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Croydon tram crash driver tells court he is ‘deeply sorry’ and ‘in some ways I held myself responsible’ | UK News

The driver in the Croydon tram disaster has described to jurors the moment he “collapsed” when he was told passengers had died.

Alfred Dorris also told the Old Bailey “in some ways” he held himself “responsible” for the crash which killed seven passengers.

He was allegedly driving the tram at three times the speed he was supposed to be doing before it derailed on a sharp curve at Sandilands in south London.

As well as the seven deaths, 19 people were seriously injured.

The 49-year-old is on trial for failing to take “reasonable care” of the health and safety of himself and the 69 passengers on Tram 2551 on 9 November 2016.

The prosecution alleged Dorris may have had a “micro-sleep” or become disorientated before the crash.

On Thursday, he broke down in front of the victims’ families as he gave evidence for the first time.

He wiped away tears as he described being arrested and put in the back of a police van after the crash, having never been in trouble before.

The scene near the tram crash in Croydon, Surrey, as the investigation into the deadly crash continues.
The scene near the tram crash in Croydon in 2016

The married father-of-one said: “I was told that I was being arrested for manslaughter because of multiple fatalities.

“I was broken. I could not believe what I was hearing.”

On arrival at a police station, he said: “I broke down. One of the officers kind of put his hand on my shoulder, tapped me in a reassuring way that was quite nice, to be honest. I was taken to a police cell.”

Later, he was released under investigation and took his family to stay in a hotel for four weeks due to the intense media interest in the disaster.

Read more:
Passengers ‘flung around’ during deadly tram crash
Families say ‘justice has been suffocated’

On his state of mind at the time, he said: “I was just all over the place, just broken, disbelief at what had happened.

“In some ways I held myself responsible for what happened. I could not explain how it happened.”

The defendant said lighting in the tunnel on the approach to the sharp turn where the derailment happened was “inconsistent”, and in the dark he had to rely on his “route knowledge and experience as a driver”.

Dorris said he got “confused” before the crash but not due to a lack of concentration as it had been a “normal average” day up until that point.

He went on to say how he continued to “struggle” with what happened and reached his “lowest point” during the lockdown when he was unable to start treatment for a “severe case of PTSD”, eventually leading to the breakdown of his marriage.

Asked what he would have done if he had felt tired before a shift, he said: “I could have just explained I was not feeling fit to work and they would sign me off.”

Flowers left at the scene near the tram crash in Croydon
Flowers left at the scene in 2016

The court heard how Dorris had applied to work on the trams in 2008 as a “stepping stone” to realise his ambition of becoming a train driver on the railways.

Previously, he had also worked early shifts as a bus driver and a milkman.

In his job as a bus driver, his only accident had been a “little scuff” with a car at Sloane Square on his first day out on his own, the defendant said.

Dorris, from Beckenham, southeast London, denies a single charge of failing to take reasonable care at work under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Paul Mescal: Actor tells of his fury after ‘creepy’ fan groped him as he posed for selfie outside London theatre | Ents & Arts News

Oscar nominee and Normal People star Paul Mescal has described his “fury” after a fan groped his backside.

Mescal said he was outside London’s Almeida Theatre, where he’s starring in an acclaimed production of A Streetcar Named Desire, when a woman asked for a photo.

“As we posed for it, she put her hand on my ass. I thought it was an accident, so I like (moved away) but the hand followed,” he told ES Magazine.

“I remember tensing up and feeling just, like, fury. I turned to her and said, ‘What’re you doing? Take your hand off my ass’.”

The 27-year-old said it was “uncomfortable for everyone involved” and he didn’t want to “call somebody out in front of the theatre”, but that “it was so gross, creepy”.

However, Mescal described his experience of fame so far as overwhelmingly positive.

“97% of it is really nice – then 3% is somebody, like, grabbing your ass,” he said.

The Irish actor entered the spotlight after starring with Daisy Edgar-Jones in the 2020 adaptation of Sally Rooney novel Normal People.

His breakout role in the BBC series saw him portrayed by some fans and media as a sex symbol.

