Home news in brief
Cold snap sees first use this winter of coal-fired power stations
Two of the UK’s coal-fired power stations that were kept online in case they were needed during the energy crisis have started supplying electricity to British homes for the first time this winter. The West Burton generation sites run by French energy giant EDF started producing electricity yesterday afternoon. It came as strikes in France reduced the amount of electricity the country could supply to Britain through undersea cables. Wind electricity production is also unusually low.
The government approached several coal-fired power stations last year that were set to close down, asking them to be on
standby this winter amid an energy supply crunch. The plants have been warmed up a few times so far this winter. But yesterday was the first time they were used to produce electricity. The Met Office has said up to 40cm of snow could fall across Central Scotland later this week. Northern England could see 15 to 20cm of snow cover even in lower-lying areas as the weather gets even chillier. PA
Woman, 91, lost pension after Barclays declared her dead
A 91-year-old woman’s pension, benefits payments and bank access were stopped after a banking error resulted in her being recorded as deceased. Barclays closed the woman’s account after she informed the company that her husband had died. The error meant the widow was cut off from her money for three months and lost her phone line and energy supply.
The woman asked for her late husband’s name to be removed from their joint account and replaced with that of her daughter, who has third-party access to her account. However, the pensioner was instead marked as deceased, which meant her pension and benefits were returned to the Department for Work and Pensions and her direct debits were stopped.
The woman made two trips to her nearest Barclays branch, and on both occasions she was told by staff that she had been marked as deceased. The bank also refused to discuss the matter with her daughter since her third-party access had been revoked and the account closed. The woman’s account was eventually reopened and her payments restored and backdated.
RMT union suspends rail strikes after pay offer
The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union has suspended all industrial action for Network Rail workers after receiving a new pay offer. In a statement yesterday the union said: “The RMT National Executive Committee has taken the decision to suspend all industrial action on Network Rail following receipt of a new offer from the employer. Further
updates will be given on all aspects of the national rail dispute in the coming days.” Members of the RMT have been taking part in walkouts for months in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions. In February, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the union will take “sustained and targeted industrial action over the next few months” as employers are “not being given a fresh mandate by the government” to offer a new deal.
Tory MP who backs death penalty gets show on GB News
Conservative Party deputy chair Lee Anderson, who has backed the death penalty and claimed people who use food banks can’t cook properly, is the latest Tory MP to be given a show on GB News. The MP for Ashfield, in Nottinghamshire, will join fellow Conservatives Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey and Philip Davies as a host and contributor on the channel. In a statement after it was announced, he said: “GB News is the true voice of the Great British silent majority. I’m joining the people’s channel to ensure their voice is heard.”
Mr Anderson, who was appointed as deputy chair of the Tory party in February, is known for his outspoken and controversial views, which include supporting the death penalty and claiming people on universal credit are not in poverty. Mr Anderson claimed reintroducing capital punishment would be incredibly effective because “nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed”. Last week, Mr Anderson also claimed some families were “abusing” food banks because they also eat out at McDonald’s.
Drunk man tried to throw woman in front of Tube train
A man has admitted drunkenly grabbing a woman at King’s Cross station and trying to throw her onto the Tube tracks as horrified passengers watched. Arthur Hawrylewicz approached the 22-year-old woman on the Tube platform in August last year, grabbing her before trying to throw her in front of an oncoming train.
Moments earlier, Hawrylewicz had tried to speak to the woman, who noticed that he was drunk and asked him to leave her alone. It was then that he grabbed the victim – who was travelling to the Notting Hill Carnival – from behind with both arms and lifted her off the ground. Her friends desperately tried to pull Hawrylewicz away from the victim and managed to save her from being thrown onto the train tracks, during the incident on 29 August. Hawrylewicz has now pleaded guilty to attempted murder at Inner London Crown Court and is due to be sentenced on 24 April.
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