UK to send second warship to the Gulf

Threat level raised for UK ships in Iranian waters MoD ‘facing £7bn funding black hole’ Gulf crisis: Are we heading for a new tanker war? The relationship between the UK and Iran has become increasingly strained in recent weeks. On Tuesday, the UK raised the threat to British shipping in Iranian waters in the Gulf to the highest level – where the risk of attack is critical. The following day, boats believed to belong to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) approached the British Heritage tanker and tried to bring it to a halt as it was moving out of the Gulf into the Strait of Hormuz. HMS Montrose, a British frigate shadowing the BP-owned tanker, was forced to move …

Senior officer accuses Met of discrimination

Ms Sandhu, who is of Indian heritage, is one of a very small number of female Asian police officers at senior levels across England and Wales. Last year, there were six Asian chief superintendents and three officers at a higher rank; most of them were male. ‘Denied opportunities’ The 54-year-old, who joined the Met in 1989, claims she would have progressed faster and further had she not been discriminated against over many years. Ms Sandhu is being backed by the Metropolitan Black Police Association, which says it is concerned about the lack of senior female ethnic minority officers. Mick Creedon, the former chief constable of Derbyshire Police, who acted as her mentor and submitted a statement to the misconduct inquiry, …

Rival ice cream men in cone-frontation

“We have tried to re-contact the informant and had no response.” Both Mr Whippy and Mr Creamy – Jahangir Rashid – have been approached by the BBC for comment. Blackburn with Darwen Council is speaking to the two men, hoping to create a thaw in relations. A council spokesman said: “We are working with the two vendors and are expecting them to cool it. “We hope they have a good summer and should be reassured that we are using all our powers to make sure this happens.”

What do we know about Archie’s christening?

George was christened when he was three months old, Charlotte was only nine weeks and Louis was 11 weeks, while Archie will be exactly two months old on 6 July. Harry was baptised at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on 21 December 1984 when he was three months and six days old. George was the first future monarch in modern times not to be baptised at Buckingham Palace, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge choosing the intimate Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace instead in 2013. Statistics show the number of baptisms performed by the Church of England during this period has declined from 135,000 in 2009 to just under 93,000 by 2017. The christening gown Image copyright Steve …

Little Girl Blue suspect ‘confessed to murder’

However, giving evidence to the inquest at Birmingham Coroner’s Court via video-link on Friday, he claimed “no memory” of admitting to the murder. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMargaret Bailey says she still talks about daughter Helen, more than 40 years after her death Helen, who was wearing blue clothes at the time of her disappearance, left her home in Perry Barr to play at about 15:30 BST on 10 August. Her mother alerted police when she did not return home and her body was found the next day. Speaking at a new inquest into Helen’s death on Friday, Det Ch Supt Caroline Marsh from West Midlands Police said she was “absolutely certain” Helen had been murdered …

Countdown’s Rachel Riley marries Strictly’s Pasha

Report End of Twitter post by @RachelRileyRR The couple married on Friday, according to records from Clark County, the area of Nevada in the US that includes Las Vegas. Riley also used Instagram in May to reveal she and her now husband are expecting a baby in December. Riley, who describes herself as “a proud maths geek”, and Russian dancer Kovalev, have been together since 2014 after they were partnered in the 2013 series of Strictly Come Dancing. Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

‘More protection’ for revenge porn victims

‘I was blamed for my revenge porn’ Revenge porn laws ‘not fit for purpose’ What to do if you’re a victim It is currently categorised as a “communications crime”, meaning victims are not granted anonymity as other victims of sexual abuse are. Campaigners, including Love Island contestant Zara McDermott, have called for this to change. The government has said the review, to be “launched shortly”, will consider the case for granting automatic anonymity to such victims, so they cannot be named publicly, as is the case for victims of sexual offences. The review will also take in “cyber-flashing” – when people receive unsolicited sexual images on their phone – and “deepfake” pornography, which is the practice of superimposing an individual’s …

UK seeks new no-deal Brexit freight plan

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling faced calls to resign after he was forced to axe a £13.8m contract with Seaborne Freight, a company with no ships or trading history. All three previous contracts – intended to offer extra capacity and relieve potential congestion at ports like Dover – had been awarded without a full public tender process and prompted legal action from Eurotunnel. No-deal Brexit ferry contract queried Government pays £33m over Brexit ferry case Government warned over Brexit ferry payout The government also had to pay more than £51m to cancel agreements with DFDS and Brittany Ferries when the UK asked the EU for an extension to the withdrawal process meaning it did not leave as planned on 29 March. …

