NHS officials waved through medicine price rises of up to 600 per cent with no questions asked, according to a cache of emails seen by The Times. Health staff queried the “large difference” in prices set by the British company AMCo — which has an effective monopoly over the supply of certain drugs — but merely asked for confirmation that the changes were correct. The new prices for 54 medicines alone cost the NHS an extra £125 million last year. They included eye drops, which were raised by 243 per cent from £2.35 to £8.05, and an anticoagulant called phenindione.
Barely six weeks ago Boris Johnson’s political career lay in tatters, his move for the party leadership abandoned after he was ditched by his closest allies. Yesterday he emerged victorious: not only politically rehabilitated but running the country. Downing Street said that Mr Johnson, who was installed last month as foreign secretary, would be the “senior minister in charge” this week while Theresa May continued her holiday in the Swiss mountains. Mr Johnson is the first port of call to handle a crisis or lead unexpected meetings, replacing Philip Hammond, the chancellor, who took the role last week.
For years, columns have been written about it. Documentaries have been broadcast about it. Dinner parties have discussed it. Panel shows have teased about it. But today, has it actually happened? It has already prompted the former Labour minister Angela Eagle to splutter: “What? Aghhhh.” Prime Minister Theresa May is currently off duty and on holiday, taking the alpine air in Switzerland. Mrs May is known to have a love of Lucerne, the Bernese Oberland and the resort of Zermatt, with its views of the Matterhorn.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is running the country while the Prime Minister is on her annual walking holiday. But Downing Street has assured the nation that “the Prime Minister is very much in charge and is constantly keeping abreast of what’s going on.” Mrs May went away on a walking holiday in Switzerland at the end of last week, leaving Chancellor Philip Hammond as the senior duty minister. However, Mr Hammond has now gone away leaving the role to fall to Mr Johnson as the next most senior minister.
BORIS Johnson stepped into Theresa May’s famously stylish shoes today when he became the Government’s most senior minister in Britain. Capping a yo-yo year which saw him veer from Brexit champion to thwarted Tory leadership hopeful to Mrs May’s shock choice as Foreign Secretary, he is officially “minding the shop” while she is on holiday. But, eager to scotch rumours of a coup or speculation that he might seize the opportunity to put his own programmes into practice, Downing Street insisted the Prime Minister remains “very much in charge” at all times. Chancellor Phillip Hammond who was senior duty minister last week is relaxing in the West Indies with family. Mr Johnson was spotted earlier this month by fellow tourists enjoying a family day trip to a beach on the remote Greek island of Trikeri. The father-of-four and keen classicist is thought to own a home in central Greece. His tenure as “minister in charge” presents optimistic Whitehall watchers with the greatest comedic potential since the days when John Prescott stood in for Tony Blair.
Migrants wielding bats and knives have been smashing up vehicles on roads near Calais as their owners sit in traffic, reportedly “just for fun”. Local residents are warning others to avoid the area, saying that the migrants are not even checking to see whether children are in the vehicles before they set upon them. One resident has posted pictures to Facebook of her brother-in-law’s car, which sustained more than €500 worth of damage when over a dozen migrants set about it with bats, completely smashing a side mirror and the rear window, and shattering the windscreen. “You’re leaving work and then you’re attacked by migrant s**** just for fun – it disgusts me!” commented Maëva Mayla, in a post which has been shared by more than 6,000 people.
GANGS of migrants wielding knives and baseball bats have been smashing up cars “just for fun” as drivers sit in traffic around Calais, victims claim. Pictures show almost £500 of damage to an Audi after 15 yobs surrounded the vehicle and smashed the front and rear windscreens and a wing mirror. Some motorists have started to avoid roads near the Jungle migrant camp because they are so terrified of the marauding thugs that have been attacking cars. The migrants do not check if children are inside before launching the terrifying attacks, it is claimed.
The sister-in-law of a motorist whose car was seriously damaged has claimed the attackers were migrants using bats and knives in Calais. Maëva Mayla uploaded four photographs to her Facebook page showing the damage to the Audi vehicle and the post has been shared more than 6,000 times. Meanwhile, locals living near the French port city have also warned drivers to avoid the area and have reportedly said migrants are not checking whether children are inside the vehicles before they attack them. Ms Mayla posted photographs of her brother-in-law’s vehicle and wrote that it sustained more than £435 worth of damage when it was set upon by ’15 migrants’ who carried out the attack ‘just for fun’. The rear windscreen of the car had been completely smashed, along with a wing mirror and the front windscreen had been shattered by the thugs, reports US news site Breitbart. Ms Mayla wrote: ‘You’re leaving work and then you’re attacked by migrant s**** just for fun – it disgusts me! ‘Tell your relatives so that they can avoid it happening to them.’
