{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"uk","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/personal-finance/revealed-the-worst-banks-in-the-uk-for-customer-service-1-4784311","id":"1.4784311","articleHeadline": "Revealed: The ‘worst’ banks in the UK for customer service","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534325890000 ,"articleLead": "

Royal Bank of Scotland has been officially ranked Britain’s worst bank by consumers and businesses, according to data released by regulators.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784326.1534325886!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Royal Bank of Scotland was named the worst for customer service on current accounts in the report. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The taxpayer-owned bank came bottom of league tables published by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA), based on a survey of personal and business banking customers.

RBS is joint bottom of the personal banking league table alongside Clydesdale, with less than half of customers saying they would recommend the lender.

It also came out bottom for business banking.

READ MORE: Nearly 60 bank branches shutting per month - report

RBS has been dogged by several scandals since its Government bailout in 2008, including for the mistreatment of small businesses and most recently a bank branch closure drive.

A spokesman for the bank said: “We are aware we have more work to do in order to improve our service standards and deliver a better experience for our customers.

READ MORE: RBS to close 40% of its branches in Scotland

“That is why we are investing in improving the products and services we offer our personal and business customers, whether that’s through launching initiatives such as the UK’s first paperless mortgage or ESME, our digital lending platform for SMEs, which are helping us to deliver better service for our customers.”

First Direct came top of the personal banking league table with 85% of customers satisfied, while Handelsbanken topped the business ranking with 84%.

Under new rules that came into force on Wednesday, banks must publish information on how likely people would be to recommend them - including online and mobile banking, branch and overdraft services - to friends, relatives or other businesses.

The results must be displayed prominently in branches as well as on websites and apps.

The CMA said it will make it easier for people to find out if another bank has a better offer and will drive up competition.

Adam Land, senior director at the CMA, said: “For the first time, people will now be able to easily compare banks on the quality of the service they provide, and so judge if they’re getting the most for their money or could do better elsewhere.

“This is one of the many measures - including Open Banking and overdraft text alerts - that we put in place to make banks work harder for their customers and help people shop around to find the best deals for them.”

How does your bank rate for service?

Customers with personal current accounts were asked how likely they would be to recommend their provider to friends and family. The results show the proportion of customers of each provider who said they were “extremely likely” or “very likely” to recommend each service.

1 - First Direct 85%

2 - Metro Bank 83%

3 - Nationwide 73%

4 - Coventry - 68%

5 - Santander - 64%

5 - Barclays - 64%

7 - Halifax - 61%

7 - Yorkshire Bank 61%

9 - Lloyds 60%

9 - Natwest 66%

9 - TSB 60%

12 - Bank of Scotland 57%

13 - HSBC 55%

15 - Clydesdale 49%

15 - Royal Bank of Scotland 49%

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4784326.1534325886!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784326.1534325886!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Royal Bank of Scotland was named the worst for customer service on current accounts in the report. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Royal Bank of Scotland was named the worst for customer service on current accounts in the report. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4784326.1534325886!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5794114329001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/westminster-terror-crash-suspect-named-as-salih-khater-1-4784245","id":"1.4784245","articleHeadline": "Westminster terror crash suspect named as Salih Khater","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534319287000 ,"articleLead": "

A man arrested after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in a suspected terror attack is a British citizen of Sudanese origin called Salih Khater.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784244.1534319284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police recover the car driven by a 29-year-old man, who is a UK national, who was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

It is believed the 29-year-old remains in police custody after his arrest on suspicion of preparing an act of terror.

A Facebook page for a man of the same name says he lives in Birmingham, works as a shop manager, and has studied at Sudan University of Science and Technology.

The silver Ford Fiesta used in the attack was driven from Birmingham to London late on Monday and spent almost five hours in the Tottenham Court Road area.

It was then driven around the Westminster area for more than 90 minutes before it crashed into a security barrier just before 7.40am on Tuesday.

Counter-terrorism officers have since conducted searches at two addresses in Birmingham and a residential property in Nottingham as part of the probe.

READ MORE: Westminster ‘terror incident’: Two injured after car hits pedestrians - what we know so far

Plainclothed police officers could be seen outside an address in Peveril Street, Nottingham, on Tuesday evening, said by neighbours to be home to six Sudanese people.

There was also a police presence near the Bunna Internet Cafe on Stratford Road in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, but it was not confirmed whether that was in relation to the Westminster probe.

The suspect, who was said to not be co-operating with officers, was not known to security services, Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism head Neil Basu said.

He said the apparent deliberate nature of the act, the method used and the “iconic” location of Parliament led the force to treat it as a terrorist incident.

Footage aired on BBC News showed the car’s approach towards Parliament, where it crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with cyclists before entering a small road and crashing into a security barrier.

Three people sustained non-life-threatening injuries. One man was treated at the scene while another man and a woman were taken to hospital but were discharged by Tuesday evening.

Images posted online showed a man wearing a black puffer jacket being led away in handcuffs from the car as armed police swarmed the scene.

There was nobody else in the vehicle and no weapons were found, police said.

Mr Basu added no other suspects have been identified and there is “no intelligence at this time of further danger” to Londoners.

The car was removed from the scene late on Tuesday night.

After a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee, Theresa May urged the country to come together and carry on as normal.

In a statement the Prime Minister, who is on holiday, praised the “formidable courage” and professionalism of the emergency services who “ran towards” danger.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who also thanked the emergency services, urged people to “keep an open mind” about the incident.

READ MORE: Westminster car crash: Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences

US President Donald Trump said on Twitter: “These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

Witnesses described an emotionless driver ploughing through cyclists in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

Kirsty Moseley, of Brixton, was a passenger in the first car behind the cyclists, who “were thrown everywhere” after being struck at what she estimated was 25mph.

Ms Moseley, 31, added: “He (the driver) wasn’t shouting anything, he wasn’t screaming, he didn’t look crazed or out of control - he was just deadpan.”

Jason Williams, from Kennington, was walking to work when he saw the “deliberate” crash.

“It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang,” the 45-year-old told PA.

The Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete.

The measures were extended after the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people.

Masood abandoned his car then fatally stabbed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

The terrorist threat against the UK is seen as unprecedented.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said there were 676 live investigations being carried out by the security services and counter-terror police at the end of June, up from more than 500 in March.

Some 13 Islamist plots and four by far-right extremists have been foiled in the past 18 months, he added.

There are roughly 3,000 active “subjects of interest” at any one time - while there is also a wider pool of more than 20,000 individuals who have featured in probes whose threat must be kept under review.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4784244.1534319284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784244.1534319284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police recover the car driven by a 29-year-old man, who is a UK national, who was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police recover the car driven by a 29-year-old man, who is a UK national, who was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4784244.1534319284!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/thomas-cole-the-uk-government-is-hell-bent-on-crashing-the-economy-1-4784060","id":"1.4784060","articleHeadline": "Thomas Cole: The UK Government is hell-bent on crashing the economy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534318643000 ,"articleLead": "

The latest labour market statistics painted, yet again, a rosy picture of the state of employment in Scotland and the UK more generally.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784065.1534318640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May's Government is leading Britain into the hardest of hard Brexits (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Whilst this is to be welcomed, drilling down into the data reveals a more worrying trend – one of dwindling interest from workers from elsewhere in the EU in coming to live and work in our country. The figures show there are today 86,000 fewer EU nationals in the UK than this time last year.

There is one clear explanation for this: Brexit, something the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland did not vote for. More than two years since the vote, the impact of the botched Brexit process could not be clearer.

First, unemployment may be low, but our economy and our currency are weak. The UK has gone from being the fastest-growing economy among advanced Western countries to the slowest.

As new analysis from the People’s Vote campaign has shown, thanks to Brexit, prices have increased in Scottish shops, with goods now more expensive, something that none of us remember the Brexit cheerleaders – including those with roots north of the border, such as the unlikely bedfellows of Michael Gove and George Galloway – having ever promised any of us.

Second, the approach taken by the Government in Westminster to the treatment of EU nationals has been shameful. The Prime Minister has consistently failed to guarantee the rights of the more than three million EU nationals living across the UK. Worse than that, many have been sent letters from the Home Office telling them they will be deported.

READ MORE: Unemployment in Scotland drops as EU workers leave UK

All of this has made Britain a less attractive place to live and work. So it is no surprise that EU nationals are leaving our country in such numbers, and that fewer people want to come here to live and to contribute. The impacts are already being felt in our NHS, our universities and across our industries, hitting tax receipts and hurting public services.

Scotland is an open country and a tolerant society and has thrived due to, not in spite of, immigration. Free movement both to and from the EU has allowed Scottish people to move elsewhere in our continent, without the need for a work permit, and has allowed nationals from other EU member states to come and work in Scotland and be an important part of the local workforce, representing just over four per cent of the entire Scottish population.

With the Government in Westminster determined to bring free movement to an end, Scotland will continue to become a less attractive destination for EU workers.

The best way to cut immigration is to crash the economy. And it is clear now that the UK Government is hell-bent on doing just this, as it pursues the hardest of hard Brexits.

READ MORE: Scots shoppers ‘hit by £400 Brexit price hike since referendum vote’

Recent opinion polls show growing support for the idea of a People’s Vote at the end of the process to allow the British people to decide whether they think the deal which the Government ultimately presents should be accepted or not.

If you feel this way, you are welcome to join the hundreds of people attending the People’s Vote rally this Saturday in Festival Square in Edinburgh. The path we are currently on will make us less, not more open to talent from our closest neighbours, and it is vital that we make our voices heard on this issue.

Thomas Cole is head of policy at Open Britain, part of the People’s Vote campaign

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Thomas Cole"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4784065.1534318640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784065.1534318640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May's Government is leading Britain into the hardest of hard Brexits (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May's Government is leading Britain into the hardest of hard Brexits (Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4784065.1534318640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5796987730001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/amy-fastier-steady-as-you-go-helping-the-elderly-beat-falls-1-4783659","id":"1.4783659","articleHeadline": "Amy Fastier: Steady as you go – helping the elderly beat falls","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534309324000 ,"articleLead": "

There’s no doubt that Scotland has enjoyed an abundance of sun in the last few months and whilst too much can be harmful to your skin, it does also provide some valuable health benefits.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783658.1534241289!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Steady Steps Class which is for people who have had falls and/or are in fear of falling."} ,"articleBody": "

Maintaining bone health is an important part of healthy ­ageing, with the sun providing our main, natural source of essential vitamin D.

The Scottish Government has said that the UK population is at risk of low vitamin D levels due to us living much of our lives indoors in a country with limited sunlight. Those living in settings such as nursing homes are at an even higher risk of vitamin D deficiencies.

