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Vatika UK Launches #UntieYourFears Campaign

Heritage, South Asian Hair Care Brand, Vatika UK, launches #UntieYourFears campaign to raise awareness around public sexual harassment. A feature for Asian Lite International by columnist Riccha Grrover.

Continuing to advocate women empowerment and to challenge sexist and misogynistic behaviour patterns that have become normalised in society, heritage, South Asian hair care brand, Vatika UK, has launched a new campaign that aims to highlight and initiate conversations around public street harassment, entitled #UntieYourFears.

Public Street harassment (PSH) is a form of harassment that is directed at someone in a public space without their consent. 75 per cent of girls in the UK, some as young as 12, have experienced some form of public harassment in their lifetime. 97 per cent of 18-24 year olds have been sexually harassed in public, while 80 per cent of women of all ages in the UK have experienced public sexual harassment.

Public street harassment is not limited to actions or comments that have sexual connotations. It often includes homophobic and transphobic slurs and hateful comments regarding disability. Recipients include people of all genders but women are more commonly victims of harassment by men.

Furthermore, South Asians frequently experience various forms of abuse, including insults based on their race, religion or ethnicity. However, reporting rates in South Asian communities are statistically lower due to a number of cultural norms that exist, inhibiting people from coming forward. There is also a clear lack of awareness and understanding of what constitutes harassment and sexual abuse and when it manifests in casual forms we often let it pass as a societal norm.

Common forms of street harassment include unwanted sexualised comments; provocative gestures; staring; stalking; beeping the horn; wolf-whistling; indecent exposure; persistent sexual advances ;and touching or grabbing by strangers. The impact and consequences of public sexual harassment can often be long term for the victims, feeling fear, anxiety, panic and depression after long periods of being exposed to harassment. This often forces victims to change habits by avoiding night time socialising; changing their clothes to look more masculine; wearing their hair up; and even changing jobs or moving home.

The British government has now backed a law that will criminalise sexual harassment in the streets, introducing a bill that will make it a specific offence.

#UntieYourFears marks the next chapter to follow Vatika UK’s award-winning and visionary
 #BeVisible and #StrongerRoots campaigns, which signified game-changing moments in the South Asian personal care industry that aim to empower women. The #UntieYourFears campaign features four videos specifically highlighting common forms of public sexual harassment: catcalling, usually sexual in tone and manner, that is a form of objectification and intimidation; unwanted touching of a person’s hair, body or clothing; intrusive staring or persistent leering that is sexual in nature; and unwanted pressing against another person in a sexual manner and unwanted physical contact.

The campaign’s central message is to empower women; raise awareness to identify different scenarios of street harassment; encourage women to share their experiences; start conversations; and advocate the public call out this behaviour when witnessed on the streets. It has been conceptualised and created by award-winning, brand marketing agency, Ethnic Reach.

Speaking about the #UntieYourFears campaign, Zakir Mansoori, Business Head UK & Europe, Dabur International says, “Women empowerment and gender equality are central brand missions for us at Vatika UK. It is unacceptable that, in modern society, public harassment targeting women or persons based on their race, religion, ability, sexual or gender identity is as commonplace and normalised as it is. Our aim with the #UntieYourFears campaign is to call out public harassment that has become so casually entrenched in daily life. Its consequences can be long term and far reaching for victims, and perpetrators need to know that this is intolerable behaviour. As a society, we need to call out this behaviour when we see it; we need to stand in solidarity with women and recipients of public harassment; and we need to start having these conversations to bring a stop to this behaviour.”

Roshni Singh, Marketing Manager UK & Europe, Dabur International, says “Women and all victims of public harassment need to feel secure and empowered through societal solidarity and support. Each and every one of us has a duty to condemn this behaviour when we witness it on our streets. Women and any group in society should never have to adjust their public appearance or behaviour to avoid unwarranted and unsolicited attention and harassment. It is the perpetrators that need to stop this behaviour. Enough is enough! We hope that our #UntieYourFears campaign will help shed further light on this issue and for people to start having these conversations to ensure we work towards eradicating public harassment from our streets.”

