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Racing driver Billy Monger has celebrated his first victory since a near-fatal crash cost him both of his legs.
The 20-year-old, from Surrey, said he was “over the moon” after winning the Grand Prix De Pau in southwest France, which he managed by overtaking almost the entire grid in his specially-adapted car.
He tweeted: “PAU GP Championsss!!! Can’t believe it, I didn’t think 2 years on I’d be winning races! Huge shout out to the team @CarlinRacing for all their hard work. Over the moon.”
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Monger had his legs amputated following a high speed crash during a Formula 4 race at Donington Park two years ago, but has remained committed to forging a top-level career in motorsport.
Last year he told Sky News his long-term aim was to get into Formula 1.
The fairy-tale win on Sunday came after a late decision at the end of the last warm-up lap to switch to wet-weather tyres, having qualified in 11th place on slick tyres.
It proved to be a worthwhile gamble, as he cut through the field and took full advantage of a collision between Motopark duo Julian Hanses and Liam Lawson to take the lead.
He held on to first place until the end to secure victory.
Theresa May is preparing to put the final touches on her “bold offer” to MPs in a fourth and final attempt to get her Brexit deal through parliament.
The prime minister is preparing to hold talks with senior ministers that she hopes will see them sign off on a supposedly enticing new package of measures to be included in her much-maligned withdrawal agreement, which has already been rejected three times by MPs.
Few in Westminster expect any changes to the deal to be enough to win the cross-party support it needs to pass, which would leave Mrs May looking destined for a meek finale to a premiership set to be further undermined by a potentially disastrous set of results in the upcoming European elections.
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Theresa May will set out the timetable for her departure after a final push to get her Brexit deal passed by MPs, paving the way for a leadership battle
The Conservatives are braced for a hammering at the hands of the newly-formed Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage when voters go to the polls on Thursday, with one weekend poll placing them fifth behind the Greens.
Labour is also expecting a tough set of results in the elections, which come two months after the UK was first scheduled to leave the EU.
Both of the main parties in the Commons are expected to suffer because of their respective stances on Brexit, with a resurgent Liberal Democrats tipped to come second to the Brexit Party.
Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for facing both ways on a potential second referendum, and his position has not become any clearer since he pulled out of talks with the prime minister that had been designed to find common ground on how parliament could deliver Brexit.
Upon the breakdown of the discussions, the Labour leader said “we have been unable to bridge important policy gaps between us” and that the impending Tory leadership race had made the government “unstable”.
Mrs May has said she will set a timetable for her exit from Downing Street early next month – after the proposed final vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning 3 June.
With the failed talks with Labour making sufficient cross-party support unlikely to arrive by then, the Brexit secretary has admitted that no-deal preparations may have to be brought forward.
Stephen Barclay told Sky News: “Members of Parliament do need to face facts, and if the deal were not to go through then there are only two alternatives – you either leave with a no-deal or you revoke.”
The reason most expect the deal to be rejected again is that the new package – which the Press Association reports will include measures on protecting workers’ rights and provisions on future trade arrangements with the EU – will not include changes to what Mrs May has already agreed with Brussels.
It means the controversial Northern Ireland backstop, which the EU has said must remain to prevent a hard border on the island, will not be re-negotiated.
According to PA, the only Northern Ireland-related measure in the new package is a proposal for the use of technology to avoid the need for border controls with the Republic.
Despite it being unlikely to make enough of a difference to the outcome of the vote next month, the package is expected to be approved by ministers following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Ministers will also consider whether to again put any alternative Brexit approaches to indicative votes in the Commons to establish whether any can command a majority, with previous attempts having failed to do so.
Regardless of the outcome of the vote, Mrs May will then meet with the 1922 Committee Chairman Sir Graham Brady to agree a timetable to elect her successor as party leader.
International Development Secretary Rory Stewart also plans to stand, as does the former work and pensions secretary Esther McVey.
Something odd is happening in the depths of Derbyshire. And it’s all to do with European elections no one thought for a minute we would be taking part in.
And it is the Conservative leader of the local council here that has become the unlikely spearhead of a remarkable political protest.
