The former minister has issued an apology for his statement about the existence of ‘no-go areas’ in UK cities during a live political event.

Estimated read time 9 min read

Some regions of London and Birmingham are labeled as “no-go areas.” During an interview on the News Agents podcast, he mentioned:

I regret using the phrase “no-go areas” as it has connotations that I did not fully consider. I am frustrated with myself for unintentionally allowing my message to be misunderstood.

I wanted to express that the type of remarks that Lee Anderson and others have been making in the past few days and weeks, can be influenced by discussions and beliefs held by individuals in various cities across the UK. This can lead to a populist approach.

I brought up Tower Hamlets and Birmingham, where a small number of individuals severely misinterpret and exploit their beliefs, whether it be through Islamic, black, white, or other types of gangs. However, we cannot condemn an entire community based on the actions of a reckless and intimidating minority. There may be certain areas that make some people uneasy, but this is different from labeling them as no-go zones in the larger context. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

Paul Scully.

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Last week, it was mentioned that the individual was dismissed due to an investigation into claims of wrongdoing. Staunton clarified that the Post Office CEO, Nick Read, is the one under scrutiny. (Refer to 2:58pm update.)

According to ITV journalist Robert Peston, the Department for Business and Trade has issued a reply. The response states:

The department was informed of the investigation of Nick Read, though we have not had access to the 80-page report mentioned by Henry Staunton and cannot confirm its contents.

The Secretary of State was explicit in her address to the House of Commons on February 19th, stating that she no longer had faith in Mr. Staunton due to his interference with an investigation into his actions and his circumvention of the proper procedures for appointing a new board director.

The issues at hand, including doubts about his control of the Post Office as shown by his discredited newspaper interview and shifting story, were the reasons behind his dismissal. The department will wait for the results of the investigation before making any further decisions.

Despite government officials claiming that they are adequately providing funds for housing and local councils, Scotland has still reached record levels.

Prior to the Scottish budget vote, it was revealed through official data that Scottish councils had failed to comply with their legal obligations to provide emergency housing on nearly 1,600 occasions from May to September of the previous year. This resulted in a growing number of children, 9,860 on September 30, 2023, and households, 15,625, living in temporary or emergency accommodation, which was a record high.

Alison Watson, the leader of Shelter Scotland, stated that the Scottish National party and Scottish Greens government pushed for progressive measures, claiming Scotland has the strongest protection of housing rights in the UK. However, she also acknowledged that their record of properly funding these policies has been inconsistent.

The Scottish government’s plans for addressing housing and homelessness are not successful, and any effort to claim otherwise seems like an attempt to deceive the Scottish citizens.

It is not credible to declare a commitment to combat poverty while overseeing a surge in homelessness, consistently neglecting housing in budget decisions, and continuing with a plan that recent data demonstrates is ineffective.

Shelter highlighted a decrease of 27% in funding for the affordable housing supply program, as well as a 5% reduction in spending for housing support and homelessness. They also noted that local council funding experienced cuts in real terms. This raises validity concerns about the government’s statement that their £90 million discretionary housing payments are successful.

The deputy first minister, Shona Robison, informed MSPs that the financial difficulties were made worse by the UK government’s housing budget cuts. She called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to allocate more funds towards housing and capital investments in the upcoming UK budget.

According to her, ministers have established a new housing investment taskforce to aid in achieving the target of constructing 110,000 additional low-cost homes by 2032. She emphasized that this remains a top priority, as she informed MSPs.

If current members have different priorities and desire increased investment in a specific area, I urge them to be honest with the people of Scotland and specify which areas they would reduce funding for in order to make it possible.

[I] cannot stress enough the danger to Scotland’s public finances from the decisions of the UK government at the spring budget next week.

According to a report from HuffPost UK’s Kevin Schofield, members of the Labour party have been considering the potential outcomes of Nigel Farage becoming leader of the Conservative party. A source within the party states, “When it comes to Farage, you have to be ready for anything.”

