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Finance firms tempting couples into fertility treatment with the promise of a refund if it fails

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finance firms tempting couples into fertility treatment with the promise of a refund if it fails

Little Teddy Lee turns one next week and his mum can’t believe it’s a year since she fulfilled her dream of having a family.

‘It’s absolutely flown by,’ says Leila Lee, a 38-year-old civil servant who is married to Sam, 37, a stairlift engineer.

‘He’s the happiest little boy, such a ray of sunshine. We’ve no idea how we’ll celebrate with the current restrictions, but we’ll make sure it’s very special.’ No parent can put a price on this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

But Leila and Sam have a far clearer idea than most of what it cost to reach this point. The couple, from Long Eaton, Notts, paid more than £25,000 for four rounds of IVF before their little boy was born last October.

Couples who've signed up to fiance packages to fund their fertility treatment shared their experiences. Pictured: Leila Lee, 38, and her husband Sam 37, with beloved son Teddy

Couples who've signed up to fiance packages to fund their fertility treatment shared their experiences. Pictured: Leila Lee, 38, and her husband Sam 37, with beloved son Teddy

Couples who’ve signed up to fiance packages to fund their fertility treatment shared their experiences. Pictured: Leila Lee, 38, and her husband Sam 37, with beloved son Teddy

‘Although it’s been difficult — with failed rounds and a miscarriage at 12 weeks —having Teddy makes it all worth it,’ says Leila. ‘When you’re desperate to be a parent you don’t care what it costs, you’ll do anything. We took out credit cards and loans and were lucky that family helped.

‘But even if they hadn’t, we’d have found the money somewhere. You keep going until you get a baby.’

Willing to consider almost any path to having a child, Leila and Sam turned to a new type of IVF deal. They paid £12,500 up front for three treatment cycles — but with the astonishing promise that they would get ‘a baby or your money back’. These funding packages can be arranged by clinics, but specialist finance providers are also springing up with hopeful names such as Assured Fertility and Access Fertility. They exist purely to offer IVF funding deals — a bit like those you might sign up to for a car.

‘We’d started trying after we got married in 2011, and eventually our GP referred us for fertility tests,’ says Leila.

‘We discovered Sam was a carrier of the cystic fibrosis gene, which affected his fertility, and were told we’d need IVF. It was incredibly difficult for both of us.

‘Our one NHS round failed, so when we heard about funding packages we were keen to try them. The one we chose meant paying £12,500 up front for three rounds — but if it didn’t work, we’d get all that money back.’

It sounds too good to be true. And the couple did end up spending rather a lot of money that wasn’t refundable. ‘You need to go into it with your eyes open, because on some deals not all the costs are covered.

‘On our deal, the drugs and certain other procedures were extra and we ended up paying about six thousand pounds for those,’ Leila explains.

Leila who paid more than £25,000 for four rounds of IVF, said she got pregnant on their first round but they lost the baby at 12 weeks. Pictured: Leila and Sam with Teddy

Leila who paid more than £25,000 for four rounds of IVF, said she got pregnant on their first round but they lost the baby at 12 weeks. Pictured: Leila and Sam with Teddy

Leila who paid more than £25,000 for four rounds of IVF, said she got pregnant on their first round but they lost the baby at 12 weeks. Pictured: Leila and Sam with Teddy 

‘We were also offered lots of ‘add-ons’ such as a ‘glue’ to help the embryo stick and various tests and monitoring of the embryos. We didn’t do any of those because we did our research and decided they weren’t much use. If you do, it can end up costing a fortune.’

Leila got pregnant on her first round, but lost the baby at 12 weeks.

‘We were devastated, but at least we had the other two rounds already paid for,’ she says. ‘However, when the next two rounds came to nothing, I hit a really low point.

‘The medication had done awful things to my body, it was enormously stressful and all I wanted was another pregnancy. The only bit of hope we had was that we would be refunded and could try again.’ After their three failed rounds the couple were refunded the deal price of £12,500 from more than £18,000 they’d spent in total. ‘The money was sent back via transfer and although it was bittersweet, we were grateful,’ says Leila.

These clinics want success stories — they don’t want to give refunds. I didn’t stand a chance – Emma Kemsley, 33

However, they couldn’t bear to put themselves through the potential heartache — and physical toll — of doing the same package deal again. ‘We thought long and hard, but I just couldn’t face another three rounds.

‘I can’t say I agree with all the packages on offer, either. A friend is doing one where she pays a lump sum and is allowed unlimited IVF for two years. Having been through four rounds in two years, I’m not sure how anyone could endure more than that. Instead we paid £6,500 up front for a fourth round — and we conceived Teddy.’