Whilst vitamin D alone will not improve bone health, it can improve combined with regular physical activity and a calcium-rich diet.

Many people are aware of the ­Government’s recommendation for adults to take 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. However, fewer people are aware that, in addition to cardiovascular activity, strength exercises involving the major muscle groups should also be undertaken twice a week.

A recent report from Public Health England (PHE) and the Centre for Ageing Better highlights that there is a real challenge in promoting ­physical activity, with unequal emphasis on cardio fitness rather than the strength components.

This imbalance has been captured in another report, which underlines ’the forgotten guidelines’ that ­muscle and bone health and the ability to ­balance are the underpinning ­components of physical activity. Each contributes independently to overall health and functional ability and can offer lifelong benefits.

Muscle and bone mass ordinarily peaks before the age of 30. To slow the decline in bone and muscle ­density and maintain capacity and function as we age, strengthening activities should be completed at least twice a week. Muscle-strengthening activities can include carrying or moving heavy loads, such as ­groceries, or an activity that involves stepping or jumping, such as dancing.

It is also recommended that ­older adults, and those at risk of falls or fractures, incorporate balance and coordination activities such as yoga or tai chi at least two days a week. For those most at risk of a fall, a supervised and structured exercise ­programme is recommended.

The PHE report also found that only one in three men and one in four women currently do enough of the right types of ­physical activity for healthy muscles and bones.

Edinburgh Leisure is dedicated to creating opportunities for people to lead more active, healthy lives. One is through the delivery of physical activity referral programmes. Fit for Health and Steady Steps support people with conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis to improve their health and wellbeing through physical activity.

Fit for Health, funded through the Edinburgh Health & Social Care partnership, supports people with a range of long-term health conditions through a 16-week circuit-based physical activity programme.

Steady Steps aims to reduce the likelihood of falls and is funded through the ­Prevention Investment Fund administered by the Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council. The 16-week group-based physical activity ­programme focuses on strengthening muscles, bones and improving balance. By working on strength, balance and gait, Steady Steps can improve physical independence, reduce social isolation and improve overall quality of life. The sentiments of one participant echoes what we hear regularly from older people: “Steady Steps has been the best thing that has ever happened to me after my fall.

“It’s given me confidence, helped my balance and helped me to regain my mobility. I feel stronger and no longer rely on my stick.’’

Each Steady Steps class is followed by social time with refreshments. These sessions aim to encourage self-management in fall prevention, whilst also providing participants with the opportunity to socialise, share experiences and tips and build friendships. So, don’t let brittle bones shatter your life. Make hay while the sun shines and get your recommended dose of vitamin D and physical activity – and remember to combine cardio and strengthening exercises for optimum bone-health.

For more information on Steady Steps, Fit for Health or Edinburgh Leisure, please contact active@edinburghleisure.co.uk or call 0131 458 2260.

Amy Fastier is a Health Development Officer (Falls Prevention) at Edinburgh Leisure.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783658.1534241289!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783658.1534241289!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Steady Steps Class which is for people who have had falls and/or are in fear of falling.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Steady Steps Class which is for people who have had falls and/or are in fear of falling.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783658.1534241289!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/fiona-mcgrevey-many-people-with-autism-could-be-homeless-1-4783657","id":"1.4783657","articleHeadline": "Fiona McGrevey: Many people with autism could be homeless","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534309294000 ,"articleLead": "

The first significant peer-reviewed study into autism and homelessness has recently been published, in the ­journal Autism.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783656.1534241051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fiona McGrevey, the National Autistic Society Scotland"} ,"articleBody": "

Researchers from University ­College London and Kensington & Chelsea Learning Disability Service found evidence suggesting that autistic adults are over-represented among the homeless population.

They have called for more research to understand the links between autism and homelessness, to help prevent autistic people becoming homeless and to improve support for those already homeless.

The National Autistic Society has not been involved in the research but wants to draw attention to the findings as this is an important and under discussed issue. At the same time, the Scottish Government has published statistics that reveal Scottish local authorities received 34,972 applications for homelessness assistance between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, 1 per cent higher than the same period during 2016/17.

Anecdotal reports from autism ­clinicians and keyworkers, as well as two small studies from a few years ago, have suggested that there may be high numbers of autistic people in the homeless population. This is the first academic research to look at this issue properly.

The researchers gathered initial ­evidence about the prevalence of autistic traits in homeless people. They worked with one homeless outreach team in the UK and screened 106 people they support to see if they could be autistic.

The found that 12.3 per cent of homeless people had a range of ­autistic ‘traits’ in line with diagnostic criteria. This is substantially higher than the general population autism prevalence of 1 per cent. It is not clear if this 12 per cent were actually autistic, but the screening suggested that they could be. This could equate to more than 4,000 homeless people in ­Scotland being autistic.

This is an important and robust study, which suggests that there could be a significant number of homeless autistic adults ­potentially living without an understanding of their needs or appropriate support. Many autistic people struggle to get the support they need and face huge difficulties throughout their lives, including high rates of mental health problems, underemployment and social ­isolation. We’ve heard of autistic adults falling through gaps in­ ­support and into homelessness but there’s very little research into this or awareness as an issue.

Writing in Autism, the researchers said: “If autistic difficulties are ­common among homeless populations, then this has important implications.

“Many people are homeless in the UK; the most recent estimate is that there are almost 5000 rough sleepers at any one point, and there is a much larger group of people with no stable accommodation who are termed the ‘hidden homeless’. There may ­therefore be a considerable number of homeless autistic adults who are not having their needs met and who are in an extremely vulnerable ­position.”

Dr Andrew Greenhill, a clinical ­psychologist involved in the research, said that one person who stood out for him was an older man who had lived on the street for 45 years.

He ran away from his family home because his relationship with his father was poor and physically ­abusive. He survived by following a regular routine and sleeping in the same place every night, relying on food at day-centres and drop ins.

He refused all professional help or contact, and existed in a ‘bubble’ whereby he refused all attempts to engage. It was clear that he found social engagement of any kind very distressing and was highly motivated to avoid it.

Eventually he was admitted to hospital after it appeared he’d had a stroke and was unable to care for himself. He eventually accepted a room in a low intensity ‘cottage hotel’ hostel, where there were few, if any expectations about things like form filling, attending meetings or assessments. He has since managed to maintain his preference for ­privacy and solitude whilst having his basic needs met, with support workers to keep an eye on him and help out.

This is the first peer-reviewed study to provide initial evidence of a link between autism and homelessness and provides an important platform to get to grips with this issue. We now need further research to investigate this link, and to develop the right support for homeless autistic people and to prevent those at risk from falling into homelessness. Homeless autistic people have gone unrecognised and unsupported for far too long.

For more information please go to www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/media-centre/news/2018-06-12-autism-and-homelessness-study.aspx
Fiona McGrevey, the National Autistic Society Scotland.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783656.1534241051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783656.1534241051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fiona McGrevey, the National Autistic Society Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fiona McGrevey, the National Autistic Society Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783656.1534241051!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/martyn-mclaughlin-upper-class-voices-have-taken-over-telling-us-stories-1-4784082","id":"1.4784082","articleHeadline": "Martyn McLaughlin: Upper class voices have taken over telling us stories","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534309200000 ,"articleLead": "

With 51 per cent of actors from privileged backgrounds and just 16 per cent identifying as working class, drama schools must do more to attract entrants from disadvantaged backgrounds, writes Martyn McLaughlin.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784081.1534263855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Old Harrovian Benedict Cumberbatch and old Etonian Eddie Redmayne with former state school pupil Keira Knightley (Picture: Fraser Harrison/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

What will be the future of artistic expression in this country if the institutions tasked with promoting it preside over a culture of exclusivity and inaccessibility?

It is a question that has been raised this week by Maureen Beattie, the newly installed president of Equity, who warned that youngsters from working class households who aspire to careers on the stage and screen are being locked out of the profession due to the prohibitive cost of education.

Maureen Beattie stressed that compared to her formative years in the profession, an era in which arts funding was plentiful, the budding young actors of today are being excluded on account of their low-incomes and backgrounds.

In an interview with The Guardian, Ms Beattie, who was elected unopposed to the union’s presidency last month, said: “We are increasingly finding that it is more and more difficult for people from working class backgrounds to get into the business.

“The mountain they have got to climb, to put themselves through, the bursaries are less and less and the grants have just disappeared. People are being cut off in the bud before they even have a bash at it.”

Ms Beattie, the daughter of Johnny, the veteran Scottish comedian, entertainer and actor, trained in the 1970s at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, nowadays known as the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Even though her father and mother, Kitty Lamont, a model and theatrical agent, were not short of a “bob or two” at the time, the 65-year-old said she had “practically all of my fees paid” for her.

How galling it must be for the young actors of today to hear such stories of state-sanctioned benevolence and artistic encouragement.

Ms Beattie, by her own admission, was not from a disadvantaged background, but plenty of her award-winning peers were.

They too were given the freedom and opportunity to be judged on talent alone, a level playing field that has been taken away from successive generations.

The ubiquity of old Etonians such as Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston is often lazily seized upon as a sign of the paucity of working class voices in the acting game, but a growing body of research offers far more convincing – and damning – evidence.

READ MORE: Martyn McLaughlin: Sinister plan to turn council staff into MI5 agents

Recent research by the Sutton Trust found that as many as 42 per cent of British BAFTA winners attended a private school, while a 2016 study by the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh, based on the Office for National Statistics’ labour force survey, found 51 per cent of actors were from privileged backgrounds, with just 16 per cent identifying as working class.

With the costs of drama school so high nowadays, particularly in London, where the problem of exorbitant fees is compounded by absurd rent rates, simply trying to get a foot in the door when you hail from a certain socio-economic group can be ruinous pursuit from the get go.

For all that the theatre establishment supposedly cherishes diversity, it remains almost inconceivable that some of Britain’s leading drama schools continue to charge audition fees for prospective students.

There are more than a dozen prestigious establishments who profit in such a way, including famous names like the Guidhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and notably, Ms Beattie’s alma mater.

On its website, the esteemed institution promises that its three-year BA acting programme – a course whose previous students include stars such as James McAvoy and David Tennant – is “one of the best professional actor training programmes in the UK”.

Such privilege comes at a price, however. In addition to the travel and potential accommodation expenses of attending an audition in Glasgow, the candidates must also pay £55, whether they receive a call back or not. That is on top of a £25 “application fee”.

In fairness to the Royal Conservatoire, it has a fair access plan to promote equality and diversity, and since 2013, it has runs a programme called Transitions 20/40, designed to usher in students from areas of multiple deprivation into its undergraduate programme.

