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Hillingdon Tube stabbing: Tashan Daniel ‘was going to Arsenal match’

Hillingdon station

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Emergency services were called to Hillingdon Underground station at shortly before 16:00 BST

A man stabbed to death at a London Underground station was an Arsenal fan on his way to a match, the BBC has been told.

Tashan Daniel, 20, was killed in an “unprovoked attack” on the platform at Hillingdon station on Tuesday.

He had been heading to the Emirates Stadium to see the Gunners face Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup, a source said.

It is the third murder investigation on the Tube network this year.

No arrests have been made over the attack, which Det Supt Gary Richardson described as “a shocking act of violence”.

He said the British Transport Police (BTP) investigation was in its “early stages”.

“We believe a group of young men were involved in an altercation on the platform before one of the men received a fatal stab wound,” he said.

Police and paramedics were called to the station in west London at 15:57 BST.

An air ambulance was also sent to Hillingdon, but Mr Daniel was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Mike Quinn/Geograph

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The man was pronounced dead at the scene at Hillingdon station

Danielle Foster, who was driving past Hillingdon station at the time of the stabbing, said upon “hearing so many sirens, I knew something terrible had happened”.

“Lots of people were being turned away from the station as it had been closed,” she said, adding: “Then the police helicopter began circling the scene.”

Hillingdon station was closed by Transport for London (TfL) while police searched the area.

The station was closed for the rest of Tuesday evening and reopened at 05:45 this morning.

So far in 2019 more than 100 murder investigations have been launched across London by the Metropolitan Police and BTP.

The other two murder investigations carried out by BTP happened after killings at Queensbury Tube station in March and Elephant and Castle Tube station at the start of this month.

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Johnson to urge Iran to release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since April 2016

Boris Johnson is to call for the release of jailed British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe when he meets Iran’s president later.

The prime minister will meet Hassan Rouhani at a UN summit in New York, hours after blaming Iran for attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

It comes amid calls for him to take a tougher line with Tehran over its detention of dual nationals.

Mrs Zhagari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since April 2016.

The 40-year-old was jailed for five years in 2016 after being convicted of spying, which she denies.

On his flight to New York on Sunday, Mr Johnson told reporters: “I will not only be discussing Iran’s actions in the region, but also the need to release not just Nazanin but others who in our view are being illegally and unfairly held in Tehran.”

Former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested Mr Johnson should form a new coalition of allies at the UN to call out Iran for its “diplomatic hostage taking”.

And Mrs Zhagari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said the prime minister must tell his Iranian counterpart “enough is enough” and secure his wife’s release.

“I don’t mind how he does that, but this has gone on long enough,” he said.

“Nazanin is at the end of her tether. We have to be clear with Iran that it’s not OK to conduct hostage diplomacy.”

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Media captionWhy one mother’s personal plight is part of a complicated history between Iran and the UK

Mr Hunt is supporting Mr Ratcliffe’s move to launch a new campaign group made up of other families of different nationalities with loved ones held in Tehran.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it should be a priority to ensure the price of taking hostages is “too high” for Iran.

“Iran is one of the few countries in the world that seeks to settle disputes by taking hostages,” he said.

He said it is thought other countries’ citizens have been taken hostage in Iran and only by working together can countries find a solution.

“When Europe and the US go separate ways on Iran it doesn’t work,” he said.

Campaign group

Mr Ratcliffe said efforts by Mr Johnson to get his wife released could make amends for comments he made as foreign secretary in 2017, when he said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran teaching journalism.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family has always insisted she was on holiday in Iran when she was arrested – and the UK government later clarified it had “no doubt” this was the case.

A number of people with dual Iranian and foreign nationality have been detained in Iran in recent years.

In August, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary said a British-Iranian dual national, Anousheh Ashouri, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a court in Tehran after being convicted of spying for Israel.

Weeks later, two British-Australian women and an Australian man were detained in Iran.

British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Middle East politics specialist at Melbourne University, is being held on charges that remain unclear, according to the Australian government.

Australians Mark Firkin and Jolie King, who also holds a UK passport – are also being detained in Iran.

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Jolie King

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Travel bloggers Jolie King and Mark Firkin are reportedly being held in Tehran’s Evin prison

Earlier this year, the UK foreign office warned all dual nationals against travelling to Iran because of the risk of arbitrary detention.