It’s easy to see why this sort of deal is proving popular. One in seven UK couples is affected by infertility and as treatment on the NHS becomes harder to access, 65 per cent are turning to privately-funded IVF, according to the charity Fertility Network. A study found the average couple spends £11,378, while one in ten spends more than £30,000.

Anya Sizer, of Fertility Network, said if a woman signs up to deal like Leila's they could pay above the average for a single round if they become pregnant after only one round. Pictured: Leila and Teddy

Anya Sizer, of Fertility Network, said if a woman signs up to deal like Leila's they could pay above the average for a single round if they become pregnant after only one round. Pictured: Leila and Teddy

Anya Sizer, of Fertility Network, said if a woman signs up to deal like Leila’s they could pay above the average for a single round if they become pregnant after only one round. Pictured: Leila and Teddy  

With private funding come fears that couples are being lured into spending more than they can afford. Not everyone welcomes the increasingly sophisticated and flourishing market in financing deals that tempt would-be parents to manage just one more round.

Anya Sizer, of Fertility Network, warns some deals push the prospect of a baby above considerations of the mother’s health.

She says: ‘The average number of cycles a couple does is only one or two, and that’s not because of the money but because of the emotional toll IVF takes.

‘We found that 90 per cent of patients experience depression. So deals such as “unlimited IVF for two years” would be placing an enormous emotional pressure on couples.’

It’s also worth pointing out that if a woman signs up to a deal like Leila’s — where you pay for three rounds, but get your money back if they all fail — and is fortunate enough to have a baby after only one round, then she has effectively paid £12,500 for a single round of IVF. That’s well above the average of around £5,000 a round, but a thrilled and exhausted new mother is unlikely to quibble at that stage.

Anya adds that the growth of private funding may also mean those who have to rely on the NHS lose out: ‘As more people turn to private deals, funding is slowly being removed from the NHS.’

Amber Boniface, 37, and her husband Simon, 36, who live in Surrey, ended up spending £70,000 on 11 rounds of IVF before the birth of their son Crosby. Pictured: Amber and Simon with their son Crosby

Amber Boniface, 37, and her husband Simon, 36, who live in Surrey, ended up spending £70,000 on 11 rounds of IVF before the birth of their son Crosby. Pictured: Amber and Simon with their son Crosby

Amber Boniface, 37, and her husband Simon, 36, who live in Surrey, ended up spending £70,000 on 11 rounds of IVF before the birth of their son Crosby. Pictured: Amber and Simon with their son Crosby 

Certainly, the IVF finance market is booming. Since 2015, more than 4,000 babies have been born using deals from Access Fertility, and the company says it has refunded £8 million to patients who were not successful.

Its founder, Ash Miller, insists its programmes ‘remove the financial stress’ of IVF for couples who need repeated rounds. Assured Fertility, which was founded in 2018, says 60 per cent of its customers end up with a ‘live birth’.

Amber Boniface, 37, who works in marketing, and her lawyer husband Simon, 36, also signed up to a refund deal. The couple from Leatherhead, Surrey, paid £13,000 for a package with Access Fertility, but were aware from the start that this would not cover all their costs.

In fact, they ended up spending £70,000 in total on 11 gruelling rounds of IVF before the birth of their son Crosby, now nearly two.

Amber explains: ‘The drugs you have to use for a fresh egg collection are about £1,200 a time, and every time I got pregnant I’d have to inject different types of hormone at £50 a day.

Amber said the clinic promised to give a 70 per cent refund if the treatment didn't work. Pictured: Amber with her son Crosby

Amber said the clinic promised to give a 70 per cent refund if the treatment didn't work. Pictured: Amber with her son Crosby

Amber said the clinic promised to give a 70 per cent refund if the treatment didn’t work. Pictured: Amber with her son Crosby

‘When you consider that each time I got pregnant, I got to eight weeks before miscarrying, that soon adds up. I also paid £250 extra for a “scratch” procedure to help the embryo embed, and more for a private miscarriage specialist to do my scans, blood tests and even my C-section.’

She adds: ‘At first I thought it all sounded too good to be true. But family helped us find £13,000 to pay for the deal, which gave us three fresh egg collections followed by unlimited frozen transfers.

‘We’d get a 70 per cent refund if it didn’t work. I got ten eggs in the first collection, which we thought would be enough, but after ten transfers, I had suffered four miscarriages and many failed rounds.

‘The second egg collection was a disaster, but the third one worked. We only needed one more transfer —making 11 rounds of IVF in all — and I became pregnant with Crosby.

‘When you think about £70,000 you think: “Wow, that’s a scary amount” but Crosby is an absolute angel and we’re just so happy he is finally here.

