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HENRY DEEDES watches Priti Patel addressing the Conservative Party conference

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henry deedes watches priti patel addressing the conservative party conference

Well, I wouldn’t mess with her. Priti Patel click-clacked on to the podium and fixed her imaginary audience with a cold, hard stare. 

Chin out, jawline firm, paws beneath the pulpit.

Surely all these illegal Channel crossings would be solved if the Home Secretary simply set up camp down on the white cliffs. 

One glare from those peepers would be enough to make even the most eager migrant swivel their outboard engine and point their rubber inflatable back toward Calais, pronto.

Miss Patel was addressing the Conservative Party conference which, owing to the pandemic, is an online-only job. 

Access was via a specially designed website on which every expense appeared to have been spared. 

Think of heavily pixelated computer graphics on a clunk Amstrad computer and you’re not far off.

Loud and clear: Priti Patel, wearing two mics, fixes a hard stare on her imaginary audience

Loud and clear: Priti Patel, wearing two mics, fixes a hard stare on her imaginary audience

Loud and clear: Priti Patel, wearing two mics, fixes a hard stare on her imaginary audience

The cost of a day-pass to this four-day extravaganza? A trifling £850 for business delegates. 

For that sort of cash you could probably stretch to a half-decent weekend away in Paris, vin compris.

Miss Patel’s appearance was preceded by a video montage of old-fashioned bobbies on the beat. 

There was an excerpt of Margaret Thatcher’s 1982 conference speech in which she declared law and order was ‘not just a political slogan’ but ‘the foundation of the British tradition’. 

Priti, by the by, rarely misses an opportunity to align herself with Mrs T.

‘Firm but fair’ was the catchphrase of the day. 

Priti would be firm on criminals, terrorists and, yes, asylum seekers. Fair to those on the right side of the law.

She was dressed in poppy red. Or was it orange? 

The feed was rather grainy. On her dress were pinned two microphones, though how much amplification she needs is debatable. 

She may be barely five foot, but Priti’s got quite a voice box on her.

She talked of ‘the hardworking majority’ versus ‘those who don’t play by the rules’. 

She pledged to put ordinary, law-abiding people’s right above those of convicted terrorists. ‘That is right and that is fair.’

As with most of the Home Secretary’s public appearances, her support for the police was unflinching. 

One of her predecessors, Theresa May, seemed to almost relish confrontation with the rozzers. 

Priti never misses opportunity to blow adoring kisses at them. 

She pointed out that while those ‘on the Left’ spoke of defunding the police in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, she had showered them with extra cash, while giving them increased stop and search powers.

Prep time: The Home Secretary reads through her speech before her address yesterday

Prep time: The Home Secretary reads through her speech before her address yesterday

Prep time: The Home Secretary reads through her speech before her address yesterday

In normal times, this would be the point when some Home Office lackey rises from the front row and encourages the rest of the auditorium onto their feet. 

As it was, she whittled along lickety-split.

We then arrived at the thorny issue of immigration. 

She boasted of the Government’s plans for a points-based system that would attract only the best and the brightest to these shores. ‘That is firm, that is fair.’ 

Britain’s current system was ‘fundamentally broken’. 

She pledged to routinely deny asylum to those seeking to enter Britain illegally.

There was a broadside at the lily-livered elites who were defending the current system: ‘The do-gooders, the Leftie lawyers, the Labour party.’ 

They were simply ‘defending the indefensible.’ 

If this rather stony approach made her unpopular with the trolls on Twitter, ‘so be it’.

Among those, she included Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, who recently mocked Priti on social media over the way she speaks.

‘Without firmness there will be no fairness,’ she announced before marching off stage.

Soon after, the web feed cut to a pasty-looking Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, his expression somewhere between wonderment and fear.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Fears grow for missing girl, 16, last seen in black leggings and gold trainers five days ago 

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fears grow for missing girl 16 last seen in black leggings and gold trainers five days ago

Fears are growing for a missing teenager who hasn’t been seen in five days. 

Emily Jones was last seen at 9pm on Sunday in North Yorkshire but is known to frequent the Bootle and Widnes areas of Merseyside.

She is described as white, 5ft 4in tall, of slim build, with ginger/auburn long hair, pale complexion and blue eyes. She speaks with a Liverpool accent.

Emily Jones was last seen at 9pm on Sunday in North Yorkshire but is known to frequent the Bootle and Widnes areas of Merseyside

Emily Jones was last seen at 9pm on Sunday in North Yorkshire but is known to frequent the Bootle and Widnes areas of Merseyside

Emily Jones was last seen at 9pm on Sunday in North Yorkshire but is known to frequent the Bootle and Widnes areas of Merseyside

When last seen she was wearing black leggings, black coat with fur hood, and white and gold Guess trainers.