Tensions between the UK and Iran have worsened in recent months following a row over the seizure of oil tankers in the Gulf.

The meeting between Mr Johnson and Mr Rouhani comes after the UK, France and Germany agreed on Monday that Iran was responsible for the attack on Saudi oil facilities last weekend.

Saudi Arabia has also accused Iran of carrying out the 14 September attacks, in which 18 drones and seven cruise missiles hit an oil field and processing facility.

However, Iran has denied responsibility, accusing the UK, France and Germany of “parroting absurd US claims”.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale said slowly and cautiously, some diplomatic pressure was being applied on Iran.

But he added there was little sign Iran was ready to make any diplomatic concessions, not least while Europe and the US appeared uncertain over how to respond to the Saudi attacks.

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Thomas Cook customers will not be stranded, vows Raab

Thomas Cook plane

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Reuters

The government is ready to fly holidaymakers back to the UK if tour operator Thomas Cook collapses, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said.

Mr Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show contingency planning was in place to make sure no-one would be stranded.

But he dampened hopes of a government rescue bid for the firm.

Ministers did not “systematically step in” when businesses went under unless there was “a good strategic national interest”, he said.

Mr Raab said he did not want to undermine the rescue talks that Thomas Cook is currently conducting with its biggest shareholder and creditors at City law firm Slaughter & May.

The tour operator could fall into administration within days unless it finds £200m in extra funds.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) union, which represents Thomas Cook staff, is urging the government to step in with a bail out amid fears the company’s collapse could leave about 150,000 British tourists stranded.


Analysis

Katie Prescott, business correspondent

This meeting is crucial for Thomas Cook’s survival.

If there is no agreement, then the decision to wind up the company will be taken at a Board meeting this evening. It’s likely (looking at the precedent of Monarch’s collapse) that any announcement about that will be made late at night, once all planes are on the ground. But the company doesn’t have to announce anything until the markets open at 07:00 BST on Monday.

It’s low season at the moment, the time of year when Thomas Cook has to pay its suppliers for the busy summer season just gone. Hoteliers are paid on 60 to 90-day terms, once travellers have already taken their holidays. The nightmare scenario is that hoteliers who don’t think they will get paid might turn out the people staying with them.

However, it is worth re-stating that the company is still trading. People are still holidaying with Thomas Cook. And while we can assume the company is reining back marketing activity around last-minute deals and offers, until any announcement is made, it is business as usual.

The foreign secretary said he did not want talk of contingency planning to become “a self-fulfilling prophecy”.

But he told the BBC the government had learned lessons from the collapse of the Monarch airline in 2017. The UK’s consular authorities abroad were ready to assist, he said.

A government spokesperson said: “We recognise it’s a worrying time for holidaymakers and employees.

“The financial circumstances of individual businesses are a commercial matter, but the government and the Civil Aviation Authority are monitoring the situation closely.”

‘Being held hostage’

Meanwhile, holidaymakers staying at a hotel in Tunisia owed money by Thomas Cook have reportedly been prevented from leaving the resort until it has been paid.

Guests at the Les Orangers beach resort in the town of Hammamet, near Tunis, said the hotel was refusing to let them leave because of concerns about Thomas Cook’s future.

Customers have reported that the hotel is asking visitors to pay extra money amid fears it will not be paid what it is owed by the tour operator for bookings.

Ryan Farmer, from Leicestershire, told BBC Radio 5 Live the hotel demanded all guests who were due to leave go to reception “to pay additional fees, obviously because of the situation with Thomas Cook”.

Security guards closed the hotel’s gates as guests refused to pay the extra fee, Mr Farmer claims.

He told the Stephen Nolan show: “I’d describe it as exactly the same as being held hostage.”

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AFP

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Thomas Cook has hundreds of High Street stores

Thomas Cook customers have been reminded on social media that they have Atol protection – a fund paid for through industry levies – “in the event that Thomas Cook goes into administration”.

The travel firm also reassured customers on Saturday night that flights continue to operate as normal.

Rescue call

One of the world’s largest travel companies, Thomas Cook was founded in 1841 to operate temperance day trips, and now has annual sales of £9bn.

It employs 22,000 staff, 9,000 of whom are in the UK, and serves 19 million customers a year in 16 different countries.

