Rishi Sunak vows to JAIL child grooming gangs for life

The former chancellor blamed “political correctness” for the country’s failure to get to grips with the crime.

Mr Sunak, a father of two daughters, promised to introduce a “brand new life sentence” for those involved in child grooming with “very limited options for parole”.

He said: “I’m not going to let political correctness stand in the way of tackling this absolutely horrific crime.”

“I want to call it out for what it is and I want to tackle it properly. I have two young girls and I feel this very personally.”

His comments come amid concerns that in recent decades racial and ethnic sensitivities have been an obstacle to the ­detection and prosecution of sex crimes against children.

Mr Sunak said that authorities are “scared of calling out the fact” that there is a “particular group of people who are ­perpetuating these crimes”.

Pledging a new approach, he told GB News: “It’s a horrific crime. It’s far more pervasive across the country than actually we all realise. And we all know the reason that ­people don’t focus on it. It’s because of political correctness and they’re scared of calling out the fact.”

“There’s a particular group of people who are perpetuating these crimes, and I think that’s wrong and I want to change that as Prime Minister.”

“We’ll have a new task force at the National Crime Agency that is focused on this. We’ll have a requirement for police forces everywhere to prioritise this.”

“I want to make sure all police forces record the ethnicity of those involved, which currently is not done because ­people don’t want to do that.”

Mr Sunak’s intervention comes just weeks after an inquiry found evidence that child sex crimes in Telford, Shropshire, had been ignored, with more than 1,000 girls abused.

It reported that West Mercia Police allowed “a nervousness about race to become prevalent among officers” and “this led to a reluctance to police” parts of Wellington, four miles north-west of Telford.

Inquiry chairman Tom Crowther QC said it was a “dereliction of the police’s most basic duty” to allow considerations of race and ethnicity to “lead to a situation where certain streets are not patrolled, or where certain crimes are not investigated”.

Earlier this year, three women who were groomed and raped by gangs in Rochdale received damages and an apology for ­failings by Greater Manchester Police.

Mr Sunak, who was yesterday visiting the Isle of Wight as he continued his campaign for the Tory leadership, said: “A Conservative government should be not letting political correctness stand in the way of keeping people safe.”

Maggie Oliver, a former detective who resigned from the Manchester force in 2012 over its failure to tackle grooming gangs, welcomed the prospect of life ­sentences for perpetrators.

She turned whistleblower after leaving the force and her work led to the exposure of the Rochdale grooming gang.

However, she said that she feared Mr Sunak’s pledge was “headline grabbing” and warned it is unlikely to happen without a massive overhaul of the criminal ­justice system.

Ms Oliver, who first called for the recording of ethnicities of grooming gang ­suspects when she gave evidence to the Home Affairs committee in 2013, said: “The racial element of grooming gangs has been part of the reason this was neglected many years ago, and it has been buried.”

“But the problem goes much deeper than that and to just seize on that as a ­reason why these cases have not progressed is, quite frankly, naive in the extreme. I would welcome increased ­sentences but if prosecutions don’t go ahead it is not going to change much.”

Setting out the key problems, she said: “For 10 years I have been saying the ­system is not fit for purpose. There was no joined-up system, a lack of properly trained officers, a lack of communication and no accountability for the abusers who rape children on a daily basis. To me, this just smacks of a soundbite to gain votes.”

Ms Oliver said Mr Sunak’s focus on sentencing and the ethnicity of alleged groomers suggested that he did not appear to understand all the reasons why some prosecutions were not pursued.

She said: “Less than two percent of reported rapes make it to court and they are closing courts while barristers are on strike and there is a backlog of trials.”

“You have got police officers resigning in their droves and a vacuum of experience.”

The former detective said she wanted “chief constables to be legally held accountable when they fail to act”. She called for a Royal Commission to look at policing and of the criminal ­justice system.

Meanwhile, Tory figures remain divided over Mr Sunak’s admission that he had worked to divert funding from “deprived urban areas” towards more prosperous towns by changing funding formulas.

One supporter yesterday insisted the comments had been “misunderstood”.

Andrew Mitchell, MP for affluent Sutton Coldfield, said: “We will not be able to rejuvenate our town centre infrastructure without some taxpayer support.”

But Jake Berry, chairman of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, said that in public Mr Sunak “claims he wants to level up the north but here he boasts about trying to funnel vital investment away from deprived areas”.