READ MORE: Martyn McLaughlin: Podcasts are window into the weird and wonderful

There has been improvement on this front – some 28 per cent of its undergraduate applicants last year hailed from the most deprived areas of Scotland, compared to 25 per cent in 2014/15 – but progress has been glacial, and such students continue to be under represented.

Welcome as such measures are, they seem to put the cart before the horse. Surely the Royal Conservatoire could take a stand, as Liverpool Theatre School has done, and abolish its audition fees altogether?

With tuition fees running into the thousands, such sums may seem trifling, but the problem with such initiatives is not their expense, but the message that they send out.

At the lowliest rung of a profession where the prospect of a living wage, let alone the promise of fame, is precarious, the ladder is being pulled up from those without the means to showcase their abilities.

In order to address to working class deficit in the acting profession, there are other, arguably bigger problems that must be addressed, not least the dwindling stream of National Lottery funding to Creative Scotland, but if change is to come, ensuring all young actors have the chance to be heard seems a reasonable and symbolic first step.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Martyn McLaughlin"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4784081.1534263855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784081.1534263855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Old Harrovian Benedict Cumberbatch and old Etonian Eddie Redmayne with former state school pupil Keira Knightley (Picture: Fraser Harrison/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Old Harrovian Benedict Cumberbatch and old Etonian Eddie Redmayne with former state school pupil Keira Knightley (Picture: Fraser Harrison/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4784081.1534263855!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/willie-rennie-will-of-the-people-must-be-heard-on-final-brexit-deal-1-4784116","id":"1.4784116","articleHeadline": "Willie Rennie: ‘Will of the People’ must be heard on final Brexit deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534309200000 ,"articleLead": "

Holyrood will shortly return and mark the Brexit home stretch. Unless something changes, this will be the last time that the Scottish Parliament returns from its summer break, the last time the Government sets out its plans for the year ahead, before Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784114.1534269339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Public opinion has clearly shifted since the vote to leave the European Union two years ago, says Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie"} ,"articleBody": "

I don’t believe people had a lot of confidence in Theresa May at the beginning of this process, but as the chaos has unfolded and the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal have become clearer, they certainly can’t have now. Hopefully the stream of industry warnings and some fresh air from her walking holiday on Lake Garda will have helped the Prime Minister see sense. Giving the people a vote on the final Brexit settlement is now the only way forward.

I’ve spent a great deal of this summer out and about across Scotland, meeting people and getting a sense of the troubling issues that are hovering over our communities. On the shores of the East Neuk of Fife, the crab and scallop fishermen are warning that their world-class seafood will be compromised by long queues of lorries being trapped at the border. In the West Highlands, crofting communities have been left in a state of uncertainty as both the Scottish and UK governments dance around answering the pressing questions about the future of agricultural funding. And in fields from Forfar to Nairn, hundreds of tonnes of fruit and vegetables have been left rotting in fields because the number of pickers has plummeted.

READ MORE: Brian Monteith: Brexit no longer means Brexit

Despite what some may say, it’s not just a few celebrities like Gary Lineker and Deborah Meaden who have not given up on our place in the European Union. More and more families across the country think that ripping ourselves out of Europe in the harshest possible fashion just to keep the Tory party intact is a bad idea.

It’s the staff in our public services who recognise the threat Brexit poses to the supply of essential medicines, the businesses who depend on buying and selling goods or services abroad, and the working folk seeing inflation cut into the value of the pound in their pocket.

Two years ago, the idea of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal was a joke. Liam Fox said that the negotiations would be the “easiest in human history”. Yet two years on, the Prime Minister has instead come up with a solution that fails to smooth over the divisions in her own Cabinet let alone have a hope of getting the approval of our fellow EU states.

READ MORE: Ian Swanson: Second Brexit referendum would divide UK but is worth risk

As people have been drip-fed the reality of Brexit, there has been a momentous shift in opinion. More than 100 parliamentary constituencies that voted for Brexit two years ago have now sharply pivoted to support staying in the EU. The realities and justification for Brexit are proving unconvincing, the Rees-Mogg characters promoting them stuffy and stale. Boris Johnson isn’t doing what he thinks is best for the country, he’s peddling whatever offensive content will keep him in the news and in the running for number 10. Just yesterday we discovered household bills have soared by £400 since the Brexit vote happened. Few are enticed by the fact public services and jobs will suffer.

After two years of this Brexit chaos, it is clear that any deal Theresa May secures will be worse than our present situation, and the UK Government isn’t even on track to achieve one.

People are changing their minds. It’s their right to do so. We demand a final say on the Brexit deal – goodness knows what that may be – because that’s what democracy is for.

Willie Rennie is Scottish Liberal Democrat leader

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4784114.1534269339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784114.1534269339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Public opinion has clearly shifted since the vote to leave the European Union two years ago, says Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Public opinion has clearly shifted since the vote to leave the European Union two years ago, says Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4784114.1534269339!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/alan-bairner-the-true-home-of-football-is-not-scotland-or-england-1-4783851","id":"1.4783851","articleHeadline": "Alan Bairner: The true ‘home’ of football is not Scotland or England","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534309200000 ,"articleLead": "

Some say Scotland invented the game of football that “was to charm every continent”, while others claim England is the true home of the sport. Here Alan Bairner argues the title should be shared.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783850.1534253410!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex James of Arsenal holds the FA Cup after the 1936 final"} ,"articleBody": "

In his book, How Scots Invented the Modern World, American writer Arthur Herman credited the inventiveness of Sots in numerous fields including science, education, medicine, and philosophy and medicine. In so doing, he argued, the Scots were responsible for modern ideas about democracy, free market capitalism and the importance of developing a literate society.

Another invention he could have added was the Football League – the First Division of which was the forerunner of the English Premier League (EPL), widely regarded as the most successful domestic football competition in the world – which was invented by a Scotsman living in England.

Even though the English first codified the modern game of association football, there is no doubt that – like golf – football gave Scotland what Kevin McCarra, in his 1984 pictorial history of Scottish football, described as “a place in the world”.

The league process developed rapidly in England itself with Scottish players arriving in large numbers to play for clubs in the north-east and in Lancashire in the 1880s. Professionalism was still officially illegal in both countries but English clubs were more successful than their Scottish counterparts at circumventing this obstacle, not least by paying “expenses” and offering paid employment in firms owned by club directors.

Most noteworthy of all, however, is the role played by William McGregor. Born in Braco in Perthshire in 1846, McGregor moved to Birmingham where he set up in business as a draper and became a committee member of Aston Villa Football Club in 1877. On March 23 1888, he organised a meeting in London with representatives of ten leading English clubs including West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End. A subsequent meeting in Manchester on 17 April resulted in the formation of the Football League.

READ MORE: Letter: Football isn’t ‘coming home’ – it was invented in Scotland

As chairman the Football League from 1888-1891, McGregor presided over the transition of English football from a (mainly) amateur pursuit to a truly professionalised sport. He was also chairman of the Football Association (1888-1894) and was honorary president of the Football League (1891-1894). He was elected the first life member of the league in 1895 and died in 1911. He is remembered today by a statue unveiled in 2009 at the directors’ entrance to the Trinity Road Stand at Villa Park in Birmingham.

Thereafter it was the export of players that increased Scottish influence on football in England. The first Liverpool side to play a league game was comprised ten Scots and a Merseyside-born goalkeeper by the name of Billy McOwen. As former Portsmouth captain and players’ union activist Jimmy Guthrie put it: “After whisky, footballers have been the favourite and most expensive export from Scotland to England.”

James Lang is generally regarded as the first ever professional footballer. Born in 1851 in Clydebank, Lang moved from Scotland to the nominally amateur Sheffield Wednesday and gained employment in a company belonging to one of the club’s directors before then moving to the openly professional Burnley Football Club.

Ever since – or at least until relatively recently – Scottish players have continued to make their mark on English domestic football. Alex James of Arsenal won four league titles and three FA Cup winners medals as well as runners-up medals in each competition between 1931 and 1936. Dave Mackay, John White and Bill Brown were regular members of the Tottenham Hotspur team that won the first league and cup double in the modern era in 1960-1.

Alan Hansen won eight league titles and three European Cup winners medals with Liverpool with whom his compatriot, Kenny Dalglish won six league titles and three European Cup medals as a player. As manager between 1985 and 1990, he then led the club to its first double in 1985-6 and to two other league titles in 1987-8 and 1989-90. Under his stewardship, Liverpool also won the FA Cup in 1989.

As with Dalglish’s example, it is the legacy of Scottish managers that is most apparent in the relatively short history of the EPL. For example, as manager of Liverpool, Dalglish was building on a legacy inherited from Bill Shankly. Overall in the 20 years preceding the formation of the EPL, Liverpool won the old League Division One title on nine occasions. Meanwhile, another Scot – Matt Busby – led Manchester United to the first ever European Cup success for an English team.

READ MORE: Euphoria to defeat: the untold story of Scotland’s 1978 World Cup

Undoubtedly the successes of these two clubs were influential in helping to precipitate the formation of the Premier League which would allow already successful clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United to become more successful and even richer. So it was ironic that, in the EPL’s third season, the title went to Blackburn Rovers – managed by none other than Dalglish.

But it is another Scot who made a bigger mark on the league to date than any owner, manager or player. Having previously managed in his native country, Alex Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During 27 years at the helm (1986-2013), the club won 38 trophies, including 13 EPL titles and the European Champions’ League in 1998-9 and 2007-8.

So you can mount a pretty good argument that the history of football in England would have been very different without the contribution made by Scots – and the EPL is but the latest stage in that history. Without going as far as sportswriter Patrick Barclay who claimed in The Independent that Scots invented the game itself – “the football that was to charm every continent” – it is surely the case that, given the history of the Football League and beyond, if football ever does “come home”, it will be to Great Britain as a whole and not to England alone.

Alan Bairner is professor of sport and social theory at Loughborough University. This article was originally published on The Conversation website.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alan Bairner"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783850.1534253410!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783850.1534253410!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex James of Arsenal holds the FA Cup after the 1936 final","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex James of Arsenal holds the FA Cup after the 1936 final","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783850.1534253410!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/westminster-terror-incident-details-emerge-about-driver-as-houses-searched-1-4784129","id":"1.4784129","articleHeadline": "Westminster ‘terror’ incident: Details emerge about driver as houses searched","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534274809000 ,"articleLead": "

Police are searching three addresses after a suspected terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784128.1534274804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The aftermath of the incident. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)"} ,"articleBody": "

A 29-year-old man, who is a UK national, was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terror after the silver Ford Fiesta he was driving collided with cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into a security barrier just before 7.40am on Tuesday.

Detectives believe the privately-owned car was driven from Birmingham late on Monday night, arriving in London just after midnight.

Scotland Yard said the vehicle was driven around the Westminster area from around 6am - more than an hour-and-a-half before the crash - having been in the Tottenham Court Road area between 1.25am to 5.55am.

