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Sir James Dyson claims Rishi Sunak’s science superpower pledge is hot air | Politics News

Billionaire businessman Sir James Dyson has issued fresh criticism of the prime minister, claiming his pledge to turn the UK into a science and technology superpower is a “mere political slogan”.

The founder and chief engineer of the multinational technology company Dyson also complained – in a letter to The Times – that he has still not met Rishi Sunak, despite being a major entrepreneur in the UK.

“Ministers talk hubristically of Britain becoming a ‘science and technology superpower’ but their woeful policies diminish this to a mere political slogan,” he wrote.

“In the UK, Dyson now faces rocketing corporation tax (wiping out any tax credits for research and development)… and a crippling shortage of qualified engineers.”

Read more:
James Dyson says growth is ‘a dirty word’ for Rishi Sunak’s government

Jeremy Hunt plans for UK to become a ‘science superpower’
Rishi Sunak vows to make UK ‘science superpower’

Mr Sunak’s ambition of turning the UK into a science superpower post-Brexit has been central to his premiership. A key part of this was the creation of a new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

In January, Sir James accused the government of having a “short-sighted” approach to business, warning the prime minister that growth should not be seen as a “dirty word”.

A government spokesperson said that the UK is open for business as an “innovation nation”.

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Can the UK become a ‘science superpower’?

“We boast the biggest tech sector in Europe, reaching a combined market value of £1trn in 2022, we have the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7, and we have world-leading strengths in science and R&D – backed by our £20bn R&D target and introduction of policies like full-expensing,” they said.

“This will spur stronger growth, better jobs and bold new discoveries, bringing together the key technologies of tomorrow like quantum and AI, into a dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology for the first time.”

During Jeremy Hunt’s autumn budget, the UK’s science and technology sector survived a much feared spending cut – but those in the field warned that the government will need to do more to realise the UK’s potential as a “science superpower”.

London Marathon record broken by Kenyan athlete Kelvin Kiptum as Sir Mo Farah bows out | UK News

A Kenyan runner has smashed the course record for the London Marathon – as Sir Mo Farah competed in the race for the final time.

Kelvin Kiptum, 23, won the men’s elite event in the second-fastest marathon in history, crossing the finish line in 2:01.27.

But he tired towards the end and missed out on Eliud Kipchoge’s world record, set in Berlin last year, by 18 seconds.

Kiptum collapsed onto the ground, exhausted, after crossing the finish line.

The surprise winner of the women’s elite race was Sifan Hassan, who was running her debut marathon.

The Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete, who is the 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic champion, reeled in the leaders with three miles to go and came home in 2.18.33.

Her victory was all the more remarkable after she appeared to run into difficulties just under an hour in, clutching her hip and falling behind as she stopped and stretched.

Sifan Hassan
Sifan Hassan scooped victory in her debut marathon

Sir Mo ’emotional’ after final London Marathon

Meanwhile, Sir Mo came in ninth in the men’s elite race, completing the course in 2:10.28.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist’s personal best for the 26.2-mile race was 2:05:11.

Spectators shouted “go on, Mo” as the 40-year-old vied to chase down the leaders in his final marathon.

Speaking after crossing the line, Sir Mo told the BBC: “The crowds, the support, it was amazing.

“I gave it my all. It’s quite emotional.”

Read more:
How the London Marathon is seeking to ‘change the face of running’

Mo Farah
Sir Mo Farah said running his final marathon was ’emotional’

Sir Mo revealed his final race would be the Great North Run in September, having announced in January that 2023 would be his last year in athletics.

He had to pull out of 2022’s London Marathon with a hip injury.

Sir Mo won the first two of his Olympic golds in the capital at the 2012 Games, and retained his 5,000m and 10,000m titles in Rio four years later.

But recent years have been difficult for the long-distance runner after his failure to qualify for the delayed Tokyo Games in 2021 was followed by injury troubles.

Nearly 50,000 runners registered for this year’s race

The first British man home in the London event on Sunday was Yorkshire’s Emile Cairess, who finished sixth on his marathon debut.

Swiss star Marcel Hug won a fifth men’s wheelchair race in London, just six days after winning the Boston Marathon.

The women’s wheelchair race was won by 2018 winner Madison de Rozario of Australia, who pipped four-time champion Manuela Schar on the finish line.

Some 49,675 runners registered for this year’s race, up from the previous record of 43,199 in 2019.

This year, the marathon returned to its usual April timing after three years of the race being held in October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sir Graham Brady to stand down as MP at next election | Politics News

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, is to stand down at the next general election.