Anyone who has seen Emily or knows of her whereabouts is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @missingpeople on 116 000.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus Sweden: Greta Thunberg stops Friday parliament protests

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coronavirus sweden greta thunberg stops friday parliament protests

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has said she will stop her regular protest outside Sweden‘s parliament because of the surge in COVID-19 infections, and return to only campaigning online.

Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered a record 3,254 new coronavirus cases yesterday and seven new deaths. 

‘The situation is worsening, so therefore it’s back to #ClimateStrikeOnline for me,’ Thunberg told her roughly 4 million followers on Twitter.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg (pictured) has said she will stop her regular protest outside Sweden's parliament because of the surge in COVID-19 infections

Climate activist Greta Thunberg (pictured) has said she will stop her regular protest outside Sweden's parliament because of the surge in COVID-19 infections

Climate activist Greta Thunberg (pictured) has said she will stop her regular protest outside Sweden’s parliament because of the surge in COVID-19 infections

Thunberg has been skipping school on Fridays since August 2018 to stand outside parliament in Stockholm to demand her government take action on climate change.

What started as a lone protest with a hand-painted sign quickly developed into a global phenomenon, mostly due to the attention it gained on social media.

She urged activists to protest online in March as the pandemic started building, but she returned to her place outside parliament in September. 

‘Stay safe, take care of each other and #flattenthecurve!’ Thunberg said on Twitter.

Authorities in Sweden are now recommending residents of the capital Stockholm as well as those of two southern regions to limit contacts with people and avoid enclosed spaces as the country registered an official record of 3,254 new cases in one day.

A steady rise in new cases has appeared to be gaining momentum in Sweden in recent weeks though the resurgence of the disease has come later than in wide swaths of Europe and not so far hit the kind of peaks recorded in countries such as France. 

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35048776 8897737 image a 37 1604076032693

Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered a record 3,254 new coronavirus cases yesterday and seven new deaths

Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered a record 3,254 new coronavirus cases yesterday and seven new deaths

Sweden, which has shunned lockdowns throughout the pandemic, registered a record 3,254 new coronavirus cases yesterday and seven new deaths

‘We’re beginning to approach the ceiling for what the healthcare system can handle. Together, as during the spring, we can push down this curve and avoid the strain on healthcare,’ Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told a news conference.

The Health Agency also moved to tighten pandemic recommendations for three additional regions, including Sweden’s biggest cities Stockholm and Gothenburg, saying infection rates were rising sharply in these areas.

Sweden has relied primarily on voluntary measures, largely uninforced but still widely adhered to. The new tighter local recommendations, already introduced in two regions with surging infections, included advice to avoid indoor environments such as shops and gyms. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Russian oligarch’s wife raids SON’s £30m Hyde Park flat in £453million divorce battle 

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russian oligarchs wife raids sons 30m hyde park flat in 453million divorce battle

The costliest divorce in Britain took a dramatic new twist after the ex-wife of a Russian oligarch had her son’s £30 million home in One Hyde Park searched for evidence that he helped his billionaire father hide his money from her.

Lawyers for Tatiana Akhmedova – who is seeking £450m awarded by a British court – carried out a 10-hour search at the exclusive apartment.

Floorboards were ripped up and underwear drawers rifled as the ex-partner of Temur Akhmedov and their four-year-old daughter looked on in bewilderment. 

Floorboards were ripped up and underwear draws rifled as the ex-partner of Temur Akhmedov and their four-year-old daughter looked on in bewilderment

Floorboards were ripped up and underwear draws rifled as the ex-partner of Temur Akhmedov and their four-year-old daughter looked on in bewilderment

Lawyers for Tatiana Akhmedova - who is seeking £450m awarded by a British court – carried out a 10-hour search at the exclusive apartment

Lawyers for Tatiana Akhmedova - who is seeking £450m awarded by a British court – carried out a 10-hour search at the exclusive apartment

The costliest divorce in Britain took a dramatic new twist after Tatiana Akhmedova had her son Temur Akhmedov’s (left) £30 million home in One Hyde Park searched for evidence that he helped his billionaire father Farkhad Akhmedov hide his money from her

Other residents living in the block – the most prestigious address in London where homes sell for over £100m – looked on as the team wearing masks and gloves spent hours searching the property and its surrounds

Other residents living in the block – the most prestigious address in London where homes sell for over £100m – looked on as the team wearing masks and gloves spent hours searching the property and its surrounds

Other residents living in the block – the most prestigious address in London where homes sell for over £100m – looked on as the team wearing masks and gloves spent hours searching the property and its surrounds

Three electronic forensic experts also took part in the detailed search which was granted a private hearing by Mr Justice Knowles in the High Court. Pictured: Some of the evidence seized

Three electronic forensic experts also took part in the detailed search which was granted a private hearing by Mr Justice Knowles in the High Court. Pictured: Some of the evidence seized

Three electronic forensic experts also took part in the detailed search which was granted a private hearing by Mr Justice Knowles in the High Court. Pictured: Some of the evidence seized

Other residents living in the block – the most prestigious address in London where homes sell for over £100m – looked on as the team wearing masks and gloves spent hours searching the property and its surrounds. 

