The Telegraph 2024-04-12 10:00:38

Live Police investigating Angela Rayner over council house row

Police are now formally investigating Angela Rayner over the sale of her council house. 

The Labour deputy leader was reported to Greater Manchester Police by James Daly, a Conservative MP, over concerns she may have broken electoral law in the early 2010s by giving false information about where she was living.

The force said in March that Ms Rayner would not face an investigation but decided to reassess their decision after Mr Daly complained that officers appeared not to have contacted witnesses or looked at the electoral roll, deeds and other relevant documents. 

A GMP spokesperson said this morning: “We’re investigating whether any offences have been committed. This follows a reassessment of the information provided to us by Mr Daly.”

Ms Rayner has faced questions about whether she paid the right amount of tax on the 2015 sale of the property due to confusion over whether it was her principal residency.

The Labour deputy leader has insisted she has “done absolutely nothing wrong”. Sir Keir Starmer and other senior Labour figures have expressed their backing for Ms Rayner. 

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Three of Harry Kane’s children injured in car crash in Germany

Three of England captain Harry Kane’s children have been injured in a car crash in Germany, it was reported on Thursday night.

The crash is said to have happened when a Renault collided with an oncoming Mercedes van as it tried to turn onto a motorway slip road in Schäftlarn, Bavaria at 5.15pm on Monday, the German newspaper Bild reported.

That day, the 30-year-old flew back to Britain with Bayern Munich ahead of the team’s Champions League clash at Arsenal on Tuesday night.

The footballer’s children Louis, three, Vivienne, five, and Ivy, seven, were passengers in the van and sustained superficial injuries, the newspaper said.

His fourth, Henry, was born in August last year.

They are said to have been taken to a nearby hospital in an ambulance.

A spokesman for Kane said: “They are fine and only went to hospital for a routine check-up.”

Bild reported the Renault was being driven by a 20-year-old woman travelling with a three-year-old child and two adults aged 43 and 48, while a 24-year-old German woman was behind the wheel of the Mercedes van.

The crash caused the Renault to skid on the road before slamming into a Land Rover and coming to a halt.

All eight passengers involved suffered minor injuries and were treated at local hospitals.

At the time of the crash, the striker had just landed in London ahead of the first leg of Bayern’s quarter-final clash against Arsenal.

He scored his side’s second goal in a 2-2 draw as he made his first club appearance in England since leaving Tottenham Hotspur for Bayern in the summer in a £100 million deal.

Daniel Buck, the, Hohenschäftlarn Volunteer Fire Department chief, told the BBC: “The cars had a lot of damage – all of the cars. The first thing that we were seeing was a lot of injured people from all the cars.

“The good news was nobody had really strong injuries, more minor injuries, like they have pain in the neck from the head up, normally typical for a car accident.

“Thank God nobody was really injured. It was really lucky for all the people.”

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Live Israel preparing for Iranian attack ‘within 24-48 hours’

Israel is preparing for a direct attack from Iran in the next 24 to 48 hours, a US intelligence source reported.

The country is readying itself for a possible strike on either southern or northern Israel, the source, who was not named, told the Wall Street Journal, as the US embassy placed travel restrictions on all government employees based in the country.

With the region on red alert, Iran is allegedly planning a larger-than-usual aerial attack featuring a mix of missiles and drone strikes, but it intends to limit its strike to avoid provoking a US response, a separate official told Politico.

 Iran is “looking to calibrate it, so they essentially don’t overplay their hand”, the official said.

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Rayner stands by trans charter that attacked feminist ‘hate groups’

Angela Rayner has declined to apologise for endorsing a charter describing feminist organisations that raised fears about the treatment of trans children as “hate groups”.

When Ms Rayner stood to be the deputy Labour leader in 2020, she backed a trans rights charter that described bodies including Women’s Place UK, which campaigns for single-sex rape refuges for women, as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”.

In the wake of the Cass review into the treatment of children with gender issues, which concluded that much of the evidence for gender medicine was “shaky” and that drugs such as puberty blockers should be used with extreme caution, Ms Rayner faced calls to renounce the comments. However, her spokesman declined to apologise.