The 55-year-old, who has represented Altrincham and Sale West for the past 26 years, said his time in parliament has been an “immense privilege for which I will always be grateful”.

In a statement he said: “I have decided to bring this fascinating and fulfilling chapter of my life to a close while I am young enough to pursue other opportunities and interests, so I will not be standing at the next election.”

Sr Graham said he will continue to serve as the 1922 committee’s chair until the end of this parliament if his colleagues want him to.

He added: “I will continue to do everything I can to support the Conservative cause and Rishi Sunak. He is bringing both stability and vision as prime minister.

“In 2024, I will campaign locally and nationally for the return of a Conservative government, that is in the national interest and in the interests of my constituents.

“I will continue to work hard in the service of the residents of Altrincham and Sale West, offering my judgment and experience until the end of the parliament.”

Sir Graham was first elected as an MP in 1997 and has been the Chairman of the 1922 Committee since 2010, bar a brief period in 2019.

But it wasn’t until the recent years of political instability he become something of a household name.

As chairman of the group of backbench MPs, he is tasked with gauging how unhappy his colleagues are and counting the all-important letters of no-confidence – a number he keeps a secret until it meets the crucial 15% threshold for a vote.

Sir Graham has overseen no confidence votes in both Theresa May and Boris Johnson, while his visit to Liz Truss in Downing Street on the day she resigned was seen as spelling the end of her short-lived premiership.

Sir Graham is the latest senior Conservative to announce they will not be contesting their seat at the next election, amid predictions of an electoral wipeout for the Tories.

Former cabinet ministers Sajid Javid, George Eustice and Nadine Dorries are among those who will be stepping down.

Jeremy Corbyn accuses Sir Keir Starmer of ‘flagrant attack’ on his future as an MP | Politics News

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Sir Keir Starmer of “a flagrant attack on the democratic rights of Islington North Labour Party members” after he ruled out allowing the former party leader to stand as a Labour candidate in the next general election.

Earlier today, marking a watchdog’s decision to no longer monitor the party over antisemitism, Sir Keir said his predecessor would have to stand as an independent if he wished to remain a member of parliament.

Asked if Mr Corbyn would be allowed to run under the party’s banner, Sir Keir – who served in his predecessor’s shadow cabinet – said: “Let me be very clear about that. Jeremy Corbyn will not stand for Labour at the general election as a Labour Party candidate.

Bold prediction from Labour frontbencher after Nicola Sturgeon announces shock departure – politics latest

“What I said about the party changing, I meant that. We are not going back. And that is why Jeremy Corbyn will not stand as a Labour candidate at the next general election.”

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‘Jeremy Corbyn will not stand for Labour’

Responding to Sir Keir’s comments, Mr Corbyn released a statement saying it should be up to his constituents to decide who their candidate is.

“Ever since I was elected as a Labour MP 40 years ago, I have fought on behalf of my community for a more equal, caring and peaceful society.

“Day in and day out, I am focused on the most important issues facing people in Islington North: poverty, rising rents, the healthcare crisis, the safety of refugees, and the fate of our planet.

“Keir Starmer’s statement about my future is a flagrant attack on the democratic rights of Islington North Labour Party members.

“It is up to them – not party leaders – to decide who their candidate should be.

“Any attempt to block my candidacy is a denial of due process and should be opposed by anybody who believes in the value of democracy.

“At a time when the government is overseeing the worst cost of living crisis in a generation, this is a divisive distraction from our overriding goal: to defeat the Conservative Party at the next general election.

“I am proud to represent the labour movement in parliament through my constituency.

“I am focused on standing up for workers on the picket line, the marginalised, and all those worried about their futures.

“That is what I’ll continue to do.

“I suggest the Labour Party does the same.”

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had been scrutinising the Labour Party for more than two years since ruling it was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination, and demanding changes over its law-breaking handling of antisemitism under Sir Keir’s predecessor.

But the watchdog has said that, under Sir Keir’s leadership, the party has improved its complaints and training procedures to protect current and future party members.

Speaking after the decision was published, Sir Keir called it an “important moment in the history of the Labour Party” that had taken “many, many months of hard work and humility”.

Read more on Sky News:
How Sturgeon survived ‘cesspit of vipers’ but failed to achieve dream
The controversies which piled pressure on Sturgeon

The EHRC’s report into the Labour Party was published in October 2020 and detailed the “breakdown of trust between the party, its Jewish members and the wider Jewish community”.

