Category Archives: Press Releases

UK, US & France Secure UN Sanctions Against Salah Badi

FCO statement on United Nations Sanctions Committee decision to sanction militia leader Salah Badi

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

FCO statement on United Nations Sanctions Committee decision to sanction militia leader Salah Badi.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said:

The UK – along with our US & French partners – has secured United Nations Security Council agreement to sanction Salah Badi under the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 2213 (2015). We will continue to hold to account those seeking to undermine stability and security in Libya.

Salah Badi is the senior commander of the Al Somood Brigade, a militia opposed to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord. He has worked consistently to undermine a political solution in Libya. In August and September 2018, Salah Badi played a leading role in heavy clashes in Tripoli in which at least 120 people were killed, most of whom were civilians.

This designation will subject Salah Badi to a travel ban and asset freeze, thereby sending a clear message from the international community that acts of violence against the Libyan people will not be tolerated. The UK will not allow those seeking to obstruct peace and stability in Libya to act with impunity.

Government Supports Charities To Go Digital

Government announces £1 million funding to support programmes helping charities to improve their digital skills

Tech Meeting

Tech Meeting

  • £1 million to expand training programmes for charities to improve digital skills
  • Fund follows a commitment in the Civil Society Strategy to support charities to build their digital confidence
  • Training to enable charities to develop an understanding of how technology can make it easier for them to achieve their goals

Charities across England will have the opportunity to improve their digital skills through a new £1 million digital training fund for the sector, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright announced today.

The Digital Leadership Fund will give industry leaders’ free access to training or heavily subsidised courses to boost their digital skills and develop a wider understanding of how technology can help them fulfil their mission.

Training available for charity bosses will include learning how to maximise online fundraising tools, build a social media presence or modernise their operational delivery by embedding updated IT systems.

Training may also include learning how to harness emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to achieve their charitable objectives.

The fund supports the government’s recently published Civil Society Strategy, which outlined plans to help charities build their digital capabilities to benefit service-users and wider society.

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

We want charitable organisations to thrive in the digital age and are committed to helping them get the most out of technology, which can act as an enormous force for good.

Through this programme, charity leaders will have more opportunities to enhance skills and boost employee confidence while creating a greater and more positive impact on people and their communities.

This programme is in addition to the £400,000 Digital Inclusion Fund which was launched in August to help older and disabled people acquire digital skills. Projects are expected to include the teaching of basic skills such as booking GP appointments online, using apps to communicate with friends and family, and making the most of search engines.

It will also harness the power of tech to get people online and support the Digital Strategy, which sets out Government’s ambition to create a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.

The Digital Leadership Fund is to organisations that are currently providing training to improve charities’ digital skills.

Applications close on Friday December 7th.

Justice Minister Chairs Roundtable On Media Access To Courts

Newspapers, broadcasters and online platforms will today discuss open justice and access to courts at a roundtable hosted by Justice Minister Lucy Frazer

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Justice

  • Discussion on how to maintain and enhance media access to courts
  • 18 media representatives due to attend
  • Part of ongoing engagement between the MoJ, HMCTS and the media

The invitation was extended by the government as part of its ongoing court and tribunal reform programme, which will allow people more efficient access to justice.

The roundtable, to be held at the Ministry of Justice this afternoon (Thursday, 15 November), seeks to invite views and suggestions on how to maintain and enhance media access as modernisation continues.

Justice Minister, Lucy Frazer, said:

Open justice is a fundamental part of our legal system and impartial court reporting is crucial in maintaining public confidence.

As we continue to reform our courts and tribunals, it is important that we work with the media to ensure access is maintained and, where possible, enhanced. This roundtable is an opportunity to do just that and I’m grateful to all those sharing their views with me.

Legal Policy and Regulatory Affairs Director, News Media Association, Santha Rasaiah said:

Open Justice and court reporting cannot be compromised by Court Reform. The NMA therefore warmly welcome the minister’s initiative and the opportunity for local, regional and national news media to discuss direct the all important practicalities of maintaining media access and contemporaneous coverage.

The roundtable will be attended by representatives of a range of large and small news organisations from across England and Wales, including editors and reporters, to help support and promote the principle of open justice.

This is part of ongoing engagement between the Ministry of Justice, HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) and the media to protect and enhance court access for journalists. It follows updated media guidance developed by a working group of media, MoJ and HMCTS representatives that was issued to all courts and tribunal staff last month.

This group is now being reshaped to consider how the reform programme can support and enhance media access as part of our wider commitment to open justice.

