The Telegraph 2024-07-08 00:12:19

David Lammy: EU talks are ‘just the beginning’

David Lammy has said his talks with EU nations this weekend are “just the beginning” of his attempt to “reset” relations with the bloc.

The new Foreign Secretary has embarked on a tour of Europe on his first overseas visit on the job, with trips to see his counterparts in Germany, Poland and Sweden.

Labour has insisted it has no intention of rejoining the EU single market or customs union or restoring free movement.

But the party does want to “improve” the UK-EU trade deal agreed by the Tories in 2020. In particular, Rachel Reeves, the Chancellor, has said that Labour would look to strike deals in the chemical and veterinary sectors.

Writing for The Local, a European news website, Mr Lammy said his talks over the weekend were “just the beginning” of Labour’s efforts to rebuild Britain’s partnership with the EU.

He said: “Over centuries, our individual and national stories have come together to tell a wider story of shared progress. Today, we all share a commitment to democracy, human rights and international law.

“Tragic experiences in our continent’s shared past have helped us to understand how our shared security and prosperity depend on these shared values. And I believe these values also offer a foundation for closer partnership in the future.

“My visit this weekend is just the beginning. I look forward to seeing Britain reconnect with our European neighbours in the years ahead.”

This comes after Simon Harris, the Irish premier said the EU wanted to work more closely with Sir Keir Starmer, the new Prime Minister, on relations with the UK.

The Taoiseach said that there would be a “willingness” in Europe to work with a Labour government to deliver veterinary agreements and “student mobility”.

He told Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips: “Is there space to have a veterinary agreement, is there space in terms of student mobility, is there space to work closer together on issues? I think there absolutely is.

“And I do think there would be a willingness in Europe to have those conversations in due course, should that be the wish of the British government.”

Jonathan Reynolds, the Business Secretary, said that he welcomed the “constructive attitude” from European partners.

He told Sky: “We’ve got the same standards as the European Union, if we can sell more whiskey, more salmon, to a market which is so significant to us, of course we should explore an opportunity like that.”

But he insisted that the Government was not “open” to the free movement of people, insisting that they would not be “revisiting” the issue.

Putting Brexit years behind us

Mr Lammy, who voted Remain and advocated for a second Brexit referendum, said ahead of his trip that it was time to “put the Brexit years behind us”.

In his article for The Local, he vowed to “reset relations with Europe as a reliable partner, a dependable ally and a good neighbour”.

“That is why I am travelling immediately to some of our key European partners. Sitting down with Germany’s Annalena Baerbock, Poland’s Radek Sikorski and Sweden’s Tobias Billström, my message will be simple: let us seize the opportunity for a reset, working even more closely together to tackle shared challenges,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary also said Labour will “champion” EU holidays and school exchanges, which critics argue have been hindered by Brexit.

He said: “We must do more to champion the ties between our people and our culture. Holidays, family ties, school and student exchanges, the arts, and sport (I was of course cheering on England in the Euros…). Thanks to this, our citizens benefit from the rich diversity of our continent.”

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LIVE Politics latest news: Starmer meets Anas Sarwar in Scotland

Sir Keir Starmer has met Anas Sarwar in Scotland in his first stop on a UK tour of devolved nations.

The Prime Minister met the Scottish Labour leader in Edinburgh this afternoon before a meeting with First Minister John Swinney at Bute House this evening.

Follow latest updates below.

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Midsomer Murders viewers warned they will see crime scenes

Viewers of Midsomer Murders have been warned that episodes may contain violence.

The move follows a growing trend to add trigger warnings to everything from Shakespeare’s plays to 1980s sitcom Terry and June for fear of offending those of a sensitive disposition.

But it was ridiculed by stars of the popular long-running crime drama who said the very name of the show, which has been on air since 1997, rather gave the game away.

Over 140 episodes, Midsomer Murders has featured 388 murders, 423 deaths and 250 attempted murders.

Warnings that the show may contain “violence” and “crime scene images” were introduced by ITV on to its streaming service, ITVX, which is currently showing the first 22 series.

Game Of Thrones actor Anton Lesser appeared in two episodes, Talking To The Dead and Birds Of Prey, both of which now have content warnings.

He told the Mail on Sunday: “I understand the good intentions of broadcasters who take care to warn of effects like flashing images, but I’m surprised something like Midsomer Murders warrants a warning. I do remember my character in Birds Of Prey hurling a plate of sausages to the floor – perhaps there should be a disclaimer, No sausages were hurt in this film.”