There are currently 600,000 Thomas Cook customers on holiday, of which 150,000 to 160,000 are British.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes has called on Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom to help Thomas Cook “no matter what”, saying it would save thousands of jobs.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said “the government must consider stepping in and taking an equity stake to avoid this crisis”.

Wedding worries

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Chloe Hardy

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Chloe and her fiance Jack are due to fly to Zante for their wedding

Chloe Hardy from Leicestershire is due to get married in Zante in October and booked the wedding package with Thomas Cook back in June 2018.

Chloe and her fiance will also have 33 family members flying out, with their trips costing more than £33,000 in total.

With the big day looming, Chloe is frustrated by Thomas Cook’s handling of their booking.

“We are unsure if we will be able to fly… This is causing great concern, worry and stress to all of us involved.”

Mounting difficulties

Thomas Cook’s financial difficulties have mounted over the past year, culminating with the agreement in August of a rescue deal led by its biggest shareholder Fosun.

In July, it produced a business plan saying that it needed £900m in refinancing, up from a previous estimate of £150m. The £900m would come from Fosun, the group of creditors and some other investors.

The group of lenders then commissioned an independent investigation. Its financial advisers said Thomas Cook would require an additional £200m on top of the £900m already required, which would bring the total refinancing needed up to £1.1bn.

Thomas Cook succeeded in finding a backer to provide the additional £200m, but the BBC understands it has since pulled out.

The firm has blamed a series of problems for its profit warnings, including political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey, last summer’s prolonged heatwave and customers delaying booking holidays because of Brexit.

What are your rights?

If you are on a package holiday you are covered by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (Atol).

The scheme will pay for your accommodation abroad, although you may have to move to a different hotel or apartment.

Atol will also pay to have you brought home if the airline is no longer operating.

If you have holiday booked in the future you will also be refunded by the scheme.

If you have booked a flight-only deal you will need to apply to your travel insurance company or credit card and debit card provider to seek a refund.

When Monarch Airlines collapsed in 2017, the government organised to bring home all the stranded passengers, whether they were covered by Atol or not.

Here is more information on Atol protection and Your questions answered


Are you a Thomas Cook customer or member of staff? If you’ve been affected by the issues raised here, you can get in touch by emailing .

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:



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Laureline Garcia-Bertaux death: Producer and murder accused ‘split after pet dog died’

Laureline Garcia-Bertaux

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Met Police

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Laureline Garcia-Bertaux was found buried in a shallow grave in her garden

A man accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend and burying her in her garden has told a court they had split up over the death of their pet dog.

French film producer Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was discovered in a shallow grave at her home in Kew, south-west London, on 5 March.

Kirill Belorusov told the Old Bailey they separated a week after their Rottweiler was put down, and he had owed her nothing at the time.

The 32-year-old denies murder.

The court previously heard Mr Belorusov owed the victim thousands of pounds, and he had tricked his way into her home where he strangled her.

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PA Media

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The jury has been shown CCTV of Kirill Belorusov waiting to catch a flight to Estonia where he was brought back from to face trial

Giving evidence, he said he moved to London in 2009 and began dating Ms Garcia-Bertaux after meeting her at a gig.

“We spent the whole of the night walking and walking and walking, and in the morning I decided to get to her place and she invited me over. She said ‘yes’ and I never left,” he said.

Speaking about their relationship, Russian national Mr Belorusov said they argued “like any couple” over food and money “but everything was OK”.

He said they had separated in 2016 after “a slow build-up over years” and at the time their dog Jazz was “the only thing connecting us”.

The jury has heard Mr Belorusov avoided paying back money he owed to Ms Garcia-Bertaux by pretending to have cancer and there was no record of him receiving treatment at hospitals in London.

However, he insisted he had suffered from cancer with “pancreatic complications” and went on drug trials in Sussex, Kent and Ipswich, the court has heard.

The trial continues.

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Hampton Hill ‘explosion’: Residents evacuated after building fire

Hampton Hill

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@Barry2103

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The London Fire Brigade evacuated 30 residents after a building on High Street in Hampton Hill caught fire

About 30 residents have been evacuated and part of a building has been destroyed following a suspected explosion.

London Fire Brigade said it was called to a fire after the suspected blast on High Street in Hampton Hill, south-west London, on Tuesday night.

On social media, one witness described hearing a “boom” before the blaze. No was injured.