High-profile Labour figures have previously made remarks endorsing the views of trans activists, including Sir Keir Starmer, the party leader, who in 2022 said that “trans women are women”.

On Thursday, Sir Keir’s spokesman declined to withdraw his remark but said: “Of course sex and gender are different, and legally different for good reason.” Sir Keir did not sign the charter when he stood as Labour leader. 

Two years ago he said: “A woman is a female adult, and, in addition to that, trans women are women, and that is not just my view, that is actually the law.”

On Wednesday, Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, said he had been wrong to say in the past that “trans women are women, get over it”.

On Thursday, Victoria Atkins, the Health Secretary, accused Labour of having fuelled an “atmosphere of intimidation” on trans issues.

But a Labour spokesman said: “We all have a responsibility to ensure discussion of sensitive issues is conducted in a respectful way. That is how the Labour Party will always operate.”

The LGB Alliance, which was also listed as a hate group by the Labour trans charter, and last year was turned down when it applied to host a stand at the Labour conference.

The charter signed by Ms Rayner called on signatories to “organise and fight against transphobic organisations such as Woman’s Place UK, LGB Alliance and other trans-exclusionist hate groups”.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Kate Barker, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We hope Angela Rayner will reflect on the Cass review and reconsider her opinion of LGB Alliance. It is not ‘hateful’ for an LGB charity to warn about ideologically-driven, unevidenced medical experiments on young people, most of whom are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

“There’s a much more profound issue at play, however, which is a culture where even senior politicians condemn their opponents as ‘hateful’ with zero evidence and zero engagement. It’s also one of the chief reasons this unprecedented medical scandal has been allowed to continue for so long.

“This year, LGB Alliance will once again apply to exhibit at Labour conference. We hope, in the light of Cass, we will finally be granted the opportunity to attend and engage in civilised and rational discussion.”

Women’s Place UK, which had spoken out against plans to change the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to legally self-identify as a man or a woman without medical approval, said: “We welcome the change in direction by UK Labour and the comments made by several senior Labour figures in response to the Cass Review. 

“We hope this is reflected across the Labour Party and in the manifesto.”

Ms Atkins told Sky News: “Labour has spent the last 10 years trying to shut women up when it comes to this. They have been part of the ideology, the culture wars, creating an atmosphere of intimidation for anyone who dared to question this ideology.

“So it is a little bit rich of the Labour Party to be lecturing the rest of us now, having been so forthright in their support for this ideology in the past.”

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Live I didn’t realise Post Office prosecuted its own staff, ex-boss claims – watch live

The Post Office’s former managing director has claimed he did not realise it made the decision to prosecute sub-postmasters.

Alan Cook, who oversaw 160 prosecutions during his tenure from March 2006 to January 2010, said he had “never come across a situation before where a trading entity could initiate a prosecutions themselves”.

“Expressions were used like ‘this is going to court’,” he said. “I had assumed that the police stroke DPP had been involved. I mean, I shouldn’t have presumed, but I did presume sadly.”

He added: “I’m not blaming them [Post Office investigators] for not spelling it out enough. To be frank, I’m blaming me for not picking up on it.”

He previously told The Telegraph that he did not know of any concerns about Horizon until just before he left. Yet yesterday, it was revealed he had acknowledged a sub-postmaster’s complaints around 18 months before he left the role.

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OJ Simpson died without penance, says family of victim

OJ Simpson died “without penance” after succumbing to cancer at the age of 76, the family of one of his alleged victims has said.

The former American football star and actor, who was catapulted to notoriety when he was charged with killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994, died in Las Vegas on Thursday.

He was sensationally acquitted of the double murder but later found responsible for their deaths in a civil case, and was ordered to pay $33.5 million to Goldman’s family.

It is possible that Simpson’s estate may be swallowed up by existing liabilities from the case. Fred Goldman, Ronald’s father, recently alleged that he had paid only a fraction of the damages and owed $96 million in interest.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Goldman told NBC News: “The only thing I have to say is it’s just further reminder of Ron being gone all these years.”