More than one in three asylum claims in Britain are being made by illegal immigrations or people who have overstayed their visas. Data supplied by the Home Office reveals that tens of thousands of people claimed asylum in Britain after being caught staying illegally in the country, suggesting widespread abuse of the UK’s asylum system. A total of 36 per cent of asylum applications from 2004 to 2014 were by migrants who had already been resident in Britain, a total of 83,912 out of 231,100 applications.
A row has erupted between the Turkish and Austrian governments following a decision by the Turkish Constitutional court to effectively lower the age of consent in Turkey to 12. The decision, made last month, was reported in Austrian newspapers whose headlines were used in news tickers at Vienna’s international airport. This caused Turkey to summon Austria’s charge d’affairs on Saturday. The headline has now been removed from the ticker.
GREECE could take legal action against Germany to recover more than £230billion the country claims it is owed in Second World War reparations, it has emerged. A group of cross-party Greek MPs are due to report early next month after looking into the issue of compensation payments linked to the Nazi occupation between 1941 to 1944. The parliamentary committee, which was set up by Greece’s left-wing prime minister Alexis Tsipras last year, will reportedly recommend the country pursues diplomatic means to recover the huge sums. But, according to Der Spiegel, a 77-page report produced by the MPs will also suggest the country could – “if necessary” – pursue legal action through international courts should talks between Athens and Berlin fail.
Leading Vote Leave figure Gisela Stuart says EU citizens in the UK have been “left in limbo” since the referendum. The Labour MP will head a research project on how to protect their rights after the UK leaves the EU. The cross-party inquiry, for centre-left think tank British Future, will examine what kind of legal status could be granted to EU citizens in the UK. Ministers have indicated the want to protect EU citizens’ status – as long as a reciprocal deal can be negotiated.
Claims the government could delay the UK’s departure from the EU have been described as “idle chatter” by a senior Brexit campaigner. John Redwood said PM Theresa May wanted to “get on with it” and trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – which officially begins Brexit. Mrs May has said she will not invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty this year. It was widely thought it would be triggered at the start of next year. Earlier Downing Street did not comment on press reports Article 50 might not be triggered in 2017. Following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, some Leave campaigners have been calling for Article 50 – which starts a two-year Brexit process – to be triggered immediately.
People with dementia face huge disparities in care quality depending on where in the country they live, it has emerged. A new online “dementia atlas” to be unveiled later by Jeremy Hunt will expose a treatment “postcode lottery” – which means four times as many patients get poor care in some areas than others. The data shows large variations in emergency hospital admissions. Currently, in Knowsley, Merseyside, 79% of patients are made to stay in hospitals.
A post-code lottery in dementia care means patients in some parts of the country are receiving services which are more than three times as bad as others, the Government reveals today. Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, will name and shame the areas of England which are failing in dementia care. He today unveiled a new online “dementia Atlas” of Britain which discloses the differences in care standards in different parts of England.
Dementia patients are being left in healthcare ‘black spots’, an official report will say today. In a postcode lottery, standards vary hugely from area to area. Elderly sufferers can go a year without their needs being assessed. Emergency admission rates are three times higher in some regions than in others – suggesting problems are spotted too late. And huge numbers are being forced to die in hospital, away from the comfort and security of home. The shortcomings are exposed by the first NHS atlas of treatment standards. Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said it revealed that care was ‘patchy to say the least’.
A Level results will be the “most unfair in a generation” as headteachers warn that changes to the appeals process may result in students missing out on places at elite universities. Leading heads of both private and state schools said that students appealing exam results face “the most chaotic and unfair year in a generation”. In May this year, Ofqual, the exam boards regulator, said it will only allow re-marking if there are ‘clear errors’. In a major ‘clampdown’ on exam appeals, Ofqual said it will press ahead with a tougher system that will make it harder for some pupils to get a “second bite of the cherry”. But leading heads representing schools such as Eton College and Harrow argue the reforms have been “rushed and flawed” and will breed inconsistency and confusion. Ofqual maintained that its reforms were to make the system “clearer, more consistent, and fairer for all students”.
THE internet has gone into meltdown over new footage of a black sphere apparently flying across the Moon’s surface. The eerie footage shows a small black dot travelling across the Moon – before disappearing into space. The clip, which was has been shared on YouTube, was captured by an amateur astrologist Paul and his UFO enthusiast pal Keith. User SpaceImaging Keith, who uploaded the content told skeptics: “It’s a UFO – unidentified flying object. “What it is, I have no idea – but it’s not normal for us.”