Dame Siân Phillips starred in the 2006 episode Vixen’s Run, which now features the warning: “Contains mild language and some violence.”

She said: “Is the word ‘murder’ in the title not enough to warn people there’s a chance they might encounter a spot of violence?”

A spokesman for ITVX said: “Programming that contains potentially sensitive or distressing themes, content or language has carried appropriate guidance since our launch. We regularly review our catalogue to ensure the right guidance is in place.”

It comes after streaming service BritBox warned viewers of BBC drama Call the Midwife that the show contained “surgical procedures and some scenes of distress”, while BBC sitcom Terry and June was given a trigger warning for “discriminatory” language.

Theatregoers have also been warned about potentially distressing content in Shakespeare’s plays, prompting criticism from leading actors such as Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Sir Ian McKellen

Shakespeare’s Globe issued “content guidance” earlier this year for a production of Antony and Cleopatra, warning that it contained “depictions of suicide, scenes of violence and war, and misogynoir references”.

The theatre also attached a warning to a 2021 production of Romeo and Juliet over its “depictions of suicide, moments of violence and references to drug use”, plus gunshot sound effects and the use of fake blood. Contact details for the Samaritans were attached.

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Major General charged with sexual assault

A special operations general has become the most senior officer in centuries to be charged with sexual assault.

Maj Gen James Roddis, who recently left the British Army, is due to attend Bulford Military Court Centre late this month to enter a plea.

Maj Gen Roddis, who was one of the pallbearers who helped carry Prince Philip’s coffin in 2021, has received a number of accolades over his military career.

They include a Distinguished Service Order which is given for highly successful command and leadership during active operations.

He was made an MBE and also earned two Queen’s Commendations for Valuable Service in 2008 and 2017.  

Until recently Maj Gen Roddis, who has been charged under Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, was the director of strategy for Strategic Command – an organisation comprised of special forces and intelligence units with a focus on the cyber and electromagnetic domains.

In 2014, Maj Gen Roddis was the commanding officer of The Highlanders, which consisted of troops from the 4th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who were then the last Scottish battalion to serve in a combat role in Afghanistan.

The last time a Major General faced court-martial was in 2021 when Maj Gen Nick Welch was convicted of fraud regarding school fees.

Welch, who left the military in 2018, was convicted of a single charge of fraud in March 2021 and was jailed for 21 months for falsely claiming more than £48,000 in allowances to pay for his children’s boarding school fees.

The Telegraph contacted Maj Gen Roddis for comment.

An Army spokesman said: “We expect very high standards of behaviour from all our personnel and take any allegations of misconduct extremely seriously.

“Ex-Major General James Roddis will appear at Bulford Military Court Centre on 17th July 2024 charged with Sexual Assault contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

We will not offer further comment while legal proceedings are ongoing.”

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LIVE Two of Ukraine’s Patriot air defence launchers destroyed, Russia claims

Russia has claimed to have destroyed two of Ukraine’s Patriot air defence launchers in the Odesa region of Ukraine, as Kyiv said the attack only struck decoys.

The Patriot is a US-supplied air defence system, and by far the most expensive single weapon that Washington has given to Ukraine. Each battery costs around £800 million and, and each missile around £3.1 million.

Typically, a Patriot battery will include six to eight launchers.

It is one of the most advanced air-defence systems in the US’s arsenal and includes a powerful radar system and mobile launchers that can intercept incoming projectiles. Washington is believed to have only 14 batteries deployed globally.

Kyiv is believed to be in possession of 3–4 batteries after the US approved sending another to Ukraine in June.

Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of the Ukrainian air force, shared the Russian footage of the attack on social media and said that his air force personnel had “successfully conducted passive defense measures”.

“Thanks to everyone who helps with quality mock-ups of aircraft and air defense systems. The enemy has fewer Iskanders, and more mock-ups will arrive,” he added.

Follow the latest updates below and join the conversation in the comments section

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Andy Murray changed tennis by never changing himself

It is hard to believe it was 19 years ago that Andy Murray announced himself to the world on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

In the almost two decades that followed a most promising of introductions, Andy has carried the weight of the nation on his shoulders.

I am so grateful and proud that Wimbledon has provided a stage on which Andy could perform so captivatingly, where he won two gentlemen’s singles championships and two Olympic medals.