The report was critical of the party’s handling of antisemitism complaints under Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

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‘Are you to blame for Labour’s antisemitism problem?’

Immediately after its publication, Mr Corbyn claimed “the scale of the problem” of Labour antisemitism allegations was “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents”.

He also said he did not accept all of the EHRC report’s findings in comments that prompted his suspension from the party.

It led to him being kicked off Labour’s backbenches by Sir Keir – meaning he now sits as an independent MP – but he remains a member of the wider party.

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‘Antisemitism has no place in our society’

Mr Corbyn subsequently sought to clarify his remarks and a five-member disciplinary panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee decided that he should be reinstated.

But Sir Keir stuck to his decision after facing pressure from MPs not to allow him back into the parliamentary party.

Sir Jeremy Fleming to stand down as head of GCHQ after six years | UK News

Sir Jeremy Fleming is to stand down as the director of GCHQ after six years in the role.

The spy chief, who is the 16th person to head up the UK’s intelligence, cyber and security agency, will end his tenure in the summer.

The recruitment process to find his replacement is under way.

“Sir Jeremy Fleming, director GCHQ, has today announced his decision to step down at the end of his tenure later this year,” GCHQ said in a statement.

“In line with normal practice, there will be an internal civil service competition to identify a successor. Sir Jeremy and the board will continue to lead and oversee work at GCHQ until the summer.”

Sir Jeremy, who joined MI5 in 1993, has most recently spoken out on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “flawed” decision-making during his invasion of Ukraine.

He also warned of the “dangerous” talk of nuclear weapon use during the conflict, while paying tribute to Ukrainian cyber security personnel, and pledged continued support.

Despite the potential immediate threat posed by Russia, Sir Jeremy previously warned in an interview of China’s use of technology to attack satellite systems, control digital currencies, and to control dissent by tracking individuals.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that China was the “real long-term threat” to UK national security – claiming the country was “deploying its ideologies in ways that we think are against our national interests”.

Sir Jeremy also spoke out about the increased threat of cyber attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, with GCHQ supporting the health sector as vaccine research was targeted by hackers.

Sir Keir Starmer pledges to abolish House of Lords in first term as prime minister | Politics News

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to abolish the House of Lords in his first term if he were to be elected as prime minister.

Speaking to Sky News, the Labour leader confirmed his party “do want to abolish the House of Lords“, adding that he does not think anybody could “defend” the institution.

Sir Keir’s comments come as he and former PM Gordon Brown prepare to unveil the report of the party’s commission on the UK’s future – which Mr Brown led – at a joint press conference in Leeds later today.

Yesterday, Mr Brown said his party will make abolishing the House of Lords a key part of reforms to the parliamentary system and disclosed that it is a proposal included in the report he headed up for Labour.

Starmer unveils Brown’s ‘blueprint’ for Labour government – Politics latest

Branding the current House of Lords set-up “indefensible”, he said Labour will create a new democratic second chamber called the Assembly of Nations and Regions.

Probed on this, Sir Keir told Kay Burley: “It’s one of the recommendations, as you know, in today’s report.

“What we’re going to do after today is now consult on those recommendations, test them, and in particular, look at how can they be implemented.”

Asked if it is his hope that the House of Lords will be abolished within his first term as PM, Sir Keir replied: “Yes, I do.

“Because what I ask when I ask Gordon Brown to set up the commission to do this, I said what I want is recommendations that are capable of being implemented in the first term.”

He added: “We’re going to get one shot at fixing our economy and fixing our politics and I want to make sure we get it exactly right.”

But Tory peer Lord Norton has urged caution over proposed reform to parliament’s second chamber after suggestions it should replaced with elected representatives.

“One has to be wary of some Big Bang reform, grand reform, which often takes the form of displacement activity – the nation’s got problems, people must come up with constitutional reform because it’s a fairly simple, straightforward proposal, rather than actually getting down to the real issues,” he told Times Radio.

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‘Government has run out of road’

The report on the UK’s future, commissioned two years ago, also recommending handing new economic, taxation and law-making powers to mayors and devolved governments and proposes sweeping constitutional reform in an attempt to “clean up politics”.

It includes banning almost all second jobs for MPs and moving 50,000 civil servants – 10% of the workforce – out of London.

Sir Keir also wants to develop 300 “economic clusters” around the country – from precision medicine in Glasgow to creative media in Bristol and Bath – with the aim of doubling growth in the UK.

