Covid-19: government defends 10-year jail sentence and other stories

The UK government has defended a new law that states people who lie about their travel history during the pandemic could be sentenced a maximum 10-year jail term.

A former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption has been critical and said that sex offenders face lower tariffs.

Bur Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the British public “would expect pretty strong action” and the maximum imprisonment shows the seriousness of the crime.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shapps added that it was not a right time for people to book domestic or international holidays.

From Monday, people travelling from the government’s banned “red list” countries must self-quarantine for 10 days in hotels with the expense of £1,750.

Grenfell Enquiry: Flammable cladding sold in UK despite failing EU tests

Grenfell Tower in West London. Image credit: Carcharoth.

It was revealed today the company that made Grenfell Tower’s cladding continued to sell it to the UK market, despite it not meeting EU classifications. 

Evidence shown at today’s public enquiry established that in 2011 the cladding used on the West London building recorded “bad behaviour” when exposed to fire in classification tests.

In spite of this, the company responsible for selling the cladding, Arconic, recommended its continued use in the UK where regulations “are not as restrictive”.

Deborah French, the UK Sales Manager for Arconic, claimed that she would not have had any reason to know this, due to having no technical knowledge of the product itself. 

However, it was revealed that Ms French was aware of a fire that broke out in a Camden project in 2012, for which she ordered replacement cladding sheets. 

The enquiry into the blaze at Grenfell Tower, which saw 72 people die in 2017, is ongoing and continues tomorrow. 

Manchester Arena Inquiry: Covering the Emergency response

“#TogetherWeStand” graffiti dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena attack
Source: “TogetherWeStand grafitti” by pdjohnson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The probe into the 2017 bombing, heard evidence from Michael Lawlor, GMFRS (Greater Manchester Fire Service) station manager and John Fletcher, retired GMFRS group Manager.

Michael Lawlor admitted that due to poor communication there was a delay in the deployment of fire personnel and the delivery of safety equipment.

John Fletcher said the three-way communication system which connected the Emergency Services was ambiguous.

The inquiry continues.

£20k offered for couples’ lost dogs

A couple in North Yorkshire has offered £20,000 for the return of their two Dachunds Purdy and Pippin, who they fear have been stolen. 

The owner of the dogs, Ruth Benson, said that “they are part of the family,” and that “every morning the children ask, ‘Is Purdy going to come home today?’”

Speaking to the BBC, Colin Butcher from private agency The Pet Detectives, said that there has been a rise in the demand for pets during lockdown, with about 12 dogs being stolen each day in the UK.

“That’s primarily because they can’t restock their breeding store from overseas, from Ireland or from Europe,” he went on to say. 

Ms Benson hoped that by seeing the £20,000 reward it would get people talking and raise awareness to bring them home to her safely. 

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