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Trump election plot exposed: President to ‘manufacture’ global chaos in bid to beat Biden

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Speaking to Express.co.uk, Professor of the University of New Haven Matthew Schmidt warned Donald Trump is expected to create an “October surprise” to change the US electoral landscape ahead of the November election against Democrat Joe Biden. The US foreign policy expert warned the US President could “manufacture an international crisis” by pushing North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un or Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Whilst he admitted “Biden’s in a much stronger position right now,” Professor Schmidt continued “barring some, as we say in the States, some sort of October surprise that changes the system.

“And then, and that’s something I firmly believe that Trump will try to create if he needs to.”

He added: “When we say October surprise we mean some sort of event that happens in the world that, you know, that changes the preceding electoral landscape.

“Usually this is some sort of international crisis.

“Then you know, the public then doesn’t want to change presidents in the middle of, you might see something like that.

“But for President Trump, I could see him trying to manufacture something like that.

“Trying to push North Korea or push Putin in some way to create an incident where then he can stand up and say ‘you need a strong president and I’m that guy’.”

The warning comes as the US point man for North Korea is due to visit South Korea next week as it pushes for a resumption of talks with the North ahead of the US election and despite few signs of any progress.

US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, who led working-level negotiations with the North Koreans, will be among several State Department officials holding talks with South Korean counterparts on Tuesday, a government official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity as the trip has not been announced.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should meet again before the U.S. election in November, and on Thursday, South Korea’s foreign minister said Seoul is pushing for a resumption of U.S.-North Korea talks.

Biegun has said there is time for both sides to re-engage and “make substantial progress”, but the coronavirus pandemic would make an in-person summit difficult before the November election.

Last month, North Korea abruptly raised tension with South Korea and blew up an inter-Korean liaison office, just on its side of the border, before just as suddenly announcing it would suspend plans for unspecified military actions against the South.

North Korea has repeatedly said it will not return to talks until the United States drops its “hostile policies”, including strict sanctions, and vowed not to provide Trump with another photo opportunity before the election without significant concessions.

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“It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the North Koreans would be compelled to come back to the table unless the U.S. ‘offer’ was drastically different than it’s been in the past,” said Jenny Town, of 38 North, a think-tank focusing on North Korea.

“And even then, how credible would that be that it would survive a potential change in administration in the U.S.? Trump and Kim met for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, raising hopes of an agreement to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons programme.”

But their second summit, in early 2019 in Vietnam, fell apart.

Trump and Kim met again at the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in June 2019 and agreed to restart negotiations but working-level talks between the two sides in Sweden in October were broken off.

Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York on Thursday that the president might seek another summit with Kim as an “October Surprise” ahead of the election.

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London chaos: Police pelted with bottles after violence ERUPTS at rave in White City

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Footage from the scene shows officers being chased down a street by a mob throwing glass bottles and beer cans. The event took place on the Havelock Close estate in White City close to the Westfield shopping centre.

Territorial Support Group officers, who specialise in crowd control, are understood to be in attendance.

Police are urging revellers to depart the area immediately.

According to social media reports a police helicopter is also at the scene.

In a statement the Metropolitan police said: “Police are aware of a number of people gathered this evening at an unlicensed music event in Havelock Close W12.

“Officers are in attendance & engaging with those present and encouraging them to leave.”

There have been a number of violent clashes in London over the past few weeks between police and partygoers attending illegal raves.

A Section 60 dispersal order was put in place by police ahead of the event.

This means officers can stop and search people in the area if there is a risk of serious violence breaking out.

Ahead of the event Hammersmith and Fulham police stated: “A Section 60 has been authorised from 1500 hours today until 0600 Saturday 4th July.

“This is because of information received relating to planned unlicensed music/BBQ events taking place within the locations.

“Intelligence suggests that these events will be attended by West and South gang members.

“This previously has led to violence and disorder.

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“Please be aware that the police helicopter may be deployed to the area for extended periods of time.”

A number of Twitter users took to the social media site to express their confusion and horror at events.

One man named Alex tweeted: “I wonder what’s going on tonight over White City/Shepherd’s Bush area (W12).

“A very noisy (police?) helicopter has been circling in the sky for over an hour, it’s bedtime and it’s very disturbing on a Friday night.”