Mescal will be thrust into the Hollywood limelight at next month’s Oscars, where he is nominated for his role in coming-of-age film Aftersun.

Read more:
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Oscar nominations 2023: The full list

He told The Hollywood Reporter the best actor nod was “a big surprise” and that he was looking forward to the famous Oscars afterparties.

“I’m hoping that the Oscars afterparties are going to be fun – because I think the Irish can show up in that setting,” he said.

His compatriots Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Kerry Condon are all nominated for their roles in The Banshees Of Inisherin.

“I feel like [Irish actors] always over-represented ourselves,” Mescal added. “Just in terms of population, we’re punching above our weight.”

Forensic psychologist tells of ‘terrifying’ stalking ordeal – and reveals why some celebrities are targeted | UK News

When Kerry Daynes discovered the words “Jill Dando” scrawled on her fence, shortly after her cat was found dead in her garden with its neck apparently broken, she believed her life was in danger.

The forensic psychologist has come face-to-face with some of the UK’s most notorious criminals, including Moors murderer Ian Brady and violent inmate Charles Bronson, through her work in maximum security prisons.

But it was after her appearances on television that she says made her the target of a stalker.

After taking part in several crime documentaries, Daynes was contacted online by a stranger offering her the chance to buy domains for websites set up in her name.

She declined the offer but he “immediately turned” and responded with “anger and vitriol”, she says.

He “bombarded” her with messages and comments were posted online accusing her of being a liar and remarking on her appearance in different outfits, she says.

“I knew he had my address, he knew what clothes I was wearing, he knew I lived alone,” Daynes tells Sky News.

“It was a really terrifying time.

“I didn’t have any knowledge of him. I didn’t know who he was.

“He could have been any man who walked past my house or who was behind me in a queue in Tesco’s.

“Every time a man looked at me, I thought: ‘Is that him?’

“I was rushing into my house at night, trying to get my key in the door quickly… and then living with the curtains closed.”

Forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes was a victim of stalking
Kerry Daynes would lie awake at night fearing for her life

‘Fixated, unwanted, persistent’

Daynes, from Greater Manchester, says she would lie awake at night thinking was this “somebody who was likely to kill me”.

“What was disconcerting about it was the level of obsession this man had about me,” she adds.

“I’d never spoken to him. As far as I was aware, I’d never set eyes on him.

“Fixated, unwanted, persistent – he was clearly a stalker.”

Daynes says the man’s behaviour meant she stopped appearing on TV or at public speaking events and stayed off social media.

She finally came face-to-face with him in a civil court case, which resulted in the websites in her name being taken down.

But years later, while out walking her dog, she says a parked car suddenly sped up and nearly hit her.

A week later, she received a letter from the man with a demand for more than £26,000. Shortly after that, her cat was found dead.

Jill Dando was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999 - the murder remains unsolved
The name ‘Jill Dando’ was scrawled on Daynes’s fence. Dando was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999

‘Death threat’

“My cat – who had been absolutely fine 10 minutes previously – I found dead, seemingly having had its neck broken, and looking like he’d been thrown over my fence,” Daynes says.

“When I went round to the other side of the fence, somebody had written the words: ‘Jill Dando’.”

Daynes believes the mention of Dando – the TV presenter who was shot dead outside her London home in 1999, in a murder that remains unsolved – was meant as “a death threat”.

“I walked into the police station and said I want to speak to your specialist officer in stalking,” she says.

Daynes says the man later received a harassment warning from police.

The celebrities targeted by stalkers

Emma Raducanu, Claire Foy and David Beckham
Emma Raducanu, Claire Foy and David Beckham have been victims of stalking

On Friday, a stalker will be sentenced for targeting the actress Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix series The Crown.

Foy described the actions of Jason Penrose as “deeply frightening” after he sent more than 1,000 emails in just over a month, knocked on the door of her home and contacted her sister.

It follows a string of high-profile victims of stalking in recent months.

David Beckham said he was “frightened” for his family’s safety after Sharon Bell sent him “threatening” letters and turned up at his daughter’s school.

