UK news

Winehouse to perform on Strictly Come Dancing

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Amy Winehouse is set to perform live on Strictly Come Dancing, as a backing singer for her 13-year-old goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.

The singer, 26, has signed Dionne up to her own record label, Lioness Records, and the BBC show will see her debut her new single Mama Said.

Winehouse said: “Dionne is so much better than I was at her age. I’m so proud. She’s my number one.”
Bromfield spoke of her excitement at singing with her godmother.

She said: "Amy and I both love Strictly Come Dancing.

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Matt Lucas quits West End after ex-partner's suicide

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Little Britain’s Matt Lucas has left his role in Prick Up Your Ears until further notice after the suicide of his ex-partner Kevin McGee.

Mr McGee, 32, was found hanged at his Edinburgh flat and police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Mr Lucas had been playing a lead in Prick Up Your Ears, a play based on the life of writer Joe Orton, which opened on the weekend.

Producers have confirmed that understudy Michael Chadwick will take the role until further notice.

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Richard Caring offers £15,000 for stag killer

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

The Jewish owner of The Ivy restaurant is offering £15,000 reward for capturing the vandal who shot two stags on his estate.

Police are investigating the possibility that the attacks may have been intended to send a threatening message to Mr Caring.

Richard Caring, who also owns celebrity hotspot Annabel’s nightclub, has now hired former SAS soldiers as security guards for his estate in Exmoor.

The businessman, who is 146th on the Sunday Times Rich List and worth an estimated £360 million, called the hunter “a lunatic with a high-powered rifle”.

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Israel vice premier cancels UK trip after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon has cancelled a trip to London to speak at a JNF charity dinner over fears he may face arrest for war crimes.

Former IDF chief-of-staff Mr Ya’alon said the trip was “cancelled to avoid playing into the hands of anti-Israel propaganda” after the attempted arrest of Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak when he visited the UK last week.

He is believed to have sought legal advice before accepting the invitation to speak at the JNF event on behalf of Benji's Home, a charity for Israeli soldiers with no family in the country.

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JFS: Supreme Court grants legal aid

By Simon Rocker, October 2, 2009

In its first ever judgment, Britain’s new Supreme Court has said that legal aid must continue to be available in the dispute over entry to JFS.

Until now, the Legal Services Commission has funded the father of the boy whose rejection by the school two years ago prompted the legal action.

But the LSC did not want to be liable for paying the costs of JFS and its foundation body, the United Synagogue, in the event that the father lost when the case comes to the Supreme Court later this month.

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Court denies release of BBC Middle East report

By Simon Rocker, October 2, 2009

The High Court today dealt a significant blow to a five-year-old campaign to force the BBC to publish a report into its Middle East coverage.

London solicitor Steven Sugar has battled since January 2005 for the release of the so-called Balen report, compiled in 2004, under the Freedom of Information Act.

His efforts have led to several legal hearings, even reaching the House of Lords earlier this year.

But in a judgment released today, Mr Justice Irwin said that the Balen report was exempt from disclosure because it dealt with journalism.

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Blood and Honour: Johnson pressed to act

By Leon Symons, October 1, 2009

Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones has called on home secretary Alan Johnson to proscribe the extreme right wing group Blood & Honour.

Only last week the group was reported to the police for distributing racially offensive CDs.

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'Abused' footballer attacks FA inaction

By Marcus Dysch, October 1, 2009

A Maccabi Premier Division footballer who claims he was called “a Paki” by an opponent in April is outraged that the London FA has yet to hold a hearing into the incident.

Virgil Levy, who is of South American origin, also alleges that he was called “Asian” and told that he “should not belong in the community or in the league” during the game between his team, Montana Boca, and Glenthorne in April.

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Yom Kippur crime on the increase

By Marcus Dysch, October 1, 2009

A man was arrested for shouting antisemitic abuse and police are investigating a number of other incidents which took place around synagogues over Shabbat and Yom Kippur.

After a peaceful Rosh Hashanah, the Community Security Trust reported a busier Yom Kippur period with reports of verbal abuse and egg-throwing in north-west London, Hertfordshire and Manchester.

On Saturday night, a 38-year-old man was arrested in Golders Green for causing racially aggravated harassment and distress. He has been bailed to return to a north-west London police station on October 27.

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Ed Balls: Holocaust education is best investment

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

Schools Secretary Ed Balls has said the money put into Holocaust education is the “best investment” his department has made.

Mr Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper, the Work and Pensions Secretary, were among the 300 guests at the Holocaust Educational Trust dinner in central London.

Stressing the enduring importance of Holocaust education, he said young Britons were learning about the Shoah in a “relevant and sophisticated” way.

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