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Home Office calls for a review into whether or not to introduce air gun licensing — after a teenager died in an accidental shooting

BRITS may be forced to take out a licence to own an air rifle – after the tragic death of a teenager in an accidental shooting. The Home Office announced plans for an unprecedented crackdown, saying it was time to review whether current rules were “appropriate and effective”. Scotland has introduced licensing for ‘air weapons’ […]

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BRITS may be forced to take out a licence to own an air rifle – after the tragic death of a teenager in an accidental shooting.

The Home Office announced plans for an unprecedented crackdown, saying it was time to review whether current rules were “appropriate and effective”.

Rob Stothard - The Times
The Home Office and Nick Hurd both agree its time to review whether current laws were effective[/caption]

Scotland has introduced licensing for ‘air weapons’ at the end of last year.

And a Home Office source yesterday refused to rule out a similar move south of the border.

In a statement, Police Minister Nick Hurd would only say the remit of the review would be set in the coming months.

He said: “This is an appropriate time to take stock of the regulatory position and assess whether the current controls, which are already strong, continue to be appropriate and effective.

Alamy
Air rifles and guns are available to purchase in the UK without any licensing[/caption]

“I think that a review of air weapon regulation is important and timely.”

The move follows the case of Benjamin Wragge, who died in May last year after being accidentally shot with an air rifle. His local coroner in Suffolk wrote to the Home Office calling for a review of the current rules.

Two months later, 18 month old Harry Studley was left with brain damage and limited vision after being shot by a pal of his Dad’s.

Jordan Walters, 25, was jailed for two years despite claiming the air rifle had gone off by accident when he was cleaning it.

Rex Features
Police Minister Nick Hurd announced the remit of the review would be set in the coming months[/caption]

Harry’s mother claimed he had aimed it at the toddler.

The toddler’s local MP, Bristol South’s Karin Smyth, secured a Commons debate on air weapons on Monday night to raise her concerns.

Figures earlier this year revealed 26 BB guns and air rifles were among more than 1,300 weapons seized from children as young as five in schools in 2016-2017.

SWNS:South West News Service
Benjamin Wragge, 13, died after accidentally being shot in the neck with an air rifle in Thurston, Suffolk[/caption]

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Brexit

Theresa May’s EU compromise is ‘not ideal’ says Iain Duncan Smith but key Brexiteer claims Brussels budged too – and it now opens door for a trade deal

THERESA May’s EU compromise is “not ideal”, according to Iain Duncan Smith but the key Brexiteer claims Brussels has budged too and it opens door to the UK getting a trade deal. The former Tory leader gave a cautious welcome to the agreement the Prime Minister signed with Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday, saying “I’m not […]

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THERESA May’s EU compromise is “not ideal”, according to Iain Duncan Smith but the key Brexiteer claims Brussels has budged too and it opens door to the UK getting a trade deal.

The former Tory leader gave a cautious welcome to the agreement the Prime Minister signed with Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday, saying “I’m not ecstatic”.

Theresa May’s EU compromise is ‘not ideal’ says Iain Duncan Smith
PA

It comes as Mrs May prepares to update MPs on the progress of the talks, where he is set to take an upbeat stance on securing a Brexit deal.

But Ireland insists the UK must stick to its commitments on keeping a soft border with the Republic, after David Davis caused a row by suggesting the plans hammered out last week were only a “statement of intent”.

He appeared to row back on those words, branded “bizarre” by the Dublin government, in an interview with LBC this morning.

In a u-turn he said the UK’s commitment to the Irish border as “much more than legally enforceable”.

But the key Brexiteer claims Brussels budged too and it opens the door for a future trade deal
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The PM has to now convince the Brexiteers in her Cabinet about the details of the draft agreement when she assembles her top team for a meeting in Downing Street this morning.

But one of the key anti-EU Tory backbenchers is supportive of the deal, which should allow the other EU leaders to agree “sufficient progress” has been made to move on to trade and transition talks at Thursday’s crunch summit.

Mr Duncan Smith, writing in the Telegraph, said: “The draft agreement reached by Theresa May does not make me jubilant, but nor do I feel betrayed.

“The EU has budged on several crucial points, and the way is now open to discuss a proper free-trade agreement that the British people voted for.”

It comes as Mrs May prepares to update MPs on the progress of the talks, where he is set to take an upbeat stance on securing a Brexit deal
PA

He attacked the draft agreement released last Monday, which was scuppered by the DUP, saying it was “left open the possibility that Northern Ireland might have a separate position to the rest of the UK, which was unacceptable”.

He also said on “regulatory alignment” it left open the possibility the EU would try to exploit its “vague language to keep us inside the single market and customs union in all but name”.

The ex-Cabinet Minister said the new wording helped correct this, but added: “Most importantly, though, all this can be torn up tomorrow, because ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.”

And trying to calm those who are unhappy with the deal, he went on: “Some Leavers are crying betrayal and believe they have been sold out. I think that is incorrect.”

Speaking in the Commons on the proposed first phase text Mrs May is expected to say ‘this is not about a hard or a soft Brexit’
PA

He added: “While this agreement is not ideal, it doesn’t stop us from taking tough lines where we need to.

“It simply gets us through the first round, and I believe it has left us in a better position than we were last Monday, for it has opened the door to a deal.”

