Category Archives: Press Releases

Attorney General Appoints New Senior Treasury Counsel

Attorney General announces new appointments to Treasury Counsel

The Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP

The Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP

The Attorney General, Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox QC MP, has appointed 2 new members to his Senior Treasury Counsel.

Alison Morgan QC and William Emlyn Jones have been appointed for 3 years. Alison Morgan was appointed Junior Treasury Counsel in July 2012, while William Emlyn Jones was appointed as Junior Treasury Counsel in July 2014.

The Treasury Counsel prosecutes some of the most serious criminal cases in the country.

The title ‘Treasury Counsel’ derives from when the Crown Counsel was instructed by the Treasury Solicitor at the Central Criminal Court. That procedure changed in 1908 and since then the Director of Public Prosecutions has instructed the Permanent Counsel there.

Treasury Counsel is appointed by the Attorney General and is divided into 2 groups: Senior Treasury Counsel and Junior Treasury Counsel.

Cyber Innovation At The Forefront Of UK’s Approach To Modern Warfare

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has announced £22 million in funding for Army cyber operations centres

The Ministry of Defence will expand its commitment to cybersecurity with new Army cyber operations centres

The Ministry of Defence will expand its commitment to cybersecurity with new Army cyber operations centres

Speaking this evening at the NATO Cyber Defence Pledge Conference in London, Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt will address the need for the UK and NATO members to recognise offensive cyber as central to modern warfare. As the UK has already demonstrated against Daesh in the Middle East, it can be a vital tool to keep people in the UK and overseas safe from virtual and physical threats.

The military continues to develop its cyber capabilities as part of the £1.9 billion investment into the National Cyber Security Strategy, focused on boosting the UK’s cybersecurity. Recent UK innovations have included the creation of the National Cyber Security Centre which brings together government, intelligence agencies and the private sector into one organisation. The state-of-the-art Defence Cyber School, which marked its first anniversary in March this year, is also training the next generation of cyber experts.

The Defence Secretary will today expand that commitment, announcing £22 million in funding to stand up new Army cyber operations centres across the UK.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt will say:

We know all about the dangers. Whether the attacks come from Russia, China or North Korea. Whether they come from hacktivists, criminals or extremists. Whether its malware or fake news. Cyber can bring down our national infrastructure and undermine our democracy.

It’s time to pay more than lip service to cyber. We must convince our adversaries their advances simply aren’t worth the cost. Cyber enemies think they can act with impunity. We must show them they can’t. That we are ready to respond at a time and place of our choosing in any domain, not just the virtual world.

We need coherent cyber offense as well as defence. So today I can announce we will be investing £22m to create new cyber operations centres.

Putting the Army at the forefront of information warfare, the centres will draw together cyber capability from a range of sources – including both national intelligence and open source data – to give the Army the competitive edge across all environments.

The cyber centres will provide the Army with 24/7 information and analysis, dispel misinformation and give the UK Armed Forces and our allies the upper hand on emerging digital threats. The centres are likely to be used to support overseas operations, humanitarian missions, and efforts to protect UK digital communications on home soil.

The centres will work with existing Army capabilities, such as 77 Brigade – a modern and information-focused British Army unit – but will also have regular contact with joint and other national security organisations.

Major General Tom Copinger-Symes, General Officer Commanding Force Troops Command:

These new cyber centres will allow the Army and Defence to transform the way we use data, at speed, so that we can compete with our adversaries in a way fit for the 21st Century.

Combining artificial intelligence with our military analysts will help us better understand threats and exploit opportunities, in turn enabling us to get the truth out much more rapidly, quashing the noise of disinformation from our enemies.

While details on locations are yet to be confirmed, building in support of the centres is due to begin next year, with operations expected to commence in the early 2020s.

The MOD is embracing transformation at an ever-faster rate and investments in truly high-tech innovation, such as in the provision of cutting-edge cyber centres, that will develop the Armed Forces of the future.

International Day Of Biological Diversity

From species recovery to environmentally friendly farming techniques - how Natural England supports biodiversity in England

Natural England

Natural England

The United Nations International Day of Biological Diversity this year is encouraging everyone to consider the positive actions they can take to support ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health’.

There is overwhelming evidence that human activity is impacting on the decline in biodiversity, outlined within a recent review of the Earth’s biodiversity by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

At Natural England, we are working with people across society including land managers, ecologists, planners and developers to protect and enhance our rich variety of life. Their work supports the important goods and services our biodiverse ecosystems provide such as food, clean water and carbon storage, but also the provision of education, recreation and heritage, some of which form part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – all needed for good health and well-being.

This work has been given greater drive by the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan which we help us to focus on the continued conservation and recovery of species, and restoration and expansion of habitats. We have also been working hard to enhance and expand Sites of Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves, and support environmentally friendly farming techniques both now and following our departure from the EU.

Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper said:

Globally, and on our doorstep, we need to work together to halt the loss of animals, plants and ecosystems. Our planet’s unique web of life is absolutely critical for our future health and prosperity.

The good news is it is not too late. The 25-Year Environment Plan provides a blueprint for action, restoring habitats at a landscape scale to reverse species decline while providing solutions to some of the climate change challenges we face.

I’ve seen first-hand the enthusiasm farmers and landowners have for conserving and restoring the natural environment. My ambition at Natural England is to work with them, and others, to deliver this 25-year vision and achieve the change we, and our natural world, so urgently need.

