The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have joined young leaders to discuss fairness, justice and equal rights, with Harry telling them: ‘There is no turning back now, everything is coming to a head.’
Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan Markle, 38, both took part in the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust video call which formed one of the network’s weekly sessions set up in response to the growing Black Lives Matter movement.
The duke, who last week outlined his personal commitment to tackling institutional racism, warned that past wrongs needed to be acknowledged across the Commonwealth in order to move forward, while Meghan said people needed to push through an ‘uncomfortable’ phase towards equality.
The couple, who were speaking from LA, joined Chrisann Jarrett, co-founder of We Belong, which is led by young people who migrated to the UK, and Alicia Wallace, director of Equality Bahamas.
The Duke, 35, and Duchess of Sussex, 38 (pictured) joined a video call hosted by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) to look at ‘fairness, justice and equal rights’ on Wednesday
Duke and Duchess of Sussex joining a session (Wednesday July 1, 2020) hosted by the trust to look at ‘fairness, justice and equal rights’. Pictured, Chrisann Jarrett (UK) (top left), Mike Omoniyi (UK), (top right), Alicia Wallace (Bahamas) (bottom left) and Abdullahi Alim (Australia) (bottom right)
Also on the July 1 chat were Mike Omoniyi, founder of The Common Sense Network and Abdullahi Alim, who leads the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers.
The duke told them: ‘When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.
‘So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.
‘It’s not going to be easy and in some cases it’s not going to be comfortable, but it needs to be done, because, guess what, everybody benefits.’
As President and Vice President of QCT, The Duke and Duchess (pictured, together) believe that these conversations are an incredibly valuable part of their work and how the Commonwealth can best support young people
Former Suits star Meghan spoke of how equality was a fundamental human right.
‘We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships,’ she said.
‘Equality does not put anyone on the back foot, it puts us all on the same footing – which is a fundamental human right.’
Harry addresses the issue of unconscious bias, sharing his own perspective.
During the video call, the Duke of Sussex (pictured with Meghan) told the trust: ‘There is no turning back now, everything is coming to a head’
‘We can’t deny or ignore the fact that all of us have been educated to see the world differently,’ he said.
‘However, once you start to realise that there is that bias there, then you need to acknowledge it, you need to do the work to become more aware … so that you can help stand up for something that is so wrong and should not be acceptable in our society today.’
After the Sussexes stepped down as a senior working royals, Harry had to leave his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.
But he and Meghan retained their posts as president and vice-president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
Harry told those taking part: ‘This change is needed and it’s coming.’
He added: ‘The optimism and the hope that we get is from listening and speaking to people like you, because there is no turning back now, everything is coming to a head.
‘Solutions exist and change is happening far quicker than it ever has done before.’
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Lewis Burton seen on day of Caroline Flack suicide inquest
Reports that the pair have grown close in recent months have been swirling of late, as the Flack inquest approached.
Appearance: Lewis Burton [left] was seen leaving rumoured girlfriend Lottie Tomlinson’s [right] London property on Wednesday – the same day an inquest took place concerning the suicide of his ex Caroline Flack
Caroline died by suicide, aged 40, at her London home, days before she was due to face trial for assaulting Lewis, who she had been in a relationship with for just over six months.
The TV presenter was arrested in December for assault and charged with attacking the model at her home in Islington.
Lewis dropped his assault complaint against Caroline but prosecutors pursued it and the couple was told not to have any contact.
Lewis looked tense as he exited Lottie’s property, seen heading for his car and climbing inside it.
Tragic: Caroline tragically took her own life in February aged 40 (Lewis pictured with Caroline in 2019)
Low-key: Lewis, 28, exited the East London house in tennis whites and a baseball cap, followed 20 seconds later by Lottie, 22 – who is the younger sister of One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson. Reports that the pair have grown close in recent months have been swirling of late, as the Flack inquest approached
A tough time: Lewis looked tense as he exited Lottie’s property and walked to his car
He added to his casual look with flip-flops and put sunglasses on as he approached his Mercedes.
