Categories
World News

Children should be taught 'the good and bad about history'

Children should be taught ‘the good and bad about history’, says Gavin Williamson as he insists we should be ‘very proud’ of Britain’s past – after calls to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum

  • Gavin Williamson said it is ‘really important’ that history classes reflect diversity
  • He said: ‘We have got to ensure that we teach the good and bad about history’
  • It was revealed today that a quarter of British students ‘self-censor’ their views 

Children should be taught ‘the good and bad about history’, the Education Secretary said today, as he insisted we should be ‘very proud’ of Britain’s past. 

Gavin Williamson has indicated he would be ‘incredibly interested’ in making sure the country’s history curriculum is ‘reflective’ of Britain’s diverse population.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘It is really important that the history taught in schools looks at the rich diversity and tapestry that has made our nation so great, and the important role that people from all backgrounds have played in our history.’ 

The Education Secretary said we should be ‘very proud of our history,’ adding: ‘I would always want schools to be celebrating our great nation’s history and the important role that we have played in the world and shaping the world for the better.’

Mr Williamson explained this means ‘making sure we are always very reflective of diversity and of all those people who have made an important role in making the history of our nation.’  

Gavin Williamson (pictured) has indicated he would be ‘incredibly interested’ in making sure the country’s history curriculum is ‘reflective’ of Britain’s diverse population

It comes after private schools revealed plans to alter history lessons in an attempt to ‘decolonise’ their curriculums in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year.

Top independent schools such as Winchester, Fettes, Ampleforth and St Paul’s Girls are said to be ‘formulating new approaches’ to teaching about Britain’s colonial past.

‘We have initiated a review into the school’s culture and practices, and it is our intention that this review will conclude next term,’ Winchester College said in June.

‘A major focus will be our curriculum and our desire to teach beyond the traditional syllabus by applying a global perspective and a broader range of source material,’ it added. 

Tony Blair’s former school of Fettes College in Edinburgh said it would use the moment as ‘a catalyst for real change, and we are working with staff to produce an action plan’. 

Asked about the row at the time, Mr Williamson said children should learn about ‘the good and the bad’ of the country’s past. 

He added: ‘It is absolutely vitally important, incredibly important, that when children are learning about our nation’s history, they learn all aspects of it.’ 

The decision to review curricula came after Oriel College, Oxford, decided to take down its statue to benefactor Cecil Rhodes following a long-running campaign accusing him of white supremacy. 

Private schools revealed plans to alter history lessons in an attempt to ‘decolonise’ their curriculums in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year.  Pictured: Protests in London

Tony Blair’s former school of Fettes College in Edinburgh, pictured above, said it would use the moment as ‘a catalyst for real change, and we are working with staff to produce an action plan’

The developments follow other schools with links to historical figures implicated in the slave trade exploring name changes.

Beckford School in north London, named after former Lord Mayor of London William Beckford, and Branfil Primary School, in east London, which named after a slave-trading squire, were among those seeking to ditch the references.

Meanwhile, it was revealed today that more than a quarter of students ‘self-censor’ because they fear their views will clash with the ‘woke’ values promoted by their university.

In the latest evidence of the free speech crisis engulfing campuses across the country, 27 per cent of students said they have actively ‘hidden’ their opinions when they are at odds with those of their peers and tutors.

More than half of those who ‘self-censored’ did so because of their political views. A further 40 per cent withheld their opinions on ethical or religious matters for fear of being judged.

In a chilling indication that those with ‘unfashionable’ views fear speaking out will have long-term consequences, almost 40 per cent of those polled said they believed their career would be adversely affected if they expressed their true opinions at university.

Free speech campaigners last night likened some campuses to ‘Maoist re-education camps’ dominated by ‘woke orthodoxy’ where only the most liberal and Left-wing views are tolerated.

Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics at the University of Kent, said: ‘We need to keep our world-leading universities as free as possible and we need students and the people teaching them to feel that they can debate, discuss and exchange ideas and perspectives from different angles.

It was revealed today that more than a quarter of students ‘self-censor’ because they fear their views will clash with the ‘woke’ values promoted by their university

More than half of those who ‘self-censored’ did so because of their political views. A further 40 per cent withheld their opinions on ethical or religious matters for fear of being judged

‘If we lose that, we’re going to lose what it is that makes our universities great in the first place. Freedom of speech is a fundamental aspect of our national identity.’

The survey – conducted by Survation on behalf of ADF International, a faith-based legal advocacy organisation – found that more than a third (36 per cent) of students hold views that are legal to express but that would be considered ‘unacceptable’ by their student union.

Ryan Christopher, Director of ADF International UK, said: ‘Of all places, university is where students should be free to debate and explore ideas – especially those with which they disagree.

‘Institutional policies and practices can suggest that even mainstream views are beyond the pale.

‘Today’s censorship on campus can easily become cancel culture in the public square.’

The poll, which received responses from 1,028 current university students and recent graduates across the country, discovered that 44 per cent believed lecturers would treat them differently if they publicly expressed views important to them.

Two-fifths of those questioned said so-called ‘no platforming’ – where events are cancelled due to the views held by speakers – had become more frequent at their university. 

British Library adds Poet Laureate Ted Hughes to a dossier linking him to slavery and colonialism

The celebrated poet Ted Hughes has been added to a dossier linking him to slavery and colonialism by the British Library.

The former Poet Laureate, who came from humble origins in Yorkshire, was found to be a descendant of Nicholas Ferrar who was involved in the slave trade some 300 years before Hughes was born.

Ferrar, born in 1592, and his family, were ‘deeply involved’ with the London Virginia Company, which sought to establish colonies in North America.

The celebrated poet Ted Hughes has been added to a dossier linking him to slavery and colonialism by the British Library

The research is being conducted to find evidence of ‘connections to slavery, profits from slavery or from colonialism’

The research is being conducted to find evidence of ‘connections to slavery, profits from slavery or from colonialism’, The Telegraph reported. 

Hughes was born in 1930 in the village of Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire where his father worked as a joiner before running a newsagent’s and a tobacconist’s.

He attended Cambridge University on a scholarship where he met his future wife Sylvia Plath.

Along with Hughes, who died in 1998, the British Library has identified Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde and George Orwell as benefits of slavery through distant relatives.