Another Londoner commented: “White City is absolutely kicking off tonight, this helicopter has been here for like an hour now.”

A number of illegal raves, held during the coronavirus lockdown, have led to clashes with police over the past few weeks.

On June 25, 22 officers were injured when they were attacked after attempting to shut down an unlicensed event in Brixton, south London.

Of those injured two required hospital treatment.

In a statement Boris Johnson’s spokesman condemned the violence commenting: “These were appalling scenes.

“Violence against the police will not be tolerated.

“Anyone who assaults the police or emergency service workers should face the full force of the law.”

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EU digs its heels in: Brussels blames Britain for no progress – ‘Not our fault!’

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UK and EU officials ended talks a day early on Thursday with the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier insisting serious areas of divergence still remain. The Brexit trade deal talks marked the first to face discussions between the pair since the coronavirus pandemic began. In the fallout of the ending of negotiations this week, the Brexit representative of the EU Parliament and German MEP, David McAllister claimed the lack of progression was solely down to the UK’s negotiating position.

Speaking to Web.De, the MEP said: “I think the Tories’ European policy is very unfortunate.

“Brexit is and remains a historical mistake for me, but we have to accept the reality.

“In the upcoming rounds of negotiations, the British government should make it clear whether it is politically willing to reach an agreement by the end of October.

“The EU and the Member States are preparing in parallel for a UK exit from the single market and customs union without an agreement.

“Not doing that would be negligent.

“The responsibility is now clearly on the UK side.

“So far, it was not because of the European Union that there wasn’t any progress.”

Crucially, there are still four areas of divergence between the two sides: fisheries, the level playing field, judicial cooperation in criminal matters and governance.

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There have also been disagreements over access to the single market for UK financial services and data-sharing.

Chiefly, the level playing field has been stated as one of the EU’s main demands.

Brussels wants the UK to adhere to certain rules and regulations in order to maintain fair competition between the two sides.

This issue also trickles down into the concept of state aid which is an advantage granted by public authorities through state resources on a selective basis to any organisation.

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On judicial cooperation, the UK has insisted the European Court of Justice cannot have any role in the British judicial system.

Although Mr Barnier has hinted there could be room to compromise on fisheries, UK officials have demanded Britain be free of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The CFP has long been labelled as unfair for British fisherman as it allows EU boats equal access to the bloc’s economic zone.

Due to the UK’s large coastal area in comparison to other states, some have stated European fisherman benefit more from the policy.

The EU wants a single agreement on the governance on the future relationship of the treaty while the UK has insisted there must be multiple agreements.

On the matter, Mr Johnson told the LBC today: “I’m not remotely disrespectful of Michel or the EU system, which I know well and understand deeply.

“I just don’t think that it’s right for us to proceed on the basis of the European Court of Justice continuing to arbitrate in the UK or us continuing to have to obey EU laws even when we are out of the EU, or us having to hand over our amazing fish stock.

“So, we are not going to do those things. We made it very clear.

“We now need to make sure we get a good deal.

“I’ve had some very good conversations with friends and colleagues around the EU.

“I’m a bit more optimistic than Michel is there.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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World on brink: The terrifying picture that shows how close US and China are to conflict

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The US Navy shared the pictured via its official website yesterday, saying it showed the USS Gabrielle Giffords conducting routine operations” near the Chinese vessel Hai Yang Di Zhi 4 Hao. In another photo released by the navy, a ship which apparently belongs to the Vietnamese coastguard can be seen along with the Giffords and the Hai Yang 4.

Last month, the Chinese ship sailed into waters in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what was widely perceived to be an attempt to deter Hanoi from exploring for oil with international partners off the country’s southeastern coast.

The ship left on June 20, but vessel tracking software seen by US-funded website Radio Free Asia indicated on Tuesday the Hai Yang 4 was roughly 205 nautical miles (330 km) from Vietnam’s coast on Tuesday.

The move is highly significant because the Chinese ship in question is the sister ship of the Hai Yang Di Zhi 8 Hao, which Beijing likewise ordered into waters within Malaysia’s EEZ, accompanied by six China Coast Guard vessels, in April.