She was charged with stalking and detained under the Mental Health Act in July last year.

And in February 2022, a stalker who trekked 23 miles to the home of tennis star Emma Raducanu and stole her father’s shoe as a souvenir was handed a five-year restraining order.

Emma Raducanu

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which supports victims of stalking, says cases involving celebrities are “by no means the majority”.

About 45% of people who contact the charity’s helpline are being stalked by ex-partners, and a further third have had prior contact with their stalker.

Read more:
Singer Billie Eilish asks for restraining order

Stalker terrorised 121 victims after making ‘rape list’

Official figures show there were more than 718,000 stalking and harassment offences in England and Wales in the year to June 2022 – a 45% rise compared with the year ending March 2020.

However only 5% of stalking cases in England and Wales result in a charge, according to the National Stalking Consortium.

In November, anti-stalking campaigners submitted a super-complaint – which is designed to consider complaints about systemic issues in policing – after arguing that forces are failing to launch effective probes into stalking crimes.

The five ‘types’ of stalker

There are generally five stalker types, according to forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes.

However the behaviour of stalkers is complex and shifts, meaning they won’t necessarily behave within the confines of one “type”, she adds.

1) The rejected stalker – this is the most common and involves someone attempting to reconcile with a former partner or exacting revenge for perceived rejection. Rejected stalkers can become violent when stalking does not produce their desired outcome.

2) The incompetent suitor – this refers to stalkers who target strangers or acquaintances with the aim of sexual encounters. Action Against Stalking says some people think the term “incompetent suitor” minimises criminal behaviour that is often born out of an attitude of entitlement.

3) The erotomanic or intimacy-seeking stalker – this is fuelled by stalkers’ delusional beliefs that they are already in an intense relationship with the victim. It often involves targeting celebrities or public figures.

4) The resentful stalker – this is motivated by anger where the stalker is convinced they have been mistreated or humiliated by someone, even having had little contact with them. The stalking is vindictive and designed to cause distress or damage to the victim’s reputation.

5) The predatory stalker – this is where stalking is part of a violent or sexual offence pattern. It can involve targeting strangers, with stalkers following victims, watching them and collecting information on them.

Why are celebrities targeted?

Daynes says the most common type of stalker is “the rejected stalker” and most people will know those targeting them.

“Stalking is a pretty gendered crime – more often than not, it is men who stalk their female ex-partners, although that’s not to say you don’t have female stalkers,” she says.

“What we find is that those who stalk people in the public eye, they tend to have low-level mental health problems, they tend to be unemployed, or under-employed, and they’re struggling with various difficulties in their lives.

“I think it’s easy for them to become obsessed with someone they don’t know, because they turn to fantasy to deal with that.

“For people who are inclined to fantasise a relationship with somebody they’ve never met, the fact they’re able to view lots of photographs of them on Instagram or they’re able to look into their home on TikTok videos, it all adds to that faux intimacy.”

Ex-newsreader tells of ‘psychological rape’

Stalking survivor Alexis Bowater was targeted while working as an ITV newsreader. PIc: ITV Westcountry/Home Office
Alexis Bowater was stalked while working as a newsreader. PIc: ITV Westcountry/Home Office

Former newsreader Alexis Bowater, who was the victim of stalking, described the crime as “psychological rape”.

She was working as a presenter on ITV Westcountry when she was bombarded with emails from stalker Alexander Reeve, who made threats against her and her then-unborn child and falsely claimed a bomb had been placed in the studios.

“It’s barbaric, isn’t it, for a human being to want to torture a pregnant woman,” Bowater tells Sky News.

“I had a Home Office-approved alarm installed in my home and we were linked up to the local police station.

“It was a race against time at that point between them getting him and him getting us.”

Stalking survivor Alexis Bowater was awarded an OBE for her campaign work
Bowater was awarded an OBE for her campaign work

Reeves was jailed in 2009 for four years but Bowater, who received an OBE for her work to combat violence against women and girls, believes stalking is still “not taken seriously”.

“The sentences are not long enough and not enough people are prosecuted for it,” she says.