Lord Byron, who died in 1824, has been identified as a beneficiary of slavery because of his great-grandfather’s and uncle’s involvement in the trade

Oscar Wilde was included because of his uncle’s interest in the slave trade, even though the research noted there was no evidence the acclaimed Irish writer inherited any of the money

It is part of the institution’s plans to become ‘actively anti-racist’ by providing context to the remembrance of historical figures.

It comes in the wake of this year’s Black Lives Matter movement which led to a reassessment of a number of people and institutions from our past.

But the tenuous link between Hughes and Ferrar, who he is related to through his mother’s side, has prompted ire among experts of the great writer.

His biographer Sir Jonathan Bate said: ‘It’s ridiculous to tar Hughes with a slave trade connection. And it’s not a helpful way to think about writers.

‘Why on earth would you judge the quality of an artist’s work on the basis of distant ancestors?’

He added that Ferrar was better known as a priest and a scholar who founded the religious community Little Gidding.

George Orwell, who was born Eric Blair in India, had a great-grandfather who was a wealthy slave owner in Jamaica

Mural of Winston Churchill attracts complaints from ‘woke brigade’ 

A mural of Winston Churchill wearing stockings and suspenders and giving the V sign (pictured) has attracted complaints from locals who claim the hand gesture is ‘offensive’

A mural of Winston Churchill wearing stockings and suspenders and giving the ‘V’ sign has attracted complaints from locals who claim the hand gesture is ‘offensive’.

The mural of the wartime leader wearing lingerie was painted on a side wall of the Sandpiper guest house in Brighton by an illusive local artist who goes by the name Horace. 

Guest house owner Mr Phillips – who only provided his last name – received a call from Brighton and Hove City Council who told him they had received complaints about the mural. 

Mr Phillips – who was given three days to alter the image – called Horace as he feared local authorities would ‘ruin the painting’.

But the council made a u-turn at the eleventh hour, claiming the ‘decision had been overturned’, and the mural would not need to be changed because the gesture was ‘historically authentic’. 

Churchill gave the iconic ‘V for victory’ salute during World War Two. 

Churchill giving the iconic ‘V for victory’ salute on November 10, 1942, during World War Two

Romantic poet Lord Byron was added to this list because his great-grandfather was a merchant who owned an estate in Grenada.

His uncle through marriage also owned a plantation in St Kitts.

Oscar Wilde was included because of his uncle’s interest in the slave trade, even though the research noted there was no evidence the acclaimed Irish writer inherited any of the money through the practice.

Meanwhile George Orwell, who was born Eric Blair in India, had a great-grandfather who was a wealthy slave owner in Jamaica.

But the Orwell Society said the money had long since disappeared before Orwell was even born. 

It was recently reported how the British Library was also ‘reviewing’ its Sir Hans Sloane manuscripts after activists targeted one of scores of London landmarks – including the famous Sloane Square – which are named after the pioneering doctor.

The move was revealed in a note on its website, and coincides with a wider review of Sloane’s legacy that saw the British Museum – which he founded – remove his bust from a pedestal and attach the label ‘slave owner’.

The 18th-century philanthropist partly funded his collection of 71,000 artefacts with money from his wife’s sugar plantation in Jamaica, which used slave labour. 

A statue of his likeness on Duke of York Square, off the Kings Road, has attracted the ire of protesters.

But the multi-million pound Cadogan Estate which manages the site on behalf of his descendant, the billionaire Earl Cadogan, resisted calls for the statue to be removed.

They pointed to his astonishing legacy, which included pioneering the smallpox vaccine and the use of quinine to treat malaria. He is also credited with inventing hot chocolate.

The questioning of his legacy could also see campaigns to rename the scores of streets that memorialise him – many of which are located on the Cadogan Estate.

As well as the British Museum, Sloane also founded the Natural History Museum and the Chelsea Physic Garden, and was a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital. All these sites include references to Sloane that could now come under threat.

Another target could be the famous Sloane Square and its well-heeled denizens… nicknamed Sloane Rangers, of which Princess Diana was considered to be an archetype.

Sloane’s descendant, Earl Cadogan, has a seat in the House of Lords and still owns swathes of some of the most exclusive real estate in London as part of his inheritance.

Much of this land is named after the eminent physician and collector, including Sloane Street, Sloane Avenue, Sloane Terrace, and a network of three streets bearing his first name, Hans.

There is also a statue of Sloane on Duke of York Square, an exclusive shopping, dining and residential complex off the Kings Road that sits at the heart of the 300-year-old Cadogan Estate.

The British Library now holds the Sloane manuscripts, which include works by the Elizabethan astronomer John Dee, medieval illuminated manuscripts and Henry VIII’s collection of medical recipes. 

The British Library said on its website: ‘Some items now at the British Library, previously owned by particular named figures cited on these pages, are associated with wealth obtained from enslaved people or through colonial violence. 

‘Curators in the Printed Heritage Collections team have undertaken some research to identify these, as part of ongoing work to interpret and document the provenance and history of the printed collections under our care.’ 

The British Library was contacted for comment.

Tory MPs urge Boris to go to war on BBC and National Trust wokery: PM told to speak out for Britain’s patriotic silent majority against ‘elitist bourgeois liberals’ at institutions

By Glen Owen and Brendan Carlin for the Mail on Sunday

Tory MPs are to demand that Boris Johnson launch a fightback against the politically correct ‘woke’ agenda of institutions including the BBC and the National Trust, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The Prime Minister will be urged to speak out for Britain’s ‘patriotic’ silent majority and take a stand against bids by ‘elitist bourgeois liberals’ to rewrite or denigrate the nation’s history.

More than 25 Tory MPs will write to Mr Johnson this week, warning him that ‘Britain’s heritage is under attack – ironically from those missioned to guard it’.

The appeal, led by senior backbencher and ex-Minister Sir John Hayes, will call for drastic action including decriminalising the BBC licence fee and potentially stripping the National Trust of its charitable status. In a stern warning last night, Sir John said: ‘Those responsible for our heritage must stand with us or stand aside.’

The group of Tory MPs and peers also take issue with the BBC’s move to ‘censor’ The Pogues’ song Fairytale Of New York over its use of the word ‘faggot’

Oxford college drops benefactor’s name from its famous library

Oxford’s most elite college has dropped the name of a slave-owning benefactor from its famous library – but decided to keep his statue standing.

All Souls said that it will cease to refer to the ‘Codrington Library’, named after Christopher Codrington, who endowed the college with £10,000 to build a collection when he died in 1710.

He is just one of many historical benefactors British philanthropists who have had their legacies – and involvement in slavery – reassessed in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and renewed interest in colonialism.

