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Boris Johnson admits Eat Out scheme might have helped fuel Covid spike

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boris johnson admits eat out scheme might have helped fuel covid spike

Boris Johnson today admitted that the government’s flagship Eat Out to Help Out scheme might have fueled the spike in coronavirus cases.

The PM was repeatedly challenged over whether the government had contributed to the recent rise in infections by encouraging people to dine out and return to offices.

But Mr Johnson insisted the subsidy had been crucial to save ‘hundreds of thousands’ of jobs, and stressed that ministers had to strike a ‘balance’ between saving the economy and protecting public health. 

The comments came as the premier was interviewed on the BBC‘s Andrew Marr show at the start of Tory Party conference – which is being held virtually amid the pandemic.  

Marr told Mr Johnson that policies such as the Eat Out scheme – which subsidised millions of half-price meals at restaurants in August – appeared to have added to the flare-up since the start of September.

The PM was repeatedly challenged by the BBC's Andrew Marr today (pictured) over whether the government had contributed to the recent rise in infections by encouraging people to dine out and return to offices

The PM was repeatedly challenged by the BBC’s Andrew Marr today (pictured) over whether the government had contributed to the recent rise in infections by encouraging people to dine out and return to offices

Marr told Mr Johnson that policies such as the Eat Out scheme - which subsidised millions of half-price meals at restaurants in August - appeared to have added to the flare-up since the start of September

Marr told Mr Johnson that policies such as the Eat Out scheme – which subsidised millions of half-price meals at restaurants in August – appeared to have added to the flare-up since the start of September

The PM said the government was trying to ‘strike a balance’.

‘I think it was right to reopen the economy. I think if we hadn’t done that Andrew, if we hadn’t got things moving again in the summer, I mean we would be looking at many more hundreds of thousands of jobs lost,’ Mr Johnson said.

Pressed again, Mr Johnson said: ‘I also think, I also think that it is important now, irrespective of whether Eat Out To Help Out you know, what the balance of there was, it unquestionably helped to protect many… there are two million jobs at least in the hospitality sector.

‘It was very important to keep those jobs going. Now, if it, insofar as that scheme may have helped to spread the virus, then obviously we need to counteract that and we need to counteract that with the discipline and the measures that we’re proposing.

‘I hope you understand the balance we’re trying to strike.’

Mr Johnson admitted people were ‘furious’ with him over the 10pm pubs curfew, the Rule of Six, and chaotic local curbs, but defended his handling of the crisis amid growing disquiet on his own benches.

He urged the public to be ‘fearless but use common sense’ to help manage the outbreak without destroying the economy.

Mr Johnson said he was working ‘flat out’ and hoped that ‘in the course of the next few weeks and months the scientific equation will change’ and that would allow a ‘different approach’.

But in an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, he cautioned that the restrictions could drag into 2021.

‘I know people are furious, and they are furious with me and furious with the government.,’ Mr Johnson said.

‘But, you know, I’ve got to tell you in all candour, it’s going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas, it may even be bumpy beyond. But this is the only way to do it.

He added: ‘This could be a very tough winter for all of us.’ 

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Lord Janner enjoyed ‘the halo effect’ over child abuse claims, inquiry hears

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lord janner enjoyed the halo effect over child abuse claims inquiry hears

The late Lord Janner enjoyed ‘the halo effect’ as a prominent politician which meant he was effectively protected from being prosecuted for years amid allegations he abused vulnerable children, an inquiry heard.

Lawyers for the Labour peer’s alleged victims told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that there was a ‘culture of deference’ towards Lord Janner.

The former Leicestershire MP died in 2015 having been charged with 22 counts of historic child sexual abuse dating back decades.

He denied the allegations.

The late Lord Janner enjoyed 'the halo effect' as a prominent politician which meant he was effectively protected from being prosecuted for years amid allegations he abused vulnerable children, an inquiry heard

The late Lord Janner enjoyed ‘the halo effect’ as a prominent politician which meant he was effectively protected from being prosecuted for years amid allegations he abused vulnerable children, an inquiry heard

Summing up the latest strand of the inquiry, which is focusing not on whether Lord Janner was guilty, but on the institutional responses to the allegations against him, lawyers for the alleged abuse victims accused police and prosecutors of not robustly investigate the claims.

Nick Stanage, representing several complainants, said Lord Janner was offered ‘the luxury of a series of timid and incomplete investigations’.

