A man has been remanded in custody accused of stalking a Conservative MP by sending him threatening messages about the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Feras Al-Jayoosi, 36, was arrested by counter-terrorism police on Thursday and was later charged with stalking Justin Tomlinson, who represents North Swindon in Wiltshire, by sending multiple abusive and threatening emails which caused fear and concern.
Al-Jayoosi, from Swindon, appeared at Swindon Crown Court on Saturday.
During a brief hearing the court heard the alleged emails concerned the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza.
The defendant spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.
He was denied bail and remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Al-Jayoosi is also charged with criminal damage over an un-related matter.
Boris Johnson has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to protect newts that have threatened his plans to build an outdoor swimming pool at his Oxfordshire country manor.
The former prime minister promised to build a “Newtopia”, consisting of “newt motels”, for the amphibians who have taken residence at the Grade II-listed Brightwell Manor he shares with his wife Carrie and their three young children.
Mr Johnson – who ironically once blamed “newt counting” for holding up “the productivity and the prosperity of this country” – applied to install the 11-metre by four-metre outdoor feature at his manor in June.
But the process may be delayed after the local countryside officer warned of the risk to great crested newts – which thrive in the village and are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
In his latest Daily Mail column, Mr Johnson wrote: “If it turns out that our garden is so honoured and so fortunate as to be the home of some newts – great crested, palmate, whatever – I want you to know that I will do whatever it takes to protect them.
“If we have to build little newt motels to house them in their trips past the swimming pool, then we will. If we have to create whole newt-friendly bunds to stop them falling in, we will.
“We will excavate new ponds in which they can breed. We will make a Newtopia!”
Johnson’s proposed pool in ‘highest risk’ area
The South and Vale countryside officer last month filed a holding objection to Mr Johnson’s planned pool, arguing that the newts could be “impacted by the proposed development”.
In his report, which stated that planning permission should not “currently” be granted, local government ecologist Edward Church wrote: “There are known populations of great crested newts… in the east of the village.
“Mapping shows that there is a pond onsite and a moat immediately adjacent to the southern boundary, both well within 250 metres of the position of the proposed pool.
“The proposed development falls within the red zone of highest risk to GCN [great crested newts].”
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Mr Johnson said that according to one of the ecology reports he has received – which he described as “amazingly expensive but worth every penny” – “there are certainly bodies of water nearby that could be hospitable to newts”.
“There is a chance that these creatures could be interrupted in their peregrinations, when they leave their watery lairs, by an unexpected new hole in the lawn,” he said.
“I am told that something that could be the spoor of the newt has been found, but we await DNA testing from the lab – and so, inevitably, I am warned that there may be delays, and there may be costs.”
The Wildlife Trust says the great crested newt, which is protected under UK and European wildlife law, is the biggest of the UK’s newt species, measuring up to 17cm.
The so-called “warty newt” is almost black with spotted flanks and an orange belly, with the charity comparing it to a mini-dinosaur.
Newt numbers are in decline, with habitat loss cited as their biggest threat.
Prince Harry’s legal team have listed 208 articles about him in The Sun and the now-defunct News Of The World which his lawyers claim were as a result of private information being unlawfully gathered.
The stories’ headlines and reporters’ names were included in court documents as part of a legal action by the Duke of Sussex, who is suing the publications’ owners – News Group Newspapers (NGN) – over alleged phone hacking, including listening to private voicemail messages.
NGN is bringing a bid to have Harry’s case thrown out, along with a similar claim by actor Hugh Grant, at a three-day hearing in London which started on Tuesday, arguing they have been brought too late.
The court documents show:
• A transcript of an alleged intercepted phone message in 2006 from his brother Prince William to Harry claiming to be his former girlfriend Chelsy Davy
• Harry said in a February 2018 email to Buckingham Palace that an apparent lack of response by the newspapers’ publishers – formerly known as News International – over phone hacking claims was making the “institution” [Royal Family] look “ineffective and weak”
• Harry questioned if News International journalists should be allowed “into Windsor” [Castle] for his wedding to Meghan Markle in May 2018 “if it isn’t resolved”
• Harry said “there needs to be an ultimatum otherwise this institution and everything it stands for becomes a laughing stock”
• Another email from the palace said the Queen approved threatening News International with legal action
• The prince’s lawyers claim Harry has “suffered considerable distress, as well as the loss of his dignity or standing, and his personal autonomy, as a result of the misuse of his private information by NGN”
Growing frustration of Harry laid bare in court documents
We’ve heard Prince Harry’s arguments, now we’ve seen his evidence. The Duke of Sussex has publicly released private emails, from those at the heart of the late Queen’s household.
Reading the email trail between Harry and the palace, you get a sense of his growing frustration.
He wants an apology, and the emails show the Queen gives her consent to threatening tabloid executives with legal action.
But still nothing happens, and in the following months there is a significant shift. Despite the Queen consenting to using lawyers, Harry’s father tells him to drop all his claims.
Harry claims this is to prioritise positive stories about him and Camilla. It’s something we’ve heard Harry talk about before.
In his memoir, Spare, Harry says he was sacrificed on Camilla’s “personal PR altar”.
He also recalls how his father, describes his battle with the press as a “suicide mission”.
We now know Prince William settled, out of court, his phone hacking case with the publishers of The Sun and News of the World.
But what we’re seeing with Harry is the opposite. He wants his day in court, he wants to hold senior executives to account. And he’s prepared to say and show as much as he can to expose what he alleges is their “criminal activity”.