“This is a horrific psychological crime which destroys lives.

“When I first start campaigning 10 years ago, people were still making jokes about stalkers. Thank heavens that’s not happening now.”

The private investigator hunting stalkers

Laura Lyons set up a private investigation agency after she was the victim of stalking herself.

Her company – Are They Safe – helps victims of online stalking identify the perpetrators and receives “at least 30 calls” every week about this form of crime.

“It’s a huge, huge problem,” Ms Lyons tells Sky News.

“The landscape of stalking has changed significantly since online communications.

“A lot of the time, until (the stalker) is outside their house, victims don’t know who the stalker is online.

“Sadly, online provides stalkers with the weaponry to stalk anonymously who they want, when they want.

“We’re seeing now that 99% of stalking cases start online.”

Read more:
Stalkers ‘have become increasingly obsessive’
The ‘powerful tool’ to protect stalking victims

Social media makes it ‘easy’ for stalkers to hide

Ms Lyons says she works with “a lot of people in the public eye” who are victims of stalking.

“They have to have active social media,” she adds. “You would be hard-pushed to find a presenter with a closed social profile.”

Ms Lyons says stalkers are using virtual private networks (VPNs) to prevent authorities finding them; sending spyware to victims’ emails; hacking into CCTV cameras and using Apple Air Tags to track victims.

She adds that it is also “easy” for stalkers to set up fake profiles on social media sites and hide their information.

“There are so many tools for stalkers to use,” she says.

“It’s so easy for stalkers to remain anonymous and hidden. It’s very difficult for the police.”

‘My dear son’: Harry tells how he learned of Diana’s car accident among other revelations in new book | UK News

Prince Harry has written about the moment he found out that his mother, Princess Diana, had been in a car accident.

It is among a number of revelations in his new book in which he writes about asking his father not to remarry; how many people he killed in Afghanistan; cocaine use and how he lost his virginity.

Writing about his mother’s death, he said he was woken up by his father who “sat on the edge of the bed and put his hand on my knee”.

He says Charles said: “My dear son, mum has had a car accident.

“There have been complications. Mum has been seriously injured and has been taken to hospital, my dear son.”

The book added: “He would always call me ‘dear son’, but he was repeating it a lot.

“He spoke quietly. It gave me the impression he was in shock.”

Diana died in 1997 following a car crash in Paris.

Harry admits he took cocaine – live updates

The book Spare was mistakenly put on shelves in Spain, five days ahead of the official release date – but Sky News has obtained a copy.

Other revelations in the book include:
• The duke admits he took cocaine
• He says he killed 25 people in Afghanistan
• He says he asked his father not to marry Camilla
• He claims he and his brother were dissuaded from jointly asking for an investigation into Diana’s death

Members of the royal family (left to right) the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry leave following a service of thanksgiving, at Saint Paul's Cathedral, in central London.
From left: The then Prince Charles, William, the then Duchess of Cornwall and Harry

‘Don’t remarry’

Prince Harry also says in his new book that he asked his father not to marry Camilla.

The Duke of Sussex also talks about the moment he was told his mother had a car accident, amongst a number of other revelations.

Speaking about his father marrying Camilla, the prince writes: “That’s why when the question came, Willy and I promised our father that we would welcome Camilla to the family. The only thing we asked for in return was that he didn’t marry her. ‘You don’t need to get married again’ we asked him.”

Harry in Afghanistan in 2012
Harry in Afghanistan in 2012

Harry killed 25 people in Afghanistan

In Spare, the duke also said that he killed 25 people while serving in Afghanistan.

Writing about his two tours of duty, the Prince, who spent 10 years in the Army, said: “So my number: twenty-five. It was not something that filled me with satisfaction, but I was not ashamed either. Naturally, I would have preferred not to have that figure on my military resume, or in my head, but I would also have preferred to live in a world without the Taliban, a world without war.”

A young Prince Harry and his mother in London's Hyde Park in 1995

Prince claims he was dissuaded from asking for Diana investigation

Harry also claims in his memoir that he and his brother William were dissuaded from jointly asking for an investigation into their mother’s death.