Road closures remain in place at the scene, Richmond Council said.



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Edgware Road stabbing: Fourth teen arrested over Josiph Beker death

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Josiph Beker died from a stab wound to the chest

A fourth teenager has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a boy at a chicken shop in central London.

Josiph Beker, 17, was stabbed to death outside Edgware Road KFC, Westminster, at about 14:00 BST on 10 September.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder. He remains in custody.

Two 16-year-old boys were charged with murder on Saturday. An 18-year-old arrested over the murder has been bailed pending further inquiries.

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Heathrow climate change drone protest arrests rise to 18

Drone

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PA Media

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Activists planned to fly drones within the exclusion zone at Heathrow Airport

Police have arrested 18 people believed to be involved in a climate change protest at Heathrow Airport.

Heathrow Pause activists threatened to fly drones in the exclusion zone, but no flight disruption has been reported.

The 18 arrested people have all been held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance.

Heathrow Pause said one of the arrested – Roger Hallam, an Extinction Rebellion co-founder – was still planning to fly a drone on Saturday.

The group said Mr Hallam was released from custody at about 22:00 BST on Friday and that he would be flying the drone at midday “near Heathrow” with the location “to be announced nearer the time”.

The Metropolitan Police said that, out of those arrested, five remained in custody on Friday night. The others have been bailed.

Police say those arrested range in age from 19 to 69.

Heathrow Pause had previously said it intended to fly drones within the 5km exclusion zone around the airport on Friday morning, but the group claimed the airport was using “signal jamming to frustrate” their efforts.

Both the airport and police refused to comment on “security matters”.

The Met Police said a dispersal order at the airport would be effective until early on Sunday morning.

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Met Police

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A 5km dispersal zone order has been placed around Heathrow

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said: “We are really clear that [flying drones] is unlawful, it is a criminal offence, and anybody who turns up expecting to fly drones in that exclusion zone will be arrested.”

The force made seven pre-emptive arrests on Thursday, including that of Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam.

Heathrow Airport said it was committed to addressing climate change, but this was best tackled through “constructive engagement and working together to address the issue”.



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Vivianne Miedema: Arsenal’s striker on Virgil van Dijk & Dutch success

Vivianne Miedema was top scorer in the Women’s Super League last season

Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema is the Netherlands’ all-time leading goalscorer, has won three league titles in two countries and holds the record for most Women’s Super League goals in a season. She is also just 23.

Fresh from playing in this summer’s World Cup final, Miedema sat down with BBC Sport to discuss her Dutch roots, football chats with Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk and her childhood fascination with Robin van Persie.

Family, Feyenoord and Van Persie

Growing up in Hoogeveen, a town in the north-east of the Netherlands, Miedema would join her father and younger brother Lars in making the 120-mile trip to Rotterdam to watch Feyenoord play.

And when asked about the influence of her family on her playing career, Miedema jokes she “never really had a choice” but to pursue football as a profession.

“My dad used to play football, my granddad used to play football and my little brother is playing now too,” she tells BBC Sport, referring to Lars’ contract with FC Den Bosch, the club where Ruud van Nistelrooy began his career.

“We just loved it and there was nothing else for me. I am four years older than my brother but I used to play football with him and it’s made me a better player and I think him too.”

Last year, Miedema posted a photo of her younger self with childhood hero Robin van Persie on Instagram

The Miedema family were all big Feyenoord fans and between 1996 and 2004 were able to watch as ex-Manchester United and Arsenal striker Van Persie developed on his way to becoming one of the best strikers in Europe.

Reflecting on that time, she says: “If you are a young girl now it might be a bit different because there are lots of female players to look up to but I used to be a fan of the Feyenoord players. I used to buy the little kits of Robin van Persie and watch every single game.

“They were the only games I was allowed to stay up late for during the week. We used to go to some of their games. Sometimes, as a birthday present, I would go to a fan day or an open training session.

“I met van Persie once – I can’t really remember it because I was so young. But [at Feyenoord] you got to meet some of the players and go on the pitch with them. It was amazing.”

Celebrating Dutch success with Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk and Miedema were the first players from the same country to win PFA Player of the Year awards in the same year

Like Van Persie, Miedema has become one of the most prolific strikers in the game.

She scored 22 goals and picked up 10 assists in 19 league appearances last season in helping Arsenal win their first WSL title in seven years, her performances leading to being named the PFA Player of the Year. Compatriot Van Dijk picked up the men’s prize.

