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BBC has failed to connect with white working class audiences, says diversity tsar

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bbc has failed to connect with white working class audiences says diversity tsar
June Sarpong (pictured in March in London's Southbank Centre) said her work to reach under-represented groups would extend beyond black and Asian people to encompass people of all races who are economically disadvantaged

June Sarpong (pictured in March in London's Southbank Centre) said her work to reach under-represented groups would extend beyond black and Asian people to encompass people of all races who are economically disadvantaged

June Sarpong (pictured in March in London’s Southbank Centre) said her work to reach under-represented groups would extend beyond black and Asian people to encompass people of all races who are economically disadvantaged

The BBC has failed to connect with white working class audiences and must do more to make them feel represented, according to its head of diversity. 

June Sarpong said her work to reach under-represented groups would extend beyond black and Asian people to include working class communities and their concerns, including immigration. 

The presenter made the remarks at a virtual Ofcom summit where she also spoke about being the only black person in the room at BBC conference meetings. 

New director-general Tim Davie ‘is ensuring we don’t ignore any part of our audience,’ Sarpong said, including working-class audiences who ‘perhaps we have had problems with in the past’. 

She continue: ‘Often the BAME audience gets a lot of focus, in that the BBC doesn’t represent BAME audiences enough, and we talk about young people.

‘But we know that we’ve had serious issues in terms of our connection with C2DE [working class] audiences and I think it’s about getting the balance. 

‘As somebody who is an advocate for diversity, I’m always making sure I’m banging the drum for working class audiences because I come from a working class background, my parents were immigrants, we grew up in a white, working class community.

‘And I totally understand when it comes to immigration, that is the community that has actually lived it, and often we don’t have the sort of nuanced debate around this stuff that we need to.’

She told Ofcom’s Small Screen: Big Debate virtual conference that the broadcaster’s survival depends on improving diversity.

‘Now the audience themselves are very vocal, and not just of the BBC or of broadcasters but of any institution and company in general,’ she said. 

‘We understand that it’s absolutely vital for our success and our survival. It’s no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.’

Sarpong continued: ‘In a way our survival is also in the balance and this is a key part of ensuring we are here for another 100 years.’

The presenter made the remarks at a virtual Ofcom summit where she also spoke about being the only black person in the room at BBC conference meetings. Pictured: Broadcasting House

The presenter made the remarks at a virtual Ofcom summit where she also spoke about being the only black person in the room at BBC conference meetings. Pictured: Broadcasting House

The presenter made the remarks at a virtual Ofcom summit where she also spoke about being the only black person in the room at BBC conference meetings. Pictured: Broadcasting House 

The diversity tsar also told the conference how she is the only black person in the room at Corporation executive meetings.

The BBC executive, who is paid £75,000 a year for her three day a week role, is the only black person on an executive committee of 11 people.

Asked what she saw around table in her role, she said: ‘I see what has been the story of my life, in terms of my career…I am the only one in the room. Nothing new there.

‘But the difference was we weren’t even in the room before, so at least there’s someone in the room.’

She pointed to the fact that new BBC rules mean there are at least two people from diverse backgrounds on every decision-making body.

While Miss Sarpong is the only black executive on the executive committee, another of its members Gautam Rangarajan is also understood to be from an ethnically diverse background.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Two firms handed £200m to deliver food parcels to the vulnerable sent inedible items

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two firms handed 200m to deliver food parcels to the vulnerable sent inedible items

Two private firms paid £200million in taxpayers cash to provide food parcels to the vulnerable during lockdown sent boxes containing inedible items at a cost nearly double the supermarket value, analysis reveals.

Food firms Bidfood and Brakes were given the hefty sum earlier this year in a bid to cater to Brits who were shielding and unable to leave the house or find online food delivery slots.

The free boxes cost taxpayers roughly £44 per package, but many reported receiving parcels containing inedible food, rotting fruit and vegetables’ and in one case ‘dirty toilet rolls’.   

Some 4.7million of the packages were handed out in total between March 27 and July 31 but the New Statesman calculated the actual cost of each package’s contents to be just £26 on average if you compared the contents and delivery to supermarket prices.