The ship performed a survey close to a Malaysian-contracted drillship called the West Capella, which was exploring for oil there.

The West Capella suspended operations on May 12, earlier than scheduled, and the Hai Yang 8 left shortly afterwards.

On that occasion Admiral John Aquilino, commander of the United States Pacific Fleet, said: “The Chinese Communist Party must end its pattern of bullying Southeast Asians out of offshore oil, gas, and fisheries.

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“Millions of people in the region depend on those resources for their livelihood.”

China claims 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it, through which about £2.4 trillion of trade passes each year.

The US Defense Department yesterday voiced concern about China holding military exercises in the disputed waters close to the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by both Vietnam and China.

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A statement warned: “Conducting military exercises over disputed territory in the South China Sea is counterproductive to efforts at easing tensions and maintaining stability.

“The military exercises are the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbours in the South China Sea.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, asked about the Pentagon’s comments during a daily briefing in Beijing, said the military exercises are within the scope of China’s sovereignty and said that certain “non-regional countries” conducting military exercises in the South China Sea are affecting the region’s stability.

Zhao did not name any countries, but the United States has conducted multiple freedom of navigation operations by sending its warships through the area to assert the freedom of access to international waterways.

Speaking during an online news conference in April, Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative in Washington, told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines: “What is pretty obvious is China’s not going to stop.

“If a global pandemic doesn’t cause China to calm things down in the South China Sea, there’s not much that will.

“The number one thing that we should think to look into is international economic sanctions.

“We have never had a discussion about sanctioning the actors behind the Chinese maritime militia.

“China admits it has a maritime militia, and it’s a clear violation of international law.

“They are operating on the same policy framework which is go out, assert rights, harass neighbours, do whatever you want.”

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Queen fury: Monarch rejects public demands for Prince William to replace Charles as King

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Speaking on Channel 5’s documentary William & Kate: Too Good To Be True, royal expert Victoria Arbiter claimed many people in Britain would like to see Prince William become next King ahead of Prince Charles when Queen Elizabeth II dies. She said: “There are a lot of people who want to skip Charles and go straight to William.

“It would be shocking to skip Prince Charles, I think that’s more driven by William’s youth.”

But Channel 5’s royal correspondent Simon Vigar claimed the Queen would never allow it as she does not like breaking the rules, and neither does William. 

He said: “The Queen doesn’t believe in breaking the rules, she does not want Charles to step aside when she passes. William doesn’t want that to happen.”

He added: “He will be William the 5th one day and she will be Queen Catherine, and I honestly think what you see is what you get. They’re not fakes.”

Prince William is recognised as one of the most popular members of the Royal Family and is renowned for modernising the monarchy.

Throughout the duration of lockdown, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, have been seen often undertaking their royal work through virtual means.

For several months the Royal Family have been carrying out their duties virtually like millions of Britons around the country.

Now coronavirus lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease, the royals have made tentative steps towards undertaking in-person engagements again.

In the last couple of weeks, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visited London to welcome French President Emmanuel Macron, just two days after Princess Anne became the first to conduct a royal engagement in person.

All of the in-person work undertaken by the royals thus far has been completed in a safe and socially-distanced manner, but Prince William has taken precautions even further.

Prince William became the first royal to wear a face mask in public last week.

The Duke of Cambridge needed to don PPE (personal protective equipment) when visiting the Oxford Vaccine Group at the Churchill Hospital.

Currently, people in England must wear face masks when using public transport and visiting hospitals.

In keeping with these regulations, the Duke of Cambridge donned a face mask.

The group in Oxford visited by Prince William has made headlines for its progress toward a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

Prince William spoke with the researchers who had helped develop it, as well as volunteers participating in trials for the vaccine.

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He spoke of the “incredibly exciting and fascinating” work being done at the hospital.

During his visit, William asked one woman: “’Were you a willing volunteer?”

He also asked a man if he was ”nervous” before telling them both: ”You’re in good hands, I’m sure.”

During his visit, Prince William said if it was announced the Oxford team had “cracked it” people would “breathe a huge sigh of relief.”

He added: “People want there to be some sort of finality to it.”

The Duke of Cambridge later praised staff and said he had always been ”interested in medical science”.

