing a swimsuit. Now she’s made her biggest splash yet in the Tory leadership campaign.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will take part in a head-to-head debate on Sky News on Thursday 4 August at 8pm hosted by Kay Burley.

If you would like to be a member of the live studio audience and be in with a chance of asking a question, please apply here.

Rail strikes and traffic warnings deal double blow to summer getaways and weekend plans | UK News

Summer getaways and weekend plans could be severely disrupted today during a fresh round of rail strikes – with an “amber traffic warning” also in force on the roads.

The Aslef union says train drivers at seven rail companies are staging a 24-hour walkout in a dispute over pay, and there are fears millions of passengers could be disrupted.

Elsewhere, the AA is warning motorists there could be severe congestion on major routes between 11am and 3pm today – with the South of England set to be particularly vulnerable.

A number of factors are to blame – including the rail strikes, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, and the start of the Football League season in England.

Drivers are being told to prepare for stop-start traffic as the weekend gets underway, and the AA’s head of road policy Jack Cousens says the congestion will be a frustration for many.

He added: “As well as taking food and water, some form of entertainment for younger passengers might just hold off a sigh and mutterings of ‘I’m bored!’ for a while.”

Roads into the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone weren’t affected by the traffic yesterday, but National Highways says this weekend is “likely to be extremely busy”.

The UK and France have now put plans in place to prevent border chaos and “maximise passenger flows”, and weekly meetings will aim to avoid additional disruption on both sides of the Channel.

Some 140,000 passengers are expected to pass through the Port of Dover between Thursday and Sunday this week, as well as 45,000 cars and 18,000 freight vehicles.

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‘We need to remove power of militant unions’

‘More uncertainty and disruption’

The Rail Delivery Group has accused the Aslef union of timing its industrial action to coincide with major sporting events.

Today’s strike is affecting Arriva Rail London, Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Southeastern and West Midlands Trains.

Rail Delivery Group chairman Steve Montgomery said: “We’re really disappointed that the Aslef leadership has decided to impose yet more uncertainty and disruption for passengers and businesses in a week which has already seen a strike by the RMT.”

Passengers on affected routes are urged to plan ahead and check before they travel – and if trains are cancelled, travellers can change their ticket, get a refund, or use their ticket until Tuesday.

Further strikes are planned next month in the deadlocked row over pay, jobs and conditions – with Aslef’s general secretary Mick Whelan insisting industrial action is “always the last resort”.

He added: “We don’t want to inconvenience passengers, our friends and families use public transport too, and we don’t want to lose money by going on strike – but we’ve been forced into this position by the companies, who say they have been driven to this by the Tory government.”

Mr Whelan claimed that many Aslef members have not had a pay rise in three years – and with inflation “running at north of 10%”, these drivers have seen their pay fall in real terms.

“It’s not unreasonable to ask your employer to make sure you’re not worse off for three years in a row,” he said. “Especially as the train companies are doing very nicely, thank you, out of Britain’s railways, with handsome profits, dividends for shareholders, and big salaries for managers, and train drivers don’t want to work longer for less.”