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Paris attack: Islamist terrorist ‘had links to ISIS’

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paris attack islamist terrorist had links to isis

The Islamist terrorist who beheaded a teacher for showing a class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed had links to ISIS, it has been claimed.

After the grisly attack in a north Paris suburb on Friday afternoon, 18-year-old Russian-born Aboulakh Anzorov sent photos of history teacher Samuel Paty’s severed head to Chechen ISIS Telegram channels, where it was then shared widely, the Sunday Times reported.

Meanwhile the prosecutor leading the investigation, Jean-François Ricard, revealed that Anzorov’s half-sister had travelled to join ISIS in Syria in 2014, the same year the group declared its Caliphate.  

He added that the suspect, who had been granted a 10-year residency as a refugee in March and was not known to intelligence services, had been armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets. 

Mr Paty had received threats after showing a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet nude to a class on freedom of speech about 10 days ago.

The teacher had invited Muslim students to leave the room before showing the caricature. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous. 

A father of a 13-year-old pupil at the secondary school in middle-class Conflans-Sainte-Honorine told Reuters Mr Paty had told any Muslim students to leave because the cartoon would likely cause offence.  

However, one pupil stayed behind by mistake, and later told her Muslim parents. They filed a complaint against the teacher and held a meeting with Mr Paty, the school principal and an official from the education authority.    

Brahim Chnina, who said his daughter was in the class, branded Mr Paty a thug in a video posted on Twitter sometime in the last week, where he asked the community to complain about his behaviour.  

The video sparked community outrage and was shared by a mosque in Pantin, a Parisian suburb. Days later, Mr Paty was stabbed and decapitated in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine 25 miles north west of Paris.

Witnesses said they heard Chechen-born attacker Anzorov shout ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Arabic for God is the Greatest – before he was shot dead by police about 600 yards from the killing. 

French anti-terror prosecutors said they were treating the assault as ‘a murder linked to a terrorist organisation’.  

Murdered teacher Samuel Paty

Murdered teacher Samuel Paty

Muslim parent Brahim Chnina

Muslim parent Brahim Chnina

Muslim parents including Brahim Chnina (right) had taken offence at Mr Paty’s (left) decision to show his class caricatures of the Prophet and branded him a ‘thug’ in a video shared online by a mosque just days before he was murdered

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34485392 0 image a 45 1602876006487

A picture of a body lying in the middle of the road was shared online before French anti-terror prosecutors confirmed they were investigating an assault in which a man was decapitated on the outskirts of Paris

Police shown arriving to attempt to arrest the 18-year-old suspect, suspected of beheading a middle school teacher on Friday

Police shown arriving to attempt to arrest the 18-year-old suspect, suspected of beheading a middle school teacher on Friday

French officers were seen pointing their firearms downs the street at the suspect out of shot of the video

French officers were seen pointing their firearms downs the street at the suspect out of shot of the video

Police shown arriving to attempt to arrest the 18-year-old suspect, suspected of beheading a middle school teacher on Friday. French officers were seen pointing their firearms downs the street at the suspect out of shot of the video

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

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34515324 8850463 image m 2 1602965741000

People in face masks light candles outside a middle school near Paris where father-of-one Samuel Paty had worked

Nine people have been arrested, including the parents of a child at the school who had signalled their disagreement with Mr Paty’s decision to show the cartoon, a judicial source said.

Four people were initially detained by police over the murder, but five new people held for questioning are members of Anzorov’s social circle, including his grandparents, parents and 17-year-old brother.  

Yesterday’s terror attack came as Emmanuel Macron works on a bill to address Islamic radicals, who authorities claim are creating a parallel society outside French values. 

France has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe with up to five million members. 

The French President denounced what he called an ‘Islamist terrorist attack’, claiming: ‘One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe.’   

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an 'Islamist terrorist attack', claiming: 'One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe. He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. We must stand all together as citizens'

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an 'Islamist terrorist attack', claiming: 'One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe. He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. We must stand all together as citizens'

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an ‘Islamist terrorist attack’, claiming: ‘One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught the freedom to believe or not believe. He said the attack should not divide France because that is what the extremists want. We must stand all together as citizens’

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34508832 8850463 image m 18 1602947486986

Anti-terrorism state prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard, wearing a face mask, speaks during a press conference today

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d'Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

Teachers arrive to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after a teacher was assassinated

A photo shows flowers, candles and a placard reading 'I am a teacher, I am Samuel' at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Paris

A photo shows flowers, candles and a placard reading 'I am a teacher, I am Samuel' at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Paris

A photo shows flowers, candles and a placard reading ‘I am a teacher, I am Samuel’ at the entrance of a middle school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine near Paris

Pictured: A woman views floral tributes outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine today following the death of a French teacher

Pictured: A woman views floral tributes outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine today following the death of a French teacher

Pictured: A woman views floral tributes outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine today following the death of a French teacher

Signs read 'Je suis Samuel' outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in tribute to Mr Paty, who was killed on Friday

Signs read 'Je suis Samuel' outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in tribute to Mr Paty, who was killed on Friday

Signs read ‘Je suis Samuel’ outside the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in tribute to Mr Paty, who was killed on Friday

The killer fled to the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise (pictured) around two miles away from where the alleged beheading occurred, where he refused to surrender and was shot dead by the police

The killer fled to the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise (pictured) around two miles away from where the alleged beheading occurred, where he refused to surrender and was shot dead by the police

The killer fled to the nearby town of Eragny-sur-Oise (pictured) around two miles away from where the alleged beheading occurred, where he refused to surrender and was shot dead by the police

Mr Macron added: ‘It was no coincidence that the terrorist killed a teacher because he wanted to kill the Republic and its values. The Enlightenment, (is) the possibility to make our children, wherever they come from, whatever they believe in, whether they believe or not, whatever their religion, to turn them into free citizens.

