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  • The Telegraph

    Wednesday morning UK news briefing: Today's top headlines from The Telegraph

    Welcome to your early morning news briefing from The Telegraph - a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Wednesday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free. 1. Social media firms that fail to protect children to be barred Social media platforms that fail to protect children from harm online face being shut down under “history-making” new laws to be unveiled by the Government on Wednesday. In an exclusive article for The Telegraph, Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, warns tech companies that they will have “no excuses” and “must face the consequences” if they fail to remove illegal and harmful content under a draft duty of care Bill. Read the full story. 2. Boris Johnson vows to harness ‘extraordinary spirit’ of UK’s battle against Covid Boris Johnson on Tuesday pledged to channel the "extraordinary spirit" shown by the British people during the Covid pandemic into remaking the country as he proposed more than two dozen new laws. The Prime Minister put rebuilding the UK after a year battling Covid, and strengthening the Union amid the spectre of Scottish independence, as the central themes of his Queen's Speech. Read the full story. 3. I am ‘v free’: David Cameron sent 68 messages to ministers and mandarins about Greensill Capital David Cameron bombarded ministers and officials with 68 messages about the collapsed lender Greensill, it has emerged, as the scale of his intense lobbying campaign has been laid bare. The communications fired off by the former Conservative prime minister on behalf of the controversial finance firm - totalling up to 19 calls, text and emails in a single day - were published on Tuesday afternoon by a committee of MPs. Read the full story. 4. Pfizer asks UK regulator to approve Covid vaccine for use in 12- to 15-year-olds Pfizer has asked the UK regulator to approve its vaccine for use in young teenagers as US watchdogs signalled their approval for the step. The pharmaceutical giant has formally asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for permission to use the jab in 12- to 15-year-olds – one of the age groups most responsible for spreading the virus. Read the full story. 5. Duke and Duchess of Sussex agree partnership with US brands giant Procter & Gamble The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have signed a long-term “global partnership” with US consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble. The couple on Tuesday night announced that their Archewell Foundation had joined forces with the US-based company to “uplift girls and women” to “build more compassionate communities” and promote the “transformative power” of sport. Read the full story. Stay up-to-date with breaking news and the latest politics from The Telegraph throughout the day.

  • The Telegraph

    Ex-Hartlepool MP Mike Hill ‘told staff member he craved her body’

    A former Labour MP told a parliamentary worker "I crave your body" in text messages, according to documents submitted to an employment tribunal. The woman, known only as Ms A, claims former Hartlepool MP Mike Hill conducted a campaign of sexual harassment and bullying against her over 16 months during his four-year stint in office. In a witness statement submitted to the Central London Employment Tribunal, the woman, who had pre-existing post-traumatic stress disorder, said Mr Hill made her feel "scared, extremely confused, violated and powerless". Ms A said Mr Hill's advances began with text messages, including the one about craving her body, but progressed to groping her and rubbing his erect penis against her body in his London flat. She said Mr Hill had not acknowledged or apologised for the conduct, but that she had told him she felt "very threatened" by his actions and that he must not do it again. She said he would frequently rub himself against her and grab her bottom if they were both in his parliamentary office. Ms A said she did not want to tell her family about the allegations and be forced to leave London and return home. During cross-examination at a virtual hearing on Tuesday, Ms A acknowledged that she had previously received a £40,000 out-of-court settlement from a former employer. Mr Hill was suspended from the Labour Party in September 2019 over the allegations, but was reinstated in October of that year to fight the general election. He resigned from his seat in March of this year, triggering the by-election that saw the former red wall seat of Hartlepool swing dramatically to the Conservatives. The tribunal, which is due to last a week-and-a-half, continues.

  • The Telegraph

    Lightning kills boy, 9, on Blackpool football field

    A nine-year-old boy has been killed after being struck by lightning on a football field. Police were called to the scene in Blackpool, Lancashire, just after 5pm on Tuesday night to reports a child had been injured. Emergency services attended and the boy was taken to hospital but died a short time later. A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "Although enquiries are still ongoing, at this time we believe the boy had been struck by lightning." The boy's family have been informed and are being supported by officers, the spokesman said. Det Supt Nick Connaughton added: "This is a truly devastating incident and our thoughts are wholeheartedly with the family and friends of the young boy, who has passed away, at this very sad and distressing time." Junior football club Spirit of Youth confirmed the freak accident occurred at their home ground. In a statement the club said they are "heartbroken" by the death of the boy, who they added was not taking part in a club training session. A club spokesman said: "It is with deepest regret that we have to report the news that the young boy who was struck by lightning earlier this evening has sadly passed away. "The tragic incident happened on our home ground at Common Edge playing fields but it was not during a club training session. "As a club, we are heartbroken and we offer our deepest condolences to the boy's family. "Spirit of Youth is a family and we are entrenched in the local community, and we will give whatever support is required to both the family and to those that were with him at the time. "We would ask that people respect the privacy of the family at this most tragic of times. "Rest In Peace young man." Road closures were put in place in the immediate area but were later lifted. Anybody with information about the incident, or who witnessed it and has not yet spoken to police, is asked to get in touch on 101, quoting log 1169 of May 11.