Cllr Barry Lewis says he is so fed up with Brexit and the ensuing chaos that he is ignoring the fact that there are elections to the European Parliament to be fought this week.
“The people of Derbyshire are fed up with Brexit and frankly so am I. I am not saying that people shouldn’t vote. They should. But we should also be sending a message to all those in Westminster that we have had enough.”
He and his team will not be printing off leaflets or knocking on doors or pounding the streets for a friendly face from which to secure a vote. There will be no campaigning, not even for his own party. Cllr Lewis is flatly refusing.
He lives and works in a county that opted for Brexit and says his stance on the European elections is in line with the people he serves.
“This is us standing in solidarity with our residents who believe that we should have left the European Union and the fact that we haven’t is a scandal.”
Over the weekend, Theresa May promised a “new, bold offer to MP’s across the House of Commons” and an “improved package of measures” when her Withdrawal Agreement Bill comes back for another vote. But away from Westminster in county’s like Derbyshire the damage has already been done.
Levels of cynicism are sky rocketing while faith in politics is in free-fall. Talk to ordinary people about Brexit, politicians, even policy and you get laughed at.
When asked if she’s looking forward to the European election, Fiona Bath, a cleaner from Matlock, shouts: “Don’t talk to me about elections. Who are we meant to vote for? The Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems? We don’t have any decent political parties and we don’t have a democracy anymore.”
Fiona voted for Brexit and she’s upset she hasn’t got it.
“I don’t know who I’m going to vote for in these euro elections. Is there any point,” she asks.
The lady making tea behind the counter, when asked for her views, turns and runs towards the kitchen. “I’m sick and tired of Brexit,” she says.
Another lady sighs and shrugs her shoulders.
“I will vote, of course I will, but I don’t know who for and I suspect it’s futile anyway,” she says.
Here, there seems to be a crisis in the Conservative grassroots. A sense of shame at the way the senior figures in the party have handled Brexit.
And that is certainly the case a few miles down the road, where Mid-Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham is holding a drop-in session for constituents.
There’s a lot of talk about why Brexit hasn’t been delivered and she is under pressure to explain. But what’s interesting about this conversation is how stark and honest the MP is about her own party leader.
“I think there is no doubt she Theresa May has to go and go very soon,” says Ms Latham, who voted for Brexit.
It is not every day that an MP openly says this kind of thing. It is a rare moment.
“History is being written, just not the history I would have wanted,” she adds.
Sitting in the gathering is Colin McBride, a retired engineer who has voted Conservative all his life. “You won’t catch me voting Conservative. The way Theresa May has handled this is disgusting. It is undemocratic, it’s a scandal, it’s wrong.”
He says he’s leaning towards Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party, and recent polls show he is not along.
Afterwards I asked Pauline Latham if she is worried about her seat, in which she currently enjoys a health majority.
“I am worried. But I fear that the damage is too great more broadly. I fear that we may be about to witness the demise of the Conservative party and that will be a great shame, but not entirely surprising given everything that’s happened.”
Strong words, but in these these divided, fractured times, nothing is a surprise anymore.
Knife crime and gang culture has left a quarter of young people feeling unsafe where they live, according to research given exclusively to Sky News.
One in four 16 to 25-year-olds surveyed by the Prince’s Trust said they feel increasingly unsafe because of the rise in youth violence, and that figure is closer to a third in London.
Two in five young people said that news about rising violent crime makes them worry for their safety, but nearly half said it misrepresents them and their friends.
The trust, which supports young people to improve their lives and fulfil their potential, is now stepping up its efforts to target the underlying issues, following calls from Prince Charles, the trust’s founder, and Prince Harry to find solutions.
In December Prince Charles and Prince Harry hosted a knife crime summit at Clarence House. At the event Prince Charles said: “There must be better ways if we’re going to prevent all these appalling disasters and tragedies happening to so many people’s families. This is a thing that seems unacceptable frankly.”
The research, based on an online survey of 2,162 young people from across the UK, also found that more than two-thirds think people are reacting to what is happening in their home life, with 45% claiming there are not enough alternative activities available.