‘This battle is ours and it is existential. They will not pass. Obscurantism and the violence that goes with it will not win. They will not divide us. That’s what they seek and we must stand together.’

Prime Minister Jean Castex wrote on Twitter today: ‘Through one of its defenders, it is the Republic which has been struck in the heart by Islamist terrorism. 

‘In solidarity with its teachers, the State will react with the greatest firmness so that the Republic and its citizens live, free! We will never give up. Never.’ 

Addressing the country’s teachers, pupils and their parents, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Paty was killed by what he called the enemies of freedom. ‘The Republic will never, never, never back down when confronted by terror, intimidation,’ he said in a recorded statement. 

Laurent Brosse, mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, said: ‘We’ll pick ourselves up together, thanks to our spirit of solidarity.’ 

In an outpouring of grief, the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel (I am Samuel) trended on social media, like the #JeSuisCharlie call for solidarity after the attack on Charlie Hebdo in 2015.    

France’s parliament suspended Friday’s debate after news of the decapitation, with session president Hugues Renson, visibly moved, calling the attack ‘abominable’.

MPs stood as Renson said that ‘in the name of all of us, I want to honour the memory of Mr Paty.’ Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer tweeted: ‘The Republic is under attack.’

Lawmakers and teachers’ unions hailed the slain teacher’s courage for confronting challenging taboos in French society. Freedom of expression was a core tenet of democracy, they said.

Jean-Remi Girard, president of the National Union of School Teachers, told BFM TV that children needed to understand that blasphemy can shock, but is legal.   

A poster reading "I am Samuel" and flowers lay outside the school where slain history teacher Samuel Paty was working

A poster reading "I am Samuel" and flowers lay outside the school where slain history teacher Samuel Paty was working

A poster reading “I am Samuel” and flowers lay outside the school where slain history teacher Samuel Paty was working

People gather in front of the Bois d'Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine

People gather in front of the Bois d'Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine

People gather in front of the Bois d’Aulne college after the attack in the Paris suburb of Conflans St Honorine

Local mayor Laurent Brosse, second left, and deputy mayors applaud outside the school where a teacher was working

Local mayor Laurent Brosse, second left, and deputy mayors applaud outside the school where a teacher was working

Local mayor Laurent Brosse, second left, and deputy mayors applaud outside the school where a teacher was working

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34504590 0 image a 49 1602931277834

Teenagers arriving to lay flowers in front of Bois d’Aulne middle school to pay their respect after Mr Party’s murder

French police officers were seen standing guard and holding firearms at the end of the street where earlier a teenager suspected of beheading a middle school history teacher was shot dead after refusing to surrender

French police officers were seen standing guard and holding firearms at the end of the street where earlier a teenager suspected of beheading a middle school history teacher was shot dead after refusing to surrender

French police officers were seen standing guard and holding firearms at the end of the street where earlier a teenager suspected of beheading a middle school history teacher was shot dead after refusing to surrender

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest

French police gather outside a middle school in a Parisian suburb of Friday night after a history teacher was decapitated

French police gather outside a middle school in a Parisian suburb of Friday night after a history teacher was decapitated

French police gather outside a middle school in a Parisian suburb of Friday night after a history teacher was decapitated 

The French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to visit the scene of the stabbing in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

The French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to visit the scene of the stabbing in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

The French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to visit the scene of the stabbing in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

Sophie Vénétitay, deputy head of the SNES-FSU teachers’ union, said: ‘He was murdered because he was doing his job, namely teaching critical thought.’ She said Mr Paty was a history and geography teacher who was in charge of ‘moral and civic education’.  

‘In that capacity, he gave a lesson on the freedom of expression with the Mohammed cartoons,’ she said. 

Thibault Humbert, mayor of the nearby suburb of Éragny-sur-Oise, said: ‘This was an exceptionally violent and horrifying attack. The police must be commended for intervening with such speed.’  

Other politicians lined up to express their horror at the killing, with Xavier Bertrand, centre-Right president of the Hauts-de-France region, saying: ‘Islamist barbarity has taken aim at one of the symbols of the Republic: school. The terrorists want to shut us up, to bring us to our knees. 

France’s litany of deadly attacks 

  • Two people were stabbed and wounded in Paris on September 25 this year near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where Islamist militants carried out a deadly attack in 2015. A man originally from Pakistan was arrested over the attack.
  • October 3, 2019 – Mickael Harpon, a 45-year-old IT specialist with security clearance to work in the Paris police headquarters, killed three police officers and one civilian employee before being shot dead by police. He had converted to Islam about 10 years earlier.
  • March 23, 2018 – A gunman kills three people in southwestern France after holding up a car, firing on police and taking hostages in a supermarket, screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’. Security forces storm the building and kill him.
  • July 26, 2016 – Two attackers kill a priest and seriously wound another hostage in a church in northern France before being shot dead by French police. Francois Hollande, who was France’s president at the time, says the two hostage-takers had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
  • July 14, 2016 – A gunman drives a heavy truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring scores more in an attack claimed by Islamic State. The attacker is identified as a Tunisian-born Frenchman.
  • June 14, 2016 – A Frenchman of Moroccan origin stabs a police commander to death outside his home in a Paris suburb and kills his partner, who also worked for the police. The attacker told police negotiators during a siege that he was answering an appeal by Islamic State.
  • November 13, 2015 – Paris is rocked by multiple, near simultaneous gun-and-bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city, in which 130 people are killed and 368 are wounded. Islamic State says it was responsible for the attacks. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others were French.
  • January 7-9, 2015 – Two Islamist militants break into an editorial meeting of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 7 and rake it with bullets, killing 12 people. Another militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a supermarket on Jan. 9, killing four before police shoot him dead.  
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‘They should know that we will not bend, they will never forbid us to read, write, draw, think, teach.’

