Parents’ place ploys
GOING to church, buying a second home or using a relative’s address are some of the tactics used by parents to get their child into a good school, a report has revealed.
Almost a third (30%) of professional parents said they know someone who has used ethically dubious means to get their children into a good school.
The Sutton Trust’s Parent Power report draws on a YouGov survey of 1,017 parents of school-age children who were asked how they choose schools. RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin has claimed there is “nothing criminal” about the two men named by Britain as the prime suspects in the Salisbury nerve agent attack.
Police and prosecutors last week said Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov had been identified as members of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service.
Russia has hotly contested the allegations and yesterday Mr Putin escalated the war of words by denying the men were members of military intelligence.
He said his officials “know who these people are”. In an unusual move, he then called on Petrov and Boshirov to appear before the media to talk about “themselves”.
His intervention risks widening the gulf between Russia and the UK over the attempted assassination, which triggered a wave of diplomatic expulsions by both sides.
Former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left critically ill after being exposed to the military grade nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury in March.
Detectives believe it is likely the two suspects, thought to be aged around 40, travelled under aliases and that Petrov and Boshirov are not their real names. Prosecutors deem it futile to apply to Russia for the extradition of the two men but a European Arrest Warrant has been obtained and the authorities are also seeking the assistance of Interpol.
Officers have formally linked the attack on the Skripals to events in nearby Amesbury when Dawn Sturgess, 44, and her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, were exposed to the same nerve agent.
Ms Sturgess died in hospital in July, just over a week after the pair fell ill.
A police officer who visited the home of the Skripals shortly after the attack, Nick Bailey, was also left critically ill from exposure to the substance.
Meanwhile, politicians appearing on a Kremlin-backed broadcaster risk being used as “propaganda tools”, Theresa May has told the Commons.
Her warning was aimed at former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, who still has his own show on RT, formerly known as Russia Today, despite pleas to reconsider from SNP chiefs. Scottish Conservative MP John Lamont raised the issue at PMQs, linking the broadcaster to the Salisbury attacks, which police believe were carried out by Russian military spies.
The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP said: “Given what we know about the Russian state’s involvement in the Salisbury poisonings, does the Prime Minister think it appropriate that parliamentarians both current and former appear on Russian state television?”
Mrs May responded: “I’m sure we all have doubts about the objectivity of the reporting on RT, which does remain a tool of propaganda for the Russian state. Decisions about going on RT are a matter for the judgment of each individual, but they should be clear that they risk being used as a propaganda tool by the Russian state.”