The Prime Minister insisted he had 'seen no evidence to support any of those allegations' made by William Wragg, chairman of the Commons Public Administration Committee, this morning. Mr Wragg said he had been told of 'pressures and intimidation' being used on politicians and in an excoriating attack at the start of an evidence session, suggested members of the government might have breached the ministerial code by threatening to pull investment from constituencies if people send in letters of no confidence. It came as Christian Wakeford, the former Tory MP to defected to Labour yesterday, claimed he was threatened with the withdrawal of funding for a school in his Bury South constituency if he voted against the Government. He told the BBC: 'How would you feel when holding back regeneration of a town for a vote, it didn't sit comfortably. That was really starting to question my place where I was and ultimately to where I am now.'
Crackdown on office-shy civil service: PM orders departments to get staff back to their desks after they refused to reveal when workers will return - while rush hour gets busier in London and Manchester
Boris Johnson today ordered Government departments to get their civil servants back into the office 'as soon as possible' as he demanded they set an example to the country after lifting working from home restrictions. Mandarins appear to still be avoiding going into work - with roads in Westminster looking quiet and congestion data for London today only marginally up on yesterday. Union bosses have slammed the Prime Minister's 'insulting' language after he told people to get 'back to work' - and it seems city centres are unlikely to get back to normal for some time with some companies expected to wait months before bringing staff back in. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said today that government staff have been ordered to return to offices 'as soon as possible', telling the Evening Standard: 'Secretaries of State have been asked to ensure all Government offices are open so staff can return to normal working patterns as soon as possible. That is also being communicated to permanent secretaries. Obviously, all employers should continue to follow the guidance to ensure a safe return for all workers.' Minutes after the PM's announcement yesterday, the Cabinet Office emailed staff to say they were expected to start coming back in, and other departments are expected to do so today, according to The Times. But Government sources also pointed out that there were no proposals for targets on getting staff back in or how many days a week they would expected to do so. It comes as business leaders urged the Government to encourage Britons to start commuting again by introducing a limited period of train fare discounts and launch a marketing campaign to remind people of the benefits of working in cities including London.
Parents fight back after schools vowed to defy end of Plan B and continue to force pupils to wear masks in class - as teachers brand scrapping of the rules 'premature'
Parents have launched a campaign to prevent 'overzealous' schools from imposing masks in schools after teaching unions threatened to derail Boris Johnson's easing of Covid curbs. Head teachers in England are set to ignore the Prime Minister's bonfire of Plan B restrictions by compelling pupils to keep covering their faces in classrooms. Britain's big teaching unions have accused the embattled Tory leader of making the decision to save his own political career as he handles the fallout from 'Partygate', rather than basing it on 'sound public health and scientific advice'. The National Education Union warned against lifting Omicron restrictions 'too quickly', claiming it could lead to 'more disruption' for schools. Parent group UsForThem, which campaigned to get classrooms reopened during the pandemic, has now urged its supporters to bombard MPs and ministers with letters to 'stop overzealous local public health authorities from unilaterally implementing face masks in schools'.
Christian couple ban gay man and his ITV producer partner from buying their dream £650,000 Surrey home - and quote the bible that homosexuality is a sin
Luke Whitehouse,34, and his partner of eight years Lachlan Mantell, 37 (pictured together left) were excited when they spotted a lovely three-bedroom cottage (bottom) within the Surrey commuter belt within their budget for £650,000 advertised through Purple Bricks. They contacted the owners Luke Main (right), 33, a builder and his wife, Cambridge University medical physicist Dr Joanna Brunker (inset right), 34, to arrange a viewing. But when Mr Main asked Luke for a summary of the couple's circumstances, Luke was stunned when Mr Main told him that they would not sell the house to 'two men in a partnership' and quoted phrases from the Bible (bottom right). Purple Bricks dropped the vendors and said their stance doesn't reflect the firm's values. Mr Main declined to comment except to say that he and his wife are 'not ashamed' of their views.
Buyer's remorse? Tory turncoat Christian Wakeford is a bundle of nerves as he makes first public appearance since joining Labour - and calls party leader 'Keir Llama'
The Bury South MP admitted he needed more sleep as he introduced a speech by shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves in his Greater Manchester constituency. And referencing party leader Sir Keir Starmer, the visibly nervy politician seemed to refer to him as 'Keir Llama' before correcting himself. Mr Wakeford's shock decision to cross the floor yesterday in fury at the chaos surrounding Boris Johnson sparked criticism from former allies and parts of the Labour hard left. But he defended his decision today, saying that 'only Labour are coming up with solutions' to the cost-of-living crisis, recovery from the pandemic and to 'defend security for all'.
