‘Livid’ Michael Gove rips up EU customs partnership report

Michael Gove Image copyright REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Image caption Brexiteer Michael Gove objects to the customs partnership favoured by Theresa May

Environment Secretary Michael Gove physically ripped up a report on Theresa May’s preferred option for a new customs partnership with the EU.

He was said to have been “livid” as he felt the government document wrongly suggested his Brexit working group had agreed the plan was viable.

According to Mr Gove’s spokesman, he felt it downplayed his objections to the proposed customs relationship.

It comes amid cabinet splits over the future shape of Brexit.

The government has talked publicly about two potential options for its customs relationship with the European Union after Brexit.

One, a customs partnership, would mean the UK applies the EU’s own tariffs and rules of origin to all goods arriving in the country, intended for the EU.

The other, known as maximum facilitation or max-fac, aims to employ new technology to remove the need for physical customs checks where possible.

Two groups of cabinet members were looking at each of the plans.

The document in question, prepared by civil servants, was supposed to represent the views of a group of cabinet members looking at the customs partnership, including Mr Gove.

The Sun reported Mr Gove “physically ripped it up to show he wasn’t prepared to accept the document as a summary of their discussions”.

BBC political correspondent Matt Cole said representatives for Mr Gove had confirmed the paper’s claims.

Mr Gove was unhappy because it didn’t “reflect his views that a customs partnership would be too bureaucratic and make it harder for Britain to do business”, our correspondent said.

Image copyright EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET
Image caption Theresa may will convene her cabinet at Chequers on Friday to agree on a customs deal

Analysis: Cabinet discipline broken

By Matt Cole, BBC political correspondent

This outburst of anger – and, crucially, the fact it has become public – is another sign that Cabinet discipline has broken down.

The question around Westminster is has Theresa May lost control and, if so, is that irrevocable?

In recent days Boris Johnson has been criticised by colleagues like Greg Clark and Matthew Hancock for using an expletive to summarise his views about business and Brexit.

That was followed by another Cabinet member Liz Truss saying it “wasn’t macho” for people like the defence secretary to publicly demand extra cash.

This stuff is normally hidden behind the cloak of collective cabinet responsibility.

So, with Michael Gove now happy for it to be known he’s “livid” about a report by a sub-committee of a sub-committee (yes, that’s right), it’s only adding to the sense that the prime minister is a ring master whose whip crack is being ignored.

Meanwhile, European Council president Donald Tusk has issued a “last call” to the UK to “lay the cards on the table” if a Brexit deal is to be done in time.

Mr Tusk said the most difficult issues remained unresolved and quick progress was needed if agreement was to be reached by October.

Mrs May and her cabinet are due to meet at Chequers next Friday as they look to agree on a blueprint for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

The UK will then publish a White Paper setting out “in more detail what strong partnership the United Kingdom wants to see with the European Union in the future”, the prime minister has said.



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NHS England to stop ‘ineffective’ treatments

Surgeon and assistants at work during an operation Image copyright Science Photo Library

Tonsils removal, breast reductions and snoring surgery will be offered to far fewer patients from next year, under plans being drawn up by NHS England.

Officials are to discuss proposals to stop or reduce 17 routine procedures deemed to be “ineffective or risky”.

The treatment will be offered only if it is judged to be of “compelling” benefit and there are no alternatives.

NHS England said the move would affect about 100,000 people every year and free up an estimated £200m.

Patients at risk of serious harm from their condition will continue to be offered treatment.

It follows reviews last year to save £190m from supplying over-the-counter medications and treatments described as “low value”.

The announcement comes as thousands of people gathered in central London to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS and demonstrate against cuts to the health service.

Organisers of the rally, which include the People’s Assembly – which campaigns against austerity cuts – and unions, are calling for more money for the NHS.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Thousands march through the streets of London on Saturday marking the 70th anniversary of the NHS

NHS England says for most of the 17 procedures under consideration, alternative treatments including physiotherapy, a minor injection or change of diet are likely to be effective.