Amber who is paying £9,000 to try again, said she was unsure if she would be accepted for another deal because of her age and four miscarriages. Pictured: Amber and Simon with their son Crosby

Amber who is paying £9,000 to try again, said she was unsure if she would be accepted for another deal because of her age and four miscarriages. Pictured: Amber and Simon with their son Crosby

Amber who is paying £9,000 to try again, said she was unsure if she would be accepted for another deal because of her age and four miscarriages. Pictured: Amber and Simon with their son Crosby

‘Yes, the extra costs add up and yes, we never thought we’d end up spending over £70,000, but we had savings and good jobs and the family helped.

‘Besides, once you’ve paid that initial sum, you’re paying extras of only hundreds rather than thousands at a time. It does take a lot of the financial worry out of your decision and makes a difference to how you feel about it.’

Indeed, so happy are Amber and Simon with the deal they used that they recently signed up to a second one — paying £9,000 — to try again.

Amber says: ‘I wasn’t even sure if I’d be accepted on to another deal, having had four miscarriages and being older. But we were and that means one day we can hopefully have another child.’

Her words highlight another twist in the tale of easily available IVF funding. Since the new finance companies make more money when treatment is successful, many are only prepared to take a risk on couples they deem likely to have a child. Those with complex issues may find themselves excluded, which can feel especially cruel.

Emma Kemsley, 33, a magazine editor from Saffron Walden, Essex, has tried and failed to access several finance packages over the past three years.

She and husband James, 37, a personal development coach, have spent more than £53,000 on six rounds of IVF and are still without a baby.

Emma Kemsley, 33, and her husband James, 37, (pictured) Saffron Walden, Essex, have spent more than £53,000 on six rounds of IVF and are still without a baby

Emma Kemsley, 33, and her husband James, 37, (pictured) Saffron Walden, Essex, have spent more than £53,000 on six rounds of IVF and are still without a baby

Emma Kemsley, 33, and her husband James, 37, (pictured) Saffron Walden, Essex, have spent more than £53,000 on six rounds of IVF and are still without a baby

‘I’ve known since my 20s that I’d struggle to conceive naturally as I have severe endometriosis, but it wasn’t until I was 30 that James and I started trying. We had no joy after six months so went for IVF.

‘Unfortunately, after a mistake by my hospital, I didn’t qualify for NHS funding — but I complained and in the end the hospital itself funded our first round. It was a scary process.

‘I’m 263 injections down now so I’m used to it, but that first time you inject hormones is overwhelming. Plus we were under a lot of stress at the time with family bereavements. I wasn’t expecting it to succeed — and it didn’t. Next I looked at all kinds of fertility funding, but I didn’t stand a chance. These clinics want success stories because they don’t want to have to give refunds, and women like me with endometriosis have a reduced chance of treatment working.

‘My hopes were raised when I discovered one package did accept women with endometriosis, but it was only for women with minimal stage one, and I’m stage four.’

As a result, Emma and James have spent tens of thousands from savings, a significant inheritance and gifts from their parents on six rounds of IVF. Two rounds have worked but sadly, she lost both pregnancies.

‘It’s always heartbreaking. James was completely devastated, particularly when we had to terminate the second pregnancy for medical reasons.’

Emma said 'some clinics treat you as a business and encourage you to keep going. All common sense flies out of the window'. Pictured: Emma and James

Emma said 'some clinics treat you as a business and encourage you to keep going. All common sense flies out of the window'. Pictured: Emma and James

Emma said ‘some clinics treat you as a business and encourage you to keep going. All common sense flies out of the window’. Pictured: Emma and James 

They have paid out significant sums for ‘add ons’. ‘Special glue to help the embryo stick to the uterus costs £180 a time. Plus there’s the cost of freezing the eggs which is between £250 and £500 a year, depending on the clinic. We even paid for our eggs to be monitored by camera 24/7 to see which one fertilised first.’ After Emma’s latest tragic loss in May of this year, she’s unsure whether more treatment is even an option due to health risks. ‘Some clinics treat you as a business and encourage you to keep going. All common sense flies out of the window,’ she says.

‘You’re so desperate that you’ll pay for whatever test or scan or drug they tell you to take and you believe anything they say.

‘It’s taken me six rounds to get to the point where you think: “Hang on, what do we really need here?” I keep saying to James that if we went to Vegas and put £10,000 on the casino tables, it’s just as big a gamble.’

And there are now a bewildering array of offers, tempting couples longing for a child to have one more roll of the dice. As well as refunds, some clinics offer discounts to women who donate some of their harvested eggs for another woman’s use, or to men who donate sperm.

Of course, this path to a cheaper deal may leave a woman with fewer eggs to use in her own treatment, and could lead to complications down the line — since a child born using donor eggs or sperm will have the legal right to learn about its biological parent in 18 years. Civil servant Lucy Holden, 39, is expecting her first, much longed-for baby, thanks to a complex egg-donation funding package provided by her clinic.

