The Telegraph 2024-06-11 18:00:53


LIVE General election latest: Tory manifesto will have ‘very bold moves’ to cut taxes, says minister

Mel Stride said the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto will include “very bold moves” to cut taxes. 

The Work and Pensions Secretary said the Tories had made “real progress” on cutting taxes but Rishi Sunak will go further when he unveils the Conservatives’ policy plan later this morning. 

Mr Stride told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “We are making real progress now on getting taxes down but we are not going to stop there and what you are going to hear later on with our manifesto today are some very bold moves to further reduce tax because we think this really matters to families up and down the country.”

The Tory manifesto is expected to include a pledge to cut National Insurance by a further 2p, taking it down to 6 per cent. Mr Stride’s comments are likely to prompt speculation that Mr Sunak could have another surprise up his sleeve.  

The Conservatives have attempted to make tax a clear dividing line with Labour during the election campaign, promising not to raise any levies while accusing the opposition of planning tax rises.

You can follow the latest updates below and join the conversation in the comments section here

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Michael Mosley wandered lost before heat killed him

Dr Michael Mosley is believed to have died of heat exhaustion after losing consciousness while walking in 40C temperatures, Greek police say.

An initial examination, based on CCTV footage and forensic evidence, suggests he died of natural causes, The Telegraph understands.

Police have ruled out foul play or criminality, according to sources.

Officers are also investigating CCTV footage that appears to show Dr Mosley disappearing from view as he makes his way down a hillside, close to where his body was later found on the island of Symi.

Dimos Kotsidaras, police commander for Symi, said it was believed “the cause of death was heat exhaustion after walking from St Nikolos to Agia Marina in high temperatures”.

Dr Mosley sat down before losing consciousness in the 40-degree heat only yards away from safety, interim findings from a coroner found.

The inquiry into his death, based on CCTV footage and forensic evidence, suggests he died of natural causes, The Telegraph understands.

Greek police have ruled out any possibility of foul play or criminality, according to sources.

Police are also investigating footage that appears to show Dr Mosley disappearing from view as he makes his way down a hillside close to where his body was later found.

The area where Dr Mosley was discovered is one of the hottest in the region and the local temperature between Wednesday and Sunday reached north of 40C.

Dr Mosley was found lying on his back, suggesting he had tried to raise his leg upwards, suggesting he had tried to stop himself fainting, police sources disclosed.

The details came as Rishi Sunak joined close friends in paying tribute to Dr Mosley

Downing Street said he was an “extraordinary broadcaster” who had a “huge impact” on people’s lives.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The reports from the weekend are heartbreaking and our thoughts are with Dr Michael Mosley’s family, his wife Clare and friends, in what must be deeply sad times.

“We have seen some incredibly touching tributes which have made clear the huge impact that Dr Mosley had on people and helped to transform people’s lives for the better.

“He will be known as an extraordinary broadcaster who used his platform to influence and change the way we think about many public health issues.”

Meanwhile, three close friends of Dr Mosley laid a single flower on the mountainside where he was found.

A woman and two men sailed on a small private boat on Monday morning to the beach resort of Agia Marina.

Dr Mosley was found 50 yards away from the resort on Sunday morning, five days after his wife reported him missing.

The group were seen tentatively making their way over the rocks towards the site where Dr Mosley was discovered by a bar manager.

Visibly distressed, the group laid a single-stemmed white and pink Oleander and were seen hugging and consoling each other for around 20 minutes.

One of the party was a young male British volunteer who had helped search the island for Dr Mosley.

The Oleander has poetic significance in Greek mythology. According to one legend, Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite, is wooed by a young man called Leander, who swims across the Hellespont every night to see her.

One night during a violent storm he is dashed against sharp rocks and washes up on the beach.

Dr Mosley’s body lay undiscovered just yards from a beach resort, as his wife said he “so very nearly made it” to safety.

CCTV footage shows Dr Mosley gingerly walking down a rocky mountain near the perimeter fence of the Agia Marina resort before he appears to stumble and fall out of view, just over two hours after he left his wife and friends.‌

His wife, Dr Clare Bailey Mosley, paid tribute to her “wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband”.

She said: “We’re taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it. He did an incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn’t be easily seen by the extensive search team.”

Volunteers on Symi said “high temperatures” and “rough spots” made the search for Dr Mosley “particularly difficult”.

The Symi Crisis Rescue Volunteer Team posted a tribute to Dr Mosley’s family on their official social media page.

