Tokyo Olympics: Further glory in the pool as Team GB win 200m freestyle relay | World News


There has been more glory for Great Britain in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with gold in the men’s 200m freestyle relay.

Fresh off their one-two on Tuesday, Tom Dean led the way with Duncan Scott swimming the anchor leg.

James Guy and Matthew Richards completed the line-up – and the quartet finished 0.03 seconds off the world record.

James Guy (right) was visibly emotional at the end as he won his first Olympic gold after winning silver in Rio
Image: James Guy (right) was visibly emotional at the end as he won his first Olympic gold after winning silver in Rio

Commenting after the win, Duncan Scott said: “It’s really special with these boys. Matt in third was so composed and the boys up front executed the race plans really well.

“So close to a world record in the end – if anything I’m a bit gutted.”

Dean got Team GB off to a solid, if unspectacular, start, swimming just behind the United States before Guy closed the gap.

He said: “I can’t even put it into words. I couldn’t yesterday and I can’t today. I can’t thank these boys enough, from the bottom of my heart. Unreal.”

(L -R) James Guy, Tom Dean, Duncan Scott and Matthew Richards
om Dean of Britain, James Guy of Britain, Matthew Richards of Britain and Duncan Scott of Britain react after winning REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel
Image: (L -R) James Guy, Tom Dean, Duncan Scott and Matthew Richards

It was 18-year-old Richards’ leg that was the standout – with the teenager storming into the lead leaving Scott with what turned into the simple task of confirming the gold.

He said: “When you’re racing with guys like this, having a great leg comes easy.

“When they set you up as well as they did and you’ve got literally one of the best freestylers in the world and one of the best freestylers ever going behind you, (it’s a) privilege. And the confidence that gives someone, and the experience, money can’t buy it.”

Team GB have won four medals in swimming event, three of which were golds
Image: Team GB have won four medals in swimming event, three of which were golds

In the end, Team GB claimed an emphatic victory – 3.32 seconds clear of the Russian Olympic Committee in second.

The United States dropped to fourth after a good start, with Australia finishing third.

The victory means Dean is the first British male swimmer to win two golds at the same Olympic Games since 1908.

Team GB also made history by winning its first rowing medal at the Games, taking silver in the men’s quadruple sculls.

Going into the race, Team GB had an outside chance of a podium and were ranked as the fifth-best team.

But they held off Australia and Poland to take silver, behind the Netherlands – who won four rowing medals on day five of the Tokyo Olympics.

Team GB won silver in the men's quadruple sculls after a disappointing morning
Image: Team GB won silver in the men’s quadruple sculls after a disappointing morning

Jack Beaumont, 27, from Maidenhead, told Sky News: “We knew it would be a fast race and also choppy water.

“But luckily we train in the UK where we get lots of wind so we were ready for that. We were in an outside, less favoured lane, so we decided to be really brave and that paid off.”

Harry Leask, 25, from Edinburgh, added: “I knew basically the whole way where we were, I had a pretty good view from where I was sitting of the whole race.”

The team haven’t seen their family and friends since 10 June, he added, revealing they have only had time for a 10-minute phone call since the race.

There could be more medals in rowing, after Emily Craig and Imogen Grant qualified for the final in the lightweight women’s double sculls.

Earlier in the day, Abbie Wood just missed out on a medal in the 200m individual medley despite swimming a lifetime best, with Kate Douglas of the USA just beating her to the bronze medal.

James Wilby’s excellent Games continued as he qualified for the men’s 200m breaststroke as the second-best swimmer, but Ross Murdoch missed out on a place in the final.

Despite the historic moment in the men’s quadruple sculls, it was a disappointing and frustrating morning on the Sea Forest Waterway for the British rowers, who finished fourth in three races.

Team GB had an outside medal chance in the men’s double sculls and women’s four, but they just missed out on the podium in both events – finishing fourth.

The biggest disappointment came in the third race – the men’s four cox – where Team GB were bidding for a sixth straight gold but missed out on a medal altogether.

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Debutants Sholto Carnegie, Oliver Cook, Matthew Rossiter and Rory Gibbs tried to push eventual winners Australia all the way, but the Brits were chased down by Romania and Italy, with the Team GB boat almost crashing into Italy in the closing stages after swerving out of their lane.