About Vatika UK

Vatika is a Hair care brand which truly believe that every strand tells a story and Vatika believes in nourishing, embracing and empowering these stories. They are proud members of the Dabur Group, a world-leading ayurvedic and natural products company founded over 135 years ago.
Their expertise lies in South Asian hair. South Asian women are known for their long, luscious locks because they know the secret to healthy hair. The secret is nature. Nourishing hair with ingredients available in the natural world leads to luxurious hair, which is why Vatika products are made using natural ingredients.

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Johnson admits misleading in ‘partygate’ scandal

When revelations of booze-fueled parties in 2020 and 2021 at Downing Street first emerged in late 2021, Johnson initially said that no rules had been broken…reports Asian Lite News

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that the Parliament was “misled” by his statements on rule-breaking government parties held during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I accept that the House of Commons was misled by my statements that the rules and guidance had been followed completely at No.10,” Johnson said on Tuesday.

“But when the statements were made, they were made in good faith and on the basis of what I honestly knew and believed at the time,” he added in written evidence published a day ahead of an interrogation by lawmakers over the “partygate” scandal.

Johnson was forced to resign in July last year over a string of scandals. These included partygate, and Johnson’s appointment of Chris Pincher, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. Johnson’s resignation, followed by Liz Truss’ short-lived premiership will be remembered as a summer of political chaos for the UK, Xinhua news agency reported.

When revelations of booze-fueled parties in 2020 and 2021 at Downing Street first emerged in late 2021, Johnson initially said that no rules had been broken. He later apologised and said there had been “misjudgments,” as he mistook those parties for work events.

Johnson’s claims are currently being investigated by the cross-party Committee of Privileges. A guilty verdict on Wednesday could lead to his suspension from the House of Commons, the lower house of the British parliament.

Meanwhile, MPs investigating Johnson over Partygate will publish new documents later, ahead of a televised hearing crucial to his political future.

The former prime minister is battling accusations he misled Parliament over rule-breaking lockdown parties in Downing Street during his tenure.

He has admitted his initial assurances in 2021 that Covid rules were followed completely did mislead MPs. But he says this was not deliberate and that the hearing will vindicate him.

The former premier, who was ousted from office last year after a string of scandals, faces being potentially suspended if MPs decide he deliberately misled them.

The seven-member Commons privileges committee is investigating whether what Johnson told Parliament stopped it from properly holding him to account.

He is expected to be flanked by members of his taxpayer-funded legal team, with whom he will be able to confer during the session. Mr Johnson also hopes to have some of his supporters in the room.

However, he will have to answer questions himself, and will take an oath on the King James bible before the hearing begins.

Before the hearing, at 09.00 GMT the committee will publish a “core bundle” of evidence that is expected to be referred to during the hearing.

All the evidence amassed by the committee, including written statements from 23 witnesses, official diaries, and emails between officials, has already been handed over to Mr Johnson’s legal team.

His lawyers have given the committee 46 WhatsApp messages between the former prime minister and five unnamed people.

Media stories about staff parties in Downing Street when Covid rules banned socialising indoors began to emerge in late 2021, later becoming known as the Partygate scandal.

On several occasions afterwards, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons that Covid rules had been followed in Downing Street.

But an inquiry by senior official Sue Gray later found rule-breaking had taken place at multiple events, and police issued fines to 83 people, including Mr Johnson himself, for breaching Covid laws.

The committee, chaired by veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman, but with a Conservative majority, said earlier this month that breaches of pandemic guidance would have been “obvious” to him at the time.

However that was rejected by Johnson on Tuesday, in a 52-page document setting out his defence ahead of the TV hearing.

In the submission, he said his assurances to MPs that lockdown rules had been followed were made in “good faith”. He had not “intentionally or recklessly” misled MPs, he added, and would “never have dreamed of doing so”.

He said he had not considered at the time that events he attended himself, including a June 2020 birthday gathering in No 10 for which he was fined, had been in breach of the rules.

For other events he had not attended, he said he had not been told by his officials that they broke the rules – and it was reasonable of him to trust their account.