A spokesman said: “We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Dr Michael Mosley’s wife, children, relatives and friends for his tragic loss.

“Our team was called in by island authorities to assist in the search investigation on the very first night of his disappearance and we immediately began with a first night search.

“We continued all the coming days to participate in the investigations together with firefighters, police officers and other volunteers, as always directed by the head of the investigation.

“High temperatures and rough spots made this mission particularly difficult, and unfortunately, the outcome was one we all know.”

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Gary Glitter ordered to pay half a million pounds compensation to abuse victim

Gary Glitter has been ordered to pay more than half a million pounds in compensation to one of the women he abused.

Disgraced paedophile Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, was ordered to pay £508,800 in damages by a judge.

The woman is suing Glitter following his 2015 conviction for abusing her and two other young people between 1975 and 1980.

She previously secured a “default judgment” in her claim a ruling in her favour over Glitter’s liability and on Tuesday Mrs Justice Tipples said the woman was entitled to damages of £508,800.

The judge said in a 13-page ruling: “There is no doubt that the claimant was subject to sexual abuse of the most serious kind by the defendant when she was only 12 years old and that has had very significant adverse impact on the rest of her life.”

Mrs Justice Tipples said the six-figure-sum includes £381,000 in lost earnings and £7,800 for future therapy and treatment.

A hearing is expected on Tuesday to consider any interest on the damages and legal costs.

At a hearing in March, the High Court in London heard the woman who cannot be named for legal reasons has been unable to work for several decades as a result of the abuse.

Jonathan Metzer, her barrister, said Glitter’s abuse had a “dramatic and terrible impact” on her education, work and personal relationships.

Glitter was jailed for 16 years in 2015 for sexually abusing three schoolgirls. His sentence expires in February 2031.

He was automatically released from HMP The Verne, a low-security prison in Portland, Dorset, in February last year after serving half of his fixed-term determinate sentence.

Glitter was put back behind bars less than six weeks after walking free when police monitoring showed he had breached his licence conditions by reportedly trying to access the dark web and viewing downloaded images of children.

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16st catapult shots from Siege of Kenilworth Castle unearthed by chance

Catapult shots launched during what is believed to have been the longest siege in medieval English history have been unearthed at Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire.

The eight well-preserved boulders, which weigh as much as 16st, were launched during King Henry III’s siege of the castle in 1266, when England was in the grip of civil war.

The discovery was made during building works to improve accessibility to the Grade I-listed building, with some of the projectiles found just below the surface.

“It’s not every day we get lucky enough to stumble across historical remains like this by chance,” said Will Wyeth, a properties historian at English Heritage. “Imagine the surprise of the team when we unearthed these impressive stone projectiles that are nearly 800 years old.”

The shots vary greatly in size, with the largest weighing 16st 8lb and the smallest just 2.2lb. 

Archaeologists were quickly able to date them to the medieval siege, based on similarities to stones discovered in the 1960s.

Mr Wyeth said they would have been capable of causing “serious damage”, with records showing that one of Henry’s wooden siege towers, containing around 200 crossbowmen, was destroyed by just one well-aimed missile.

The King besieged Kenilworth Castle for 172 days during the Second Barons’ War, when a number of noblemen, led by his brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, rose up in an attempt to curb his power.

De Montfort had been granted custody of the castle in 1244, and after he was killed at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, his supporters continued to use it as a base for their resistance.

After the King’s messenger to the rebels returned with a severed hand, Henry decided to recapture the castle by force, launching a siege that lasted from June 25 until December 13, 1266.

He deployed a vast arsenal of weaponry in his attacks, including 60,000 crossbow bolts and nine siege engines, in an attempt to breach the stronghold’s 14ft thick walls.

The rebel garrison, inside, was equipped with similar launching devices, and it is the stone projectiles fired from both sides that have been discovered outside the West castle walls.

After almost six months the rebels succumbed to starvation and disease before surrendering to the King, who then gave the castle to his son, Edmund, Earl of Lancaster.

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Prince Louis advises England team to eat double portions ahead of Euros

Prince Louis has urged the England team to eat “twice the amount” they usually eat to best prepare for the Euros.

The Prince of Wales passed on his six-year-old son’s advice as he met Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad at its St George’s Park training ground on Monday before they fly to Germany for the tournament, which begins on Friday.

Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, revealed that he had asked his three children on the school run what he should say to the team.

“The best bit of advice I got to tell you was to eat twice the amount you normally would eat,” he said.

“So I then had visions of you running around, massive great tummies and loads of stitches on the pitch… so I think maybe take my youngest’s advice with a pinch of salt, particularly around the physio team.”

