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Westminster inquiry 'tainted before it's even begun'

Victims claim they were abused by a "VIP" figures within parliament in the 1980s. Credit: PA

The inquiry into alleged child sex abuse in the heart of Westminster is "tainted before it's even begun," a rape charity has said.

Echoing calls for the resignation of inquiry head Fiona Woolf, Katie Russell, spokesperson for Rape Crisis England & Wales, said her position was now untenable.

She said: "It needs to be as open and honest, as transparent and independent as possible in order to gain the trust and confidence of survivors.

"What sexual abuse survivors are telling us now is that this has not so far been achieved, that the process has been tainted for them before the enquiry has even begun and that their trust has been compromised.

"And it is survivors' trust that is paramount to this enquiry, over and above the credentials of any individual. For this reason, Rape Crisis respectfully says that it is time for Fiona Woolf to step down."

Britain experiences warmest Halloween on record

Britain has experienced its warmest Halloween on record.

Mild temperatures in the UK have continued into Autumn. Credit: PA Wire

Temperatures in Filton, Bristol hit 20.5C today, beating the previous record of 20C set in Kent in 1968.

Forecasters say temperatures could reach 21C in the South East - eight degrees higher than average.

This year has been warmest on record with mild conditions continuing into autumn.

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Blaze at fireworks factory still smouldering a day later

Smoke could still be seen billowing from a fireworks factory which caught fire last night.

Parts of the factory still appeared to be on fire today. Credit: SWNS

Firefighters were on the scene in Stafford to put out the last flames and assess damage to the building.

The factory is said to be completely destroyed in the blaze. Credit: SWNS

Two people remain unaccounted for since the fire took hold at 5.15pm on Thursday.

A van parked outside the factory is burned out. Credit: SWNS

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Teacher resigns after putting tape over pupil's mouth

A teacher who put tape over a pupil's mouth to keep the child quiet has resigned.

The supply teacher at Fowlmere Primary in Cambridgeshire is said to have used the sticky tape on the nine-year-old "as a joke" during a lesson.

Fowlmere Primary in Cambridgeshire where the incident took place. Credit: Google Maps

"Although there was no ill intent or unkindness intended, it is clear this incident should not have happened and the member of staff has resigned from their post," a school spokesperson said.

"We have spoken to the child's parents and apologised as this fell below the standards we expect."

In March, a teacher was suspended from a school in Somerset after allegedly placing tape on the mouths of year six pupils because they were being too noisy.

Westminster sex inquiry 'stinks', says abuse charity head

The head of an abuse charity has said the inquiry into a possible Westminster sex ring in the 1980s "stinks".

Pete Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, told ITV News a letter written by inquiry head Fiona Woolf to the home secretary "greatly bothered" him.

It is alleged Woolf amended the letter allegedly playing down her links to Lord Brittan, who is accused of failing to act on the historic abuse allegations, seven times before she sent it.

Mr Saunders said the focus should be on "truth and honesty" and if things like this were happening now Theresa May should "tear the whole thing up and start again".

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Fireworks storage area 'completely destroyed'

The factory's entire the entire storage unit has been destroyed by last night's explosion Credit: Staffordshire Police

The investigation into a fire at a fireworks factory in Stafford is 'challenging' because the entire storage unit has been destroyed by the explosion, according to police.

Firefighters and police officers are spending the day recovering any potential evidence from the area around SP Fireworks on Tilcon Avenue.

Last night, two people were hospitalised when a major fire ripped through the factory premises. One victim is in a stable condition, but the other is more seriously hurt.

Police have said they are hoping to reopen Tilcon Avenue to those businesses who have premises on the road and to drivers who need to move their cars in the coming hours.

Baswich Lane has reopened to traffic, but drivers there are experiencing serious delays because of investigation work being carried out by emergency services.

"We have a great deal of sensitive and challenging work to complete in order to allow us to establish the cause of the explosion and following fire.

"We understand the unit was storing a significant volume of fireworks which appear to have been completely destroyed during the blaze last night.

"This makes the ongoing examination of the scene particularly challenging and we expect to be at the scene for some time. We can confirm a 53-year-old male has been arrested in connection with the incident.

“One of people taken to hospital last night is in a poorly condition, whilst the second is stable after receiving treatment.

– Supt Ian Coxhead, from Staffordshire Police
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