He wrote: “Especially the summary conclusion, that our mother’s driver was drunk and, as a result, that was the only cause of the accident. It was simplistic and absurd. Even if the man had been drinking, even if he had been drunk, he wouldn’t have had any problem driving through such a short tunnel.

“Unless paparazzi were following him and dazzled him. Why had those paparazzi got off lightly? Why weren’t they in prison? Who had sent them? And why weren’t those people in jail either? What other reason could there be apart from corruption and cover-ups being the order of the day? We agreed on all those questions, and also what we should do next. We would issue a statement, asking jointly for the investigation to be reopened. We might call a press conference. Those who decided dissuaded us.”

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Harry and William feud timeline

Harry admits he took cocaine

In the book, he also admitted that he took cocaine, spoke about how he lost his virginity and claimed his brother physically attacked him during a row over his marriage to Meghan Markle.

Speaking about using cocaine, Prince Harry said “it wasn’t very fun, and it didn’t make me feel especially happy”.

Harry described losing his virginity as “a humiliating episode with an older lady”.

He said it was “with an older lady, who loved horses very much and treated me like a young stallion”.

The excerpt read: “‘I mounted her quickly, after which she spanked my ass and held me back… one of my mistakes was letting it happen in a field, just behind a busy pub. No doubt someone had seen us’.”

Boy George tells Matt Hancock he has been ‘hating on him’ in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! | Ents & Arts News

Boy George has said he finds Matt Hancock “slimy” and told the former health secretary that he has been “hating on” him during their time in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.

The 61-year-old Culture Club singer told fellow contestant and comedian Seann Walsh that he thought Mr Hancock was “slippery”, before apologising to the MP.

He said: “(I) can’t stand Matt. I have tried to like him and I’ve failed. I find him slimy, I find him slippery.”

Boy George then told the Bush Telegraph: “He’s probably going to be quite upset and I was kicking off a bit and I just thought, ‘you know what, just tell him to his face what you feel’.”

The singer then said to Mr Hancock that he has been “hating on him”.

“I have to be honest. I sometimes feel like you don’t say what you mean and you’re not particularly direct,” he added.

Boy George apologised to the MP for his behaviour towards him and said he found it difficult to “separate” the politician from the person.

He said he is “struggling” with the former health secretary, but added: “That’s not your problem, that’s my problem. I apologise because I was really slagging you off a minute ago.”

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Boy George not happy with Matt Hancock

Mr Hancock said he would prefer the truth and has “enjoyed spending time with” the singer.

Earlier in the show, the singer revealed his mother was in hospital during the pandemic and he wasn’t able to visit her and said that if she had not survived he would have quit the show when Mr Hancock entered the jungle.

Read more:
Matt Hancock gets stung by a scorpion
‘Sorry doesn’t cut it’: Campmates tell Matt Hancock

Mr Hancock has received a mixed reception from fellow contestants in the camp throughout the show.

Some contestants have grilled him for his rule-breaking actions during the pandemic which saw him resign as health secretary after pictures emerged of him having an affair with his former aide, breaking guidance about mixing with other households.

Charlene White. Pic: ITV
Charlene White. Pic: ITV

Also in the latest episode, Charlene White became the first contestant to leave this year’s show after a vote by the public.

The 42-year-old Loose Women star was announced as the celebrity with the fewest votes and said she would like Coronation Street star Sue Cleaver or former rugby player Mike Tindall to win the ITV reality show.

Matt Hancock tells I’m A Celebrity campmates winning campsite leader vote ‘more than makes up for’ losing to Boris | Ents & Arts News

Matt Hancock has said being voted leader of the I’m A Celebrity campsite “more than makes up for” losing to Boris Johnson in the 2019 Tory Party leadership election.

The 44-year-old MP was among those who threw their hat into the ring to replace Theresa May in Number 10, but withdrew part way through the contest before putting his support behind Mr Johnson.

Sunday’s episode of I’m A Celebrity saw him receive enough votes from the public to enter a head-to-head with former England rugby star Mike Tindall for control of the campsite.