How to get the best price when buying a car

The time of year can also have a significant effect on when a vehicle is popular and so dealerships are less prone to cut the price. For example, convertibles are naturally more desirable in the summer and 4X4s in the winter, so buying out of season may be sensible to get a good price. There are often better deals at the end of each quarter as dealerships try to hit targets, and quieter weekdays may see staff in a better frame of mind to negotiate, the Money Advice Service says. It also points out that March and August – just before new registrations are released – can see the older stock sold off cheaper. How can buyers get the best …

The people who will choose the UK’s next prime minister

So, who are the Conservative Party’s members and what do they think on key issues, not least, of course, Brexit? More like this What do voters make of Brexit now? How much difference does going to a top US university make? The main parties have been punished How Brexit hit the pound in your pocket Around a quarter of them are, or were, self-employed and nearly half of them work, or used to, in the private sector. Nearly four out of 10 put their annual income at over £30,000, and one in 20 put it at over £100,000. As such, Tory members are considerably better-off than most voters and, indeed, the members of other parties. On the other hand, the …

Coming to a school near you? The four-and-a-half-day week

A number of UK schools have taken the decision to move to a shorter working week because of funding shortages – and nowhere more so, it would appear, than in Birmingham. More than 20 schools in the city now plan to save money by sending children home at Friday lunchtime. Emma Jane Kirby visited one to learn more about the financial pressures they face. It’s even more of a squash than usual in the Bellfield Junior School hall this morning and small, scuffed knees knock against each other as the children sit cross-legged on the herringbone parquet floor. For the first time in their academic life, year two infants have been given special dispensation to join junior assembly. Come the …

Minister to urge ‘de-escalation’ on Iran visit

A spokeswoman said: “The UK has an ongoing diplomatic dialogue with Iran. “At this time of increased regional tensions and at a crucial period for the future of the nuclear deal, this visit is an opportunity for further open, frank and constructive engagement with the government of Iran. What would a US-Iran conflict look like? Airlines re-route flights after Iran drone incident US-Iran relations: A brief history “Dr Murrison will call for urgent de-escalation in the region and raise UK and international concerns about Iran’s regional conduct and its threat to cease complying with the nuclear deal, to which the UK remains fully committed.” It comes as reports said the US launched a cyber-attack on Iranian weapons systems on Thursday. …

The cafe where customers don’t have to pay

Customers are asked to donate as much as they like – or are able – when they visit. And if they can’t pay? No problem. Image copyright Phil Coomes Image caption Simon Pemberton: ‘It’s almost like being on holiday, there’s such a nice vibe’ Guy, who works in insurance, has decided not to run Eggs & Bread as a charity, but as a not-for-profit business. The cafe, he insists, is an “equaliser” allowing people from all walks of life to sit down and talk to one another over a good breakfast by “taking money out of the situation”. Regular Sheilla Addy-Tely, an author, pops in two or three times a week with her son Ethan, six, before school. “Sometimes we …

MPs are not ‘victims’ over maternity rights

But there is no official maternity cover available for their other duties. However, MPs continue to be paid their full annual salary of £79,468 throughout their parental leave. Creasy ‘forced to choose to be MP or mum’ UK ‘among least family friendly in Europe’ Walthamstow MP Ms Creasy, who is also pregnant, argued that without paid cover it would be “impossible” for her to fulfil her responsibilities to constituents once her baby is born. When she approached Ipsa – the body which regulates MPs’ pay – about the issue, she said they told her “they don’t recognise that MPs go on maternity leave”. Not a ‘bad deal’ Writing in the Times, Mrs Badenoch said Ms Creasy’s intervention was “hugely disappointing” …

The gay men breaking blood donation rules

In 2017, rules were relaxed in England, Scotland and Wales to allow men who have sex with men to give blood after abstaining from sexual activity for three months. Previously, they had to wait a year – which remains the case in Northern Ireland. NHS Blood and Transplant – the organisation that looks after blood in England – says the timeframe exists because, while all donations are screened, “there is a period of time following contact with any infection when it would not be detected by our screening tests”. ‘Deep homophobia’ The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) – which advises UK health departments – recommended the changes after concluding new testing systems were accurate …

Man kept as slave in scrap yard caravan

Image copyright South Wales Police Image caption The victim was forced to live and work at the scrap yard The court heard the victim had spent time in hospital as a result of his injuries, but lied to medical staff. On one occasion he told doctors he had been “kicked by a horse”, but later told police Harvey Baker had punched him “so hard it felt like his eardrum burst”. “He was allowed to visit his mother over Christmas. On his return Harvey Baker said he looked tired, and he was given a beating,” said Mr Hipkin. The victim received one meal a day, which consisted of tinned soup, baked beans or gone-off food from a bakery. When police found …