High Court told that Napier barracks is ‘unsafe and entirely unsuitable’ to house refugees

A former army barracks being used by the Home Office to house asylum seekers is “unsafe and entirely unsuitable”, the High Court has heard. The Napier Barracks in Kent has been used to accommodate hundreds of asylum seekers since last September, despite the Home Office being warned by Public Health England that it was unsuitable. Six refugees previously housed at the barracks, all of whom are said to be “victims of either torture or human trafficking or both”, say conditions are “appalling”, with no mental health support and just one nurse on site. Almost 200 people tested positive for coronavirus during an outbreak at the barracks in January…

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Court shown bodycam footage of George Floyd arrest

CONTENT WARNING – SOME READERS MAY FIND THE GRAPHIC SCENES DESCRIBED HERE DISTURBING George Floyd’s struggle with three Minneapolis police officers trying to arrest him, seen on bodycam video, has been shown in court at the trial of one of the officers. “I’m sorry” The footage included Floyd’s panicked cries of “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” and “I’m claustrophobic!” as the officers tried to push him into the back of a police SUV. At one point, Floyd bucks forward, throwing his upper body out of the car. Officers eventually give up, and Floyd thanks them – and is then taken to the ground, face down and handcuffed. Officer Derek…

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Asda workers win Supreme Court discrimination fight for equal pay

Asda bosses have lost a Supreme Court equal pay fight with store workers. More than 40,000 Asda store workers, about two-thirds of whom are women, brought equal pay claims after complaining that staff working in distribution depots unfairly get more money. Asda bosses said store jobs were not comparable to distribution centre jobs. The store workers, who are represented by law firm Leigh Day, made sex discrimination claims, saying they historically got less because most store workers are women while most distribution depot staff are men. Implications for supermarkets and other retailers Lawyers representing the store workers say distribution depot workers get between £1.50 and £3.00 an hour…

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Court of Appeal overturns members of the Shrewsbury 24’s convictions

Members of the so-called Shrewsbury 24, who were convicted for picketing nearly 50 years ago, have won a bid to clear their names at the Court of Appeal. Two dozen trade unionists who picketed during the 1972 national builders’ strike were charged with offences including unlawful assembly, conspiracy to intimidate and affray for picketing, with 22 of them convicted. Lawyers representing 14 of the Shrewsbury 24, including The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson, argued the destruction of original witness statements means their convictions are unsafe. Excellent news! One travesty of justice finally put right after 48 years. Well done to the campaigners and the building workers who were…

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Supreme Court rules carers on ‘sleep-in shifts’ are not entitled to minimum wage

Carers who have to sleep at their workplace in case they are needed overnight are not entitled to the minimum wage for their whole shift, the Supreme Court has ruled. On call Claire Tomlinson-Blake, a Mencap support worker in the East Riding of Yorkshire, appealed against a Court of Appeal ruling that carers are only entitled to the minimum wage when they are required to be awake for work – and not while asleep. She challenged the decision at the UK’s highest court at a hearing in February last year alongside a linked appeal brought by John Shannon, a Surrey care home worker whose case was heard along…

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Court hears details of Sarah Everard’s disappearance and how her body was found

Content warning: This article contains details of Sarah Everard’s case which some readers may find distressing. Serving Metropolitan Police constable Wayne Couzens, 48, is charged with kidnapping and killing Sarah Everard. The 33-year-old marketing executive went missing while walking home from a friend’s flat in south London on 3 March. Everard’s body was found inside a large builder’s bag in Ashford, Kent on Wednesday 10 March, a court has heard. Court appearance Couzens appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on the morning of Saturday 13 March. It was his first court appearance following his arrest on Tuesday. The defendant arrived at the central London court at 10am in a…

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Damning court verdict finds failure to declare hundreds of contracts and that Johnson ‘misled Parliament’

The government unlawfully failed to publish details of more than 500 coronavirus-related contracts within the required time, the High Court has said. Failures The Good Law Project took legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for its “wholesale failure” to disclose details of contracts agreed during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The government is required by law to publish a “contract award notice” within 30 days of the award of any contracts for public goods or services worth more than £120,000. At a hearing last month, the Good Law Project argued there had been a “dismal” failure by the DHSC to comply with the obligation.…

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Crowd cheers as charged HS2 campaigner leaves court

An anti-HS2 activist who spent almost a month underground in a network of tunnels in central London has denied aggravated trespass. HS2 Larch Maxey, 48, was removed from Euston Square Gardens by bailiffs on 22 February after entering the tunnels as part of protests against the high-speed railway line. The geography lecturer appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 23 February charged with criminal damage and two counts of obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in lawful activity. Maxey, of Denham Country Park, in Denham, Buckinghamshire, denied all three charges. The activist, from the group HS2 Rebellion, is accused of trespassing and disrupting HS2 construction work at Euston…

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High Court rules the Government acted unlawfully by failing to disclose Covid contracts

The Government unlawfully failed to publish details of billions of pounds’ worth of coronavirus-related contracts, the High Court has ruled. The Good Law Project took legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for its “wholesale failure” to disclose details of contracts agreed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government is required by law to publish a “contract award notice” within 30 days of the award of any contracts for public goods or services worth more than £120,000. At a hearing earlier this month, the Good Law Project and three MPs – Labour’s Debbie Abrahams, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Liberal Democrat Layla Moran –…

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Massive victory for workers as Uber loses Supreme Court battle

Supreme Court justices have ruled against Uber and said that drivers should be classed as workers. Seven justices ruled on the latest round of a long-running fight between Uber operating companies and drivers on Friday, after a hearing in July. Uber operating companies, who said drivers were contractors not workers, appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds of the fight. “Historic” Justices dismissed Uber’s appeal in a decision the GMB union said was “historic”. BREAKING: It’s the end of the road for Uber’s mistreatment of drivers. This landmark Supreme Court ruling puts all debates to bed. Time for Uber to accept its responsibilities, compensate drivers…

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