In Bristol the statue of Edward Colston, a slave-trader who endowed schools in the city. was pulled down by a mob in June, while at least once school named after him changed its name.

In Oxford, the highest-profile campaign has been against Cecil Rhodes.The future of his statue at Oriel College is currently being decided by an ‘independent commission’.

But All Souls, which takes no undergraduates and is famous for taking a handful of new students each year who pass ‘the hardest exam in the world’, said it would not be removing its controversial statue.

The college said that while it would cease to use the name ‘Codrington Library’, ‘further forms of memorialisation and contextualisation’ would be added to explain the sculpture.

These additions will ‘draw attention to the presence of enslaved people on the Codrington plantations, and will express the College’s abhorrence of slavery’, the college said.

While many have hailed the recent campaigns to reassess British colonialism and its consequences, others have expressed caution at ‘rewriting’ the past.

PM Boris Johnson himself has said people should not ‘edit our national CV to make it look more politically correct’.

 

Their letter, seen by this newspaper, calls for a panel of ‘patriots’ to vet major public appointments, and shows their anger over the National Trust’s decision to ‘commission a review of its properties’ links with colonialism’ – including Churchill’s home, Chartwell.

And it rebukes ‘unheroic characters at the National Maritime Museum’ for ‘re-evaluating Nelson’s heroic status’.

The appeal for the ‘patriotic’ fightback is being organised by the Common Sense group of 60 Tory MPs and peers. Sir John, its chairman, said: ‘It’s time to defend British traditions and values… to stand against the senseless woke whingers and the soulless militants who despise the best of Britain.’

They also take issue with the BBC’s move to ‘censor’ The Pogues’ song Fairytale Of New York over its use of the word ‘faggot’. 

They write: ‘In light of the BBC’s repeated refusal to address its organisation’s undoubted liberal bias, illustrated most recently by its bizarre decision to censor a well-known Christmas song, (perhaps, similarly, the whole canon of popular music is to be reviewed by a highly paid zealot!), we believe it is now time to decriminalise the licence fee, so enabling ordinary Britons to choose whether or not to pay for the BBC’s content.’ 

Members of the group – which includes many so-called Red Wall Tories who won seats from Labour last year – are understood to have had a ‘positive’ response from Mr Johnson when they met him this year.

‘We know that the Prime Minister, because of his learning and thoughtfulness about this, recognises that history can neither be sanitised nor rewritten,’ said Sir John. ‘So, we believe he is on the right side of this argument.’

Signatory Tom Hunt said: ‘The vast majority of people in this country are patriotic. They realise that in history there are occasions when we haven’t always got it right.

‘But they realise that by and large this country has been a force for good and are proud of being British. They find it incredibly frustrating and infuriating when very high-profile public organisations – in some cases charitable ones supported by the taxpayer – are promoting divisive political agendas.’

The letter comes amid growing concern within the party over the influence of the Prime Minister’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds, identified by many Tories as the guiding force behind Mr Johnson’s new focus on the ‘green’ agenda.

The Common Sense Tories make a direct threat to the funding of the National Trust, telling Mr Johnson: ‘As long as the purpose of these charitable organisations is perverted by political posturing, we request that you ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to review all outstanding funding applications from [bodies] that pursue political causes.’

They want the Charity Commission to consider ‘the withdrawal of charitable status of guilty parties, notably the National Trust’.

The group’s letter rebukes ‘unheroic characters at the National Maritime Museum’ for ‘re-evaluating Nelson’s heroic status’ (pictured: the Lord Nelson statue at top of Nelson’s column)

On public appointments, they say: ‘It is vital that those appointed reflect public perceptions of what’s just and right, rather than parroting the preoccupations of the liberal Left. To which end, perhaps all appointments should be overseen by a “people’s panel” of patriots.’

The BBC said Fairytale Of New York would be played with its full lyrics on some stations, but not Radio 1, whose young listeners are particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.

The National Trust said that ‘exploring and sharing the history of places we look after’ was ‘completely within our charitable objectives’.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Furious Giuliani declares 'networks don't get to decide elections'

Rudy Giuliani is finally lost for words: Trump’s personal lawyer fumes ‘networks don’t get to decide elections’ as he learns during Philadelphia press briefing they have called the election for Biden

  • Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani looked perplexed when asked about the TV networks calling the election for Biden on Saturday afternoon
  • He was speaking during a press conference in Philadelphia about the Trump campaign’s legal challenges to the vote count in Pennsylvania
  • Just before, all major networks had declared Biden the winner in the state
  • ‘Who was it called by?’ the former NYC mayor asked
  • He quickly composed himself and mocked the networks’ call
  • ‘Networks don’t get to decide elections, courts do,’ Giuliani fumed

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared taken aback as he learned during a press conference in Philadelphia that TV networks had called the presidential election for Joe Biden on Saturday morning. 

Taking a question from a reporter, the former New York City Mayor initially looked confused about ‘the call’ before asking, ‘Who was it called by?’

When he heard ‘all the networks’ had awarded Biden Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes, he quickly regained his composure, taking on a sarcastic tone and looking around to his team saying ‘oh my goodness!’

He repeated that the Trump campaign would continue to fight the result as he said: ‘Networks don’t get to decide elections, courts do.’ 

Scroll down for video 

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to Trump, gestures after media announced that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has won the 2020 election

‘All the networks, we have to forget about the law, judges don’t count. All the networks. All the networks,’ he mocked, looking to the sky and raising his arms upward.     

‘All the networks thought Biden was going to win by ten percent. Gee, what happened?’  

He was then asked whether the team would be able to change the result as it stands now through the courts.

‘Of course!’ he claimed. ‘Courts set aside elections if they’re illegal. 

‘In this particular case, I don’t know if there’s enough evidence to set aside the entire election – certainly not across the entire country – maybe in Pennsylvania.

‘However, there certainly is enough evidence to disqualify a certain number of ballots,’ he alleged.  

‘The ballots that were not properly inspected should be thrown out and that number of ballots should be taken out of the count. That could affect the election.’

Giuliani and the rest of Trump’s legal team were holding the press conference Saturday as they announced that they intended to press on with Trump’s election challenge, oblivious to Pennsylvania, and the presidency, already having been called for Biden. 

‘He’s not going to concede when at least 600,000 ballots are in question,’ Giuliani said. 