Marine Le Pen of National Rally said: ‘A teacher beheaded for showing Charlie Hebdo caricatures. We are in France with this level of unbearable barbarity. Islamism is waging war on us: it is by force that we must drive them out of our country.’ 

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the far-Left party, Unbowed France, said: ‘Horrible crime in Conflans! In fact, the assassin takes himself for the god that he claims he follows. He is sullying religion. And he is inflicting on us all the hell of having to live with murderers like him.’ 

Local lawmaker Antoine Savignat said, ‘If we cannot talk about the Charlie Hebdo caricatures in school, we end up in denialism… In France, the country of freedom of expression, this cannot be allowed to happen.’  

Parents of pupils laid flowers at the school gate. Some said their children were distraught.'(My daughter) is in pieces, terrorised by the violence of such an act. How will I explain to her the unthinkable?’ one father said. 

Muslim leaders condemned the killing, which many public figures perceived as an attack on the essence of French statehood and its values of secularism, freedom of worship and freedom of expression.

Tareq Oubrou, the imam of a Bordeaux mosque, said of the killing, ‘It is not a civilisation that kills an innocent person, it is barbarity’.   

A police source said the scene has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit dispatched because of the suspected presence of an explosive vest. 

‘[The attacker] is believed to be from a Chechen background,’ said an investigating source, referring to the Russian Federation republic.

Thousands of battle-hardened Chechen refugees, including many devout Muslims, entered France in the early 2000s following two bloody wars against Russia. 

Around 30,000 Chechens in total escaped to France, many of them resettling in the suburbs of major cities such as Paris. 

France has seen occasional violence involving its Chechen community in recent months – in the Dijon region, the Mediterranean city of Nice, and the western town of Saint-Dizier – believed to be linked to local criminal activity.

It was not known what link, if any, the attacker might have with the teacher or whether he had accomplices.

Police on Friday arrived at the scene after receiving a call about a suspicious individual loitering near the school, a police source said.  There they found the dead man and nearby sighted the suspect armed with a knife-like weapon, who threatened them as they tried to arrest him.

They opened fire and injured him severely, the source said. The man later died of his injuries, a judicial source said.

The attack follows a terrorism enquiry being launched in Paris last month after two news agency staff were stabbed outside the former offices of Charlie Hebdo – the magazine where staff members were murdered in 2015 after publishing cartoons mocking the Prophet.  

Those on trial range in age from 29 to 68, and are charged with providing logistics to the terrorists, including cash, weapons and vehicles. 

Paris-born brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi murdered 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo offices using Kalashnikovs, before escaping in a stolen car, and later being killed by police. 

Samuel Paty was school teacher who had enraged parents by displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils

Samuel Paty was school teacher who had enraged parents by displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils

Samuel Paty was school teacher who had enraged parents by displaying cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to pupils

Pictured: Armed police stands near a police car in the outskirts of Paris where the attack took place. The first bloodbath took place in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb some 25 miles from the centre of the French capital on Friday

Pictured: Armed police stands near a police car in the outskirts of Paris where the attack took place. The first bloodbath took place in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb some 25 miles from the centre of the French capital on Friday

Pictured: Armed police stands near a police car in the outskirts of Paris where the attack took place. The first bloodbath took place in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb some 25 miles from the centre of the French capital on Friday

Pictured: More emergency services gathering after the attack and subsequent shooting

Pictured: More emergency services gathering after the attack and subsequent shooting

Pictured: More emergency services gathering after the attack and subsequent shooting

A third terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly, gunned down four shoppers in a kosher supermarket and a policewoman during three days of carnage before he too was killed.

Charlie Hebdo now produces its magazine from a top secret location, and in September re-published the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed which had provoked outrage in the Muslim world. 

There have been a series of bomb, gun and knife attacks carried out by Islamic State and al-Qaeda operatives in France, dating back to early 2015

The deadliest single terrorist attack ever in the country came in November 2015 when 130 people were killed in Paris. Suicide bombers pledging allegiance to ISIS targeted the Stade de France, cafes, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue, where 90 died.  

Earlier in the year, two Paris-born gunmen linked to Al-Qaeda broke into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, leaving 17 people dead inside and three outside.

In July 2016, 86 people were killed and more than 400 injured when a 19-tonne truck was deliberately driven into crowds on the seafront promenade at Nice, in the South of France.

The terrorist turned out to be a Tunisian immigrant who was shot dead by police. During the same month, two Isis terrorists murdered an 86-year-old Catholic priest during a church service in Normandy.

There have been frequent knife attacks on the forces of law and order, leading to the deaths of serving police.

In October last year, a radicalised computer operative working at the Paris Prefecture in central Paris stabbed four of his colleagues to death. The attacker – who was also shot dead – turned out to be a Muslim convert who kept extremist Al-Qaeda and Islamic State literature and images on his computer.   

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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BLM protests: Mother of black man who died in chase MACED by police

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blm protests mother of black man who died in chase maced by police

A second night of looting broke out in Philadelphia Tuesday amid protests there, in Washington DC and in New York City over the deaths of two black men.   

Walter Wallace, 27, was killed Monday when Philadelphia police officers fired at him. His family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday. Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday after crashing into a car while being chased on a Revel scooter by police in DC. 

