The Telegraph 2024-05-01 10:00:46

Female officer almost lost her hand in Hainault sword attack

A female officer injured in the sword attack in Hainault almost lost her hand, Sir Mark Rowley has revealed…

First failed asylum seeker removed to Rwanda

Britain has removed the first failed asylum seeker to Rwanda under a voluntary scheme drawn up by the Government to help clear the backlog of migrants stuck in Britain.

The unnamed migrant was flown out of the UK on Monday evening to Rwanda, where he will be able to start a new life under an agreement negotiated earlier this year.

The deal, which is separate to the enforced deportation scheme, is aimed at removing migrants whose claims have been rejected and cannot remain in the UK but are unable to return to their own country.

In return for the £3,000 support normally offered to repatriated migrants and the prospect of citizenship in Rwanda, he was flown by the Government to the central African state, which is deemed by the Government a safe third country.

The scheme is not designed to deter crossings but instead mirrors the existing voluntary returns system that enables failed asylum seekers, foreign criminals and other migrants with no right to remain in the UK to return to their home country.

Under these voluntary returns schemes, they can receive financial assistance worth up to £3,000 to return to their “country of origin”.

Scheme is ‘legal as resettlements are voluntary’

Monday’s Rwanda deportation is the first of its kind because it is the first time a migrant has been paid to leave the UK without going back to their country of origin.

Ministers believe this scheme is legal, as resettlements would be voluntary.

After his bid to stay in Britain was rejected at the end of 2023, the man – who is of African origin – voluntarily accepted passage to a new life in the central African nation.

It comes ahead of Rishi Sunak’s efforts to get the first enforced migrant deportation flights off the ground in 10 to 12 weeks.

‘I fled to Ireland from Britain to avoid being deported to Rwanda’

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More than 5,700 migrants have been identified for removal but only 2,145 of them continue to report to the Home Office and can be located for detention, according to a document released on Monday.

The Home Office has insisted that the remaining 3,557 have not necessarily absconded but are not subject to the same reporting restrictions, which means they are likely to be more difficult to locate for detention.

Missing migrants ‘will end up in Ireland’

Kevin Saunders, who was Border Force’s chief immigration officer from 2001 to 2016, warned the 3,500 were likely to disappear and probably end up in Ireland.

He said that the migrants were originally identified for deportation to Rwanda after arriving in 2022 and 2023 but had so far avoided removal.

“Now that we have the new Rwanda Act on the table, they are worried they are going to be removed so they have done a disappearing act,” said Mr Saunders.

Asked on BBC Radio 4 if the Home Office was wrong to claim they were not missing, he said: “I would not like to say the Home Office are telling porkies. Let’s say they temporarily cannot find them.

“It is people they have lost contact with. They are not going to appear, certainly not in the UK. They will probably turn up in Ireland. They know they are in the frame to be removed. They don’t want to be removed so they are going to disappear.”

Mr Saunders said he still believed the Rwanda deportation scheme would work and would act as a deterrent but he said he would have preferred for all migrants entering the UK illegally across the Channel to be detained, despite the huge cost.

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Live California university calls in police as violence erupts at pro-Palestine protest

Pro and anti-Israel protesters clashed with sticks used as weapons as violent protests spread across US college campuses.

UCLA in California said that “horrific acts of violence” broke out as protests clashed and riot police were sent in among beatings and fireworks.

It came after police clashed with protesters at Columbia University in New York, which was cleared overnight after students occupied buildings.

The UCLA student newspaper Daily Bruin said supporters of Israel had tried to tear down a pro-Palestine protest encampment on the campus.

Aerial footage showed people wielding sticks or poles to attack wooden boards being held up as a makeshift barricade to protect pro-Palestine protesters, some holding placards or umbrellas. 

Follow the latest updates below. 

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Live Solicitor who helped Post Office prosecute postmasters to give evidence

A solicitor who helped the Post Office prosecute sub-postmasters is to give evidence to the Horizon IT inquiry today.

Martin Smith, a former employee of Cartwright King solicitors, had previously been due to take the stand in December last year.