  • The Telegraph

    2020 was least violent year on record thanks to closure of pubs and clubs

    The complete shutdown of the night-time economy during the pandemic resulted in the least violent year on record, according to a major study. Analysis by Cardiff University’s Violence Research Group revealed that the number of people treated in hospital as a result of violence-related injuries fell by almost a third during lockdown. Data gathered from 133 NHS hospital emergency units showed that 119,111 people attended for treatment of violence-related injuries in 2020, down from 175,764 in 2019. Researchers believe the closure of bars and nightclubs across the country was the biggest factor in the reduction of the volume of violence with numbers falling across all age groups and both genders. Professor Jonathan Shepherd, a retired surgeon who co-authored the report said as we come out of lockdown it is important some of the lessons learned during the pandemic were taken on board. He said: “Lockdowns, especially the 23 March 2020 lockdown, were associated with steep falls in violence. Closure of pubs, clubs and other social venues prior to this was also associated with significant falls. "Each easing of restrictions thereafter was followed by violence increases; each tightening of restrictions in the autumn was associated with decreases.” He added: “Having thriving hospitality and vibrant city centres is a good thing but it is important it is safe. The lesson for the future as we come out of lockdown is that we do what we can do reduce the risk of violence. “This can be done by having targeted policing, real time monitoring of CCTV and good licensing frameworks. It is important as we come out of lockdown we don’t let the cork out of the bottle too quickly.”

  • The Telegraph

    Rodin accused by new Tate Modern exhibition of sexism and appropriating looted artefacts

    Tate Modern’s Auguste Rodin exhibition portrays him as a great artist but a man who “may not be the best relationship material”. Achim Borchardt-Hume, who curated the show, said Rodin’s work “has continued relevance and importance, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing an exhibition”. But he said that attitudes in Rodin’s time were very different to those of today, particularly regarding women. In the last decades of his life, Rodin focused primarily on female figures. But the Tate’s notes explain: “The conventional relationship between male artist and female model was starkly unequal, and Rodin did not identify these women, or personalise their nude bodies.” The show highlights the artistic contribution made by several women in Rodin’s life. Borchardt-Hume said: “At least 50 per cent of figures in the exhibition are male to show that Rodin, far from only showing naked women, showed just as many naked men and with just as unflinching an eye. “But also we do not gloss over things. When he worked with women in the studio, they were not given individual features. “In many ways you could say that Rodin was a very archetypal 19th century Frenchman who behaved accordingly. “Do we want to constantly say that was all great? What we say is, ‘Well, there’s a tension there.’ Because he’s a great artist, the work is fantastic. But maybe as a woman today you would think he may not be the best relationship material.” The exhibition also notes that some of Rodin’s works involved “appropriation” - decorating ancient artworks that he had bought from Parisian dealers who traded in antiquities stolen during “the sharp expansion of European colonisation”. Another text on the wall of the exhibition addresses the “whiteness” of Rodin’s sculptures, a continuation of a tradition that “privileged the allegedly superior artistic achievements of Europe, often to the detriment of other cultures”. Alastair Sooke review: Tate’s bizarrely censorious attitude does a disservice to The Making of Rodin

  • The Telegraph

    Goldman Sachs banker 'quits after making millions from Dogecoin'

    A London-based Goldman Sachs director has quit after reportedly making millions from investing in Dogecoin, a meme cryptocurrency that has increased its price by some 10,000pc this year. Aziz McMahon, head of emerging market sales at the US investment bank, resigned after benefiting from the joke digital currency’s meteoric growth this year surpassing that of any other cryptocurrency. City sources claimed Mr McMahon was opening a hedge fund with his cash, according to efinancialcareers, which first reported on his departure. It is unclear how much money Mr Aziz, who had been with the bank for 14 years, had made. Dogecoin has become a “favourite” digital asset of Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, who refers to himself as the “Dogefather”. Mr Musk inadvertently sent the price of the coin on a 30pc nosedive over the weekend when he appeared on prime time American television show Saturday Night Live and joked that the coin was just a “hustle”. Previously, Mr Musk’s Twitter posts have been a major driver of interest in the cryptocurrency. According to CoinDesk, a cryptocurrency price tracker, Dogecoin’s market capitalisation is $65.8bn, bigger than Ford, Heinz and Twitter. Its price has risen from $0.0054 at the start of the year to $0.515 on Tuesday.

