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1. Tougher powers for magistrates to jail criminals and clear courts backlog
Magistrates are to be given powers to jail criminals for up to a year in a bid to clear backlogs in the biggest change to the system in 140 years.
Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, announced the jail terms that magistrates can impose will double from the current maximum of six months, enabling them to try more serious offences of assault, burglary, theft and fraud. Read the full story.
2. NHS will start sacking unvaccinated staff early next month
The NHS will begin sacking staff who have not had a Covid vaccine in just over two weeks, new guidance reveals.
All frontline staff are required to have had two jabs by April 1, meaning the first dose must have been administered by Feb 3. More than 80,000 – six per cent of the workforce – remain unvaccinated despite repeated efforts to boost take-up. Read the full story.
3. Don’t dodge responsibility over No 10 parties, says minister in veiled swipe at Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister “should set the highest standards”, a minister has declared as he warned claims of rule-breaching Number 10 parties have damaged trust in the Government.
George Freeman told a constituent that people in power “shouldn’t seek to escape public responsibility or accountability”, in comments likely to be seen as veiled criticism of Boris Johnson. Read the full story.
4. Man charged with manslaughter after death of British girl, 5, in French Alps
A 40-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter after a five-year-old British girl was killed in a “high-speed” skiing crash in Switzerland.
The man, who has not been identified, was charged on Monday afternoon, just over 48 hours after the accident. Read the full story.
5. Princes Andrew and Harry will be denied Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal
The Dukes of York and Sussex will not be awarded Jubilee medals like other members of the Armed Forces, it has emerged.
Having lost their honorary titles, the pair will no longer be eligible for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal, which will be awarded on Feb 6. Read the full story.
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