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  2. Autistic man fixated with police must stay in jail as court rejects appeal Marcus Potter, 20, who was diagnosed with autism aged three, has been in Norwich Prison since November last year for breaching bail conditions by gesturing at a police station in the city. That sparked a campaign to get him out of prison, with an online petition gaining more than 10,000 signatures. His father Martin said his son had become fixated with police around three years ago. Mr Potter was handed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) by magistrates after he was convicted of causing alarm and distress when he filmed police and members of the public on February 2017. Many on here will know @MPotter and the many anti police threads he had begun. Seems his ‘Freeman of the land’ type antics he was so confident about have failed him. Marcus I hope you now get the help you need, you are a vulnerable adult who many have taken advantage of.
  3. 21 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images The government will stop workers' pensions being put at risk from "executives who try to line their own pockets", the prime minister has said. In the Observer, Theresa May said a government white paper would set out "tough new rules" for company bosses. It comes as construction firm Carillion's collapse could leave a pension scheme deficit of £900m, potentially affecting 27,500 workers. She also defended using the private sector to complete public projects. In her comment piece, Mrs May was quick to say that it would be Carillion shareholders, not taxpayers, "who pay the price for the company's collapse". She said the government would not be writing the company's directors a blank cheque, but would be "stepping in and supporting those affected". Reality Check: Are pensions on the brink? Carillion: Six charts that explain what happened It was earlier reported that Carillion's defined benefit pension schemes has a deficit of £580m, although this figure could be as high as £900m. Defined benefit schemes (DB) are based on either a worker's final salary, or their career average earnings. In March the Department for Business is expected to release a White Paper detailing new legislation on protecting DB schemes. Image copyright Getty Images The management of pension schemes, and its perceived lack of protection and security, has caused public outcry in recent years. Last year former owner of BHS Sir Philip Green came to an agreement with the pensions regulator to pay back £363m into the pension scheme for the company. Following the collapse of BHS it was found that there was a £571m deficit in the pension scheme. 'Private sector's valuable role' Despite the recent collapse of one of the government's biggest private contractors, Mrs May was quick to defend the government's use of public-private partnerships. She said the "private sector plays a valuable role helping the public sector". The collapse of Carillion, which employed 43,000 staff globally, has left many questioning what will happen to several high-profile public services and infrastructure projects. The construction firm was in charge of completing the new £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital, and the £350m Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Sandwell. Both completion dates were delayed by the company. She added Cabinet Office minister David Lidington had "acted swiftly" to co-ordinate the government's response to Carillion's collapse, which has put a number of high-profile public services and infrastructure projects at risk. View the full article
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  6. Lewisham Special Constables Have you ever wondered whether you have the ability to be a police officer? Now is the time to find out because the Metropolitan police are looking for new Special Constables to join its volunteer force. Coordinator for the Special Constables at Lewisham Police Station, PC Lucy Burrows, said: "This is an amazing role, both challenging and exciting, giving the public the opportunity to move out of their comfort zone, meet a wide range of new people to build their skills, enhance their CV and in some cases move on to becoming regular police officers." Special Constables will work in full uniform alongside regular officers dealing with response calls, which can be anything from a burglary, domestic assault to missing people and anti- social behaviour. Here are some of the qualities expected for the role: Motivation to make a positive impact on the Lewisham community Reasonably fit (must be able to score a 5.4 on a beep test) Good eyesight Have no offensive tattoos or visible tattoos on the neck or face Aged between 19 and 59 and having lived in the UK for over three years Have a clean criminal record The role requires at least 16 hours per month totalling 200 hours per year. Accepted applicants will have the choice of a four week intensive training course or a 10 weekend course. Once the Foundation Training is complete you will attend an Attestation Ceremony in uniform and you will receive your warrant card in front of family and friends. PC Lucy Burrows will be in Lewisham Shopping Centre on Saturday (January 27) from 10am until 4pm with Special Constable colleagues to answer questions about recruitment. http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/15885688.Do_you_have_what_it_takes_to_be_a_Special_Constable_with_Lewisham_Police_/
  7. 20 January 2018 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPresident Macron: "You can't have full access to the single market if you don't tick the box"French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested the UK could get a special trade deal with the EU after Brexit. But he warned that Britain would not have full access to the single market without accepting its rules. Speaking to Andrew Marr, he warned - as Brussels has already done - that the UK could not "cherry-pick" the elements it liked. A deal might fall somewhere between the single market and a trade agreement, he said. Mr Macron's comments come after his first visit to the UK since becoming French president, where he held talks with Prime Minister Theresa May. In the interview, to be broadcast on Sunday, the leader said that the UK should not gain access to the single market without accepting its "preconditions", which include freedom of movement across the EU, budget contributions and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. UK and France sign Calais migrant treaty The key Brexit dates in 2018 "There should be no cherry-picking in the single market because that's a dismantling of the single market," he said. "As soon as you decide not to join the [EU] preconditions it's not a full access. "What is important is to not make people believe that it is possible to [have your cake and eat it]." He added the access to the EU for the UK's financial services sector would be inferior to what it is now if the UK did not accept the obligations of the single market. 'Bespoke deal is possible' By Alex Forsyth, political correspondent Theresa May has repeatedly said the UK wants a bespoke trade deal with the EU after Brexit rather than a replica of any existing model. President Macron suggested that was possible, and said he hoped the deep and special partnership the Prime Minister seeks with the EU would become reality. But he echoed a warning already stated by Brussels; if the UK wanted full access to the single market it would have to accept its rules - including the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice - and pay in to the EU budget. On his first visit to the UK this week, President Macron signed a treaty with Theresa May to speed up the processing of migrants in Calais. Mrs May praised the "uniquely close relationship" between the two nations. She said both leaders remained committed to the "Le Touquet" border agreement in Calais - the UK has announced an extra £44.5m to be spent on beefing up Channel border security. Image copyright Emmanuel Macron Image caption Mr Macron took a selfie at a reception in the Victoria and Albert Museum, with Theresa May The visit was punctuated by a smiling selfie taken of Mr Macron and Mrs May, at an evening reception in the Victoria and Albert Museum. During the trip there was chatter about whether UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had discussed building a bridge across the English Channel, between France and the UK. But Downing Street has said there are "no specific plans" for such a project. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBridge designer Ian Firth and engineering expert Dave Parker on whether a bridge is feasible.The full interview with French President Emmanuel Macron will be broadcast on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday at 09:00 GMT. You can watch it on BBC iPlayer after it is broadcast. View the full article