An image of the food parcels containing essentials being sent to people across the country

An image of the food parcels containing essentials being sent to people across the country

An image of the food parcels containing essentials being sent to people across the country

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helps deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent, as the scheme is rolled out across England

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helps deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent, as the scheme is rolled out across England

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helps deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent, as the scheme is rolled out across England

Food firms Bidfood and Brakes (pictured, its HQ in Kent) were given the hefty sum earlier this year in a bid to cater to Brits who were shielding and unable to leave the house or find online food delivery slots

Food firms Bidfood and Brakes (pictured, its HQ in Kent) were given the hefty sum earlier this year in a bid to cater to Brits who were shielding and unable to leave the house or find online food delivery slots

Food firms Bidfood and Brakes (pictured, its HQ in Kent) were given the hefty sum earlier this year in a bid to cater to Brits who were shielding and unable to leave the house or find online food delivery slots

The free boxes cost taxpayers roughly £44 per package, but many reported receiving parcels containing inedible food. Pictured: Bidfood's HQ in Slough

The free boxes cost taxpayers roughly £44 per package, but many reported receiving parcels containing inedible food. Pictured: Bidfood's HQ in Slough

The free boxes cost taxpayers roughly £44 per package, but many reported receiving parcels containing inedible food. Pictured: Bidfood’s HQ in Slough

Sandy Lucas, 66, from near Wigan, suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was told by the Government to shield for 12 weeks to protect her from coronavirus. 

She lives alone and usually orders groceries online but was unable to secure a delivery slot or find any food because of panic-buyers.  

Ms Lucas, who has not left her house since lockdown was initiated in March, became increasingly thwarted as she claims she received a dismal box week after week with barely any fresh produce and no eggs or meat. 

One week she even burst into tears upon seeing the mix of wet bread and ‘sprouting potatoes’ that was delivered to her.  

She told the New Statesman: ‘It got to the point where you just didn’t want to cook.

‘There weren’t two things in the box you could put together and make a proper meal.’ 

She even received men’s toiletries, ‘bars of soap the size of a 50 pence piece’ and ‘loose, crushed and dirty toilet rolls’.  

Up until she stopped receiving the boxes on August 1, Ms Lucas had been given 72 tins of Heinz tomato soup.  

Pictured is an average Government box that was handed to vulnerable people shielding during lockdown

Pictured is an average Government box that was handed to vulnerable people shielding during lockdown

Pictured is an average Government box that was handed to vulnerable people shielding during lockdown 

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helps deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helps deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, helps deliver free food boxes to the most clinically vulnerable in Tonbridge, Kent 

She added: ‘How soul-destroying is it to get 72 tins of tomato soup?’ 

What was included in the Government’s food boxes?  

Two kilos potatoes

One kilo carrots

Three 30-ounce tins of tomato soup

One 30-ounce tin of baked beans

One tin of chicken meatballs

One tin of mushy peas

One 500g bag of long grain rice

One jar of Bolognese sauce

One 500g packet of spaghetti

Two litres of long life milk

Five apples

Five oranges

One packet of biscuits

One box of Cheerios

Ten tea bags

Ten instant coffee sachets

One frozen loaf of sliced white bread

Two miniature hotel-style shower gels

One miniature soap, the size of a 50p piece

Two loose toilet rolls

Source: The New Statesman 

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Ms Lucas, who spent years working in the Prison Service and the Manchester Market Police, took it upon herself to write to her MP, the Health Secretary, the Home Secretary and even 10 Downing Street to question who had decided on the contents of her food boxes. No one replied to her. 

She said that she would be fed better in prison. 

Lorraine Smith, a shielding mother in Dover, Kent, revealed she was receiving rotting fruit and vegetables every week. 

At the time a Brakes spokesman admitted to Kent Live that there ‘may be the occasional issue with fresh products’ because of the ‘current season changeover’.  

All costs for the food products have been redacted from the Government’s website. 

The New Statesman was refused information on the average price of each individual weekly box by Defra and Brakes.  