Rudy Giuliani slammed the call and declared that ‘networks don’t get to decide elections’

A Trump fan in Philadelphia screams at supporters of Biden across the road after news media named the former Vice President the winner of the election on Saturday morning

Trump supporters stand outside as attorney for the President Rudy Giuliani speaks at a news conference in the parking lot of a landscaping company in Philadelphia

The Trump campaign has lodged multiple complaints about the vote count in the state with Giuliani on Saturday claiming that poll workers ‘were uniformly deprived of their right to inspect any part of the mail-in ballots’.

He was joined by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski as they alleged that Philadelphia has a ‘sad history of voter fraud’ and that multiple ballots with the names of people who were deceased had been cast. 

‘Will Smith’s father has voted here twice since he has died,’ Giuliani said. ‘I don’t know who he voted for because the vote is secret. In Philadelphia they keep the votes of dead people secret.’ 

‘The same thing was done in Georgia, the same thing was done in Michigan, the same thing was done in North Carolina,’ the former mayor continued. 

‘Seems to me somebody from the DNC sent out a note saying don’t let the Republicans look at those mail in ballots, at least not in the big democratic hack cities that we control.’ 

Giuliani initially appeared perplexed as he learned during a press conference about the call

A Trump supporter stands outside looking through a fence at Giuliani’s press conference

‘This is not anecdotal,’ added Lewandowski. ‘This is hard evidence and if you do your jobs from the media and you will find additional examples.’  

They offered no proof of the allegations but said a lawsuit would be launched by the campaign on Monday.

The state appeared to have won the presidency for Biden on Saturday as he took a narrow 0.5 percent lead, equating to 28,800 votes out of more than 6.5 million cast.   

Trump spent Saturday morning tweeting and on the golf course as he lost Pennsylvania, the state he desperately needed in order to secure a second term.     

One hearing that it had been called for Biden, the President again fumed of cheating.  

He argued in his statement Saturday: ‘In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.’

Security personnel direct a member of the media as Rudy Giuliani speaks from the Trump legal team after news media named Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden the winner

Giuliani claimed that it was not the end and the Trump campaign would fight the result

Giuliani addresses the media with the Trump legal team on Saturday afternoon

Trump participates in a round of golf as his rival Biden was announced as the new president 

But Trump’s campaign lawyer conceded to a Philadelphia judge on Thursday that the president’s team did have election observers in the room to watch mail-in ballots be counted in Pennsylvania. 

‘I’m sorry, then what’s your problem?’ said U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond, a President George W. Bush appointee. 

The Trump campaign was trying to get an injunction to halt vote counting in Philadelphia, a heavily Democratic area that was expected to add to Biden’s vote total.

They argued their observers had been unfairly barred from parts of the city’s ballot-counting area inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center. 

But, under questioning, Trump lawyer Jerome Marcus conceded: ‘There’s a non-zero number of people in the room.’ 

Diamond urged the Trump campaign and the Philadelphia election board to come to a resolution. The two parties ultimately agreed that a fixed number of observers from each campaign — up to sixty — could be admitted, according to NPR. 

The Trump’s campaign suit was then dismissed as moot.

Pennsylvania could still be heading for a recount, which state law requires in elections that are decided by 0.5 percent of the vote or less.

A lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Republican Party, based on a state court’s ruling on the validity of late mail-in ballots, is also likely headed to the Supreme Court.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Medic blasts Jacqui Smith 'dereliction of duty' with Strictly role

Medic blasts former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s ‘dereliction of duty’ by ‘prancing around’ on Strictly while Birmingham NHS Trust she chairs ‘is at tipping point’ in battle against Covid

  • Ms Smith is appearing on Strictly Come Dancing with pro dancer Anton Du Beke
  • Ex Labour MP is chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • The former Home Secretary was criticised in online petition by a haematologist 
  • Clare Gardner blasted Ms Smith for competing on the reality TV show 

Strictly star Jacqui Smith has been blasted for ‘prancing around’ on the BBC show while the NHS Trust she chairs suffers under the strain of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Home Secretary was seen strutting her stuff for the launch of this year’s programme on Saturday.

She was paired with the hit BBC1 show’s longest-serving professional male dancer, Anton Du Beke.

The former Labour MP is chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.  

But Ms Smith – whose ex-husband infamously entered a Parliamentary expenses claim for pornographic films – was criticised by a haematologist at one of the trust’s hospitals for an alleged ‘dereliction of duty’.

It comes as a health chief at Ms Smith’s NHS trust – Jonathan Brotherton – last week warned that its hospitals are at ‘tipping point’ due to the virus. 

Scroll down for video. 

Strictly star Jacqui Smith has been blasted for ‘prancing around’ on the BBC show while the NHS Trust she chairs suffers under the strain of the Covid-19 pandemic

The former Home Secretary was seen strutting her stuff for the launch of this year’s programme on Saturday

There are rising Covid-19 cases in the area, putting hospitals under increasing pressure. 

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is in charge of four hospitals – Good Hope, Heartlands, Queen Elizabeth and Solihull – and is the biggest hospital trust in England.  

And haematologist Clare Gardner blasted Ms Smith for competing on the reality TV show instead of focussing all her energy on helping tackle the second wave of infections.

An online petition in Ms Gardner’s name says: ‘She is the chair of the largest NHS Trust in the UK, during a time of major crisis i.e. the second Covid-19 wave.

‘We are already in a Tier Two lockdown. I am a haematologist within the Trust she apparently chairs.

‘Our Chief Executive Dr David Rosser has made numerous statements to the press recently, describing the fear and foreboding we all sense towards rising cases.

The former Labour MP is chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. But Ms Smith was criticised by a haematologist at the hospital for an alleged ‘dereliction of duty’

‘She sent me a very trite card, after I spent three months heading up the outpatient haematology cancer service at Good Hope Hospital alone when my colleagues were sent to COVID rotas.

‘Now that we are facing a similarly perilous situation, she has swanned off to London to dance.

‘This is a dereliction of duty.

‘If ever there was a time to have figureheads in place for NHS organisations that are struggling, it is now.

‘Jacqui would rather wear sequins than look after her charge.’

The former MP previously said: ‘From October I am taking a step back.

‘I talked to hospitals’ chief executive Dave Rosser before I said yes and he was happy for me to go ahead.

‘The response from staff has been brilliant, they are really excited.’

Dr Rosser, CEO, of the trust, previously said: ‘We are really excited that Jacqui has agreed to be in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

‘To have one of our own UHB colleagues starring in one of the most-loved family shows on television is fantastic.

