The Telegraph 2024-03-15 16:00:42

Live Liz Truss accuses Labour MPs of blocking her transgender law reforms

Liz Truss has accused Labour MPs of “filibustering” to stop her proposed transgender law reforms from being debated in the House of Commons. 

Ms Truss tabled the Health and Equality Acts (Amendment) Bill which aims to bar transgender women from female-only spaces such as changing rooms and toilets, along with preventing them from competing in women’s sport. 

It was third on the list of Private Members’ Bills to be debated today but time ran out before it could be discussed prompting Tory claims of Labour MPs trying to “talk out” and block the legislation. 

Ms Truss said in a statement: “I’m furious that Labour MPs have filibustered in Parliament today to prevent debate of my Private Member’s Bill.

“Concerned parents will want to know why Labour don’t even want to discuss how to protect children and single sex spaces, let alone put those protections into law. Labour care more about ideology than the protection of children.

“It is vital that we legislate to safeguard single-sex spaces and prevent children from making irreversible decisions about their bodies.”

Ms Truss’s Bill has now been rescheduled to be debated at a later date but it will fall to the bottom of the priority list which means it is unlikely to ever make it to the floor of the Commons and as such it is almost certain never to become law. 

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Residents near M25 diversion stockpile groceries as they brace for ‘absolute gridlock’

People living near official M25 diversion routes have begun stockpiling groceries as they brace for “absolute gridlock” this weekend as Surrey prepares for the first ever full weekend closure of the London orbital motorway…

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Fears for patients in NHS net zero drive

The NHS is to introduce electric ambulances, raising concerns that its drive for net zero is being put above patient safety…

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Watch: Duke of Sussex delivers tribute to Diana Award winners but only after William leaves ceremony

The Duke of Sussex thanked young people for “protecting the legacy” of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in a message broadcast after his brother, the Prince of Wales, left the same ceremony.

Prince Harry spoke via live video link on Thursday night to 20 recipients of the Diana Legacy Award, which celebrates social action and humanitarian work among young people every other year.

“Thank you very much for inspiring so many others and at the same time protecting my mother’s legacy, I really appreciate that,” he told the group.

Prince Harry gave his speech after Prince William had left the ceremony, which he attended in-person at the Science Museum.

In his separate speech, the Prince of Wales took to the stage to AC/DC’s song Thunderstruck and said that his mother taught him that “everyone has the potential to give something back”.

‘Change the world’

He told the audience that he and his wife, the Princess of Wales, have sought to focus on his mother’s legacy through their work.

“This evening’s Legacy Award is particularly special as it marks the 25th anniversary year of The Diana Award, a charity set up to reflect my mother’s belief that young people can change the world,” he said.

“I know that she would have been honoured to see a charity in her name doing such inspirational work to uplift young people from all corners of the globe.”

The Prince said that his mother taught him that “everyone in need deserves a supporting hand in life”.

“That legacy is something that both Catherine and I have sought to focus on through our work, as have the 50,000 young people who have received a Diana Award over the past 25 years.

“I am so proud to see this belief of my mother’s manifested in the amazing young people receiving the Legacy Award tonight.”

In his livestreamed address, the Duke of Sussex also thanked Dr Tessy Ojo, the chief executive of The Diana Award, saying “well done on this fantastic group of individuals”.

Dr Ojo said: “As we mark the start of our 25th anniversary year these young people couldn’t be a more fitting tribute and legacy to Diana, the late Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world.”

The latest 20 winners of the award were chosen by an independent judging panel chaired by Baroness Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence who was murdered aged 18 in a racist attack in south east London in 1993.

William and Harry jointly presented the inaugural Legacy Awards at St James’ Palace in 2017.

Not seen or used a computer

Three of this year’s recipients come from the UK, with the others from the USA, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Romania, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Australia.

They include 18-year-old Gabrielle Wong, from England, who learnt on a trip to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, that students had not seen or used a computer before, leading her to create the Discimus Foundation which has provided computer labs and technology classes to 9,000 students and 30 volunteer teachers.

Another is Joel Nkeonye Mordi, 26, from Nigeria, who founded the Mordi Ibe Foundation, the country’s only charity catering for LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable students to keep them in school, including young people experiencing period poverty.

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You cannot bee serious! Swarm halts Carlos Alcaraz’s match at Indian Wells

“Bees stop play” is not an announcement usually heard by the world’s top tennis players.

But Carlos Alcaraz had to make a beeline for the exit on Thursday after thousands of the insects swarmed centre court during his Indian Wells quarter-final.

The world No 2 was about to serve at 1-1 in the first set against Alexander Zverev when bees started circling around the court.

After making futile attempts to swat away the insects with his racket, Alcaraz ran to the locker room for cover.

It forced a nearly-two-hour disruption during which bemused umpire Mohamed Lahyani informed the crowd “we are having problems with bees” before confirming that play could not continue as the bees had taken over the court.

Fans burst out laughing when Mr Lahyani later said “play suspended due to bee invasion”.

Thousands of bees could also be seen under one of the aerial cameras over the main court, while others smacked into the lenses of the TV cameras.

Local beekeeper Lance Davis was called upon to get the insects off the court. 

He used a vacuum to remove the bees from the spider camera after arriving without any protective clothing.

When the players returned, the chair umpire told them there were still some bees flying around and Zverev joked that he was fine to play on his side of the court.

The beekeeper was summoned back to the court with a spray bottle and was cheered wildly by the crowd. 

Mr Davis, of Killer Bee Live Removal, received a hero’s welcome:

He could be seen clearing the bees from the spider camera and spraying the electronic scoreboard.

He posed for selfies with fans, causing Alcaraz and Zverev to laugh as they watched him wander the seats spraying for bees. Mr Davis also doused the walls around the court.

The match resumed after a delay of 1hr 48mins and Alcaraz went on to win it 6-3, 6-1.

Tournament owner and billionaire Larry Ellison and former Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates were watching the match from Mr Ellison’s box.

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Watch: Meghan bakes and poses in ballgown to debut lifestyle business

The Duchess of Sussex has launched a new lifestyle venture, American Riviera Orchard, that is set to sell jams, cutlery and nut butters…

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Private parking firms issue 35,000 fines every day

Private firms are issuing an average of more than 35,000 parking tickets to drivers every day amid a government failure to introduce a code of practice to regulate the industry…

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