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'Let dad come home,' says son of Briton in Saudi jail

The son of a British grandfather facing a public flogging in Saudi Arabia has said he has served his time and is urging authorities to "do the right thing" and let him come home.

74-year-old Karl Andree remains in a Jeddah jail, 14 months after being sentenced to 12 months in prison following his arrest by religious police.

He was also sentenced to 79 lashes for poseessing alcohol and 300 lashes for attempting to give it to a friend.

David Cameron has now written to the Saudi King about the case.

ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports:

Sister of MH17 victim: Why didn't flight avoid Ukraine?

The sister of a British man who died alongside 297 others on flight MH17 has told ITV News the disaster should have been avoided.

Tracey Withers lost her brother Glenn in the crash when a Russian-made missile hit the passenger jet over eastern Ukraine in July last year.

Dutch investigators have now confirmed the missile was a Buk surface-to-air warhead - but did not say who fired it, nor why civil aircraft had been allowed to fly across the warzone.

Ms Withers said the report still left questions to be answered.

ITV News correspondent Emma Murphy reports:


MP refuses to reveal number of Syrian refugees in UK

Richard Harrington said he would not provide a 'running commentary' on the number of Syrians brought to the UK.

The minister responsible for Syrian refugees in the UK has refused to reveal how many people have arrived in Britain under the government's resettlement programme.

Richard Harrington said he was not prepared to provide a "running commentary" on the numbers brought to the UK since David Cameron announced plans to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years.

He told MPs at the home affairs select committee that he knew how many people had arrived since the initiative was launched last month but repeatedly declined to give figures.

Mr Harrington, who was appointed to the newly created ministerial post last month, said: "I don't think anything will be helped by my giving a running commentary on numbers."

His refusal to disclose the information drew criticism from the committee chairman, Keith Vaz.

We will have to write to the Prime Minister now and tell him that we need this figure because frankly I think it is unsatisfactory for you to come before this committee and not have the numbers. The public is very interested in this.

– Home affairs select committee chairman, Keith Vaz

Daughter welcomes PM appeal against Saudi flogging

Kirsten Piroth (left) with her parents Verity and Karl Andree. Credit: Family handout

The daughter of 74-year-old Karl Andree who faces 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia after he was caught with illegal alcohol has lauded David Cameron's decision to appeal to officials to halt the flogging.

Kirsten Piroth, said she was not even sure her father knew about the Prime Minister's intervention yet but said it was "great news".

She said that the family had been left feeling "pretty helpless" when they had contacted the Foreign Office about Mr Andree's case.

Ms Piroth said: "We got lots of nice emails and we started to feel like it was going nowhere. Our dad was in prison, he's been pretty ill. I'm really surprised that he's lasted so long.

"We just wanted something to happen and if it takes the Prime Minister to write a letter then that's great."

A government spokesperson said the UK will drop a bid on a £5.9 million Saudi prisons contract but said the two issues were not linked.

MPs summon Tom Watson over Lord Brittan abuse claims

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is to face a grilling from MPs over his pursuit of sex abuse allegations against the late Conservative cabinet minister, Lord Brittan.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee said that it had "invited" Mr Watson to appear before them on 21 October. The Metropolitan Police will also give evidence on the the same day.

The committee firmly believes that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which the Home Secretary has established under the chairmanship of Judge Lowell Goddard, is the most appropriate channel for these very important matters to be examined.

Our evidence session is therefore intended as a continuation of the regular series of very helpful regular updates which the committee received from the Metropolitan Police in the last Parliament and to hear evidence on a particular case.

The committee fully appreciates that ongoing operational activities are a matter for the police and these areas will not be discussed during the session.

– Keith Vaz, chair of Commons Home Affairs Committee


Funeral held for baby who died during crossing to Lesbos

A funeral service is held for the baby in Lesbos Credit: ITV News

An 11-month-old boy who drowned when a dinghy carrying more than 60 refugees was swamped by waves during a night-time crossing to the Greek island of Lesbos has been buried.

The baby was among 60 other refugees travelling in a dinghy to the Greek island of Lesbos Credit: ITV News

Omaar, from Idlib, Syria, drowned when waves swamped the dinghy last Thursday.

Coastguards worked to save the baby but were unsuccessful.

A funeral service was held for the baby in Lesbos today.

Prayers are said for the baby at the funeral Credit: ITV News

Burnham: 'Landlords are not immigration experts'

The Shadow Home Secretary has criticised legislation cracking down on landlords who let properties to migrants without a valid immigration status.

During the second reading of the Immigration Bill, Andy Burnham said that threatening landlords with five years imprisonment if they let properties to illegal immigrants will have a "major impact on the housing market".

"On what basis are we planning to outsource immigration control to them?" he asked the House of Commons.

Landlords are not border or immigration experts, they are not trained in reading official paperwork from around the world. They are not experts in spotting forged documents. So on what basis are we planning to outsource immigration control to them?

– Shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham

Addressing MPs' concerns that landlords would be reluctant to take on tenants with foreign-sounding names, Home Secretary Theresa May said: "I'll be clear about this, it's not about asking landlords to become immigration experts, those who undertake simple steps will have nothing to fear and will not face prosecution or penalties."

Russia: MH17 investigators are 'biased'

Russian ministers have accused Dutch investigators examining the downing of flight MH17 as being "biased", according to local news agencies.

Agencies in the country quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying there had been an "obvious" attempt to draw a biased conclusion.

It comes after a Dutch investigation team found that the Malaysian Airlines plane was struck down by a Russian-made Buk missile.

It's a source of regret that, despite all Russia's repeated and lengthy attempts to organise the investigation in such a way that it is comprehensive and unbiased, and for it to consider all the information we have ... there is an obvious attempt to draw a biased conclusion, and carry out political orders.

– Sergei Ryabkov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
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