The Telegraph 2024-04-03 10:00:45

Live Family pay tribute to ‘genuine gentleman’ killed by Israeli missile

The family of James Kirby, one of three British citizens killed in an Israeli strike, has paid tribute to the former Army rifleman and sniper marksman. 

Mr Kirby was called a “genuine gentleman” who lost his life trying to save others in the statement.

They said: “Despite the risks, his compassionate nature drove him to offer assistance to those in dire need. 

“A genuine gentleman, James was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone, even in the face of senseless violence. James lost his life trying to save others, he will never know what a void he has left, our family will never be the same.”

James Henderson, 33, and John Chapman, 57, who are both said to have served in the Royal Marines, were named alongside Mr Kirby as the three Britons who had died in the bombing of a convoy.

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Live Private school parents ‘used to’ fee rises, Labour claims amid VAT raid

Parents of private school pupils are already “used to” fees going up every year, a Labour frontbencher claimed as he defended the party’s plan to impose VAT on the charges.

Labour has said if it wins the next general election it will add the 20 per cent levy to independent school fees. 

There are fears that schools will simply pass the tax onto parents, potentially making private education unaffordable for many and prompting an exodus of thousands of pupils into the state sector. 

But Darren Jones, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, claimed parents are “used to having to pay more each year for their private school provision”. 

He told TalkTV this morning: “The important point here is that private school fees have gone up year after year after year for many, many years and so parents are used to having to pay more each year for their private school provision and what we have said to private schools is we are giving them advance notice of this so that they can transition to having to pay VAT through parent fees. 

“Many of our schools are in a position to be able to pass this on over a number of academic years or to think about spreading the cost as opposed to lumping a whole 20 per cent on parent fees in one go and we would encourage schools to work with a Labour government if we win the election later this year to make sure that this policy is implemented in the best possible way for everybody.”

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Live F-16 fighter jets ‘no longer relevant’

Western-supplied F-16 fighter jets due to arrive in Ukraine this summer are “no longer relevant”, a senior Ukrainian military official has said.

“Often, we just don’t get the weapons systems at the time we need them – they come when they’re no longer relevant,” the high-ranking officer, who was unnamed, told Politico. “Every weapon has its own right time. F-16s were needed in 2023; they won’t be right for 2024.”

A dozen of the US-made aircraft are expected to be delivered to Ukraine in July following months of campaigning from president Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior Kyiv officials.

Instead of the modern jets, which the official said Moscow can now counter, he believes Ukraine now needs more traditional weapons and drones. “We need Howitzers and shells, hundreds of thousands of shells, and rockets,” he said, estimating that Ukraine needed four million shells and two million drones. 

Follow the latest updates below.

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Royal Mail investigating barcode stamps after customers hit with £5 fines

Royal Mail is investigating problems with new barcoded stamps amid fears customers are wrongly being fined to receive letters, The Telegraph can reveal…

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‘Disgusting’ rubbish in Welsh cave blamed on Instagram influencers

A Welsh cave made famous on social media has been ruined by people who visited to take pictures for Instagram and then left behind excrement, luminous graffiti and mounds of rubbish, a volunteer who cleaned it up has said…

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Watch: Paula Vennells may have known about allegations Horizon could be remotely accessed

Paula Vennells, the former Post Office chief executive, may have known of allegations that the Horizon system could be remotely accessed two years before prosecutions were halted, audio footage suggests…

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Couple given Asbo-style warning over claims they are feeding gulls

A couple has been threatened with an Asbo-style court order after deliberately attracting hordes of gulls to their rewilded garden with dog biscuits…

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