The decentralisation of power and money away from Westminster will be pitched as a continuation of Tony Blair’s reforms and Labour’s answer to the Tories’ levelling up agenda – as Sir Keir looks to pitch himself as a prime minister-in-waiting with a serious plan for Britain.

Read more politics stories:
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Starmer’s dig over private school tax stirs up hornet’s nest that could leave him stung

The Labour leader will also frame this report as a response to both the Brexit and Scottish independence referendums.

“I argued for remain. But I couldn’t disagree with the basic case that many leave voters made to me. They wanted democratic control over their lives,” Sir Keir will say, arguing these frustrations of “a Westminster system that seems remote” was also a drive for the 2014 independence referendum.

“People know Britain needs change. But they are never going to get it from the Tories.

“I am determined that, with Labour, people will get the change they deserve.”

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Former prime minister Gordon Brown led the production of the report

Elsewhere in his morning broadcast media round, Sir Keir said he does not want to abolish private schools, but argued their existing tax breaks cannot be “justified”.

He also said he does not believe returning to the single market would boost the UK’s economic growth – but added that he believes there is a case for a “better Brexit”.

Meanwhile, probed on whether former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could be readmitted to the party, Sir Keir told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “I don’t see the circumstances in which he will stand at the next election as a Labour MP.”

Mr Corbyn had the whip removed over his response to the scathing Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report into antisemitism in the party.

A government source said: “This report highlights what we already know about Labour – that while the government is focusing on the major issues people care about, Keir Starmer is playing politics with topics only relevant in Westminster.”

Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale says situation at Manston migrant centre ‘a breach of humane conditions’ | Politics News

The situation at the Manston migration centre in Kent is a “breach of humane conditions”, according to the Tory MP for the area.

Conservative backbencher Sir Roger Gale told Sky News that the facility is holding 4,000 people when it is only designed to hold 1,000, saying “that is wholly unacceptable”.

The MP for North Thanet said he visited the site on Thursday and things are “much worse” than the week before “when there were two and a half thousand people”.

Politics hub: Live updates

He said: “These circumstances, I believe now were a problem made in the Home Office.”

Sir Roger said that until around five weeks ago, the system was “working as it was intended”, but it was “now broken and it’s got to be mended fast”.

He called for an end to “dog-whistle” politics and said actionable solutions were needed instead.

Asked if Suella Braverman was the right person to be leading the Home Office, Sir Roger said he was not going to “point fingers”, but that “whoever is responsible, either the previous home secretary (Priti Patel) or this one, has to be held to account”.

“A bad decision has been taken and this has led to a breach of humane conditions.”

Sir Roger said he has put forward an urgent question to discuss the situation in the House of Commons.

Last week, a Home Affairs Select Committee heard conditions at Manston were “wretched”, with overcrowding, outbreaks of diseases and people being held for weeks longer than the 24 hours intended.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, leaves Downing Street, Westminster, London, after the first Cabinet meeting with Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister. Picture date: Wednesday October 26, 2022.
There are reports Suella Braverman blocked the transfer of migrants from Manston to hotels

Questions have been raised about the home secretary’s judgement, following a report in The Times which claimed she blocked the transfer of asylum seekers to new hotels and ignored legal advice that the government was illegally detaining people at Manston.

Asked about the reports, environment minister Mark Spencer told Sky News Ms Braverman blocked migrants from being moved in a bid to “speed up” their applications.

His interview has been somewhat overshadowed after he suggested “some little man in China” was listening to his phone calls, in response to a question about reports Liz Truss’s phone was hacked while she was foreign secretary This has lead to criticism from Labour MPs who accused him of “ignorance” and “casual racism”.

On Migration, Mr Spencer added that the way to cut down on channel crossings was to “break the model” of people traffickers.

However he did not rule out new processing centres.

Sir Roger said he believed this was the “immediate solution”, saying student accommodation or former MOD accommodation could also be used to free up capacity at Manston.

However he stressed any new sites “must be used properly”.

He said Manston was meant to be turning people around in 24 hours but “as a result of Home Office policy, that is now broken”.

Labour has also called for Ms Braverman to take action and “make decisions” on migration to solve the current crisis.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said a “failure to make decisions” within the government had left people waiting for lengthy periods in supposedly temporary accommodation.

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Labour has called for Home Secretary Suella Braverman to act and

Ms Cooper claimed the home secretary had not made a proper statement on the crisis as there were still questions over her “own security breaches” – after her initial resignation for sending government information via a private email.