“It was quite a big thing back home – two Dutch players winning it made it even bigger than it probably was for me and for him,” says Miedema.

“It was nice to get the awards after the year we both had but we are both quite down to earth and the day after the focus was on the football again.”

For Miedema, focussing on football meant the then-upcoming World Cup. Liverpool defender Van Dijk was supporting Miedema and her Dutch team-mates this summer, wishing them luck before their defeat in the final by champions the USA.

“I spoke with him [Van Dijk] at the PFA awards and he is a nice guy,” says Miedema. “Obviously we had some football chat – I went to the Liverpool v Barcelona Champions League semi-final as well.

“It was just nice. We see them [the men’s internationals] when we are away with the national team as well. We watch their games and they watch ours and he was watching the World Cup final. It’s nice to have that contact and respect each other.”

Breeding confidence at Arsenal

Dutch players have enjoyed success in the English game, with Ruud van Nistelrooy, Edwin van der Sar and Arjen Robben among players to have enhanced their reputations in the Premier League.

In 2018-19, there were four Dutch players in Arsenal Women’s title-winning squad and all four started the World Cup final. This summer, midfielder Jill Roord joined from Bayern Munich.

“The English league is one of the most attractive leagues to go to right now,” Miedema says.

“The step from Holland to England is small, it’s not like going to Spain where you don’t understand a word and it’s a different life. In England, it is quite similar to how we live and that makes it a lot easier.”

Women’s World Cup 2019: Vivianne Miedema scores again to make it 3-1 Netherlands

Miedema, who has scored 63 goals in 83 appearances for her country, adds that success on the international stage breeds confidence with team-mates back at Arsenal.

“Nobody expected us to win the Euros or do well at the World Cup but we did it, again,” she says. “I played my part in that and it was good to get back into it recently for the start of the Euro qualifiers.”

After becoming the first player to surpass 16 goals in a single WSL season in 2018-19, there are higher expectations of Miedema and her team-mates to defend their title.

“I am lucky because I have been in this situation when I was at Bayern Munich [winning back-to-back league titles in 2015 and 2016]. I have that experience,” she says.

“It is something that’s extra special because obviously every team comes for you and has nothing to lose. They want to get a point off you and work a bit harder against you than other teams.

“That’s just extra motivation to get better every single week and play better football than we did last year.”

Miedema’s all-time Dutch goalscoring record was celebrated in the recent Euro 2021 qualifying win over Turkey – their first home game since reaching the World Cup final

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Boycott ‘doesn’t give a toss’ about knighthood criticism

Geoffrey Boycott

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Geoffrey Boycott has said he “couldn’t give a toss” about criticism over Theresa May awarding him a knighthood in her resignation honours list.

Domestic abuse charities criticised the move to honour the ex-England cricket captain, who was convicted of beating his girlfriend in France in 1998.

Boycott has always denied the assault.

Mrs May’s former closest advisers, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, have also been recognised on her 57-strong list, made up of mostly political figures.

Every departing prime minister can draw up a resignation honours list, which the Cabinet Office has to approve.

Mrs May announced her resignation in June after failing to get support for the withdrawal agreement she had negotiated for the UK to leave the EU.

The former prime minister showed her love of cricket with knighthoods for Boycott and fellow former England captain Andrew Strauss.

Boycott was fined £5,000 and given a three-month suspended sentence in 1998 after being convicted of beating his then-girlfriend Margaret Moore in a French Riviera hotel.

Mrs May, who introduced a landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament earlier this year, was accused of sending a “dangerous message” by Women’s Aid’s co-acting chief executive Adina Claire.

She said: “It is extremely disappointing that a knighthood has been recommended for Geoffrey Boycott, who is a convicted perpetrator of domestic abuse.”

Interviewed by presenter Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Boycott responded: “I don’t give a toss about her, love. It was 25 years ago so you can take your political nature and do whatever you want with it.”

The 78-year-old, who is part of the BBC’s cricket commentary team for the current Ashes series, added: “It’s very difficult to prove your innocence in another country, in another language.

“I have to live with it – and I do. I’m clear in my mind, and I think most people in England are, that it’s not true.”

Boycott also had to apologise in 2017 after joking that he would have to “black up” to be given a knighthood, reportedly saying they were handed out to West Indian cricketers “like confetti”.