Counter-terrorism officers are carrying out searches at two addresses in Birmingham and a residential property in Nottingham as part of the probe.

Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism head Neil Basu said the suspect, who is being held in custody at a south London police station, is not co-operating.

READ MORE: Terror incident - what we know so far

“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident and the investigation is being led by officers from the counter-terrorism command,” he told reporters.

“We have not formally identified him yet. On the details we have at the moment, we don’t believe this individual was known to MI5 or counter-terror police.”

The silver car can be seen driving along the road next to Parliament Square before moving to turn right towards Westminster Abbey in footage of the incident aired on BBC News.

As an ambulance passes the car on its right-hand side, the vehicle swerves left, crossing oncoming traffic and colliding with cyclists before entering a small road and crashing into a security barrier.

A police officer can be seen jumping another barrier that runs along the side of the road to get away.

Images posted to social media showed a man wearing a black puffer jacket being led away in handcuffs from the car as armed police officers swarmed the scene.

There was nobody else in the vehicle and no weapons were found, police said.

READ MORE: Police step up patrols in Scotland after Westminster incidents

Mr Basu added no other suspects have been identified and there is “no intelligence at this time of further danger” to Londoners.

Two people were taken to hospital, while a third person with minor injuries was assessed at the scene, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) said.

One was discharged from St Thomas’ Hospital before midday, while a woman was being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries at St Mary’s Hospital.

After a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee, Theresa May urged the country to come together and carry on as normal.

In a statement released by Downing Street, the Prime Minister praised the “formidable courage” and professionalism of the emergency services who “ran towards” danger.

She said: “The threat to the United Kingdom from terrorism remains severe.

“I would urge the public to remain vigilant but also to come together and carry on as normal, just as they did after the sickening attacks in Manchester and London last year.

“The twisted aim of the extremists is to use violence and terror to divide us. They will never succeed.”

Reacting to the suspected attack, US President Donald Trump said on Twitter: “These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

Witnesses described an emotionless driver ploughing through cyclists in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

Kirsty Moseley, of Brixton, south London, was a passenger in the first car behind the cyclists, who “were thrown everywhere” after being struck at what she estimated was 25mph.

“I heard a few shouts, looked up and this silver car was driving at high speed the wrong way into the cyclists,” the 31-year-old told the Press Association.

“It’s absolutely amazing there was only one cyclist seriously injured, he went straight through them. People were thrown everywhere.”

Ms Moseley, who works in marketing and spoke to police as a witness, continued: “(He had) two hands on the steering wheel and he did not look back over his shoulder to look at the damage he’d created - he was just looking deadpan straight in front of him,” she said.

“He wasn’t shouting anything, he wasn’t screaming, he didn’t look crazed or out of control - he was just deadpan.”

Ewelina Ochab described it as an “intentional” act, while cyclist Geoffrey Woodman said he first heard a tyre-like “screeching”.

Mr Woodman, a strategy consultant from Battersea, added: “This car turned round to the left and swerved into the wrong lane of traffic and into the bank where all the cyclists wait.”

Jason Williams, from Kennington, was walking to work when he saw the “deliberate” crash.

“It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang,” the 45-year-old told PA.

The Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete.

The measures were extended in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people.

Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

The terrorist threat against the UK is seen as unprecedented.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said there were 676 live investigations being carried out by the security services and counter-terror police at the end of June, up from more than 500 in March.

Some 13 Islamist plots and four by far-right extremists have been foiled in the past 18 months, he added.

There are roughly 3,000 active “subjects of interest” at any one time - while there is also a wider pool of more than 20,000 individuals who have previously featured in probes whose threat must be kept under review.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4784128.1534274804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4784128.1534274804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The aftermath of the incident. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The aftermath of the incident. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4784128.1534274804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/westminster-car-crash-man-arrested-on-suspicion-of-terror-offences-1-4783546","id":"1.4783546","articleHeadline": "Westminster car crash: Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534257818000 ,"articleLead": "

A driver has been arrested on suspicion of terror offences after a car collided with cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783557.1534231751!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Armed police swooped onto the scene in central London. Picture: Sam Lister/PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The man, in his late 20s, is being held in custody at a south London police station after armed officers swarmed the scene following the suspected terror attack just before 7.40am on Tuesday.

Two vehicles, which appear to be police vans with their lights flashing, can be seen behind the car shortly before the crash in footage of the incident aired on BBC News.

The silver Ford Fiesta is seen coming along the road next to Parliament Square before moving to turn right towards Westminster Abbey.

As an ambulance passes the car on its right-hand side, the vehicle swerves left, crossing oncoming traffic and a pavement before entering a small road and crashing into a security barrier.

A police officer can be seen jumping another barrier that runs along the side of the road to get away.

Scotland Yard, which is treating the incident as a “terrorist incident”, could not immediately comment on whether the suspect’s car was being followed at the time.

Images posted to social media showed a man, wearing a black puffer jacket, surrounded by police and being led away in handcuffs from the car

There was nobody else in the vehicle and no weapons were found, the Metropolitan Police said.

Two people were taken to hospital, while a third person with minor injuries was assessed at the scene, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) said.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with those injured and thanked the emergency services for their “immediate and courageous” response.

A meeting of the Government’s emergency cobra committee will be held at 2pm.

READ MORE: Westminster car crash: Man arrested after car hits pedestrians at Parliament - what we know so far

Witness Ewalina Ochab told the Press Association: “I think it looked intentional - the car drove at speed and towards the barriers.”

She continued: “I was walking on the other side (of the road). I heard some noise and someone screamed.

“I turned around and I saw a silver car driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement.”

The car appears to have been driven through cyclists before ploughing into the security barrier.

Footage shot outside Parliament showed cyclists helping at least one rider lying on the ground as ambulance crews and armed police arrived on the scene.

Cyclist James Maker, 30, of Chelmsford, Essex, passed the scene in Westminster minutes later and saw a woman injured on the ground and the car crashed into the barrier.

“I looked to the right-hand side and there was a cyclist on the floor, clearly injured,” he told the Press Association.

“It was a woman, they were clearly quite injured, they weren’t moving and they were in the recovery position.”

Jason Williams, 45, from Kennington, was walking to work when he saw the crash.

“I saw a car going at high speed towards Parliament. It hit a bollard,” he told the Press Association.

“It looked deliberate. It didn’t look like an accident. How do you do that by accident? It was a loud bang.”

Streets around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens were cordoned off as police, ambulances and firefighters arrived.

Bus driver Victor Ogbomo, 49, passed the scene just after the crash.

“All I saw was the smoke coming out of a vehicle, a silver vehicle ... I just stopped the bus,” he said.

“The police said we have to move back, then in less than five minutes the response team came.

“They went to the vehicle, so we had to push back. I saw the car in the barrier, I didn’t know how it got there.

“I think someone was inside the vehicle because many police went towards the vehicle.”

He said officers had their guns out when they arrested the driver.

A number of armed police officers remain stationed at a cordon beside Parliament, while Westminster Bridge and Tube station are both closed.

The cordon was widened twice and sniffer dogs were seen scanning the area.

Scotland Yard said: “”At 7.37am on Tuesday August 14, a silver Ford Fiesta collided with a number of cyclists and pedestrians, before crashing into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

“The driver of the car, a man in his late 20s, was arrested at the scene by armed officers.

“He has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in police custody.

“He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences.

“There was nobody else in the vehicle, which remains at the scene and is being searched. No weapons have been recovered at this stage.”

A force spokesman added: “At this stage, we are treating this as a terrorist incident and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the investigation.”

The Houses of Parliament are surrounded with security barriers of steel and concrete.

The measures were extended in the wake of the Westminster Bridge attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people.

Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed Pc Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

The terrorist threat against the UK is seen as unprecedented.

In addition to five attacks that occurred last year, authorities say they have stopped 13 Islamist and four extreme right-wing plots since the Westminster atrocity in March 2017.

Police and MI5 are running at least 500 live operations involving roughly 3,000 active “subjects of interest” at any one time - while there is also a wider pool of more than 20,000 individuals who have previously featured in probes whose threat must be kept under review.

Earlier this year, the Government unveiled a refreshed counter-terror strategy.

Under the blueprint, MI5 intelligence will be shared with bodies outside the security community in an attempt to stop suspects before attack plots can crystallise, while anti-terror laws are to be strengthened to allow earlier interventions.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783557.1534231751!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783557.1534231751!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Armed police swooped onto the scene in central London. Picture: Sam Lister/PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Armed police swooped onto the scene in central London. 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Two people have been injured and a man has been arrested after a car crashed into security barriers outside parliament in a suspected terror incident.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783568.1534232142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture; PA"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE: Car crashes into security barriers at Houses of Parliament

Summary

- Metropolitan Police says it is treating the crash outside Parliament as “a terrorist incident”

- Armed police arrest a man on suspicion of terrorist offences outside Parliament after a car crashed into security barriers.

- Two people have been injured.

The victims

-Pedestrians and cyclists have been injured but the exact number is not yet known.

-Two people were treated at the scene by London Ambulance Service. The injuries are not thought to be life-threatening but they have been taken to hospital.

The suspect

-Police officers arrested the driver of the vehicle, who is in his late 20s, at the scene and led him away in handcuffs.

-The suspect remains in custody at a police station in south London.

-No one else was in the vehicle. Searches have shown there were no weapons in the car.

The crash

-The silver Ford Fiesta collided with cyclists and pedestrians before crashing into the barriers outside the Houses of Parliament at 7:37am on Tuesday.

-The Metropolitan Police has said it is treating the crash as a terrorist incident for the time being.

The response

-The area outside the Houses of Parliament is in lockdown and police have put up a Terrorism Act cordon.

-More than 10 police vehicles and at least three ambulances remain outside Parliament.

-The whole of Parliament Square has been cordoned off and officers are asking the public to move away from the scene.

-Westminster Tube station has been closed.

-Rush hour traffic is being diverted to other routes.

The investigation

The investigation is being led by the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command but Scotland Yard said it was “keeping an open mind”.

Additional reporting via Press Associations.

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Overturning Brexit in second referendum might create sense of betrayal among Leave voters, writes Ian Swanson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783624.1534238715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Demonstrators march to call for "a People's Vote" on the final Brexit deal (Picture: Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

AS fears mount over a “no deal” Brexit and the need to stockpile food before the UK cuts its ties with the world’s biggest trading bloc, public opinion appears to have shifted.

A new poll shows a majority of people across the UK would now vote to stay in the EU. From the 2016 referendum result of 52 per cent to 48 per cent in favour of Leave, the balance has now shifted to 53-47 for Remain.

