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Former NHS chief denies £20k fraud

Paula Vasco-Knight has denied three counts of fraud Credit: Twitter: @SDHCCEO

The former chief executive of South Devon NHS Trust has denied defrauding it by siphoning off more than £20,000 to a company run by her husband.

Paula Vasco-Knight is alleged to have carried out the frauds in 2012 and 2013 while she was in charge of the Trust, which runs Torbay Hospital.

Her husband Stephen has also denied receiving money fraudulently and businessman Habib Naqvi has denied facilitating the offence. The three counts of fraud include payments made to a company run by Mr Vasco-Knight, alleged details of rival bids for contracts being sent to him, and an unauthorised payment of £11,072 for work that was not done.

All three denied the allegations when they appeared at Exeter Crown Court and have now been released on bail before a two week trial in January.

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  1. West Country (E)

Hinkley C "to go ahead" despite Brexit

The boss of EDF has said that Brexit has “no impact” on the business and strategy of the company in the UK, including its plans to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.

Computer image of proposed Hinkley C Credit: EDF

"As of today, we believe that this vote has no impact on our strategy, and the strategy (...) for our UK subsidiary has not changed. Our business strategy is not linked to Great Britain’s political affiliation with the European Union, so we have no reason to change it."

– Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF Chairman

Mr Levy emphasised in particular that there should be no fears of reconsidering plans to construct two EPR nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point , a gigantic £18 billion project (around 22 billion euros at current exchange rates), which is being challenged by the Group’s French trade unions and for which a final investment decision is pending.

“I would just point out that in the last few days, spokespeople on energy issues for the Brexit camp – notably Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom – have on numerous occasions and again in recent days come out in favour of maintaining the decarbonisation policy, of maintaining the nuclear option, and of maintaining the Hinkley Point project. Therefore there are no consequences from this vote today."

– Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF Chairman

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