The former health secretary recruited ITV broadcaster Charlene White, who he has previously clashed with over his breaking of COVID-19 guidance during the pandemic, and they were triumphant in a challenge that saw them working together to switch on a series of lights.

Ahead of the task, Tindall joked: “If I went home, and I’d lost to Matt Hancock, I’d be in so much s**t.”

Hancock then told White: “We are definitely the underdogs”, before she replied: “Did you go into the leadership challenge thinking you were the underdog?”


After their win, Hancock declared: “Obviously, it’s a great honour and privilege to be camp leader. I want to thank everybody who voted for me.”

White asked: “Does this win feel sweet, especially after you lost to Boris? Do you feel like you have been vindicated?”, to which he replied: “This more than makes up for it.”

However, their success prompted soap star Sue Cleaver, Tindall’s would-be deputy, to remark: “We now have a dictatorship…”

Hancock and White were then charged with assigning their campmates to chores while remaining exempt and getting the chance to sleep inside the RV – a step up from the campsite.

'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!' TV Show, Series 22, Australia - 13 Nov 2022
Matt Scorpion - Matt Hancock

13 Nov 2022
Hancock was stung by a scorpion on Sunday, but luckily it wasn’t deadly

Earlier in the episode, Hancock was stung by a scorpion which “unexpectedly” nipped him on the finger. He later told his fellow contestants: “It was so painful… It hurts a lot, and I’m feeling slightly dizzy.”

He was seen by a medic straight away, with TV presenter and property expert Scarlette Douglas later joking in the Bush Telegraph: “He looked like he wanted to cry.”

Read more:
‘Quite a lot’ of MPs and peers have downloaded I’m A Celeb app to vote for Matt Hancock to do bushtucker trials

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‘I’m looking for a little bit of forgiveness,’ says Hancock

Snakes and offal

Hancock was voted to become leader of the campsite after facing his fifth consecutive trial, House of Horrors, in which he had to crawl through a giant doll’s house full of pigeons, snakes and troughs full of offal, searching for stars to feed the camp.

Asked by co-host Declan Donnelly why he thought the public kept voting for him to take part in the gruelling trials, Hancock responded: “It must be the facial expressions.”

Facing his fear of snakes, the Tory MP located nine out of the 11 stars on offer, despite a snake attempting to strike him at eye level.

After returning triumphant to camp, he admitted: “I was absolutely shi**ing myself.”

The episode also saw former England footballer Jill Scott recalling playing football aged five and how her grandmother had predicted her success.

Attwood’s blood test

Olivia Attwood. Pic: ITV
Olivia Attwood. Pic: ITV

It comes after former Love Island contestant Olivia Attwood revealed she was forced to withdraw from the show after a routine blood test showed she was anaemic.

The test, which all the contestants undergo randomly throughout the show, also suggested low sodium and potassium levels, prompting staff to immediately take her to hospital.

Attwood, 31, disclosed the reason for her departure after only 24 hours in the Australian jungle in an interview with the Mail On Sunday.

However, she also said her tests at the hospital and back in the UK produced normal results.

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Hancock drenched in slime

A show spokesman said: “As a precautionary measure, Olivia needed to leave the jungle to undergo some medical checks.

“Unfortunately, the medical team has advised it is not safe for Olivia to return to camp as there needs to be further investigation.

“She has been absolutely brilliant, and she’ll be very much missed on the show.”

Albanians not to blame for migrant crisis, country’s PM Edi Rama tells UK government | Politics News

The UK has been told to stop blaming Albanians for the migrant crisis by the country’s prime minister.

Edi Rama said the British government needs to stop using Albanian immigrants to “excuse policy failures”.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has singled Albanians out several times over the past week as the numbers coming from the southern European country in small boats across the Channel has soared.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick said Albanians are “abusing” the Modern Slavery Act to delay deportation attempts.

But Mr Rama has had enough and tweeted on Wednesday: “Targeting Albanians (as some shamefully did when fighting for Brexit) as the cause of Britain’s crime and border problems makes for easy rhetoric but ignores hard fact.