‘We wish her and whoever is lucky enough to be her partner the very, very best of luck.

‘While Jacqui will still be available for advice, she will take unpaid leave from October 1 while she remains in Strictly. Deputy Chair Harry Reilly will step in during Jacqui’s absence.’ 

Earlier this month, Ms Smith showed off her transformation for Strictly by posing in her dress and posting the photo on Twitter.   

She wrote: ‘The @bbcstrictly wardrobe, hair and makeup teams are genius.’ 

Earlier this month, Ms Smith showed off her transformation for Strictly by posing in her dress and posting the photo on Twitter 

The former Home Secretary said when she was announced as one of the final contestants: ‘I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me…’ 

She added: ‘Here’s a little tease of things to come! (Of course I look like this every weekend when recording @forthemanypod and that @IainDale [her co-star on the For The Many podcast] is a fiend for the sequins).

Fellow Strictly contestant and Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh, 43, posted a fire emoji and wrote that Ms Smith looked ‘sensational’.  

The former Home Secretary said when she was announced as one of the final contestants: ‘I was speechless with excitement at being asked to join Strictly – and that’s very rare for me…

‘Fifty years ago, I got a bronze medal for Scottish Highland Dancing and it feels about time to return to dancing. 

‘I couldn’t be in better hands with the Strictly team and I’m going to throw myself into the challenge. Watch out!’. 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Lifestyle

Rankin says the Queen was 'very funny' during photoshoot

Celebrity photographer Rankin reveals Queen was ‘very funny’ during shoot for her Golden Jubilee and brought a ‘wave of power’ into the room

  • John Rankin Waddell, 54, took photos of the Queen for her 2002 Golden Jubilee
  • The co-founder of Dazed + Confused magazine captured Her Majesty laughing
  • Had five minutes to photograph her, was ‘tongue tied’ when she entered room

Celebrity photographer Rankin has revealed the Queen poked fun at him while he took her picture, and brought a ‘wave of power’ into the room with her. 

John Rankin Waddell, 54, Suffolk, has over 30 years of experience photographing celebrities, and in 2002 took a portrait of Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace for her Golden Jubilee.  

Appearing on This Morning, the photographer admitted that he was ‘tongue tied’ after meeting the monarch, but was able to capture her laughing after part of his camera fell out.  

Rankin had just five minutes to photograph the royal, but called his time with her ‘incredible’ and was impressed by her sense of humour, calling the Queen ‘very funny’. 

Celebrity photographer Rankin has over 30 years of experience photographing celebrities, and in 2002 took a portrait of Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace for her Golden Jubilee 

John Rankin Waddell, 54, Suffolk, appeared on This Morning, where he revealed the Queen poked fun at him while he took her picture, and brought a ‘wave of power’ into the room with her

‘She was incredible, the Queen,’ he told. There was a wave of power that came into the room when she came into the room. 

‘I thought I was going to be able to chat to her and stuff, but I was almost tongue tied and she was very funny, making a joke about what I was doing. 

‘I thought I was doing such a good job and part of my camera fell down and she started to laugh and I thought ‘I’m going to get that photo”. 

Over lockdown, Rankin invited amateurs and professional photographers to share their photographs captured over the year, to potentially be included in his new Sky original series to be broadcast in September. 

Over lockdown, Rankin (pictured with hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield) invited amateurs and professional photographers to share their photographs captured over the year

‘It’s been such an hour to look at these photos,’ he said. ‘And there are tens of thousands of them and they really are inspiring. 

‘What I wanted to do right from the beginning was create a photo album of the time and it really is aimed at everybody. 

‘We’ve all used our camera phones to make ourselves products and almost perfect and what we’ve gone through is so different people have literally been going through and taking photos o their life.’ 

While the pictures taken at any point in the year can be submitted, Rankin told that the majority were from lockdown, and said the photos were ‘exceptional’. 

The photographer admitted that he was ‘tongue tied’ after meeting the monarch, but was able to capture her laughing after part of his camera fell out

‘Most of them came from the period of lockdown and some of the images we’ve had are exceptional’, he told.

‘I was in lockdown and couldn’t take photos and it got me out, it was the first thing I did when I came out of lockdown.’ 

Earlier this year, Rankin documented the crisis with striking portraits of 12 doctors, nurses and other NHS staff. 

He told that after working as a porter in the NHS before his photography career, he wanted to show ‘all the different people’ who have worked on the Covid-19 frontline. 

Earlier this year, Rankin documented the crisis with striking portraits of 12 doctors, nurses and other NHS staff. Pictured, Ranking shooting hospital porter Ali Abdi, from Bristol


Pictured left, NHS midwife, Claudia Anghel, from Coventry. Pictured right, GP Farzana Hussain, from London 

‘I contacted the NHS three weeks through lockdown and said “I’m a portrait photographer and would love to be able to help in some way”.  Because I worked as a porter and I know it’s lots of different people and not just doctors and nurses.

‘It took a while, but I got to go to different hospitals around the country and the stories were incredible and moving. 

‘But what for me made me feel comfortable was the handle they had on it, it was just amazing to meet these people. 

‘None of them saw themselves as heroes, they all felt like they were doing their job and I felt I was connecting with a moment in time.’ 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Lifestyle

The Bridge:Woman says she 'thought she was going to die' from Covid-19

The Bridge contestant, 39, who ‘genuinely thought she was going to die’ after battling Covid-19 reveals she now feels like it’s her ‘responsibility to embrace life and make the most of it’ after being given a second chance

  • Tara Jane Langston, 39, from London, opened up about her battle with Covid119
  • Told how paramedics put her on oxygen and she thought she’d ‘genuinely die’
  • Was speaking on last night’s episode of Channel 4 programme, The Bridge 

The Bridge contestant whose battle with coronavirus went viral after she documented it from her hospital has told how she ‘genuinely thought’ she was ‘going to die’.  

The Channel 4 show sees twelve strangers, including Trisha Goddard’s daughter and a plumber, face an epic challenge: to build an 850-foot bridge in 20 days, to reach an island where a £100,000 prize awaits.

However, the hour-long episode wasn’t all fun and games, as contestant Tara Jane Langston, 39, from London, opened up about her fight with Covid-19. 

‘The paramedics came and took me and put me on oxygen. I was on my own. I actually genuinely thought I was going to die,’ she explained.