Lottie followed, wearing a black crop-top, tie-dye sweatpants and a peach open shirt.
She wore her blonde mane in a top bun and finished the look off with trainers and gold accessories, a pair of shades resting on her forehead. She followed Lewis and got into his car with him.
It is said Lewis had spent the night before with Lottie and her family in Doncaster, to celebrate her 22nd birthday.
A source told MailOnline: ‘They spent Lottie’s birthday together at her grandparent’s house in Doncaster on Tuesday. Lewis met her family and younger sister, who he’s since followed on Instagram. They then travelled back to her place in East London.
‘There was a lot of talk about him joining Lottie in Mykonos with her friends last week, but in the end he decided not to in case it was viewed in poor taste.
‘It’s understood Lewis was to give evidence via video link at the inquest, but on Monday he decided to send a letter.’
Lotttie – who was known to be friends with Caroline through their links with The X Factor – recently posted a slew of sun-kissed swimwear snaps from her holiday to Mykonos, which Lewis liked on Instagram.
20 seconds later: Lottie followed, wearing a black crop-top, tie-dye sweatpants and a peach open shirt
Casual: She wore her blonde mane in a top bun and finished the look off with trainers and gold accessories, a pair of shades resting on her forehead
Inside: Lewis was seen heading for his car and climbing inside it. Lottie then followed
Heading out: Lottie followed Lewis and got into his car with him before the pair drove away
Clues: Lottie – who was known to be friends with Caroline through their links with The X Factor – recently posted a slew of sun-kissed swimwear snaps from her holiday to Mykonos, which Lewis liked on Instagram
This fueled rumours that they had ‘grown close’, after photos exclusively obtained by MailOnline showed Lewis arriving at his flat with Lottie last Friday.
The pair reportedly bonded over the grief of their respective loved ones – with Lottie losing both her mother and sister in recent years and Lewis losing Caroline in February.
Lottie’s sister Félicité, 18, died after an accidental drug overdose, three years after the death of her mother Johannah, who died of cancer.
Lewis also took to Instagram on Saturday to post a lengthy caption alongside an image of him in a smart suit, sharing a quote from Alfred D. Souza that read: ‘For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life.
Once close: Caroline was charged with assaulting Lewis but died before the trial reached its conclusion (pictured in 2019)
Liked: Lewis gave a slew of Lottie’s bikini-clad Instagram photos his approval after it emerged the pair had ‘grown close’ over the past two months
Racy display: One showed Lottie in a white cut-out bikini while in another post, the sister of 1D star Louis posed in a black thong two-piece
Stunning: The pair are said to have grown close in recent weeks and Lewis has showed his support to Lottie by hitting the like button on some of her Instagram snaps
‘But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.’
Lewis then penned: ‘This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
‘So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time…and remember that time waits for no one.
‘So, stop waiting until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Sunday morning…
‘Until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until winter, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink…. there is no better time than right now to be happy.
‘Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Work like you don’t need money, Love like you’ve never been hurt, And dance like no one’s watching.’
It’s understood that Lottie became better acquainted with Lewis at a house party in May hosted by Caroline’s close friend Lou Teasdale, 36, which was held to mark three months since her tragic passing.
A source exclusively told MailOnline: ‘Lewis and Lottie have grown close after spending time together at a party at Lou’s house. They have been meeting up in secret for weeks but their newfound friendship hasn’t gone unnoticed by mutual pals.
Opening up: The tennis coach took to Instagram on Saturday where he posted a lengthy caption alongside an image of him in a smart suit saying you should ‘treasure every moment’
‘Not all of Caroline’s friends are happy with how the situation appears to be developing but can understand that both Lottie and Lewis have been there for each other as a shoulder to cry on. Lewis spent last week in Marbella while Lottie was in St Tropez the weekend previous, they couldn’t wait to be reunited with each other on Friday.’
