Preloader

PM ‘aware of formal complaint against Chris Pincher’ before whip appointment

Boris Johnson was aware of a formal complaint against Chris Pincher when the MP was a Foreign Office minister before his appointment to the Tory whips’ office, it has been reported. owning Street confirmed on Monday that Mr Johnson knew of concerns about Mr Pincher’s conduct when he made him deputy chief whip in February. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said while he knew of claims that were “either resolved or did not progress to a formal complaint”, it was not considered appropriate to block the appointment based on “unsubstantiated allegations”. “There was no formal complaint at that time,” he said. There are robust procedures in place for any members of staff to raise allegations of misconduct. It is long-standing policy not to comment on any matters involving individual casesGovernment spokesman However the BBC later reported that Mr Johnson was made aware of a formal complaint about Mr Pincher’s “inappropriate behaviour” while the MP was a minister in the Foreign Office from 2019-20. The broadcaster said then-foreign secretary Dominic Raab was also aware of this complaint, which triggered a disciplinary process overseen by the Cabinet Office that confirmed misconduct by Mr Pincher. A Government spokesperson said: “There are robust procedures in place for any members of staff to raise allegations of misconduct. It is long-standing policy not to comment on any matters involving individual cases.” Mr Pincher has been approached for comment. Downing Street – and a succession of ministers – had previously stated that Mr Johnson had not been aware of any “specific allegations” against Mr Pincher. The former deputy chief whip plunged the Government into a new crisis when he dramatically quit last week over allegations he groped two men at a Conservative private members’ club. He had previously resigned from the whips’ office in 2017 over claims he made unwanted advances to a young activist, but was later reinstated after being cleared by an internal Conservative Party investigation. Over the weekend, however, details emerged in the press of further claims about alleged sexual advances to men – including two fellow Conservative MPs – over a period of years. Mr Pincher has denied the allegations to the newspapers which carried them. However, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said the Prime Minister had been aware of the “speculation” there had been about Mr Pincher over a number of years when he made him deputy chief whip. Close (PA Graphics) Press Association Images (PA Graphics) “I can’t get into too much detail but he did take advice on some of the allegations that had been made, but there was no formal complaint at that time and it was deemed not appropriate to stop an appointment simply because of unsubstantiated allegations,” the spokesman said. The spokesman declined to comment on a claim by Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings that the Prime Minister had referred to the MP as “Pincher by name, pincher by nature”. “I’m simply not going to comment on content of what was or wasn’t said in private conversations,” the spokesman said. Asked on Monday evening whether it was appropriate for Mr Johnson to make Mr Pincher deputy chief whip despite claims about his conduct, Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested the PM had been working off “rumours”. He told LBC’s Tonight With Andrew Marr: “There were rumours. I think prime ministers have to be just, they can’t just say, ‘I’ve heard a bit of gossip and I think you’ve done something that I wouldn’t approve of’. “You can’t judge people on rumours, that’s fundamentally unjust. There are rumours about all sorts of people that turn out never to come to anything.” The new questions over what the PM knew before appointing Mr Pincher to the whips’ office will overshadow Mr Johnson’s attempts to soldier on with his premiership, as he hailed “an important moment in our mission to ease the burden on households and rebuild our economy”. Mr Johnson made the remarks ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where ministers will look to planned changes to National Insurance thresholds coming into effect on Wednesday. At the time Mr Pincher was appointed – alongside new chief whip Chris Heaton-Harris – Mr Johnson was facing pressure from Tory MPs seeking to oust him over lockdown parties in Downing Street. The two men had run a shadow whipping operation – reportedly codenamed Operation Save Big Dog – to shore up his position and the Prime Minister was said to have wanted them to take over the full whips’ office. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the appointment of Mr Pincher as Tory deputy chief whip was another example of poor judgment by Mr Johnson. Close (PA Graphics) Press Association Images (PA Graphics) “I have got no sympathy with a Prime Minister who repeatedly makes bad judgment calls,” he told Sky News. “We have been living with a version of this story for month after month after month. Bad judgment by a man who puts himself above everything. I don’t have any sympathy for him.” Although Mr Pincher quit his Government position on Thursday evening, Mr Johnson has faced criticism it was not until 5pm on Friday that he finally had the whip withdrawn and was expelled from the parliamentary Conservative Party. Mr Pincher faces an investigation by Parliament’s Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme after one of the men he allegedly groped last week at the Carlton Club submitted a formal complaint. In a statement at the weekend, the Tamworth MP – who now sits as an independent – said he would co-operate fully with the inquiry. “As I told the Prime Minister, I drank far too much on Wednesday night, embarrassing myself and others, and I am truly sorry for the upset I caused,” he said. “The stresses of the last few days, coming on top of those over the last several months, have made me accept that I will benefit from professional medical support. “I am in the process of seeking that now, and I hope to be able to return to my constituency duties as soon as possible.”