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Labour divisions over striking workers deepen
Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said joining the picket line would not “sort out” industrial disputes. But former leader Jeremy…
Rishi Sunak: ‘I think my ideas are the right ones’
The ex-Chancellor has consistently trailed opponent Liz Truss, with latest polling showing him 32 points behind. Education Secretary James Cleverly…
  • 5 часов, 5 минут назад 19.08.2022Politics
    Rishi Sunak: ‘I think my ideas are the right ones’

    The ex-Chancellor has consistently trailed opponent Liz Truss, with latest polling showing him 32 points behind.

    Education Secretary James Cleverly said the contest should be “wrapped up quickly” when asked about how long it is taking while the country is facing an energy crisis.

    The Truss supporter said it would be “legitimate” to review how future Tory leadership contests are carried out.

    The race to become the next prime minister began on July 12 and results are expected on September 5.

    Mr Cleverly said: “This is the system that is in place. I do think it is legitimate to look at reviewing that.”

    “That is an internal party process rather than a Government process, but as I say, Government does continue, ministers are still working.”

    He added: “I would have been happy if this whole process was over more quickly, but as I say one of the people contending for this is a backbencher not involved in government at all anymore, Liz is the Foreign Secretary and I know that she is still active in the foreign affairs side of things as well.

    “But yes, of course we would like to see this wrapped up quickly, but we are still working nonetheless.”

    A YouGov poll for Sky News found 66 percent of members are voting for Ms Truss and 34 percent are backing Mr Sunak, once those who do not know or will not vote are excluded.

    Mr Sunak yesterday (THURS) insisted he still has a “shot” at being the next prime minister.

    Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, he said: “I’m really excited to keep going, I think my ideas are the right ones.”

    He today pledges to “restore” NHS dentistry by ringfencing its funding, strengthening prevention and encouraging dentists to stay in the health service

    Mr Sunak said there is “unprecedented pressure” on services and insisted his plan alleviates the problems by freeing up dentistry professionals to do their jobs, encouraging NHS trained dentists to stay in the NHS, and focusing on prevention “as that is always better than the cure”.

    The former Cabinet minister and Ms Truss will hit the campaign trail again today (FRI) with a hustings in Manchester.

    Ms Truss said: “The defining mission of my government will be to get our economy growing again, cutting taxes to put more money into the pockets of hard-working people, delivering critical supply side reform, and using our freedoms outside of the EU to cut red tape.”

    “Thanks to the increased number of Conservative MPs in the North West, we have already started to level up the region but we know there is more to be done.

    “I will continue this mission in a Conservative way; with Northern Powerhouse Rail, New Investment Zones, and more vocational training. I will do whatever it takes to pave the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for our country, including here in the North West.”

    Jake Berry, head of the Northern Research Group of Conservative MP, said:“People voted for change. Liz’s ambitious, growth-led vision for the North will deliver on Levelling Up.”

    “Stronger regions, empowered to seek investment, centres of educational excellence and a commitment to more money remaining in people’s pockets will tackle regional inequality, in a Conservative way.”

  • 5 часов, 5 минут назад 19.08.2022Politics
    Labour divisions over striking workers deepen

    Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said joining the picket line would not “sort out” industrial disputes.

    But former leader Jeremy Corbyn and Labour rising star Zarah Sultana joined the walk out at Euston station.

    Sir Keir Starmer has tried to distance the party from the industrial action in an attempt to show Labour is ready for government.

    Ms Phillipson said: “We want to be the next government, so, if we were the government, we would be around that negotiating table sorting out the dispute, we would be a party to those negotiations.”

    “I don’t think being on a picket line is going to sort this problem out.”

    “I think it is right that we do speak to workers who are affected by all of these cost-of-living pressures that we face, but my priority is making sure that we get a Labour government that is able to fix some of these big problems that we face as a country.”

    Mr Corbyn criticised Sir Keir for sacking a shadow transport minister who gave interviews from a picket line last month.

    The ex-Labour leader said Sam Tarry’s treatment was “very unfair”.

    “Sam is a trade union person like me, he used to work for the TSSA, he went on a picket line to support his union and his members,” he said.

    “I think to dismiss him from his shadow position was very unfair.”

    He told Mr Tarry after his sacking that he was “very sorry because he was doing a very good job, he was trying to develop a… much better national transport strategy”.

    Ms Sultana said she found Sir Keir’s position on the strikes “very disappointing”.