A representative for Lottie Tomlinson declined to comment at the time.
During Wednesday’s inquest, the late Love Island host’s mother blasted the Crown Prosecution Service for pursuing a ‘show trial’ of her daughter.
Caroline was found hanged at her home in Stoke Newington on February 15 2020, and her mother, Christine, gave a written statement to the court in which she claimed her daughter had been ‘let down’ by the authorities.
‘I believe Caroline was seriously let down by the authorities and in particular the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) for pursuing the case,’ she said. ‘I believe this was a show trial. I feel the prosecutor was unkind to Caroline and my family. I was threatened with arrest when I tried to speak.’
The inquest went into detail about the star’s poor mental health in the months leading up to her death, including evidence at the crime scene that she had self-harmed.
Devastated: Flack’s mother, Christine, gave a written statement to the court in which she claimed her daughter had been ‘let down’ by the authorities at Wednesday’s inquest
Lisa Ramsarran, a deputy chief Crown prosecutor in north London, said the CPS had considered her mental health while deciding whether to authorise a charge against her but decided the risk was ‘low’.
Flack was later assessed in the psychiatric unit of a hospital, but told medics she was not suffering from mental health issues at the time, Ms Ramsarran said.
She added: ‘Her risk was deemed at that time to be ‘low’. It was confirmed there was no suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm. That report was prepared by psychiatric liaison nurses within the hospital where Caroline was taken.’
In other evidence, Ms Ramsarran said the CPS had initially suggested cautioning Flack but that the police pushed for an assault charge.
‘The initial prosecutor who considered the evidence came to the view, applying the code, that there was sufficient evidence to support a charge (of actual bodily harm), but that because Caroline Flack had made admissions, she determined a caution would be an appropriate disposal,’ she said.
Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Lauren Bateman said some of her colleagues were opposed to charging Flack, but did not go into details about why.
Ms Ramsarran said cases involving domestic violence allegations, such as the one involving Flack and Mr Burton, have to be treated ‘particularly seriously’.
She said guidance states it would be the exception or rare to offer a caution in domestic abuse cases.
Suicide: The star, who was well known for hosting Love Island and The X Factor, was found hanged at her home in Stoke Newington, north-east London, on February 15, 2020 (pictured in November 2019)
The decision to charge Flack with assault was made by the CPS chief prosecutor Ed Beltrami.
Going over details of the case, Ms Ramsarran said: ‘There was evidence Burton had a cracked head, and Caroline Flack was beating up.
‘It was also suggested on the call Caroline Flack was trying to kill him, and he asked for police assistance at the address.’
She said there was evidence he was hit with a lamp – earlier in the inquest, Flack’s family disputed this.
Ms Ramsarran said: ‘Mr Burton, at the time, reported to police he had been hit with a lamp.
‘He later relayed to an officer when he was in the bedroom of the property… he indicated to officers that the desk lamp was used.
‘Caroline in her police interview provided information that she used her phone to cause the injury sustained to Mr Burton.
Hearing: The decision to charge Flack with assault was made by the CPS chief prosecutor Ed Beltrami (pictured). Lisa Ramsarran, a deputy chief Crown prosecutor in north London, said the prosecution case against Caroline Flack ‘always remained that Mr Burton was hit with an object with sufficient force to cause an injury’
‘I think the overall position, in terms of the prosecution case, is that Mr Burton had been struck with an object to the head.
‘It wasn’t clear if it was the lamp or the phone, but the prosecution case is that he was struck hard enough to his head that he was bleeding profusely, when police arrived, on his head.’
Ms Ramsarran said although there was dispute over whether Mr Burton was hit with a phone, a fan or a desk lamp, the prosecution case against Caroline Flack ‘always remained that Mr Burton was hit with an object with sufficient force to cause an injury’.