However, inquiry chair Sir Wyn Williams postponed his appearance after a last minute disclosure of documents relevant to his evidence.

Mr Smith’s session will follow the conclusion of his former colleague’s evidence, Harry Bowyer. 

Yesterday Mr Bowyer, another former Cartwright King employee, told the inquiry how Post Office prosecutions effectively ceased when a member of its team identified that an expert witness used by the Post Office to convict sub-postmasters was not reliable.

Mr Bowyer said: “It may well be that Cartwright King are not covered as far as their role as independent lawyers is concerned but it did stop the prosecutions at that stage and begin the disclosure sift.”

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Playboy bunny’s lawyer ‘asked to be Isle of Man ambassador for killing Trump story’

A Playboy bunny’s lawyer asked to be made ambassador to the Isle of Man in return for killing the story of her alleged affair with Donald Trump.

Karen McDougal claimed she embarked on a 10-month affair with Mr Trump in 2006, having met him when he filmed an episode of the Celebrity Apprentice at the Playboy mansion.

In 2016, her lawyer, Keith Davidson, asked the publishing company AMI for more than $1 million for the rights to her story in addition to a “consulting gig” for his client, Mr Trump’s “hush money” trial heard on Tuesday.

Haggling over prices with Dylan Howard, editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer, he suggested $1 million up-front with a yearly $75,000 for Ms McDougal working as a fitness correspondent for AMI publications.

When Mr Howard said the offer would be “more hundreds than millions”, Mr Davidson proposed an initial $800,000 followed by a $100,000 salary for the next two years.

He added: “Throw in an ambassadorship for me. I’m thinking Isle of Man.”

Speaking in court on Tuesday, Mr Davidson described the comment as “a joke”. “I know they don’t have an ambassador, but I think it was a reference to Mr Trump’s candidacy”, he added.

AMI eventually paid $150,000 to Ms McDougal for the rights to her story. Prosecutors argue that its chief executive expected to be reimbursed for the payment by Mr Trump, which did not happen.

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D-Day beach cafe ‘hates the English and refused to serve British soldiers’

A Second World War tour guide has criticised a cafe overlooking Normandy’s Omaha beach, claiming it declined to serve a group of visiting British soldiers “because they are English”.

Creperie la Falaise, in Vierville-sur-Mer, sits near the famed coastline stormed by Allied troops on D-Day as they battled to liberate France from Nazi occupation.

With the landmark 80th anniversary of D-Day just weeks away, and despite local businesses being reliant on foreign visitors, battlefield guide Eugenie Brooks said the soldiers she took to the cafe were refused service.

“This cafe at Vierville Draw at Omaha Beach, in Normandy, refused to serve my British Army soldiers today as ‘they are English’,” she wrote on Twitter, adding: “An utter disgrace and I will never ever, ever take any of my tours there again.”

Ms Brooks said the group were “well-behaved junior soldiers all smartly dressed”. She said the incident left her “fuming”.

Florent Neveur, who has run Creperie la Falaise with his mother for a decade, said it was all a misunderstanding, and claimed the British tourists were turned away because the cafe was full.

“Two buses came on Monday about 12.30pm, when it was a very busy time for us. I said, ‘Guys, I’m so sorry. I have to be focused on my restaurant, I can’t help you, I can’t leave my other customers’,” he told MailOnline.

“It gets crazy here. Sometimes we cannot serve everybody. I take care of my customers,” he said.

The Normandy tourism board swiftly reacted to the snowballing complaints, writing: “Morning Eugenie. Thanks for pointing this out to us. It’s utterly unbelievable. British visitors and soldiers will of course always be welcome here in Normandy, and the nearby British Normandy Memorial bears witness to the history we share.”

The cafe is located less than a mile away from the D-Day museum in Omaha and a short distance from the Overlord Museum and Normandy American Cemetery.

Omaha saw the Allies take the most casualties with around 2,400 American troops killed by German gunners and artillery on June 6, 1944, the first day of the effort to drive the Nazis out of France.