    She said the party was founded by the trade union movement to advance the rights of workers, adding: “I hope the leadership reflect on that.”

  • 5 часов, 5 минут назад 19.08.2022Politics
    ‘Holding the country to ransom!’ Liz Truss plans crackdown on striking MILITANT unions

    The Tory frontrunner will put the changes before MPs within a month of becoming Prime Minister, if her leadership bid is successful.

    She revealed her radical shake-up as rail union leader Mick Lynch yesterday threatened walkouts could go on indefinitely unless the Government gives in to his demands.

    Ms Truss said: “Once again we’re seeing militant trade unionists holding our country to ransom, with members of Sir Keir Starmer’s party keeping them company on the picket lines. As Prime Minister I’ll crackdown on the debilitating strikes that cripple the vital services that hard-working people rely on.”

    The plan drawn up by Ms Truss includes introducing minimum service levels on critical national infrastructure to keep trains, buses and other services running.

    New laws will be introduced in parliament within a month of taking office if her leadership bid is successful. She will raise ballot thresholds to make it harder for strike action to take place across all sectors.

    A cooling off period would also be introduced so unions can no longer strike as many times as they like in the six month period after a ballot.

    Hard left union boss Mr Lynch, the General Secretary of the RMT Union, warned that Britain could be brought by a standstill by a wave of strikes hitting “every sector of the economy”.

    He claimed NHS workers, teachers, transport and postal workers could walk out later this year. Ministers yesterday accused the militant union bosses of “holding the country hostage” in a row over pay, job redundancies and conditions.

    Local Government minister Paul Scully yesterday told the Daily Express prolonged strikes will force businesses to close. He said: “The fact is, people are struggling because of inflation and the cost of living crisis.

    “The very people Mick Lynch and the unions purport to help are the ones suffering the most. Their militant approach is doing nothing to help those people at all. We see people saying they want to protect jobs and businesses – but all of these are put at risk the longer it goes on.

    “If strikes do last, businesses already struggling with money – they are put at risk. And therefore it puts jobs at risks.”

    Levelling-up minister Neil O’Brien told the Daily Express: “Widespread strikes could really damage the economy at a time when it’s already going to be really difficult for a lot of people.

    “The strikes are the last thing we need. If strikes did spread to healthcare, that would be extremely dangerous. We will run the risk of people being injured or killed.”

    Only around one in five trains ran yesterday, with some areas having no services all day.

    Another strike will be held tomorrow (Saturday) while RMT members on London Underground and London Overground, and some bus drivers in the capital in Unite, will take industrial action today (Friday). Education Secretary James Cleverly accused Mr Lynch and his union comrades of “holding the country hostage”.

    He said: “They’ve got a very very good salary package, they have incredibly good, ridiculously good terms and conditions, and what they’re doing through these strikes, is they are disadvantaging people trying to get to work, trying to put food over the table, trying to keep a roof over their heads.

    “I think Grant Shapps has made it absolutely clear that these strikes are unfair and completely inappropriate, and it’s wrong that people are held hostage by the unions in this way.”

    Mr Lynch, speaking from a picket line at Euston Station, London, said: “What you are going to get is a wave of solidarity action, generalised strike action, synchronised action. And you’ll see it in every sector of the economy, in education, in health, wider parts of the transport system, in all sectors, the private sector as well.

    “People are fed up with the way they’ve been treated. The British worker is basically underpaid and gets no dignity or respect in the workplace. We’ve got to change that so we get a square deal for everyone in Britain – and that’s what the unions are determined to do.

    “There is a movement for change. I don’t know if there will be a general strike in the traditional terms but there will certainly be a wave of solidarity. There’ll be a wave of synchronised action between the trade unions, people supporting each other,” Lynch told Times Radio.

    He also branded Transport Minister Grant Shapps “hysterical”, adding: “We don’t have a fixed programme – I don’t have a whiteboard saying it starts on this day and it ends on that day. We won’t be broken. We are determined to get a settlement.

    “People have shown on the picket lines they are determined to dig in, we’re not going to waste our members’ efforts. We will take the action that our members want to take as we go along, so we’re not going to be broken. We will continue the fight until we get a settlement.”

    Markku Viherlaiho, 67, waiting at Liverpool Street station, said: “I’m a nurse and we only got offered four per cent so the union have a pretty good deal.”