He said: “It’s the most incredibly exciting and very welcome project that you’re all doing which is why it’s fascinating.”

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Queen ‘devastated by Meghan Markle power play’ amid claims she was unprotected

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The Duchess of Sussex filed a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company DMG Media in October for publishing excerpts from a private letter she wrote to her father in 2018. She is suing the company for breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018, but the publisher has said it stands by the story and will be defending the case “vigorously”. In the latest round of court documents released to the public, Meghan’s legal team have described her as “unprotected by the Institution and prohibited from defending herself” while she was pregnant.

They claim Kensington Palace told her that all friends and family should say “no comment” when contacted by the media, which made everyone feel “silenced”.

The documents also made the separate claim that public funds used for Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding were “far outweighed by the tourism revenue of over £1billion that was generated” from the event.

The Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family will be “devastated” by Meghan’s claims, according to a royal expert on the podcast Pod Save the Queen.

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

In the episode this week, Mr Myers claimed he has sources in the Palace who said senior royals are “devastated” and branded the claims a “power play” by Meghan and her lawyers.

He said: “When we think back to the Queen’s statements when they were preparing to leave the Royal Family, I always thought they were very, very heartfelt.

“I’ve spoken before about how the word family was used eight times, the Queen said how impressed she’d been with Meghan, how she’d welcomed her into the family ‒ I think we’d seen that when they were on their first ever engagement together in Chester.

“And I know from speaking to people at the Palace that the senior royals are going to be absolutely devastated by this.

“This is a massive power play by Meghan and her lawyers.

“And it seems as though she’s particularly unhappy at the way she was treated and especially the way in which she was not allowed to respond publicly to certain articles that were appearing in certain newspapers to do with her father speaking out.”

However this is not the first time Meghan has implied she was not supported by the Royal Family.

In an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby for the documentary ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’, she thanked him for asking about her wellbeing.

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The Duchess claimed “not many people have asked me if I’m OK” in what many interpreted to be a veiled attack on The Firm.

However, Mr Myers insisted that, to his knowledge, the Royal Family were very fond of Meghan and very welcoming.

He said: “I mean, Meghan is putting it in court documents and will no doubt be prepared to say this in court, if it is in these submissions, that’s her feeling towards the Royal Family.

“But anyone that I have spoken to has said that Meghan was liked by the family, she was welcomed within it ‒ Charles was particularly fond of her.

“Certainly the boys have had their issues, Kate and Meghan are completely different people… but anyone else in senior members of the family was very, very fond of her and I think that they will be absolutely dismayed by these headlines this morning and the details coming out in these court documents.”

Meghan’s latest court filings were in response to several questions from the defendant, many about an interview Meghan’s friends gave to People magazine in February 2019, in which the letter was mentioned.

The Mail on Sunday claimed Meghan breached her own privacy by allowing friends to speak about the letter on her behalf.

Meghan’s legal team repeated her position that she did not know about the interview in advance and did not know that the contents of the letter might be revealed.

They insisted that, had she known, she “would not have consented to this”.

That said, the documents did express her frustration at being told not to respond to any claims about her.

One section read: “It was mandated by the Kensington Palace communications team that all friends and family of the Claimant should say ‘no comment’ when approached by any media outlet, despite misinformation being provided to the UK tabloids about the Claimant.

“This shared frustration amongst the Claimant’s friends left everyone feeling silenced, as it appeared that other so-called sources were able to disseminate false statements about the Claimant, while the people who knew her best were told that they needed to remain silent.

“The Claimant believes that is probably because of this reason, as well as concerns about the press intrusion by the UK tabloids, that a few friends chose to participate and they did so anonymously.”

To subscribe to Pod Save The Queen go to your normal podcast provider.

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Gary Lineker row: How BBC colleague tore into MOTD host over Brexit stance

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The Brexit process is entering its final stages. Britain is just five months away from the date where it will officially relieve itself of all ties to the EU. While a trade deal has not yet been reached, agreements with other countries outside the bloc are ongoing.

Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak agreed to develop closer financial links between the UK and Switzerland.

In a positive move, Mr Sunak signed a joint commitment with his Swiss counterpart, Ueli Maurer, to work on a new international financial services agreement.

A deal on economic partnership to secure business continuity between Japan and the UK is reportedly set to conclude by the end of the month.