Instead, the Prince warned them that it was going to be challenging and that the England team “has a target on its back”.

Talent alone would not win the tournament, he added, as he urged the squad to dig deep and to draw on inspirations from home, their childhood and their families. “Whatever it is, get that in you right now,” he said.

“Build up on it, pump yourself up because you never know when you might need it.”

The Prince said: “Tournament football is brutal and it requires a lot more than you’ve already given.

“You’ve had a long old season as it is and we’re going to ask you to go again.

“It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be everything that you’ve ever dreamed of, you know wearing that England shirt, and all the experiences you’ve had at club football… you’re going to have to draw on those experiences you’ve had at club football are going to have to be in the back of your head.

“And I just really want you guys to know how much it means to everyone back here, that you go out there, you give it your all, you play for the shirt, play for each other, play for the country, because everyone’s behind you.

“We really care about what you’re going to do.”

Asked what he thought about Prince Louis’s suggestion, captain Harry Kane joked: “I don’t think our nutritionist will be happy with that advice.”

He said the Prince’s visit was “great” and would give the team “extra motivation”.

Of the upcoming tournament he said there was “one more job to do” to go “one more step from last year”.

“We know how much it means to the country and the fans. The nation comes together at this moment.”

Asked about the England team’s 1-0 loss to Iceland on Friday, Kane added: “Of course we were disappointed after that game. I’m sure we will look back at the game where we can improve.

“No one ever likes losing but we want to get on with it. The morale is good.”

Prince William told the squad that the whole country was behind them and that he would be watching every single game as he wished them the very best of luck.

He said Southgate had instilled a sense of “togetherness” in his team.

“I really feel that you’re a unit,” he added. “You fight for each other, you play for each other and you really care about putting that shirt on.”

The Prince was due to chat to Southgate, England’s head coach, about how the team has been preparing for the tournament and to present a shirt to each player.

To mark the team’s send off, schools from across the Midlands were also invited to St George’s Park, the National Football Centre in Burton-on-Trent, to attend a festival of football, playing friendly fixtures against each other.

The Prince, accompanied by Southgate, was expected to drop in on the tournament to watch play and meet some of those taking part.

The heir to the throne is an ardent football supporter and is hugely respected and liked by the players.

Last month, the Prince took his elder son, Prince George, to Wembley to watch Manchester United take on Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

Father and son donned matching navy suits, white shirts and striped ties as they watched United eventually emerge as the victors with a 2-1 win.

They beamed as they presented the cup and medals to the winners and awarded runners-up medals to members of the City squad.

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Combined flu and Covid jab produces ‘higher immune response’ than separate injections

A combined flu and Covid vaccine from Moderna has been found to provoke a higher immune response than separate single jabs.

The results raise hopes the new vaccine could be approved by regulators for the 2025 or 2026 flu season, with the possibility of being rolled out on the NHS.

At the moment, Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine for Covid-19 is used in the NHS booster programmes, alongside Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty.

A newer version of Spikevax has been created and tested by Moderna, which includes a dose of the flu vaccine.

This is the first time final phase three data for a combined vaccine has been published by any company.

The findings show that the vaccine met its goals and led to higher immune responses against flu and Covid than other single vaccines currently in use, including the current Spikevax.

Stephane Bancel, the chief executive of Moderna, said: “Combination vaccines have the potential to reduce the burden of respiratory viruses on health systems and pharmacies, as well as offer people more convenient vaccination options that could improve compliance and provide stronger protection from seasonal illnesses.

“Moderna is the only company with a positive phase 3 flu and Covid combination vaccine.

“Building on the momentum of positive phase 3 data across our respiratory portfolio, we continue to address significant unmet medical needs and advance public health.”

The mRNA-1083 jab matched or bettered current flu jabs at making the body produce antibodies.

The randomised controlled trial involved 8,000 volunteers, all aged over 50 and half over 64.

Moderna said it had focused on older people as they remained the focus of booster Covid vaccines, but planned to offer the new jab to younger people as well.

Competitors Pfizer and BioNTech are testing a similar two-in-one mRNA vaccine against flu and Covid.

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Machete killer, 12, posed for social media portrait with murder weapon tucked into his trousers

A 12-year-old who murdered an “utterly defenceless” teenager posed for a picture with the murder weapon tucked into his trousers hours before the killing.

Dressed in a grey hooded tracksuit, black coat and balaclava, the weapons-obsessed schoolboy posted the image on Snapchat on the day he cut down 19-year-old Shawn Seesahai with a machete alongside his accomplice of the same age.