By the time of the murder trial, Simpson had been in the public eye for decades. He rose to fame in the 1970s as a running back in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills, becoming the first player to rush 2,000 yards in a season. 

He then moved into acting, starring in the Naked Gun series.

Both careers were overshadowed by the double killing of Brown and Goldman in 1994, which made headlines around the world.

The football star-turned fugitive led officers on a two-hour chase when told to turn himself in over their deaths, resulting in a live TV spectacle watched by an estimated 95 million people.

Hundreds of spectators gathered to cheer him on as his white Ford Bronco drove down a San Diego freeway.

The ensuing court case, known as the “trial of the century”, became one of the most high-profile legal battles of all time.

Simpson’s “dream team” defence, led by Johnnie L Cochran and Robert Kardashian, accused the Los Angeles police of manufacturing evidence against the former athlete.

DNA evidence assembled by the police included blood samples taken from the crime scene that matched Simpson’s – in theory, placing him at the site at the time of the murders.

Blood was also found in his white Ford Bronco, on his driveway, his house and a pair of socks in his bedroom.

The defence argued that the police scientist who collected blood samples from Simpson failed to take them immediately to a laboratory for testing – meaning that they could have been tampered with or contaminated.

“We attacked the way that evidence was gathered and processed,” Simpson’s DNA expert Barry Scheck said in 2014. “We had a 21st-century technology and 19th-century evidence collection methods.”

In one of the defining moments of the trial, Simpson appeared to struggle to pull on a pair of bloodstained gloves the police had found at the crime scene.

“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” Cochran famously told the jury.

The defence also argued that the police’s sloppy handling of DNA evidence – which placed Simpson at the crime scene – meant it could have been contaminated or tampered with.

The case split the US along racial lines. In October 1995, one poll showed that 65 per cent of white Americans believed he was guilty, compared to a mere 18 per cent of black Americans.

In the end, the 11-month trial came down to just four hours of deliberations by the largely African-American jury, before they declared Simpson not guilty.

Simpson’s courtroom success was short-lived. In February 1997, he was found liable in a civil court for the wrongful deaths of Brown and Goldman.

In 2006, Simpson sold a book manuscript titled If I Did It to an imprint of HarperCollins, providing a hypothetical account of the killings he had repeatedly denied committing.

The copies were pulped and the project cancelled following a public outcry, but Goldman’s families eventually secured the rights, to pay off some of Simpson’s liabilities from the civil case.

It was eventually published with a redesigned front cover that reduced the size of the word “If”, so it appears to read I Did It. This was paired with the subtitle, Confessions of the Killer.

Thirteen years to the day after he was acquitted of the murders, Simpson was convicted of armed robbery in Las Vegas.

He insisted that he was trying to retrieve items from sports memorabilia dealers that had been stolen following his criminal trial. He served nine years in a Nevada prison before being released in 2017.

The former athlete was pictured using a cane to walk in January of this year. Rumours surfaced in February that he was undergoing chemotherapy to treat prostate cancer and was in hospice care.

He denied being in a hospice but did not address whether he had been diagnosed with cancer.

A statement issued by the Simpson family on Thursday said he “succumbed to his battle with cancer” and “was surrounded by his children and grandchildren”.

A lawyer acting for Ronald Goldman’s family said Simpson “died without penance”. Fred Goldman said his death was “no great loss to the world”.

Simpson had five children: three with his first wife, Marguerite, and two more with Brown.

He is thought to have maintained a close relationship with his eldest daughter, Arnelle Simpson, who testified on her father’s behalf at his murder trial.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said: “Our thoughts are with his families during this difficult time, obviously with his family and loved ones. 

“And I’ll say this – I know that they have asked for some privacy and so we’re going to respect that.”

American footballer whose trial captivated global audiences

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RSPCA’s all-singing rebrand suggests killing snails and farming are cruel

The RSPCA has come under fire over an advert that suggests killing snails is cruelty to animals and criticises dairy farming…

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