Through the conservation of nature, landscape and environmental management, over recent years we have:

  • Helped farmers to successfully integrate the management of biodiversity and conservation of the environment into farm business through Catchment Sensitive Farming methods, Environmental Impact Assessments and the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, as well as through the restoration and creation of habitats such as woodlands and species-rich grasslands, and the protection of water, soil and air quality.
  • Increased public access to the natural environment through the England Coast PathChildren and Nature Programme and Nature Recovery Network which aims to create 50,000 hectares of new green space in cities and the countryside to help improve health and well-being.
  • Continued to ensure the notification of Sites of Special Scientific Interest to conserve the natural environment, and extend those existing to protect our most important areas of biodiversity and geodiversity. This included the new introduction of the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast SSSI to protect the coastal wildlife of the Tees Estuary and the introduction of SSSIs in Dorset and Halesowen to protect the fungi and grassland.
  • Continued to manage around two thirds of National Nature Reserves in England, vital to the conservation of biodiversity and home to some of the most important sites for wildlife and geology in England such as Woodwalton Fen.
  • Delivered restoration of over 4,000 hectares of rare lowland raised bog and associated habitats from funding from Defra and the EU’s LIFE+ programme such as Bolton Fell Moss.
  • Helped to protect marine biodiversity and a ‘blue belt’ of marine protected areas around England such as our most recent proposals to strengthen the protection for the Isles of Scilly home to over 8,000 pairs of 13 different seabird species and pre-consultation advice to Defra on proposed Marine Conservation Zones.
  • Saved 20 species from extinction and helped put more than 100 more species on the road to recovery in support of our ‘Back from the Brink’ partnership programme.
  • Created a new award winning approach to protect great crested newt populations and support sustainable development by both creating and restoring better and more joined up habitat ahead of development to increase health and resilience.

At Natural England we continue to invest in new initiatives, technologies and efficiencies to provide a more modern, streamlined service across our biodiversity work. This includes seeking new sources of investment in biodiversity such as through largescale partnership projects, and using new mechanisms such as net gain. This also includes working with partners and stakeholders to restore priority habitats and species through the ongoing species recovery programme, and co-designing how we meet the opportunities of the 25 Year Environment Plan.

Travel Agency Boss Banned Following Unexplained Company Payments

Director of Chatham-based travel agency banned for seven years after lack of accounts cannot explain thousands of pounds worth of company payments

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

ICharter Limited was incorporated in November 2014 as a travel agency for private clients, with offices in Chatham, Kent.

The company, however, entered into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation on 5 March 2018 after it could not pay debts of more than £127,000.

Insolvency Practitioners were appointed to wind-up the company and their report to the Insolvency Service triggered an investigation into the conduct of ICharter’s director, Helen Jacobs (32), from Chatham, Kent.

The investigation established that, just one year after the company was incorporated, from December 2015 Helen Jacobs failed to maintain ICharter’s books and records.

As a result, it has not been possible to determine whether various payments from the company’s account worth close to £400,000 were made in the normal course of business. This included £193,000 paid to Helen Jacobs’ account and more than £186,000 in debit card transactions.

On 16 April 2019 the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Helen Jacobs, of Chatham, Kent for a period of seven years. Effective from 7 May 2019, she is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Martin Gitner, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations at the Insolvency Service, said:

Helen Jacobs had a vast amount of experience in the travel industry and should have know that directors have a duty to maintain and preserve a record of financial transactions.

This seven-year ban should reinforce to company directors the importance of maintaining accurate accounts.

Notes to Editors

Helen Jacobs resides in Chatham and her date of birth is January 1987.

ICharter Limited (Company Reg. no. 09318051).

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

Housing Possession Advice Service To Be Re-Examined

Emergency face-to-face advice for those facing housing repossession will come under scrutiny with the launch of a new survey seeking the views of legal professionals

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Justice

  • Views on housing possession advice in courts sought
  • three-week engagement begins today (20 May 2019)
  • online survey will help inform future policy approach

A three-week engagement period was launched by the Ministry of Justice today to better understand the experience of anyone involved in the provision of advice and assistance at housing possession proceedings. This includes professional representative bodies, the judiciary and legal service regulators.

Responses will help to inform the future of the scheme and ensure any concerns are raised at an early stage. In parallel, stakeholders will be consulted and the needs of people using the service examined to help widen understanding and inform discussions with potential providers.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said:

Legal aid plays an important role in supporting access to justice for the most vulnerable in society. That’s why we spent £1.6 billion on it last year and are making changes to ensure it continues to be available to everyone who needs it in the future.

We want to better understand the delivery of these housing advice schemes and speaking to those directly involved is the best way to do that.

Legal aid is available for people facing housing repossession through the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS). This covers on-the-day emergency advice and advocacy to anyone facing possession proceedings and is accessed directly at courts in England and Wales. Anyone in danger of eviction or having their property repossessed can get free legal advice and representation on the day of their hearing, regardless of their financial circumstances.

The service is currently provided under contracts with the Legal Aid Agency, with each aligned to single or multiple courts and awarded following a competitive procurement process. The survey therefore seeks to better understand stakeholder experience of HPCDS in advance of any further legal aid tender.

Please take part in the online survey by 10 June 2019.

« Older Entries Recent Entries »