Priti Patel defends new asylum strategy and other stories

The Home Secretary Priti Patel has defended the Government’s new plan for how to handle the asylum seekers entering the UK.

The new changes have been widely criticised as “inhumane” and undermining Britain’s commitment to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Magdalena Moursy reports:

The plan has been described by Ms Patel as “based on need” and “not on the ability to pay people smugglers”.

PMQs: Starmer attacks PM on army numbers 

Boris Johnson has attempted to defend his decision to cut the army by ten thousand soldiers at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Sir Keir Starmer accused the Prime Minister of going back on promises made during the 2019 general election not to cut the number of armed forces personnel. 

During the exchange, the Labour leader quoted directly from a headline printed during the election which read: “No troop cuts: Tories will maintain size of armed forces”.

Mr Johnson hit back, saying that there “have been no redundancies in our armed forces”. 

However the leader of the opposition suggested that the PM was just playing with the numbers, adding: “He knows very well the numbers have been cut.”

Bristol: 14 arrested on second night of protests

On Tuesday night, around 130 people took to College Green in Bristol to protest against the government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.  

This protest resulted in 14 arrests and marked the second night of protests in Bristol after Sunday night’s protest turned violent.

Footage captured from Tuesday’s protest as posted on social media

The proposed Police and Crime Bill will allow police chiefs to impose start and finish times on protests, set noise limits and apply these rules to a demonstration of just one person.

In extreme circumstances, the police would have the power to fine protestors who don’t follow police directions up to £2,500 including any police restrictions that they “ought” to have known about but didn’t receive a direct order regarding.

This new bill also makes “intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance” an offence and clarifies that damage to memorials could result in a 10 year prison sentence.  

The Home Office have stated that this bill will still respect the basic human right to protest and express oneself but protestors and the Labour Party oppose these measures as they remain sceptical that the police will use such powers properly. 

Climate crisis: rising risk of UK wildfires, study shows

Scientists are warning that climate changes could lead to a higher danger of wildfires each year across parts of the UK and once-in-a-century weather extremes could occur every year.

A University of Reading study focused on how rising temperatures, humidity decreasing, stronger winds and less summertime rain would increase the risks of blazes over the next few decades.

It found that the south and east of England were at the highest risk with the projected number of annual hot and dry days rising from 20 a year today to 111 a year by the 2080s.

The study states that if the world were to cut carbon emissions significantly it would reduce this rise of future fire danger, but not entirely remove such risk.

Professor Nigel Arnell who led the study said: “This increased fire danger will threaten wildlife and the environment, as well as lives and property, yet it is currently underestimated as a threat in many parts of the UK.”

Zara Tindall gives birth to boy at home

Buckingham Palace has said the Queen is delighted about the birth of her 10th great grandchild, Lucas Philip Tindall. 

He was born on Sunday and is the third child of the Queen’s granddaughter Zara and her husband Mike Tindall.

The former rugby player revealed their baby was born at home because they didn’t make it to hospital in time. 

Speaking on his podcast The Good The Bad & The Rugby, Mr Tindall said: “it was running to the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get the mat on the floor, towels down, brace, brace, brace.”

The child weighs 8lbs 4oz and is 22nd in line to the throne. 

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