Terror alert

HOSPITALS across England have been warned to prepare for a potential terror attack this Bank Holiday weekend. NHS England has sent a message to its 27 Major Trauma Units across the country to start preperation in case a deadly blast takes place. The move is not in repsonse to any fresh intelligence, it says, but comes amid the UK’s heightened terror threat to critical. It comes after the Manchester Arena attack on Monday night in which a deadly nail bomb killed 22 people, including many children. Eight arrests have been made in connection with the attack, with dramatic raids taking place acrros Greater Manchester and beyond. In the warning to its trauma units, NHS England advised staff to keep ID on them at all times to ensure they can enter their wards.

NHS hospitals are preparing for a possible terrorist attack this Bank Holiday weekend following fears of a similar incident to the one in Manchester, in which 22 people were massacred at a pop concert. A letter obtained by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) re-iterates the potential threat the UK faces, with another atrocity believed to be imminent. It comes after the threat level in the UK was raised to critical – the highest level it could be – in the wake of the suicide bomb attack at the Ariana Grande gig. The message from Chris Moran, NHS England’s national clinical director for trauma, was sent to the 27 major trauma teams across the country. These centres, found in various English cities, are set up to provide specialised care and rehabilitation to people suffering life-changing injuries that could result in death.

The Manchester suicide bomber may have built a second device which is now in the hands of fellow jihadists, police fear. Officers who raided the home of Salman Abedi  discovered a working bomb factory with a huge stash of explosive chemicals and other components. Security sources now believe that Abedi assembled the bomb himself after learning his trade in Libya. But the amount of material in his home has led to fears that he could have built more than one device and and distributed them to other British-based extremists.

Fears are mounting that the Manchester suicide bomber may have built a second device that is now in the hands of jihadists, MailOnline can reveal. Officers who raided the home of Salman Abedi earlier this week allegedly discovered a huge stash of explosive chemicals and other components. The quantity of material has led to fears that he could have built more than one device and distributed them to other British-based extremists. Security officials are also examining the possibility that a bomb maker behind the device has fled overseas. They believe Abedi probably made the sophisticated bomb he blew himself up with mostly on his own. But intelligence officers also believe Abedi may have had an accomplice who watched him as he entered the Manchester Arena foyer.

BRITISH jihadis are plotting to hijack Ramadan and “go out in a blaze of glory” – starting today. A security expert has sensationally told Daily Star Online sick ISIS fantasists are set to strike again. And he is warning Brits to be especially on their guard today, as it is the first and holiest day of Ramadan. “ISIS positively encourage followers to concentrate their efforts during this time,” Chris Philips, ex-head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, told us. “I would encourage everyone to be vigilant and report any suspicions to the police.” This holy month sees Muslims around the globe fast from dawn till sun
set to mark the month the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammed.

JEREMY Corbyn will use the Manchester atrocity to justify his campaign to stop the war on terror in the Middle East. In a shocking intervention, the Labour leader will blame “foreign wars” for the atrocity. The speech, which was trailed last night breaking an election main parties’ truce on national campaigning, has again brought into question 
Mr Corbyn’s commitment to taking on terrorists and extremists. Last night opponents privately pointed out that he has opposed anti-terror legislation on at least 13 occasions. The far Left Labour leader has also previously shared a platform with Islamic terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas and described them as “friends”.

Sky News
Jeremy Corbyn is making a controversial return to election campaigning after the Manchester bomb attack with a speech blaming UK foreign policy for terrorism at home. The Labour leader claims the so-called “war on terror” is not working and is promising a government led by him would change foreign policy so it fights rather than fuels terrorism. But by choosing to talk about terrorism and linking it to UK support for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria he is certain to be accused by opponents of exploiting the Manchester atrocity. Mr Corbyn has taken a calculated decision to resume Labour’s campaign not by returning to
Theresa May’s social care U-turn or other domestic policies, but by speaking out on the sensitive issue of the Manchester Arena suicide bomb.

Jeremy Corbyn will say today that British foreign policy must take a share of the blame for terrorist atrocities such as the one in Manchester. The Labour leader will also say that the Conservatives increased the chances of an attack by cutting resources to the police and security forces. His remarks are likely to cause a political row and a confrontational end to the truce in election campaigning. Mr Corbyn, a veteran of the Stop the War movement, will return to one of his favourite themes, arguing that support for military action in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria is wrong.

BBC News
UK foreign policy would change under a Labour government to one that “reduces rather than increases the threat” to the country, Jeremy Corbyn is to say. As election campaigning resumes after the attack in Manchester, the Labour leader will point to links between wars abroad and “terrorism here at home”. In a speech, Mr Corbyn will say the “war on terror is simply not working”. Security Minister Ben Wallace told the BBC his comments were “inappropriate and crassly timed”. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a session on counter-terrorism with G7 leaders in Sicily, Italy, on Friday. She is expected to focus on what can be done to deal with the threat posed by extremists online.