‘I recorded a video from my hospital bed and the video went viral. I think that Covid-19 almost cost me my life, but it’s my responsibility now because I’ve got a second chance, to embrace my life and make the most of it, and that’s what I intend to do.’

Tara Jane Langston, 39, opened up about her battle with coronavirus in last night’s episode of Channel 4’s The Bridge 

The waitress (pictured) revealed that she ‘actually genuinely thought’ she was ‘going to die’ – and said that it’s her responsibility now to ’embrace’ her life seeing as she’s been given a second chance

During the show, a contestant asked: ‘Obviously 2020 has been a bit of a crazy year. What’s everyone’s experiences during lockdown and what have people been up to?’

Tara replied: ‘Well, I nearly died! I got Covid and I was in hospital in ICU. I couldn’t breathe. It just happened so quickly. 

‘I still feel bemused by the whole thing.’  

A video she made shortly after being admitted was viewed hundreds of thousands of times and seen around the world. 

Tara told how she got Covid and was in hospital in ICU. She added that she couldn’t breathe and that it just happened so quickly

It provided a wake-up call to many who thought only the elderly and those with underlying health problems were at risk from Covid-19.

In the video that went viral, Tara pleaded with others to take the deadly virus seriously and was one of the youngest victims in Britain to go public.

Gasping for breath and coughing, she made the harrowing video while in the ICU unit and sent it as a WhatsApp message to her colleagues warning them to take care.

She described trying to breathe as like ‘having glass in her lungs.’

The short video was posted to social media and went viral and has been viewed in the US, India and Europe. 

She said: ‘I would not wish what I have gone through on my worst enemy, but if there is one good thing I hope that it has opened people’s eyes to the dangers of this virus.

‘Until I became ill I took it with a pinch of salt. I was very healthy and did not think I would be at risk. And then it hit me. Knowing that some people will take notice and take better care makes the video all worthwhile.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Grazia magazine sacks its 'diversity champion' for anti-Semitic rants

Grazia magazine sacks its new ‘diversity champion’ for posting anti-Semitic Twitter rants – including one which read, ‘Auschwitz gas chamber music LMAO’

  • Stephanie Yeboah was hired as a contributing editor by magazine last month
  • But the 31-year-old activist has been axed over hateful remarks about Holocaust
  • One of her tweets read: ‘Every Jew has an attic but not every attic has Jews’ 
  • Ms Yeboah has since issued an apology for the comments she made online

Grazia magazine has sacked its new ‘diversity champion’ after she posted vile antisemitic comments on social media. 

Author and ‘body positivity’ blogger Stephanie Yeboah was hired as a contributing editor by the fashion and lifestyle weekly last month to ‘fight for diversity, inclusion and women’s rights’. 

But the 31-year-old activist has been axed over hateful remarks about the Holocaust including ‘every Jew has an attic but not every attic has Jews’, and a bizarre tweet which said: ‘AUSCHWITZ Gas Chamber Music LMAO SMH (laughing my a*** off, shaking my head).’ 

Author and ‘body positivity’ blogger Stephanie Yeboah (pictured) was sacked after she posted vile antisemitic comments on social media

On the recent 75th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp, where a million Jews were murdered, Ms Yeboah wrote: ‘There have been bigger and more horrific genocides. They happened to brown people, though, so I guess it doesn’t matter, huh?’ 

She issued a grovelling apology after the offending Twitter posts were published by Private Eye magazine last Wednesday. 

It is understood there were frantic discussions with Grazia UK editor Hattie Brett before the decision was finally made to sack her on Friday evening. 

A spokesman for the magazine’s German-owned publisher Bauer Media said: ‘Following an internal review, we have agreed that Stephanie will no longer be writing as a contributing editor of Grazia. 

‘We will continue to support her as she further educates herself in collaboration with the Jewish community. Grazia continues to champion diversity and inclusion and stands firmly against antisemitism.’ 

Ms Yeboah, a Left-wing Black Lives Matter supporter from London, has attracted a large following online for her writings championing plus-size ‘body positivity’. 

She told a recent interviewer that her ‘purpose’ was to ‘teach women how to live in their truth and not be bound by the shackles of this very patriarchal, capitalist society that thrives on white supremacy’. 

However, despite her anti-capitalist stance, she takes money from top brands to model their clothes in sponsored social media posts to her 200,000 Instagram followers. 

Ms Yeboah was hired as a contributing editor by the fashion and lifestyle weekly last month (pictured) to ‘fight for diversity, inclusion and women’s rights’

Retailers Asos, Very and River Island did not respond to questions last night about whether they would stop working with Ms Yeboah after Grazia fired her

Retailers Asos, Very and River Island did not respond to questions last night about whether they would stop working with her after Grazia fired her. 

Hello Fresh, the recipe delivery box company, said it was ‘reviewing’ whether to work with Ms Yeboah again. 

In an apology posted on Wednesday, Ms Yeboah said: ‘I made very ignorant and antisemitic comments about the Jewish community, as well as quoting lines from a variety of TV shows, including quotes that upon reflection, were extremely offensive and hurtful. 

To plead ignorance is no excuse, I should have known better than to make these kinds of comments about events which remain a source of unimaginable trauma for the Jewish community.’ 

She said her comment on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was intended to ‘highlight the lack of visibility surrounding many genocides’, but it ‘ended up diminishing the seriousness of the tragedies that the Jewish community have faced’. 

She added: ‘I now absolutely recognise that, in doing so, I was pitting these two marginalised communities against each other, and for that, I am extremely sorry.’ 

She said that over the years she had had ‘awesome in-depth chats with my Jewish friends surrounding the culture, heritage and religion of Jewish people’.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Woman tells High Court of 'brash decision' to take puberty blockers

Woman, 23, who made ‘brash teenage decision’ to become male at 17 only to ‘detransition’ to be female again last year tells of regret during High Court battle to stop NHS gender clinic giving puberty-blocking drugs to children

  • Keira Bell, 23, took puberty blockers when she was 16 before ‘detransitioning’ 
  • IT worker from Manchester said she did not have proper psychiatric assessment 
  • She and the mother of a 16-year-old autistic girl are suing the Tavistock Centre
  • They want children to get a ruling that gender reassignment is in ‘best interest’ 

Children cannot properly grasp the ‘life-altering’ implications of taking puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, a landmark High Court case has heard.  

Keira Bell, 23, who took puberty blockers when she was 16, today spoke of her regret after making the ‘brash decision’ to undergo treatment.