A Freedom of Information request from the publication for the costs of certain items in the food boxes was also refused by Defra. The department explained that disclosing the cost would ‘prejudice the commercial interests of the supplier’s [sic] Brakes and Bidfood’ and ‘negate Defra’s ability to achieve value for money’. 

A spokesperson for Defra told the publication: ‘The contract with Brakes and Bidfood delivered more than 4.8million food parcels as part of an unprecedented support package to help our most clinically vulnerable people shield from coronavirus.

‘Thorough market analysis and engagement was undertaken before awarding the contract, and the cost of the food boxes was independently assessed and benchmarked to ensure the best use of taxpayer money.’ 

Bidfood and Brakes have been contacted for comment.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Virginia Roberts ‘performed sex act on Prince Andrew’, new book claims

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virginia roberts performed sex act on prince andrew new book claims

Prince Andrew was allegedly given oral sex by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts in front of a 6ft oil painting depicting her in a lesbian scene, it is claimed.

The Duke of York is claimed in author Barry Levine’s new book The Spider to have had a ‘sexual encounter’ with Miss Roberts at Epstein’s massage room in New York.

Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell, who is in jail awaiting trial on charges that she lured girls as young as 14 to Epstein to abuse, is claimed to have watched.

Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, has claimed Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew, but the Duke strenuously denies the allegations and any wrongdoing.

And a source close to the Queen’s son told MailOnline this afternoon: ‘Another week, another person with a book to sell. More unsubstantiated and lurid allegations that have taken over 20 years to be remembered. We look forward to seeing the proof.’ 

Andrew and Virginia Roberts (centre) at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell (right) in London, 2001

Andrew and Virginia Roberts (centre) at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell (right) in London, 2001

Andrew and Virginia Roberts (centre) at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell (right) in London, 2001

Prince Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York's Central Park in 2010

Prince Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York's Central Park in 2010

Prince Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park in 2010 

The book by Levine investigates disgraced paedophile Epstein who hanged himself in a New York jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.

It claims Epstein ‘summoned’ Ms Giuffre to meet Andrew in Manhattan, soon after she accused him of having sex with her at Maxwell’s home in London in March 2001. 

The book, which has been seen by The Sun, said: ‘This time their sexual encounter took place in Epstein’s massage room and in the presence of Ghislaine Maxwell.’ 

Ms Giuffre was allegedly sat on Andrew’s knee by Maxwell along with another accuser, before Maxwell told her to take him to the massage room. 

Ms Giuffre is claimed to have given the Duke a massage in front of an oil painting which showed her in a sexual position with another woman. 

Ghislaine Maxwell is awaiting trial in the US after being charged with procuring teenage girls for Epstein (pictured together in New York in 2005) to abuse. She denies the charges

Ghislaine Maxwell is awaiting trial in the US after being charged with procuring teenage girls for Epstein (pictured together in New York in 2005) to abuse. She denies the charges

Ghislaine Maxwell is awaiting trial in the US after being charged with procuring teenage girls for Epstein (pictured together in New York in 2005) to abuse. She denies the charges

Andrew spoke to the BBC's Emily Maitlis for a Newsnight interview in November last year

Andrew spoke to the BBC's Emily Maitlis for a Newsnight interview in November last year

Andrew spoke to the BBC’s Emily Maitlis for a Newsnight interview in November last year

An account by Sharon Churcher, who was the first reporter to interview her, Ms Giuffre said: ‘Andrew couldn’t have missed it. I was so embarrassed,’

She is then said to have given him oral sex while classical music played in the background, according to the book which is published by Penguin Random House.

Andrew stepped down from royal public life in November following a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview, which had led to criticism of a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the convicted sex offender. 

Andrew stepped down from royal public life in November following a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview, which had led to criticism of a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the convicted sex offender. 