It says the savings made by not carrying out the procedures will be reinvested in better frontline cancer, mental health and other critical services.

Its national medical director, Prof Stephen Powis, said: “If we want the very best clinical care for our patients, we need to stop putting them through treatments where risks and harms outweigh the benefits.

“By reducing unnecessary or risky procedures for some patients we can get better outcomes while reducing waste and targeting resource to where it is most needed.”

The plans have the backing of health professionals and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which advises on the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of treatments.

Which treatments will be affected?

It is proposed four treatments will be offered only when a patient makes an individual request.

These include surgery for snoring, where there is said to be only limited clinical evidence of effectiveness and which poses significant risks to patients.

The others are: dilatation and curettage for heavy menstrual bleeding, knee arthroscopies for osteoarthritis and injections for non-specific back pain.

A further 13 procedures will only to be offered when specific criteria are met:

  • Breast reduction
  • Removal of benign skin lesions
  • Grommets for Glue Ear
  • Tonsillectomy for sore throats
  • Haemorrhoid surgery
  • Hysterectomy for heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Chalazia (lesions on eyelids) removal
  • Removal of bone spurs for shoulder pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome release
  • Dupuytren’s contracture release for tightening of fingers
  • Ganglion excision – removal of noncancerous lumps on the wrist or hand
  • Trigger finger release
  • Varicose vein surgery

NHS England plans to consult publicly on the proposals between 4 July and 28 September, with changes planned to start in 2019-20.

What do patients say?

Some have criticised the plans.

Samantha Lilley, 29, was born with a rare genetic condition called epidermal nevus syndrome, which causes skin lesions.

Throughout her life she has had procedures to help the physical and mental suffering but is worried about whether those would be discontinued.

She said: “They’re not life threatening, but they’re painful and unsightly, to leave them would be detrimental to my health.”

She added: “My condition is lifelong. Is this what the NHS is now – that you must be at death’s door to receive treatment? This isn’t what it was created for – its purpose was to improve the quality of life of British citizens.”

Image copyright Anthony Stuart
Image caption Anthony Stuart’s little finger is ‘virtually at a right angle’ because of his condition

Matthew Bennett from Bracknell, Berkshire, said having grommets for glue ear fitted when he was a boy fully restored his hearing.

He also said his brother benefited hugely from an operation after severe tonsillitis meant he missed time at university time and lost him a job.

Mr Bennett said: “If he hadn’t had his tonsils out recently, he’d probably still be struggling with work.”

Anthony Stuart, a 52-year-old artist blacksmith, has Dupuytren’s contracture – where fingers become permanently bent or flexed – and has had surgery on one of his hands to correct this.

He is due to have another procedure to try to correct his other hand in July. He said the treatment had a huge positive impact on his condition.

“I’m astounded that the government can call treatment for Dupuytren’s ineffective,” added Mr Stuart.

“My consultant says if people don’t have this procedure it could lead to amputation, which is even more costly to the NHS.”

How have medical professionals reacted?

The British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH) said cutting back on procedures like Mr Stuart’s would cost more to the UK economy.

BSSH President David Shewring said such conditions could force people to take time off work or stop altogether.

He also said it was “wrong” to brand such procedures unnecessary or risky and did patients a “huge disservice”.

GP Brian Hope said he hoped publishing the list would make people come up with healthier solutions to certain problems.

He added: “We have still got to try and get people to think, ‘Wait a minute, could I do something myself – lose weight, be more active?’

Physiotherapist Lucy Macdonald also welcomed the plans, saying she was pleased knee arthroscopies and shoulder decompressions would be limited, “because for a long time research has shown they are largely ineffective”.

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges chairwoman Prof Carrie MacEwen said the changes would benefit patients, clinicians and the NHS as a whole “by reducing harm and targeting those who will benefit most”.