The IT worker from Manchester suffered from gender dysphoria as a teenager and was also prescribed testosterone, which left her with a deep voice and possibly infertile, and had a double mastectomy to remove her breasts. 

But last year she quit taking cross-sex hormones and realised she had gone down the ‘wrong path’ and began ‘detransitioning’ back to a female.

Ms Bell accuses Britain’s biggest gender clinic of failing to carry out a proper psychiatric assessment before pressing ahead with the treatment.

She and the mother of a 16-year-old autistic girl, who is on the waiting list for such gender identity development services (GIDS), are now suing the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.

Their legal challenge aims to make it unlawful for children who wish to undergo gender reassignment to be prescribed hormone blockers without an order from a court ruling such treatment is in their ‘best interests’. 

Keira Bell, 23, who took puberty blockers when she was 16 before ‘detransitioning’, today spoke of her regret after making the ‘brash decision’ to undergo treatment (pictured at the High Court today)

The IT worker from Manchester suffered from gender dysphoria as a teenager, leading her to take testosterone, which left her with a deep voice and possibly infertile, as well as having a double mastectomy

As the court battle opened in London today, Ms Bell said in a witness statement: ‘I made a brash decision as a teenager, as a lot of teenagers do, trying to find confidence and happiness, except now the rest of my life will be negatively affected.’ 

She added: ‘Transition was a very temporary, superficial fix for a very complex identity issue.’   

Lawyers representing Ms Bell and the mother, known as Mrs A, told the judges that children were ‘not capable of properly understanding the nature and effects of hormone blockers’ 

They argue that there is ‘a very high likelihood’ that children who start taking hormone blockers will later begin taking cross-sex hormones, which they say cause ‘irreversible changes’.  

The pair’s barrister Jeremy Hyam QC said: ‘The use of hormone blockers to address gender dysphoria does not have any adequate base to support it.’

The Tavistock Centre is being sued as part of a case aiming to make it unlawful for children who wish to undergo gender reassignment to be prescribed hormone blockers without an order from the court ruling such treatment is in their ‘best interests’.

Timeline of events leading up to Keira Bell’s High Court battle against gender clinic 

Age 14: Ms Bell said she started to struggle with ‘her sense of identity and the thought of becoming a woman’.

Age 16: About seven years ago she was referred to the Tavistock clinic and after three hour-long sessions was prescribed puberty blockers.

Age 17: The following year she was put on to testosterone, which deepened her voice.

Age 20: Three years ago, she had an operation to have her breasts removed.

Age 22: Last year she began detransitioning back to become a woman after regretting the treatment.

Age 23: Legal battle at the High Court begins against Tavistock in October, who she claims did not properly assess her.

He said that ‘the effect of hormone blockers on the intensity, duration and outcome of adolescent development is largely unknown’, adding: ‘There is evidence that hormone blockers can have significant side-effects, including loss of fertility and sexual function and decreased bone density.’

In written submissions, Mr Hyam said: ‘That children are not capable of giving informed consent to undergo a type of medical intervention about which the evidence base is poor, the risks and potential side-effects are still largely unknown, and which is likely to set them on a path towards permanent and life-altering physical, psychological, emotional and developmental consequences … is the common-sense and obvious position.’

The barrister told the court that referrals to GIDS had risen from 97 in 2009 to 2,590 in 2018, ‘essentially a twenty-fold increase’. 

Fenella Morris QC, representing the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, said the contention that children could not give informed consent to being prescribed hormone blockers was ‘a radical proposition’.

She argued in written submissions that the claimants sought to ‘impose a blanket exclusion’ on children under the age of 18 to be able to consent to medical treatment.

Ms Morris added the majority of children referred to GIDS between March 2019 and 2020 were over 12, with only 13 of the children referred being under the age of 13.

She accepted that hormone blockers were ‘experimental’ but argued their use ‘has been widely researched and debated for three decades’, adding: ‘It is a safe and reversible treatment with a well-established history.’

The hearing before Dame Victoria Sharp, Mr Justice Lewis and Mrs Justice Lieven is expected to last two days and it is expected that the court will reserve its judgment to a later date.

Ms Bell has crowdfunded over £43,000 for her legal challenge against Tavistock.

On her donation page, she writes: ‘In my tormented state of mind I was not able to identify how incredibly destructive transition was. 

‘As an adult I now realise that medical transition was unnecessary and something I wish I had avoided. 

‘However I have now been left with the life-long consequences of medical treatment for gender/sex dysphoria (including a deep voice, facial hair and no breasts).’

What is gender dysphoria? 

Gender dysphoria is a condition in which someone becomes distressed because they don’t feel that their biological sex matches the gender they identify as.

For example, someone may feel like a woman and want to live as a woman, but have been born with the anatomy of a man.

Gender dysphoria is a ‘recognised medical condition, for which treatment is sometimes appropriate’ and is ‘not a mental illness’, according to the NHS.

People who live as a gender which is not the same as their biological sex are called transgender.

Some people may choose to have hormone therapy – for example, to make them grow hair or develop breasts – or to have reassignment surgery to give them the genitals of a person of the sex they identify as.

People diagnosed with gender dysphoria are allowed to legally change their gender.

According to the charity Stonewall, as many as 1 per cent of the population may be trans – although accurate numbers are not known.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Laurence Fox calls people 'paedophiles' on Twitter in bizarre rant

Laurence Fox deletes string of tweets calling former soap star and charity boss ‘paedophiles’ in bizarre online spat after they accused him of being ‘racist’ for boycotting Sainsbury’s over support for Black History Month

  • Laurence Fox, 42, urged his 239,000 Twitter followers to boycott Sainsbury’s
  • The supermarket had announced that it would be marking Black History Month
  • Fox labelled social media users ‘paedophiles’ when they accused him of racism
  • Comes after the actor announced he would be launching his own political party

Laurence Fox has labelled a fellow actor and social media users ‘paedophiles’ in a bizarre online spat. 

The actor is embroiled in a heated exchange with a number of Twitter users including Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp and deputy chair of Stonewall, Simon Blake, whom he called ‘paedophiles’ after they claimed he was ‘racist’.

This comes after Fox accused Sainsbury’s of ‘promoting racial segregation and discrimination’ and promised to boycott the supermarket chain after it promoted Black History Month.

As he faced a backlash for his views, he clapped back at people ‘falsely accusing him of racism’ by retaliating with unsubstantiated slurs calling them ‘paedophiles’.  