Fertility Network¿s Anya, said women shouldn't feel pressured into feeling that they can't afford IVF unless they egg-share. Pictured: Emma and James

Fertility Network¿s Anya, said women shouldn't feel pressured into feeling that they can't afford IVF unless they egg-share. Pictured: Emma and James

Fertility Network’s Anya, said women shouldn’t feel pressured into feeling that they can’t afford IVF unless they egg-share. Pictured: Emma and James

As eggs cannot legally be bought or sold in the UK, this effectively involves Lucy and her husband paying for another woman’s IVF.

Lucy’s own eggs were not good enough quality so the donor’s eggs were collected and donated to the clinic, which was then legally allowed to give them to Lucy.

‘We were even offered the chance to reduce our bill by more than half if my husband agreed to donate sperm to the clinic for another couple,’ says Lucy.

‘But we decided against it, because it would have meant a six-month delay to our treatment (while the sperm was incubated and screened).’

Instead — with the help of Lucy’s mum — they paid £12,000 for successful treatment. Lucy is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her son next week.

She says: ‘I’ll never know who donated me her eggs. She received nothing other than nominal expenses for days off work or travel. All I know is she was willing to help.’

Fertility Network’s Anya warns: ‘Women should never feel pressured that they can’t afford IVF if they don’t egg-share. They need to be thoroughly counselled about the pros and cons.’

But with more and more financial inducements to couples longing for a baby to buy into a deal, no doubt some won’t think twice before signing up.

Additional reporting: Laura Whitcombe

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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66% believe UK government SHOULD extend free school meals

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66 believe uk government should extend free school meals

Two thirds of Britons back Marcus Rashford and believe the Government should help feed the poorest schoolchildren during the holidays, with more than half saying that ministers’ refusal to do so makes them look ‘unkind’.  

A new poll for MailOnline suggests that official attempts to rebuff the campaign led by England football ace Marcus Rashford are badly out of kilter with the feelings of voters.

A survey for this website by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that there is overwhelming support for aid for those struggling the most during the coronavirus crisis.

Some 66 per cent agree that the Government should take some responsibility for feeding the poorest children when schools are closed.

And in a sign that may alarm Downing Street, 54 per cent of those polled believed that attempts to argue that there are better ways of helping are making the Government look miserly. 

The same amount believe that the Government’s handling of the row was ‘inept’.   

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People take part in a protest outside the Department for Education in Westminster with messages directed at the UK government to reconsider their recent decision not to provide free school meals until Easter 2021

People take part in a protest outside the Department for Education in Westminster with messages directed at the UK government to reconsider their recent decision not to provide free school meals until Easter 2021

People take part in a protest outside the Department for Education in Westminster with messages directed at the UK government to reconsider their recent decision not to provide free school meals until Easter 2021

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35037718 8893545 image a 1 1604059686485

The survey of 3,000 people was carried out on Wednesday as Boris Johnson was under pressure to reverse his decision not to extend free meals.

Mr Rashford’s petition to end child food poverty passed an incredible one million signatures  this week.

The online petition, titled ‘End child food poverty – no child should be going hungry’, reached the milestone and continues to rise constantly as more members of the public support the footballer’s campaign. 

Tory backbenchers this week denounced the Government’s handling of the free meals row as ‘shockingly inept’ and a ‘s*** show’. 

A Labour motion to extend meals until Easter 2021 was voted down by MPs in the Commons last week, to the general fury of much of the public.

The England ace quickly blasted Tory MPs who overwhelmingly rejected the scheme and rallied an army of sympathisers on Twitter to put the Government under pressure.

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Meanwhile Labour has taken a five-point lead over the Conservatives amid the fall-out from Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis in a separate poll today. 

An Ipsos MORI poll today puts Labour on 42 per cent, up five, while the Tories have slumped three points to 37 per cent. It is Labour’s first lead over the Conservatives since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister.

His personal popularity has also taken a battering, with a net satisfaction rating of -26, the worst score of his premiership with the pollster.

In contrast, Sir Keir Starmer was on 26, the best of any Labour leader at this stage of their leadership in the past 35 years – apart from Tony Blair. But the poll has carried out before yesterday’s anti-Semitism report release which led to Jeremy Corbyn being suspended.

The poll also found increasing pessimism over the economy, amid fears that England could completely be placed into lockdown.

More than seven in 10 (71 per cent) believe that the economy will get worse in the next year, up 5 per cent on last month.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Train named after civil rights activist to help mark…

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train named after civil rights activist to help mark

A train has been named in honour of civil rights pioneer Paul Stephenson as part of Black History Month celebrations.

Dr Stephenson, 83, who was born in Essex to a West African father and British mother, served in the RAF before moving to Bristol in 1960, where he became the city’s first black social worker.