“Repeating the same things and expecting different results is insane (ask Einstein!).

“70% of the 140,000 Albanians who have moved to the UK were living in Italy and Greece.

“1,200 of them are business people. Albanians in the UK work hard and pay tax. UK should fight the crime gangs of all nationalities and stop discriminating v Albanians to excuse policy failures.”

He added that Albania is a NATO country and is currently negotiating its EU membership, as well as being a “safe country of origin”.

Mr Rama said when Germany had a similar problem “it tightened its own systems – the UK can and should do the same, not respond with a rhetoric of crime that ends up punishing the innocent”.

He said Albania is “not a rich country and was for a very long time a victim of empires, we never had our own”.

The PM added: “We have a duty to fight crime at home and are doing so resolutely, as cooperating closely with others too.

“Ready to work closer with UK but facts are crucial. So is mutual respect.”

Princess of Wales tells addicts ‘recovery is possible’ in message of hope and support | UK News

The Princess of Wales has warned the shame of addiction is stopping many people getting help – and told sufferers “recovery is possible”.

Kate, patron of addiction recovery charity The Forward Trust, said addiction is “a serious health condition” and “not a choice”.

Her message of support for the Taking Action on Addiction campaign comes on the first day of Addiction Awareness Week.

She said: “Addiction is a serious mental health condition that can happen to anyone, no matter what age, gender, race or nationality.

“Attitudes to addiction are changing. But we are not there yet, and we need to be. Still the shame of addiction is stopping people and families asking for help and people are still tragically losing their lives.

“And so today, during Addiction Awareness Week, I want to share a message of support to those who are continuing to suffer.

“Please know that addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict.

“The charities leading the Taking Action on Addiction Campaign, along with others, are working across the country delivering life changing work to help people recover and move forward.

“They are here for you. So please ask for help. I know this was not a choice. Recovery is possible.”

Read more:
Tens of thousands of ex-offenders left to deal with drug addictions
Cuts to alcohol addiction treatment coincide with increase in parents’ heavy drinking

Led by The Forward Trust alongside a number of charity partners, the Taking Action on Addiction campaign aims to reframe existing perceptions of addiction, build awareness of the causes and nature of addiction, improve understanding, reduce prejudice and enable more people to get help.

Mike Trace, chief executive of The Forward Trust, said: “At a time when addiction is growing across the UK it is crucial, we build awareness of its causes and act quickly to stop this tide, to get in early to reduce the impact on families and children, and make sure that people are able to access the support and treatment that we know makes recovery from addiction possible.”

Mother of Olivia Pratt-Korbel tells her daughter’s killer to ‘own up’ in emotional video | UK News

The mother of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel has told her killer to “own up” in an emotional video appeal.

Cheryl Korbel, whose daughter was fatally shot in their home in Dovecot, Liverpool, paid tribute to her “little shadow” in the video, which was filmed and released by Merseyside Police.

Wearing a cast on her wrist after she was injured during the shooting, a tearful Ms Korbel said she hoped whoever was responsible for the killing would come forward.

Undated family handout photo issued by Merseyside Police of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel. The father of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was shot dead in Liverpool, has said the family has been "deprived of a real light in our lives", adding that her death "cannot be in vain". John Francis Pratt and his wider family said in a statement that "words can't express the pain we are going through after Olivia was so cruelly snatched away from us". Issue date: Tuesday September 6, 2022.
Olivia Pratt-Korbel

“You know you’ve done wrong so you need to own up,” she said.

“Like I’ve taught my kids, you do something wrong, you own up to it.

“If anyone is hiding these guns, they need to speak up because they need to be off these streets.

“No one, no one at all should have to go through this.”

More on Olivia Pratt-korbel

Ms Korbel said Olivia was “amazing” and “loved life”.

“She was my little shadow. She went everywhere with me,” Ms Korbel added.

“Everyone she met, they all fell in love with her. She left a mark on everyone she met.

“She may well have only been nine but she packed a lot in to those nine years.