Speaking in the Commons on the proposed first phase text Mrs May is expected to say: “This is not about a hard or a soft Brexit.

“The arrangements we have agreed to reach the second phase of the talks are entirely consistent with the principles and objectives that I set out in my speeches in Florence and at Lancaster House.”

And she will tell MPs: “There is, I believe, a new sense of optimism now in the talks and I fully hope and expect that we will confirm the arrangements I have set out today in the European Council later this week.

“In doing so we can move on to building the bold new economic and security relationships that can underpin the new deep and special partnership we all want to see.

“A partnership between the European Union and a sovereign United Kingdom that has taken control of its borders, money and laws once again.

A partnership that is in the best interests of the whole United Kingdom.  And a partnership which can deliver prosperity and security for all our people, for generations to come.”

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Conservative Party

Left-wing protesters leave a coffin outside Tory MP’s office in vile threat

JEREMY CORBYN today faces angry demands to condemn vile Labour supporters who left a full-size coffin outside a female Tory MPs office. Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston said it was shocking that a party that lost the murdered Jo Cox would condone such “crass” behaviour. The local Labour party encouraged its members to join a protest […]

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JEREMY CORBYN today faces angry demands to condemn vile Labour supporters who left a full-size coffin outside a female Tory MPs office.

Totnes MP Sarah Wollaston said it was shocking that a party that lost the murdered Jo Cox would condone such “crass” behaviour.

Protesters carrying a coffin to the office of Sarah Wollaston last weekend
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The local Labour party encouraged its members to join a protest against NHS cuts – but is now embroiled in a furious row after protesters left a coffin outside her constituency office.

Around 300 demonstrators carried the prop through the town, stopping at the MP’s office and leaving it outside then taking pictures.

Ms Wollaston fumed: “The crass insensitivity of delivering a coffin effigy to a woman MP seems to have passed some people by.

“My office has already been repeatedly targeted with aggressive vandalism by those who can’t abide reasoned debate and want to make it harder for people to access their MP.”

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston was threatened by far-left protesters
PA:Press Association

And in a direct attack on Mr Corbyn, Ms Wollaston said: “My message to Labour, who were part of Saturday’s march and encouraged people to join it, since sadly this does not appear to be obvious, is that you cannot preach about ‘gentler politics’ and allow someone to leave a coffin at my door.”

Labour MPs also slammed the activists who left the coffin. Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw angrily told party activists: “Next time, go canvassing.”

Ms Wollaston received support from across the political spectrum after her ordeal.

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to condemn the threats
PA

 

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for the nearby seat of Exeter, wrote on Twitter: “Memo to any @UKLabour members at this event: @sarahwollaston fights tirelessly for NHS and Social Care as @CommonsHealth chair.”

Theresa May ordered an inquiry into the abuse suffered by politicians after dozens of MPs and candidates reported a torrent of vile threats during the General Election campaign.

Mr Corbyn has been accused of not doing enough to crack down on threatening tactics used by hard-left trolls.

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Conservative Party

Conservative Cabinet split over whether Damian Green should be sacked as First Minister of State over porn probe

AN extraordinary Cabinet split opened up over whether Damian Green should keep his job as First Minister of State. Education Secretary Justine Greening all-but called for him to be sacked if the Cabinet Office inquiry into his behaviour concludes it was his porn that was found on one of his parliamentary office computers. But Health […]

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AN extraordinary Cabinet split opened up over whether Damian Green should keep his job as First Minister of State.

Education Secretary Justine Greening all-but called for him to be sacked if the Cabinet Office inquiry into his behaviour concludes it was his porn that was found on one of his parliamentary office computers.

Getty Images - Getty
Damian Green is currently being investigated over claims he stored pornography on his parliamentary computer[/caption]

But Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and ex-Tory leader Lord Howard rallied to his defence.

The probe into claims Mr Green viewed and stored porn on his parliamentary computer and accusations he made unwanted advances towards a Tory activist 30 years his junior enters its sixth week today – with the PM under mounting pressure to act against Mr Green, her closest ally in politics.

Asked whether she believed it was acceptable to watch porn at work, Ms Greening told the BBC: “There are clear laws. I think most employers would say it wasn’t acceptable.”

Ms Greening, who is also the minister for women and equalities, said it was vital that her colleagues abide by “high standards” to lead by example.

News Group Newspapers Ltd
Education Secretary Justine Greening called for the First Minister of State to be sacked if it was his pornography on the parliamentary computer[/caption]

But Mr Hunt took a very different approach, voicing his support for Mr Green.

He told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “I know Damian Green as a colleague and I trust him absolutely and that’s why I believe what he says, but there is an investigation, and I think, we should wait.”

And former Tory leader Lord Howard echoed Mr Hunt’s backing of Mr Green.

He launched a fierce defence of Mr Green in the light of the astonishing leak of sensitive information from two retired top cops.

They used the confidential information about a previous inquiry to attack the deputy PM.

Rex Features
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt came to the defence of Damian Green on ITV’s Peston on Sunday[/caption]

Lord Howard said: “Policing in this country is based on trust between the police and the public.

“If we have retired officers leaking information of that kind, it will be very damaging to that trust.”

Ms Greening called for a separate inquiry to deal with thee breach of professionalism from the ex-officers.

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