Labour’s support for Rashford is a sham. Here’s why.

If there’s a bandwagon to be jumped on, you can be sure that Keir Starmer’s Labour Party will be first in the queue. But its support for footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign over free school meals is actually a sham. Marcus Rashford Rashford has become a prominent anti-poverty campaigner. Most recently, he launched a petition calling on the government to end child food poverty. The petition has three asks: “Expand free school meals to all under-16s where a parent or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent benefit”. “Provide meals & activities during all holidays”. ” Increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers to at least £4.25…

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Burnham blames Sunak in Manchester lockdown row as he calls for Labour party support

Mayor Andy Burnham has blamed chancellor Rishi Sunak for being “the problem” in the row over a lockdown for Greater Manchester. It comes alongside confusion over talks with Downing Street.The feud between No 10 and the Labour mayor continued on 17 October. Downing Street said fresh talks had been set up for the weekend, only for Burnham’s office to deny this. Talks between him and Downing Street are reportedly now set to resume later on Sunday 18 October.Blame SunakBurnham has called for a return to the generosity of the original furlough scheme that saw the Treasury pay 80% of workers’ wages. But Sunak has only offered a 66%…

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Former head of MI5 to lead electoral review. We need accountability.

In the latest for The Canary‘s series on the review of electoral regulation, we turn to the reviewers. Lord Jonathan Evans is leading the committee carrying out the review into how election finances are run. Evans is the committee chair as well as former head of MI5. However, he also has questionable business links that potentially impact his ability to review our elections. The people carrying out the review The Committee on Standards in Public Life has a chairperson (Evans himself), 4 independent members, and 3 political members. The committee is tasked with carrying out a public consultation and then a review of how elections are regulated in…

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Children used as spies by UK police continue to be put in harm’s way

Charity Just for Kids Law has warned that children who are used as spies by police in criminal investigations are still at risk. This is despite revised Home Office guidance stating that children should only be used in “exceptional circumstances”. Child spies In a House of Lords debate held on October 2018, baroness Susan Williams shared evidence demonstrating that in some cases, child spies are trying to escape violent gangs or child sexual abuse. In the same debate, baroness Sally Hamwee revealed the case of a 17-year-old girl who was recruited to spy on a man who was sexually exploiting her. Her exploitation was allowed to continue, and…

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Government adviser on Islamophobia calls for unity in the wake of France attack

Everyone should “work together” to counter extremism following an attack on a history teacher in France, the government’s Islamophobia adviser has said. History teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded near Paris on Friday 16 October. Paty had previously been threatened for discussing caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed with his class, according to French police. The suspect, an 18-year-old Chechen refugee unknown to intelligence services, was shot dead by police. “We must not play into their hateful rhetoric” Qari Asim MBE, imam of Makkah Mosque and government adviser on Islamophobia, spoke out against the incident. He also urged Britons not to be divided by “hateful rhetoric”. Asim said: Such barbaric…

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Independent SAGE publishes ’emergency six-week plan’ after government ignores its last advice

We need your help ... The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads. Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion. We have been fighting against an…

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Marcus Rashford petition to end child poverty surpasses 250,000 signatures

Marcus Rashford’s petition urging the government to act to end child poverty has surpassed 250,000 signatures, just two days after it was launched.The parliamentary petition calls for food to be provided during all holidays and for free school meals to be expanded to all households on Universal Credit. By 1.30pm on Saturday 17 October, the petition had been signed by some 250,000 people.Leader of the oppositionIt comes as Labour called on the government to provide free school meals during the holidays, although only until the spring. Calling on more people to sign the petition, England and Manchester United striker Rashford, 22, said: Let’s prove to these 1.5 million…

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Parent left ‘shouting at the television’ after PM gets coronavirus rules wrong again

We need your help ... The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads. Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion. We have been fighting against an…

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Human rights clauses in ‘spycops’ bill are worthless, leaked document reveals

A confidential police document seen by The Canary reveals that instructions to ‘spycops’, or undercover police officers (UCOs), regarding adherence to the Human Rights Act are not worth the paper they’re printed on. Similar instructions form part of the Covert Human Intelligence (CHIS) bill, heavily denounced by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.The billThe Tory government is progressing a bill to legalise the criminal activities of Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) who work with the police, MI5, and other state agencies. The bill passed its third reading on 15 October with Labour, under Keir Starmer, mostly abstaining.Meanwhile, in response to Starmer’s hardline stance, eight Labour MPs have resigned from…

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Bangkok shuts down transport systems as pro-democracy protests continue

Authorities in Bangkok have shut down mass transit systems and set up roadblocks as Thailand’s capital braced for a fourth straight day of determined anti-government protests. The pro-democracy protesters have been doing their best to elude the authorities, using social media to assemble followers before police have time to block them.The government has announced plans to take legal action against Twitter and Facebook accounts announcing the protests. But fresh calls to action were still posted on 17 October. Pro-democracy protesters flash three-fingers salute against shutting down mass transport system at Ashok BTS station in Bangkok(AP)DeterminationThe protesters are calling for prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to leave office. They’re also…

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