He also took aim at the committee itself, accusing of departing from the precedents set by previous inquiries.

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Support march at Indian embassy after protest  

The Metropolitan Police said its “enquiries continue” and one person arrested on suspicion of violent disorder has since been bailed to appear in court in mid-June…reports Asian Lite News

Several Indian diaspora groups Tuesday assembled outside the India House here to show solidarity with the Indian High Commission which was vandalised by Khalistan extremists over the weekend.

A large number of Indians at the “We Stand By High Commission of India” demonstration carried Indian flags and placards with slogans – ‘Our Tiranga Our Pride’, ‘United We Stand’ and religious symbols of India’s major religions.

An attempted pull down by the extremists of the Indian tricolour that flies at the Indian High Commission was intercepted by an official and has been followed up by an additional larger Tiranga on the main facade.

Indian High Commissioner to the UK Vikram Doraiswami hosted a diaspora briefing at India House on Monday evening and addressed the concerns of the community leaders following the attack that resulted in broken windows.

“Appreciated their solidarity following the attack on the High Commission on Sunday,” the Indian High Commission here tweeted following the diaspora briefing.

The Metropolitan Police said its “enquiries continue” and one person arrested on suspicion of violent disorder has since been bailed to appear in court in mid-June.

Friends of India Society International (FISI) UK, one of the organisations behind Tuesday’s solidarity meet, said the Indian diaspora is deeply shocked by the “disgraceful and abominable act” of desecration of the Indian flag by extremist forces.

“We are equally shocked to see the failure of the UK government to take preventive measures to prohibit such shameful incidents that endanger the Indian diplomatic officials,” said FISI UK.

“In this particular incident, an Indian High Commission official braved the hooligans and restored the pride of India by taking the flag away from them. The Indian official had to act due to lack of appropriate security present at the premises,” it said.

The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK was among several groups to voice their condemnation of the vandalism.

“We call for swift and firm action being taken to bring the perpetrators of this hooliganism to justice. Measures should be urgently put in place to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” it said.

The Indian government has lodged a strong protest and called on the British authorities to ensure adequate security at the Indian High Commission, which has seen a very visible Metropolitan Police presence in the wake of the attack.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has declined to comment on the matter except pointing to the tweet of Foreign Office Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad, who had said the “UK government will always take the security of the Indian High Commission seriously”.

In the wake of the violent disorder by Khalistan flag-waving protesters on Sunday, there is a planned protest organised by groups such as the Federation of Sikh Organisations (FSO) and Sikh Youth Jathebandia outside the Indian mission in London on Wednesday. The Metropolitan Police has indicated that it is aware of the planned demonstration and security measures are expected to be in place.

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Mirage 2000 participates in UK’s Exercise Cobra Warrior

Asserting that IAF has been participating in international exercises across the globe, Group Captain Raj said the cobra warrior’s aim is to fly together….reports Asian Lite News

Indian Air Force Balakot operations fame Mirage 2000 took part for the first time in the United Kingdom multi-national exercise Cobra Warrior 2023 at the Waddington air base.

On being asked if the aircraft Mirage-2000 used in ‘Cobra Warrior’ is the same that was used in Balakot operations, the team leader for the Indian contingent in exercise cobra warrior, Group Captain M Gangola told ANI: “These are the same machines. They remain very capable aircraft for modern warfare.” IAF is participating with Five Mirage-2000 jets, two C-17 Globemaster-III strategic airlift planes and one IL-78 mid-air refuelling aircraft, along with around 100 IAF personnel, flew from the Jamnagar air-base for the exercise at Waddington in the UK.

Sharing his experience of the multinational participation, Gangola added: “The experience has been very enriching. We’ve been able to travel 4,500 miles from India, deploy here and operate in fairly harsh weather conditions with different air forces across the globe. And we’ve been able to execute fairly complex missions in a very short timeframe.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Group Captain Pranav Raj, Commanding officer of squadron 7, Indian Air Force Battle axes said: “It has been a great experience. We’ve learnt quite a bit when flying with participating nations. We’ve flown with F-18s, F-16s and carrying out the entire spectrum of air operations which are involved in terms of offensive and defensive counter-air missions and others. It’s an exercise giving good exposure to the air and maintenance crew.”