He added: ‘Over a period of several decades, serious allegations against Lord Janner received nothing like serious institutional responses from Leicestershire Police and the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service).

‘The allegations demanded, but never received, thorough and objective analysis.

‘Investigations were oddly incurious, culpably feeble, and prematurely terminated with important inquiries still obviously left undone.’

Lawyer Christopher Jacobs said there was ‘a perfect storm of failure by police, CPS and social services’ which blighted the lives of his clients.

Lawyers for the Labour peer's alleged victims told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that there was a 'culture of deference' towards Lord Janner (pictured with the then new Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1997)

Lawyers for the Labour peer’s alleged victims told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) that there was a ‘culture of deference’ towards Lord Janner (pictured with the then new Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1997)

He said: ‘There was a culture of deference towards Lord Janner, a prominent individual who was given the benefit of the doubt at every turn.’

David Enright, on behalf of his client, added: ‘It appears Lord Janner enjoyed the halo effect of high office, and children the default of disbelief.’

William Chapman, also representing multiple complainants, invited inquiry chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay to ‘call this what it is – a cover-up’, and said there was ‘a distinct lack of enthusiasm for pursuing Janner’.

He added: ‘This investigation has provided striking evidence of how wealth and social status insulated perpetrators of child sexual abuse from being brought to justice, to the detriment of the victims of their alleged abuse.’

The former Leicestershire MP died in 2015 having been charged with 22 counts of historic child sexual abuse dating back decades

The former Leicestershire MP died in 2015 having been charged with 22 counts of historic child sexual abuse dating back decades

Danny Friedman QC, on behalf of the Janner family, said there was a risk that the allegations were made by people who ‘transposed their pain and need for recompense onto Lord Janner’.

He said: ‘Certain individuals of profile can also become the subject of societal myths and stereotyping.

‘In the operations you have looked at, there were concrete grounds for concern that Lord Janner’s very prominence could attract wrongful accusation.’

Edward Brown QC, for the CPS, said staff involved in the Janner allegations ‘made judgment calls to the best of their ability’.

He said: ‘There is, we believe, simply no evidence (of deferential treatment) anywhere in the evidence before you.’

Lawyers for Leicestershire County Council and Leicestershire Police said child protection services had vastly improved since the time of the allegations.

No alleged victims of Lord Janner were called to give live evidence during the three-week inquiry strand, which was held largely behind closed doors to protect their identities, although summaries of their witness statements were heard and referred to throughout.

Fantasist Carl Beech claimed to have been abused by Lord Janner

Fantasist Carl Beech claimed to have been abused by Lord Janner 

Prof Jay’s report into this strand of the inquiry is due to be delivered at a later date.

Lord Janner’s last public appearance, a 59-second hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in August 2015, was characterised by his apparent inability to register what was happening.

He denied the allegations, while his family said he ‘became a target’ for a number of reasons, including ‘his particular public profile and being financially comfortable in his later years’.

Mr Hewson said a man known as ‘Nick’ came forward to the Metropolitan Police in late 2014, claiming to have been abused by Lord Janner.

However, his evidence was deemed by Mr Hewson to be of little use.

Mr Hewson told the inquiry of Nick’s evidence, presented to Leicestershire Police in the form of a transcript: ‘The allegations were so minimal, although it mentioned Lord Janner’s name it didn’t go into any detail whatsoever.

‘There was minimal detail about the alleged conduct of Lord Janner, there was no timing, no place – anything else, really.

‘Literally it was two or three lines within that document (interview transcript), there were no immediate lines of inquiry.

‘You could almost say it was struggling to establish that it was a complaint in any event.’

Nick, later revealed to be fantasist Carl Beech, was not considered useful as a potential prosecution witness against Lord Janner and his claims were dismissed by the force, Mr Hewson said.

Beech was jailed for 18 years in 2019 for what a judge called his ‘cruel and callous’ lies against politicians he claimed abused him.

TIMELINE: Sexual abuse allegations against Lord Janner

1991: During his own trial for the sexual abuse of over 100 children, paedophile Frank Beck, director of a Leicestershire children’s home, accused Lord Janner of abusing a child. A witness also claimed to have been abused by Lord Janner. The CPS decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

2002: In an investigation named Operation Magnolia, Lord Janner was the subject of allegations as part of a probe into abuse children’s home. The CPS says documents containing specific allegations relating to him were not referred to them by police and claim the police chose not to pursue him.