Pictures from both cities Tuesday showed continued unrest over the deaths. Trouble also flared in New York City, where a car was filmed driving into a line of cops. The deaths are just the latest in a string of police killings of black men and women across America in recent months. 

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: ‘*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area.’ Police later urged residents to stay inside their homes. 

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management tweeted: ‘The Philadelphia Police Department is requesting that all residents in the 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26th Districts remain indoors except when necessary. These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.’ 

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours.  

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots.   

Chief Police Inspector Frank Vanore said that police had received a call about a man screaming and that he was armed with a knife. The Herald Mail Media reports police had been called to the home two times before fatal shots were fired Monday.

Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said Officer Tanya Little, a police spokesperson. 

Throughout the day Tuesday, state and local officials called for transparency and a thorough investigation, including the release of body camera footage from the two officers who fired their weapons.     

Philadelphia: A protestor confronts police during a march Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hundreds of demonstrators marched over the death of Walter Wallace, a black man who was killed by police in Philadelphia on Monday.

Philadelphia: A protestor confronts police during a march Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hundreds of demonstrators marched over the death of Walter Wallace, a black man who was killed by police in Philadelphia on Monday.

Philadelphia: A protestor confronts police during a march Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hundreds of demonstrators marched over the death of Walter Wallace, a black man who was killed by police in Philadelphia on Monday.

Washington DC: Washington Metropolitan Police Department officers stand near the fourth district police station in Washington, Tuesday after the death of Karon Hylton on a Revel scooter by police in the nation's capital

Washington DC: Washington Metropolitan Police Department officers stand near the fourth district police station in Washington, Tuesday after the death of Karon Hylton on a Revel scooter by police in the nation's capital

Washington DC: Washington Metropolitan Police Department officers stand near the fourth district police station in Washington, Tuesday after the death of Karon Hylton on a Revel scooter by police in the nation’s capital

Washington DC: Demonstrators broke windows at the police station in protest over a fatal a crash involving a moped driver who died when he police were attempting to pull him over. The crash happened last Friday

Washington DC: Demonstrators broke windows at the police station in protest over a fatal a crash involving a moped driver who died when he police were attempting to pull him over. The crash happened last Friday

Washington DC: Demonstrators broke windows at the police station in protest over a fatal a crash involving a moped driver who died when he police were attempting to pull him over. The crash happened last Friday

Washington DC: A woman identified as Hylton's mom was filmed outside the police station in the city Tuesday telling officers: 'You know it was wrong.' She later appears to have been maced by officers during protests, pictured

Washington DC: A woman identified as Hylton's mom was filmed outside the police station in the city Tuesday telling officers: 'You know it was wrong.' She later appears to have been maced by officers during protests, pictured

A woman identified as Hylton's mom is helped by protesters after she appears to have been maced

A woman identified as Hylton's mom is helped by protesters after she appears to have been maced

Washington DC: A woman identified as Hylton’s mom was filmed outside the police station in the city Tuesday telling officers: ‘You know it was wrong.’ She later appears to have been maced by officers during protests, pictured 

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours

Protesters confront police during a march, Tuesday. Police shot and killed the 27-year-old Wallace on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife.

Protesters confront police during a march, Tuesday. Police shot and killed the 27-year-old Wallace on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife.

Protesters confront police during a march, Tuesday. Police shot and killed the 27-year-old Wallace on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife.

New York City: Footage appeared to show a car driving through a line of cops in Brooklyn; it is not known if any officers were injured. Around 200 protesters came out in response to Wallace's death

New York City: Footage appeared to show a car driving through a line of cops in Brooklyn; it is not known if any officers were injured. Around 200 protesters came out in response to Wallace's death

New York City: Footage appeared to show a car driving through a line of cops in Brooklyn; it is not known if any officers were injured. Around 200 protesters came out in response to Wallace’s death

As violence spilled over into other US cities windows were smashed by protesters at a police station in Washington DC, NBC reports over the death of revel scooter driver Hylton; one person was arrested and four officers are said to have suffered non life threatening injuries. 

DC police say Hylton died after they saw him riding without a helmet. But the dad-of-one’s friend said: ‘They hit him in the back of his scooter and pushed him into the oncoming car.’ 

A woman identified as Hylton’s mom was filmed outside the police station in the city Tuesday telling officers: ‘You know it was wrong.’ She later appears to have been maced by officers during protests. 

Other footage from the city shows tear gas has been deployed. 

Black Lives Matter DC tweeted: ‘We need all hands on deck @MayorBowser and @ChiefNewsham terror gang is literally at war with the community at 4D police station. They shooting teargas and rubber bullets.’  

And in New York City footage appeared to show a car driving through a line of cops in Brooklyn; it is not known if any officers were injured. Around 200 protesters came out in response to Wallace’s death.  
Wallace was shot multiple times and killed around 4 p.m. Monday

Wallace was shot multiple times and killed around 4 p.m. Monday

The footage shot on a witness's smartphone begins with Wallace walking between parked cars outside the front of some homes in the residential neighborhood. A woman, later identified as his mother, is following him trying to get hold of him as shouts ring the air

The footage shot on a witness's smartphone begins with Wallace walking between parked cars outside the front of some homes in the residential neighborhood. A woman, later identified as his mother, is following him trying to get hold of him as shouts ring the air

Wallace was shot multiple times and killed around 4 p.m. Monday when officers were called out to reports of a domestic incident at Locust and South 61st streets in Cobbs Creek, West Philadelphia. The footage shot on a witness’s smartphone begins with Wallace walking between parked cars outside the front of some homes in the residential neighborhood. A woman, later identified as his mother, is following him trying to get hold of him as shouts ring the air

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday while being chased on his scooter by police in the nation's capital

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday while being chased on his scooter by police in the nation's capital

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday while being chased on his scooter by police in the nation’s capital

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34931880 8886849 image a 40 1603852406160

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34931882 8886849 image a 41 1603852409474

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference Tuesday that she was still reviewing when and what information would be released to the public with regards to Wallace’s death.

