Cineworld has cancelled all UK screenings of a film about the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, after it prompted protests outside some cinemas.
The cinema chain said it made the decision “to ensure the safety of our staff and customers”.
More than 120,000 people have signed a petition for The Lady of Heaven film to be pulled from UK cinemas.
The Bolton Council of Mosques called the film “blasphemous” and sectarian.
But House of Lords peer Baroness Claire Fox called the decision “disastrous for the arts [and] dangerous for free speech”, while Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he was “very concerned about the growing cancel culture” in the UK.
In an email to Cineworld, reported by the Bolton News, the chairman of the Bolton Council of Mosques, Asif Patel, said the film was “underpinned with a sectarian ideology” and “misrepresents orthodox historical narratives and disrespects the most esteemed individuals of Islamic history”.
Sad. Note that COVID didn’t do this. The government’s policy choices did.
The Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub in St. Albans, England has been around since the year 793 A.D., according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but is finally shutting down due to hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christo Tofalli, the operator of the pub, shared the sad news in a Facebook post on Feb. 4, saying that they have filed for bankruptcy and have struggled during the entire pandemic.
“It is with great sadness that I have to announce that today, after a sustained period of extremely challenging trading conditions, YOFC Ltd has gone into administration,” Tofalli said in the post.
“Along with my team, I have tried everything to keep the pub going. However, the past two years have been unprecedented for the hospitality industry, and have defeated all of us who have been trying our hardest to ensure this multi-award-winning pub could continue trading into the future.”
The Bank of England’s new chief economist has warned that UK inflation is likely to hit or surpass 5% by early next year.
Huw Pill told the Financial Times that the Bank would have a “live” decision to make at its next interest rate-setting meeting on 4 November.
It follows recent comments from Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey who said it “will have to act” on inflation.
The UK interest rate has been at a historic low of 0.1% since March 2020.
Recent data showed that inflation growth slowed to 3.1% in the year to September. However, it is expected to increase because of rising energy costs, higher wages to fill record vacancy numbers and supply chain disruption.
Mr Pill, who succeeded the Bank of England’s former chief economist Andy Haldane last month, said he would “not be shocked” to see inflation reach 5% or above in the coming months.
He told the Financial Times: “That’s a very uncomfortable place for a central bank with an inflation target of 2% to be.”
Something like this should be unworkable in a free society. We’ll see how free Americans still are.
PLANS to introduce Covid vaccine passports have been SCRAPPED as Sajid Javid confirms people won’t need them to get into nightclubs and cinemas.
The Health Secretary revealed this morning that Covid jab passports won’t be introduced as a measure to fight the virus as we enter the winter months.
Previously, it was reported that Tory MPs were furious about the PM’s vaccine passport blueprint – with more than 50 poised to rebel against it in a Commons vote.
Steve Baker, deputy head of the Covid Research Group, said it’s “increasingly plain” the plan is about “coercing the young” into getting jabbed.
Rebel leader Mark Harper added that vaccine ID will be “pointless, damaging, and discriminatory”.
And earlier today, Mr Javid also confirmed that PRC tests for double-vaccinated Brit holidaymakers will be scrapped “as soon as possible.”
The Health Secretary revealed he’s already asked officials to get rid of travel testing rules, as they shouldn’t be in place for a second longer than “absolutely necessary.”
While the British press is portraying this as a scandal, Johnson’s alleged comments make perfect sense. It is a rational approach to managing a pandemic by balancing divergent interests and consequences. I wish he had stuck to his guns.
Boris Johnson was reluctant to tighten Covid restrictions as cases rose last autumn because he thought people dying from it were “essentially all over 80”, Dominic Cummings has claimed.
He also said the prime minister had messaged him to say: “I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff.”
Mr Johnson had wanted to let Covid “wash through the country” rather than destroy the economy, Mr Cummings said.
The claims came in an interview with BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
It is the first time Mr Cummings – Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser – has given a one-on-one TV interview during his career in politics.
In response, Downing Street said the prime minister had taken the “necessary action to protect lives and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice” throughout the pandemic.
And the government had prevented the NHS “from being overwhelmed through three national lockdowns”, a spokesperson added.
Travellers from England, Scotland and Wales are jetting off to some countries in what the crisis-hit tourism industry hopes is the start of a recovery.
Travellers can now visit 12 countries on the government’s green list, including Portugal and Israel, without isolating on their return.
The bosses of British Airways and Ryanair said confidence was returning.
Bookings are up from 500,000 a week in early April to 1.5 million a week now. “The rate of bookings suggests there is a huge amount of confidence,” he told BBC Breakfast. “We are very optimistic for the next couple of months.”
The EU and UK have reached a post-Brexit trade deal, ending months of disagreements over fishing rights and future business rules.
At a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said: “We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny.”
The text of the agreement has yet to be released, but the PM claimed it was a “good deal for the whole of Europe”.
The UK is set to exit EU trading rules next Thursday – a year after officially leaving the 27 nation bloc.