The British sevens team will have to play for bronze after a convincing loss to New Zealand
Image: The British sevens team will have to play for bronze after a convincing loss to New Zealand

In the rugby sevens, Team GB were hoping to qualify for their second final in consecutive Games but were well beaten by New Zealand in the semi-final.

They will play Argentina in the bronze medal match at 8am.

Hampshire: Houses partially destroyed after being struck by lightning in Andover amid thunderstorm warnings | UK News


Two houses in Hampshire have been partially destroyed after they were hit by lightning, the fire service has said.

The roofs of the two semi-detached properties in Andover were blown in after being struck in a thunderstorm, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIOWFRS) said.

Smoke was pictured coming from the homes in Mercia Avenue, with firefighters sent from seven surrounding areas.

Both properties were “severely damaged” by the explosion, the fire service said.

A 70-year-old woman was checked over by paramedics at the scene but was not taken to hospital, it added.

Yellow thunderstorm warnings are in place for the entire south coast and parts of Wales until midnight on Sunday.

It comes after a week of extreme heat across the UK, with temperatures exceeding 30C (86F).

Forecasters say the heatwave will be replaced by heavy rain, hail and gusts of wind over the weekend.

The Met Office has issued two thunderstorm warnings for Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Heavy rain is expected across southern parts of England and Wales on Saturday, with 50mm (2in) due to fall in just one hour, and up to 100mm (4in) falling in some spots on Sunday.

Saturday's weather warning. Pic: The Met Office
Image: Saturday’s weather warning. Pic: The Met Office

Those hoping to make the most of the first weekend of the school holidays could be left disappointed, with around six million leisure journeys expected to take place this weekend, according to the RAC.

Heavy downpours run the risk of flooding, road closures and hazardous driving conditions, while strong winds – of up to 55mph in coastal areas – are likely to cause problems for people staying in tents or caravans.

Ferry services may also be affected, the Met Office added.

Sunday's weather warning. Pic: The Met Office
Image: Sunday’s weather warning. Pic: The Met Office

Sunday’s storm warning moves eastwards into East Anglia and risks causing disruption to Latitude Festival in Suffolk.

Around 40,000 people are due to attend the event at the Henham Park estate as part of the government’s large events pilot programme.

The north of England is likely to have more settled weather, with less rain and more sunshine, although temperatures will be cooler than they were this week.

Fake reviews, rip-offs and subscription traps to be tackled under new plans | Business News


Paying someone to write or show fake customer reviews is going to become illegal under new plans unveiled by the government.

Businesses offering subscriptions will also have to offer clearer descriptions on what consumers are signing up for – and ensure they can be cancelled easily.

Other tactics used to manipulate customers into spending more than they wanted are also in the spotlight.

Meanwhile, pre-payment schemes that allow shoppers to save for Christmas will have to safeguard money that’s paid in.

It is hoped this will prevent a repeat of scandals such as Farepak, where some on low incomes lost their savings when the company collapsed.

New efforts are also being made to avoid consumer complaints being dragged through the courts.

Companies where consumers often make big one-off purchases, such as those providing used cars or home improvement, will be compelled to take part in arbitration or mediation whenever disputes arise over a transaction.

Consumer and small business minister Paul Scully said: “Business is built on trust. When consumers part with their hard-earned cash, they’ve got every right to expect they’ll get their money’s worth. Cowboy builders aren’t welcome in 21st-century Britain.

“As we build back fairer, we will protect the UK public from being hoodwinked and help small businesses thrive.”

Tougher penalties are going to be enforced for unscrupulous traders who fall afoul of these rules – and new powers mean regulators will be able to impose fines that are up to 10% of an offending company’s global turnover.

There could also be ramifications for bigger companies, as the Competition and Markets Authority will be able to block a wider range of harmful mergers.

This includes so-called killer acquisitions where big businesses snap up prospective rivals before they can launch new services or products.

Which? has urged the government to ensure these proposals are swiftly implemented, and warned the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the current measures designed to stop unscrupulous businesses targeting customers.

UK weather: Heat warning issued as temperatures could hit 32C on Sunday | UK News


Temperatures are set to soar up to 32C this weekend as people are urged to stay safe in the heat.

Forecasters believe Sunday could be the hottest day of the year – and that this could be the warmest weekend so far.

A health alert has been issued in England with high temperatures predicted to be “widespread across the bulk of Britain” from the end of the week and through the weekend.