Four dead and three hurt in Leeds crash

The taxi and the car at the scene
Image caption The four men, aged 18, 19, 19, and 21, died at the scene

Four young men died and a teenage girl was left critically ill in a collision involving a car and a taxi in the early hours.

The four men, aged 18, 19, 19, and 21, died at the scene on the A6120 outer ring road, West Yorkshire Police said.

Their Seat Leon “was travelling at speed” when it crashed in Horsforth at about 02:40 BST, the force said.

Two girls, aged 16 and 17 also in the car, were taken to hospital. The Uber taxi driver was also seriously hurt.

The 16-year-old remains in a critical condition and the 17-year-old’s injuries are not considered life threatening, the force said.

All six people that were in the car come from the local area, said police.

The driver of the taxi, a 42-year-old man from Bradford, is also being treated in hospital but his condition is not considered life threatening.

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Allan Vickers, who lives nearby, said he was woken by a “big crash” and it was “like a chimney coming down”.

When he went outside to help he said police were already there and would not let him through.

He described the scene as “chaos, carnage, people being dragged out and given CPR, it’s something you don’t want to see, it’s awful.”

He said the emergency services’ response had been “epic, fast as lightning, they were here in a flash”.

The road, which has a 40mph speed limit, had witnessed other high-speed crashes, Mr Vickers said, adding: “This is my third time here, it’s a blackspot”.

An investigation is under way into the collision on Broadway, at the junction of Bank Gardens.

Image caption Debris littered Broadway at the scene of the crash
Image caption The A6120 outer ring road remains closed in Horsforth

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Image caption The crash occurred in the early hours of Saturday

Sgt Fiona Hoodless, said: “This is a very tragic incident where four young men have lost their lives and three other people are in hospital with serious injuries.

“The families of those involved are devastated by what has happened.

“Early indications are that the Leon was travelling at speed at the time of the collision.”

Police are appealing for witnesses.



Kylian Mbappe: How France World Cup star rose to prominence

Kylian Mbappe grew up playing for Bondy on the outskirts of Paris and his talent was obvious from an early age

A lot has happened in a short space of time for Kylian Mbappe.

Aged 19, he is lighting up the World Cup for France, scoring twice in their 4-3 victory over Argentina in the last 16.

It is the latest step in a remarkable rise for a player who was celebrating passing his French high school exams just three summers ago.

In less than two years he has become a double Ligue 1 title winner and a regular for France and Paris St-Germain, for whom he is expected to sign permanently this summer for 180m euros.

Mbappe spent his formative years developing his skills at AS Bondy in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris. The club are experiencing a surge in popularity and are inundated with new members wanting to follow in the footsteps of Mbappe.

BBC Sport went to the club where Mbappe started his football journey when he was just a toddler and spoke to those who knew him.

For more from BBC World Service, download their World Football Podcast.

‘Kylian was born into football’

AS Bondy’s senior team play in the 10th tier of French football, in the “Excellence” division of the League of Paris ile-de-France but they have a very successful youth system. Players who have passed through their age groups include Sevilla’s Sebastien Corchia and DR Congo international Fabrice N’Sakala.

Up until only three months ago, Mbappe’s father Wilfried was one of the sporting directors at the club looking after the age groups from under-10s up to under-17s but he has had various roles over 25 years at AS Bondy.

AS Bondy may soon have to start turning new members away

Atmane Airouche, president of AS Bondy: “You could say that Kylian was born here at this club. He was here as a baby when his father was a player and a coach. He was always here and learning about football, even as a toddler.

“When we played games, just before kick-off you’d see a two-year-old walk in with a ball and he’d sit with us to listen to the team talks. I think he’s the player here who must have heard the record number of pre-match team talks.”

Antonio Riccardi, 28, under-13s coach at AS Bondy: “His father is like my second father so I knew Kylian as a baby but the first time I coached him was when he was six years old. Just a few months after he had started playing here for the debutants age group you could tell he was different.

“Kylian could do much more than the other children. His dribbling was already fantastic and he was much faster than the others.”