More than 100 constituencies across the UK which backed Brexit two years ago now have a majority who want to stay in. The seats held by leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg are among those which have switched to support Remain.

And in Scotland, where the referendum vote was already 62-38 for Remain, support for staying in the EU has strengthened to 64.5 per cent. In 51 out of the 59 constituencies, opinion is even more in favour of Remain than it was two years ago. Perhaps surprisingly, Edinburgh South West was one of the eight seats where opinion was found to have shifted towards Brexit, though not enough to produce a majority. In 2016, Edinburgh voted 74-26 for Remain.

With the Brexit negotiations having reached an apparent impasse – neither the EU nor many in her own party are willing to accept Theresa May’s Chequers proposals – Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has described the poll findings as “yet more compelling evidence the British people must be given the final say”.

READ MORE: Over 100 constituencies that backed Brexit would now vote Remain

Former Tory cabinet minister Justine Greening came out last month in favour of a new referendum, proposing voters should choose from three options – the Prime Minister’s plan, no deal or staying in the EU. Even some Cabinet ministers are said privately to back such a move as the only way to break the deadlock.

And the poll will pile pressure on both Labour and the SNP to declare they would now support a second referendum. In simple terms, the case for a fresh vote is strong. It would not be a rerun of the 2016 referendum, but a case of asking voters for their verdict on whatever deal might have been negotiated with the alternative of continuing our EU membership. But from the Remainers’ point of view there are two problems. One is that despite the polls there is no guarantee a new referendum will produce a different overall outcome. Brexit supporters are quick to point out most polls ahead of the 2016 vote showed Remain in the lead, only for Leave to triumph on the night.

And secondly, calling another referendum – especially if there is a different result – is likely to create huge resentment among Leave voters, fostering a sense of betrayal and fuelling claims about an establishment that refuses to accept defeat and tells people to keep voting until they get the right answer.

Withdrawing from the EU is a massive step which will affect everyone’s future, with potentially devastating consequences – and it may therefore be necessary to take the risk of a second ballot. But no-one should see a second referendum as an easy solution. It carries with it real dangers of increasing disaffection among an already alienated section of the population and confirming them in their view that their opinions and interests are ignored.

Whatever happens, Brexit is certain to continue causing division for the foreseeable future.

READ MORE: SNP urged to back second referendum on Brexit

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A fuming British OAP has claimed her holiday to Benidorm was ruined because her hotel had ‘too many Spaniards in it’.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783146.1534172396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grandmother Freda Jackson, 81,s demanded a full refund from Thomas Cook after a 'disaster' trip to Benidorm. Picture: Centre Press"} ,"articleBody": "

Freda Jackson, 81, said she cried at the end of her two-week trip to the popular holiday destination through travel operator Thomas Cook in May this year.

READ MORE: Bid to introduce Scotland’s first workplace parking levy

But the pensioner, who suffers from mobility issues, says her accommodation was teeming with ‘rude’ native Spaniards - who nearly knocked her over on one occasion.

READ MORE: Slum landlord stuffs 31 beds into a single house in ‘appalling’ condition

Retired care assistant Freda said: “The hotel was full of Spanish holidaymakers and they really got on our nerves because they were just so rude.

“One evening a Spanish guy nearly knocked me flying and he just walked off without even apologising.

“The entertainment in the hotel was all focused and catered for the Spanish - why can’t the Spanish go somewhere else for their holidays?”

Freda had booked to stay at the Poseidon Playa, located on the outskirts of Benidorm in south east Spain, with a friend in April 2017.

The pensioner says the travel operator Thomas Cook had even recommended the hotel and despite her request for flat ground access - it was located on a slope instead.

Grandmother-of-six Freda and her 61-year-old friend paid a total of £1,133 for the holiday and have demanded a full refund or a free trip.

Freda, who lives in Blackburn, Lancs., said: “I have never complained about a holiday before - but this one was a disaster from start to finish.

“My friend and I paid for it from our pensions and it was a struggle trying to fund it over 12 months and the holiday was totally ruined - I cried after.

“We wanted to go somewhere on flat ground and not in the hills because we have mobility issues.

“To top it off once we got to reception they told us we had been put on the 14th floor, thankfully we were moved to the second floor, and that it was 42 steps down to the hotel’s swimming pool.”

The pair travelled 1,500 miles from Manchester Airport to Alicante on May 10, after not being notified by Thomas Cook that the dates of their flights had changed.

Freda, who has previously visited Greece, Turkey, Portugal and Tenerife, claims Thomas Cook ‘mis-sold’ and ‘ruined’ her dream holiday.

She said there were no reps on the holiday who they could complain to about the trip - so instead Ms Jackson submitted a letter of complaint to Thomas Cook.

Thomas Cook bosses initially offered Freda and her friend a £75 holiday voucher as compensation for the ‘disappointing’ trip abroad.

But after declining the initial ‘goodwill gesture’ made by the travel company, they made an improved offer of £566 to be split between Freda and her friend.

Freda says she is yet to respond to the travel company about their renewed offer.

Thomas Cook have said they relocated the pair to the second floor on the second night after they asked for a ground floor room.

They also said staff offered Freda assistance on the small slope at the hotel - but they claim the 81-year-old refused assistance.

The holiday operator have also reiterated the fact the compensation they offered Freda and her friend was due to the last minute change of flight - not because their holiday was overrun by Spanish holidaymakers.

A Thomas Cook spokesperson said: “Due to a system error Ms Jackson was not informed of a change to her flights until six days before departure.

“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this caused and are investigating to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We have offered Ms Jackson and her travel companion a gesture of goodwill to try and put things right which we hope she will accept.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783146.1534172396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783146.1534172396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Grandmother Freda Jackson, 81,s demanded a full refund from Thomas Cook after a 'disaster' trip to Benidorm. Picture: Centre Press","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grandmother Freda Jackson, 81,s demanded a full refund from Thomas Cook after a 'disaster' trip to Benidorm. Picture: Centre Press","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783146.1534172396!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783147.1534172398!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783147.1534172398!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Grandmother Freda Jackson, 81, demanded a full refund from Thomas Cook after a 'disaster' trip to Benidorm. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grandmother Freda Jackson, 81, demanded a full refund from Thomas Cook after a 'disaster' trip to Benidorm. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783147.1534172398!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5821836816001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/business/royal-mail-hit-with-50m-fine-for-breaking-competition-law-1-4783607","id":"1.4783607","articleHeadline": "Royal Mail hit with £50m fine for breaking competition law","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534235773000 ,"articleLead": "

The communications regulator has fined Royal Mail £50 million for a “serious breach” of competition law.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783606.1534235769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The communications regulator has fined Royal Mail �50 million for a "serious breach" of competition law. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Ofcom said the company abused its dominant position by discriminating against its only major competitor for delivering letters, Whistl.

The penalty follows an investigation into a complaint by Whistl, one of Royal Mail’s wholesale customers.

The complaint was linked to changes Royal Mail made to its wholesale customers’ contracts in 2014, including price increases.

The price rises meant that any of Royal Mail’s wholesale customers seeking to compete with it by delivering letters in some parts of the country, as Whistl was, would have to pay higher prices in the remaining areas - where it used Royal Mail for delivery.

READ MORE: The Royal Mail is launching a trial of the UK’s first ever parcel postboxes

Following notification of these new prices, Whistl suspended plans to extend delivery services to new parts of the UK.

Ofcom’s investigation found Royal Mail’s actions amounted to “anti-competitive discrimination against customers, such as Whistl, who sought to deliver bulk mail”.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition director, said: “Royal Mail broke the law by abusing its dominant position in bulk mail delivery.

“All companies must play by the rules. Royal Mail’s behaviour was unacceptable, and it denied postal users the potential benefits that come from effective competition.”

The regulator added that Royal Mail’s conduct was “reasonably likely” to put other companies at a competitive disadvantage and restrict competition.

It found Royal Mail in breach of Section 18 of the Competition Act and Article 102 of the Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union, which prohibits a firm from abusing its dominant position.

Royal Mail said it will appeal against Ofcom’s decision, claiming its price changes were “never implemented or paid”.

The firm said in a statement: “Royal Mail is very disappointed by Ofcom’s decision to impose a fine of £50 million. Royal Mail strongly refutes any suggestion that it has acted in breach of the Competition Act, and considers that the decision is without merit and fundamentally flawed.

“The company will now lodge an appeal with the Competition Appeal Tribunal within the next two months. No fine is payable until the appeals process is exhausted.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RAVENDER SEMBHY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783606.1534235769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783606.1534235769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The communications regulator has fined Royal Mail �50 million for a "serious breach" of competition law. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The communications regulator has fined Royal Mail �50 million for a "serious breach" of competition law. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783606.1534235769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/israeli-pm-piles-pressure-on-jeremy-corbyn-over-wreath-laying-1-4783492","id":"1.4783492","articleHeadline": "Israeli PM piles pressure on Jeremy Corbyn over wreath-laying","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534227862000 ,"articleLead": "

Pressure is growing on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after Israeli’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for “unequivocal condemnation” of his attendance at a controversial wreath-laying ceremony.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783491.1534227859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Corbyn admitted being present at the ceremony for killers who carried out Olympics massacre. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Corbyn has admitted being present at a ceremony for the Palestinian killers who carried out the Munich Olympics massacre.

But the Labour leader said he did not think he had been actually involved in the commemoration of members of Black September, who murdered 11 Israelis at the 1972 Olympics.

A tweet from the office of Israel’s prime minister said: “The laying of a wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorists who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between.”

In response, the Labour leader tweeted: “Israeli PM @Netanyahu’s claims about my actions and words are false. What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.”

He added: “The nation state law sponsored by @Netanyahu’s government discriminates against Israel’s Palestinian minority. I stand with the tens of thousands of Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel demonstrating for equal rights at the weekend in Tel Aviv.”

Labour MPs have demanded an apology from Mr Corbyn after he admitted being present at the ceremony.

The outcry came after pictures of Mr Corbyn holding a wreath during a visit in 2014 to a Tunisian cemetery emerged three days ago.

It was reported he visited graves of men behind the atrocity, including a senior Palestinian Liberation Organisation figure reportedly killed by Israeli agents in Paris in 1992.

Labour had said he had been at the cemetery to pay his respects at a separate memorial to those killed in a 1985 Israeli air strike on PLO offices in Tunis.

But Mr Corbyn told Sky News yesterday: “A wreath was indeed laid by some of those who attended the conference of those who were killed in Paris in 1992.”

Asked whether he was involved in the wreath-laying, he said: “I was present when it was laid. I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”

Mr Corbyn added: “I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it. You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence.”

