The Telegraph 2024-02-19 10:30:24


Alexei Navalny’s family refused access to his body for third day

Alexei Navalny’s family have been refused access to his body for a third day, his team said, adding that his mother was “not allowed” into a morgue where his remains may be being held.

Russia’s prison service said Navalny died after a walk in his Arctic prison on Friday.

His mother, Lyudmila, travelled to the remote colony on Saturday, but has still not been allowed access to her son’s body.

“Alexei’s mother and his lawyers arrived at the morgue early in the morning. They were not allowed to go in. One of the lawyers was literally pushed out. When the staff was asked if Alexei’s body was there, they did not answer,” said Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesman.

Russian investigators told the mother of the late opposition leader and his lawyers on Monday that the investigation into his death in prison “has been extended”, Ms Yarmysh added.

“It is not known how long it will continue. The cause of death is still ‘undetermined’. They’re lying, playing for time and do not even hide it,” the spokesman said.

Navalny had been incarcerated at the IK-3 penal colony, in the town of Kharp in the Arctic Circle region of Yamalо-Nenets about 1,200 miles from Moscow.

The charismatic Navalny was Vladimir Putin’s main political opponent.

His death came three years into his imprisonment in the far north, in one of Russia’s harshest jails. His health had been deteriorating for months.

Putin has not yet commented on the death. The Kremlin said on Monday that the West’s reaction of condemnation was unacceptable, but that the statements from the US and Europe would not harm the Russian president.

“We consider it absolutely unacceptable to make such, well, frankly obnoxious statements,” said Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman.

“These statements, of course, cannot cause any damage to our head of our state.”

The investigation into Navalny’s death is being conducted in accordance with Russian law, Mr Peskov said.

Asked how Putin reacted to news of the death, Mr Peskov said: “I have nothing to add.”

Navalny’s mother was told on Saturday at the prison colony that he had perished from “sudden death syndrome”, a vague term for different heart conditions that end in death, according to Navalny’s team.

EU considers new sanctions

EU foreign ministers are meeting Navalny’s widow on Monday to send a “message of support” to Kremlin opponents, the bloc’s top diplomat said.

“We have to send a message of support to the Russian opposition,” said Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Yulia Navalnaya will join EU ministers in Brussels, as they weigh up their options for inflicting new sanctions on Putin.

The EU has already imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow – including on Putin himself – over its invasion of Ukraine and officials concede it will be difficult to impose further significant measures after Navalny’s death.

But Mr Borrell said he expected EU member states to propose fresh sanctions on those directly responsible for Navalny’s treatment, including in Russia’s prison system.

“The great responsible is Putin himself,” Borrell said.

He said that Brussels would look to rename its global human rights sanctions blacklist after Navalny in a symbolic move.

Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, said ministers would “initiate further sanctions measures” over Navalny’s death.

Speeding motorist destroys six cars in high street smash

This is the moment a speeding motorist destroyed six other cars in a high street smash. 

Footage shows a white car speeding down Soho Road, Birmingham, on Sunday night before crashing into the back of a slow-moving vehicle and causing a pile-up.

The number of people hurt and the severity of their injuries are not yet known.

The road was closed overnight but reopened at around 6.30am on Monday. 

West Midlands Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service were approached for comment.

Watch: Car flips and almost crushes man’s head amid disorder outside pub

A man narrowly escaped injury as a reversing car flipped and landed close to his head after disorder broke out outside a pub in Birmingham.

The incident was captured on mobile phone footage, which appears to show a group of people crowded around the red VW Golf as it tries to reverse.

The car moves away but collides with a parked car and just misses a man who appears to have been standing in front of it.

The man jumps out of the way but falls to the ground as he avoids the Golf, which flips on to its roof.

The incident happened just after midnight on Saturday outside The Cock pub in Bartley Green, Birmingham. Two women were taken to hospital with injuries, West Midlands Police said.

Door-to-door inquiries continue

A force spokesman said that officers attended the scene and arrested a woman on suspicion of drink-driving.

The spokesman added: “We’re investigating a disorder in Jiggins Lane, Bartley Green, which happened just after midnight on Saturday.

“We understand during the incident a car landed on its roof after colliding with another vehicle.

“Two women were taken to hospital with injuries which are not believed to be life-changing. No one else has reported any injuries to us.

“Officers attended and arrested a woman on suspicion of drink-driving and she has since been bailed as investigations continue.

“CCTV is being reviewed and door-to-door enquiries are being carried out as we work to establish what happened.”

Major search operation launched in Leicester after boy, 2, falls into river

A search is under way after a two-year-old boy fell into a river in Leicester on Sunday.