In 1963, he led the Bristol Bus Boycott, which saw campaigners overturn a ban on ethnic minorities working on the city’s buses.

Dr Stephenson, 83, (pictured) moved to Bristol in 1960, where he became the city’s first black social worker

Dr Stephenson, 83, (pictured) moved to Bristol in 1960, where he became the city’s first black social worker

Dr Stephenson, 83, (pictured) moved to Bristol in 1960, where he became the city’s first black social worker

He was made an OBE in 2009 for his services to equal opportunities and to community relations in Bristol, and received a Pride of Britain Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017.

Dr Stephenson was nominated for the train naming by the public and members of staff at Great Western Railway (GWR), as part of the company’s Great Westerners campaign to recognise past and present heroes from across the network.

On Friday morning, GWR hosted a naming ceremony of train number 800036 at Bristol Temple Meads to pay tribute to Dr Stephenson’s lifetime of campaigning.

On Friday morning, GWR hosted a naming ceremony of train number 800036 at Bristol Temple Meads to pay tribute to Dr Stephenson’s lifetime of campaigning

On Friday morning, GWR hosted a naming ceremony of train number 800036 at Bristol Temple Meads to pay tribute to Dr Stephenson’s lifetime of campaigning

On Friday morning, GWR hosted a naming ceremony of train number 800036 at Bristol Temple Meads to pay tribute to Dr Stephenson’s lifetime of campaigning

Dr Stephenson was nominated for the train naming by the public and members of staff at Great Western Railway as part of the company’s Great Westerners campaign to recognise past and present heroes from across the network

Dr Stephenson was nominated for the train naming by the public and members of staff at Great Western Railway as part of the company’s Great Westerners campaign to recognise past and present heroes from across the network

Dr Stephenson was nominated for the train naming by the public and members of staff at Great Western Railway as part of the company’s Great Westerners campaign to recognise past and present heroes from across the network

‘This is such a wonderful gesture and one I’m delighted to accept. I feel very proud to be considered by GWR as one of its Great Westerners,’ Dr Stephenson said.

‘History is very important for understanding who we are, what’s happening to us today and where our vision is for tomorrow.

‘It is vital to take ownership of our history and to revisit it from time to time to ensure we have a clearer picture of our time and understanding of our humanity.’

Dr Paul  Stephenson's (pictured in the middle by a bus in the 60s) campaigns were instrumental in paving the way for the first Race Relations Act in 1965

Dr Paul  Stephenson's (pictured in the middle by a bus in the 60s) campaigns were instrumental in paving the way for the first Race Relations Act in 1965

Dr Paul  Stephenson’s (pictured in the middle by a bus in the 60s) campaigns were instrumental in paving the way for the first Race Relations Act in 1965 

Others to be honoured on GWR’s Intercity Express Trains include the Queen, Bristol paramedic Kathryn Osmond – who fought to raise awareness of the skin cancer melanoma – and Fleur Lombard, the first female firefighter to die on duty in peacetime Britain.

George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, the last surviving British member of the Dambusters raid, will also be celebrated.

Jean Cook and Anthony Chitomera, co-chairs of GWR’s Recognising Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (Reach) network, said: ‘As a BAME staff network within GWR, Reach was keen to recognise his lifelong tenacity in knocking down obstacles to equality, inclusion and representation in the workplace.

Dr Stephenson (left) was made an OBE in 2009 for his services to equal opportunities and to community relations in Bristol, and received a Pride of Britain Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017

Dr Stephenson (left) was made an OBE in 2009 for his services to equal opportunities and to community relations in Bristol, and received a Pride of Britain Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017

Dr Stephenson (left) was made an OBE in 2009 for his services to equal opportunities and to community relations in Bristol, and received a Pride of Britain Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2017

‘His courage and determination changed the way we all live for the better. It is our duty to continue his efforts, recognising his work through our deeds. Reaching for a better future for all.’

Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, said he was ‘delighted’ that GWR had chosen to honour Dr Stephenson.

‘Black History Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate Black contributions to British society and it is fitting that GWR will be adding Dr Stephenson to the list of those Great Westerners whose names adorn its trains,’ he said.

In 1964, Dr Stephenson achieved national fame when he refused to leave a pub until he was served.

This resulted in a magistrates’ court trial that was dismissed.

His campaigns were instrumental in paving the way for the first Race Relations Act in 1965.

He later worked for the Commission for Racial Equality in London and was appointed to the Sports Council in 1975, where he campaigned prominently against sporting contacts with apartheid South Africa.

On his return to Bristol, he helped set up the Bristol Black Archives Partnership, which protects and promotes the history of African-Caribbean people in Bristol.

Dr Stephenson was granted Freedom of the City of Bristol in 2007.

