The Telegraph 2024-04-25 10:00:30

Live Humza Yousaf rejects early Holyrood election despite ‘terminating’ coalition

Humza Yousaf rejected calls for an early Holyrood election after he terminated a coalition deal between the SNP and the Scottish Greens with immediate effect. 

The First Minister ended the Bute House Agreement this morning before Scottish Green members had the chance to vote on it next month.

Green members had demanded the vote after the Scottish Government scrapped its flagship climate change target last week.

Mr Yousaf told a press conference at Bute House in Edinburgh that he had taken the decision because the deal was no longer providing the stability it was supposed to and he will now lead a minority administration. 

It was suggested to Mr Yousaf that it was time for a Holyrood election, but he said: “First and foremost, there is a general election, of course, we know it could be any time over the course of this calendar year so we look forward to putting our record very much in front of the people of Scotland and listening to their verdict. 

“And remember the people of Scotland of course voted for the SNP to be the largest party by quite some considerable distance I would argue in 2021. 

“We are of course continuing as an SNP government. They voted for an SNP minority government in 2021. We continue to be an SNP minority government.” 

The next Holyrood election is not due to take place until May 2026. 

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Live Germany tells Spain and Greece to move air defence systems to Ukraine

Germany has publicly called out its Nato Allies Spain and Greece for not donating their Patriot air-defence systems to Ukraine.

Kyiv has said it needs at least seven of the American-made surface-to-air missile batteries to protect its cities from Russia’s mounting campaign of long-range bombardments.

“Many countries have Patriot systems or comparable,” German defence minister Boris Pistorius said in a television appearance late on Tuesday.

He added: “Let’s say if a country that has, for instance, six Patriot systems or four and is not in the front line to the east, it can easily hand over a Patriot system.”

Asked by the host to confirm whether he was referring to Spain and Greece, Mr Pistorius said: ‘We’re talking to them right now. I honestly can’t understand it.”

Madrid has a Patriot battery deployed in Turkey, where it has been stationed since 2013 to protect against missile attacks from Syria.

The focus has fallen on the two southern capitals because Nato officials are keen to maintain Patriot systems in Romania and Poland because of their proximity to the Russian border. 

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Princess Beatrice’s ex-boyfriend found dead after suspected overdose

Princess Beatrice’s ex-boyfriend Paolo Liuzzo was found dead in a Miami hotel room following a suspected overdose, it has been reported.

Liuzzo, 42, was discovered at the citizenM Worldcenter hotel, a four-star hotel in downtown Miami shortly after 3pm on February 7, the Miami Police Department told The Sun.

The cause of death has not been disclosed.

However, Michael Vega, an officer with the Miami police department, said Liuzzo’s death was being “investigated as an overdose death”, and the inquiry remains “ongoing”.

Police attended the room at 3.22pm on February 7 and Liuzzo’s time of death was given as 3.34pm, he said.

Insiders suggested Liuzzo had struggled with drugs for some time, and been plunged into a “vicious cycle” of gambling-related debt.

“Paolo was not doing great on a personal level,” one friend told The Sun.

“It was a very fast lifestyle and we all feared it would catch up with him eventually.”

Liuzzo had repeated run-ins with the law, including being arrested and charged with cocaine possession in Australia in 2009.

His death certificate listed his residence as an apartment building close to the citizenM hotel. 

He was listed as single and his occupation as an art industry consultant, according to The Sun.

Princess Beatrice is reported to have been informed of her former boyfriend’s death just weeks after her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, was diagnosed with skin cancer.

The royal was just 17 years old when she began dating Liuzzo in 2005.

The relationship became public when he joined Princess Beatrice’s family ski trip to Verbier, Switzerland the following year.

Princess Beatrice is reported to have been the one to end the romance, and spent most of her 20s dating Uber executive Dave Clark.

She married the multi-millionaire property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in 2020, with whom she has a daughter, Sienna.

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‘There was blood all over the ground’: How stabbings brought horror to close-knit mining town

It was just after 11.15am…

Live Post Office chief insists she did ‘nothing wrong’ in Horizon scandal – watch live

A former Post Office boss has insisted she did “not do anything wrong” in the Horizon scandal.

Angela van den Bogerd, who held a number of roles in the organisation from 1985 until 2020, had told the inquiry she was “truly sorry” for the “devastation” caused by the scandal.

But when pressed if she was personally responsible, she said: “I didn’t knowingly do anything wrong, and I would never knowingly do anything wrong.”

She added: “I apologise for not getting to the answer more quickly, but with the evidence I had, and the parameters of my role at the time, I did the best I could and to the best of my ability.”

Ms van den Bogerd had earlier said: “I do want to say to everyone impacted by wrongful convictions and wrongful contract terminations that I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to you, your families and friends.”

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Labour accused of failing to keep Britain safe ‘in a dangerous world’

Labour has been accused of failing to keep Britain safe in a “dangerous world” after the party refused to back the Government’s boost to defence spending…

Blood-soaked horse ‘Vida’ undergoes surgery after London rampage

Two of the five Household Cavalry horses that rampaged through central London are in a “serious condition”, a defence minister has said.

The two injured horses, named Vida and Quaker, bolted during their daily morning exercise on Wednesday after they were spooked by the sound of building work in Belgravia. 

They were later spotted running in the road near Aldwych and Fleet Street. Blood was streaming down the side of one of the horses, a grey, after it cut itself on a car’s windshield.

The two horses have since undergone operations, the Army said. In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, the Army said one of those operated on had since been taken to equine hospital.

An Army source told The Sun that the grey horse that was drenched in blood, Vida, was “lively” and had a history of being spooked. It is thought to have kicked a soldier in the head during the King’s Coronation.

The Army statement said: “Of the seven horses which were spooked, five tried to bolt and four, Vida, Trojan, Quaker and Tennyson, broke loose. Two of the injured horses were operated on last night, with one transferred to an equine hospital. All remaining horses are being closely observed.

“Our horses receive the highest standards of care, and those that did not undergo surgery are expected to return to duty in due course.”

Four people were injured after the horses careered through the streets during rush hour, smashing into several vehicles including a double-decker tour bus and a Mercedes-Benz people carrier.

By 10:30am, all horses had been recovered and returned to Hyde Park Barracks.

The Army said three soldiers who were injured would “recover fully and return to duty”.

James Cartlidge, a defence minister, refused to elaborate on the condition of the horses when appearing on LBC on Thursday morning, beyond that they were in a “serious condition”. 

He said: “There were five horses. They have all been recovered. Three of them are fine, two of them are unfortunately in a relatively serious condition and obviously we will be monitoring that condition.”

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