  8. 19 January 2018 Image copyright EPA Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump will meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, Downing Street has confirmed. It comes after Mr Trump cancelled plans to open the new $1bn (£720m) US Embassy in London next month. The White House said Mr Trump "looks forward" to strengthening the countries' "special relationship". Mr Trump is the first sitting US president to attend the forum in the Swiss city since Bill Clinton in 2000. A Downing Street spokesman said the "bilateral meeting" would take place "in the margins" of the forum. Mrs May was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump at the White House, after his inauguration in January 2017. The two leaders also met at the G7 summit in Sicily in may and at the G20 summit in Hamburg in July. However, in November, the prime minister criticised Mr Trump for retweeting three inflammatory videos posted online by the far-right group, Britain First. After Mrs May's spokesman said it was "wrong for the president to have done this", he hit back on Twitter and told the British leader to not "focus on me, focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom". Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump Report End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump Mrs May more recently discussed Brexit and events in the Middle East in a pre-Christmas phone call with Mr Trump. Earlier this month Mr Trump said on Twitter the reason why he was not going to cut the ribbon on the the new US embassy in Vauxhall, south London, was because he did not agree with the move from its old home in Mayfair. Reality Check: Who sold the US embassy in London? However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - who has clashed with the president in the past - said Mr Trump had "got the message" that many Londoners were staunchly opposed to his policies and actions. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionInside the new US embassyThe reason given for moving the US embassy to Vauxhall was that the current building in Mayfair was too small and modern security was needed. View the full article
  9. John Worboys release will not be challenged by government 19 January 2018 The government will not challenge the decision to release rapist John Worboys, the justice secretary has announced. The Parole Board had said the former black cab driver would be released at the end of the month as its panel was "confident" he would not reoffend. This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article
  10. NHS bail-outs could become new normal, National Audit Office says By Alex Therrien Health reporter, BBC News 19 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Repeated bail-outs to help the NHS cope with pressure on services and finances could become the "new normal", the National Audit Office has said. It comes after the auditor found NHS bodies used extra funds partly intended to transform services to shore up finances during 2016-17. The NAO said short-term funding had impeded necessary changes to the NHS. The government said the report showed the NHS had made "significant progress towards balancing the books". 'Short-term funding boosts' The NHS received a one-off payment of £1.8bn, known as the Sustainability and Transformation Fund, in 2016-17 to help it cope with reduced funding from 2017-18 onwards and to allow it to transform services. NHS 'haemorrhaging' nurses as 33,000 leave each year Patients 'dying in hospital corridors' One in eight patients hit by ambulance A&E delays The NAO said this had helped the NHS improve its financial position from a £1,848m deficit in 2015-16 to an £111m surplus in 2016-17. But it said the NHS had struggled to manage increased activity and demand within its budget and had failed to meet performance targets. And measures taken to rebalance NHS finances had restricted money available for the longer-term transformation needed to meet demand, drive efficiencies and improve the service, the NAO said. Image copyright Getty Images It also found NHS bodies were relying on other forms of short-term funding. The NAO said the Department of Health had transferred £1.2bn of its £5.8bn budget for capital projects - such as the building of hospitals - to fund the day-to-day activities of NHS bodies. On top of this, many trusts have received large levels of in-year cash injections, most of which are loans from the DoH. The auditor said this had worsened rather than improved their financial performance. Extra cash support increased from £2.4bn in 2015-16 to £3.1bn in 2016-17, it said. Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: "The NHS has received extra funding, but this has mostly been used to cope with current pressures and has not provided the stable platform intended from which to transform services. "Repeated short-term funding-boosts could turn into the new normal, when the public purse may be better served by a long-term funding settlement that provides a stable platform for sustained improvements." Search for a health trust or postcode Search for your nearest health trusts Can't find your health trust? Browse the full list Browse the full list Go Rather search by typing? 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} .bbc-news-vj-iframe-wrapper a { font-size: 1em; } .bbc-news-vj-iframe-wrapper iframe { -webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch; /* Allow scroll when using VoiceOver */ } ]]> If you can't see the NHS Tracker, click or tap here. The report said clinical commissioning groups and trusts were also increasingly reliant on one-off measures to deliver savings. This poses a "significant risk to the financial sustainability of the NHS in the future", the NAO said. It said progress had been made in setting up 44 new partnership arrangements across health and local government, which it said provided a more "strategic approach" to meeting demand for health services. But it said the effectiveness of such partnerships varied and their tight financial positions made it difficult for them to shift focus from short-term day-to-day pressures to the transformation of services. NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said the report showed the "growing reliance on one-off measures is not a viable long-term approach to NHS funding". Its chief executive, Chris Hopson, said: "We need long-term decisions to be taken on the funding of health and social care no later than the autumn budget, and we urge the government to respond with urgency." The British Medical Association said the report showed short-term funding was not meeting patients' needs and called for a cross-party agreement on a "long-term, sustainable funding plan for the NHS". The Nuffield Trust health think tank said the report showed the NHS was in a "dire financial position" and in "desperate need of more money". A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: "As this report recognises, the NHS has made significant progress towards balancing the books and returning to a financially stable position. "To support this we recently gave it top priority in the Budget with an extra £2.8bn, on top of a planned £10bn a year increase in its budget by 2020-21." View the full article