The officers had not been interviewed as of Tuesday afternoon, she said. Neither had a Taser or similar device at the time of the shooting, Outlaw said, noting the department had previously asked for funding to equip more officers with those devices.

Outlaw said the officers’ names and other identifying information, including their race, would be withheld until the department could be sure releasing the information would not pose a threat to their safety. The officers were taken off street duty during the investigation.

Police officials said they could not confirm what information had been given to the responding officers, whether they were told about a possible mental illness or how many calls they had received for help at Wallace’s address Monday.  

Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr. said Tuesday night that he is haunted by the way his son was ‘butchered.”It’s in my mind. I can’t even sleep at night. I can’t even close my eyes,’ he said. 

Wallace Sr. condemned the violence Tuesday night, adding: ‘They’re not helping my family, they’re showing disrespect. Stop this violence and chaos. People have businesses. We all got to eat.’  

Philadelphia: Protesters confront police during a march Tuesday; Wallace's family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday

Philadelphia: Protesters confront police during a march Tuesday; Wallace's family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday

Philadelphia: Protesters confront police during a march Tuesday; Wallace’s family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: '*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area;

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: '*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area;

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: ‘*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area;

Protestors hold a banner reading 'enough is enough' during a rally after the death of Wallace

Protestors hold a banner reading 'enough is enough' during a rally after the death of Wallace

Protestors hold a banner reading ‘enough is enough’ during a rally after the death of Wallace 

Washington DC: Demonstrators gather outside the 4th District Police Station during a protest against Karon Hylton's death

Washington DC: Demonstrators gather outside the 4th District Police Station during a protest against Karon Hylton's death

Washington DC: Demonstrators gather outside the 4th District Police Station during a protest against Karon Hylton’s death 

Washington DC: Police officers stand guard outside the 4th District Police Station; Hylton, 20, succumbed to his injuries on Monday after he was hit by a car while riding an electric scooter. Family members accused the police of causing the crash

Washington DC: Police officers stand guard outside the 4th District Police Station; Hylton, 20, succumbed to his injuries on Monday after he was hit by a car while riding an electric scooter. Family members accused the police of causing the crash

Washington DC: Police officers stand guard outside the 4th District Police Station; Hylton, 20, succumbed to his injuries on Monday after he was hit by a car while riding an electric scooter. Family members accused the police of causing the crash

Washington DC: Windows were smashed by protesters at a police station in DC, NBC reports; one person was arrested and four officers are said to have suffered non life threatening injuries

Washington DC: Windows were smashed by protesters at a police station in DC, NBC reports; one person was arrested and four officers are said to have suffered non life threatening injuries

Washington DC: Windows were smashed by protesters at a police station in DC, NBC reports; one person was arrested and four officers are said to have suffered non life threatening injuries

About 500 people had gathered at a West Philadelphia park Tuesday night and began marching through the neighborhood, chanting and demanding the names of the officers who opened fire. 

There were sporadic reports of arrests in other areas of the city Tuesday night around 9 p.m., as well as the video of people streaming into stores and stealing goods as they left. 

Hundreds of people had already taken to the streets in west Philadelphia Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday, with interactions between protesters and police turning violent at times, the Inquirer reported. 

Video showed many yelling at officers and crying.  

Dozens of protesters gathered at a nearby park, chanting ‘Black lives matter.’ 

Police cars and dumpsters were set on fire as officers struggled to contain the crowds. More than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line as they ran down 52nd Street, dispersing most of the crowd.

The 52nd Street corridor was also the site of protests against police brutality at the end of May, after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. Those protests have been the subject of City Council hearings, with protesters describing harsh and unnecessary tactics, including tear gas and projectiles fired by police. 

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots. Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said a police spokesperson

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots. Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said a police spokesperson

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots. Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said a police spokesperson

Washington DC: Police officers speak to a man outside the 4th District Police Station on Tuesday evening

Washington DC: Police officers speak to a man outside the 4th District Police Station on Tuesday evening

Washington DC: Police officers speak to a man outside the 4th District Police Station on Tuesday evening 

Washington DC: DC police say Hylton died after they saw him riding without a helmet. But the dad-of-one's friend said: 'They hit him in the back of his scooter and pushed him into the oncoming car'

Washington DC: DC police say Hylton died after they saw him riding without a helmet. But the dad-of-one's friend said: 'They hit him in the back of his scooter and pushed him into the oncoming car'

Washington DC: DC police say Hylton died after they saw him riding without a helmet. But the dad-of-one’s friend said: ‘They hit him in the back of his scooter and pushed him into the oncoming car’

Police arrested at least 91 people during unrest Monday night and Tuesday morning in Philadelphia, with three people cited for failing to disperse and about a dozen charged with assault of an officer. 

Authorities had previously said 30 officers were injured in the unrest, most of them hit with thrown objects like bricks. 

One officer was still hospitalized Tuesday with a broken leg after being purposely run over by a pickup truck, police said.  

In video filmed by a bystander and posted on social media, officers yell for Wallace to drop a knife. In the video, Wallace’s mother and at least one man follow Wallace, trying to get him to listen to officers, as he briskly walks across the street and between cars.