He has since removed the posts, writing: ‘I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist.’

Laurence Fox is embroiled in a heated exchange with a number of Twitter users 

Fox found himself in a fiery debate with Coronation Street actress Nicole Thorp

At the weekend Fox found himself in a fiery debate with former Coronation Street actress Nicole Thorp (pictured) – after she said Fox was ‘unequivocally, publicly and undeniably a racist’

Fox has since removed the posts, writing: ‘I have deleted the tweets posted yesterday, in response to being repeatedly, continuously and falsely smeared as a racist.’

At the weekend Fox found himself in a fiery debate with former Coronation Street actress Nicole Thorp after she said Fox was ‘unequivocally, publicly and undeniably a racist’.

He hit back: ‘Any company giving future employment to Nicola Thorpe or providing her with a platform does so with the complete knowledge that she is unequivocally, publicly and undeniably a paedophile.’ 

Fox said last night: ‘Language is powerful. To accuse someone of racism without any evidence whatsoever to back up that accusation is a deep slander. 

‘It carries the same stigma and reputation destroying harm as accusing someone of paedophilia. Here endeth the lesson.’ 

The row comes after the actor, who recently announced he was launching his own political party to ‘reclaim British values’, denounced the supermarket on Twitter.

He said: ‘Dear Sainsbury’s. I won’t be shopping in your supermarket ever again whilst you promote racial segregation and discrimination. I sincerely hope others join me. RT’

It came in the wake of Sainsbury’s announcing they would be marking Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements of the black community, recognising the central role black people have played in history. 

The supermarket says its aim is to be ‘the most inclusive retailer’ where ‘every single one of our colleagues feels safe and supported at work’. 

Sainsbury’s said anyone who is not happy with ‘an inclusive retailer’ is welcome to shop elsewhere as it says it is proud to celebrate Black History Month with their communities

Fox, who sparked controversy when he said suggestions of ‘racism’ over how the Duchess of Sussex was treated in some quarters was ‘boring’, says among his new party’s aims are reforming the BBC, protecting free speech and celebrating Britain’s contribution to the world

The actor has received substantial sums from former Tory donors to launch his own political party provisionally called Reclaim and hopes to stand dozens of candidates across the UK, he says

Laurence Fox and his past controversies

January 16, 2020: Fox was involved in a heated debate with the academic and ethnicity lecturer Rachel Boyle after she called him ‘a white privileged male’ on BBC’s Question Time.

The 41-year-old accused Ms Boyle, an academic at Edge Hill University on Merseyside, of ‘being racist’ after she called him ‘a white privileged male’ for denying the Duchess of Sussex was hounded from Britain for being mixed-race.

As the row continued the following day he quoted Martin Luther King’s 1963 ‘I have a dream’ speech about living in a nation where children ‘will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character’.

He said: ‘This is the position I took last night and I live by in life. If you can improve on it, I’m all ears. Or you can keep screeching ”Racist!” at me and I can carry on having a jolly good giggle at your expense. The tide is turning’. 

January 17, 2020: The actor later went on to reveal that he does not date women under the age of 35 because they are ‘too woke’ and many of them are ‘absolutely bonkers’ during an interview with the Delingpod podcast.

During the podcast , Fox said that he called off a relationship with a former partner because she praised a Gillette advert which highlighted ‘toxic masculinity.’ 

January 23, 2020: Fox apologised for his comments about the inclusion of a Sikh soldier in the First World War film 1917 by Sir Sam Mendes.

The actor had initially referred to ‘the oddness in the casting’ of a Sikh soldier and was met by widespread criticism by historians who confirmed that Sikhs had served in the British Army.

Fox later tweeted: ‘Fellow humans who are Sikhs, I am as moved by the sacrifices your relatives made as I am by the loss of all those who die in war, whatever creed or colour.

‘Please accept my apology for being clumsy in the way I expressed myself.’ 

June 18, 2020: In a piece for the Spectator, Fox, questioned if Meghan Markle stepped down as a working royal because she did not get the ‘limelight’

In September 2020, Fox said that he had been ‘cancelled’ by fellow actor Rebecca Front because she had blocked him on Twitter over his use of the ‘All Lives Matter’ counter-slogan in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Fox later apologised for revealing this through tweeting a private text conversation between the pair, in which Front had explained her reasons for blocking him.

The company said it is actively pushing for change for black people in the UK and want all their customers and colleagues to be themselves and feel celebrated when they shop at Sainsbury’s.

In a statement, Sainsbury’s said: ‘We are proud to celebrate Black History Month, together with our Black colleagues, customers and communities and we will not tolerate racism.

‘We proudly represent and serve our diverse society and anyone who does not want to shop with an inclusive retailer is welcome to shop elsewhere.’ 

Fox told his 239,000 Twitter followers that despite it being his closest supermarket, they would not be getting his custom until they ‘address their regressive and segregationist policies’.

His response sparked debate on Twitter with some backing his views while others said Sainsbury’s tweet had had the desired effect.

One wrote: ‘Beautifully put! I cannot believe how wrong Sainsburys has got this.

‘This idiocy has to have come down from Board level. Really feel for their staff – how the hell do they handle this?’ 

Fox, who has been a fierce critic of the BBC, sparked controversy when he said suggestions of ‘racism’ over how the Duchess of Sussex was treated in some quarters was ‘boring’.

He also hit out at black and working class actors for complaining about the industry once they have ‘five million quid in the bank’.

A Westminster source said the new party is a version of UKIP for the culture wars and believes it could attract hundreds of thousands of unhappy Conservative voters.

Sources close to Fox said the party does not see itself as strictly left or right wing but will be a broad church.

Reclaim so far has three objectives, which include protecting free speech, reforming publicly funded institutions, and preserving and celebrating Britain’s cultural history.

Planning has been underway for the last two months and backers include former Tory donor Jeremy Hosking.

Staff are already being recruited for the party after Fox was launched into the political arena after his performance on Question Time in January.

Laurence Fox announced last month that he was launching a new political party called the Reclaim Party in a bid to ‘reclaim British values’.

The actor, 42, has received substantial sums from former Tory donors and hopes to stand dozens of candidates across the UK.

The Lewis star says he wants to provide a movement for people who are ‘tired of being told that we represent the very thing we have, in history, stood together against’.

He hopes to launch the party next month and the name is subject to the Electoral Commission’s approval.

Source: Read Full Article