Airouche: “He was born into football and sport. His father was a youth leader, working with children in the local area and then he was brought in to AS Bondy. He only left us three months ago but his imprint will be here forever. He gave 25 years of his life to us. And his mother is also a big influence. She was a very good professional handball player.”

‘He had posters of Ronaldo on his wall’

Mbappe was at the famous Clairefontaine academy between the age of 12 and 15 but initially continued to play for Bondy.

Riccardi: “Kylian would always think about football, always talk about football, always watch football – and if he wasn’t doing that he’d be playing football games on the PlayStation.

“He’d even turn his living room into a football pitch. When he was young I used to take Kylian home from training and I’d babysit until his mother got home from work.

“He always wanted to play in the living room! The sofa or the table would be the goal. He’d say: ‘Don’t tell my mother, don’t tell my father because they don’t want me to play here. Please don’t tell.’ So we used to play and I kept that secret for him. Luckily he never broke anything.”

Airouche: “He only thinks about football and that’s what makes the difference compared to others.

“Other players think that once they’ve signed for a club or gone to Clairefontaine they’ve achieved something, that they’ve arrived. But no, the hard work is only just starting and Kylian knew that. He’d play anywhere.

“If he came here now and fancied a game he’d just play even now he’s a pro. All he thinks about is the game.”

Riccardi: “He was a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo. They were the posters on his bedroom wall, but he was a fan of lots of great players. He didn’t follow a particular team but he was a fan of many top footballers. Ronaldo was definitely his childhood hero though.”

‘The others went out partying, he went to bed’

Mbappe agreed to sign for Monaco at the age of 14. He is said to have turned down every other Ligue 1 side, plus Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

He made his first-team debut for Monaco on 2 December 2015 as a late substitute – in the process breaking former France striker Thierry Henry’s record to become Monaco’s youngest player at 16 years, 347 days.

Mbappe was one of the stars of the Under-19 Euros in Germany in 2016, scoring five goals, including two in the semi-final. The top scorer at that tournament was Jean-Kevin Augustin, who has just left PSG to join German side RB Leipzig.

Riccardi: “Kylian was always enthusiastic. You have to work hard when you have a talent like he does because if you don’t, others that are less talented but are working hard can catch up.

“In Bondy there were no real moments of difficulty for him because he was far better than the others. But I know that in Monaco the first year was difficult for him because he had a coach that didn’t like him very much. Today that coach is no longer at Monaco and Kylian is in PSG and the national team. So it was the coach who was in the wrong.”

Airouche: “We went to watch him at the under-19 final, which France won. We met him outside the stadium and we were shocked that he didn’t want to go partying with his team-mates. Instead he wanted to go straight home.

“To him, he had achieved his goal to be European champion and was already thinking about his next goal: going back to Monaco, getting into their team, winning more titles.

“I remember when Monaco became champions he was the only player on the pitch who didn’t have a mobile phone with him during the celebrations. All the others went out partying, he was the only one who went home to sleep. That’s what is so great about him.

“Other professionals should learn from Kylian. You’ve never reached your goal. Work harder and harder every day.”

‘He has the maturity of a 40-year-old’

Mbappe often posts on social media about his family and is very close to his father, Wilfried, and mother, Fayza. He passed his high school exams in science and technology management, combining his studies with his football development.

Airouche: “He’s a little boy from Bondy who loves football and respects people. That’s what we give to our children here. He loves his town, he loves this club, he still talks about it to this day. He’s always behind us and when he gets the chance to see the little ones here he does it. That’s why lots of people like him because he is simply himself.

“He is a young man who seems to have the maturity of a 40-year-old when he speaks. That’s his personality. Generous, respectful and when he comes here he’s always just a boy from Bondy and a boy from ASB.”

The popularity of AS Bondy has surged since Mbappe’s rise to prominence and the club need new sponsors to keep up with demand

Riccardi: “He’s the same now as he was back then. If he came here now he would say hello to all the young players here, he would give all the coaches a hug, he would take a ball and play with the others.