According to the court documents, the first of the 208 articles was published on 6 January 1996 and was headlined “Diana: I’ll take my time Ma’am; Exclusive!”
Harry’s lawyers claim it contained private information about the prince’s “personal life and in particular, his health and details of a skiing accident”.
Also included are articles about his “education and professional life” and “details about his relationship with Chelsy Davy”.
The 208th article listed was published by The Sun on 1 November 2016 and was headlined “Smitten Harry bombarded Meghan with texts until he got a date”.
His lawyers claim the story contained private information concerning his “personal life and in particular the fact that he had ‘inundated’ and ‘besieged’ Ms Markle with text messages and also details of and the frequency of their dates”.
In the 2006 William phone message to his brother, a male speaker puts on a female voice, lapsing into normal voice.
The male speaker says: “Hi, it’s Chelsy here. I just want to say I miss you so much, and I think you’re the most – best-looking ginger I’ve ever seen – although you really are quite ugly for a ginger, but hope you’re having a lovely time – I really miss you. It’s lovely out here in Africa, and hopefully I’ll see you very soon, you big, hairy fat ginger. Anyway, speak to you later. Bye.”
According to Harry’s lawyers, the audio transcript of the voicemail was seized from a private investigator’s home.
His legal team claimed around that time there had been a number of suspicious calls from the investigator to Harry’s mobile.
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Harry’s barrister David Sherborne has alleged the duke’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, had her calls and messages intercepted by NGN.
He claimed that articles taken from 1994 and 1995 demonstrated that NGN journalists and paparazzi working on their behalf “had inside knowledge” of where Diana was going to be.
And the phone calls of the King and Queen Consort were intercepted by the publisher of The Sun in the 1990s, the prince’s legal team alleges.
Mr Sherborne alleged that NGN was intercepting phone calls and messages, as well as obtaining itemised phone bills of Charles and Camilla.
Articles allegedly published as a result between 1994 and 1995 include stories in The Sun from August 1995 with the headline “Heir to the Phone” and “The Midnight Caller”.
Earlier this week, Harry’s lawyers said Prince William settled a phone hacking claim against Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspaper group in 2020 for a “very large sum”.
NGN has previously settled a number of claims since the phone hacking scandal broke in relation to The News Of The World, which closed in 2011, but has consistently denied that any unlawful information gathering took place at The Sun.
Migrants inside the packed Manston processing centre in Kent are threatening to self-harm and go on hunger strike in protest at being detained, Sky News has been told.
The Prison Officers’ Association (POA) represents 170 people who are working at Manston as detention custody officers.
Andy Baxter is the assistant general secretary of the POA.
In an exclusive interview, Mr Baxter, who saw conditions for himself when he visited the centre 12 days ago, told us: “The unrest is spreading across the camp. Our members are facing threats from people constantly saying ‘what’s happening to me? Where am I going? When will I be getting moved on?’.”
He went on: “When our members can’t give them an answer, people start making threats to have sit-down protests, threats to go on hunger strike and people making threats of self-harm.”
Mr Baxter told us his members have concerns for their safety.
He says there have been a “few incidents” of people making “weapons” from things like wooden cutlery and toothbrushes.
He said: “So far there are no incidences of those weapons being used on anyone – it seems to be something that people want to carry – but our members really are concerned.”
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Mr Baxter said he believes the army may have to expand its role, which currently involves 14 soldiers at Manston in a logistical capacity.
“Eventually I think we’ll see a serious breakdown in public order,” he said.
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Migrants threatening self-harm
The Home Office won’t say exactly how many people are inside Manston – but it’s thought to be in the region of 4,000.
With record numbers of migrant arrivals on small boats across the Channel, about 30 marquees have been put up providing temporary accommodation – each half the size of a football field. Families are thought to be in former MOD buildings at the disused airfield.
Hundreds more people were moved to the Manston facility on Monday, following a petrol bomb attack at the Border Force migrant centre in Dover.
Manston is a processing centre where people are meant to spend a maximum of five days.
But it’s turned into a detention facility because some have been there weeks, there is no accommodation such as hotels to move them to, and they can’t leave until they have somewhere to go.
It’s difficult to speak to people inside because they have had their phones taken from them.
But the charity Humans for Rights Network shared accounts with Sky News from two asylum seekers who were in Manston about a month ago.
The 16-year-old Sudanese teenagers are now in hotels in London.
One told us: “I spent 17 days in Manston. I slept on a blanket and was covered with another blanket which was not enough for me, and I was feeling cold. There were daily fights between people during my stay.”
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‘You must help them’
The other said: “There were no beds in the tents, not even chairs. We used to put the food boxes on the floor and slept on them.
“I spent all the time in the clothes they gave me when I arrived, and they were wet with rain water. A skin disease spread during my stay, and I was afraid of getting infected with it.
“There are people still in this place, and they need medical care. The winter is harsh and there is no warm place to sleep. You must help them.”
We can’t independently verify these accounts, but Mr Baxter described the conditions he saw for himself during his recent visit.
He said: “I saw large marquees with quite poor facilities. Some of the marquees only had plywood floors.
“There were no seats. There was no furniture. There were no beds. People told me they were sleeping on the floor at night. They would sleep on a blanket.
“If they could get hold of cardboard, they would sleep on cardboard. It really was quite shocking to see people held in those conditions.”