She told the inquest: ‘The evidence recorded on the (police) body-worn footage did show an injury that was bleeding profusely from Mr Burton.
‘There was no evidence to refute that it was a phone (used by Flack).
‘But what was an issue in the case – clarified by Caroline’s legal team – is that the force used was not unlawful.
‘The issue in the case is not what Mr Burton was hit with, but whether the action of hitting him was an accident, as was the defence case, or whether it was intentional, which was the prosecution case.’
Tragic: Lottie has also dealt with loss. She and her pop heartthrob brother Louis Tomlinson, 28, lost their mother Johannah Deakin aged 43 to leukaemia in 2016. Pictured in 2015
Ms Ramsarran told the inquest prosecutors looked at Flack’s mental health when the case was first reviewed by CPS Direct, including evidence that the television personality self-harmed at the crime scene when she allegedly assaulted Mr Burton.
She was later assessed in the psychiatric unit of a hospital, but told medics she was not suffering from mental health issues at the time, Ms Ramsarran said.
She added: ‘Her risk was deemed at that time to be ‘low’.
‘It was confirmed there was no suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm.
‘That report was prepared by psychiatric liaison nurses within the hospital where Caroline was taken.’
‘I hope me and Lewis will find harmony’: Caroline Flack’s final message is revealed as inquest into Love Island presenter’s tragic suicide hears how her sister performed CPR
Caroline Flack wrote a tearful final message hoping that she and her boyfriend would ‘find harmony’, her inquest heard – as her sister told how she performed CPR in a desperate attempt to save her.
On a coffee table at her home, a paramedic saw a note that read: ‘I hope me and Lewis can one day find harmony’.
Flack had been due to stand trial for assaulting her boyfriend, former tennis player and model Lewis Burton, in December, after police arriving at the bloodstained scene described it looking like ‘a horror movie’.
The inquest heard how the star’s friends and twin sister tried desperately to break into the house where she killed herself.
Stephen Teasdale, father of Flack’s hair stylist friend Louise, 36, said he went to the scene after the star’s twin sister Jody phoned to say she could not get in to Flack’s address.
He said: ‘We came to the flat and tried to force entry. We thought about phoning the police but knew the landlady … We got the key and let ourselves into the flat.’
Mr Teasdale said he found Flack’s lifeless body, hanged.
Tragic loss: Caroline Flack is pictured attending the National Television Awards at the O2 in London on January 22, 2019
He said: ‘I brought her (down) and Jody started CPR. We were giving CPR for somewhere between five and ten minutes, then the police took over.’
It came as Flack’s mother, Christine, claimed her daughter had been ‘let down’ by officials and made the subject of a ‘show trial’.
‘I believe Caroline was seriously let down by the authorities and in particular the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) for pursuing the case,’ she said.
‘I believe this was a show trial. I feel the prosecutor was unkind to Caroline and my family. I was threatened with arrest when I tried to speak.’
Flack’s mother could be seen weeping on video link as her statement was read by Coroner Mary Hassell at Poplar Coroner’s Court in east London.
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Couple flee from car after hitting woman and dog in hit-and-run
Police have released shocking footage showing the moment a car ploughed into a dog walker, seriously injuring her and killing her pet.
The footage shows a woman walk her pet Millie on a lead along Doe Bank Lane, in Great Barr, Birmingham, when a Renault Clio swerves across the road and hits them, carrying them over a grass verge and out of the frame.
Two men and a woman then run back onto the road from the verge, abandoning their car before running towards a Vauxhall Astra which had stopped up ahead.
The pedestrian, who has not been named, survived but suffered serious injuries and a broken leg while her beloved dog died at the side of the road.
The woman walks along Doe Bank Lane, in Great Barr, Birmingham, with her dog on a lead when a Renault Clio swerves towards her from behind
Seconds later the blue car crashes into the woman and her dog carrying her out of the frame
The video, filmed on July 22, shows the woman walking along the country road with her dog as a Vauxhall Astra drives past.