Many Remain figures were critical of Brexit early on and attempted to prevent the process from going through.

Others were less politically involved but opposed the vote all the same.

Gary Lineker became known for his fierce opposition to Brexit.

The former England captain hosts the BBC’s flagship sports programme, Match of the Day.

Several times a day, or in reaction to a new development, Lineker tweeted about Brexit.

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Equally as many times was the former footballer called out on his incessant tweeting.

On one occasion, in 2018, Lineker’s fellow BBC colleague, Jonathan Agnew, criticised him for plastering his political views over social media.

Agnew, who heads up the BBC’s cricket coverage, condemned Lineker for what he saw as breaching the BBC’s editorial guidelines.

The guidelines require BBC presenters to be impartial.

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He wrote on Twitter: “Gary. You are the face of BBC Sport.

“Please observe BBC editorial guidelines and keep your political views, whatever they are and whatever the subject, to yourself.

“I’d be sacked if I followed your example. Thanks.”

It appeared to be in response to a string of tweets written by Lineker after the Conservatives held a no-confidence vote in Theresa May.

In one tweet, Lineker wrote: “Extraordinary to watch us take our country back and rip it to shreds in the process.”

He proceeded to retweet David Cameron’s call for the Conservative Party to back the Prime Minister, which Lineker shared with crying face emojis.

Lineker eventually replied to Agnew.

He wrote: “Jonathan, I’m the face of my own Twitter account.

“I’ll continue to tweet what I like and if folk disagree with me then so be it.

“Thank you so much for your concern, which, I imagine, wouldn’t be a concern at all if you agreed with me.”

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‘Come on!’ BBC News host explodes at Grant Shapps in heated air bridges row

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The BBC Radio 4 Today host questioned Grant Shapps on the Government’s decision to include France and Germany in the list of four countries that will be exempt from the 14-day coronavirus quarantine rules upon arrival to the UK. Ms Husain asked the Transport Secretary: “You’ve made public that there are these four countries which are the first to have the controls lifted. I mean, their infection rates are broadly in the same place that they were a month ago.

“If anything, France has more new cases being reported now than it did at the beginning of June.

“So why were they on the list in the first place?”

To which Mr Shapps replied: “The headline figures you might read on some of the international websites reporting on coronavirus cases, isn’t actually the be-all and end-all.

“There’s the question of how numbers are reported and which kind of fatalities are included in those numbers, what the trajectory is, whether it’s going up or down.”

But the Tory MP was interrupted by the BBC host as she pointed out Germany had done “much better” than the UK in dealing with coronavirus and should have never been on the list. 

She blasted: “Yes, but Mr Shapps, come on. A country like Germany should never have been on this list.

“It has done much better at controlling COVID than we have.”

To which the Transport Secretary said: “There’s a list of countries who are in the green, countries who have done better and are doing very well and are in a good place.

“But then there are countries, and you mention France for example, where what we’ve got is a reciprocal arrangement in place now, which also takes time to do, to make sure that the measures are broadly equivalent.

“And it goes beyond the level of the virus in each country, there’s also how people are treating the virus.

“In other words, whether social distancing is in a similar place and so on and so on.”

Mr Shapps also said the quarantine rules will not be lifted next week for travellers arriving from the United States or from Greece.

The Transport Secretary told the BBC: “The US, from a very early stage, banned flights from the UK and from Europe so there isn’t a reciprocal arrangement in place in any case there.

“They have got very high numbers of infections, which is why they are not on the list today.

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“Greece won’t be on the list in the first place because Greece has said that on July 15 that’s their next review of their own systems.

“Reciprocity can’t come before July 15 for Greece and that is a matter for Greece themselves.”

Ministers are set to reveal a list of countries exempted from the coronavirus quarantine while Boris Johnson will warn the public to act “responsibly” when the lockdown eases.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will outline on Friday that people returning to England from Spain, France, Italy and Germany will be exempted from the 14-day quarantine.

He will set out the other countries to be exempted from the measure from July 10, but there is no guarantee that foreign nations will not require travellers from the UK to self-isolate on arrival.