‘Entirely fresh approach needed’

Pressure is piling on the Home Office as a record of number of people continue to cross the channel, with 1,000 migrants arriving on Sunday.

The Home Office is already grappling with a 100,000 backlog in processing asylum applications, with 96% of those from last year still outstanding.

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Officials have noted a surge in illegal migration from Albania, which has been blamed on criminal gangs having a “foothold” in northern France.

On Sunday, refugee charities wrote to the home secretary demanding the government create more safe routes to the UK as a solution to stopping the dangerous small boat crossings.

Meanwhile Kevin Saunders, former chief immigration officer for the UK Border Force, said the system is “broken” and that he would put asylum seekers on a cruise liner.

And Conservative MP for Dover, Natalie Elphicke, said an “entirely fresh approach” is needed to tackle the “out of control” crossings in small boats.

She told TalkTV: “In the most immediate term that does mean stopping the boats leaving France. There are obviously a whole range of other measures, but at the moment a number of those are held up in the courts, a number of those are subject to more legal changes to go through Parliament, so all efforts have to go on stopping those boats and tackling the issue head on.”

Sir Rod Stewart rents Berkshire home for Ukrainian family of seven who fled war | UK News

Sir Rod Stewart has revealed he has rented and furnished a home for a family of seven Ukrainian refugees after feeling heartbroken watching the war against Russia unfold on the news.

“Words couldn’t describe what we were watching,” Sir Rod told the Daily Mirror.

“The bombing of innocent children, the bombing of hospitals and ­playgrounds. Like everyone else, we were completely beside ourselves. I don’t wish that on anyone. This is evil, pure evil.”

Sir Rod is now providing support to Ukrainian couple Rostylsav and Olena and their five children aged between 17 and two, paying rent and bills for the Berkshire property for at least a year, according to the newspaper.

The family, who arrived in the UK without speaking any English, are “lovely… so polite” and “all very grateful”, Sir Rod said.

Rod Stewart performs at the Raise the Roof fundraiser for Prostate Cancer UK in June
Rod Stewart performs at the Raise the Roof fundraiser for Prostate Cancer UK in June

The star said he wanted to use his “power” as a knight to help others.

“I usually keep all my charitable efforts nice and quiet and just do it. But I thought, ‘I am a knight, I have been given this knighthood because of the things I’ve achieved in my life and the charity work I’ve done over the years’.

“But that was the past; I want to be seen to be doing something now. I am a knight, I should be using my power to do something for people.

“I am sure that if there are people out there who see what I am doing, they will pick up some slack too.”

The singer also hired three trucks filled with supplies for refugees and had them driven to Ukraine, before using the same vehicles to transport 16 people back to safety in Berlin.

He was later put in contact with Rostyslav and his family, as well as others who he has since given jobs to.

In a statement Olena and Rostyslav said: “Many thanks to Sir Rod Stewart, Warren Cady, his parents and their family for their openness and genuine and big hearts. Thanks to their sponsorship and Warren’s hard work, our children are now safe and able to learn normally in school.”

Sir Rod kicks off a string of UK arena dates next month, playing in Nottingham, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Belfast, London, Birmingham and Manchester.

He told The Mirror that he plans to address the conflict in Ukraine as part of the tour, dedicating shows to the country and its people.

Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley says hundreds of officers should be sacked for misconduct and criminal behaviour | UK News

Scotland Yard’s commissioner wants to get rid of hundreds of officers and staff he says are guilty of crimes and unethical conduct.

A report has branded the Metropolitan Police’s internal misconduct system slow and ineffective and said too many repeat offenders were being allowed to keep their jobs.

One officer had faced 11 misconduct hearings over sexual harassment, assault, fraud and other allegations. Some cases were proved, others dismissed, but they were dealt with individually; he wasn’t fired and he’s still serving in the Met.

Sir Mark Rowley said: “We’ve been slacking a bit, removing less than one a week, maybe 40 or 50 a year. Based on this report, which clearly says that we have been far too soft, there must be hundreds in the organisation I need to get rid of.

“Some of them are unethical and don’t deserve to be a cop and don’t deserve to wear the uniform. And some of what they’re doing is in many cases criminal.”

The report found 1,263 staff were involved in two or more disciplinary cases, more than 500 were involved in three to five, and 41 were involved in six or more.

The commissioner said current police regulations meant it was difficult to sack some officers who he was forced to keep on. The Home Office promised to review the rules and hinted it could introduce new laws.