“We still call and text each other and it’s the same easy-going conversations that we had when I was his babysitter. He will never change because his education is so good. Behind him he has his parents, who are fantastic people. He has a great family unit. He believes in family and he doesn’t want to let them down.”

Airouche: “Kylian’s personality – when you see him speaking at 18 but sounding like he’s 30, talking with phenomenal maturity – is because of what his parents gave him. They’re people that always had their hands on their hearts, they helped a lot. Not just their children but the children here at the club, for them it was the same.”

‘Talent? Nobody has come close’

Riccardi: “A move he used to do as a kid that he still does now in the ‘passement de jambes’ (the stepover). It was his trademark as a boy. From seven or eight years old he was doing that.

“He was the best player I’ve ever seen in 15 years coaching here. Nobody has even come close. In Paris there are many talents but I’d never seen a talent like him. He was what we call a ‘craque’ (the best).”

Airouche: “When he was little he was always the smallest but he had technique and vision in the game that most children just don’t have. That’s why when you see him now you notice he has amazing senses. He’s got eyes in the back of his head. He knows how to anticipate where the ball will go.

“Here, he never played for his proper age group, he always played with older children because there was no point leaving him with kids his own age. He’d just get bored.

“Physically that was tough because he was small, but he had the talent that made the difference. He was a phenomenon. Then suddenly, he grew up. I remember not seeing him for a while and then when we met up again he was suddenly as tall as me.”

A version of this article was first published on 26 September 2017.



World Cup 2018: Angel di Maria stunner brings Argentina level

Angel di Maria scores a long-range stunner to draw Argentina level at 1-1 in their World Cup last-16 tie against France after Antoine Griezmann had opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

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Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black become parents

Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The couple got married in Devon last May

Olympic diver Tom Daley and his US film-maker husband Dustin Lance Black have become parents.

The couple, who announced the pregnancy in February, revealed the news in the Times on Saturday.

They later posted pictures of the baby on social media with Daley tweeting: “Welcome to the world our precious little Robbie Ray Black-Daley.”

The pair had their child via a surrogate and previously said they had received some negative feedback.

Three-time World Champion diver Daley had also said he wanted to be as good a dad as his father, who was also called Robert and died in 2011.

Daley, 24, and 44-year-old Black got engaged in 2015 and married in Devon last year.

Image copyright Tom Daley
Image caption When they announced their baby news, Daley posted a picture of the couple holding up to the camera and black and white image from their baby scan

Speaking about using a surrogate on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast in March, Daley said: “With Kim Kardashian West, people felt sorry she’s not able to have a child because of health reasons and ‘how lovely it is that a surrogate has been willing to do that’.

“But for every other gay couple that is not able to have a child, but desperately would love to bring up a child like any heterosexual couple, we have been treated quite differently.”

Daley, from Plymouth, won bronze medals at the Olympic Games in London and Rio de Janeiro.

Black won the best original screenplay Oscar for the 2008 film Milk, which was based on the life of gay rights activist and politician, Harvey Milk.

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The baby, full name Robert Ray Black-Daley, was named after Tom’s father Rob who died of cancer aged 40 in 2011.

Speaking at the family home, Daley’s brother Will said naming the baby Rob was a “nice way to remember him”.

“It was really good that he thought of him in that way,” he said.

“It means a lot to the family because the legacy continues really and hopefully he will grow up to be just like him.”

Will and Tom’s mother Debbie is in Los Angeles with Daley and Black.

“We’re all chuffed to bits and she’s over the moon as we all are,” he said.

“She’s a grandmother for the first time and it’s like starting a whole new family.”



Catastrophe actor Rob Delaney’s wife expecting baby

Rob Delaney
Image caption Rob Delaney is best known for his role in the Channel 4 sitcom Catastrophe

US actor and comedian Rob Delaney has announced he and his wife Leah are to become parents to their fourth child.

The star of the Channel 4 sitcom Catastrophe, who lives in London, shared the news with fans on Twitter.