When asked what could help reduce levels of youth violence, 71% said stable employment opportunities, along with more positive role models and more education on the consequences.
Sky News spoke to Tyrone Kanodereka, Joseph Brennan and Keelan Johnson, all 18 years old, who have just completed the trust’s Team programme, a 12-week intensive course that helps to guide them into employment or back into education.
Talking about why young people are drawn to gangs, Tyrone said: “We’re not being supported in what we actually want to do and sometimes that’s the reason why teenagers aren’t sure of their future. If you’re in that sort of lifestyle, you always have to look behind you, always have to say ‘I need to do something quickly or otherwise I might actually lose my life’.”
Joseph said: “People I used to hang around with growing up, you know were the kind of people who carry knives, or they had friends or family members who’ve been stabbed or who were in gangs. If they’d found another outlet for feeling like they had status, feeling like they were important or feeling like they had something to do to fill their time, to make money, to make a contribution, to feel like they’re actually a part of the world around them, then they wouldn’t have gone towards that.”
Keelan believes that many are drawn by the idea of easy money.
“They see a 9 to 5 job and think what’s the point in doing that when I could make a certain amount of money in a quick amount of time. You get a lot of money from selling drugs and stuff like that so it seems like the better option, but then in the long-term it’s not… it’s not the better option.”
Four years ago Gideon Buabeng was stabbed 14 times in one attack, just as he was trying to get his life back on track. He now works with the Prince’s Trust and mentors young gang members.
He said: “We are the future and we’re living in a day and age that no one has experienced before so you know we need to be finding out what’s really happening in young people’s minds.
“The fact that the Prince’s Trust are doubling their efforts and they want to look into it is great, it’s needed for the survival of young people.”
The trust is now increasing its work in cities including Birmingham, Manchester and London. It includes more employment programmes, a focus on activities including music, football and boxing classes to improve confidence, a new partnership with the Metropolitan Police in London, and increasing their work with children between the ages of 11 and 19 to help identify sooner those at risk of being impacted by, or getting involved in, serious violence.
Hundreds of children with autism or a learning disability are admitted to mental health hospitals where they can suffer “nightmare” failures of care, the children’s commissioner for England has found.
Anne Longfield found many children are admitted unnecessarily and go on to spend years in institutions as part of a system that is letting them down.
Her report also found “shocking evidence of poor and restrictive practices”, including sedation, segregation and the use of physical restraint.
The report concludes: “This research has shown that too many children are admitted to hospital unnecessarily and spending months and years of their childhood in institutions when they do not need to be there.”
Ms Longfield’s report comes at the start of a week that will see a focus on the treatment of those with autism or learning disabilities.
On Tuesday, the Care Quality Commission is expected to publish its own highly critical review of the sector, which will make recommendations to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
These will include closer scrutiny of care by those commissioning it, and reviewing the way the CQC itself inspects learning disability and autism units.
The CQC review follows the exposure of shocking failures of care.
Last October, Sky News revealed that 40 people with a learning disability or autism have died while admitted to secure treatment units since 2015 – and told the story of a man who has spent 19 years in one unit.
The government and the NHS has missed its own target of cutting the number of people receiving in-patient care by up to 50% by March, and has now reduced the ambition to a 35% reduction and shifted the deadline back five years.
The children’s commissioner’s report states: “Despite report after report and successive government programmes to address this problem, the number of children in hospital remains unacceptably high.”
The report says 250 children with a learning disability or autism were identified in a mental health hospital in England in February 2019, compared to 110 in March 2015.
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Ms Longfield said: “I will never forget the stories I heard from mums and dads at a meeting I arranged for parents with children in these units and their tears of frustration and anger.
“Some of them have a child who has been locked away in a series of rooms for months.
“Others have to listen as they are told by institutions that their child has had to be restrained or forcibly injected with sedatives. They feel powerless and, frankly, at their wits end as to what to do.
“A national strategy is needed to address the values and culture of the wider system across the NHS, education and local government so that a failure to provide earlier help is unacceptable, and admission to hospital or a residential special school is no longer seen as almost inevitable for some children.”