Wallace advanced toward the officers, who then fired several times, said police spokesperson Officer Tanya Little. Wallace’s mother screams and throws something at an officer after her son is shot and falls to the ground.

The video does not make it clear whether he was in fact holding a knife, but witnesses said he was. Police would not confirm any details about the weapon Wallace was alleged to be holding Tuesday, saying it is still part of the open investigation.

Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest, Little said. One officer drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, she said.  

Philadelphia: Walter Wallace, Sr. speaks to the press about the police killing of his son, Walter Wallace, Jr

Philadelphia: Walter Wallace, Sr. speaks to the press about the police killing of his son, Walter Wallace, Jr

Philadelphia: Walter Wallace, Sr. speaks to the press about the police killing of his son, Walter Wallace, Jr

Demonstrators have been taking to the streets nationwide for months demanding an end to police brutality and systemic racism following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.  

Floyd died back in May after white cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he begged for air and said ‘I can’t breathe’. 

EMT Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot six times in March when three plainclothes officers performed a botched raid at her Louisville apartment.  

In June, unarmed father Rayshard Brooks was shot dead while he ran from cops in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta.  

Then, in August, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a white cop in front of his three young children, leaving the father-of-six paralyzed from the waist down.       

In early September, footage was released by the family of Daniel Prude, 41, showing cops in Rochester, New York, putting a spit hood over his face and pushing his face into the ground for two minutes until he passed out and died on March 23.  

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Australian Special forces soldiers ‘fuelled by bloodlust’ gloated about killing Afghan teenagers

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australian special forces soldiers fuelled by bloodlust gloated about killing afghan teenagers

Australian special forces soldiers gloated about torturing and killing teenagers when they were serving in Afghanistan, a new report has claimed.

The alleged conduct, which was reportedly covered up, has been compared to the widely condemned behaviour of American soldiers serving in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison from 2003 onwards.

The confidential report was commissioned in 2016 by then chief of army Angus Campbell. It is said to reveal unarmed civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan were shot dead or had their throats slit by Australian soldiers. 

The report claims a few servicemen were said to have ‘gloated’ about illegal killings.

Defence consultant Samantha Crompvoets (pictured above) produced the report after interviewing a number of special forces soldiers

Defence consultant Samantha Crompvoets (pictured above) produced the report after interviewing a number of special forces soldiers

Defence consultant Samantha Crompvoets (pictured above) produced the report after interviewing a number of special forces soldiers

Defence consultant Samantha Crompvoets produced the report which contains a number of candid interviews with special forces soldiers.

The allegations include claims that war crimes being normalised by some soldiers, that there was ‘competition killing and blood lust’ and that prisoners were treated ‘inhumanely’. 

General Campbell was also told of testimony from special forces that some soldiers were ‘glorifying crimes’ and were involved in the ‘cover-ups of unlawful killing and other atrocities’ in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2015.

‘If they didn’t do it, they saw it (killings). And if they didn’t see it, they knew about it,’ an insider reportedly stated.    

The briefing goes onto point out major failures in Defence leadership that contributed to the scandal. Focus was also placed on inadequate whistle-blowing avenues, which would have assisted soldiers in reporting war crimes without fear of retribution.  

The behaviour of British and US soldiers in Afghanistan was ‘far worse’, according to a special forces informant, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. 

‘I’ve watched our young guys stand by and hero worship what they were doing, salivating at how the US were torturing people. You just stand there and roll your eyes and wait for it to end,’ he said in a recording.

Australian soldiers were also said to have killed two boys suspected of being Taliban sympathisers. The pair allegedly had their throats slit, with the bodies later thrown into a nearby river.

Dr Crompvoets’ briefing to General Campbell in early 2016 was the catalyst for soon to be completed four year inquiry into war crimes by senior judge Paul Brereton.

Defence Force General Angus Campbell (pictured above) commissioned a report in 2016 which revealed alleged misconduct of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan between 2001-2015

Defence Force General Angus Campbell (pictured above) commissioned a report in 2016 which revealed alleged misconduct of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan between 2001-2015

Defence Force General Angus Campbell (pictured above) commissioned a report in 2016 which revealed alleged misconduct of Australian soldiers in Afghanistan between 2001-2015 

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School meals: Government has ‘moral obligation’ says food tsar

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school meals government has moral obligation says food tsar
Henry Dimbleby, the Government's food tsar, said ministers need to do more to tackle food poverty

Henry Dimbleby, the Government's food tsar, said ministers need to do more to tackle food poverty

Henry Dimbleby, the Government’s food tsar, said ministers need to do more to tackle food poverty

Boris Johnson’s own food tsar yesterday accused him of ‘not doing enough’ to prevent children going hungry – as he urged Downing Street to spend £1.2 billion tackling the problem.

Henry Dimbleby, the co-founder of the Leon restaurant, demanded urgent action including the nationwide rollout of holiday clubs during school breaks.

The Government is facing mounting public anger at its refusal to extend free school meals into half-term and beyond following a campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford.

Stars including Coldplay and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson yesterday urged fans to sign a petition organised by the Manchester United and England footballer, which has reached almost one million signatures.

Mr Dimbleby, who leads the National Food Strategy, last night told The Times the Government had ‘walked into a massive bear trap’ over whether to provide free school meals during holidays.

He said: ‘There is a genuine problem with food poverty that has been massively exacerbated by this [coronavirus] crisis. We have a moral obligation to set aside questions of ideology.

‘I don’t understand why they [the government] haven’t owned this. Their mission is to level up. Clearly there was a massive bear trap that they walked straight into.

‘It has cut through to a wide proportion of the population who ask why when you’re spending all this money are you letting children go hungry.’