The child had been with family when he fell into the River Soar and has yet to be located, according to Leicestershire Police.

The operation is ongoing and will continue with “additional specialist teams” on Monday morning, the force said.

Emergency services attended the scene just after 5pm and a search and rescue operation began in Aylestone Meadows, close to Marsden Lane.

Police said a man was taken to hospital “as a precautionary measure”. The child’s family are being supported by specialist officers.

The force said: “Our thoughts are with them at this extremely difficult time.

“We have had a number of offers of support to assist with the search and would kindly ask that people do not attend the scene due to rising water levels and safety risks.

“If anyone has any information or comes across anything that may assist officers, they are asked to contact us immediately.”

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said police were leading the operation.

Speeding motorist destroys six cars in high street smash

This is the moment a speeding motorist destroyed six other cars in a high street smash. 

Footage shows a white car speeding down Soho Road, Birmingham, on Sunday night before crashing into the back of a slow-moving vehicle and causing a pile-up.

The number of people hurt and the severity of their injuries are not yet known.

The road was closed overnight but reopened at around 6.30am on Monday. 

West Midlands Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service were approached for comment.

Weight loss jabs could be cheaper and better treatment for addicts than rehab, study suggests

Weight loss jabs could be a more effective and cheaper treatment for drug addiction than rehab, a study suggests…

Prince William goes safe-but-suave in a velvet tuxedo at the Baftas

You have to hand it to the current crop of male celebrities doing the award season rounds; they’re game for anything in the increasingly competitive style stakes, from he-vages to skirts and every silly detail in between. 

Even if – whisper it – sometimes these average guys – sorry but we’re looking at you Barry Keoghan – don’t look entirely comfortable in the hifalutin get-up that some stylist has promised will put them on a best dressed list trajectory (and possibly land them a lucrative deal with a fashion house). Which is precisely why Prince William chooses to sidestep this malarky and get on with the job in hand, in a style choice that reflects his position rather than posturing in some outre #lewk. 

The Prince of Wales arrived at this year’s BAFTAs in a handsome royal blue tuxedo that he’s worn before; to a Royal Variety performance in 2021 and to the Top Gun premiere in 2022

The Prince is fond of velvet dinner jackets; he’s previously worn iterations in bottle green and black, and although it’s relatively ‘safe’ in fashion terms, it’s sleek and sharp, and velvet’s an easy way to add lustre and touch of glamour for a formal event without going to extraneous lengths; leave the jacquard and embroidery to host David Tennant. Savile Row would never be so indiscreet as to advertise their relationships, but it’s likely that the tuxedo’s courtesy of his father’s favourite tailor Anderson & Sheppard, which specialises in sumptuous eveningwear. And like his father, he’s clearly fond of recycling his clothes. 

It’s nothing to frighten the horses, and that’s precisely the point for a royal of his singular position, especially right now; it’s appropriate and dressy but easy to wear. It’s also a wardrobe modus operandi that Prince William is clearly comfortable in, and that’s significant – he’s previously attended the BAFTA awards with the Princess of Wales, who’s currently taking a break from royal duties while she recovers from a recent spell in hospital. So it stands to reason that he’d opt for a classic mainstay that’s relatively safe. 

It’s an approach taken by Richard E Grant – in a blue velvet jacket by Armani – and David Beckham too, shaking hands with Prince William at the event in a sleek black tuxedo from Ralph Lauren. At the ripe age of 48, Beckham tends to forgo the fashion theatrics of his youth and stick to classic staples. The BAFTAs in general – being British and one for the thesps – tends to tow a familiar line in terms of how the male A-listers dress; leave the style chicanery to the Oscars, or the frankly mind-boggling antics on the Met red carpet. 

But that’s not to say that a touch of that kind of experimentation we’ve seen across the red carpets in recent years wasn’t evident; Andrew Scott in a tomato red ensemble, Barry Keoghan in a curiously military-esque green jacket with epaulettes and braiding with matching trousers and stonking great boots courtesy of Burberry, and Rami Malik in a rather operatic black coat atop his black tie ensemble, which lent a suitably Bond villain-esque mood. 

Cillian Murphy hit a singular note in his sleek black arrangement; a minimalist top, oversized, draping coat and soft-fit trousers. Dark, rather left-of-centre and just enough fashion nous to be cool without being overly obvious; very him, essentially. Bradley Cooper opted for a double-breasted coat and flared trousers by Louis Vuitton, an understatedly daring look which was a repeat of the outfit he wore to the fashion house’s show in January. 

Prince William represented tradition in his blue velvet. Against a backdrop of men pushing the boundaries in every respect in how they dress – a notion we fully applaud – sometimes sticking to the classics is no bad thing.