Andrew (second left) has said he became friends with Jeffrey Epstein (right) in 1999, after being introduced to him through Ghislaine Maxwell. Pictured: Melania Trump, Andrew, Epstein's friend Gwendolyn Beck and Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago in Florida in 2000

Andrew (second left) has said he became friends with Jeffrey Epstein (right) in 1999, after being introduced to him through Ghislaine Maxwell. Pictured: Melania Trump, Andrew, Epstein's friend Gwendolyn Beck and Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago in Florida in 2000

Andrew (second left) has said he became friends with Jeffrey Epstein (right) in 1999, after being introduced to him through Ghislaine Maxwell. Pictured: Melania Trump, Andrew, Epstein’s friend Gwendolyn Beck and Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago in Florida in 2000

The Spider: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, by Barry Levine

The Spider: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, by Barry Levine

The Spider: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, by Barry Levine

The Duke and his legal team are involved in negotiations with the US authorities over their requests for him to give a witness statement about his friendship with Epstein.

Maxwell, 58, is currently in jail awaiting trial on criminal charges that she lured girls as young as 14 to Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 1997. She denies the claims.

One of the allegedly girls, US-born Ms Guiffre, has accused Andrew of having sex with her when she was 17. He has strongly denied the allegation.

The Duke is rarely seen in public now, but was pictured in April helping his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York pack cupcakes into gift bags to donate to a Windsor hospice.

The Spider: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell is written by Barry Levine, published by Penguin Random House and released today 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Canadian town of Asbestos changes its name to Val-des-Sources because connotations ‘harmed tourism’

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canadian town of asbestos changes its name to val des sources because connotations harmed tourism

The Canadian town of Asbestos has officially changed its name to Val-des-Sources (Valley of the Springs) after connotations with the cancer-causing mineral resulted in ‘harmed tourism.’

Approximately half of the town’s 6,800 residents (2,796) turned out for a parking lot-based car vote or directly voted at the council offices last week in the municipality, located in southeastern Quebec.

The results were announced Monday evening with the winning name – related to its proximity to the source of three lakes – garnering 51.5 percent of the votes up against five other options; L’Azur-des-Cantons, Jeffrey-sur-le-Lac, Larochelle, Phénix and Trois-Lacs.

Last November, a poll was announced for residents to participate in the rebranding of the town – home to the mineral widely used around the world to insulate buildings, before it was discovered that its fibers lead to various lung conditions and mesothelioma.

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34615374 8859315 image a 5 1603200634451

The Canadian town of Asbestos has officially changed its name to Val-des-Sources

This photo taken on July 21 2020, shows what's left of the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos, Quebec. The open-pit mine was first opened in 1849 and was once the largest employer in the region, employing more than 2,000 people

This photo taken on July 21 2020, shows what's left of the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos, Quebec. The open-pit mine was first opened in 1849 and was once the largest employer in the region, employing more than 2,000 people

This photo taken on July 21 2020, shows what’s left of the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos, Quebec. The open-pit mine was first opened in 1849 and was once the largest employer in the region, employing more than 2,000 people

This September the options of Apalone, Jeffrey, Phénix and Trois-Lacs were put forward.

Alapone was suggested by Greenpeace Canada but Facebook user Lyne Dion was among those unimpressed, writing: ‘I wouldn’t be proud to say that I live in a soft turtle city.’

There also concern that Jeffrey could continue the harmful reputation of the town as it’s named after W.H. Jeffrey and the world’s largest asbestos mine which was closed in 2012.

The open-pit mine was first opened in 1849 and was once the largest employer in the region, employing more than 2,000 people.

Canada officially banned asbestos in 2018.

However Mayor Hugues Grimard claimed investors refused to take his business cards during a trip to Ohio and many people were struggling in the aftermath of the closure the mine.

Visitors to Asbestos can explore the heritage on its three trails; English Tea, Fall Colours and Christmas Markets. They look at the unique American and British heritage of the Eastern Townships through its landscapes and local hospitality.

Plus the Townships Trail explores the traces of culture American, Loyalist, Irish and Scottish settlers left in the architecture of the homes, churches, covered bridges, round barns and village centers.

The area is also known for its various relaxing Nordic spas which offer privacy indoors or the option of outdoor views. Outdoorsy people also enjoy the 25-year-old La Route verte bike path (3,291 miles) along the coast plus camping at l’Ouiseau Blu, which has a golf course and lake swimming.