Notes to Editors
  1. Today’s roundtable is due to be attended by the representatives from the following media: Press Association; ITN; BBC; Evening Standard; News Media Association; Huffpost UK; Johnston Press; Express and Star (Wolverhampton); Coventry Evening Telegraph; News UK; Associated Newspapers; The Sun; Guardian Media Group; Manchester Evening News; Newsquest; Daily Telegraph; Buzzfeed; Society of Editors.
  2. The Government is investing £1 billion in reforming and modernising courts and tribunals. We want to ensure that those who come into contact with the justice system not only have a fair system but that the process is as simple and straightforward as possible:
  • Whether you have committed a minor motoring offence so that you can make your initial plea online. Some 1500 pleas are dealt with online every week. Court staff and the police automatically receive the completed online plea form as soon as the defendant has submitted it, reducing delays.
  • If you are a small business and you have a claim against a supplier you can make a small money claim online — with over 3,000 claims issued in the first month, cases moving through more quickly, and user satisfaction over 80% during the pre-launch pilot.
  • Or you are getting a divorce you can apply for it online – this process has cut errors in application forms from 40% to less than 1%, saving people time and trouble during a traumatic time.
  • Or your parent has died you can apply for probate online -which has also cut errors, sped up the process, and has a satisfaction rate of more than 90%.

Domestic Abuser To Spend More Time Behind Bars

Andrew Parkin has sentence increased to 12 years

Royal Courts of Justice

Royal Courts of Justice

A man who inflicted years of abuse on his partner will spend longer in prison after Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred his sentence to the Court of Appeal for being too low.

Andrew Parkin, 53, subjected his then partner, and mother of his 3 children to years of controlling and coercive behaviour. Over that period he demanded to know where she was at all times, required her to answer his numerous calls immediately, and visited family members if he couldn’t find her. This behaviour continued even when the relationship had ended and he had moved out to live with his new girlfriend.

This behaviour culminated in him raping his victim on 3 occasions in August 2017.

Parkin was originally sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court in September where he received 7 years imprisonment for 3 counts of rape and one count of controlling and coercive behaviour. The Court of Appeal has quashed the original sentence and increased it to 12 years in prison.

Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General said:

Andrew Parkin subjected his victim to years of abuse; he controlled her and eventually raped her in her own home where she should have felt safe. This abuse will have had a devastating impact on the victim and it is only right the Court has seen fit to increase his prison term.

Keep An Eye Out For Floating Pennywort This Winter

We’re asking river-users to report any new outbreaks of the invasive plant

Removing floating pennywort from the River wey in Surrey in 2017

Removing floating pennywort from the River wey in Surrey in 2017

Pennywort thrives in the summer, but the Environment Agency is urging rivers users to not be complacent about reporting new outbreaks of this invasive and destructive plant over the winter months.

In July, the Environment Agency reported more than 63 tonnes had been removed from the River Thames earlier in the year – a great result thanks to the co-operation of partners and key members of the community.

However, now that winter is fast approaching and fewer people are out on the river, the message for those who continue to brave the cold is to remain alert and help nip fresh outbreaks in the bud.

Daryl Buck, from the Environment Agency, said:

The Environment Agency and our local partners have been working hard to manage and monitor the spread of Floating Pennywort in 2018 and because of this good work we have had to remove significantly less of it than in 2017. This reduced growth shows that we are starting to get the spread of this invasive plant under control, but we are not getting complacent and we know that, with everyone’s help, we will need to continue our efforts for several years to come.

We would like to thank Thames river-users who have reported fresh sightings to us so far. However, winter means fewer people are on the river keeping an eye out. We are urging riverside owners, anglers, boaters, canoeists – anyone who still enjoys the river in the colder months – to continue being vigilant and report any new growth to us.

Together with local partners the Environment Agency actively monitors more than 200km of the River Thames and its tributaries. The overall aim is to eradicate floating pennywort from the Thames. Large blooms of the plant affect the oxygen content of rivers, reduce biodiversity, can damage important habitats and potentially increase flood-risk.

Eradication of floating pennywort can only be achieved with the continued co-operation of the river community. Vigilance over the winter months will ultimately help to reduce the spread over the summer when plants can grow up to 20cm a day in the warmer temperatures.

Ian Penny, secretary of a local angling club, said:

The efforts of the Environment Agency in removing floating pennywort from the Abbey river has really paid off and currently this invasive species has not returned in anything like the quantity previously experienced.

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