The photographs prompted fresh attacks by Labour MPs, who have already accused him of failing to take tough enough action to stamp out anti-Semitism in the party.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NIGEL MORRIS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783491.1534227859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783491.1534227859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Corbyn admitted being present at the ceremony for killers who carried out Olympics massacre. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Corbyn admitted being present at the ceremony for killers who carried out Olympics massacre. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783491.1534227859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-the-island-that-s-paradise-for-more-reasons-than-one-1-4783475","id":"1.4783475","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: The island that’s paradise for more reasons than one","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534222800000 ,"articleLead": "

With its pristine beaches and towering waves, Tiree is a surfers’ paradise that has been compared to the place where the sport began, Hawaii.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783473.1534184871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tiree's beautiful beaches have prompted comparisons with Hawaii"} ,"articleBody": "

However, such is its otherworldly beauty, that some talk about the Inner Hebridean island as also being a spiritual paradise – a “thin place” like Iona where the gap between heaven and earth seems to disappear.

So a request for a Church of Scotland minister to come and “be Christ” for the islanders may prove attractive to more than might otherwise be expected to apply for a job in a remote Scottish parish, about as far from the bustle of the big city as it is possible to get.

An advert for the vacant post warns that the community is small enough that the successful applicant will find that everyone knows what they have been doing, even down to the things they have been buying in the local shop.

But with this relative lack of privacy comes an extra dose of friendliness and general concern for others’ well-being.

And it is perhaps that quality more than any physical beauty that puts this island that little bit closer to heaven.

READ MORE: Idyllic Scottish island dubbed ‘Hawaii of the North’ offers beach house to new minister

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783473.1534184871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783473.1534184871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tiree's beautiful beaches have prompted comparisons with Hawaii","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tiree's beautiful beaches have prompted comparisons with Hawaii","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783473.1534184871!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/aidan-smith-harry-kane-just-won-the-cup-for-competitive-childbirth-1-4783476","id":"1.4783476","articleHeadline": "Aidan Smith: Harry Kane just won the cup for competitive childbirth","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534222800000 ,"articleLead": "

Competitive childbirth is a qualifying tournament for competitive parenting, the big daddy (or mummy) event of smug middle-class boasting. writes Aidan Smith.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783474.1534184873!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

What separates football superstars from the likes of me, sclaffing and blootering around my local public park, is the fierce competitive instinct. Well, that and the epic skills deficit but we’ll gloss over this to stand in awe of the winning-is-everything attitude of the guys who play for a living.

Take Harry Kane, the England captain. Earlier this year the striker was desperately trying to win the Golden Boot for the most goals scored in the Premier League. So desperate, in fact, that he claimed a strike which patently wasn’t his. He said he got the final, whispery touch on the ball but he hadn’t. Result: ridicule on social media. I laughed, but deep down still admired Kane. Here was that brazenness in trampling all over his rivals which I simply didn’t possess.

Well, he’s been at it again, only this time as a father, after announcing the arrival of his second child on Twitter. “So proud,” he blurted, because his fiancee Kate Goodland had given birth to their daughter Vivienne “with no pain relief at all”. Result: more ridicule. Why was he trying to turn producing babies into a sport? After failing to win the World Cup, was he now bringing his famous competitiveness to the World Childbirth Championships?

To defend him again, I’m sure he wasn’t claiming that the birth of his daughter was a more spectacular event than the birth of your child if an epidural was involved, or the arrival of my son into the world a few days before last Christmas, when one indeed was. Kane tried to quell the Twitternado with a subsequent despatch, but even this didn’t come out quite right. Women could give birth “however they would like”, he said, a mite condescendingly. Then he cranked up his pride to “very proud”. There are, it seems to this dad of four, two issues here: competitive childbirth, which definitely does exist, and the part in it played by men.

READ MORE: Aidan Smith: Why I’m okay with women who lust after the other Aidan

To use a football analogy, competitive childbirth is a qualifying tournament for competitive parenting, the big daddy (or mummy) event of smug middle-class boasting. A woman can feel she’s been knocked out in the first round if she opted to be knocked out by pain relief during birth and so many others seem to have done it “naturally”. In baby-group chatter in the coffee shop or online, mums may not mean to brag, although some might, and the same when they’re talking about the texture of their home-made rusks or the torque on their designer buggies. The buggies themselves are a baby-industry con targeting mens’ weakness for sleek, wheeled transporters. When they feel the buggies possess the requisite snob value and don’t compromise their manliness, they’ll sanction the exorbitant costs.

For No 4, my wife and I picked up the apparent Lamborghini of buggies on Gumtree, dirt cheap. We couldn’t believe the price, or the pristine condition. This pram had obviously never traversed broken pavements. You might assume that after three kids we knew what we were doing on this latest – and definitely last – trip to the maternity wards, but the only constant connecting all four births has been when, in an effort to lift some of the tension, I’ve popped a “sick cup” on my head and rasped: “Siddin’ at my piano!” Each time my wife has groaned, and not through birth pains.

This was me impersonating Eric Morecambe, impersonating Jimmy Durante, which will tell you that I’m at the mature end of the dad scale. So mature, indeed, that I remember when my younger brother was due to arrive via a home birth and my father was required to pace the hall endlessly. There was no way he could be in the room with my mother, he told me, so aged five I offered him mutual support and joined in wearing away the carpet.

READ MORE: Aidan Smith: Don’t blame Netflix, a lack of nerve is killing cinema

We won’t return to those days. Now, 95 per cent of fathers-to-be are present for the delivery. They can watch the process and come to understand it better – without, as my wife stresses, ever knowing how much it hurts.

They can offer support as the blood is squeezed from their hands. But that is all they can do: they cannot have the baby for their partners and be quite as heroic – and competitive – as they’d like to be.

Some try. First time round, a midwife told us about a water-birth the previous evening when the dad-to-be, ignoring the etiquette which recommends swimming trunks, climbed into the tank bollock-naked. The baby born, and rather thinking he’d demonstrated mastery of the waves reminiscent of Jacques Cousteau, this brazen fellow began a victory lap of the room, and when offered a towel, simply used it to rub his hair before carrying on parading.

Our eldest son had the most traumatic of deliveries and almost died. Our eldest daughter was the opposite of protracted, shooting straight to the bottom of the bed within mere minutes. Both times, if this father was inclined to choreograph proceedings in the manner of the megalomanical and bombastic movie-maker James Cameron – which, by the way, he wasn’t – the script in the shape of the birth plan was ripped up and tossed out the window, landing on the feverish smokers lurking below.

For No 4, when asked for our plan, my wife declared: “Drugs.” This was another protracted affair after which we were asked if we’d like to avail ourselves of the Marks & Sparks microwaved menu in the hospital’s newish unit primarily for natural births, but as we were told: “There’s hardly ever anyone in it. Everyone’s having epidurals now.” Not Harry Kane and his better half, of course, and good luck to them, they win the World Childbirth Championships. Let’s hope he remembered to cover up for his lap of honour.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Aidan Smith"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783474.1534184873!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783474.1534184873!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783474.1534184873!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/e-cigarettes-may-be-causing-similar-lung-damage-to-regular-smoking-study-finds-1-4783480","id":"1.4783480","articleHeadline": "E-cigarettes may be causing similar lung damage to regular smoking, study finds","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534186242000 ,"articleLead": "

E-cigarettes may be causing similar damage to lung cells as regular smoking and therefore could be much more harmful than previously thought, a study has suggested.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783479.1534186239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vaping is increasing in popularity, with three million regular users in the UK"} ,"articleBody": "

Researchers found vapour boosts the production of inflammatory chemicals and disables key immune cells in the lung that keep the air spaces clear of potentially harmful particles. The vapour from e-cigarettes impairs the activity of alveolar macrophages, which engulf and remove dust particles, bacteria and allergens that have evaded the other mechanical defences of the respiratory tract.

Vaping is increasing in popularity, with three million regular users in the UK, making it the most popular market with the US and Japan.

But most research has focused on the chemical composition of e-cigarette liquid before it is vaped. In this latest small experimental study, published online in the journal Thorax, researchers devised a mechanical procedure to mimic vaping and produce condensate from the vapour.

They extracted alveolar macrophages from lung tissue samples provided by eight non-smokers who had never had asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A third of the cells were exposed to plain e-cigarette fluid, a third to different strengths of the artificially vaped condensate with and without nicotine and a third to nothing for 24 hours.The condensate was found to be more harmful to the cells than plain e-cigarette fluid.

The effects worsened as the “dose” was increased.

Professor David Thickett, lead author from the University of Birmingham, said: “In terms of cancer causing molecules in cigarette smoke, as opposed to cigarette vapour, there are certainly reduced numbers of carcinogens.

“They are safer in terms of cancer risk, but if you vape for 20 or 30 years and this can cause COPD, then that’s something we need to know about.

“I don’t believe e-cigarettes are more harmful than ordinary cigarettes. But we should have a cautious scepticism that they are as safe as we are being led to believe.”

In an accompanying podcast, Professor Thickett said the tobacco giants, who have bought up many of the e-cigarette companies, have an agenda to portray e-cigarettes as safe.

The team said further work was needed to fully understand the effects of vapour exposure in humans.

It concluded: “We suggest continued caution against the widely held opinion that e-cigarettes are safe.”

A survey of adolescents by researchers at Coventry University showed less than half of e-cigarette users knew vape products contained nicotine.

Professor John Britton, director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham, said: “This [study] indicates that long-term use of electronic cigarettes is likely to have adverse effects, as is widely recognised by leading health authorities in the UK, including the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England.

“However, since electronic cigarettes are used almost exclusively in the UK by current or former smokers, the key question is how this adverse effect compares with that of exposure to cigarette smoke.”

Prof Britton added: “The harsh truth is that smoking kills and smokers who switch completely to electronic cigarettes are likely to substantially reduce the likelihood of premature death.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PAUL GALLAGHER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783479.1534186239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783479.1534186239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vaping is increasing in popularity, with three million regular users in the UK","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vaping is increasing in popularity, with three million regular users in the UK","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783479.1534186239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/topless-man-thrown-out-of-tesco-for-being-too-fat-1-4782781","id":"1.4782781","articleHeadline": "Topless man thrown out of Tesco ‘for being too fat’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534164780000 ,"articleLead": "

A customer claims he was thrown out of Tesco for being overweight - after going to buy an ice cream without a shirt on.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782780.1534164777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Matthew Brackley, age 27, outside the Tesco in Cambridge where he had an altercation with the security guard. Picture: SWNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Matthew Brackley, 27, says he was ‘manhandled’ out of the supermarket by a security guard who verbally assaulted him.

He believes the only reason he was ordered to leave was because of his weight - as a slimmer shopper in the store at the time was not asked to leave.