  11. ATM shake-up could leave many without cash, consumer group warns 19 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Which? says the plans could lead to "mass closures" of ATMs Plans to shake-up the UK's ATM network may leave many remote areas with little or no access to cash, consumer group Which? has warned. Link - which manages the network - wants to reduce the amount it charges banks and building societies to use its machines. It says this will control runaway growth in the number of ATMs, and preserve them where they are needed. Which? said it could lead to "mass closures" of free-to-use machines. According to the consumer group, more than 200 communities in Britain already have poor ATM provision, or no cash machines at all. It said 123 postcode districts did not appear to contain a single ATM, making many consumers reliant on access in nearby villages or towns. Image caption Link says the number of free-to-use ATMs has grown markedly Examples include: Postcode district PE32 in Norfolk (which has a population of 15,300) TA7 in Somerset (14,980) TN27 in Kent (12,400) NR16 in Norfolk (11,950) and YO13 in North Yorkshire (10,110). Gareth Shaw of Which? said: "Link's proposals could place a strain on communities across the UK that are already struggling to access the cash they need following mass [High Street] bank closures. "The financial regulator must intervene to avoid this situation getting worse." He said that those hit hardest would not be busy high streets, but ATMs in rural communities. Link says it wants to lower its fees to card issuers by 20% over the next four years, from 25p to 20p per transaction. This would make it less profitable to run an ATM in many areas. However, it says there are too many cash machines in places where they are not needed, with around 80% located within 300 metres of other ATMs. Protecting communities It said the number of free-to-use machines had rocketed from 36,400 in 2007 to 54,950 last year. John Howells, chief executive at Link, said: "The UK has one of the largest free-to-use ATM networks anywhere in the world, and the number of free ATMs is at an all-time high and rising. "We welcome the research produced by Which? and will review all of the areas that it has identified and take action if there is inadequate free ATM provision." He said the organisation would protect free-to-use ATMs that are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free cash machine. It plans to extend its Financial Inclusion Programme, which subsidises ATMs in less affluent and rural communities. View the full article
  12. By James Gallagher Health and science correspondent, BBC News 19 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Scientists have taken a step towards one of the biggest goals in medicine - a universal blood test for cancer. A team at Johns Hopkins University has trialled a method that detects eight common forms of the disease. Their vision is an annual test designed to catch cancer early and save lives. UK experts said it was "enormously exciting". However, one said more work was needed to assess the test's effectiveness at detecting early-stage cancers. Tumours release tiny traces of their mutated DNA and proteins they make into the bloodstream. 'Exciting' blood test spots cancer a year early Blood tests spot ovarian cancer early Prostate cancer blood test 'helps target treatment' The CancerSEEK test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released. It was trialled on 1,005 patients with cancers in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, colon, lung or breast that had not yet spread to other tissues. Overall, the test found 70% of the cancers. Dr Cristian Tomasetti, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the BBC: "This field of early detection is critical, and the results are very exciting. "I think this can have an enormous impact on cancer mortality." The earlier a cancer is found, the greater the chance of being able to treat it. Five of the eight cancers investigated have no screening programmes for early detection. Pancreatic cancer has so few symptoms and is detected so late that four in five patients die in the year they are diagnosed. Finding tumours when they could still be surgically removed would be "a night and day difference" for survival, said Dr Tomasetti. CancerSEEK is now being trialled in people who have not been diagnosed with cancer. This will be the real test of its usefulness. The hope is it can complement other screening tools such as mammograms for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer. Dr Tomasetti told the BBC: "We envision a blood test we could use once a year." Universal test? The CancerSEEK test, reported in the journal Science, is novel because it hunts for both the mutated DNA and the proteins. Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Breast cancer can be detected by the new test Increasing the number of mutations and proteins being analysed would allow it to test for a wider range of cancers. Dr Gert Attard, team leader in the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, told the BBC: "This is of massive potential. "I'm enormously excited. This is the Holy Grail - a blood test to diagnose cancer without all the other procedures like scans or colonoscopy." He said "we're very close" to using blood tests to screen for cancer as "we have the technology". But he cautioned there was still uncertainty about what to do when a cancer was diagnosed. In some cases, the treatment may be worse than living with a cancer that is not immediately life-threatening. Men can already have slow growing prostate cancers closely monitored rather than treated. "When we detect cancer in a different way, we can't take for granted that everyone will need treatment," Dr Attard said. Paul Pharoah, professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said more work was needed to assess how the test performs when cancers are less advanced. He said: "Demonstrating that a test can detect advanced cancers does not mean that the test will be useful in detecting early stage symptomatic cancer, much less pre-symptomatic cancer. The sensitivity for the stage 1 cancers in the study was only 40%." The cost of CancerSEEK is less than $500 (£360) per patient, which is around the same price as a colonoscopy. Follow James on twitter. View the full article
  13. Winter weather: Thousands without power after gales hit UK 18 January 2018 Image copyright Payman Salem Image caption A falling tree landed on parked cars in New Barnet in north London About 47,000 homes and businesses are without power after severe gales brought disruption to much of the UK. A further 100,000 buildings lost power in eastern England, where gusts reached 83 mph (134 kph), but have since had it restored, UK Power Networks said. Across the country, high winds brought down trees and power cables, blocked transport links and damaged homes. A new snow and ice warning is in place for Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England until Friday night. In Berkshire, a wolf is on the loose after high winds brought down fences at the Wolf Conservation Trust's site in Beenham. The animal was last spotted eight miles away as a team of police and animal experts tried to catch it using a tranquiliser dart. 'Extreme caution' urged on roads Rail lines blocked after strong winds How cold is it where you are? But while wind speeds have already started to drop, forecasters said the wintry conditions would continue in north western parts. The Met Office warned of travel delays and power cuts, saying some rural communities may become cut off. Snow brings disruption to North East 'Code red' storm hits Netherlands • Have you been affected by the weather? Upload your pictures and video. National Rail said high winds had damaged overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Norwich, blocking the line between Norwich and London Liverpool Street. Services on the route are expected to be disrupted for the rest of Thursday. Image caption A workman tackles a fallen tree in Tufnell Park, north London Skip Twitter post by @prodnose Report End of Twitter post by @prodnose Image copyright Greater Anglia Image caption A tree blocked the train line between Ipswich and Norwich Image copyright Sandy Elliott Image caption A tree came down in East Grinstead, West Sussex, damaging a car. In other developments around the UK: In mid-Wales a trainline was closed after a freight train hit two sheds which had been blown onto the track by high winds overnight. A brick gable was blown off a house in the Stoke Heath area of Coventry overnight but West Midlands Fire Service said no one was injured. Lincolnshire Police appealed to the public to help remove more than 80 trees blown down overnight, saying: "If you have the equipment and relevant training to help with moving these trees, please call 101 if you are willing to assist us." In Sydenham, south east London, a train hit a tree. Until 05:00 GMT, drivers in Scotland and northern England were warned not to travel at all, the first such warning issued since high winds in January 2013. The warning was later downgraded. The QE2 Bridge at the Dartford Crossing was closed overnight but has now reopened. In Suffolk, the Orwell Bridge on the A14 was shut until 09:00 GMT due to high winds. Image copyright @FoleshillFire Image caption A firefighter inspects a building damaged by wind in Coventry A number of vehicles - including jacknifed lorries - got stuck on the A75 Euroroute in the Dumfries and Gatehouse of Fleet area of Scotland on Wednesday night but it was fully reopened by morning. Image copyright DGVost Image caption The A75 became blocked by jacknifed lorries at a number of points including Gatehouse of Fleet Image copyright PA Image caption A new yellow warning of snow is in place for north western parts of the UK on Thursday and Friday Image copyright PA Image caption Pavements are cleared in Lauder in the Scottish Borders Scottish Borders Council said no schools would open on Thursday, affecting 15,000 pupils. About 200 schools across Scotland closed on Wednesday. Skip Twitter post by @metoffice Report End of Twitter post by @metoffice Have you been affected by high winds or snow? Share your pictures, video and experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285 Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk Upload your pictures / video here Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international) Or use the form below Your contact details Name (optional) Your E-mail address (required) Town & Country (optional) Your telephone number (optional) Comments (required) If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions. Terms and conditions View the full article
  14. UK pledges extra £44m for Channel border security 18 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images An extra £44.5m is to be spent beefing up Channel border security, the UK government is to say later. It will be spent on fencing, CCTV and infrared detection technology in Calais and other border points. It comes as French President Emmanuel Macron visits the UK for a summit with Theresa May. Britain is also expected to commit to taking more migrants from Calais, especially unaccompanied children, the BBC's James Robbins said. He added that while Britain and France were heading in different directions as a result of Brexit, both governments are keen to show that they will continue to work closely together. Other commitments being unveiled include the deployment of three RAF Chinook helicopters in Mali, where French forces are fighting Islamic extremists, and France sending more troops to reinforce a British contingent in Estonia on Nato's border with Russia. On what will be his first visit to the UK as president, Mr Macron is also expected to announce the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry for display in the UK. What now for UK-France security relations? France will not allow another 'Jungle' in Calais, says Macron Bayeux Tapestry to be displayed in UK for the first time Thursday's summit has prompted fresh scrutiny of the border arrangements between France and the UK. During last year's French election campaign, Mr Macron said he wanted to renegotiate or scrap the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which established French border controls in Britain and UK controls in Calais. The agreement means undocumented migrants barred from entering the UK stay in France - many in makeshift camps. Up to 700 migrants are in the area, despite the camp known as the "Jungle" having been dismantled in 2016. The UK government is already thought to have spent over £100m on security in the area over the last three years, and officials said the number of illegal attempts to enter the UK fell from 80,000 in 2015 to just over 30,000 last year. Image copyright PA Image caption It will be Emmanuel Macron's first visit to the UK as French president A government spokeswoman said the latest investment was "about investing in and enhancing the security of the UK border". "Just as we invest in our borders around the rest of the UK, it is only right that we constantly monitor whether there is more we can be doing at the UK border controls in France and Belgium to ensure they are as secure as possible." Other "juxtaposed" border controls are in operation at Eurostar stations in France and Belgium. The summit between Mrs May and Mr Macron, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Berkshire, will also feature the first meeting of the heads of Britain and France's five intelligence agencies, and will be attended by UK cabinet ministers and their French counterparts. Downing Street said the RAF Chinooks would offer a "niche capability", providing logistical support for the French operation in Mali, but that Britain would not be committing combat troops. Speaking ahead of the summit, Mrs May said: "Today's summit will underline that we remain committed to defending our people and upholding our values as liberal democracies in the face of any threat, whether at home or abroad. "But our friendship has always gone far beyond defence and security and the scope of today's discussions represents its broad and unique nature." View the full article
  15. BBC: Bonuses for Carillion bosses are blocked

    Bonuses for Carillion bosses are blocked 17 January 2018 Image copyright Reuters Bosses and directors of Carillion will not get bonuses or severance payments, the government has said. The Insolvency Service said no such payments had been made since the construction firm collapsed on Monday. The announcement comes as work on Carillion's public sector construction sites is paused pending decisions about their future. However, work on most of its private sector service contracts, such as catering and cleaning, will carry on. Carillion's customers want existing services to continue until new suppliers can be found and will provide funding to retain staff for the moment. Several former executives of the firm would have received pay and benefits this year. Carillion had agreed to keep paying former chief executive Richard Howson a £660,000 salary and £28,000 in benefits until October as part of his departure deal. Former finance chief Zafar Khan, who left Carillion in September, was due to receive £425,000 in base salary for 12 months Interim chief executive Keith Cochrane was due to be paid his £750,000 salary until July, despite being due to leave next month. On Wednesday, Business Secretary Greg Clark met representatives of some banks to seek assurances that they would support small businesses affected by the Carillion collapse. Afterwards, he said UK lenders were ready to give "tailored support" and flexibility when it came to repayments. About 30,000 smaller firms which have been working on Carillion projects in the private sector face an uncertain future and are waiting to learn whether they will be able to get hold of money owed to them. Mr Clark said HMRC would also help affected contractors, offering them more time to pay tax bills and providing workers with cash support through the tax credits system. Mapping Carillion's biggest construction projects Carillion was left with just £29m before going bankrupt 'Sites are silent and virtually deserted' Carillion apprentices among casualties At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hit out at the "wildly excessive" bonuses paid to Carillion directors. He also accused the government of negligence, saying it awarded contracts to Carillion even when it became clear the company had problems. Mr Corbyn also called on the government to end the "costly racket" of private sector firms running public services. Mrs May said a third of government contracts with Carillion were agreed by the previous Labour administration, adding she wanted to provide "good quality public services, delivered at best value to the taxpayer". Prime Minister's Questions: The key bits and the verdict 'Scandalous' Earlier GMB union boss Tim Roache had said the government's response to the Carillion crisis had been "inadequate and inept". He said that his union had called on Mr Clark to set up a task force to help private sector companies and employees affected by Carillion's collapse. He called on other private sector companies to take on affected workers without a change in their terms and conditions - a process that he admitted would not be a short one. Are you affected by the collapse of Carillion? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. 