An underground car park and wine cellar were also searched for any evidence that Temur has helped his father Farkhad Akhmedov hide his money from being seized by the British courts.

Three electronic forensic experts also took part in the detailed search which was granted a private hearing by Mr Justice Knowles in the High Court.

Tatiana believed laptops and phones could hold evidence to show that her son had colluded with his father to hide his assets in off shore companies and out of reach of the courts.

Temur, 27, a London commodities trader, does not live at the apartment at One Hyde Park and sources said he had no idea the search was going to take place.

Friends said he is outraged by the behaviour of his mother and her lawyers, describing it as like ‘something out of the old Soviet Union’.

One friend said the luxury flat was left looking ‘like a crime scene.’

Mobile phones, memory sticks and even a Peppa Pig game were seized by the team acting on the orders of the High Court.

Tatiana believed laptops and phones could hold evidence to show that her son had colluded with his father (above) to hide his assets in off shore companies and out of reach of the courts

Tatiana believed laptops and phones could hold evidence to show that her son had colluded with his father (above) to hide his assets in off shore companies and out of reach of the courts

Tatiana believed laptops and phones could hold evidence to show that her son had colluded with his father (above) to hide his assets in off shore companies and out of reach of the courts 

Temur, 27, a London commodities trader, does not live at One Hyde Park and sources said he had no idea the search was going to take place. Friends said he is outraged with the behaviour of his mother and her lawyers describing it as like 'something out of the old Soviet Union'

Temur, 27, a London commodities trader, does not live at One Hyde Park and sources said he had no idea the search was going to take place. Friends said he is outraged with the behaviour of his mother and her lawyers describing it as like 'something out of the old Soviet Union'

Temur, 27, a London commodities trader, does not live at One Hyde Park and sources said he had no idea the search was going to take place. Friends said he is outraged with the behaviour of his mother and her lawyers describing it as like ‘something out of the old Soviet Union’

A friend said: ‘Temur is furious that his young child was put through this trauma because of the actions of his own mother.

‘Not even a grandmother from hell would act like that. Temur has complied with every request made of him by the High Court and feels that the tactics employed by his mother would have been more appropriate to the former Soviet union than to London.’

Earlier this year he was dragged into what has been described as Britain’s costliest divorce involving oil and gas billionaire Akhmedov.

Tatiana was awarded £450m in 2016 after the collapse of her ten-year marriage but her husband refused pay her half his fortune saying he did not recognise the High Court’s ruling.

Since then his 47-year-old wife has attempted to seize his mega yacht Luna worth more than £350m in lieu of payment.

After numerous legal battles stretching over a year, a court in Dubai ruled that Akhmedov was the rightful owner and allowed him to keep the super yacht.

Tatiana, who is being backed in her bid to get the £450m by Burford Capital, accused her son of helping his father hide his assets from the courts.

Tatiana was awarded £450m in 2016 after the collapse of her ten-year marriage but her husband refused pay her half his fortune saying he did not recognise the High Court's ruling. Since then she has attempted to seize his mega yacht Luna worth more than £350m

Tatiana was awarded £450m in 2016 after the collapse of her ten-year marriage but her husband refused pay her half his fortune saying he did not recognise the High Court's ruling. Since then she has attempted to seize his mega yacht Luna worth more than £350m

Tatiana was awarded £450m in 2016 after the collapse of her ten-year marriage but her husband refused pay her half his fortune saying he did not recognise the High Court’s ruling. Since then she has attempted to seize his mega yacht Luna worth more than £350m

Ms Akhmedova, pictured above, who was awarded £453million after her marriage,  has so far received about £5million

Ms Akhmedova, pictured above, who was awarded £453million after her marriage,  has so far received about £5million

Ms Akhmedova, pictured above, who was awarded £453million after her marriage,  has so far received about £5million

At a hearing in August he was asked by a judge to explain why his father had sent him £13m in the last year but has denied being ‘an agent’ for his father in keeping his millions out of reach.

Tatiana, who lives in a £25m home in Surrey, has so far only managed to get £5m from the sale of a dilapidated helicopter since the divorce award.

The couple have spent millions on lawyers and the home search comes just a month before the start of a three week hearing in the High Court.

Tatiana will be trying to prove her son is his ‘father’s agent’ in putting the family fortune beyond his reach.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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