But after locals expressed disappointment, they changed the name options on October 2 and three rounds of voting took place.

Visitors to Asbestos can explore the heritage on its three trails. The Townships Trail explores the traces of culture American, Loyalist, Irish and Scottish settlers left in the architecture of the homes, churches, covered bridges, round barns and village centers

Visitors to Asbestos can explore the heritage on its three trails. The Townships Trail explores the traces of culture American, Loyalist, Irish and Scottish settlers left in the architecture of the homes, churches, covered bridges, round barns and village centers

Visitors to Asbestos can explore the heritage on its three trails. The Townships Trail explores the traces of culture American, Loyalist, Irish and Scottish settlers left in the architecture of the homes, churches, covered bridges, round barns and village centers

The area is known for its various relaxing Nordic spas which offer privacy indoors or the option of outdoor views

The area is known for its various relaxing Nordic spas which offer privacy indoors or the option of outdoor views

The area is known for its various relaxing Nordic spas which offer privacy indoors or the option of outdoor views

People enjoy the camping sites of l'Ouiseau Blu which has a golf course and lake swimming

People enjoy the camping sites of l'Ouiseau Blu which has a golf course and lake swimming

People enjoy the camping sites of l’Ouiseau Blu which has a golf course and lake swimming

It was expected that the name changing process will cost around $100,000.

‘There is really a negative perception around asbestos,’ Mayor Hugues Grimard told CBC.

‘We have lost businesses that don’t want to establish themselves here because of the name.’

According to the town’s website, residents are known for being ‘transparent’ and this personality trait is even represented in its Azalea logo which features heart-shaped petals overlapping each other to portray this.

The various colors of the petals represent the diversity of people, services, activities offered and economic sectors.

Asbestos is said to be oriented towards sustainable development, offering services adapted to the needs of its citizens.

Visitors might be attracted to its four seasons hiking and cross-country ski trails, as well as public bathing areas, various parks, plus events including a gourmet food and mineral festivals.

Approximately half of the town's 6,800 residents (2,796) turned out for a parking lot-based car vote

Approximately half of the town's 6,800 residents (2,796) turned out for a parking lot-based car vote

Approximately half of the town’s 6,800 residents (2,796) turned out for a parking lot-based car vote

The results were announced Monday by Mayor Hugues Grimard with the winning name garnering 51.5 percent of the votes

The results were announced Monday by Mayor Hugues Grimard with the winning name garnering 51.5 percent of the votes

The results were announced Monday by Mayor Hugues Grimard with the winning name garnering 51.5 percent of the votes

This October 7, 2011 image shows a piece of extracted serpentine, which contains Chrysotile Asbestos fibers. Quebec once produced half of the world's asbestos and offered the highest-paying mining jobs in Canada before concern about cancer led to the fire-resistant fiber being banned in more than 50 countries, with the mine finally shutting down in 2012

This October 7, 2011 image shows a piece of extracted serpentine, which contains Chrysotile Asbestos fibers. Quebec once produced half of the world's asbestos and offered the highest-paying mining jobs in Canada before concern about cancer led to the fire-resistant fiber being banned in more than 50 countries, with the mine finally shutting down in 2012

This October 7, 2011 image shows a piece of extracted serpentine, which contains Chrysotile Asbestos fibers. Quebec once produced half of the world’s asbestos and offered the highest-paying mining jobs in Canada before concern about cancer led to the fire-resistant fiber being banned in more than 50 countries, with the mine finally shutting down in 2012

Customers sit inside Moulin 7 Microbrasserie, brew pub that honors the town's heritage,  on February 9, 2018. Locals have struggled in the aftermath of the closure the mine

Customers sit inside Moulin 7 Microbrasserie, brew pub that honors the town's heritage,  on February 9, 2018. Locals have struggled in the aftermath of the closure the mine

Customers sit inside Moulin 7 Microbrasserie, brew pub that honors the town’s heritage,  on February 9, 2018. Locals have struggled in the aftermath of the closure the mine

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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