'It's been an ongoing battle to get paid' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBusiness owner Shaun Weeks tells 5 live Breakfast he has pulled his staff from a Carillion job until he receives reassurances over payShaun Weeks runs the cleaning firm Paragon Services. He told BBC 5 live Breakfast they had withdrawn the cleaner they had working full-time in a local prison. "We'd been chasing them for money, we hadn't been paid since July and when we heard the rumours about a week-and-a-half ago that Carillion were in a lot of trouble, we really pressed. "Fortunately for ourselves, we did actually get paid the money that was owed to us for the work that she'd done between August and November. "We've pulled our cleaner out at the moment and we're just still waiting to hear from them what's happening next before we send her back in again. "It looks like we are going to lose the December invoice money that we've sent them and obviously the first two weeks of January. "It's been an ongoing battle since we've been in there to get paid and we're not prepared to take the risk while they're in liquidation. "Until we see something in black and white saying that, 'Yes, you will get paid on these set terms,' then we will consider sending our cleaner back in again." Carillion went into liquidation on Monday after rescue talks with its lenders and the government failed to reach a deal. The UK's second-biggest construction company ran into trouble after losing money on big contracts and running up debt of about £1.5bn. The company employed 43,000 people worldwide, including 20,000 in the UK, and the government has said staff and contractors working on public sector contracts will continue to be paid. Are you affected by the collapse of Carillion? Please share your experiences with us by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. You can also contact us in the following ways: Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285 Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) Please read our terms & conditions Or please use the form below: Your contact details Name (optional) Your E-mail address (required) Town & Country (optional) Your telephone number (optional) Comments (required) If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions. Terms and conditions View the full article
  16. A driver who left two police officers fighting for life after ploughing into to them in his Maserati is facing jail. Mohammed Shaikh pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving after Christopher Appleton and Samantha Clark were critically injured when he hit them in Neasden in the early hours of December 17. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/north-circular-crash-maserati-driver-faces-jail-after-ploughing-into-police-officers-a3741896.html
  17. Health service 'haemorrhaging' nurses, figures reveal By Nick Triggle Health correspondent 17 January 2018 Image copyright alvarez The NHS is "haemorrhaging" nurses with one in 10 leaving the NHS in England each year, figures show. More than 33,000 walked away last year, piling pressure on understaffed hospital wards and community services. The figures - provided to the BBC by NHS Digital - represent a rise of 20% since 2012-13, and mean there are now more leavers than joiners. Nurse leaders said it was a "dangerous and downward spiral", but NHS bosses said the problem was being tackled. The figures have been compiled as part of an in-depth look at nursing by the BBC. We can reveal: More than 10% of the nursing workforce have left in each of the past three years The number of quitters would be enough to staff more than 20 average-sized hospital trusts More than half of those who walked away in the last year were under the age of 40 Leavers outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, the biggest gap over the five-year period examined by the BBC Brexit may have had an impact - the number of EU nurses leaving has trebled since 2012-13 to nearly 4,000 last year The number of joiners has halved since the EU referendum - 2,800 started NHS jobs last year Nurses are being pulled off research work, special projects and admin roles to plug the gaps Other parts of the UK are also experiencing problems retaining nurses. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, the leaver rates are rising. In the most recent years, 7.5% of nurses left NHS employment in Northern Ireland and 7.2% did so in Scotland. But in both nations, the number of joiners outnumbered leavers. In Wales there were more leavers than joiners, according to Freedom of Information reports. 'I can't work in the NHS anymore' Image caption Mary Trevelyan quit the NHS two-and-a-half years after graduating One of the nurses who has left the NHS is Mary Trevelyan. She was working as a staff nurse in a London hospital, but quit last year after the pressures of the job left her stressed and depressed. She had only worked in the NHS for two-and-a-half years. "I want to be a great nurse and I want to give my patients my best, but I feel that I can't do that at the moment because we're just too short-staffed, too busy, there are far too many things for us to be doing. "I want to work for the NHS, it's such a brilliant thing, [but] I don't think I can." She is now living with her family in Cornwall. She says she has not decided what to do next, but is considering moving abroad. "A few of my friends have gone. I think they've just got a better quality of life nursing overseas, which is very sad." Where are the nurses going? The figures do not show where these nurses went, although the BBC has been told the private sector, including agencies, drug firms and hospitals, is particularly popular. But the figures will also include those moving abroad or leaving nursing altogether to pursue other careers. A fifth of leavers in the past year were over 55 - the age at which nurses can start retiring. Royal College of Nursing head Janet Davies said: "The government must lift the NHS out of this dangerous and downward spiral. "We are haemorrhaging nurses at precisely the time when demand has never been higher. "The next generation of British nurses aren't coming through just as the most experienced nurses are becoming demoralised and leaving." She said nurses needed a pay rise and more support if the vacancy rate - currently running at one in nine posts - were not to increase further. "Most patient care is given by NHS nurses and each time the strain ratchets up again they are the ones who bear the brunt of it," she added. How the NHS is trying to stop the exodus The regulator, NHS Improvement, is rolling out a retention programme to help the health service reduce the number of leavers. More than half of hospitals and all mental health trusts are getting direct support. Master classes are also being organised for all directors of nursing and HR leads. Image copyright Science Photo Library The support is prompting hospitals to adopt a range of initiatives. Some have introduced internal "transfer" systems, allowing nurses to move jobs more easily, and mentoring schemes have been started for newly qualified nurses, while in some places, staff can ask for "itchy feet" interviews where they get the opportunity to talk to bosses about why they might leave. Others have introduced staff awards and worked with local businesses to offer workers discounts and benefits at shops and gyms. But Ruth May, executive director of nursing at NHS Improvement, admitted more needed to be done to keep staff. "Clinical workers are the NHS's greatest asset," she added. The government is also increasing the number of nurse training places by 5,000 this year - a rise of 25%. But it will be three years before these nurses graduate. Does the leaver rate matter? The Department of Health and Social Care in England has been quick to point out that the number of nurses employed by the NHS has risen. They have picked May 2010 - the point when the coalition government was formed - as the starting point, claiming there are "11,700 more nurses on our wards". That relates to the rise in hospital nurses - up from 162,500 full-time equivalents. But if you look at the entire nursing workforce, the numbers have only risen by 3,000 to 283,853 on the latest count - a rise of less than 1%. The population will have grown by 5% during this period, according to the Office for National Statistics. And if you look at nearly any measure of NHS demand - from GP referrals and diagnostic tests to emergency admissions and A&E visits - the increase is somewhere between 10% and 20%. What is more, if you take the last 12 months, the number of nurses has started falling and the number of vacant posts is rising. Even taking into account the rising number of nurses in training, the health service will only be able to ensure it has enough nurses by reducing the number of leavers. Read more from Nick Follow Nick on Twitter View the full article
  18. MSC to PC - Day 1

    I haven’t been for my Day 2 yet mate. Have you been for yours?