    At Tottenham Hale, Tom Hobbes, 32, was trying to get a reduced Stansted Express service to go on holiday in Turkey. He said: “The strikes just seem to be a never-ending story.”

    Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines argued that an 8 per cent pay rise is a “good offer” – despite it falling short of inflation.

  • 5 часов, 5 минут назад 19.08.2022Politics
    Game over! Sunak humiliated as Truss ally states result is foregone conclusion

    Education Secretary Mr Cleverly – a prominent backer of the Foreign Secretary – suggested future Tory election contests should be “wrapped up quicker”, while pointing out his preferred candidate was still doing her day job while building up a commanding lead. Former Chancellor Mr Sunak today insisted he still has a “shot at being Prime Minister” – but Mr Cleverly, speaking to LBC, appeared to believe it was all over bar the shouting.

    He said: “I am a former party chairman. This is the system that is in place. I do think it is legitimate to look at reviewing that.

    “That is an internal party process rather than a government process. But as I say, government does continue, ministers are still working.”

    He added: “I would have been very, very happy if this whole process was over more quickly.

    “But as I say, one of the people contending for this is a backbencher, not involved in government at all any more, Liz is the foreign secretary, and I know that she is still active on the foreign affairs side of things as well.

    “But yes, of course we would like to see this wrapped up quicker but we are still working, nonetheless.”

    Today’s YouGov poll of party members has 66 percent backing Ms Truss to 34 percent supporting Mr Sunak, when the undecided and non-voters were excluded.

    The polling of 1,089 people for Sky News between Friday and Wednesday further strengthened the perception that Ms Truss, the Tory MP for South-West Norfolk, is the race’s clear frontrunner – and 57 percent of those asked said they had already voted.

    Nevertheless, asked on ITV’s This Morning if he still has a realistic chance of victory, Mr Sunak said: “Yes, definitely.”

    He insisted he has a “shot of being prime minister”, adding: “I’m really excited to keep going, I think my ideas are the right ones.”

    Mr Sunak claimed Labour’s proposal to freeze energy costs, partly to be paid for by a new windfall tax on oil and gas giants’ soaring profits, would be a “very blunt instrument”.

    He argued it would provide “a lot of support for people who don’t need it”, but his warning that borrowing during high inflation would be “really risky” appeared to be an attack on Ms Truss.

    He added: “If the Government embarks on a spree of just borrowing tens and tens and tens of billions of pounds, that means inflation could get worse.

    “It’s like putting fuel on the fire and that’s the mistake we made in the 70s, I don’t want to repeat that mistake and I’d be really worried about plans that suggest that’s the right thing to do.”

    Ms Truss has agreed to be interviewed by veteran political journalist Nick Robinson at 7pm on August 30 on BBC One, the BBC News Press Team tweeted on Thursday.

    Mr Sunak sat down with Mr Robinson last week, but Ms Truss has until now resisted his invitation.

    She has also declined to be interviewed by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil on Channel 4, while Mr Sunak has already faced a grilling by him.

    Mr Robinson, who is also a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, tweeted yesterday: “I interviewed Rishi Sunak on BBC One a week ago for ‘Our next Prime Minister – the interviews.’

    “As I said on the programme we also want to do an in depth interview Liz Truss. We are still hopeful she will find the time”.

  • 5 часов, 5 минут назад 19.08.2022Politics
    SNP under pressure to introduce indyref code of conduct after vile Perth protests

    BBC Scotland Editor James Cook was earlier this week accosted by pro-referendum protesters who have since been accused of acting in a “disgraceful” manner. Abuse was hurled at Mr Cook, including the words “liar”, “scum” and “traitor”.

    Others were pelted with eggs and spat on.

    Nicola Sturgeon’s party is now being pressured into creating an activist code of conduct.

    A report is now being drawn up by groups making up the ‘Yes’ movement and SNP President Michael Russell, according to the Scottish Daily Express.

    The paper reported that a motion is being considered for the SNP conference in October that calls for the proper establishment of such a code.

    This, it said, would be “built on the principles of freedom, tolerance, equality, the protection of individual and community rights and the rejection of prejudice and discrimination in any form”.

    After Mr Cook was verbally abused, the First Minister criticised protesters for their conduct.

    She wrote in a post on Twitter: “Hurling abuse at journalists is never acceptable.

    “Their job is vital to our democracy and it is to report and scrutinise, not support any viewpoint.