During Operation Overlord Allied troops landed on five Normandy beaches codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

After fierce fighting, some 34,000 Allied troops had landed by nightfall.

Rishi Sunak, French president Emmanuel Macron, US president Joe Biden and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau will attend this year’s official anniversary ceremony on June 6 on Omaha Beach.

The King has “made it a personal mission” to travel to Normandy for the commemorations despite suffering from cancer, along with the Prince of Wales.

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Rishi Sunak will not take back migrants because of general election, says Irish PM

The Irish prime minister has said that Britain agreed to take back its asylum seekers but suggested Rishi Sunak won’t admit it because of the upcoming elections.

On Tuesday, Simon Harris warned Mr Sunak that there was “legitimate expectation” that the UK would honour the post-Brexit agreement on migrant returns.

Downing Street admitted that there was “an understanding” with Ireland but said it was not legally binding. The Prime Minister has already ruled out accepting any returns unless the EU agrees to take back migrants who have arrived in the UK over the Channel.

“There’s an agreement in place between Ireland and Britain. This is a two-way agreement. This is to ensure that refugees can be sent in both directions if their application is inadmissible. We will have a legitimate expectation that agreements between two countries are honoured,” Mr Harris said.

He suggested that Mr Sunak’s insistence that the UK would not take back asylum seekers from Ireland was motivated by upcoming local and general elections.

“I’m not getting involved in British politics, I’m very well aware of where the electoral cycle is at in Britain and it’s not for me to comment on that,” the taoiseach said. The Irish government claims that up to 90 per cent of asylum seekers turning up in Dublin this year have crossed the border from Northern Ireland to avoid being sent to Rwanda.

The Irish cabinet approved legislation to make it legally possible to start migrant returns to the UK and just yesterday announced it was redeploying 100 police officers to prevention and deportation duties, including posts close to the border with Northern Ireland.

The emergency legislation was needed after the Irish High Court ruled that the UK was not a safe country because of the Rwanda Plan, back in March.

On Monday, Mr Sunak said he had “no interest” in taking back refugees who crossed into the Republic from Northern Ireland, which he said proved the deterrent effect of the Rwanda Plan was working. “There is an existing understanding and operational procedure with the Irish, consistent with the Common Travel Area,” the Prime Minister’s spokesman said on Tuesday.

“There is no legal obligation to accept the return of asylum seekers who enter and cross the Common Travel Area. We are not going to accept returns from the EU via Ireland when the EU doesn’t accept returns back to France.”

The Irish government will re-deploy 100 police officers, which Dublin insisted had to remain available during the Brexit negotiations, while the justice ministry will take on asylum processing duties to free up the officers to take part in frontline duties such as deportations and checks close to the border (but not on the 300-mile frontier).

Helen McEntee, the Irish justice minister, admitted that no asylum seekers had been returned to Britain for several years, which she blamed on Brexit, Covid and the High Court judgement. She told the Cabinet that up to 90 per cent of asylum seekers in Ireland this year alone arrived via Northern Ireland.

There was speculation in the Irish media that the redeployment of officers could lead to a ramping up of Operation Sonnet, which is known as Operation Gulf in the UK. The long-standing joint operation aims to ensure people in the Common Travel Area between the two countries are doing so legally.

Mary Lou McDonald, the Sinn Fein leader, accused the Irish government of “incredible incompetence”, saying it had given “a gift to the Tory party”, which was “desperate for a row” over migration. The Irish republican and democratic socialist party has a long-held poll lead, with an election required to be held by March 2025.

Meanwhile, Kevin Saunders, the UK’s former chief immigration officer, warned that migrants earmarked for the first deportation flights are likely to disappear and will “probably” end up in Ireland.

This speculation has come after the Home Office admitted it was unable to locate thousands of migrants it intends to start detaining this week, ready for deportation. More than 5,700 migrants have been identified for removal but only 2,145 of them continue to report to the Home Office and can be located for detention.

‘I fled to Ireland from Britain to avoid being deported to Rwanda’

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