Saturday is predicted to be very warm as the heat builds through the weekend with long spells of sunshine for most of the UK.

And it will be “even hotter on Sunday”, with temperatures from the Vale of York to Cardiff and parts of East Anglia set to be “widely 30plus”.

Latest UK forecast in your area

“31C, 32C wouldn’t be out of the question as well”, said Met Office meteorologist, Aidan McGivern.

He said Sunday would be “A hot day, the hottest day of the year so far, the hottest weekend of the year so far.”

People enjoy the sunshine on Gyllyngvase Beach near Falmouth in Cornwall on Sunday
Image: Beachgoers soaking up the sunshine in Falmouth, Cornwall

And the long spells of sunshine could bring a high sunburn and pollen risk, the forecaster added.

Will Lang, head of civil contingencies at the Met Office, added: “Across most parts of the UK we’re expecting to see temperatures building, reaching heatwave thresholds across the majority of England over the weekend.

“High temperatures will remain a feature of the forecast until Tuesday, when fresher conditions arrive curtailing heatwave levels.”

Public Health England has warned people to take extra precautions to keep cool and hydrated – and support those who may be more vulnerable in the searing heat.

People enjoy the sunshine at Blackpool beach, as Bank Holiday Monday could be the hottest day of the year so far - with temperatures predicted to hit 25C in parts of the UK
Image: Sunseekers are expected to enjoy the sizzling heat in Blackpool this weekend

The alert, which covers England – excluding parts of the North East, North West and London – is due to last until Tuesday.

PHE scientific and technical lead, Dr Owen Landeg, said much of the advice on coping in the sweltering heat is “common sense”.

But he warned how the warmer conditions can bring “real health risks” for older people, children and those with underlying health conditions.

The hottest day of the year so far was 14 June when temperatures hit 29.7C (85.46F) at Bushy Park in London.

‘They’re thugs not fans’: Met Police Federation condemns England supporters after officers attacked | UK News


The Metropolitan Police Federation has condemned England supporters who attacked officers after last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat as “thugs not fans”.

The body, which represents thousands of London’s police officers, tweeted: “These people should be ashamed of themselves.

“They are not fans. They are thugs. We wish our injured colleagues well.”

England fans and police in London's Piccadilly Circus
Image: England fans and police in London’s Piccadilly Circus

The Met Police said 19 of officers were injured when they “confronted volatile crowds” in the capital after the game and 49 people had been arrested for a “variety of offences”.

Earlier on Sunday, fans were pictured in London’s Leicester Square throwing bottles and road cones, leaving the area littered with rubbish.

Police said some people in the capital had been “jumping off street lamps or hoardings”, something officers warned “could easily end in injury”.

Clean-up operations were well underway in the capital by 7.30am following the huge mess left by football fans, with only a handful of diehard England supporters remaining around Leicester Square.

The scene in central London after England lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy
Image: The scene in central London after England lost the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy
Image: Some people in the capital had been jumping off street lamps or hoardings, police said

Before kick-off, up to 100 ticketless fans broke through security barriers at Wembley to get into the stadium while there were reports of match stewards being abused.

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Fans have been pictured breaking through security barriers at Wembley and running into the ground ahead of the Euro 2020 final.

Footage showed people jumping over walls and running towards the stadium to gain access, with police on a manhunt to track down those who got in without tickets.

Some people with booked seats couldn’t sit in them as ticketless fans were in their place, as others stood in gangways to get a glimpse of the game.

England fans clash with Italian fans in central London
Image: England fans clash with Italian fans in central London

Sonny Stockford and his son Samuel, speaking to Sky News, said they had tickets but their view was obstructed by ticketless fans who were lined up in multiple rows.

“You’ve got a mass of people that have rushed in and they have got no seats, and they are stood in front of you, lined up”, Mr Stockford said.

“The security would do nothing about it. I went to security and spoke to seven different people, I asked people with radios to contact people.

“They all came back and said the same thing: ‘We don’t have enough staff, we can’t do anything about it.’

“I said to them this was one of the biggest security risks you could ever wish to see, and what are you going to do? You can’t leave hundreds of people in aisles and in seats that cannot get in or out, this is not acceptable.”