James Freeman, First West of England managing director, said: ‘I am delighted to see Dr Paul being recognised in this way for his supremely important achievements.

‘Today I am proud that within our own team, we have a relative of one of the successful protesters who campaigned with Paul to eradicate the systemic discrimination against black and minority ethnic people that took place by the operators who owned and managed the bus companies during that dreadful period of history.’

Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963

The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 began from the Bristol Omnibus Company ‘s refusal to employ black or Asian bus crews in Bristol.

In the 1960’s there was widespread racial discrimination in housing and employment at that time against ‘coloureds’.

Paul Stephenson together with the West Indian Development Council boycotted the company’s buses.

The boycott lasted for four months until the company backed down and overturned their decision to employ coloured staff.

 

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Muslims protest against Macron outside London’s French embassy

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Police clashed with Muslim protesters demanding ‘respect for the Prophet’ in London today outside the French Embassy over Emmanuel Macron‘s stance on Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

Demonstrators gathered in the capital holding signs that bore the words ‘We will not tolerate disrespect of our beloved prophet’, ‘The Earth’s biggest terrorist is Macron’ and ‘Insult is not freedom of speech’ as the Muslim world renewed its anger at the French president. 

Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which were used as justification for a teacher’s murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago.  

After three people were murdered in Nice yesterday in the latest in a long line of terror attacks in France, Macron said that France will not ‘give up on our values’ despite fury at the caricatures. 

Other protesters in London held up signs depicting the French President as a demonic creature, while others held up a portrait of Macron with a boot mark across his face.  

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson confirmed that the demonstrations outside the London embassy had now dispersed. They added: ‘Officers engaged and encouraged those protesting to disperse, the majority left without issue. Those who didn’t comply were dealt with by enforcement.

‘Officers made a total of three arrests. Two people for Covid breaches and one for possession of pyrotechnics.

’13 people have also reported for consideration of a fixed penalty notice.’ 

On Twitter, the French Embassy in London released a statement saying: ‘France is the target of terrorist attacks against our freedom of expression, to believe or not to believe, to live in the Fraternity. We will remain what we are, a free, tolerant country, proud of its humanist values of democracy.’ 

'We will not tolerate disrespect of our beloved prophet': Demonstrators gather in London outside the French Embassy

'We will not tolerate disrespect of our beloved prophet': Demonstrators gather in London outside the French Embassy

‘We will not tolerate disrespect of our beloved prophet’: Demonstrators gather in London outside the French Embassy

'Insult is not freedom of speech': People holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand to call for a boycott and to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

'Insult is not freedom of speech': People holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand to call for a boycott and to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

‘Insult is not freedom of speech’: People holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand to call for a boycott and to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

'Protest against the disrespect of our beloved Prophet Muhammad': Demonstrators gathered outside London's French embassy

'Protest against the disrespect of our beloved Prophet Muhammad': Demonstrators gathered outside London's French embassy

‘Protest against the disrespect of our beloved Prophet Muhammad’: Demonstrators gathered outside London’s French embassy

People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London

People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London

People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London

Boot mark: One demonstrator holds a picture of someone holding a picture of Macron with a shoe mark on his face. Beneath that, the French President is depicted as a demonic orc-type creature

Boot mark: One demonstrator holds a picture of someone holding a picture of Macron with a shoe mark on his face. Beneath that, the French President is depicted as a demonic orc-type creature

Boot mark: One demonstrator holds a picture of someone holding a picture of Macron with a shoe mark on his face. Beneath that, the French President is depicted as a demonic orc-type creature 

Police are seen speaking with protesters in London following Emmanuel Macron's defence of the right to free expression

Police are seen speaking with protesters in London following Emmanuel Macron's defence of the right to free expression

Police are seen speaking with protesters in London following Emmanuel Macron’s defence of the right to free expression 

Protesters hold signs saying 'Hands off my hijab' and 'My hijab is NOT a threat' - as demonstrators gather in London to voice their fury over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

Protesters hold signs saying 'Hands off my hijab' and 'My hijab is NOT a threat' - as demonstrators gather in London to voice their fury over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

Protesters hold signs saying ‘Hands off my hijab’ and ‘My hijab is NOT a threat’ – as demonstrators gather in London to voice their fury over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

'We condemn killing of innocent people': One protester holds a sign decrying the murder of innocents in London today as another states that 'Islam is the religion of love and peace'

'We condemn killing of innocent people': One protester holds a sign decrying the murder of innocents in London today as another states that 'Islam is the religion of love and peace'

‘We condemn killing of innocent people’: One protester holds a sign decrying the murder of innocents in London today as another states that ‘Islam is the religion of love and peace’ 

The outraged response to Macron’s defence of free expression has been global.  