Mr Dimbleby has sent Downing Street a four-point programme to tackle child hunger which would cost £1.2 billion a year.

It includes £670 million to extend free school meals, £500 million towards an activity and food programme, and £100 million for vouchers to encourage healthy eating.

Earlier yesterday, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘This problem is real. It should go without saying it’s serious.. It’s immediate and it’s going to get worse as employment gets worse and the Government isn’t doing enough.

‘One in seven families already are reporting not being able to afford enough food.’

The Government is facing mounting public anger at its refusal to extend free school meals into half-term and beyond following a campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford

The Government is facing mounting public anger at its refusal to extend free school meals into half-term and beyond following a campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford

The Government is facing mounting public anger at its refusal to extend free school meals into half-term and beyond following a campaign spearheaded by Marcus Rashford 

He said that ‘in-kind support’ through holiday clubs, providing food and education, had been shown to have a better impact than putting the same ‘small amount of money’ into Universal Credit.

‘I haven’t been backward in coming forward with ideas that I have been feeding in to Treasury, to (the Department for) Education and to Number 10, ideas of how they could rapidly implement this by Christmas,’ he said.

‘But… the dark centre of government is invisible to me and I have no idea exactly what they’re working on as we speak.’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak insisted yesterday the Government is ‘absolutely committed’ to ensuring vulnerable children do not go hungry.

But he told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat: ‘We’ve taken the view that we have provided resources for local authorities to help in a targeted way the most vulnerable children that they need to look after.’

Mr Sunak said ‘we should be able to trust local councils in different areas to make decisions for their people’. 

Mr Dimbleby’s comments came as George Osborne, the ex-chancellor, also stuck the boot into Mr Johnson as he said Marcus Rashford had ‘nutmegged’ the PM and a U-turn on free school meals is now ‘inevitable’.         

Mr Dimbleby, who leads the National Food Strategy, last night told The Times the government had 'walked into a massive bear trap' over whether to provide free school meals during holidays

Mr Dimbleby, who leads the National Food Strategy, last night told The Times the government had 'walked into a massive bear trap' over whether to provide free school meals during holidays

Mr Dimbleby, who leads the National Food Strategy, last night told The Times the government had ‘walked into a massive bear trap’ over whether to provide free school meals during holidays

The ex-chancellor said the Manchester United and England footballer had made the  Cabinet ‘look like a school yard football team’ and with Tory MPs now ‘getting nervy’ the PM will have no choice but to back down. 

Earlier today a millionaire minister had claimed holiday activities are ‘more important’ to disadvantaged children than free meals. 

Nadhim Zahawi, the business minister, said the ‘best way’ to deal with poverty was through local government schemes and the welfare system as he pointed to a pilot programme which provided food and activities to poor children during the summer holidays. 

But the married father-of-three who made his money in oil and gas exploration risked outcry as he claimed parents ‘appreciate the food but more important than the food to them was the activities’. 

The Government remains under intense pressure to change tack on free school meals as a campaign led by Mr Rashford continues to gather pace and a Tory revolt grows.  

Campaigners want the scheme, which costs about £20million per week, to be extended to cover future school holidays. If it applied to all 13 weeks of school holidays it could therefore cost an estimated £260million extra a year. 

Mr Johnson dug in on the issue yesterday as he refused to budge and Rishi Sunak did the same today as he said ‘I don’t think it’s always the right answer that central government comes in and dictates things’. 

But the approach taken by Number 10 has sparked widespread Tory anger, with MPs adamant the Government should U-turn. 

Conservative backbenchers also signalled on Tuesday they could rebel over ‘unconscionable’ plans to remove a temporary coronavirus-related increase to Universal Credit payments. 

Meanwhile, the Government is under fire from council bosses as they accused ministers of short changing them on funding to tackle child poverty.

Councillor David Mellen, the leader of Nottingham City Council, claimed the Government was guilty of ‘double-counting’ funding provided to local authorities. 

Mr Dimbleby's comments came as George Osborne, the ex-chancellor, also stuck the boot into Mr Johnson as he said Marcus Rashford had 'nutmegged' the PM and a U-turn on free school meals is now 'inevitable'

Mr Dimbleby's comments came as George Osborne, the ex-chancellor, also stuck the boot into Mr Johnson as he said Marcus Rashford had 'nutmegged' the PM and a U-turn on free school meals is now 'inevitable'

Mr Dimbleby’s comments came as George Osborne, the ex-chancellor, also stuck the boot into Mr Johnson as he said Marcus Rashford had ‘nutmegged’ the PM and a U-turn on free school meals is now ‘inevitable’ 

Mr Osborne said Marcus Rashford, a leading campaigner on the issue, had 'nutmegged' Boris Johnson who now needed to admit it was 'game over'

Mr Osborne said Marcus Rashford, a leading campaigner on the issue, had 'nutmegged' Boris Johnson who now needed to admit it was 'game over'

Mr Osborne said Marcus Rashford, a leading campaigner on the issue, had ‘nutmegged’ Boris Johnson who now needed to admit it was ‘game over’

Who is Nadhim Zahawi, the millionaire Tory minister who is often sent out to bat for the Government?

Nadhim Zahawi is a junior minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) but he has become one of Downing Street’s most trusted communicators during the coronavirus crisis. 

Mr Zahawi, a millionaire who made his money in oil and gas exploration and also co-founded polling firm YouGov, is often chosen by Number 10 to represent the Government on particularly difficult morning media rounds. 

He is viewed by the Government as a safe pair of hands and is frequently sent out to face the broadcasters on days when ministers are under fire. 