Police and Italy fans in central London following the country's Euro 2020 win
Image: Police and Italy fans in central London following the country’s Euro 2020 win
Police and fans in London's Piccadilly Circus after Italy won the UEFA Euro 2020 Final against England

There were also scuffles and clashes with officers throughout central London where people gathered in large crowds to watch the match, including at Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Junior minister Edward Argar told Sky News that these fans do not represent the majority of supporters.

He said: “I think the police did a fantastic job and sadly we saw a number of police officers, as I understand it, injured last night and I think there have been 45 arrests made so far, and action will be taken against those who have perpetrated these offences, who broke the rules or broke the law.

England fans stand against a line of police in Piccadilly Circus
Image: England fans stand against a line of police in Piccadilly Circus

“The police did, I think, a fantastic job – they know what they are doing, they know how to operationally police events.

“It is sad when a very small number of people, a tiny minority, bring the sport into disrepute by trying to do something like this.”

He added: “Again, I would say they are not reflective of the fans of our national game and our national team.

“The police will take, I know, all action necessary against those who have been arrested where they can prove an offence has been committed.”

Boris Johnson did not break MPs code of conduct over Christmas Caribbean holiday, report finds | Politics News


Boris Johnson did not break the MPs Code of Conduct by accepting donations towards a private 10-day holiday to Mustique – but should have provided information sooner, an investigation has found.

Parliament’s standards watchdog said the PM’s account of the “informal” funding arrangement was “accurate and complete” but that it was “regrettable” details related to the trip which took place over Christmas 2019 were provided sporadically.

The report, published by the Committee on Standards on Thursday, said the matter “could have been concluded many months ago if more strenuous efforts had been made to dispel the uncertainty”.

Mr Johnson received a £15,000 benefit-in-kind from David Ross, a Conservative Party donor, for “accommodation for a private holiday” on a trip to the Caribbean between December 2019 and January 2020.

The PM went on the trip with his now wife Carrie Johnson shortly after his election win.

But questions have been asked over how the trip was funded and whether it was in line with the MPs’ Code of Conduct.

In May, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone confirmed she was looking into whether the MP had properly declared the holiday.

But the Committee on Standards – made up of both MPs and lay members – concluded on Thursday that Mr Johnson had not broken the code over the trip.

Downing Street has previously said “all relevant transparency requirements” were met around the trip to Mustique, a private island in the archipelago nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In May, the PM’s official spokesperson said Mr Johnson “transparently declared the benefit in kind in the Commons register of interests” and followed the rules “throughout”.

Mr Johnson’s entry in the register of MPs’ interests said he had accepted “accommodation for a private holiday for my partner and me, value £15,000”, and cited Carphone Warehouse co-founder Mr Ross as the provider.

Responding to initial questioning about the donation, a spokesman for Mr Ross said: “Mr Ross facilitated accommodation for Mr Johnson on Mustique valued at £15,000.

“Therefore this is a benefit in kind from Mr Ross to Mr Johnson, and Mr Johnson’s declaration to the House of Commons is correct.”

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COVID-19: Face masks will be a ‘personal choice’ under ‘much more permissive regime’ of measures | Politics News


There will be a “much more permissive regime” of coronavirus measures in England – with the wearing of face masks a “personal choice”, a minister has told Sky News.

Speaking to Sky News amid reports that Boris Johnson is preparing to ease the last remaining COVID-19 restrictions in England from 19 July, Robert Jenrick said the success of the UK’s vaccination programme means the government is “able to think about how we can return to normality as much as possible”.

The housing secretary told the Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme that “we are not going to put the COVID-19 virus behind us forever, we’re going to have to learn to live with it”.

Mr Jenrick said the data at the moment “looks very positive”, ahead of a final decision from the prime minister on whether step four of England’s roadmap out of COVID restrictions will take place on 19 July.

He continued: “It does seem as if we can now move forward and move to a much more permissive regime where we move away from many of those restrictions that have been so difficult and learn to live with the virus.”

According to reports in the Sunday newspapers, face masks and social distancing will no longer be required once step four comes into effect.

Asked about face masks, Mr Jenrick said: “Like many people, I want to get away from these restrictions as quickly as I possibly can.

“We don’t want them to stay in place for a day longer than is necessary.

“We are going to now move into a period where there won’t be legal restrictions – the state won’t be telling you what to do – but you will want to exercise a degree of personal responsibility and judgement.

“So different people will come to different conclusions on things like masks, for example.”

He stressed it would be a matter of “personal choice”, adding that he would not be wearing one once it is no longer mandatory.