Matthew said: “It’s disgraceful. It was about 33C and I had my t-shirt off. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not a crime.

“I’ll admit I’m carrying a few extra pounds but that’s no reason to discriminate against me.

“I have problems with my body and weight and I overcame my fear [of walking around without a top on].

“I should be able to walk with my top off, there’s no law you can’t have your top off.

“All I wanted to do is get an ice cream on a hot day.”

Matthew told how he was ‘minding his own business’ when he visited the Tesco Express store in Cambridge last week.

He says the security guard walked over to him and began to shout at him.

“The security guard came over to me and was very rude to me, he just started saying ‘get out the shop’,” said Matthew.

“At this point I didn’t know what I had done and I was confused.

“I asked him what I did wrong and couldn’t answer he just said can you leave the shop.

“It’s not as if I went in and jumped all over the food. I wanted an ice cream and was going right back out.

“So I went back in because I thought I hadn’t done anything wrong and then the security guard got in my face and got spit all over my face - I slowly pushed him to say ‘get out my face’”.

Matthew also claims that he had to act in self defence because the security guard got uncomfortably close to his face which meant he had to ‘gently’ push him to the side.

However, there was at least one other topless shopper in the store at the time, who had “muscles and looked fit”.

Since the incident, Tesco has apologised to Matthew and offered him compensation.

But Matthew wants to see the security guard undergo further training to avoid incidents like this happening in the future.

He said: “I am speaking out about this because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.

“It’s a matter of principle and people shouldn’t be treated differently over their weight.

“If this man works with the public, he needs to know how to behave appropriately around them.”

A spokesman for Tesco said:”We have fully investigated this incident with the guard’s employer TSS and have concluded that no further steps need to be taken.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Yasmin Harisha"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4782780.1534164777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782780.1534164777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Matthew Brackley, age 27, outside the Tesco in Cambridge where he had an altercation with the security guard. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Matthew Brackley, age 27, outside the Tesco in Cambridge where he had an altercation with the security guard. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4782780.1534164777!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5821437210001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/tributes-paid-to-british-tourist-who-died-in-ibiza-1-4783036","id":"1.4783036","articleHeadline": "Tributes paid to British tourist who died in Ibiza","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534158596000 ,"articleLead": "

A British man who died in Ibiza was described as a “gentle soul with a heart of gold”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783035.1534318876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Holidaymakers to places like Ibiza could be hit. Picture: Wikimedia"} ,"articleBody": "

Friends and loved ones of Conor Spraggs, believed to be 23 and from Stevenage, paid tribute to the holidaymaker after his death on the popular island.

A JustGiving page has been set up to bring his body home and cover his funeral costs.

The page description read: “Conor was tragically killed on his last day of his holiday in Ibiza.

“We are trying to raise enough money to fly his body home so he can be back with his family and put to rest in his home town.

“Conor was a gentle soul, with a heart of gold who is going to be deeply missed by family and friends and anyone who knew him.”

READ MORE: Former serviceman who raped a schoolgirl jailed for 9 years

More than £3,000 has been raised after the page was set up late on Sunday.

Those who donated to the fund remembered Mr Spraggs as a “top lad” who had “not a bad bone in his body”.

According to media reports, the victim died after a fight in the early hours of Sunday morning following an altercation with a group of males in the resort of San Antonio.

A police investigation has been launched.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Our staff are providing assistance to the family of a British man who has died in Ibiza and are in touch with the local authorities, who are investigating.”

Mr Spraggs is the latest British holidaymaker to die this summer in the popular destination.

Last week, a 24-year-old was found floating in a marina in San Antonio

In July, the body of a 19-year-old man was pulled from a pool in Sant Josep in the early hours of the morning.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JEMMA CREW"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4783035.1534318876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4783035.1534318876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Holidaymakers to places like Ibiza could be hit. Picture: Wikimedia","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Holidaymakers to places like Ibiza could be hit. Picture: Wikimedia","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4783035.1534318876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/kevan-christie-thinkers-from-socrates-to-jock-stein-knew-wisdom-of-saying-i-don-t-know-1-4782692","id":"1.4782692","articleHeadline": "Kevan Christie: Thinkers from Socrates to Jock Stein knew wisdom of saying ‘I don’t know’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534142598000 ,"articleLead": "

Too many bright young things seem to think they have all the answers, forgetting the wisdom of thinkers from Socrates to Jock Stein, writes Kevan Christie.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782691.1534142596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stein knew a lot about football, but would admit he didn't know who'd win the next Old Firm game"} ,"articleBody": "

Watching the cosy Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing programme the other night, in which these national comedy treasures discuss and compare heart operations, I felt compelled to search the internet for a previous Fast Show character whose name I couldn’t remember.

Eventually, I managed to track down Indecisive Dave, played by Whitehouse in the early 90s.

The nub of these sketches is based on a guy who offers an opinion on something, say the England football team or crime, then changes his mind as soon as someone challenges him.

It’s clear that Dave doesn’t really have strong opinions on anything and is just trying to keep his end up in the pub chat stakes with his mates – who are more decisive than him. Dave would probably fall into the ‘don’t know’ camp when it comes to things like referendums and voting at elections.

The don’t knows are a group of people who have reached a certain stage in life where they’re happy to admit that they don’t know all or any of the answers.

No less a figure than Socrates – the ancient Greek philosopher, not the Brazilian footballer who ended up playing for Garforth Town – was also big on the don’t knows.

Quoted by Plato, he says: “I do not think that a thing could be such an evil for a man, as much as having a false opinion concerning the things about which our discussion is about.”

I would put myself firmly in the don’t-know camp on a range of issues, chief among them: how to solve the Israel/Palestine conflict, what a post-Brexit UK should look like, should Scotland be independent, why don’t we just use the Forth Road Bridge during roadworks, and will Rangers finish second in the Scottish Premiership this season.

READ MORE: Kenny MacAskill: Age of Uncertainty may see SNP wipeout or a new Trump

It’s liberating to admit you don’t know something, especially in an age when polarisation is taking place to the right and left of politics in the UK, Europe and the United States.

The rise of the Scottish Twitterati has seen a host of commentators crawling out the woodwork. These bright, young (annoying) things will give a strong opinion on anything at a moment’s notice as soon as the BBC call. No sitting on the fence, no room for discussion or subtle nuance – no, in they jump, giving it the full Katie Hopkins before taking to Twitter to signpost their latest musings.

Being Scottish in this day and age calls for taking sides and shouting loudly – we don’t really do discussions, only arguments and fence-sitters need not apply.

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time arguing in pubs about subjects as diverse as: are tennis players fitter than footballers, who would win if Muhammad Ali fought Mike Tyson, is Easter Road Stadium in Leith, and could Rocky take the Terminator in a square go?

As the pints flow, the voices rise to a crescendo; nobody is listening to anyone else and whoever shouts the loudest is deemed the winner – it’s great fun but does little to increase understanding.

It seems that this culture has taken over in Scottish society.

Like most sons, I always ask my father for advice, probably too much. Only last week, I phoned him to ask what I thought about Jeremy Corbyn. This has led to me being mercilessly ribbed by mates who stick the “my dad says” label on any opinion I happen to give. Asking your dad is, for the most part, a good idea – unless your dad’s a serial killer or someone like Joseph Stalin, if that’s the case it would probably be better to ask your mum.

Clearly there are some things that nobody knows, but this doesn’t deter the foolhardy.

Sports journalism, in particular, is one area where any amount of daft questions are permitted.

“Do you think team X or player Y can win the league, match, cup, whatever?” is standard practice for your average hack. Of course, the real answer is almost always “don’t know” as the event hasn’t taken place. The late, great Celtic manager Jock Stein understood this more than most when he proclaimed: “Only a fool would try to predict the score in an Old Firm game.”

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Bookies exist because we think we know something when we don’t. How many times did you hear someone proclaim, “I fancy Tiger Woods for the Open” last month or any other golfer for that matter. All well and good but there were 155 other competitors in that event.

So, who is going to stand up for the don’t knows?

Sir Vince Cable is being touted as starting an anti-Brexit Centrist Party but he’s an unlikely knight in shining armour, although he doesn’t seem to know much so that would probably make him an ideal candidate.

It would be a good idea to have another political party at some point with a nice centrist position kind of like New Labour – before Tony Blair decided he was in the SAS. They could certainly sweep up the ‘don’t knows’ and provide a much-needed alternative.

My message to everyone is give saying “don’t know” or “dinnae ken” a go. It’s refreshing and, after a while, people will stop asking for your opinion.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kevan Christie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4782691.1534142596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782691.1534142596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stein knew a lot about football, but would admit he didn't know who'd win the next Old Firm game","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stein knew a lot about football, but would admit he didn't know who'd win the next Old Firm game","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4782691.1534142596!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/omagh-bomb-victim-s-family-urge-political-agreement-on-anniversary-1-4782793","id":"1.4782793","articleHeadline": "Omagh bomb victim’s family urge political agreement on anniversary","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534102564000 ,"articleLead": "

The father of one of the Omagh bombing victims marked the 20th anniversary of the explosion by urging Northern Ireland’s political leaders to reach agreement so “we can move forward”.

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Michael Gallagher’s son Aiden was one of the 29 people killed in the blast, who included a woman pregnant with twins, when a Real IRA car bomb ripped through Omagh on 15 August, 1998.

In his speech at the inter-denominational remembrance service yesterday, Mr Gallagher also paid tribute to all the victims of the 30-year Northern Ireland conflict, including the La Mon Hotel IRA bombing which killed members of a local Collie Club in 1978.

Relatives of the dead gathered in the memorial garden where they sat opposite the reflecting pool in the Co Tyrone town.

Friends and families of the victims, who came from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England and Spain, also laid flowers and wreaths.

The atrocity was claimed by a republican splinter group which called itself the Real IRA.

Mr Gallagher, who is the spokesman for Omagh Support and Self Help Group, said in his closing speech that as a small province, Northern Ireland was facing its greatest challenges ahead.

“We would appeal to the political parties to seek agreement so that we can move forward,” he said.

“Working alone we can achieve very little, but in collaborative adventures we can achieve a great deal.

“We as a community have paid the highest price, let us not forget we need to make this work, showing strength, courage and leadership.”

Former Omagh Council chief executive John McKinney told the families and friends of those who were killed that they have showed “courage and leadership”.

“It was a struggle, a daily struggle, and I’m sure 20 years is more like 100 years,” he said.

“It’s also encouraging to see such a tremendous turnout, not just today, but over the last 20 years.

“That’s an indication of the spirit of the people of Omagh, the co-operation of the people of Omagh and the support they give and continue to give.

“We can all remember, the hope we had in our minds and hearts from 1995 to 1998, the hope for a better place, a hope that would grow together, a hope for reconciliation.

