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Councils call for overturn of ban on term-time holidays

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for tough new rules on term time holidays should be overturned, leaving headteachers to decide whether to allow pupils to be taken out of school.

At present under the new regulations, school leaders can only grant permission for trips in "exceptional circumstances". The LGA has said the restrictions fail to recognise that family life is not simple, and that there may be times when parents need to take children out of lessons for legitimate reasons.

Calls for term-time holiday ban to be relaxed Credit: PA


Man charged with murder after body found in Headcorn

A man has been charged with murder after the discovery of a body in Headcorn, Kent.

Forty-year-old Ruslan Piktorov, of no fixed address, was charged last night with the murder of Trevor Hillman.

The 57-year-old's body was found on Church Walk on the morning of Wednesday 22nd October.

Mr Piktorov is due before magistrates in Maidstone today.

A second man was arrested but has been released without charge.

'I would like to thank the Headcorn community for their assistance with this investigation.'

– DI Lee Whitehead, Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate
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Two more charged over Pennie Davis death

Two people have been charged with conspiracy to murder a mother-of-five in the New Forest.

Pennie Davis was stabbed to death as she tended to her horses in the New Forest. Credit: Family handout

Supermarket worker Pennie Davis, 47, was stabbed to death as she tended to her horses near Beaulieu in September.

Benjamin Carr, 22, and Samantha Maclean, 28, both from the New Forest, have been charged with conspiracy to murder and will appear before Southampton Magistrates' Court later.

Justin Robertson, of no fixed address, has already been charged with murdering Ms Davis, while Leanne Doyle, 24, of Beech Crescent, Hythe, was also charged with assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.

Ms Davis's funeral is due to take place in Southampton later today.

Ashya 'responding well' to brain cancer treament

Doctors at the Czech proton therapy centre where Ashya King is being treated for brain cancer, have said he has responded well to treatment. The 5-year-old from Portsmouth was removed from Southampton Hospital by his parents earlier this year, sparking an international search.

Ashya King responding well to proton therapy treatment Credit: PA Wires


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Sir Cliff lawyers: BBC 'caused very serious harm'

A letter from lawyers acting for Cliff Richard sent to the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committe said:

Leaving aside the actions of the police, the actions of the BBC have also caused very serious harm to our client at a time when he had not been interviewed by the police, or of course arrested or charged.

Against this backdrop, we believe that it would be inappropriate to hold that the BBC has "behaved perfectly properly", as suggested at the hearing of 2 September.

As stated in our letter of 1 September 2014 we do not feel it appropriate to say more whilst there is a live investigation ongoing, but felt that it would be wrong not to place on record at this stage our concern regarding the BBC, whose coverage has led to immeasurable harm to our client and was both premature and disproportionate.

– Lawyers for Sir Cliff Richard
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South Yorkshire Police 'actions well intended but ultimately flawed'

Responding to the findings of The Home Affairs Committee, South Yorkshire Police said it believed its actions were "within policy and well intended" but admitted they were "ultimately flawed" with regard the handing of a raid on Sir Cliff Richard's home in August.

Whilst we believe our actions were within policy and were well intended, they were ultimately flawed and we regret the additional anxiety which was caused to Sir Cliff Richard.

South Yorkshire Police has changed the way it deals with this type of media enquiry. In high profile cases the force no longer provides privileged briefings to reporters, nor does it confirm information which media sources seek to verify.

We are fully cooperating with the Metropolitan Police investigation regarding the original source of information.

– South Yorkshire Police
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Sir Cliff 'suffered irreparable damage to reputation'

Sir Cliff Richard has suffered ‘enormous, irreparable damage to his reputation’ as a result of the BBC broadcasting live coverage of a police raid on his home, MPs have said.

The Home Affairs Select Committee has called South Yorkshire Police's handling of the raid, broadcast live on the BBC in August, as "inept".

Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: "No British citizen should have to watch their home being raided by the police live on television.

"Sir Cliff Richard has suffered enormous and irreparable damage to his reputation and he is owed an apology over the way matters were handled."

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Vaz: Emails 'could be mistaken for script from The Bill'

Home Affairs Committee Chairman Keith Vaz said email exchanges between the BBC and South Yorkshire Police 'could be mistaken for a script from The Bill'.

Mr Vaz said: "South Yorkshire Police's handling of this situation was utterly inept. The force allowed itself to hand over sensitive information to a journalist and granted him privileged access to the execution of a search warrant.

"The email exchanges could easily be mistaken for a script from The Bill. The force should have refused to co-operate and explained to senior BBC News executives why the premature broadcasting of a story, which they claimed the journalist threatened, would have prejudiced the investigation."

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