“She never, never stopped talking – and that’s what I miss the most because I can’t hear her talk.

“We were organising days out, we were on the summer holidays. We took Liv swimming.

“We went to Blackpool, just me and Liv.

“We were talking about going to get a new uniform for school but I didn’t get that chance to get a new uniform.

“But I’ll keep going, for Liv.”

Earlier, Olivia’s father paid tribute to his daughter and said her death “cannot be in vain”, as he called for anyone with information on her death to come forward.

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Olivia Pratt-Korbel family footage

In a statement, John Francis Pratt and his wider family said: “We don’t want another child to lose their life in such horrendous circumstances and we don’t want to see another family suffer like we are suffering now.

“Olivia’s death cannot be in vain and we want people to feel safe and be safe, that can only happen if we all come together and make sure there is no place for guns, or those who use guns on our streets or in our communities.”

Olivia was shot in her home when a gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into the property at about 10pm on 22 August.

A post-mortem examination found the medical cause of her death was a gunshot wound to the chest.

A 34-year-old man from Liverpool arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder remains in custody after police were granted an extension to continue questioning him.

Three other men have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Liz Truss tells Nicola Sturgeon to stop ‘agitating’ for another Scottish independence referendum | Politics News

Liz Truss has said Nicola Sturgeon should focus on Scotland’s domestic issues rather than “agitating” for a second independence referendum.

The Tory leadership frontrunner told a hustings event in Perth on Tuesday she would “not allow” another vote on independence if she becomes prime minister on 5 September.

Protesters gathered outside the city’s concert hall as they shouted “Tories out” and held banners with “Scottish not British” while pushing through barriers in the tensest hustings yet – and the first and only one in Scotland.

Politics Hub: Truss gets loudest cheer at Perth hustings

Ms Truss and Ms Sturgeon have been exchanging blows since the favourite to succeed Boris Johnson said it was best to “ignore” the Scottish first minister and her persistent calls for another independence referendum.

The SNP leader hit back, saying that in her limited dealings with Ms Truss, the foreign secretary had seemed most interested in asking her how to get into Vogue magazine.

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Nicola Sturgeon is ‘an attention seeker’

Inside the hall, Ms Truss called herself a “child of the union” as she lived in Paisley as a young girl – and said the Scottish government should improve its record rather than seeking another vote.

The Scottish government is pushing for the decision on whether a referendum can take place to be taken away from Westminster, with the Supreme Court set to rule on the legality of them holding an advisory vote next year.

Ms Truss said: “If I am elected as prime minister, I will not allow another independence referendum.

“At the time of the 2014 referendum, it was agreed by the SNP that it was a once-in-a-generation referendum.

“I believe in politicians keeping their promises, and Nicola Sturgeon should keep her promise.

“What she should do, rather than agitating for another referendum, is deal with the very real issues in Scotland.”

She added that the Scottish government should be dealing with its NHS backlog instead.

Ms Truss’ comments were somewhat overshadowed by questions about a leaked recording in which she said British workers needed “more graft” and lacked the “skill and application” of foreign rivals.

The clip, obtained by The Guardian, was recorded five years ago but emerged ahead of the hustings.

Read more from Sky News’ politics team:
‘No sign’ of 40 new hospitals promised by Tories at last election
Starmer says his ‘radical’ energy plan is answer to cost of living crisis

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Sunak on tax plans and Sturgeon

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak was less emphatic in his rejection of another independence referendum.

The former chancellor said he accepted the union was “by consent” and he did not think “now or any time in the near future” was the time to consider another vote.

“We live in a union which is, of course, there by consent and by democracy and I accept that, but I just don’t think that anybody thinks that now or any time in the near future is remotely the time to focus on this,” he said.

SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald said the event had been “depressing watching” for people in Scotland and said the candidates were trying to “out-Thatcher one another”.

“The pair repeatedly attempted to tell us tonight what Scotland wants,” she added.

“Scotland has made it clear what it does and doesn’t want by repeatedly rejecting the Tories at the polls and repeatedly voting for independence supporting parties.”