News Round-Up

Aug 22: Law change to force offenders to attend sentencing; Second council calls on Dorries to quit; Lionesses arrive home

Here are the headlines on Tuesday, August 22

Time 6:42 am, August 22, 2023

Law change ‘at earliest opportunity’ so offenders can be forced to attend sentencing

The justice secretary has vowed to change the law at the ‘earliest opportunity’ to ensure serious offenders can be forced to attend their sentencing following the refusal by child murderer Lucy Letby to appear in the dock.

The 33-year-old was not present to hear words of condemnation from the judge and victims’ families at Manchester Crown Court on Monday, prompting further outrage. Letby was given a whole-life order at the hearing after last week being convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six more.

Earlier this year, justice secretary Alex Chalk said the government was ‘committed’ to changing the law in a way that would allow criminals to be forced to attend their sentencing, after the killers of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, Zara Aleena and Sabina Nessa also refused to stand in the dock for their own.


Sunak fails to guarantee he will stop small boats by next election

Rishi Sunak failed to guarantee he will be able to stop small boat crossings in the English Channel by the next general election as he acknowledged the complexity of the issue.

The prime minister expressed his commitment to stopping the boats and highlighted that the number of illegal migrants making the dangerous journey this year is ‘down for the first time in some years’.

However, he said he would not be being ‘straight’ with the public if he claimed the crisis can be solved overnight. His comments came during a visit to a nursery in North Yorkshire, during which he was asked whether he would be able to sort the small boats crisis by the next election.


Pressure mounts on Nadine Dorries to go as second council calls on her to quit

Nadine Dorries is facing increasing pressure to step down as an MP as a second council has demanded her immediate departure from office.

The Tory former cabinet minister announced her intention to quit in June after she failed to receive a peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list but has yet to formally resign.

Shefford Town Council has now joined Flitwick Town Council in expressing frustration over what they see as a ‘continuing lack of representation’. In a letter published on Twitter, now known as X, on Monday, the council raised concerns about her limited involvement in local events and services. It also highlighted the fact that Dorries’ last contribution in the House of Commons was made on June 7, 2022.

Lionesses set to arrive home to heroines’ welcome

England’s Lionesses are set to arrive back on home soil to a rousing welcome following their World Cup final heartache.

Sarina Wiegman’s side are expected to touch down in the UK on Tuesday after departing from Sydney Airport.

The team’s return comes after they suffered an agonising 1-0 defeat to Spain in the showpiece match on Sunday.

Donald Trump says he will surrender Thursday on Georgia charges

Former president Donald Trump says he will surrender to authorities in Georgia on Thursday to face charges of scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state.

‘Can you believe it? I’ll be going to Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday to be ARRESTED,’ Trump wrote on his social media network Truth Social on Monday, hours after his bond was set at 200,000 dollars (£156,000).

It is the fourth different case against Trump’s since April, when he became the first former president in US history to face indictment. Since then the former president who remains the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has had a procession of bookings and arraignments in jurisdictions across the country.


Campaigners mount sit-in protest as contractor works on Crooked House rubble

Campaigners have taken direct action near the remains of the Crooked House pub, after staff and machinery from a specialist demolition and waste management firm moved on to the site.

A lorry owned by Putnam Construction Services was delayed by a sit-down protest on the lane leading to the now-demolished pub on Monday, more than two weeks after it was gutted by a suspected arson attack.

Workers at the site told reporters that work had begun to ‘clean’ and store bricks at the site and assess any asbestos risk from rubble, which is now home to signs condemning the pub’s destruction. In a statement, South Staffordshire Council said it was liaising with the contractor after workers moved on to the site in Himley, near Dudley, West Midlands.

Eton given green light to open selective sixth forms in education ‘cold spots’

One of the most prestigious private schools in the country has been given the green light to open free selective sixth form colleges in disadvantaged areas.

Eton College, a boarding school near Windsor in Berkshire, and academy trust Star Academies will set up three state sixth forms in Dudley, Middlesbrough and Oldham after the Department for Education (DfE) approved the plans.

The age 16-19 free schools, which will be called Eton Star Dudley, Eton Star Oldham and Eton Star Teesside, will aim to recruit young people from deprived communities and help them secure places at top universities.

Ofgem forces Ovo Energy to improve ‘serious’ customer complaints backlog

Ovo Energy has been ordered to improve its customer service following ‘serious concerns’ about its unresolved complaints and waiting times.

Ofgem on Monday opened compliance proceedings with Ovo after the Energy Ombudsman and Citizens Advice Scotland contacted the regulator regarding the supplier’s handling and resolution of complaints.

The regulator said it had set Ovo ‘clear expectations and improvement targets’ to address all outstanding complaints and reduce the time it takes for issues to be resolved.

Weather

Central and northern areas will see a mixture of sunny spells, cloud and showers, says BBC Weather. Further north will be mostly cloudy while the far south will be dry and sunny. Highs of 25 degrees.

Cloud and rain will ease leaving a dry and clear night for most.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.



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