  • The Telegraph

    Pep Guardiola hails Man City players after winning 'hardest' Premier League title

    Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City’s fifth Premier League triumph as their toughest yet after sealing the title without kicking a ball. Leicester City’s victory at Old Trafford means Manchester United cannot catch Guardiola’s team, who have three matches spare and will lift the trophy at the Etihad Stadium on May 23 when they face Everton on the final day of the campaign. Guardiola dedicated this title, City’s fifth in 10 seasons, to club legend Colin Bell, who passed away in January aged 74. The City manager regards it as his toughest title after the Covid-19 pandemic squeezed the fixture calendar and prevented his squad from undergoing pre-season training. “This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” said Guardiola. “This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players. “They are so special. To come through this season – with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable. It is relentless. Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient. “That is equally true of each and every member of our backroom staff, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our players are fully equipped to take on the unexpected challenges and new routines throughout such a turbulent year.” City players are due in for training on Wednesday at the Etihad Campus after two days off, giving them little time to celebrate. But the focus is now on the Champions League final against Chelsea when they will look to complete a treble following their Carabao Cup win. “We will enjoy this moment and we hope the fans do too,” said City captain Fernandinho. “Rest assured we will continue to do everything we can to bring the Champions League home this season.” Comment: 'Mancunian for life' Pep Guardiola has masterminded most impressive Premier League title yet The title win for City comes in the context of them being among the clubs worst hit by coronavirus during the season. Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan, Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson are among those who had periods of isolation this season. Their season was delayed after reaching the latter stages of the Champions League last season meaning they spent the first months of the season behind the pace and looking to find their best form. When they were defeated at Tottenham on Nov 21 they found themselves in 14th place.

  • The Telegraph

    Social media firms that fail to protect children to be barred

    Social media platforms that fail to protect children from harm online face being shut down under “history-making” new laws to be unveiled by the Government on Wednesday. In an exclusive article for The Telegraph – which can be read below – Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, warns tech companies that they will have “no excuses” and “must face the consequences” if they fail to remove illegal and harmful content under a draft duty of care Bill. The landmark legislation – the first of its kind globally and designed to make Britain the safest country in the world online – follows a three-year campaign by The Telegraph for duty of care laws to protect children from online harms. Mr Dowden said the tech giants would not only face fines of up to £13 billion for breaches of the duty of care laws but could also see their websites blocked to UK users, with the toughest measures aimed at protecting children. Social media giants including Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Youtube would no longer be allowed to let under-aged children on to their sites with “no further questions asked” and would instead face sanctions for failing to enforce minimum age limits. Mr Dowden pledged that the Bill would finally turn the tide on racist, misogynistic and anti-semitic abuse online. “Enough is enough. We’re all sick to death of the bile and the threats,” he said. “If it’s illegal, platforms like Facebook and Twitter will have to flag and remove online abuse quickly and effectively or face the consequences. The same goes if it breaches their terms and conditions. No more excuses.” It came as Boris Johnson revealed his legislative agenda for the next year with more than two dozen new bills in the Queen’s Speech, including one to better protect freedom of speech on university campuses.

  • The Telegraph

    Prince Charles thanks medical staff who cared for the Duke of Edinburgh

    The Prince of Wales has thanked medical staff who cared for his late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, at an NHS hospital shortly before his death. Prince Charles, 72, privately met with members of the team, including a nurse, a consultant and a therapist, who cared for the Duke at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, where he was transferred for heart surgery in March. Prince Philip, who died last month at the age of 99, spent four nights at St Barts, a leading cardiac unit, after being transferred from the private King Edward VII Hospital on March 1. He underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition, before being moved back to the King Edward VII.

  • The Telegraph

    Pfizer asks UK regulator to approve vaccinations in teenagers following approval in the US

    Pfizer has asked the UK regulator to approve its vaccine for use in young teenagers, as US watchdogs signalled their approval. The pharmaceutical giant has formally asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for permission to use the jab in 12- to 15-year-olds, one of the age groups most responsible for spreading the virus. Given the organisation's fast-track review process, it is likely the vaccine would be approved well before the end of July, the point at which the Government aims to have offered a jab to all adults. Ministers secured an extra 60 million doses of the drugs last month, on top of the 40 million originally purchased.