It comes five months after the death of the couple’s two-year-old son Henry, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and died in January.

In a video, the actor praised the NHS and called for US citizens to campaign for better healthcare.

  • US actor Rob Delaney’s son dies aged two

Delaney, who has two further children with Leah, wrote on Twitter that two “typically wonderful” midwives had visited him and his wife to assess them for a home birth.

Continuing his praise for the health service, he sent his “love” to protesters marching in London on Saturday to mark the NHS’ 70th birthday.

The tweet also included a video he made for Democratic Socialists for Medicare for All, talking about the differences between the healthcare systems in the US and the UK.

In the video, Delaney said: “Our son Henry passed away in January of this year from cancer and he was a beautiful little boy from the moment he was born until the moment he died.

“And he benefited so much from the healthcare system here and so did we as his parents, because while we endured stress that was truly unbelievable, we didn’t endure the financial stress of wondering, ‘are we going to be able to pay for this?’

“‘Are we going to have to move during his treatment because we have to move into a smaller house? Or move in with relatives?’

“That financial stress, we didn’t have to endure here, and what a gift.”

‘My heroes’

Delaney revealed his son’s battle with the illness in February, saying Henry had been diagnosed with cancer shortly after his first birthday, following persistent vomiting and weight loss.

The one-year-old had surgery to remove the tumour and continued with treatment in 2017, but later that year the cancer returned and he died in January, aged two.

Then, Delaney thanked the health service, writing on Facebook: “The NHS nurses and doctors and the home carers and charity workers who helped our family survive Henry’s illness will be my heroes until the day I die.

“I am desperately sad right now, but I can say with authority that there is good in this world.”

He also called on the public not to take the NHS “for granted”.



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Eastbourne 2018: Caroline Wozniacki beats Aryna Sabalenka in final

Highlights: Classy Wozniacki wins Eastbourne title
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

World number two Caroline Wozniacki beat Aryna Sabalenka to claim her second Eastbourne title.

The Danish top seed outlasted her Belarusian opponent, ranked 45th in the world, 7-5 7-6 (7-5) at the Nature Valley International.

Sabalenka served for both sets and led 4-1 in the tie-break, but Wozniacki, 27, dominated the crucial moments.

It is her second title of the year, after her Australian Open success, and comes just two days before Wimbledon.

Wozniacki has never progressed past the fourth round at SW19.

She beat 2016 Wimbledon finalist Angelique Kerber and Nottingham Open champion Ashleigh Barty en route to the final in Eastbourne.

“It’s a long time ago that I was a winner of this tournament so it’s amazing I can still play 10 years later,” she said.

Sabalenka’s powerful hitting put Wozniacki under pressure from the beginning, with the Dane saving four break points in an eight-minute opening game.

The two traded breaks but Sabalenka, 20, used her forehand to fine effect, finding the break before consolidating it with a winner into the corner.

Sabalenka served for the set at 5-4 but double-faulted, and Wozniacki reeled off three games to take the first set in 58 minutes.

In an engrossing second set, Sabalenka broke through with a stunning forehand down the line but, once again, the Belarusian faded as she tried to serve out the set.

It looked like a straightforward task for Wozniacki to close out the match, but Sabalenka’s offensive hitting forced a tie-break.

The first four points of the tie-break went Sabalenka’s way but Wozniacki, one of the best defensive players on the tour, countered to take the title in just under two hours.

Sabalenka, who was ranked 135th in the world last year, was making her first appearance at Eastbourne.

She begins her Wimbledon campaign against Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, while second seed Wozniacki will face American Varvara Lepchenko.


Former British number one Sam Smith on BBC Two

How can you not be impressed with Sabalenka? I have a feeling she hit 40-plus winners against the best defender of the tour.

Wozniacki just goes on. She doesn’t give it away. In those critical situations, she makes her first serve, and that makes life difficult for the returner.

This is why she’s winning Slams now – as soon as she has the opportunity to attack, she does.