Kemi Badenoch terminated his contract as Post Office chair, David Neal started speaking to the home affairs committed about being dismissed as the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration.

These are the key points from the evidence he presented.

Based on my assessment, I believe there is still room for improvement in the operations of Border Force, as it is one of the areas we evaluate. Efforts should be made to reach its full potential.

The implementation of border security and the role of Border Force within it still has a long journey ahead.

I was fired for performing my duties. I believe my termination was due to adhering to the legal requirements and violating a clause in my employment agreement, which I find unfortunate.

After he was fired, the Home Office had 15 unreleased reports from him. Neal had begun to share pieces of their discoveries with the media, and the Home Office justified his dismissal by claiming he had lied to the Daily Mail about high-risk private jet passengers not undergoing security screenings.

The news of my termination was made public before I had the opportunity to inform my capable team of 30 government employees, which is incredibly unacceptable. This displays poor leadership.

I have come to understand that both the Home Office and the ministers are in favor of me being reappointed and extended for my role. Additionally, the home secretary has shown support for my reappointment.

The reappointment procedure was forwarded to the Cabinet Office and then passed on to No 10, where it was ultimately rejected. I am unsure of the reason behind No 10’s rejection.

Neal was supposed to finish his position in March since he was not granted a renewal for another term. However, he was dismissed abruptly last week following the publication of the Mail article.

  • Neal stated that James Cleverly, the home secretary, was incorrect in his recent statement to the committee that Neal could have reapplied for a second term. Neal clarified, “If given the opportunity to reapply, I would have joyfully accepted.”

Discrimination against Islam and people of color. Ben Quinn wrote the article.

This updated examination of the quantity of female Members of Parliament.

According to their data, 564 women have been elected to the Commons in the 106 years since they gained the right to run for office. The most recent woman to be elected is Gen Kitchen, who is now the Labour MP for Wellingborough. However, this number is still less than the total of 650 MPs currently in the Commons.

The evidence suggests that progress is being made at a faster pace. In 1982, Harriet Harman became the 114th ever female MP. It was not until the 2005 election that the halfway mark to the current total of 282 female MPs was reached.

According to the library’s report, it was not until December 2016 that the total number of female MPs reached the same amount as male MPs in the Commons at that time.

Caroline Johnson was the winner of the Sleaford and North Hykeham byelection and her victory put her at number 455, which was equal to the number of male MPs in the Commons at that time.

The current ratio of female to male Members of Parliament (MPs) is 226 to 650, the largest number yet. Following the 2019 national election, this number was 220, but due to the passing, resignation, or removal of six female MPs and the election of 12 others through byelections, the number has increased.

In 1919, Nancy Astor became known as the first female MP. However, it should be noted that the year prior, Constance Markievicz won a seat in Dublin’s general election. She represented Sinn Féin but did not take the seat.

UPDATE: A link to an interactive graphic from the Pudding has been shared by a reader. The graphic effectively depicts the gradual increase in the number of women in the Commons. It may take some time to load, but there is a wealth of information once it does.

There are certain areas in London and Birmingham that are considered “no-go” zones. During an interview with the News Agents podcast, he mentioned this.

I regret using the term “no-go areas” because it carries unintended meanings that I had not fully considered. I am disappointed in myself for inadvertently causing confusion with my message.

I was attempting to convey that the comments made by Lee Anderson and others in the past few days and weeks, which have a populist tone, are often influenced by conversations and perceptions in cities across the UK.

In Tower Hamlets and Birmingham, there are small groups of people who misrepresent and exploit their Islamic beliefs. This also happens with black and white gangs. Unfortunately, some people judge the entire community based on the actions of these reckless and intimidating individuals. This can make certain areas uncomfortable for some, but it does not mean they are completely inaccessible. I apologize for any misunderstandings caused by my previous statements.

At 2:58pm, I received a message from Emilio Casalicchio at Politico.


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