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Call to close loophole that lets adults prey on teens for sex

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Sports coaches, faith and cadet leaders are legally allowed to have sex with 16 and 17-year-olds in their care, leading to the campaign from the children’s charity. But it is a crime for teachers, social workers and other professionals legally in a position of trust to have sex with teenagers in the same age group who they care for. The situation has led a brave survivor to reveal her harrowing ordeal after she was preyed upon by a swimming coach as soon as she turned 16.

In a letter to the Lord Chancellor, Hannah, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, catalogues how her swimming coach who she refers to as Jeff abused his position of power.

She would have training sessions with him eight times a week but when she turned 16, he started to compliment her on her appearance before legally having sex with her.

Hannah said: “Jeff was always pushing the boundaries but staying on the right side of the line. Initially he would just give me a hug.

“Then one day he gave me a hug and put his hand on my bottom. Jeff spent a long time making me feel comfortable. This was my first sexual experience but when this relationship came tumbling down, I changed with it. I was left feeling really angry, I was a difficult person to be around. It took me a long time to trust friends and family, to let them hug me.”

She confided in a friend what had happened and then told police but no action could be taken as a result of the loophole.

Thousands of campaigners, including MPs and national organisations, are backing the crusade. So far a 4,420-strong signature petition has been raised in two weeks backing the NSPCC’s Close the Loophole campaign.

Hannah’s letter comes in the wake of a review into the Positions of Trust Law, which is soon due to be released by the Ministry of Justice in the coming weeks.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “It’s unacceptable that gaps in our law mean that teenagers are protected from predatory behaviour in the classroom, but not on the sports pitch.”

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Piers Morgan savages Boris Johnson’s ‘excruciating’ LBC interview with Nick Ferrari

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Boris Johnson appeared on LBC radio on Friday morning to take questions from Nick Ferrari but failed to convince listeners with his performance, with ITV GMB host Piers Morgan slamming the Prime Minister on Twitter. Mr Morgan wrote: “This is excruciating. #boris #lbc.” Mail on Sunday commentator Dan Hodges also lambasted the Prime Minister. He wrote: “Boris has literally just walked into this interview without any preparation at all hasn’t he.”

Others were quick to take to Twitter to comment on the poor performance from the Prime Minister. 

One Twitter user wrote: “Always the man that makes plans, always what he is going to do, not what he IS doing.

“Boris Johnson acting like an opposition leader as usual, shame he’s not able to act like a PM.”

And another: “He looks shattered, he should really step down, focus on his son and other things. Once upon a time, he have Coronavirus right?

“He has lost his witty edge and doesn’t look like he’s enjoying his dream job anymore. Sad.”

 

One LBC listener added: “Boris Johnson you are a laughing stock. hope you enjoy your time at her majesty’s pleasure post inquiry.”

Others, however, defended the Prime Minister.

One wrote: “What’s wrong, Piers Morgan? Are you pissed off because he’s ignoring you?

“Or are you worried there may well be an answer to the Care Home deaths, that puts the cause outside of Boris’s fault.”

During the interview, Boris Johnson said he wants to see better black representation at the top of the Government.

“Of course we can do more and we will do more. We need to make progress and we will. I think about this a lot. It is something I want to get right. We need to reflect the country we serve,” the Prime Minister told LBC radio.

He indicated that he would not be prepared to “take the knee” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I don’t believe in gestures, I believe in substance,” he said.

“I don’t want people to be bullied into doing things they don’t necessarily want to do.

“If you think of what happened with those officers standing at the Cenotaph… They were being insulted in quite aggressive terms by members of the crowd and told to take the knee.

“Some of them did and it was very difficult for the others who didn’t. That’s my position.”

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The Prime Minister was later asked for his thoughts about Extinction Rebellion’s plans for mass demonstrations in September.

Boris Johnson told LBC’s Nick Ferrari: “I think they should be supporting the incredible things this Government is doing to combat climate change and if I were Extinction Rebellion I would be jumping for joy.

“Look at our plans for a green recovery, look at the amazing things we’re going to do to get this country making wind turbines, making batteries, the ambition I announced for a ‘jet zero’ – to be the first country to produce a zero-emission long-haul passenger jet.

“I mean, Extinction Rebellion should look at some of the things this Government is doing to tackle climate change and support us.”

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