A government spokeswoman said: “We are determined to reduce the number of autistic people or people with learning disabilities in mental health hospitals – significant investment in community support has already led to a 22% reduction since March 2015.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children have made a rare public appearance to visit their mothers “Back to Nature” garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.
William and Kate took Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to see the garden co-designed by Kate, before the show opens to the public tomorrow.
In pictures taken by the photographer Matt Porteous, Charlotte and Louis are seen playing on a rope knot swing, while in another George and Charlotte are dipping their toes in a water feature that runs through the centre of the display.
Prince Louis, who turned one last month, is also seen running towards the camera watched by dad William, and looking at stones with his mum Kate.
The candid and relaxed pictures show the Duke and Duchess to be doting parents, having fun with their three children as they explore the garden together.
It is rare to see them all together as a family of five, with William and Kate incredibly protective of their children’s privacy.
But Kate wanted to show George, Charlotte and Louis the display after they helped her gather sticks, twigs, moss and leaves to decorate the garden. A den was made using hazel sticks collected by the family.
The Duchess created the garden with landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White of Davies White Landscape Architects.
They started working on the plans for the woodland wilderness in Autumn last year, with the aim of highlighting the benefits the natural world can have on mental and physical well-being.
It also ties in with Kate’s work around early childhood development.
The Duchess told Monty Don in an interview for the BBC: “I really feel that nature and being interactive outdoors has huge benefits on our physical and mental wellbeing, particularly for young children. I really hope that this woodland that we have created really inspires families, kids and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors, and spend quality time together.”
The build at Chelsea started four weeks ago, with some parts of the garden constructed off-site, including the 9-tonne tree house, which is inspired by a bird or animal nest, built in Bristol before being moved to London.
Speaking at a press preview on Sunday Adam White said: “Before we even started doing drawings, it was like what are our memories of being outdoors.
“So hopefully when people visit, you’ll find your inner child, when you walk through you’ll go ‘I remember building dens when I was little, or streams, I love pooh sticks, or campfire, marshmallows on a campfire’.
“We’re hoping people will remember the importance and feel good factor of time outdoors”.
Joint designer Andree Davies added: “What we wanted was a sort of journey through this space, so you get a series of sort of unfolding little views as you come through.
“So when you enter you know we wanted it to be quite enclosed so you feel like you’re stepping into a woodland straightaway the minute you come in, and the next thing you come to is a waterfall.
“As a generation we spend a lot of time, children in particular, indoors at the moment looking at screens and we know intuitively that it’s good for us to be outdoors in nature, but we’ve sort of forgotten to do it.”
Model railway club members have been left “overwhelmed” after people donated more than £30,000 from around the world when their collections were trashed by vandals.
Market Deeping Model Railway Club in Lincolnshire found its exhibition completely destroyed as members arrived to open up ahead of the first day of their annual Stamford Show.
The club’s members had spent hours painstakingly setting up at Welland Academy but had to cancel the weekend’s events after the scale of the destruction was realised.
In the hours afterwards, they set up a JustGiving page in the hope of raising £500 to help recoup some of the costs.
They have so far raised more than £34,000.
Club chairman Peter Davies told Sky News: “We are totally overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit, act and finance.
“It means an enormous amount to us. It will enable us to do things we had only dreamed of doing – quite what, we don’t know yet.”
He said the club hasn’t fully comprehended the financial impact of the damage, but knows one piece was worth more than £8,000.
The club has received worldwide support from fellow model train enthusiasts, including an email from a woman in Washington DC who said she was relieved her train-loving father wasn’t alive to see the devastation caused.
Mr Davies said he’d also received messages from people in Brazil, New York, New Zealand and from clubs closer to home.
Mr Davies, a retired teacher, said he had never seen anything like the vandalism that was carried out before.
He said: “It was heart-rending and disturbing. We had a lot of very upset people.”
As well as his club, which has 43 members, he said traders and other club members had been affected, and believed about 100 people were impacted in total.
One trader, who specialises in white metal models of people and scenes, had their entire display upended and Mr Davies said the owner had been “totally distraught”.
One of Mr Davies’ layouts was among those damaged, and he said it took him five years to put together.