    READ MORE: Public ‘clogging 999 lines’ by ‘snitching’ on neighbours

    “James Cook is a journalist of the highest quality and a total pro.

    “The behaviour he was subjected to last night was disgraceful.”

    Some were quick to argue that the abuse was a result of a political atmosphere for which Ms Sturgeon was largely responsible.

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    Journalist Chris Musson noted that it “would help if (some) elected members did not fuel the abuse”.

    The SNP leader has not commented on proposals for a new code of conduct.

    Toni Giugliano, the party’s Policy Development Convener has, however, expressed approval for the plan.

    He told the National: “I think that the events that unfolded in Perth shows that there is a need for a code of conduct.

    “Ultimately, we need to send a really strong message to our opponents, to our supporters and to the country that we take a 0 per cent tolerance stance on this behaviour, and we take it seriously.

    “I would urge SNP groups to consider carefully who they are associating themselves with locally.”

  • 7 часов, 5 минут назад 19.08.2022Politics
    ‘PAY to see your GP!’ Liz Truss’s radical reform to NHS and END to child benefit for all

    The Foreign Secretary also wanted to see the universal child benefit abolished in the report, which she co-wrote with six other people when she was deputy director of The Reform think tank. The document entitled “Back to Black”, written when Labour was in power, reveals the authors’ proposals at the time to significantly shrink the state and cut government spending.

    Under a section called “Introduce user charges for GPs”, the pamphlet says: “User charges should be introduced and there should be greater reliance upon other health professionals… for treating less serious ailments”.

    The report continues: “Reduce the pay of doctors and NHS managers by 10 percent.

    “Abolish universal child benefit. Instead child benefit should be targeted on families on low incomes”.

    It also calls for several major military procurement projects to be axed, including the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, which are described as “inappropriate defence projects” that “do not contribute to the UK’s modern defence requirements”.

    During her leadership campaign, the Foreign Secretary has set out plans to grow defence spending to three percent of GDP by 2030.

    It comes as Ms Truss’s rival in the race for No 10 again warned her tax-cutting plans could fan the flames of inflation and economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned that permanent tax cuts, which Ms Truss has gone further in pledging than Mr Sunak, could “exacerbate” pressures on public spending.

    They cast doubt on the “plausibility” of the promises without spending cuts after inflation soared to 10.1 percent, setting a new 40-year high.

    Rishi Sunak, Ms Truss’s opponent in the race to replace Boris Johnson, today pledged to “restore” NHS dentistry by ringfencing its funding, strengthening prevention and encouraging dentists to stay in the health service.

    The Tory leadership hopeful, who is lagging behind his rival Liz Truss in polls of voting Conservative Party members, vowed to address the “unprecedented pressure” dentistry is under if he becomes Prime Minister.

    It comes after a recent survey found that the majority of NHS dental practices are unable to offer appointments to new adult patients.

    “Liz is focused on her bold economic plan to boost growth, cut taxes and put money back into hardworking people’s pockets”.

    Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Deputy Leader, said: “Liz Truss’s track record shows her true colours.

    “She is out of touch and out of step with the public.

    “The reality of her agenda is devastating cuts that risk national security, punishing patients already facing record waiting times, and cutting the pay of frontline workers.

    She added: “Her desperate attempts to distance herself from her own views now will fool no one.

    “Liz Truss in charge would leave working people facing a cost of living emergency with higher bills and poorer services.

    “Only Labour will take action to meet the scale of this national cost of living crisis and ensure the public doesn’t pay a penny more for their energy bills this winter.”

    Ms Truss promoted Reform’s Back to Black report with articles in The Spectator and Conservative Home after its publication in April 2009.

    Her campaign has been approached for comment on the 2009 report, which could hint at her ideological approach to government spending if she enters Downing Street in September.

    Ms Truss promoted Reform’s Back to Black report with articles in The Spectator and Conservative Home after its publication in April 2009.

    Her team told TalkTV’s The News Desk, which uncovered the report: “Co-authoring a document does not mean that someone supports every proposal put forward.”

    The comment is reminsicent of the South-West Norfolk MP’s response when challenged about a passage in the book Britannia Unchained, which she likewise co-authored in 2012, and which brands the British “among the worst idlers in the world”.

    Challenged during a head-to-head Tory leadership debate last month, Ms Truss claimed her predecessor as Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had written the chapter containing those words.

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Politics Rishi Sunak vows to JAIL child grooming gangs for life