Northern trains operator asked for timetable changes to be delayed

Request was refused by Network Rail and other operators and changes led to chaos for rail users

The operator of Northern trains requested in January to defer the introduction of the rail timetable that has caused chaos across its network, but was refused by Network Rail and other train operators, it has emerged.

However, executives from Northern and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) told MPs that the scale of problems only became clear in the final three days before the timetable change, when drivers’ rosters were drawn up.

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The NHS crisis will go on: this is a plan that no one believes in | Polly Toynbee

The £20bn Theresa May pledged will vanish before our eyes. It’s a standstill budget from a paralysed government

It’s quite an achievement to spend £20bn and leave nobody satisfied. The NHS in England is not celebrating: this is not feast after famine. The Tory right is indignant about unspecified tax rises to pay for it, or – total anathema – spendthrift borrowing for current spending. Austerity is not over, Theresa May says firmly, so all the other starved departments will see no easing of the eight-year tourniquet that is cutting off the lifeblood of public services: schools, further education, police, prisons, transport and councils. Only Boris Johnson says: “Fantastic news for NHS funding!” But the illusion of his bogus Brexit bus money is over.

Related: The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial

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The NHS crisis will go on: this is a plan that no one believes in | Polly Toynbee

The £20bn Theresa May pledged will vanish before our eyes. It’s a standstill budget from a paralysed government

It’s quite an achievement to spend £20bn and leave nobody satisfied. The NHS in England is not celebrating: this is not feast after famine. The Tory right is indignant about unspecified tax rises to pay for it, or – total anathema – spendthrift borrowing for current spending. Austerity is not over, Theresa May says firmly, so all the other starved departments will see no easing of the eight-year tourniquet that is cutting off the lifeblood of public services: schools, further education, police, prisons, transport and councils. Only Boris Johnson says: “Fantastic news for NHS funding!” But the illusion of his bogus Brexit bus money is over.

Related: The Guardian view on the NHS cash plan: the Brexit dividend claim is a lie | Editorial

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Vintage train company steps in to reopen Lake District line

West Coast Railways to run services on Oxenholme to Windermere route hit by Northern timetable fiasco

A vintage train operator that normally runs journeys for enthusiasts has stepped in to provide rail services to the Lake District after the operator Northern cancelled all of its trains following a timetabling fiasco.

West Coast Railways, which runs charter trains along some of the UK’s most scenic routes, launched its first service on the Lakes line on Monday, two weeks after Northern suspended all journeys and introduced a replacement bus service.

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Poor countries subsidise the NHS by training doctors – compensate them | Letters

The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from the African country to the UK, says this multi-signatory letter from experts, and Parry Mitchell suggests ways to tempt back medics who have moved abroad

The scrapping of the immigration cap is a rare victory for freedom of movement (Immigration cap on doctors to be lifted, 15 June), but the global health inequalities underlying the issue need to be part of the debate. The shortage of health workers is a global problem, particularly acute in parts of Africa and Asia, fuelled by global health inequalities. Nigeria has one doctor for every 2,660 people, compared to one doctor for every 354 in the UK. The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from Nigeria to the UK.

In order to meet its commitment to increase NHS England funding by £8bn, the government cut “non-NHS England” funding (which includes funding for training health workers) by £4bn – a cut of 24% in real terms. If it intends to rely on some of the world’s poorest countries to fill the gap, it must put in place a mechanism to adequately compensate them.
Martin Drewry Director, Health Poverty Action
Prof David Sanders Global Co-chair, People’s Health Movement
Dr Titilola Banjoko Co-chair, Better Health for Africa
Thomas Schwarz Executive secretary, Medicus Mundi International Network
Marielle Bemelmans Director, Wemos
David McCoy Professor of Global Public Health, Queen Mary University of London
Remco van de Pas Academic coordinator, Maastricht Centre for Global Health
Dr Fran Baum Director, Southgate Institute for Health, Flinders University
Professor Ronald Labonté School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa

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Fixed-odds betting delay unacceptable | Letters

We cannot allow tax revenues and bookmakers’ profits to be placed before the daily misery caused by these pernicious machines, write representatives from faith communities

We applaud the announcement that there will be a stake reduction of highly addictive fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 a spin to £2. The ability of players, including the most vulnerable in society, to place bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds is a matter of the deepest concern for responsible society. It is of particular concern to faith communities, from which we come, as it is often left to places of worship and faith groups to pick up the pieces when individuals become addicted.

It is now reported that a deal between bookmakers and the Treasury will delay implementation to two years, instead of the eight weeks which is required to change the stake (Treasury under fire over delay on fixed-odds betting curbs, 16 June). If these reports are accurate, society and the Gambling Commission must call government to account on behalf of the vulnerable. The higher stake brings in more than £2bn a year for bookmakers, primarily from areas of social deprivation. We cannot allow tax revenues and bookmakers’ profits to be placed before the daily misery caused by these pernicious machines on the high street. Every day of delay means a further day of exploitation of the vulnerable. We all have a responsibility to ensure that action is taken as swiftly as possible.
Indarjit Singh, Kathleen Richardson, Navnit Dholakia House of Lords, Rt Rev Alan Smith Bishop of St Albans

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Shell of Glasgow School of Art building may be saved from demolition

Damage assessors unlikely to be allowed into Mackintosh building until Wednesday

The surviving shell of the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building, devastated by fire last weekend, is expected to be saved from demolition, council officials have said.