Read More

Review: Olivia Rodrigo at O2 Academy Birmingham – intimate glimpse at a star destined for greatness

https://i2-prod.dublinlive.ie/incoming/article24373378.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/0_GettyImages-1393927414.jpg File Olivia Rodrigo at the O2 Academy next to Harry Styles playing Coventry’s War Memorial Park in things you’ll likely never see again. The Disney-kid-turned-chart-topping-pop-sensation performed an intimate gig in front of a relatively compact crowd in Birmingham on Monday night, just days removed from a headline-making Glastonbury Festival which saw her steal theContinue reading

Read More

Joey Chestnut is champ again in July 4 hot dog-eating contest

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut gobbled his way to a 15th win on Monday at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest in New York, powering down 63 hot dogs and buns at the annual exhibition of excess. n a decisive comeback, women’s record-holder Miki Sudo downed 40 hot dogs and buns to win the women’s title after skipping last year’s competition because she was pregnant. A spectator wearing a Darth Vader mask rushed the stage, momentarily disrupting the competition. Chestnut, 38, from Indiana, put the protester in a brief chokehold before contest officials hurried over and escorted the intruder away. Close Joey Chestnut arrives at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest (Julia Nikhinson/AP) AP/PA Images Joey Chestnut arrives at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest (Julia Nikhinson/AP) Monday marked the contest’s return to its traditional location outside Nathan’s flagship shop in Brooklyn’s Coney Island neighbourhood in New York. The event was relocated in 2020 and last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s beautiful to be back here,” Chestnut said after his feat, which he managed while wearing a surgical boot because of a leg injury. “It hurts, but I was in the zone for a little bit. I was ignoring it,” said Chestnut, but the pain eventually slowed his pace in the 10-minute competition. Close Competitive eater Miki Sudo (Julia Nikhinson/AP) AP/PA Images Competitive eater Miki Sudo (Julia Nikhinson/AP) Last year Chestnut topped his own record by consuming 76 hot dogs and buns. Sudo, 36, of Florida, set the women’s record at 48 and a half hot dogs and buns in 2020, before taking last year off . She said afterwards that she hoped he would some day take a message away from it. “I want to set an example,” she said, “to do things that you love and push yourself to your absolute limits and, when things get difficult, to still give it a try. And, you know, you might actually just come out victorious.” In conjunction with the spectacle, Nathan’s donates 100,000 hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City.