The insane response to this virus is not limited to our nation. Britain has gone bonkers too.
The planned relaxation of Covid rules for Christmas has been scrapped for large parts of south-east England and cut to just Christmas Day for the rest of England, Scotland and Wales.
From midnight, a new tier four will be introduced in areas including London, Kent, Essex and Bedfordshire.
Those in tier four cannot mix indoors with anyone not from their household.
Elsewhere in England, Scotland and Wales, relaxed indoor mixing rules are cut from five days to Christmas Day.
The country is set to enter a six-week lockdown from 26 December.
For tier-four areas in England, a stay-at-home order has been issued, with exemptions for those who have to travel to work or for education.
Social mixing will be cut to meeting one person in an open public space.
All non-essential retail will have to close, along with hairdressers, nail bars, indoor gyms and leisure facilities.
People elsewhere will be advised not to travel into a tier-four area.
The evidence is now clear that these types of lockdowns do far more harm than good. They have a mixed result in actually stopping the spread of disease, but they have a very certain result in terms of lost wages, depleted savings, hunger, poverty, mental health issues, crime, suicides, and countless other negative results.
(REUTERS) -U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday he did not want to see a guarded border between Ireland and the United Kingdom, adding that he had previously discussed the matter with the British and Irish prime ministers and other European leaders.
Biden had stressed the importance of protecting Northern Ireland’s peace deal in the Brexit process in a call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the month, after Biden won the Nov. 3 U.S. election against President Donald Trump.
Johnson’s government is seeking a trade deal with the European Union but says it is willing to leave without one. That could complicate the situation at the sensitive Northern Irish border with Ireland – the UK’s only land border with the EU.
Biden told journalists in Wilmington, Delaware, that the border must be open.
“We do not want a guarded border,” he said, answering a question from a reporter on what he would say to Brexit negotiators.
I seem to remember the Left getting all in a tizzy about the Trump team talking to foreign leaders in 2016… but here we are.
But the policies of Labour in the 2019 election are very different from what they were in 2005 when Tony Blair and the so-called “modernisers” held sway. Labour last Thursday went into the election with an unashamedly socialist set of policies, promising a massive increase in government spending, and big tax increases for the well-off. Nationalisation of some industries was back on the agenda. There would be massive increase in spending for the National Health Service – and an offer of free broadband for everyone. Why no offer of free puppies for all, one wag asked derisively.
The problem is that the pragmatic, working-class people of Sedgefield – and any number of other constituencies across the industrial towns and cities of the UK – held their collective noses and said you must be joking. These are smart, savvy people. They know that you don’t get something for nothing.
Electoral districts that all my life have been Labour – Blyth Valley, Bolsover, Rother Valley, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Dudley, Grimsby – are now held by the Conservatives. It is hard to overstate just how seismic this is. And remember social class in the UK has always been a bigger determinant of how people vote than it has been in the US. Just like the whole class system, frankly. Some of these constituencies have never, ever flirted with the right.
Of course, there is a massive caveat that makes reading across from what happened in the UK to what might happen in the US precarious. Brexit, no deal, the European Union Withdrawal Agreement will not be on the ballot in the 2020 US presidential election. Brexit did play a big part in this general election – how could it not given the turmoil in Britain of these past three-and-a-half years?
But as Phil Wilson, the man who succeeded Tony Blair as the Labour MP in Sedgefield – and who lost his seat on Thursday night, pointed out, Brexit was nothing like as big an issue on the doorstep as Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s socialist policies.
The elites keep saying that the people don’t want, or should’t want, Brexit, but the people keep making their wished known at the ballot box.
Boris Johnson has said he hopes his party’s “extraordinary” election win will bring “closure” to the Brexit debate and “let the healing begin”.
Speaking in Downing Street, he said he would seek to repay the trust placed in him by Labour supporters who had voted Conservative for the first time.
He said he would not ignore those who opposed Brexit as he builds with Europe a partnership “of sovereign equals”.
The Tories have won a Commons majority of 80, the party’s largest since 1987.
It means the UK is heading out of the EU at the end of next month, the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg said, with Mr Johnson’s “thumping” majority allowing him to get the laws required through Parliament “in a matter of weeks”.
The Conservatives’ victory in the 650th and final contest of the election – the seat of St Ives, in Cornwall – took their total number of MPs up to 365. Labour finished on 203, the SNP 48, Liberal Democrats 11 and the DUP eight.
Budget cuts, eh?
Two people were killed and three were injured by Usman Khan, 28, a convicted terrorist who served half of his time.
PM Boris Johnson claimed scrapping early release would have stopped him.
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will blame budget cuts for “missed chances to intervene” in a speech on Sunday.
As many as 70 convicted terrorists released from prison could be the focus of the government review.
Khan, 28, who was shot by police on Friday after carrying out the attack, was jailed over a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2012.
He was sentenced to indeterminate detention for “public protection” with a minimum jail term of eight years.