More on Metropolitan Police

The report’s author, Baroness Louise Casey, said the Met’s misconduct system was too slow, with cases taking an average 400 days to resolve. She also described it as racist and misogynist.

“The evidence around racial disparity in the Metropolitan Police’s misconduct system is so great, and so shocking, that even in 2021 81% of black staff and officers are more likely to be in the misconduct system than their white counterparts is truly awful,” she said.

“What I’m saying is the internal misconduct system is an example of what I would call institutional racism.”

Met Police review

She said a rule that allowed probationers to be sacked more easily was not being used fairly, with black officers 126% more likely than white recruits to be subject to what is known as Regulation 13. Asian officers were 123% more likely that white to be fired.

Dame Louise was asked earlier this year, by Sir Mark’s predecessor Dame Cressida Dick, to review the Met’s culture and standards of behaviour in the wake of a series of scandals: the murder, by a serving officer Wayne Couzens, of marketing executive Sarah Everard, the photographing of the bodies of two murdered sisters and the swapping of racist and misogynist text messages by officers at Charing Cross police station.

This interim report looked at the force’s misconduct system because it was considered the most urgent part of her brief.

She said that too many complaints from colleagues about other colleagues were being dismissed without action, leaving staff feeling that “nothing happens”. Accusations of sexual misbehaviour were less likely to be followed up than some others.

Sir Mark Rowley
Sir Mark Rowley

Dame Louise said in an official letter to Sir Mark: “The misconduct system is not delivering in a way that you, I, your officers or the public would expect it to.”

In his reply Sir Mark said: “The evidence is clear: the disproportionate way in which you have showed us black and Asian officers and staff have been treated shows patterns of unacceptable discrimination that clearly amount to systemic bias.

“The fact that allegations of racism or sexual misconduct and misogyny have less chance of being upheld is also completely unacceptable. Furthermore, it is clear that the Met’s systems and processes don’t support the right outcomes.

“You uncover painful experiences from those within our ranks who have suffered discrimination and hate from colleagues, only to have their hurt compounded by a weak response from the organisation. This cannot continue.

“I am sorry to those we have let down: both the public and our honest and dedicated officers. The public deserves a better Met, and so do our good people who strive every day to make a positive difference to Londoners.”

Dame Louise’s full review is expected to be published in the New Year.

Climate activist ‘pours human faeces’ on Captain Sir Tom Moore memorial in protest over private jets | UK News

Footage appears to show a climate activist pouring human faeces on a memorial for Captain Sir Tom Moore.

The 21-year-old woman in the video – described as a former medical student called Maddie – was wearing a T-shirt that said: “End UK Private Jets.”

She targeted a life-sized memorial of Sir Tom in Thistley Meadow, Derbyshire, and the clip has attracted condemnation online.

Austin Cox, who gifted the memorial to Thistley Meadow, has said: “We will be pursuing Maddie for vandalism. We will work with the police to ensure this is taken as far as possible.”

In a separate video posted on a Twitter account affiliated to End UK Private Jets, Maddie said: “People are going to say that he’s a hero. People are going to say that this is profoundly, obscenely disrespectful to his life and the NHS that he stood up for. And I agree.

“I was studying to become a doctor because I believe in taking care of people.”

File photo dated 16/04/2020 of the then 99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore at his home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, after he achieved his goal of 100 laps of his garden. Captain Sir Tom Moore has died at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19, his daughters Hannah and Lucy said in a statement. Issue date: Tuesday February 2, 2021.
Captain Sir Tom Moore died in February 2021

She went on to argue that the healthcare system is being forced into collapse – as well as the climate.

“We’re running out of food, money, water, people to work and medicines – and meanwhile, mass death, mass disease, mass dying,” she said.

The activist went on to claim that, every time a private jet takes off in the UK, “it pours a bucket of s*** and blood onto everything that Captain Tom stood for”.

She appears to be from the same campaign group that disrupted the Laver Cup tennis tournament at London’s O2 Arena last month.

A protester appeared to accidentally set fire to his arm ahead of Roger Federer’s final professional match.

Pic: AP
Pic: AP

According to End UK Private Jets, the 20-year-old involved in that incident was later released from custody with a £180 fine for aggravated trespass.

This memorial of Sir Tom has been targeted before. Late last year, “IRA” was spray painted on to the sculpture.

Sir Tom, who walked 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise more than £32m for the NHS, died in Bedford Hospital in February 2021 after testing positive for COVID-19.

He was knighted by the Queen in recognition of his efforts.