Ministers ‘ashamed’ as thousands of rape victims denied justice
The Government has apologised for “failing” rape victims over years of plunging conviction levels, as it set out plans for a “system and culture change”.
A long-awaited review into a decline in rape prosecutions promises sweeping reform of how cases are handled in England and Wales.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC and Home Secretary Priti Patel said they were “deeply ashamed” by the downward trends in bringing sexual offenders to justice.
They cited a raft of measures intended to see the volume of allegations referred by the police to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the number of suspects charged, and the amount of cases reaching court return to 2016 levels by the end of this Parliament.
Euro 2020 final could be moved from Wembley to Hungary ‘unless quarantine waived for officials’
Thousands of officials could be allowed into England without needing to quarantine under plans to stop the Euro 2020 final being moved from Wembley to Budapest.
Ministers are reportedly discussing a plans to exempt Uefa and Fifa officials, politicians, broadcasters and sponsors from having to self-isolate on arrival to stop the location change.
This would come despite concerns that such a decision may lead to a rise in Covid infections, and provoke a public backlash.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to be drawn to the plans on the condition that they would boost a joint Home Nations bid for the 2030 World Cup.
Coronavirus testing in schools should be scrapped, experts say
Covid-19 testing trials in schools should be suspended due to a range of concerns including their effectiveness in picking up the virus, experts have said.
In an open letter to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson they criticised the approach, branding it “deeply concerning” that daily testing trials are “being presented as a solution for educational disruption”.
Currently around 200 schools and colleges across England are participating in a trial, with one group following the national guidance of quarantining contacts of positive cases, and the other allowing daily testing of contacts for a week instead of isolation.
NHS hails ‘watershed moment’ as all adults receive invite to book their jab
Britons aged 18 and over can now book their Covid-19 vaccine in England in what the NHS has described as “a final push to protect the country”.
All adults are urged to arrange a jab if they have not had one and the health force will start to send about 1.5 million texts to people aged 18-20 from Friday morning.
Duchess of Cambridge launches landmark centre for childhood
The Duchess of Cambridge has launched her own Centre for Early Childhood in a landmark step aimed at signalling her lifetime commitment to transforming society.
The development will shape Kate’s future focus as a senior royal and the centre will drive her vision to create a “happier, healthier, more nurturing world”, an aide said.
Kate is said to see the issue as the social equivalent to global climate change but is concerned that it is not being treated seriously enough.