Jeremy Corbyn will make a controversial intervention in the terror debate today by claiming that Britain’s foreign policy has heightened the risk of attacks on home soil. Four days after the suicide bombing that killed 22 people, the Labour leader will claim successive governments have put the country at risk by sending troops to fight Islamic State and other extremists abroad. He will also accuse the Conservatives of trying to protect Britain ‘on the cheap’ by making cuts to the police.

A petition set up in the wake of the Manchester terror attack to demand that those on the 3,000-strong jihadi watchlist are either put in prison or deported has attracted support from over 177,000 people in 2 days. The petition, set up by Derren Mace, states that: “Our countries Security level is at an all time high of “CRITICAL”. And troops are being deployed due to the threat of terrorism. “Our security agencies currently have 3000 suspected terrorists under watch & costing taxpayers millions of pounds per year. Our security organisations are overstretched & unable to stop these already “KNOWN” Terrorists who are attacking & killing our people, including children. “Put them in confinement or deport them to save lives & ease pressure on our security services. If a new law needs to be made to do this, Then it should be made. If you can make laws to convict people & imprison them for up to 10 years for using a Kodi box, Then the least you can do is change the law for peoples safety.”

General Election

Theresa May’s poll lead has fallen to five points a fortnight before the general election — the smallest margin over Labour since she came to power. A YouGov poll for The Times puts Labour on 38 per cent of the vote, up three points since the end of last week and the party’s best performance since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in September 2015. The Conservatives are down one point to 43 per cent, the Liberal Democrats up one point to 10 per cent and Ukip up one to 4 per cent. If the swing is replicated in every constituency Mrs May would lose seats and the Conservatives would have an overall majority of two, down from 17.

The Conservative lead over Labour has been slashed to just five points two weeks before the general election. The latest poll gave the party its smallest margin since Theresa May came to power last July. Labour was on 38 per cent, up three points since the end of last week, a YouGov poll for The Times found. It is the party’s best result since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in September 2015. The Tories were down one point to 43 per cent following an outcry over social care reforms outlined in their manifesto, while the Lib Dems were up one to 10 per cent and Ukip were up one to 4 per cent.

Labour has slashed the Conservatives’ lead in the polls to just five points, the latest YouGov/Times results show.  The party has made consistent gains in recent weeks as leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed his message was finally getting through to voters.  The results show a four point change since last week when the Tories were leading by nine percentage points – the first time Labour had narrowed the gap to single figures since Theresa May called the snap election on 18 April. The latest poll comes after the Prime Minister made an unprecedented U-turn over her “dementia tax” plans, just four days after making them the centrepiece of her election manifesto. A separate poll, conducted after the Tory manifesto launch, found 28 per cent of voters said they were less likely to vote Conservative because of the social care package.

THE Tories’ poll lead has been slashed to just five points as campaigns resume after the Manchester bombing. A new survey from YouGov puts Theresa May’s party on 43%, down one point since the previous week. But over the same period Labour have gained three points, putting them on 38% and in striking distance of victory. Jeremy Corbyn has also gained ground in the crucial question of whether he or Mrs May would make a better Prime Minister. Mrs May is still ahead on 45%, but Corbyn has picked up five points in a week, with 28% thinking he’d make the better PM.

THERESA MAY’s lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has been cut to FIVE points after the Tory social care chaos. A stunning poll put the Tories on 43 per cent but Labour on an astonishing 38 per cent. The five point gap – down from 24 on the day the snap election was called – is the smallest lead the Tories have enjoyed since Theresa May became PM. If repeated at the polls, the Tories may only 
LOSE seats, the Times claimed. More worryingly for the Conservatives, the once huge 52 point gap between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn‘s personal rating has been cut to 17 in a month.


Hospital overcrowding is at its highest level on record, official figures show. 
More than 91 per cent of beds are occupied at the average trust, although at some the rates are 99 per cent. This is the highest since records began in 2000 and well above the 85 per cent level considered safe. Experts said the NHS was under ‘extraordinary pressure’ and in the grip of a year-long crisis. Research has consistently shown that when hospitals are overcrowded, patients are at much higher risk of infection and poor care. According to figures from NHS England, the average hospital was 91.4 per cent occupied in the three months to the end of March. This was up from 90.6 per cent in the three months to the end of December and well above the 86.3 per cent figure when records began in June 2000.

ITV News
Hospitals in England have “endured one of the worst winters on record” which is set to become an all-year-round norm, new figures suggest. Waits in A&E, delayed transfer of care and bed occupancy levels were all found to be increasing, according to the latest British Medical Association (BMA) analysis of NHS figures. Their analysis of data in England showed patients were waiting longer for ambulances, treatment and admission. There was also a 6,831% rise in the number of patients waiting more than 12 hours on a trolley over the past seven years.