“Unfortunately, I regret to say, that reconciliation never really happened.”

The memorial service, Out of Darkness, included musicians, readers, singers and clergy from a number of religious denominations.

The Omagh Community Youth Choir included Cara McGillion, 17, the daughter of Donna Marie and Garry, who were seriously injured in the attack.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KATE McCURRY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4782792.1534102561!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782792.1534102561!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Family and relatives gather at the service. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Family and relatives gather at the service. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4782792.1534102561!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/christine-hamilton-dropped-by-charity-over-kkk-tweet-1-4782789","id":"1.4782789","articleHeadline": "Christine Hamilton dropped by charity over KKK tweet","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534102076000 ,"articleLead": "

Former reality television contestant Christine Hamilton has been stripped of her position as a charity ambassador after complaints about her social media posts on Islam.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782788.1534102072!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christine Hamilton: Said her tweet was 'tongue in cheek'. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The wife of ex-MP Neil Hamilton posted an image on Twitter of the Ku Klux Klan captioned: “If the burka is acceptable then presumably this is too?”

It came in the week that former foreign secretary Boris Johnson compared women in burkas to letter boxes and bank robbers.

The tweet was criticised by people on social media, with one poster replying: “You (and Mr Johnson) are both as bad as each other trying to disguise your prejudices as ‘jokes’. I hope you’re proud of yourself for perpetuating this idea that Muslim women should be vilified and mocked.”

Mrs Hamilton said the post was “tongue in cheek” and attempted to soothe the anger by adding: “For heaven’s sake – no, I am not comparing Muslim women to KKK members and yes, thank you, I do know the difference.

“I was graphically illustrating how full facial cover can be sinister, which is how many people view the burka.”

But her comments were enough to prompt the Muscular Dystrophy UK charity to sever its links with her.

Its chief executive Robert Meadowcroft said the decision “fully reflects the values of the charity”.

Mrs Hamilton said she would remove any references to charities from her social media profile.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4782788.1534102072!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782788.1534102072!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Christine Hamilton: Said her tweet was 'tongue in cheek'. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christine Hamilton: Said her tweet was 'tongue in cheek'. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4782788.1534102072!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/53-of-voters-back-boris-johnson-over-burka-comments-1-4782707","id":"1.4782707","articleHeadline": "53% of voters ‘back Boris Johnson’ over burka comments","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534075872000 ,"articleLead": "

More than half of voters believe Boris Johnson should not face disciplinary action for his comments about the burka, according to a new poll.

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The ComRes survey for the Sunday Express found 53 per cent were opposed to punishment for the former foreign secretary, against 40 per cent who said he deserved to be disciplined.

The poll was released as Mr Johnson returned to the UK from a holiday in Italy amid an escalating civil war within the Conservative Party over his description of Muslim women in face-covering veils as looking like letter-boxes or bank robbers.

Brexit-backing MP Jacob Rees-Mogg denounced the investigation launched into Mr Johnson’s remarks as a “show trial” motivated by Mrs May’s personal rivalry with a man many see as her likely successor.

The Sunday Times reported that four Cabinet ministers had privately expressed dismay at the handling of the case.

And Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, a supporter of Mr Johnson, warned of “open warfare” in the Conservative Party if he was suspended in such a way that he could not take part in a future leadership contest.

Mr Johnson made no comment to waiting reporters as he arrived back at his Oxfordshire home on Saturday evening, but is expected to break his silence in his regular Monday column in the Daily Telegraph, where his controversial comments were first printed six days ago.

Far-right US activist Steve Bannon, who was in contact with Mr Johnson during his recent visit to the UK, urged him not to “bow at the altar of political correctness” by apologising.

The former aide to Donald Trump told the Sunday Times that Mr Johnson had “nothing to apologise for”.

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• READ MORE - Boris Johnson: Muslim women wearing burkas ‘look like letter boxes’

Amid complaints from supporters of an attempt to gag Mr Johnson, the ComRes poll found that 60 per cent of respondents believe that rights to free speech are being weakened, against just 5 per cent who said they were strengthening.

Support for Mr Johnson was markedly higher among older generations, with 77 per cent of over-65s and 63 per cent of 55-64 year-olds saying he should not face discipline, while 62 per cent of 18-24 year-olds and 55 per cent of those in the 25-34 age-group saying he should.

The poll found that Theresa May remains voters’ preferred leader of the Conservatives, by a margin of 26 per cent to 24 per cent over Boris Johnson, with 42 per cent opting for “neither”.

Former first secretary of state Damian Green, who was Mrs May’s de facto deputy, said he feared Mr Johnson was “being turned into a martyr by the alt-Right”, which would be “a disaster for him and the Conservative Party”.

Writing for the Mail on Sunday, he said: “I am particularly concerned by reports that President Trump’s sacked adviser Steve Bannon is forming a Europe-wide far-Right campaign group - and has been in touch with Boris.

“I hope that no Conservative politician, including Boris, is taking advice from him about how the Conservative Party should behave.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that Mr Johnson’s comments represented an intolerant strain of opinion in the Conservative Party dating back to Norman Tebbit’s “cricket test” for immigrants’ loyalties and Enoch Powell’s notorious prediction of “rivers of blood”.

Writing in the Sunday Mirror, Mr McDonnell said: “Johnson’s remarks, and support from acolytes such as Andrew Bridgen, Nadine Dorries and Ben Bradley, prove that intolerant opinion has a strong hold to this day in the Tory party.”

Meanwhile, there were signs of concern among Tory donors over Mrs May’s handling of the issue.

David Wall, the secretary of the Midlands Industrial Council, whose members give millions to the Tories each year, described the row as “an argument over relatively nothing”.

Mr Wall told the Sunday Telegraph: “I don’t think his situation needs to be referred to a disciplinary committee of the party.

“I don’t think he expressed himself in an offensive way at all. I have talked to several colleagues and they have the same view as I do. What on earth is all the fuss about?”

And City financier Jeremy Hosking, who has given £375,000 since 2015, told the paper: “The cynical and opportunistic response of some leading Conservatives in condemning him seems so transparent in its motivation as to be laughable.”

Mr Johnson was subjected on Saturday to a brutal attack by a former close aide to David Cameron, Lord (Andrew) Cooper, who accused him of “casual racism” and “courting of fascism”.

“He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment,” said the Tory peer. “His career is a saga of moral emptiness and lies; pathetic, weak and needy; the opposite of strong.”

But Mr Bridgen told the Sunday Express: “If Boris is suspended it will be open warfare in the Conservative Party.

“If Theresa May dares engineer a leadership contest while Boris is suspended it will be World War Three.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW WOODCOCK"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4782705.1534075868!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782705.1534075868!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Boris Johnson received backing from voters. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Boris Johnson received backing from voters. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4782705.1534075868!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5807395540001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/v-s-naipaul-author-and-nobel-prize-winner-dies-at-85-1-4782694","id":"1.4782694","articleHeadline": "V.S. Naipaul, author and Nobel Prize winner, dies at 85","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1534072360000 ,"articleLead": "

Leading literary figures have paid tribute to British author and Nobel Prize winner Sir V.S. Naipaul following his death at the age of 85.

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The writer, who penned more than 30 books over his lifetime, died peacefully at his London home, his family said.

Announcing his death on Saturday night, his wife Lady Nadira Naipaul said he had lived a life “full of wonderful creativity and endeavour”.

Naipaul was famously outspoken throughout his career, and notoriously fell out with author Paul Theroux, whom he had mentored.

But the pair later reunited, and Theroux spoke fondly of Naipaul as he paid tribute to “one of the greatest writers of our time”.

He told the Associated Press: “He never wrote falsely. He was a scourge of anyone who used a cliche or an un-thought out sentence. He was very scrupulous about his writing, very severe, too.”

Naipaul, whose books often dealt with colonialism and attacked religion, politicians and pillars of the literary establishment, also had a tense relationship with author Salman Rushdie, once describing the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa on Rushdie as “an extreme form of literary criticism”.

In a Twitter post, Rushdie conceded that the pair had “disagreed all our lives, about politics, about literature”, but added: “I feel as sad as if I just lost a beloved older brother. RIP Vidia.”

In a statement on Saturday night, Lady Naipaul said her husband was “a giant in all that he achieved”, adding: “He died peacefully surrounded by those he loved having lived a life which was full of wonderful creativity and endeavour.”

The author was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 for “having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories”.

The Academy singled out his 1987 work The Enigma of Arrival, saying he created an “unrelenting image of the placid collapse of the old colonial ruling culture and the demise of European neighbourhoods”.

Naipaul was knighted in 1990, and won numerous other major writing prizes throughout his life, including the Booker in 1971 and the David Cohen British literature prize in 1993.

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His 1961 novel, A House for Mr Biswas, is regarded by many critics as one of his most influential works.

The book was based on the life of his father Seepersad, who was a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian.

Naipaul’s books on Islamic fundamentalism - the 1981 work Among the Believers and the 1998 book Beyond Belief - were written after he travelled through non-Arab “converted” Islamic countries.

His attacks on the religion prompted leading English professor Edward Said to say: “It is hard to believe any rational person would attack an entire culture on that scale.”

In the 1990s, Naipaul concentrated on non-fiction, and it was in 1994 that his long awaited novel appeared, A Way in the World, an autobiography and a fictional history of colonialism, presenting stories from the times of Sir Walter Raleigh to the 19th century revolutionary Francisco Miranda.

There developed a decades-long friendship between Naipaul and Theroux, but in an angry and unforgiving book, Sir Vidia’s Shadow, Naipaul rejected Theroux.

The feud lasted until the pair finally buried the hatchet in 2011, when writer Ian McEwan persuaded them to shake hands at the Hay literature festival.

Theroux told the Associated Press that there had been a “great satisfaction in reconnecting”, adding: “It took him a long time to make his mark, but when he did, it happened in a big way.”

Naipaul - whose full name was Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul - was born in Chaguanas, Trinidad, and his family moved to the country’s capital, Port of Spain, when he was six.

It would later become the setting for his first novel, written in 1959 and titled Miguel Street.

In 1948 he won a government scholarship to read English at Oxford’s University College, where he suffered a nervous breakdown.

He married Patricia Hale, whom he met at Oxford in 1955.

She died in 1996 and he went on to marry Lady Nadira, who was some 20 years his junior, shortly afterwards.

Last month, Naipaul’s 1971 work In a Free State was shortlisted for the one-off Golden Man Booker, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Booker Prize.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4782693.1534072356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4782693.1534072356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "File photo of author V.S. Naipaul who has died at his home in London aged 85. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "File photo of author V.S. Naipaul who has died at his home in London aged 85. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4782693.1534072356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}