Seconds later, a blue Renault appears to swerve out of control and hits the woman on the opposite side of the road, before disappearing into undergrowth.
The black Astra, which had passed the dog walker moments earlier, stops further up the road.
Two men get out of the passenger side looking back towards the scene, while a third person, still at the wheel, puts the car in reverse.
As the Vauxhall heads backwards, two men and a woman emerge from the bushes where the Renault crashed and run onto the road.
West Midlands Police have now launched an investigation and are urging anyone with information to get in touch.
A force spokesperson said: ‘We’ve released this shocking footage as part of an urgent appeal for information.
‘The crystal-clear CCTV footage shows a number of people running away from the scene.
People begin to emerge from the bushes where the car crashed and run onto the street
A man looks back at the scene as two men get out of an Astra which stopped in the road ahead
A man and woman who were inside the blue Renault emerge from the bushes and flee the scene
‘We’re appealing to trace them, and need anyone with information to get in touch.
‘We’re also trying to find the black Astra that stops further down the road.
‘We believe the two cars were travelling together and the people are probably friends with each other.’
Following the incident, the 30mph road was sealed off as medics – including the Midlands Air Ambulance – treated the dog walker before taking her to Birmingham’s QE Hospital.
A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service added: ‘A collision involving a car and pedestrian left a woman with serious injuries in Birmingham.
‘The incident happened at around 5pm in Doe Bank Lane, Great Barr.
‘An ambulance, a paramedic officer and the Midlands Air Ambulance from Cosford with a MERIT trauma doctor on board attended the scene.
‘An off-duty nurse was on scene administering first aid to the pedestrian, a woman, who had been involved in a collision with a car.
‘The woman suffered serious injuries and, once treated and stabilised on scene by ambulance staff, she was taken by land ambulance on blue lights to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for further trauma treatment.’
Anyone with information is urged to get in touch with police via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting log 3677 of July 22.
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Thousands of new cars are prepared for dealers
The automotive industry has recorded this year’s first monthly increase in sales, following the reopening of dealerships.
Some 174,887 cars were registered in July, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This is up 11.3 per cent compared with the same month in 2019.
July was the first time dealerships across the UK were open for a full month since February, due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Thousands of new cars have been parked at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire ahead of their delivery to dealerships around the country
Thousands of cars are being stored in Corby, Northamptonshire ahead of their delivery to dealerships around the country
The cars are being stored at the former Rockingham Motor Speedway track in Corby, Northamptonshire
The SMMT said pent-up demand and special offers led to ‘a reprieve for the sector’.
But despite the monthly increase, registrations for the first seven months of the year are down 41.9 per cent.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: ‘July’s figures are positive, with a boost from demand pent up from earlier in the year and some attractive offers meaning there are some very good deals to be had.
‘We must be cautious, however, as showrooms have only just fully reopened nationwide and there is still much uncertainty about the future.
‘By the end of September, we should have a clearer picture of whether or not this is a long-term trend.
‘Although this month’s figures provide hope, the market remains fragile in the face of possible future spikes and localised lockdowns as well as, sadly, probable job losses across the economy.
‘The next few weeks will be crucial in showing whether or not we are on the road to recovery.’
Rachael Prasher, managing director of automotive magazine and website What Car?, said: ‘This is very welcome news to the UK’s automotive sector and a testament to all the hard work put in to kickstart the industry by dealers and manufacturers as lockdown eased.
‘After nearly three months of closed doors, it is great that the industry has demonstrated it remains so robust.
‘However, with this month’s success driven largely as a result of pent-up demand and lease cycles, there is still much hard work to do ahead.’
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said new car sales are down 41.9 per cent over the first seven months of the year, though they are hopeful for a sales bounce after the reopening of showrooms
According to the SMMT, the next couple of weeks will be crucial in determining whether the industry is recovering after Covid-19
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