Category Archives: UK

Decontamination Work Complete At Maltings Site In Salisbury

Today, we can confirm that the decontamination efforts at the Maltings site in Salisbury are complete

The Maltings, Salisbury

The Maltings, Salisbury

This follows on-going clean-up operations to remove any potential residual contamination following the nerve agent attack on 4 March 2018.

The site was visited by specialist teams and any items that may have harboured residual amounts of the agent were removed. All waste has been removed and will be disposed of safely.

A Defra spokesperson said: “Following extensive clean-up operations in Salisbury to remove any potential residual contamination resulting from the nerve agent attack on 4 March, decontamination work is now complete at the Maltings.

“The site will now be handed back to Wiltshire Council, who will decide when it is appropriate to release it back into public use.”

PM Speech At High Performing Teachers’ Reception

The Prime Minister gave this speech at the High Performing Teachers’ Reception at Downing Street

10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street

Good evening everyone and welcome to Downing Street.

We have teachers here from across the country, including from a school in Wimbledon Park where I used to be a governor!

One of the many wonderful things about living here and working here at No 10 is that I can draw inspiration from the countless great figures who have passed through these rooms over many years.

I was asked earlier what it feels like to feel the history of this place when you are sitting in the Cabinet Room – so many great decisions have been made here, and it has seen so many great people.

But few can claim to have shaped and influenced as many lives as the incredible people here this evening.

You educate. You inspire. You unlock the potential of young minds, turn their aspirations into reality, you nurture the innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

I was making a speech earlier today about science and the importance of nurturing innovation and creativity among our young people for the future. So teachers do a remarkable job, and you represent the best of the best. Indeed, we have among us Andria Zafirakou, who I am delighted to welcome back to Downing Street today, who has been named as the world’s best, the first ever British winner of the Global Teacher Prize.

But amazing though it is, we are not here today just to celebrate Andria’s achievement. We are here to celebrate all of you, and all of your colleagues ups and down the country who do such vital work day-in, day-out.

You are completely committed to giving every child the education that is right for them.

And Damian and I are absolutely committed to helping you make that happen. You can see that from what we have achieved so far and what we are doing next.

Compared with 2010, nearly two million more children are being taught in schools that are good or outstanding. We have raised teacher numbers to record levels. We are looking at ways of reducing your workload by stripping out unnecessary bureaucracy. We are working with the profession on a new strategy to drive recruitment and boost retention.

And we are doing all of this because this is a government that supports and values teachers. Because we know that the success of every young person, in whatever they go on to do in life, is shaped by the education they receive at school.

I was just asked about what education means to me. I said what I say to young people is education is the key to unlock the door to your future, and it is so important.

Although I have to say on my first day at school I did not perhaps view it in quite the same way. Because on my very first day at primary school, the headmistress had to literally carry me, kicking and screaming, into the classroom.

I think at the time she said “look what a silly girl we have here”.

Fortunately, it did not take long for me to realise and appreciate both the power of education and the impact that good teachers have on so many young lives.

That’s something that stayed with me in my time as a councillor, when I was chairman of the education authority in Merton. It stayed with me as a new MP, when the very first speech I gave was about education, and in my first frontbench job, was as shadow schools minister and then as shadow education secretary.

And it is something that drives me today as Prime Minister.

When I stood on the steps outside this house almost two years ago, I talked about my desire to tackle the burning injustices facing our country today.

And education is the key to doing so, and that means teachers like you are the key to making Britain the great meritocracy it can and should be.

The generations of famous figures who have graced this room throughout history owe their successes to the teachers who inspired and educated them. Teachers just like you.

So I want to thank you, and thank all teachers, for everything you have already done to nurture the next generation.

And let me say, once again, how much I look forward to working with you so that every child in every corner of this country has the best possible start in life.”

Luxury Car Dealer Banned After Failing To Keep Accounting Records

A car dealer who bought and sold luxury cars has been banned from running companies for 13 years after he failed to maintain adequate accounting records

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

Zaid Fares Al-Safee, 29, from West London, was a registered director of Exotic Global Limited, a company that sold new cars and light motor vehicles.

The company was first incorporated in 2013 but after almost two years of trading, in June 2015 Exotic Global Limited was placed into Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) and an insolvency practitioner was appointed.

However, Zaid Fares Al-Safee’s failed to deliver Exotic Global Limited’s accounting records to the insolvency practitioner and this led to a report being submitted to the Secretary of State highlighting Zaid Fares Al-Safee’s lack of co-operation.