Senior figures in Glasgow city council said a consensus was emerging among building control officers, the art school and Historic Environment Scotland, the official conservation agency, that the landmark should be saved.

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A national Windrush Day? Theresa May has some nerve | Kehinde Andrews

Thousands of the very generation we are meant to be celebrating are facing hardship as a result of the prime minister’s policies

After years of campaigns for the recognition of the Windrush landing in 1948, the government has announced there will be a national day of celebration every 22 June. Arthur Torrington, of the Windrush Foundation, marked the celebration as a “moment of great satisfaction”, which will etch the migration of people from the colonies into the memory of the nation. But this success is a classic case of being careful what you wish for.

Theresa May has shown herself to be the master of race public relations while working in, and now presiding over, a government whose track record on racism is appalling. As home secretary she made some friends in black communities by raising the issue of racial inequalities in police stop and searches; but never managed to take any action to address the problem. In one of her first speeches as prime minister, she promised to lead a government not “in the interests of the privileged few”, and launched a race-disparity audit that told us nothing we did not already know. Worse still, the discovery of racial inequalities throughout society somehow ended up being packaged as “white working class” boys being victims of “racial injustice”. But the biggest area where May has shown her true colours is on the issue of immigration. As home secretary, she pursued the hostile environment policy, replete with “go-home vans”, deportations and the very immigration checks from the private sector that blew up into the Windrush scandal. More than 5,000 members of the generation we are meant to be celebrating have had their cases lodged with the Home Office, facing detention, deportation and losing their jobs directly because of May’s immigration policy. In response, May appointed the first ever ethnic minority home secretary, Savid Javid: the perfect PR stunt to hide the inherent racism of the government’s immigration policy.

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Damien Hirst’s former business manager puts art collection up for sale

Frank Dunphy selling 200 pieces including gifts from Hirst and works by other YBAs

The fruits of a lucrative friendship between the artist Damien Hirst and his formidable former business manager Frank Dunphy, forged in the smoky small hours at the Groucho club in Soho, will be displayed before an auction at Sotheby’s in September of Dunphy’s personal art collection, which includes many gifts from Hirst.

Dunphy’s business acumen lay behind two auctions in the same premises that became art world legends. In 2004, the sale of the contents of the Pharmacy restaurant, for which Hirst had designed everything down to the matchbooks, and which Dunphy then scooped up as the restaurant was dismantled, made £11m. Four years later, Dunphy masterminded Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, an auction of works directly from Hirst’s studio, bypassing the gallery system.

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UK to unveil details of plans for EU citizens who wish to remain

Ministers planning to publish ‘statement of intent’ on scheme that will apply to UK’s 3.4m EU citizens

The UK government will this week unveil the first details of the “settled status” immigration scheme that will apply to Britain’s 3.4 million EU citizens if they want to stay in the country after Brexit.

It is planning to publish a “statement of intent” on Thursday, which will be the first sight of the registration system that the former home secretary Amber Rudd has previously said would be “as easy as setting up an online account at LK Bennett”.

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‘Alien mother-ship’: Christo’s mastaba floats on London’s Serpentine

A 600-tonne, 20-metre high work made from 7,000 oil barrels is unveiled on lake in Hyde Park

“This is not normal art … it is all about beauty,” said the artist Christo as a 600-tonne, 20-metre high floating sculpture made from more than 7,000 colourful oil barrels was unveiled on London’s Serpentine, gently bobbing amid ducks, swans and early morning swimmers.

The artist is known for spectacularly ambitious and slightly mad projects, which have included wrapping the German Reichstag in fabric and stretching a vast curtain over a valley between two mountains in Colorado.

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Anti-terror panel discussed Parsons Green bomber’s case before attack

Ahmed Hassan was assessed for radicalisation weeks before he put bomb on a tube train

A government counter-radicalisation programme was considering giving the Parsons Green tube bomber the all-clear when he launched his attack injuring more than 50 people.

Ahmed Hassan was discussed by a multi-agency panel set up to assess his risk of being drawn into terrorism less than a fortnight before he planted a bomb on a tube train.

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Ex-Blue Peter presenter John Leslie denies groping woman on hen night

TV presenter accused of sexually assaulting woman in Edinburgh nightclub last year

The former TV presenter John Leslie has appeared in court accused of putting his hand down a woman’s trousers as they danced on her hen night.

The woman, who cannot be identified, was in the Atik nightclub in Edinburgh last June when the alleged sexual assault took place. She said she saw Leslie when they entered the club and recognised him from television, particularly Blue Peter.

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Man attacked police with sword near Buckingham Palace, court hears

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and had expressed hatred of the Queen, Old Bailey hears

An Uber driver attacked police with a samurai sword outside Buckingham Palace out of hatred for the Queen, a court has heard.

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 27, shouted “Allahu Akbar” – “God is greatest” – as two officers grappled with him near the Queen’s London home in August last year and after he was arrested a suicide note to his sister was found, the Old Bailey heard.

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