The Telegraph 2024-04-01 01:00:35

King’s 56 handshakes with the public show he is back where he belongs

It was almost as if he had never been away…

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Watch: Swastikas ‘need to be taken in context’, Met officer tells Jewish woman

Anti-Semitism campaigners have reacted with anger after a Metropolitan Police officer was filmed telling a Jewish woman that swastikas displayed during a pro-Palestinian march in London needed to be “taken in context…

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Student nurse died on midnight swim, inquest hears

A student nurse died after hitting her head during a midnight swim with friends in Ghana, an inquest has heard.

Millie Gentry, 19, was two weeks into a month-long volunteering trip to the country when she died after getting into difficulty in the water last March.

Bradford coroners’ court heard Gentry and her friend Erin Byrnes – along with two other volunteers – had been for a meal together on the evening of March 16.

They then went to a pool bar for drinks, before breaking a 10pm curfew set by course supervisors to go for a late night dip at around 12.30am.

The court heard how Gentry would have climbed a “pretty big” wall to get out of the premises as the gates were locked for the night.

‘Desperate circumstances’

The group arrived at the beach, which was just a minute’s walk away. After entering the sea, strong waves and currents swept them further out after 15 minutes and “overwhelmed” them.

One of the group managed to get out and call for help. Ms Byrnes, who was not a strong swimmer, was still battling the sea and “tried in vain” to lift Gentry while screaming for help, the court heard.

Martin Fleming, the senior coroner for West Yorkshire, said Ms Byrnes eventually came to the “terrible realisation” that Gentry had “succumbed to the waters”.

He added: “She felt little choice under these desperate circumstances, she let go of her.”

Ms Byrnes felt “close to giving up” but was rescued, the court was told.

Gentry’s body was found on the beach at around 5am after roughly 30 villagers tried to find her, the court heard.

A post-mortem in Ghana found Gentry had died from asphyxiation as a result of drowning. She also had a blunt force injury to her head.

Mr Fleming said Gentry’s drowning was likely brought on by the head injury that he considered she sustained while in the sea.

Paying tribute, Tracy Gentry said her daughter had the “kindest, biggest heart”.

Mr Fleming said there was no evidence Gentry consumed more than a couple of drinks and concluded her death was one of misadventure.

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Channel migrant arrivals pass 5,000 as record start to the year continues

Small boat arrivals passed 5,000 by the end of March for the first time as a record start to the year continued.

A total of 349 people crossed the English Channel on Saturday, taking the total for the year up to 4,993. Further arrivals on Easter Sunday saw the figure breach the 5,000 threshold in March for the first time since records began, despite Rishi Sunak having made his pledge to “stop the boats” a key focus of his premiership.

The total number of arrivals is up by almost a third on the same point in 2023, when 3,793 migrants had reached the UK in small boats by March 31.

It took until April 17 last year for 5,000 people to cross the Channel, a milestone that was also not reached until April 13 in 2022 and June 14 in 2021.

Out of the first 100 boats to arrive in 2024, the average number of people in each dinghy was more than 47, up from just under 42 the previous year.

Stephen Kinnock, the shadow immigration minister, said: “A year which started with Rishi Sunak and James Cleverly boasting about the success of their small boats strategy is now setting one unwanted record after another for the number of arrivals.

“Their complacency has been laid bare, and their pledge to stop the boats has been left in tatters. We can also see from these figures that there is a major tragedy waiting to happen in the Channel.

“Poor-quality, over-crowded dinghies are putting to sea and getting into trouble early in their journeys, while the smuggling gangs responsible are left to count their profits.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

“We continue to work closely with French police who are facing increasing violence and disruption on their beaches as they work tirelessly to prevent these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys.

“We remain committed to building on the successes that saw arrivals drop by more than a third last year, including tougher legislation and agreements with international partners, in order to save lives and stop the boats.”

Another round of ‘ping pong’ expected

The Rwanda Bill is nearing the end of its journey through Parliament but has been delayed until after the Easter recess following a series of defeats in the House of Lords.

Mr Sunak’s official spokesman said it was “frustrating” that peers had chosen not to pass the Bill, which is a central plank of the Prime Minister’s pledge to end migrant crossings and start deportation flights to Rwanda in the spring.

Another round of “ping pong” is expected when MPs return on April 15 as the Government seeks to overturn the amendments supported by the Lords.

While there have been concerns among centrist Tories in the One Nation caucus, the majority of the backlash to the Rwanda scheme has been from the Right of the party.

Robert Jenrick quit as immigration minister in December, describing the Bill as a “triumph of hope over experience” after Mr Sunak defied demands to opt out of European human rights laws.

In January, dozens of Tory MPs rebelled to support amendments aimed at toughening the Bill, although only a handful would ultimately vote to oppose it in its current form.

Polling has shown the Government’s record on both illegal and legal migration is a major factor in driving voters who had backed the Conservatives in 2019 to Reform UK, Richard Tice’s insurgent Right-of-centre party.

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‘I’m doing my best’: King greets well-wishers on surprise walkabout

The King has gone on a surprise walkabout to greet well-wishers on Easter Sunday during his most significant public appearance since his cancer diagnosis…

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Bones found of missing two-year-old French boy

The remains of a boy who mysteriously disappeared in the south of France last summer have been discovered by a hiker…

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King pays surprise tribute to ‘that awful’ BBC man

The King has offered a retirement tribute to the BBC’s Nicholas Witchell, despite once saying “I can’t bear that man” in a hot mic moment…

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