The Insolvency Service then carried out an in-depth investigation but the continued absence of accounting records prevented the government agency from being able to verify who had control of Exotic Global Limited’s affairs.

This included the income and expenditure of the company, including Zaid Fares Al-Safee’s remuneration, the acquisition or subsequent disposal of assets and the full nature of Exotic Global Limited’s trading activities.

Trading activities that were unexplained included the purchase and sale of 14 luxury vehicles in excess of £1.2 million, VAT assessments totalling £498,106.80, the expenditure of a £318k loan, as well as the purchase and sale of 45 vehicles totalling £354,553 and two personalised number plates totalling £40,023.

After a two-day trial, ICC Judge Jones in the High Court ordered on 14 March 2018 that Zaid Fares Al-Safee was to be disqualified for 13 years, banning him from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company without the permission of the court.

Ken Beasley, Official Receiver for the Insolvency Service, said:

“Maintaining and keeping adequate accounting records is a legal requirement for all companies. Failure to do so is serious misconduct and the length of Mr Zaid Fares Al-Safee’s disqualification reflects this.”

Foreign Secretary Arrives In Peru For First Visit Of A British Foreign Secretary In Over 50 Years

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spent the first of his five-day visit to Latin America in Peru today (19 May)

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

In the first visit of a British Foreign Secretary to Peru in over 50 years, Mr. Johnson joined Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and other high level Peruvian officials on a visit to Iquitos, located in the Amazon. The Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio accompanied Mr Johnson to an animal rescue centre to see animals rescued as part of crackdown on the illegal wildlife trade. The two foreign ministers also signed a treaty on the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications, facilitating greater exchange of people and opportunities for students from both the UK and Peru.

The Foreign Secretary invited Peru to become a partner at then London 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London taking place in October this year.

Speaking ahead of his visit Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:

I am delighted to be the first British Foreign Secretary to visit Peru in over 50 years. I look forward to meeting President Vizcarra to strengthen our relationship and discuss areas that we both care passionately about, such as protecting the biodiversity of the Amazon, as well as underlining the opportunities for British business in South America.

Peru is already taking important steps on tackling the illegal wildlife trade and I look forward to building on this work together at the summit in London in October this year.

The Foreign Secretary also visited a remote community on an island in the Amazon River to see first-hand the education challenges in Peru, where 34% of rural girls are illiterate and will also launch a UK-funded solar energy project that is providing energy for the school and its 140 pupils using British lithium battery technology.

The Foreign Secretary also travelled to Peru’s capital Lima, to visit the site of the Lima 2019 Pan American and ParaPan American Games, the world’s fourth largest sporting event in the world.

The UK is already providing Peru with technical support and knowledge sharing to help deliver the Pan Am and Para Pan American Games, the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics is widely recognised as an example of international best practice.

The UK will be providing £177 million for a Sustainable Infrastructure Programme, developed by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy) and delivered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to encourage further carbon reduction in Peru and three other Latin American countries.

During the visit the Foreign Secretary and President Vizcarra discussed how to build on the success of this partnership and make the UK’s world class expertise available to accelerate a much wider range of infrastructure projects in Peru.

EU (Withdrawal) Bill: Vital For UK Market And Respects Devolution

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill, currently before the UK Parliament, fully respects the UK’s devolution settlements

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Secretary David Mundell has responded to the report of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee on whether to provide a Legislative Consent Motion to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.

He said:

We have worked hard over the past year to secure the support of the Scottish Parliament and have put a considerable offer on the table that would see the vast majority of devolved powers automatically flow from the EU to Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

While it is disappointing that a majority of MSPs on the Committee recommended that the Scottish Parliament does not give the EU (Withdrawal) Bill legislative consent, the decision is ultimately for individual parliamentarians and we remain hopeful that they will back this important piece of legislation.

Mr Mundell said that he was grateful to the Committee for its time and contribution to the debate, and welcomed the Committee’s support for a number of changes the Government has made to the EUWB (including amendments that protect the Scotland Act 1998 from modification).

Through the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, the vast majority of EU powers in devolved areas will go straight from Brussels to Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff when we leave the EU. A small number of specific policy areas will be frozen while we design and implement new common arrangements. This will give essential certainty to businesses at the point we leave the EU and protect the vital UK common market.

Mr Mundell added:

We are clear our approach fully respects devolution, as the Welsh Government has confirmed. We still hope the Scottish Government will come on board, even at this late stage. Our door remains open.

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