This sentence would have allowed him to be kept in prison beyond the minimum term.
But in 2013, the Court of Appeal quashed the sentence, replacing it with a 16-year-fixed term of which Khan should serve half in prison. He was released on licence in December 2018 – subject to an “extensive list of licence conditions”, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.
If they pull it off, I would prosecute the families for abetting and importing terrorists into the country.
They say there has been ‘chatter’ among those living in the UK about how they can help suspect jihadi family members get back to Britain.
Islamic State members have already been smuggled out of camps where British citizens are held, another western security source said, adding that the ‘window of time for countries to repatriate effectively is closing very quickly’.
Coming soon to an American legislature near you courtesy of the Democratic Party.
(Bloomberg) — The main U.K. opposition Labour Party adopted a policy to scrap private schools such as Eton — the alma mater of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the second-in-line to the throne, Prince William.
Delegates at Labour’s annual conference passed a resolution on Sunday to include “a commitment to integrate all private schools into the state sector” in the party’s next general election manifesto.
“This is a huge step forward in dismantling the privilege of a tiny, Eton-educated elite who are running our country into the ground,” said Laura Parker, national coordinator of Momentum, a grassroots movement set up to support Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “Every child deserves a world-class education, not only those who are able pay for it.”
The new policy shows how Labour under Corbyn is seeking to make political capital by attacking the rich. Stoking a class war plays to the party’s base in a country which is still very much defined by its class system.
A Labour government would take measures including scrapping the charitable status enjoyed by private schools, meaning they would lose their tax breaks, according to the resolution.
The motion also advocated ensuring that only 7% of students admitted by universities come from private schools — in line with the national proportion of pupils attending them — and redistributing their investments, endowments and properties “democratically and fairly across the country’s educational institutions.”
And you thought American politics were raucous.
The leader of the UK Independence Party has broken up with his girlfriend following revelations of her shocking comments about American actress Meghan Markle.
“I don’t defend these comments whatsoever,” UKIP leader Henry Bolton, 54, said on “Good Morning Britain” on Monday.
Bolton said the “romantic side” of his relationship with Jo Marney, a 25-year-old model, ended Sunday night after a “long and upsetting conversation” for both of them.
“At the moment it is obviously quite incompatible to continue the relationship,” he said. But “I’m going to be continuing to support her family because Jo is absolutely distraught by this.”
The split followed an uproar over Facebook messages Marney sent to a friend about Markle, who will marry Prince Harry this spring. Marney described Markle as a “dumb little commoner,” and called black people “ugly.” She also said Markle would “taint” the royal family and pave the way for a “black king.”
When a person responded to the comments by calling them racist, Marney answered: “So what?” the BBC reported.
A man arrested outside Buckingham Palace armed with a 4ft sword repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as police struggled to subdue him, Scotland Yard has said.
Three unarmed officers were injured – two receiving cuts to their hands – while detaining the man just after 8.30pm on Friday. Police are treating the incident as suspected terrorism.
Scotland Yard said the man drove at a police van just outside Buckingham Palace in a blue Toyota Prius, and stopped in front of it.
The Queen has been reported to West Yorkshire Police for not wearing a seat belt in the official car for the State Opening of Parliament.
A 999 call was made by someone saying the monarch was not strapped in while being driven through London.
The phone call was confirmed in a tweet by the West Yorkshire force, which added the hashtags #not999 #notevenwestyorkshire.
Civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against the Queen in UK law.
Yes, unlike America, there are people who are actually above the law in the UK.
Russia has criticised Boris Johnson’s decision to scrap a planned trip to Moscow after discussions with the US.
The move showed the UK has no “real influence” over world events, Russia’s foreign ministry said.
Mr Johnson said events in Syria had “changed the situation fundamentally” and he would go to G7 talks instead.
Sounds like something North Korea or Iran would do.
Internet providers will soon be required to record which services their customers’ devices connect to – including websites and messaging apps.
The Home Office says it will help combat terrorism, but critics have described it as a “snoopers’ charter”.
Critics of the law have said hackers could get access to the records.
“It only takes one bad actor to go in there and get the entire database,” said James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa), which represents BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and others.
“You can try every conceivable thing in the entire world to [protect it] but somebody will still outsmart you.
“Mistakes will happen. It’s a question of when. Hopefully it’s in tens or maybe a hundred years. But it might be next week.”
The Investigatory Powers Bill was approved by the House of Lords on 19 November and is due to become law before the end of 2016.
Theresa May promised to build a “better Britain” and to make the UK’s EU exit a “success” after she was announced as the new Tory leader and soon-to-be PM.
Speaking outside Parliament, Mrs May said she was “honoured and humbled” to succeed David Cameron, after her only rival in the race withdrew on Monday.
Mr Cameron will tender his resignation to the Queen after PMQs on Wednesday.
Mr Cameron, who has been UK prime minister since 2010, decided to quit after the UK’s Brexit vote.