People in glass houses! Green campaigner lectures GMB viewers on damage that conservatories are doing to the planet - while sitting in her conservatory
Angela Terry said Britons need to dump the glass houses because they 'act like a furnace' for the rest of the home. The environmental scientist claimed the move was about 'having a no regret' policy and protecting the planet. But she appeared to exclude herself from the rules as she brazenly spoke from her conservatory in Wells, Somerset. GMB presenter Susanna Reid pointed out the hypocrisy asking why she can have one but 'nobody else is allowed one from now on'. Ms Terry suggested because her house came with one she was exempt from new legislation.
Katie Price claims she reported Kieran Hayler to police for 'grooming' an underage girl while they were STILL married but they 'didn't believe' her - as he says 'false' rape accusations were made up in 'act of revenge'
The former stripper has blasted 'false allegations' that he raped a girl under the age of 16 in 2016 while married to the former glamour model, who says she has now given a statement to detectives. Ms Price, 43, (inset) who was married to Mr Hayle (together left) from 2013 to 2018 and had two of his children, claims she went to the police before their divorce - but suggests that the alleged victim has now come forward herself. She said in an Instagram post that Hayler has allegedly 'groomed' the girl, adding: 'I reported him to the police and then finally divorced him. I wasn't believed by the authorities', adding: 'I want to make this clear. The police came to me requesting a statement, I did not go to the police this time around'. Mr Hayler, 34, who is engaged to Michelle Penticost (together right), has voluntarily agreed to be questioned by detectives next week over three alleged rapes of a minor, known to the couple, in 2016. He says the claims are 'false' and 'fabricated' by a third party. Sussex Police says he has not been arrested and described the alleged victim as a 'girl', who was under the age of 16 in 2016. A spokesman said: 'We are investigating a report that in 2016 a girl was raped by an adult male known to her at a location in West Sussex. No arrest has been made at present. The girl is receiving support from specially trained officers'.
Emma Raducanu blames 'finger blister' after falling to a shock three-set defeat to world no 98 Danka Kovinic at the Australian Open
The 19-year-old (pictured today) lost the first set 6-4, hit back with a 4-6 win in the second, but was drubbed 6-3 in the third of the second round match. She blamed a blister on her finger - which was taped up after a lengthy medical time-out - saying 'it's just unfortunate timing'. But it comes amid fears the youngster is also becoming distracted by lucrative off-court endorsement deals. Raducanu has already bagged huge sponsors from brands such as Nike and Tiffany, which saw her wear £40,000 worth of their jewellery in her first round tie. England rugby coach Eddie Jones referenced her when he previously pointed out how 'the big thing for good young players is distractions'. Meanwhile she appears to have struggled since quickly dumping her coach Andrew Richardson after they won the US Open together in September. She is now being trained by Torben Beltz, a move former tennis star Mats Wilander said had been made too soon in her short career.
Ghislaine Maxwell's estranged husband Scott Borgerson is seen embracing and kissing his new girlfriend on romantic walks after callously telling his sex trafficker wife it was over in a prison phone call
As Ghislaine Maxwell languishes in prison, her husband Scott Borgerson was seen kissing and hugging his girlfriend Kris McGinn in Manchester-by-the-Sea in these DailyMail.com exclusive images. Borgerson, 46, enjoyed alone time with McGinn, 49, last week while Maxwell, 60, faces up to 65 years behind bars. McGinn is a yoga enthusiast and local journalist covering food and cultural trends for the elite east coast enclave's 133-year-old newspaper The Manchester Cricket. She split from husband Wesley Straub in 2020 and only recently reverted to her pre-marital name. The couple met at a secluded forested enclave near the $2.4million home that he once shared with Maxwell, spending close to an hour walking their dogs together before returning to their cars for a lingering farewell. This week they were seen strolling on the beach with their dogs.
A Bridge Too Far star Hardy Krüger dies aged 93: Family pays tribute to German actor - who was drafted into the SS aged 16 and nearly executed when he refused to ambush US soldiers - after he passes away in California
Actor Hardy Krüger (right in 2015) has died at the age of 93. The actor (pictured top inset as a child growing up in Germany), known for his roles in A Bridge Too Far (left), The Flight of the Phoenix, and The Wild Geese (bottom inset), who was nearly executed by the SS when he refused to ambush a group of US soldiers during World War II, died at his home in California on Wednesday. In a statement released by Kruger's agency, paying tribute, Krüger's family lauded his 'warmth of heart' and 'unshakable sense of justice,' after he became one of few German actors to become known for his roles globally. Hardy eventually retired from acting in the late 1980s, and went onto publish 16 books, and directed several documentaries about his travels round the world.