Half of patients with possible sepsis are waiting more than an hour for lifesaving treatment, a major audit has found. Under NHS guidelines, anyone showing signs of the illness is meant to be assessed and treated within 60 minutes of their arrival at hospital. Without rapid treatment, sepsis quickly takes hold of the body, leading to multiple organ failure and death. But a study involving 13,000 patients found that only 44 per cent received antibiotics within an hour of arriving at A&E units. Just 45 per cent were offered a blood test and 43 per cent given intravenous fluids within 60 minutes – to help prevent the body shutting down. This is the largest audit into the NHS’s care for sepsis so far and campaigners said the findings were a serious ‘cause of concern’.


Ukip supporters this morning heckled and hurled abuse at the BBC‘s political editor after she asked if the party was trying to exploit the Manchester terror attack. The stormy scenes engulfed the party’s manifesto launch, where leader Paul Nuttall had launched a furious attack on Theresa May who he said had failed to keep Britain safe from terror attacks. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said it ‘sounds as if you are near as damn it blaming the Prime Minister for this attack and the circumstances that led to it’. But her question was immediately drowned out with heckles from the angry Ukip supporters who were at the launch in central London this morning.

Britain’s establishment media today attacked the leader of the UK Independence Party at the organisation’s manifesto launch, implying and insisting that they were “exploiting” the terrorist attack in Manchester for “partisan” gain. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) manifesto — a 64-page document covering a vast swathe of international and domestic policy positions for the upcoming General Election — was due to be launched on Tuesday. The party delayed the launch out of respect for the victims of the Manchester attack. That didn’t stop the traditionally UKIP-hostile media accusing the party of “exploiting” the attack simply for urging strength in the face of extremism and terrorism: something every other party leader has already done since the atrocity on Monday night. 
Channel 4’s Michael Crick opened by asking: “…wasn’t that blatantly exploiting Manchester for election and party purposes?”


Cuts to school support and benefit sanctions are damaging the education of Britain’s children and leaving teachers to buy food for pupils out of their own money, Michael Gove’s former right-hand man has warned. Sam Freedman, who was senior policy advisor to Mr Gove during his tenure as Education Secretary, said politicians of all parties had “abandoned” disadvantaged communities when it came to schools. He warned that support was being “cut away” from children and that teachers were having to buy food parcels for their classes out of their own pocket to stop them from going hungry.

Funding per pupil in England will fall by nearly 3% under the Conservatives, a study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reveals. This would mean a £130 cut for every pupil in primary school and a £170 cut for every one in secondary school. The respected economic think tank says Theresa May’s plans will result in an overall cut in school funding of seven per cent between 2016 and 2022. By contrast, Labour’s manifesto commitment will increase the amount going to England’s primary and secondary schools by 1.6% over the next five years. 

Morning Star
THE gender pay gap in academia will take 40 years to close based on current trends, the University and College Union (UCU) warned yesterday. Since 2013-14, the pay gap has remained frozen at around 12 per cent, the union said in a new report. The main driving factors are significant existing pay gaps and a severe under-representation of women in senior posts. Union researchers also found that the gender pay gap is further entrenched as careers progress — as seniority and salary increases, the percentage of women decreases. In 2015-16 nearly two thirds of academic staff employed at the highest pay scale were men, while 37 per cent were women. Less than one quarter of professors were women and overall, men made up 54.7 per cent of the total academic workforce.


The European Union (EU) has signed off on proposals to make companies such as Facebook and Twitter remove videos containing ‘hate speech’. The proposals for stronger internet regulation, which would be the first EU-level legislation on the issue, would establish a universal set of video content censorship rules that social media companies would be forced to follow. “We need to take into account new ways of watching videos, and find the right balance to encourage innovative services, promote European films, protect children and tackle hate speech in a better way,” said Andrus Ansip, EU Commission vice-president for the Digital Single Market. Tuesday’s agreement, which would see videos which contain  “expressions of racism and xenophobia” wiped from media companies’ websites, came a day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people in Manchester. According to Euractiv, ministers offered their condolences to the British delegation at the meeting.

The European Union will offer to protect the welfare and residence rights of Britons living on the continent after Brexit when it opens talks with London next month, according to a document seen by Reuters on Thursday. “The Withdrawal Agreement should protect the rights of EU27 citizens, UK nationals and their family members who, at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, have enjoyed rights relating to free movement under Union law,” EU officials wrote in a draft paper on the starting goals for negotiators. Previous EU negotiating positions have stressed Brussels’ aim of protecting the rights of 3 million citizens of the other 27 current member states now living in Britain once it quits the bloc in March 2019, though they have said this should be reciprocated by the EU for over a million British expatriates.


THIS memo captured in an alleged image could hold the key to solving the Roswell crash riddle nearly 70 years ago, UFO hunters claim. The photograph in question shows General Roger Ramey in his office at Fort Worth Army Air Field, later known as Carswell Air Force Base. The general is holding a memo and crouching over debris he claimed was from the Roswell crash, reports Express Online. Now UFO hunters are hoping the text in the memo could finally unlock the mystery. Just hours before the pictures were taken, the Roswell Army Air Field media officer sent out the infamous press release claiming remains of a crashed flying saucer had been found.