  19. Drivers stranded on M74 as snow sweeps Scotland 16 January 2018 Image copyright Dumfries & Galloway Virtual Operations Team Image caption Mountain rescue teams have been sent to help drivers stuck on the M74 Heavy snow is causing disruption across parts of Scotland with drivers stuck in long queues on the motorway between Scotland and England. Mountain rescue teams have been sent to check on stranded drivers after wintry conditions led to closures on the M74 at Millbank and Beattock. Traffic Scotland said gritters were working hard to clear routes. Police in Dumfries and Galloway have warned against "all but essential travel". Dumfries & Galloway Virtual Operations Support Team - which was set-up to respond the weather issues in the region - said: "We have tasked Moffat Mountain Rescue Team to attend and check on those drivers stuck in their vehicles. We are working to clear the stuck vehicles and clear the crashes. "Please remain in your vehicle and signal the mountain rescue team or police if you need any help or contact us via 999. "We advise against all travel however if you do decide to travel you are likely to experience significant delays." Image copyright @JacquesOeuf/Twitter Image caption Car and lorries were tailed back on the M74 southbound Earlier, motorist Nigel Cliff, who was heading south and was caught up in the tailbacks on the M74, told BBC Scotland: "It's pretty rough." "It's snowing again now so it is probably only going to get worse. There are cars and lorries just sitting here - nothing moving." Mr Cliff said he was prepared for the conditions: "I've got food. I've got big thick coats, big thick socks. My wife always makes sure I've got everything in the car." Have you seen Sir Andy Flurry? Your pictures of snowy scenes What is thundersnow? Snow disruption in Northern Ireland On the Isle of Skye, the main road - the A87- was blocked for several hours in both directions by a jack-knifed lorry. The closure meant two school buses with pupils who had been stuck for hours had to return Portree High. The school said they would be put in temporary accommodation for the night. The Met Office has issued an amber alert for south west Scotland, extending to parts of the central belt, lasting until 08:00 on Wednesday morning. Image copyright Cheryl McIntyre Image caption A lorry jack-knifed on the A87 in Skye Image copyright Nigel Cliff Image caption The M74 was closed between Millbank and Abington due to the wintry conditions Image copyright Eddie Reid Image caption Conditions were also poor on the M74 northbound at Abington On Tuesday evening, Scotland's Transport Minister Humza Yousaf tweeted that a number of HGVs had "lost traction with challenging weather impacting on M74". He added: "Necessary to close the junction to get additional gritters and equipment to the scene." Skip Twitter post by @HumzaYousaf Report End of Twitter post by @HumzaYousaf Across Scotland more than 100 schools and nurseries were closed on Tuesday, with more than 10,000 pupils missing classes. In the Highland council area, the weather affected 13 secondary schools, 53 primaries, two special schools and 26 nurseries. About 8,900 pupils had an unexpected day off classes. Dumfries and Galloway Council said 20 schools were closed due to weather problems or heating failures. Some schools also closed in the East Ayrshire and Stirling Council areas. Image copyright BBC Scotland Weather Image caption Snow depths across Scotland at 17:00 on Tuesday In North Lanarkshire, all prelim exams for secondary pupils were postponed due to transport problems and all cafes in council leisure and culture buildings were shut. South Lanarkshire Council closed 18 schools and nurseries throughout the day. View the full article
  20. BBC: Bonuses for Carillion bosses are blocked

    Carillion was left with just £29m before going bankrupt 16 January 2018 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe Carillion collapse: What does it mean?Carillion was in talks with the government since October as part of a desperate bid to stave off collapse, according to the chief executive. Keith Cochrane says the construction giant was left with just £29m in cash by the time it went bust on Monday. Until the last moments, directors still believed a rescue was possible, but banks become more demanding, he said. The details are included in a document Mr Cochrane has prepared as part of the insolvency process. His statement details the failure of every attempt to save Britain's second biggest construction company after three profits warnings and a collapse in the share price. Efforts to sell off parts of the business collapsed and Carillion's banks became more demanding, only agreeing fresh funding under tight new conditions that the company was unable to meet, the statement discloses. There had been regular meetings with the government and its advisers in the final few months of 2017, Mr Cochrane says. But on 31 December a "formal request" was made for support from the government. Even as late as last weekend, directors believed that "a constructive dialogue" was underway with banks and the government about providing short-term funding. Directors wanted the government to "guarantee" more funding for four months while Carillion continued its restructuring, and be allowed to defer tax payments. Both requests were refused, according to Mr Cochrane. But his document adds that "certain of the group's lenders took unilateral action which in the company's view undermined the group's efforts to conserve cash". He singles out Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as one of the banks that wanted to impose tough new lending conditions. Running out of cash, Carillion declared itself insolvent on Monday. Rather than attempt an orderly administration of Carillion in the hope of salvaging something from the business, the Official Receiver was appointed to liquidate the business. Accountants EY and PwC both rejected requests to become administrators because there was no money left to keep the company ticking over, Mr Cochrane says. RBS said in a statement to the BBC that it had "provided considerable support and forbearance to Carillion over many months". "The judgement of the bank was that the restructuring plan put forward by the company was not viable and therefore we took the difficult decision not to extend further funding and increase our exposure to the business. "We need to balance the interests of all our stakeholders when taking these decisions, and on that basis, we regrettably were not in a position to continue to put further funds into the business." Meanwhile, Treasury minister Liz Truss told the Commons on Tuesday that "it would be completely wrong for a public company that got itself in this state to be bailed out by the state". ''Sites are silent and virtually deserted' Carillion apprentices given notice 'They've literally locked the gate' Watershed moment for privatisation? Carillion: Not alone in hitting problems Business Secretary Greg Clark has asked for an investigation by the Official Receiver to be broadened and fast-tracked. The conduct of directors in charge at the time of the company's failure and previous directors will be examined. The company employed 43,000 people worldwide, 20,000 in the UK, and had 450 contracts with the UK government. The government has said that staff and contractors working on public sector service contracts will continue to be paid. But there is concern that big projects, including the construction of hospitals and roads, will be delayed while the details are worked out. There are also big worries for an estimated 30,000 smaller firms which have been working on Carillion projects in the private sector. Many are owed money and face a wait to find out if they will get any of it back. On Monday the government said that firms working on Carillion's private contracts would be paid for another 48 hours. But the latest statement from the Insolvency Service indicates there might be more flexibility. It says that the liquidator is talking to Carillion's private sector clients about which services will continue; however contracts will be ended if the client no longer wants to pay for them. "No one has been dismissed at this point and staff will continue to be paid for the work they perform," a spokesperson for the Insolvency Service said. 