'F***ing Jews...I'm coming home in a body bag': British synagogue terrorist's phone call to family reveals he WAS anti-Semitic and had duped Britain's MI5
Malik Faisal Akram, 44, said his decision to kidnap a rabbi and three others at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville on Saturday was his own declaration of war on America, claiming: 'I've come to die'. His ranting about 'f***ing Jews' further undermines the FBI's initial bizarre and insulting claims that the British terrorist's siege wasn't 'specifically' anti-Semitic, despite his decision to target a synagogue 4,500 miles from home and threaten to blow it up after two years of planning. Within hours of the attack Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the 10-hour hostage siege a 'terrible and anti-Semitic act of terrorism' - but it took the FBI almost 48 hours to backtrack and come to the same conclusion. Father-of-six Akram, who had been in the US for a fortnight and bought his gun 'off the street' in Texas , said: 'I've told my kids to man up. Don't cry at my funeral. I've been praying to Allah for two years for this. I'm coming home in a body bag'. In a recording of his last phone call to his brother Gulbar, 43, Akram said he had promised their younger sibling Gulzameer, who died of Covid last year, 'that I'd go down a martyr'. The extraordinary rant, leaked to the Jewish Chronicle , he said: 'I'm opening the doors for every youngster in England to enter America and f*** with them'. And in a message for fellow jihadists he said: 'Live your f***ing life bro, you f***ing coward. We're coming to f***ing America. F*** them if they want to f*** with us. We'll give them f***ing war.'
Expect HIGHER prices and NO sales! Superdry is among retailers warning that shoppers face paying MORE for clothes, food and bills due to inflation - as two-thirds of Britons are hit by cost-of-living crisis
Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton said the company will hike prices by around 2% due to rising costs - after suffering a nearly £19 million loss when shops were closed in lockdown. Superdry plans to offset the cost hikes by slashing the number of items the retailer has on sale, something that has been part of its plan since before Covid-19. 'No stores will ever have a sale again... and discounting is limited to a shorter period online and very limited,' Mr Dunkerton said. 'So patently we are less affected because of that margin shift internally by the headwinds of inflation.' It is the latest blow to British consumers who continue to face a cost of living crisis - as the price of petrol, food, energy, transport and housing continues to rise. Two-thirds of UK adults have seen their cost of living jump over the past month as energy bills soared and price rises filtered down to supermarket shelves.
Five-bedroom Scottish highlands home with a WATERFALL on its doorstep and views across the coast goes on the market for £325,000
Located near Wick in Caithness, the remote property (pictured) sits dramatically above the famous Whaligoe Steps and rugged coastline rocks; and is on the market for £325,000. The coastal home - which dates back to 1860 - is complete with a castle-style courtyard, commercial kitchen and breathtaking sea views. The unique house is set over two floors, with four bathrooms and features a quirky decor style throughout. It has pendant lampshades, exposed brick walls and windows to floor level in the main reception room.
Speeding motorist, 36, who killed 11-year-old girl after hitting her at over 40mph while driving 'like he was on a racetrack' before fleeing the scene and leaving her to die is found guilty of dangerous driving
Police said Ruby Cropper, 11, (left) was crossing the road with a friend when she was hit by Andrew Cairns' vehicle while witnesses say he was 'driving like he was on a racetrack' in Bury in August 2020. Cairns (right) fled the scene (inset) and the 11-year-old, described as a 'kind and caring person' by her family, died in hospital two days later from the injuries she suffered. He had previously pleaded guilty to causing the death of Ruby by careless driving, but denied causing her death by dangerous driving and was found guilty by a jury. Cairns will be sentenced next month.
Boris and Carrie's baby was struck down by Covid: Prime Minister's six-week-old daughter Romy suffered from the virus 'quite badly' but is now 'on the mend'
Downing Street announced last week that a member of his family had tested positive for the virus. It did not state who the relative was but it is understood to be his daughter Romy (left, with Carrie, and centre with older brother Wilfred, 20 months). Mr Johnson (inset) did not appear in public for several days after last week's announcement, reappearing only on Tuesday when he gave an interview to Sky News about 'Partygate' revelations engulfing the Government. He appeared emotional and downcast - potentially partly explained by the personal strain on his family. A source said she had suffered with the virus 'quite badly' aged five weeks but was now 'on the mend'.
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Disabled Tongan, 57, swims for 27 HOURS on eight-mile journey after being swept away by tsunami: Hero refused to shout for help in case his son - who's now missing - died trying to save him
Lisala Folau, 57 (left), a retired carpenter who struggles to use both his legs, was swept miles out to sea when a tsunami struck his home island late Saturday, but managed to survive after swimming for 27 hours. Lisala said he was at home with his son and niece when a 20ft wave swept them miles from shore around 6pm Saturday. Despite being able to hear them in the water nearby, Lisala said he didn't call out because he didn't want them to risk their lives trying to save him. Tragically, they are both still missing. He later found a tree to cling to and drifted to nearby Toketoke Island - which is uninhabited - before swimming four miles to Polo'a, which is also uninhabited. He then swam an additional mile to Tongatapu, Tonga's main island, before walking to a road where he was found alive around 9pm Sunday (right).