Mrs May once compared her determination to delivering Brexit with the fighting spirit in Boycott’s batting marathons.

Telling journalists he was one of her sporting heroes, she said in November 2018: “Geoffrey Boycott stuck to it and he got the runs in the end.”

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Reuters

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Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill were Mrs May’s closest advisers before the 2017 general election

The 37 men and 20 women on the list include members of Mrs May’s Downing Street staff, political aides and lifelong supporters of the Conservative Party.

It includes recipients from all four nations of the UK as well as non-political figures and members of civic society.

Labour said the honours rewarded “big Tory donors and No 10 cronies”.

Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, Mrs May’s former chiefs of staff who left their jobs after the 2017 general election in which the Conservatives lost their majority in the Commons, become Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, or CBEs.

The former prime minister’s chief EU negotiator Olly Robbins receives a knighthood.

The senior civil servant helped to create Mrs May’s Brexit deal before it was defeated in Parliament three times. It has been announced that Mr Robbins is to join investment bank Goldman Sachs.

There is also a knighthood for her former director of communications, Robbie Gibb.

When her predecessor David Cameron awarded a knighthood to his own head of communications, Craig Oliver, Mrs May later joked that she “retched violently” at seeing his name on the list.

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Gavin Barwell, left, and Olly Robbins are honoured by former PM Theresa May

Gavin Barwell, the former Tory MP who Mrs May brought in to replace the pair, is one of eight new Conservative peers.

Sir Kim Darroch – who was forced to resign as ambassador to the US after comments he made about President Trump were leaked – has been made a crossbench peer.

Boris Johnson, who was then running in the Tory leadership contest prior to becoming prime minister, was criticised at the time for not showing enough support for Sir Kim.

Meanwhile, there is a damehood for Cressida Dick, whose police career started at the age of 23 after a brief spell working in a fish-and-chip shop. She is one of just a few non-political figures on Mrs May’s list.

Another former England cricket captain, Strauss, was also awarded with a knighthood.

The 42-year-old left his role as England’s director of cricket last year and has raised nearly £400,000 for the charity he set up in honour of his wife, Ruth, who died of cancer in 2018.

Sir Simon Woolley, the founder of operation Black Vote, and Ruth Hunt, the ex-chief executive of Stonewall, have been made crossbench life peers.

While British Empire Medals, or BEMs, have been awarded to Graham Howarth and Debra Wheatley – Mrs May’s head chef at Chequers and housekeeper at Downing Street respectively.

The list of peerages – which sees those appointed sit in the House of Lords – include several nominated by other parties to sit on their benches.

‘Policy of restraint’

Among them are former NUT general secretary Christine Blower, for Labour, and former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, who will become the party’s second peer in the House of Lords.

The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, said Mrs May’s list was “substantially smaller” than those drawn up by predecessors, helping to reduce the size of the House of Lords.

Several MPs have received honours:

  • Sir Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales (Companion of Honour)
  • George Hollingbery, Conservative MP for Meon Valley (Knighthood)
  • David Lidington, Conservative MP for Aylesbury (Knighthood)
  • Charles Walker, Conservative MP for Broxbourne (Knighthood)
  • Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth (CBE)
  • Julian Smith, Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon (CBE)
  • Seema Kennedy, Conservative MP for South Ribble (OBE)

John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw and an independent government adviser on anti-Semitism, received a non-affiliated peerage.

Mr Mann is standing down as MP, citing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.

Margaret Ritchie, who was leader of the SDLP in Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2011, also received a non-affiliated peerage.

The former South Down MP made history in 2010 when she became the first leader of a nationalist party to wear a remembrance poppy.

A source close to Mrs May said the list “recognises the many different people who have made a significant contribution to public life” during her political career.

Criticising Mrs May’s choices, Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery said: “It comes as no surprise that big Tory donors and Number 10 cronies are being honoured yet again.

“The Tories only care about looking after their own and will only stand up for the wealthy few who fund them.”

The SNP’s Pete Wishart accused Mrs May of “handing out peerages like sweeties”, adding that it was the “worst kind of cronyism”.

He said: “It is a disgrace that the Tories are able to give away jobs for the boys, and make their cronies and donors legislators for life – with no democratic mandate or accountability to the people of Scotland and the UK.”

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