'I had to make 10 people redundant yesterday' Andy Bradley is the managing director of Flora-tec, which is owed £800,000 by Carillion for landscaping services. "The government actively encouraged businesses like mine... to get involved in public sector contracts, to make sure the little guy got a slice of the pie. "When Carillion started to get into trouble last year we were considering that we would scale back our involvement with them. "However... the government continued to give them billion-pound contract after billion-pound contract and that said to me, as a small supplier, that the government had done their due diligence. "We were following the government lead... only to be given a sucker punch. "I had to make 10 people redundant yesterday. That's 10 people with mortgages, car loans, all that stuff. It's an absolute disgrace." Carillion was hit by cost overruns on big projects, problems with contracts in the Middle East and a large deficit in the company pension scheme. Chief executive Richard Howson stepped down in July last year a profit warning. There has been much criticism over the size of Mr Howson's pay award in 2016 which, including bonuses, totalled about £1.5m. Finance director Richard Adam, who retired in December 2016 after nine years at Carillion, received almost £1.1m in salary and bonuses in 2016. Government 'too close' As well as the conduct of directors, the role of Carillion's auditor KPMG will be examined by the Financial Reporting Council. "It is important we quickly get the full picture of the events which caused Carillion to enter liquidation," said Mr Clark in a statement. "Any evidence of misconduct will be taken very seriously," he said. View the full article
  21. 16 January 2018 The government has ordered a fast-track investigation into directors at the failed construction firm Carillion. The UK's second biggest construction firm went into liquidation on Monday, after running up losses on contracts and struggling with heavy debts. The Business Secretary has asked for an investigation by the Official Receiver to be broadened and fast-tracked. The conduct of directors in charge at the time of company's failure and previous directors will be examined. "It is important we quickly get the full picture of the events which caused Carillion to enter liquidation," said Business Secretary, Greg Clark, in a statement. "Any evidence of misconduct will be taken very seriously," he said. The role of Carillion's auditor KPMG will be examined by the Financial Reporting Council. View the full article
  22. Carillion: Small firms count the cost of collapse By Russell Hotten Business reporter, BBC News 16 January 2018 Image copyright Reuters Thousands of small firms working for failed construction giant Carillion are waiting to learn if they will be paid, amid growing fears some could close. Carillion used an extensive network of sub-contractors and local suppliers, paying them almost £1bn a year, according to its latest annual report. Employers' groups are trying to assess the exposure of small firms, but said many faced financial hardship. It comes as critics step up calls for a review into the Carillion crisis. Britain's second largest construction firm, which employs 20,000 people in the UK, went bust on Monday with debts of about £1.5bn. Carillion's work stretched from the HS2 rail project and military contracts to maintaining hospitals, schools, and prisons. Although Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said on Monday there would be government support for public sector contracts, those firms working on purely private sector deals would get only two days' support. Carillion spent £952m with local suppliers in 2016 and used an extensive network of small firms because, it said, "we remain wholly committed to generating regional economic growth and development". But the head of the Federation of Small Businesses said thousands of jobs and livelihoods were now at risk because those firms would be at the back of the queue for payment. Mike Cherry said it was a situation made worse because Carillion extended its payment schedule to suppliers last year. "These unpaid bills may well go back several months," he continued. "I wrote to Carillion back in July last year to express concern after hearing from FSB members that the company was making small suppliers wait 120 days to be paid." A partner at one accountancy firm, who asked not to be named, said small firms were looking at total losses stretching into hundreds of millions of pounds. "Asset sales won't even raise enough to cover the debts of senior bank creditors, so many small firms won't see a bean," he said. Rudi Klein, head of Specialist Engineering Contractor, an umbrella group representing suppliers to the construction industry, said Carillion outsourced virtually all its work. He said the government knew of Carillion's reliance on sub-contractors, but continued to award the company lucrative work despite growing concerns about its finances. "It's that supply chain who is going to bear the massive loss," he said. "There could be a large number of firms that will experience substantial financial distress." 'They've literally locked the gate' Carillion: Not alone in hitting problems Where did it go wrong for Carillion? Soldiers to schools - Carillion in UK public life Carillion collapse: What next? The boss of a Carillion sub-contractor, describing himself as Mike, in southern England, contacted the BBC with his own story. "We've invoiced them for £240,000, going back to September last year. I don't think we'll get this money back. "For us, it's a bad day, it'll impact us for the year. There are smaller contractors who will be impacted worse." He added: "We've always been struggling with the Carillion culture... Their procurement people weren't good and we didn't like working for them." Analysis: Dominic O'Connell, Today business presenter Lightning seems to strike the same place remarkably often in Britain's construction and support services sectors. For some, Carillion's demise will seem like a bolt from the blue. But look back 20 years and you find a surprising number of companies which struck similar problems, although not always with fatal consequences. Amey, Jarvis, Connaught, Rok, G4S, Balfour Beatty, Serco, Mitie - and many others - have had to own up to accounts that were, to use a euphemism, optimistic. Most lived to fight another day. Carillion did not. Talk to executives in the industry and they easily find the common thread. Companies that are built up quickly through acquisitions, as Carillion was from the combination of Tarmac, Wimpey, Mowlem and Alfred McAlpine - have an extra struggle first to understand then to integrate their disparate activities. Industry experts spoken to by the BBC also think that Carillion overpaid for its acquisitions, leaving it with less financial fat to fall back on when the going got tough. All the companies above were hurt by what turned out to be aggressive accounting. Read Dominic's full analysis here. On Monday, Mr Lidington said the government was stepping in to pay employees and small businesses working on Carillion's public contracts and assess the distribution of work among other companies. However, companies working on private projects will get no such support. Accountancy firm PwC, which is overseeing Carillion's liquidation, said in a statement: "Unless told otherwise, all employees, agents and subcontractors are being asked to continue to work as normal and they will be paid for the work they do during the liquidations." But there were anecdotal reports that work had stopped on many projects. A bricklayer on the new £350m Midland Metropolitan Hospital building, Philip Ellis, told the BBC that when workers turned up on Monday they were told to go home. He said: "About 20 of us working for our sub-contractor were told we could go on-site to collect equipment, but that was it.... I spent the day phoning recruitment agencies looking for work - but was told everyone's doing that." 'Watershed' Ministers held an emergency meeting on Monday evening to discuss the impact of Carillion's demise on public services. Mr Lidington said after the meeting that "people were turning up to work [and] we have not had any reports of serious interruption to service delivery". But it comes amid growing calls for a review of the way government hands out public contracts. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused ministers of "shocking negligence", and said Carillion's crisis was a "watershed moment" for the "outsource first dogma" that had "fleeced the public". There is also mounting criticism of the pay packages enjoyed by directors in the run-up to Carillion's crisis. Former chief executive Richard Howson, in charged until last year when Carillion issued the first of three shock profit warnings, will continue to be paid until October. Mr Lidington told the Commons on Monday that the official receiver had the power to impose penalties if it uncovered any misconduct. View the full article
  23. MSC to PC - Day 1

    @carrick when was your day 2? and what training date have you got?