Even after he was arrested, the boy maintained his obsession with blades, drawing pictures of knives while in custody, which prosecutors said showed his interest in deadly weapons.

The pair have become the youngest people to be convicted of murder since Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were detained over the torture and murder of James Bulger in 1993.

Mr Seesahai, who had only been in the country six months and was originally from the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the Caribbean, was attacked as he discussed plans for Christmas with a friend in a park in Wolverhampton in November last year.

The fatal wound to his back was more than 20cm deep and the blade went through his heart and almost came out of his chest.

He died at the scene after being hacked by the nearly 17in-long (42.5cm) blade and beaten by his attackers, who are also believed to be the youngest boys to have committed a knife-related murder in the UK.

Shortly before the fatal encounter, his attackers, who “often” carried a machete, were passing it between them at Stowlawn playing fields in East Park, Wolverhampton.

Earlier that day, the youth with an obsession for knives had posted pictures of the blade on social media.

The boy,  whose grandmother has previously been charged over cocaine smuggling, forwarded the image to his girlfriend and his accomplice alongside a song by a drill rapper who was also convicted of murder using a machete.

In the hours after the murder, the same youth, who admitted unlawful possession of the machete but denied any other wrongdoing, was given a lift home by a family member. He bleached his machete and hid it under his bed but messages on Snapchat revealed he was unworried about the repercussions of the murder.

Prosecutors told the court that “prior to this offence, officers had recovered knives” from his home address and that “this was a young man who enjoyed possessing knives”.

Neither boy has any previous convictions, cautions or reprimands, but police said after the case that the youth who hid the murder weapon had been “dealt with” previously over an incident of theft not related to knives.

In social media exchanges involving his co-defendant and a girl witness who later attended a police station with her mother to make a statement, the knife-obsessed boy said of the stabbing: “It is what it is.”

He wrote on Snapchat that he was not scared and added “idrc” – text message shorthand for “I don’t really care”.

The chat had begun with a video of the scene and the words “someone got stabbed” before his accomplice said “everybody talking about it. Literally everyone. Everyone knows.”

“I aint said nowt cause everytime I talk about it, like I act weird apparently,” he added.

While his co-defendant appeared more worried, police found the boy who owned the machete happily watching television at home when they arrested him the night after the killing.

He was given a formal caution advising him of his rights, and responded: “What murder? Why would I kill someone?” and “I haven’t done anything.”

Both defendants wore a shirt and tie to give their evidence, accompanied by intermediaries, having been allowed to sit in the well of the court near relatives rather than in the dock.

The youth who owned the black-bladed machete was incriminated by his heavily bloodstained clothing and man-bag. He said he bought the machete for £40 from a “friend of a friend” who he refused to name but police said there was evidence he had searched for knives online.

His hoodie, found by police inside out and mixed in with other clothes in a washing basket, was bloodstained on the front of the right sleeve, the front and back of the left sleeve, the right chest and the lower left front.

Officers searched a storage space under a bed and recovered a machete. A tracksuit with apparent blood stains on it was also seized from a laundry basket at one of the schoolboys’ homes.

Prosecutors told jurors that the boys had screenshots on their phones of knives like the one used in the murder and had searched online for news articles about the attack.

Mobile phone images also revealed multiple images of large knives and weapons including one showing long knives and swords on a bed.

In an online search, one of the killers asked: “How many criminal records can you have to leave the country”.

The case echoes another recent knife crime tragedy in which 17-year-old Rayis Nibeel was found to have bought 65 knives online and sold them for profit in the few months before he murdered Omar Khan, 38, in a dispute over drugs in Luton in September last year.

Detective Inspector Damian Forrest, who led the Wolverhampton investigation, said the youths had shown an obsession with a weapon that there was no need to have.

“The weapon was a large machete that really no person who doesn’t need it as a tool of their trade should have any reason to own.

“Obviously, originally it would be a gardening tool. Although the facts of this case mean we can’t say for certain how that weapon came into the possession of the suspects, there is some evidence that suggests that one of them had tried to purchase knives on the internet.”

Last month, police chiefs said that illegal dealers were selling weapons to under-18s via social media channels, including TikTok, Snapchat and those run by Meta.

Some teenagers, often those involved in drug dealing, want to buy large status weapons like zombie knives or machetes.

Commander Stephen Clayman, the national lead for policing knife crime, said the accessibility of knives online was “a really concerning picture” for law enforcement.

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