Today, thousands poured out of Friday prayer services to join anti-French protests in Pakistan while the French flag was set on fire in Afghanistan and others voiced their anger in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia by burning effigies of Macron and stamping on pictures of his face. 

Protesters also gathered outside the French embassies in Copenhagen and Moscow to denounce the French President, while posters of him were set alight in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkey has led the condemnation of France in recent days, with President Erdogan suggesting that he needs ‘mental checks’, comparing European leaders to ‘fascists’, and suggesting that Muslims in Europe are now treated the same as Jews before the Second World War. 

Erdogan’s press aide, Fahrettin Altun, condemned the Nice attack but said that ‘such senseless violence has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims’. 

‘We will continue to confront any politician who insults our religion and values,’ he said. 

Protesters are sen gathering outside the French Embassy in London following President Macron's defence of free expression

Protesters are sen gathering outside the French Embassy in London following President Macron's defence of free expression

Protesters are sen gathering outside the French Embassy in London following President Macron’s defence of free expression

People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

‘We feel we owe no apology to anyone for expressing our strong opposition to racism and xenophobia. We categorically deny any effort to associate us with any kind of violence.’

Macron has launched an impassioned defence of freedom of expression and described teacher Samuel Paty as a ‘quiet hero’ after he was murdered for showing the Prophet Mohammed cartoons to his class. 

But Muslim leaders have said that the caricatures are taking free speech too far and accused France of promoting an anti-Islam agenda.  

Tens of thousands of Muslims protested in Bangladesh on Friday, chanting slogans such as ‘boycott French products’ and carrying banners calling Macron ‘the world’s biggest terrorist’ as they marched in Dhaka.   

In Pakistan, thousands of Muslims in Pakistan poured out of prayer services to voice their anger at Macron after celebrating the Mawlid, the festival marking the birthday of the Prophet. 

Police take a protester into custody as people holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand in London

Police take a protester into custody as people holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand in London

Police take a protester into custody as people holding banners gather in front of a popular French brand in London

Police on the scene of a protest in London today as demonstrators gather to voice their opposition to Macron's defence of freedom of expression

Police on the scene of a protest in London today as demonstrators gather to voice their opposition to Macron's defence of freedom of expression

Police on the scene of a protest in London today as demonstrators gather to voice their opposition to Macron’s defence of freedom of expression 

A protester holds a sign asking the French President to 'Spread love not hate' amid protests over Macron's comments renewing France's commitment to freedom of speech

A protester holds a sign asking the French President to 'Spread love not hate' amid protests over Macron's comments renewing France's commitment to freedom of speech

A protester holds a sign asking the French President to ‘Spread love not hate’ amid protests over Macron’s comments renewing France’s commitment to freedom of speech 

People burn an image of French President Emmanuel Macron as they gather to protest against his comments

People burn an image of French President Emmanuel Macron as they gather to protest against his comments

People burn an image of French President Emmanuel Macron as they gather to protest against his comments

'Respect our Prophet': People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

'Respect our Prophet': People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

‘Respect our Prophet’: People holding banners gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed

One demonstrator exercises his right to protest by holding up a portrait of the French President with a boot mark on his face

One demonstrator exercises his right to protest by holding up a portrait of the French President with a boot mark on his face

One demonstrator exercises his right to protest by holding up a portrait of the French President with a boot mark on his face

People gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London

People gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London

People gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, outside of the French Embassy in London

London: Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which led to a teacher's murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago

London: Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which led to a teacher's murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago

London: Macron has become the focal point of Islamic fury after defending Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which led to a teacher’s murder in the Paris suburbs two weeks ago

Police clashed with Muslim protesters demanding 'respect for the Prophet' in London today outside the French Embassy over Emmanuel Macron's stance on Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Police clashed with Muslim protesters demanding 'respect for the Prophet' in London today outside the French Embassy over Emmanuel Macron's stance on Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Police clashed with Muslim protesters demanding ‘respect for the Prophet’ in London today outside the French Embassy over Emmanuel Macron’s stance on Charlie Hebdo cartoons

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, in London

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, in London

People perform Friday prayer outside of the French Embassy as they gather to protest against comments by French President Emmanuel Macron defending cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, in London

An estimated 2,000 worshippers took to the streets in the eastern city of Lahore where crowds led by Islamic parties chanted anti-France slogans and clogged major roads en route to a Sufi shrine. 

In Multan, a city in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, thousands burned an effigy of Macron and demanded that Pakistan sever ties with France.

More gatherings were planned for later Friday in Pakistan, including the capital, Islamabad, where police were out in force to prevent possible demonstrations outside the French embassy.  

In Afghanistan, members of the Islamist party Hezb-i-Islami set the French flag ablaze.

