MP Urges May To Resign
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has urged the prime minister to stand down next month. Speaking on Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Duncan Smith insisted Theresa May should stick to her previous resignation promise, saying: "She said she would go as and when the agreement was ratified which was looking at around about May, June. I think those dates still stand." However, May is yet to pass a withdrawal agreement through parliament – with Conservative sources insisting the prime minister's departure is tied to the delivery of Brexit rather than any particular date.
Duncan Smith's comments follow an emergency EU summit last week, which saw European leaders agree to delay the Brexit deadline to 31st October. Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested the PM may now remain in office until the end of this extension. Duncan Smith has described the possibility of a further six months in the EU – and the prospect of the UK participating in the European elections – as "a disaster for the country". The UK is legally bound to participate in the EU elections if the government does not secure a Brexit deal by 23rd May, when the elections are due to take place.
PRISON OFFICER ASSAULTED AT HMP NOTTINGHAM
HMP Nottingham is part of a government improvement project but has previously been declared "fundamentally unsafe" by the prisons inspectorate. According to an inspection report published in 2018, the prison has a very high level of violence, with 103 recorded incidents of assaults on staff members in the six months to December 2017. Many of these assaults do not face investigation. Responding to news of the attack on Sunday, a Prison Service spokesperson said the inmate would "receive the maximum possible sentence" under the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act, adding: "We do not tolerate violence against our hardworking officers".
Sue Will, senior officer at Ofsted, speaking out on the risks posed by unregulated schools. The schools watchdog has warned up to 6,000 children may be attending illegal schools in the UK. These unregistered settings are often not subject to formal oversight over health and safety or education quality. Ofsted has already issued warning notices at 71 unregulated schools.
Will described some of the conditions encountered by Ofsted inspectors at the illegal schools as “quite appalling”. She added: "Some of the buildings that we have been to are in a really poor state… Open sewers, rat traps in rooms, portacabins balanced on portacabins to maximise space [and] exposed electrical ware.”
In other news...
UPSKIRTING FIGURES REVEALED
New figures have revealed more than half of police forces in England and Wales recorded allegations of upskirting last year, up from 15 forces in 2016-17. Upskirting is the act of taking a photo up someone’s skirt without their consent. Already illegal in Scotland, the practice was outlawed in England and Wales by a new law which came into force on Friday. The law makes upskirting punishable by up to two years in prison. Police data shows 94 recorded incidents of upskirting in 2018. The real figure is likely to be much higher as the UK’s largest two forces failed to share their information. Gina Martin, who campaigned for the criminalisation of the practice, praised the new laws, saying: “Finally, we have a fit-for-purpose law that protects against every instance of upskirting – as we should have always had.”
EXPERTS WARN OF LIVER DISEASE 'EPIDEMIC'
Experts have warned rising obesity levels could lead to an “epidemic” of fatty liver disease among young people in the UK. While non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a fairly common condition among those in their 50s and 60s, a new study has found an increasing number of 24-year-olds are also affected. The study monitored the liver health of 4,000 British adults, finding the number of those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease rose from 2.5% to 20% between the ages of 18 and 24. Those with the condition risk developing dangerous health problems, including liver cancer and type-2 diabetes. Dr Kushala Abeysekera from Bristol University said the findings were “potentially a harbinger of things to come” and warned the condition “may shift from the 50s and 60s to the 40s and 50s because of the epidemic”.
BRUNEI DEFENDS ANTI-LGBT LAWS
Brunei’s foreign ministry has spoken out in defence of the country’s anti-LGBT laws after the legislation faced worldwide condemnation. Under new laws in the south-east Asian kingdom, adultery and sex between men are punishable by stoning to death. Responded to the UN’s comments calling the punishments “cruel and inhuman”, Brunei’s foreign ministry said on Friday: "[It] focuses more on prevention than punishment. Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish." The ministry claimed the new laws are designed to safeguard “the sanctity of family lineage and marriage of individual Muslims” rather than criminalise sexual orientations. After discussion with Brunei’s foreign minister, UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said prosecutions were in practice unlikely due to the high threshold of evidence demanded.
DISNEY TO LAUNCH NETFLIX RIVAL
Disney is set to launch a streaming service to undercut Netflix. The new Disney+ service will cost $6.99 a month – less than Netflix’s cheapest package at $8.99 a month – and will include the company’s films and television shows. According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the Disney+ launch comes as part of an “aggressive strategy” to challenge the rival streaming platform. It promises to feature more than 25 original series and ten original films within 12 months of its US launch in November, with global expansion planned over the following two years. Disney’s chief financial officer Christine McCarthy said the service hopes to have up to 90m subscribers by 2024. Netflix currently boasts almost 140m subscribers globally.
FARAGE LAUNCHES BREXIT PARTY
The former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has launched a new political party. According to Farage, the Brexit Party plans to run an “impressive list” of candidates in the upcoming European elections. While Theresa May has repeatedly stated her objections to the UK’s involvement in the EU elections, held on 23rd May, the latest Brexit extension means Britain is likely to participate. The Brexit Party said running candidates in these elections would be its first step, with the wider aim of changing politics “for good”. Asked on the differences between UKIP and the new party, Farage said there was “no difference” in policy “but in terms of personnel there is a vast difference”. Farage has accused UKIP of allowing the far-right to “take over” and promised the Brexit Party would be “deeply intolerant of all intolerance”.
Kim Kardashian has told US Vogue she is studying to become a lawyer. The reality star began a four-year apprenticeship with a San Francisco law firm last year and plans to take her exams in 2022. Kardashian said she’d decided to pursue law after campaigning for changes to the US clemency system, which prompted her to realise: “I just felt like the system could be so different, and I wanted to fight to fix it, and if I knew more, I could do more.”