2006: As part of a new sex abuse investigation, Operation Dauntless, an alleged victim made allegations of serious sexual offending around 1981 by three individuals including Lord Janner. The CPS decision in 2007 was again that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Lord Greville Janner and Myra Sheink's engagement announcement. The pair married in 1955. Allegations made against Lord Janner go back to the mid-1950s

Lord Greville Janner and Myra Sheink’s engagement announcement. The pair married in 1955. Allegations made against Lord Janner go back to the mid-1950s

2013: Leicestershire Police raid Janner’s north London home and offices as part of an inquiry linked to children’s homes in the county. He was not interviewed and maintained his innocence. Evidence was sent to the CPS.  

April 2015: CPS said it would not be pursing charges against Janner, then 86, as his dementia made him unable to stand trial.

Twenty men came forward with allegations that Janner had abused them during police investigations.

If a prosecution had gone ahead CPS said that it would have included 22 counts of indecent assault and buggery of nine victims, between 1969 and 1988.

Sir Barnett Janner, 60 year old Labour MP for North-West Leicester, with his wife and son, Greville Janner,  after receiving a knighthood, 1961

Sir Barnett Janner, 60 year old Labour MP for North-West Leicester, with his wife and son, Greville Janner,  after receiving a knighthood, 1961

Janner was probed during an investigation into an alleged Westminster paedophile ring.

May 2015: MPs demanded rethink of Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to prosecute Janner.

June 2015: The decision is overturned.

August 2015: Janner attends Westminster Magistrates’ Court, appearing for only a minute to identify himself.

December 7 2015: It is ruled that Janner is unfit to stand trial.

December 19 2015: Lord Janner dies, with a trial of facts dropped.  

2019: Fantasist Carl Beech jailed for 18 years for perverting the course of justice. Beech – known as ‘Nick’ – made up preposterous tales and ruined the lives and reputations of some of Britain’s most distinguished public servants.

October 12 2020: An inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against Lord Janner begins, focusing on the police and prosecution response to allegations made against Janner.

2022: The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will deliver a final report of overarching findings from all 15 sections of the investigation before Parliament.

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Son who viciously stabbed elderly mother to death in their shared home is jailed for life

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son who viciously stabbed elderly mother to death in their shared home is jailed for life

A twisted son who stabbed his elderly mum to death in the home they shared has been jailed for at least 20 years.

Mark Jozunas attacked Valerie Jozunas, 78, in the affluent village of Wimbish, Essex, on March 1st this year.

Paramedics and police rushed to the semi-detached property after the alarm was raised but Valerie died at the scene.

Mark Jozunas stabbed and killed his mother Valerie Jozunas, 78, in their shared home in the affluent village of Wimbish, Essex, on March 1st this year. Today, he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 20 years

Mark Jozunas stabbed and killed his mother Valerie Jozunas, 78, in their shared home in the affluent village of Wimbish, Essex, on March 1st this year. Today, he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 20 years

A post-mortem examination gave her cause of death as severe blood loss from multiple stab wounds.

Neighbours spoke of their shock in the wake of the killing, describing Valerie as ‘a really lovely person’ who ‘would do anything to help’.

Jozunas, 49, was charged with her murder and convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court last month.

Jozunas was suffering from mental health issues, according to his family who spoke after he was convicted last month by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court

Jozunas was suffering from mental health issues, according to his family who spoke after he was convicted last month by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court

At the same court today, he was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: ‘This was a tragic event in which Jozunas brutally took his mother’s life and then attempted to lie about it.

‘I am pleased that justice has been served for Valerie, and hope this sentence will provide some solace for the family.’  

Speaking after last month’s guilty verdict, Valerie’s family paid tribute to their mother who was ‘taken away from us by an act of violence.’

‘We have not only lost our mother, but our brother too. Life will never be the same, but we hope our brother will received the help he needs for his ongoing mental health issues.

‘There are no winners in this situation but as a family we respectfully remember our dear mum and hope we can all find peace in the future.’

The family are yet to comment following today’s sentencing. 

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Anti-Macron fury reaches London: Police clash with Muslim crowds demanding ‘respect for the Prophet’

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anti macron fury reaches london police clash with muslim crowds demanding respect for the prophet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

'We condemn killing of innocent people': One protester holds a sign decrying the murder of innocents in London today

‘We condemn killing of innocent people’: One protester holds a sign decrying the murder of innocents in London today 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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