But he said it didn’t compare to the 25 years of work one of his fellow club members had put into another layout.
He compared the damage to someone finding their home broken into and destroyed.
Another hall in the school had been set up but was left untouched. However, food left in the kitchen for the Stamford Show was also damaged leaving them with no choice but to cancel all the events.
In a post on the fundraising page, club secretary Brian Norris said: “We have held our annual show in Stamford for the last 12 years. Months of planning goes into the show and years of work goes into building the layout.
“Imagine our horror and grief when we were greeted by this scene of absolute devastation on the morning of 18 May 2019.
“Some of the models on display are irreplaceable and whilst money cannot possibly replace the hours of painstaking effort that has been so wantonly destroyed, we would ask that you make a donation, no matter how small, to help us get back on our feet.”
Lincolnshire Police said four youths had been arrested and subsequently released on conditional bail pending investigation.
In a statement, it said: “About 0350 today (Saturday) we were alerted by a local resident that noises had been heard coming from Queen Eleanor School in Stamford and a short time later whilst we were on our way to the call, the alarm at the school activated.
“On arrival at the school we arrested four youths, who were on the premises, for burglary and criminal damage and they are in custody at Grantham.
“We are continuing our investigation and confirm damage was done to model railway exhibits which had been set up in the school for a display today.”
Thousands of passengers are stranded at Manchester Airport after dozens of flights were cancelled and delayed due to fuel supply problems.
There have been at least 69 cancellations – 37 arrivals and 32 departures – since the issue started on Sunday afternoon, with a number of other flights hit by delays.
With more cancellations and delays listed for well into the early hours, the disruption is set to continue on Monday.
An airport spokesman told Sky News: “Due to a power issue this afternoon there is currently an issue with the fuel supply at the airport.
“Engineers are currently on site to fix the issue and we are working with airlines to try and minimise the impact.”
Passengers are being referred to their specific airline for further updates and information about their flights.
Families forced to use food banks in the UK are being denied a fundamental human right, according to a new report.
With demand for food aid continuing to rise, Human Rights Watch, a New York-based NGO, claims the UK government is failing to meet its duty under international law to ensure the right to adequate food.
Its report – Nothing Left In The Cupboards: Austerity, Welfare Cuts, And The Right To Food In The UK – is based on research in three deprived areas of England, but the group says the government’s human rights responsibilities extend to all parts of the UK.
Kartik Raj, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “The way the UK government has handled its reduction in welfare spending has left parents unable to feed their children in the fifth-largest economy in the world.
“The UK government should ensure everyone’s right to food rather than expecting charities to step in and fill the gap.”
The report says the government should announce publicly that it accepts the right to food as a basic human right and should pay compensation to those who cannot get enough to eat.
It calls for changes to the benefits system, including the way Universal Credit is paid, and says the government and MPs should “develop a statutory requirement to measure and monitor food insecurity, with periodic reporting to parliament”.
Figures released last month by The Trussell Trust, which operates the biggest network of food banks in the UK, showed it gave out 1.6m emergency food parcels last year, with more than half a million of which were for children.
The Goodwin Pantry in Hull was one of the food aid centres visited by Human Rights Watch researchers.
It opened two years ago and distributes surplus supermarket food to around 300 low income members who pay £3 for a basket of 10 or more items.
One smartly-dressed mother in her 20s, with a baby in a push chair, burst into tears as she explained how maternity leave and money owed to her husband had forced her to rely on food aid from the charity.
Asking to remain anonymous, she said she had a mortgage and a car and both her and her husband have jobs – in her words, “we have done everything right” – but the money coming into the household was not enough to live on.
The pantry’s manager, Mike Scott, said it alarmed him that demand for the centre’s food aid keeps growing, including from people in work.
“Every week we’re seeing more people coming to join,” he said.
“We hear stories of people who can’t afford to feed themselves, can’t afford to feed their children.”
A government statement in response to the report did not address the human rights claims, but defended welfare policy.
“It’s misleading to present these findings as representative of England as a whole,” said a spokesperson.
“We’re helping parents to move into work to give families the best opportunity to move out of poverty.”