  24. Earlier
  25. Carillion crisis: Creditors due to hold Whitehall talks 15 January 2018 Image copyright Reuters Carillion's key creditors are due to meet government officials on Monday in a last ditch bid to prevent the construction giant's collapse. It comes as the chairman of a key group of MPs says there may need to be an inquiry into how public contracts are awarded to companies like Carillion. Labour and unions say warnings about the firm's financial woes were ignored. Carillion is involved in major projects like the HS2 high-speed rail line, as well as managing schools and prisons. It has debts of £1.5bn and a £587m pensions shortfall. Without a financial restructuring, the UK's second largest construction company, which has 43,000 staff worldwide - 20,000 in the UK - looks set to go into administration. Accountancy firm EY has been put on notice to step in to run the company if the talks fail. Simon Jack: Carillion's uncertain future Where did it go wrong for Carillion? Carillion's main bank creditors - including RBS, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander UK - are owed about £900m. They have indicated an unwillingness to put more money into the company without direct intervention from the government. Talks involving government officials and company bosses were held throughout the weekend. The officials are expected to meet key creditors early on Monday, the BBC has been told. It is understood that the creditors want the government to guarantee some of Carillion's debt payments. But that would be, in effect, helping to bail out a private company. Carillion's government projects HS2 Building part of the high-speed rail line between London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester MoD homes Maintains 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence Schools Manages nearly 900 buildings nationwide Network Rail Second largest supplier of maintenance services Prisons Holds £200m in prison contracts PA Carillion's crisis has put a spotlight on how major public contracts are outsourced to private companies. The Conservative chairman of the House of Commons Public Administration select committee said he may launch in inquiry into government procurement and contracting. Bernard Jenkin said: "We would want to look at Carillion's relationship with Whitehall, as a test case. "We have long been interested in projects and contracts which are 'too big to fail' and how Whitehall and the private sector must improve how they work together." Labour said it would seek answers as to why the government continued to place contracts with Carillion despite the company issuing three profits warnings that should have flagged up problems. "Alarm bells have been ringing for over six months about the state of Carillion's finances, so the government must come forward and answer questions on exactly what due diligence measures were undertaken," said Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister. Analysis: Joe Lynam, business correspondent Carillion's banks are owed about £900m, in the form of overdrafts as well as credit card facilities and other loans. The banks will likely show forbearance for a few weeks if a sustainable solution to this debt can be found. But they would also like the government to get involved when it comes to managing its key public contracts. This could mean that they would need taxpayers to act as guarantor on future payments from Carillion or that the important contracts to maintain schools and hospitals be taken back in house by Whitehall officials. The government is in a bind. Let Carillion fail and risk thousands of job losses, or bail it out and risk propping up a private company with public money - only a few months after it paid out dividends to its shareholders. Labour peer Lord Adonis, who last month quit as head of the National Infrastructure Commission, tweeted that the government has "got questions to answer about propping up Carillion with contracts long after its problems clear. Looks like another Grayling bailout!" Last summer, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling awarded Carillion part of the contract to build HS2, a week after the company issued a profits warning and its chief executive had departed. New Tory party chairman Brandon Lewis told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: "It [Carillion] is a going concern, it's a very commercially sensitive situation so I wouldn't comment further than to say it is a going concern. "I would hope to see that the working capital they need will be there, working with their partners." Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBailing out Carillion 'would send the wrong message', Vince Cable says.Alastair Stewart, a construction and property analyst at Stockdale Securities, said none of the solutions involving the government were "particularly palatable". "The biggest intervention they could make is actually take a stake in the company as part of raising a large amount of capital, but they'll look back and look at the background of Lloyds and RBS," he said. As recently as 2016, Carillion had sales of £5.2bn, and until July 2017, its market capitalisation was close to £1bn. Since then, its share price has plummeted and it is now worth just £61m. Carillion's problems stem, in part, from a string of risky contracts which have proved unprofitable. It also faced payment delays in the Middle East. Carillion is the second largest supplier of maintenance services to Network Rail, and it maintains 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence. View the full article
  26. John Worboys: Minister considering judicial review 13 January 2018 Image copyright Met Police Image caption John Worboys is believed to have carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults on women in London The justice secretary is considering a judicial review of the decision to free sex attacker John Worboys on parole. The Sunday Times reports David Gauke has sought advice on whether a judicial review could succeed. It is understood he will only move forward if there is a reasonable prospect of success. The Parole Board said it was "confident correct procedures were followed". Taxi driver Worboys was jailed in 2009 and is thought to have carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults. He had been convicted at Croydon Crown Court of 19 offences and ordered to serve at least eight years in jail. The court heard he gave his victims drug-laced champagne before attacking them in his taxi. The Parole Board announced on 4 January that he would be released from prison, sparking criticism from victims' groups and representatives over the decision and the fact many of his victims were not informed in advance of it being made public. Worboys victims 'terrified' by release Sex attack women sue taxi driver Cabbie who preyed on young women The way in which Worboys's release was handled has already triggered a government review of the way the Parole Board reaches its decisions. The Sunday Times article says Mr Gauke's possible intervention comes after four cabinet ministers warned that Worboys's release might be unlawful because victims were not consulted. The Ministry of Justice told the Sunday Times: "The secretary of state commissioned advice last week about the plausibility and potential success of a judicial review; he is minded to move forward if there is a reasonable prospect of success." It comes after the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not review the 93 cases that Worboys was not prosecuted over. Parole Board chairman Nick Hardwick has said hearing the decision must have been "horrible" for the women, but the board was "confident" 60-year-old Worboys would not reoffend. He said the fact some victims were not informed was a fault with the parole system, but the decision itself would have been carefully considered. View the full article
  27. A moped thug has been found guilty of an attack on a police officer that left him unconscious and with a dislocated shoulder. Ayoub Benhammwu, 22, was spotted acting suspiciously by two police officers on patrol in Notting Hill in August 2016. He ran off when he noticed the pair and was chased by one of the officers while another one followed in a car. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/moped-thug-kicked-police-officer-unconscious-and-left-him-with-dislocated-shoulder-a3737896.html
  28. Armed police descended on a flat in Clapham and sealed off a road after two men scaled the roof of a building. Locals reported a huge police presence in the south London street as officers attempted to detain the two men. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/armed-police-descend-on-clapham-road-after-two-men-scale-roof-of-a-building-a3739256.html
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