Having been so closely involved with the 2012 Olympics, I was thrilled to see Andy win his gold medal on Centre Court and then we had the icing on the cake when he went on to win his first Wimbledon title the following year. It was a very special and emotional occasion particularly since no British man had won the title since Fred Perry in 1936. It was a privilege to be there and it was worth the wait.

Andy has also amassed a US Open title, another Olympic singles gold medal in 2016 at Rio, the ATP Tour Finals trophy and the world No 1 ranking – a truly most impressive haul.

But that does not tell the whole story. In one of the greatest eras of men’s tennis in the history of the sport, Andy racked up a remarkable 11 grand-slam finals and 46 career singles titles.

There are not enough superlatives available to describe the impact Andy has had on our sport.

Much will be written about Andy’s legacy and rightly so. Having had the opportunity to watch so many of his famous matches both here on the lawns of Wimbledon and at the sport’s biggest events around the world, I reflect on his relentless ability to so consistently triumph over adversity.

Murray’s story is one of defiance against history and snobbery

Read more

Ultimately, though, it is Andy as a person that has resonated the most with fans around the world. He has always been more than his on-court achievements. Unapologetically authentic, always standing up for the causes that mean most to him, with that spark of mischievous humour, too.

Andy Murray is a role model in every sense. He has changed the sport by never changing himself.

He ends his playing career at Wimbledon having created a lifetime of memories we will treasure and I know that our Wimbledon family will have a simple message for Andy: “Thank you.”

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Russia claims to be inspecting a captured Storm Shadow missile

Russia claims to have captured the warhead of one of Ukraine’s most destructive weapons and is now studying how it works.

A short video published by RIA-Novosti, a Russian state-linked news agency, shows a soldier inspecting what he says is a Storm Shadow, a missile built by Britain and France and also known as a Scalp.

“We understand the penetration depth, the response range from the surface, what target sensors are used,” said the uniformed Russian soldier, whose face is covered with a balaclava.

The air-to-surface Storm Shadow missile is one of the most potent weapons in Ukraine’s arsenal, with a range of more than 150 miles.

Its commanders have used them to pound the Kremlin’s Black Sea Fleet and other military targets in occupied Ukraine, forcing the Russian Navy to withdraw its most valuable warships.

Ukrainian strikes on targets in occupied Crimea have infuriated Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, who has ordered Russian forces to improve training and air-defence systems.

In the RIA-Novosti video, a seemingly undamaged white, metal spherical object roughly the size of a small car wheel is shown, though there are no markings immediately visible that would identify it as a Storm Shadow.

The clip, which has not been independently verified, was released early on Sunday morning. It is the second released by the news agency in the past week showing what appears to be the same Russian soldier inspecting captured Western weapons.

The previous clip, released on Monday, showed him with what he said was a captured Atacms missile, a US-made long-range artillery weapon.

Both videos were set to similar dramatic music and appeared to have been shot in the same warehouse filled with metal military objects.

RIA-Novosti also quoted a Russian military source as saying that engineers from Russia’s defence ministry were studying the captured warhead to deduce the Storm Shadow flight patterns.

“The study of the missile by Russian specialists will allow countermeasures to be taken to protect against such weapons, including the creation of shelters with the necessary characteristics,” it reported.

Neither Ukraine nor its Nato allies have commented on either video and the Russian ministry of defence has not explained how it apparently captured the missiles.

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Watch: Cows stampede down suburban street in Yorkshire town

This is the moment a herd of 45 cows broke loose and charged down a residential street.

Footage shows Leon Box, 16, racing away from the animals as they run past houses in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

The boy had gone out to the corner of their street after hearing cows were on the loose but was taken aback when he saw them bearing down on him.

His mother Jess, 36, said the whole family ran out to see the animals pass their home at around 8.10pm on Friday.

She believes the cows pushed through a kissing gate from the field at the end of their street.

‘An earthquake’

Mrs Box, who works for a housing association, said: “It sounded like an earthquake.

“My eldest had just got to the corner. A few of his friends have said there are some cows loose. They couldn’t see any road – just a load of cows.

Her electrician husband Matt, 37, and their two younger children Charlie, nine, and Archie, seven, watched as the herd ran into their neighbours’ gardens, before heading into town.

The family said it took a few hours for all the cows to be herded up, with the help of North Yorkshire police.

Mrs Box added: “They made a mess. There is quite a lot of excrement. It’s pretty gross. Quite a lot of people have said it’s the funniest thing they’ve seen.”

North Yorkshire Police have been contacted for comment.

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