Building materials watchdog launched after ‘deeply disturbing’ Grenfell evidence

A new regulator will be set up to ensure the safety of building materials after “deeply disturbing” evidence of malpractice was heard at the Grenfell Inquiry, the government has said.ConcernsThe investigation into the fatal fire which killed 72 people in 2017 has heard that some firms involved in the production of materials used on the tower’s flammable cladding deliberately manipulated fire tests and marketing materials. Now, a regulator for construction products will be able to remove any products from the market that pose a safety risk and prosecute any companies that are found to be flouting rules.If there are concerns about a product, the new body will be…

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Police chief leaps to defend his force before any investigation into Mohamud Hassan’s death is carried out

The funeral of 24-year-old Mohamud Mohammed Hassan took place on Sunday 17 January. Mohamud died suddenly on 9 January after being arrested and held overnight in police custody. Witnesses say that he had been released from Cardiff Bay police station with blood on his clothes and bruises all over his body. According to a close friend, he said: Look fam, the police have beat the shit out of me. Before he died, Mohamud told his family that the police had tasered him twice. His cousins said: [Mohamud] stated that he was brutally kicked in the head and suffered injuries to his face and knee- it was dislocated, and…

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The ‘Corbyn Project’ is promising. But can it deliver on its goals?

After much buzz on social media, Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project finally launched on Sunday 17 January. And while everyone involved managed to ‘talk the talk’ – will they, and it, be able to ‘walk the walk’? Overall, the launch left me concerned – but the project itself leaves me more hopeful. Brilliant and superb… Let’s start with the project itself. There is a lot of good content on the website. For example, its approach to Rupert Murdoch, the other billionaire media barons and the BBC is absolutely brilliant. Its website says: We will commission research, support grassroots actions and campaign to bring about a media system…

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Pressure is mounting on the government to ‘do the right thing’ and keep the Universal Credit uplift

Calls have increased to keep the uplift in Universal Credit, amid predictions of a downturn in living standards during 2021. According to new research by the Resolution Foundation, removing the uplift could push thousands of households into poverty as the UK continues to deal with the economic effects of coronavirus (Covid-19). Karl Handscomb, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: The living standards outlook for 2021 looks bleak at present – but the Government can directly improve it. Deciding if the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit should be extended will determine whether millions of households are able to enjoy any sort of living standards recovery next…

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Jeremy Corbyn’s legal battle with Labour reaches the High Court

The first stage of Jeremy Corbyn’s legal battle with Labour over his suspension from the parliamentary party will be heard by the High Court.Lawyers for the former opposition leader are applying for the disclosure of documents ahead of a possible legal challenge over his suspension.At a remote hearing on Monday afternoon, judge Lisa Sullivan will consider an application for “pre-action disclosure” by Corbyn’s legal team.His case is expected to relate to the Islington North MP’s original suspension and the negotiation with the leader of the opposition’s office over the terms of his reinstatement. Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (Aaron Chown/PA)It has previously been reported that they will…

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This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let’s not whitewash his what he stood for

As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Day on 18 January, it’s important to challenge the dominant narratives that surround him. His history as a radical, anti-racist, anti-war, anti-capitalist leftist has been whitewashed to produce something more palatable for the mainstream. However, the iconic civil rights leader posed a legitimate threat to America’s white supremacist, militaristic, imperialist, materialistic status quo. King stood firm against the “Three Evils of Society”: militarism, materialism, and racism. His non-violent resistance has been misrepresented as colour-blind passivity. But he was committed to fundamental revolutionary change. Anti-racism Liberal and conservative commentators alike have co-opted King’s memory to discredit the aims and actions of today’s…

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A new group is raising the voices of ‘Young Socialists’, and it couldn’t come at a better time

A new group is aiming to provide a platform for all young socialists, giving them a voice and a launchpad to find “radical solutions” to the problems they face. And the timing is perfect. Because there must be millions of young people in the UK looking for hope and direction for change. So, they may just have found it. Welcome to the Young Socialists Young Socialists has only just started out. It launched on 12 January 2021. But the group’s Twitter account already has over 1,500 followers, including three Labour MPs. The group has been promoting campaigns that affect young people, such as the current chaos with free…

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Ambulance workers ‘at breaking point’, union survey suggests

Three out of four ambulance staff are at “breaking point”, suffering low morale, and calling for better protective equipment, a new study suggests.“Scary”The GMB union said almost two out of three of 2,000 of its members surveyed said they believed their PPE should be upgraded.Three out of four respondents said ambulance workers were at “breaking point”, with the crisis much worse than when the lockdown first started last March.The responses included:– “People are dying waiting for ambulances whilst crews are stuck at hospital with Covid-confirmed patients”. – “We had a taxi pull up in an ambulance bay with a dead male while his wife was shouting for help”.–…

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DWP chaos around Universal Credit reaches breaking point

There’s a crescendo in the chaos around the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Because parliament is about to debate the contentious £20 a week “uplift” the DWP placed on Universal Credit. But, this is the Conservative government. So nothing is that straightforward. DWP and Universal Credit – chaos looming? In April 2020, the DWP increased the rate of Universal Credit by around £20 a week. But ever since then, uncertainty has existed over what will happen this April. Because the Tories are ending this increase, so people will see a £20 cut to their payments. Groups including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) have previously stepped in. Last year,…

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60 years on, Patrice Lumumba’s assassination stands as a gruesome reminder of post-colonial brutality

Exactly 60 years ago today, Congolese national liberation leader Patrice Lumumba was assassinated. Those responsible were most likely troops of a rival government acting on behalf of the Congo’s former colonial master, which had retained a presence in the Central African country. But there’s more to the assassination than initially meets the eye. There has been a gradual accumulation of credible evidence that the world’s post-WWII colonial superpower, the US, along with its sidekick the UK, played a hand in the events leading to Lumumba’s assassination. The episode remains a bleak reminder of how the West continued to have a brutal role in the Global South, even after its…

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