However, he has suffered a number of missteps in recent months, particularly after he claimed that struggling parents would rather pay for meals for their children than accept the ‘label’ attached to handouts. 

The 53-year-old married father-of-three has been in Parliament as the MP for Stratford on Avon since 2010 but he had a long wait to begin his ministerial career. 

He was first elevated to the Tory frontbench in 2018 under Theresa May as a junior minister at the Department for Education.  

He was then moved to BEIS when Boris Johnson became PM back in July last year and he has been widely tipped for a much bigger ministerial role in the near future.

Mr Zahawi was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and moved to the UK at the age of nine. 

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The Government is facing growing calls to retreat over its refusal to extend the free school meals programme to future holidays.

Campaigners, led by Mr Rashford, argue the extension is needed because many families have been left struggling financially because of the coronavirus crisis. 

But the Government is so far refusing to give any ground and has instead opted to point to help and funding that is already in place. 

Mr Osborne said on Tuesday that Mr Rashford had already ‘nutmegged the British state once’ by forcing ministers to extend the meals to school holidays earlier this year.

The former Tory MP said the Government had therefore ‘set the precedent’ which it will not be able to get away from.  

Mr Osborne argued if the food vouchers were ‘justified at Easter, and then again in the summer (thanks to Rashford), how can they not be justified at Christmas?’.

Writing in the Evening Standard, he said: ‘With Tory MPs getting nervy, another Government U-turn is inevitable. 

‘We’ll see if it comes in the form of food vouchers, new school holiday clubs or as a large bung to councils. 

‘This Downing Street team came into office saying they were much smarter than their predecessors, and wouldn’t make the mistake of chasing headlines. That’s a bold claim. 

‘But their ministers have been made to look like a school yard football team, all running in a panic after the ball — until a professional came onto the pitch and put it into the back of their net.’

Mr Osborne said the Government needed to ‘realise that it’s game over’. 

Earlier Mr Zahawi had risked a backlash as he told Sky News this morning: ‘The best way to deal with this is through both local government and through the welfare system and that is the right thing to do.

‘We have run a pilot costing £9million this summer, feeding 50,000 children, we will take the learning from that.

‘It is not just about the food. As I said, I spoke to Carol Shanahan in Stoke on Trent [the chairman of Port Vale Football Club], she tells me that in wards where families want to keep their children safe during those activities they also appreciate the food but more important than the food to them was the activities for their children.’

Mr Zahawi’s comments come after he last week insisted struggling parents would rather pay for meals for their children than accept the ‘label’ attached to handouts. 

The minister, who co-founded the YouGov polling firm, said Universal Credit benefits were available to support hard-pressed families and suggested research from holiday clubs showed parents prefer to pay a small sum for food. 

Rishi Sunak and Gavin Williamson locked in blame game over free school meals

Rishi Sunak and Gavin Williamson are locked in a bitter blame game over the Government’s refusal to extend the free school meals programme as Treasury sources claimed the Education Secretary had not asked for extra funding.

It was reported over the weekend that the Treasury had blocked the £20 million per week needed to roll out the scheme to cover future school holidays.  

But the suggestion that Mr Sunak was guilty of ‘parking the Treasury bus’ has prompted a furious response from the Chancellor’s allies who suspect Mr Williamson’s supporters may have briefed the story.  

Allies of Mr Sunak said it was impossible for the Treasury to have blocked the funding as they claimed Mr Williamson had not put in a bid for the cash to be made available.

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He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘The research when we did the pilot demonstrates that families didn’t just want the meals.

‘Although they valued the meals, they didn’t like the labelling of them being free. They actually prefer to pay a modest amount, £1 or £2.’ 

It came as Mr Mellen accused the Government of failing to live up to its promises on funding to tackle child poverty. 

He told Sky News: ‘The Government has given a shortfall in council funding over many years, 10 years of reductions.

‘They promised at the beginning of this year that they would stand shoulder to shoulder with us and meet the needs of our Covid costs and our lost income.

‘We are still several tens of millions short on that promise.

‘I am not convinced that the Government are not double-counting here on the money that they are saying that we already have to meet this need.’

He added: ‘They do that quite often.’

The Prime Minister insisted yesterday the Government would not allow children to go hungry but he refused to bow to demands to extend the free school meals programme. 

Mr Johnson highlighted the money already given to councils and said Universal Credit was ‘one of the best ways you can help families in this tough time’. 

Mr Sunak echoed a similar sentiment today as he told BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme that ‘we should be able to trust local councils in different areas to make decisions for their people’.  

He added: ‘So I don’t think it’s always the right answer that central government comes in and dictates things.’

The Government has increased Universal Credit payments by £20 per week during the pandemic but that increase is due to be scrapped in April next year.

Tory MPs are now calling on ministers to keep the increase in place for longer as they also said the Government should simply U-turn now on free school meals. 

Former Cabinet minister Stephen Crabb said the Government should have conceded on the issue last week.

‘I think the Government should just deal with this head on, concede on the issue of vouchers but say very clearly and firmly that vouchers at best are not a long-term solution,’ he said.

Mr Crabb said the Government has created a political problem with ministers talking up the role of Universal Credit.

He said the fact it is a temporary increase is in ‘the small print’, adding: ‘We are on course to cut that money back in just a few months time and for me that’s just unconscionable.

‘You can’t give money to some of the poorest people in the country and then go out publicly and celebrate that fact and then say ‘oh by the way, even though we may still be living with the consequences of the pandemic next April we are going to cut that money back by around £20 per week, £100 per month’.

‘And that’s going to be a much bigger headache for the Government than school meals.’ 

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