Read More

Amber Heard requests verdict in Johnny Depp defamation trial be overturned

Amber Heard has requested that a US judge overturn the verdict against her multi-million dollar defamation case with Johnny Depp and order a new trial. he Aquaman star, 36, says the decision returned on June 1 in favour of Mr Depp was not supported by the evidence presented during the six-week trial. In documents seen by the PA news agency, Ms Heard’s lawyers also argue that investigations should be made into “improper juror service”. Mr Depp sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse, which his lawyers said falsely accused him of being an abuser. “The verdict is excessive as a matter of law in light of the evidence and law, and should be set aside,” the documents stated. “For all the reasons set forth above, and for the reasons set forth on the record during the hearings and at trial, in the Motions in Limine and Motions to Strike, Ms Heard respectfully requests this Court to set aside the jury verdict in favor of Mr Depp and against Ms Heard in its entirety, dismiss the complaint, or in the alternative, order a new trial. Close Mr Depp sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse (Owen Humphreys/PA) PA Mr Depp sued his former partner over a 2018 article she wrote for the Washington Post about her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse (Owen Humphreys/PA) “Ms Heard further requests this Court to investigate potential improper juror service and take appropriate action warranted by the results of the investigation.” The actress’ lawyers claim that one of the jurors during the trial was not properly vetted by the court and that information was “inconsistent”. “The information on the jury panel list appears to be inconsistent with the identity and demographics of one of the Jurors,” the document, signed by Ms Heard’s lawyer Elaine Bredehoft, states. “Juror No 15 was apparently born in 1970, not 1945, as reported to and relied upon by the parties – including Ms Heard – in selecting a jury panel.” The filing added that the damages awarded to Mr Depp following the verdict, which total 15 million dollars, were “excessive” and “indefensible”. The sum was subsequently reduced by judge Penney Azcarate to 350,000 dollars under a state cap. Ms Bredehoft previously vowed that Ms Heard would appeal the decision in the lawsuit and that she has “excellent grounds” to do so, saying that there was “so much” evidence that was not included during the trial. Mr Depp said he felt “at peace” and was “truly humbled” after winning the lawsuit, adding that his decision to pursue the case “was only made after considerable thought” and his goal was to “reveal the truth, regardless of the outcome”.

Read More

Crowds expected to flock to Wimbledon for Brit Cameron Norrie in quarter-finals

Crowds of spectators are expected to flock to Wimbledon to watch Cameron Norrie as the last British singles player in the tournament hopes to win his quarter final match. opes are high for the new home favourite, who has revealed his nickname is “Nozza”, in his match against Belgium’s David Goffin on No.1 Court on Tuesday. As the last British singles player standing, the 26-year-old said he thinks “it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me” following his exhilarating victory against American Tommy Paul on Sunday. On Monday morning, fans were suggesting that Murray Mound on the SW19 grounds – previously dubbed Henman Hill – should now be renamed Norrie Knoll. Close Spectators at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the 2022 Wimbledon Championships on Monday (Zac Goodwin/PA) PA Spectators at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club for the 2022 Wimbledon Championships on Monday (Zac Goodwin/PA) Great Britain’s Alicia Barnett, who earlier spoke to the PA news agency about how her periods affect her game, will also be returning to the hallowed grass courts on Tuesday in the mixed doubles, as will Heather Watson. First on Centre Court on Tuesday will be defending champion Novak Djokovic against Italian Jannik Sinner followed by Czech player Marie Bouzkova against Tunisian Ons Jabeur. It comes after fiery Australian player Nick Kyrgios beat Brandon Nakashima on Centre Court on Monday to secure his place in the quarter finals. Centre Court also saw two-time grand slam winner, Romanian Simona Halep cruise past Spaniard Paula Badosa while tennis titan Rafael Nadal triumphed over the Netherlands’ Botic van de Zandschulp. Close Sir Ian McKellen was among the well-known faces in the Centre Court crowd on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (Zac Goodwin/PA) PA Sir Ian McKellen was among the well-known faces in the Centre Court crowd on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (Zac Goodwin/PA) Actors Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry could be seen enjoying the matches in the sunshine from the Royal Box. Elsewhere on Monday, the All England Club’s chief executive Sally Bolton confirmed there would be an appeal against the Woman’s Tennis Association’s decision to fine the club over its ban on Russian and Belarusian players. She also defended the tournament’s schedule after Novak Djokovic was critical about matches finishing late on the show courts. Close Stephen Fry and Kathy Lette arrive on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (Zac Goodwin/PA) PA Stephen Fry and Kathy Lette arrive on day eight of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships (Zac Goodwin/PA) Monday also saw a group of campaigners turn up to the SW19 grounds wearing “Where is Peng Shuai?” t-shirts to raise awareness for the Chinese player who disappeared from public view after accusing a senior official of sexual assault last year. After low attendance at the beginning of the tournament, figures rose to a peak of 42,561 on Saturday before falling to 39,427 on Sunday. Middle Sunday has traditionally been a tournament rest day, except for four times when bad weather delayed matches during the first week, but this year it became a normal day of scheduled play. The Met Office has forecast sunny intervals changing to cloudy by late-morning on Tuesday with highs of 22C.

Read More
Please wait...
user balance 3,055 / Points
Newbie

user badges

Media