Global outrage: Pakistani Sunni Muslims burn a French flag during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, amid worldwide demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron and his

Global outrage: Pakistani Sunni Muslims burn a French flag during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, amid worldwide demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron and his

Global outrage: Pakistani Sunni Muslims burn a French flag during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan, amid worldwide demonstrations against President Emmanuel Macron and his 

PAKISTAN: Protesters from the Muslim Students Association in Karachi burn a French flag next to defaced images of Emmanuel Macron during the latest demonstration against the French leader today

PAKISTAN: Protesters from the Muslim Students Association in Karachi burn a French flag next to defaced images of Emmanuel Macron during the latest demonstration against the French leader today

PAKISTAN: Protesters from the Muslim Students Association in Karachi burn a French flag next to defaced images of Emmanuel Macron during the latest demonstration against the French leader today 

BANGLADESH: Muslim protesters hold up an effigy of Emmanuel Macron after Friday prayers today as they take part in a protest calling for the boycott of French products amid fury at Macron's stance on blasphemous cartoons

BANGLADESH: Muslim protesters hold up an effigy of Emmanuel Macron after Friday prayers today as they take part in a protest calling for the boycott of French products amid fury at Macron's stance on blasphemous cartoons

BANGLADESH: Muslim protesters hold up an effigy of Emmanuel Macron after Friday prayers today as they take part in a protest calling for the boycott of French products amid fury at Macron’s stance on blasphemous cartoons 

INDIA: Muslim protesters shout slogans as they tear a poster of Macron during a protest in Hyderabad on Friday

INDIA: Muslim protesters shout slogans as they tear a poster of Macron during a protest in Hyderabad on Friday

INDIA: Muslim protesters shout slogans as they tear a poster of Macron during a protest in Hyderabad on Friday 

Supporters of right-wing religious groups take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Supporters of right-wing religious groups take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Supporters of right-wing religious groups take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Crowds gather in Lahore, Pakistan, to protests against French President Emmanuel Macron following Friday prayers

Crowds gather in Lahore, Pakistan, to protests against French President Emmanuel Macron following Friday prayers

Crowds gather in Lahore, Pakistan, to protests against French President Emmanuel Macron following Friday prayers

Palestinians gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Palestinians gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Palestinians gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Supporters of religious group take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Supporters of religious group take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Supporters of religious group take part in a rally against French President Emmanuel Macron and republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad they deem blasphemous, in Lahore, Pakistan

Protesters chant slogans as they wear headbands with Arabic that read: "We are your soldiers, Oh Muhammad," during a protest against French President Macron in Beirut, Lebanon

Protesters chant slogans as they wear headbands with Arabic that read: "We are your soldiers, Oh Muhammad," during a protest against French President Macron in Beirut, Lebanon

Protesters chant slogans as they wear headbands with Arabic that read: ‘We are your soldiers, Oh Muhammad,’ during a protest against French President Macron in Beirut, Lebanon

Muslim demonstrators burn a French flag during a protest against Emmanuel Macron in Guzargah, Afghanistan

Muslim demonstrators burn a French flag during a protest against Emmanuel Macron in Guzargah, Afghanistan

Muslim demonstrators burn a French flag during a protest against Emmanuel Macron in Guzargah, Afghanistan

Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

Palestinians shout slogans as they gather to protest against the French President, in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem

A protester chants slogans during a protest against French President Macron's comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, near the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

A protester chants slogans during a protest against French President Macron's comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, near the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

A protester chants slogans during a protest against French President Macron’s comments over Prophet Muhammad caricatures, near the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

Lebanese riot police arrest a protester during a protest outside the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

Lebanese riot police arrest a protester during a protest outside the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

Lebanese riot police arrest a protester during a protest outside the Pine Palace, which is the residence of the French ambassador, in Beirut

Its leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, warned Macron that if he doesn’t ‘control the situation, we are going to a third world war and Europe will be responsible.’ 

There were also protests among the Muslim minority in India, despite a statement by the country’s government saying that ‘we strongly deplore the personal attacks in unacceptable language on President Emmanuel Macron’. 

Other protests, largely organized by Islamists, are expected across the region, including in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. 

On Thursday, knife-wielding Tunisian terrorist Brahim Aoussaoui killed three people after bursting into a Catholic church in Nice, wounding several others before he was shot and arrested.   

France’s chief anti-terrorism prosecutor said the attacker had arrived in Europe on September 20 in Lampedusa, the Italian island off Tunisia that is a main landing point for migrants from Africa. 

Also on Thursday, a Saudi man stabbed and lightly wounded a security guard at the French consulate in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, prompting France to urge its citizens there to be on ‘high alert.’ 

Macron, 42, has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect important sites such as places of worship and schools, and the country’s security alert is at its highest level.   

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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