Expressing about the route taken from India to the UK, Raj mentioned that the journey was very interesting and they have flown over the entire Arabian Sea, thereafter over the Saudi desert, and over the French mountains. “So I would say it was a remarkable journey. It was very beautiful and challenging for the crew,” he said.

Asserting that IAF has been participating in international exercises across the globe, Group Captain Raj said the cobra warrior’s aim is to fly together.

The commanding officer of squadron 7, Indian Air Force Battle axes also revealed the strength of participants coming for Exercise cobra warrior and said: “We are a total of about 100 people. This includes technicians as well as aircrew. I’m here with 17 of my pilots and about 54 of my technicians and the balance of the contingent for various other duties in terms of administration logistics and so on. So the total contingent of the Indian Air Force is about 100 personnel and we are here with five Mirage 2000 aircraft.”

Group captain Gangola also lauded the UK’s Royal Air Force for being a wonderful host, and providing the environment in which the entire exercise was set up whether on the ground or in the air. “It has been a great environment for us to come and operate on such short notice,” he mentioned.

The exercise is scheduled from March 6 to 24.

The Exercise Cobra Warrior is a multilateral Air exercise in which Air Forces from Finland, Sweden, South Africa, the United States of America and Singapore are participating alongside the Royal Air Force and IAF. (Sahil Pandey/ANI)

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Majority of Sikhs in UK reject Khalistan, says Blackman

The Punjab Police were chasing Amritpal Singh, who has been declared a fugitive by the police, to nab him and his aides…reports Asian Lite News

Amid the ongoing rise in disruption of law and order by the extremist elements and the attack on the Indian consulate, the UK Conservative MP Bob Blackman on Monday said that the vast majority of Sikhs in the UK reject the Khalistani project.

He added that this is a very small section of society and that the authorities should deal with these elements properly and arrest them when such incidents occur. “This is a very small, ultra-small section of the Sikh community. The vast majority of Sikhs in this country absolutely reject the Khalistani project… It’s not going to happen as we know…My message is very simple to the police, when this happens, those people need to be arrested and dealt with properly,” UK MP Bob Blackman said in a statement at an all parliamentary meeting in the UK on Tuesday.

Blackman made the remarks after the Indian High Commission was vandalised by the separatist and extremist elements on Sunday against the crackdown on separatist elements in Punjab. He tweeted straight after the incident took place and wrote, “Disgraceful vandalism & disrespect to the flag of #India. My sympathies to the staff at the #IndianHighC Commission & @VDoraiswami in particular #JaiHind.”

The Punjab Police started the massive crackdown against Amritpal Singh and his aides on March 18. The police said that a total of 112 arrests have been made in the case so far, as 34 were arrested on Sunday, March 19. The police also said that the ‘Waris Punjab De’ chief Amritpal Singh was still on the run and a massive manhunt is launched to nab him.

The Punjab Police were chasing Amritpal Singh, who has been declared a fugitive by the police, to nab him and his aides.

However, the life of people in Punjab returned to normalcy amid the ongoing crackdown continued to nab ‘Waris Punjab De’ Chief Amritpal Singh, despite police force being deployed at many locations in the state to maintain law and order.

Internet and SMS services are still suspended across the state. The suspension of mobile internet, SMS, and dongle services will continue till noon today.

Earlier in Februray, Blackman told, “There is a small Sikh population which are promoting Khalistan and Khalistani, not quite terrorism, in the UK but certainly disorder and that has to be prevented as well: British MP Bob Blackman on Khalistan issue.”

This is not the first time that such an incident is taking place in London. Earlier in 2018, some elements burnt the Indian flag in Central London while the London Metropolitan Police quietly watched the flag burning taking place right before its eyes.

The incident took place at Parliament Square as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing the Indian community at Westminster.

The Indian tricolour was allegedly pulled down and ripped apart by a pro-Khalistani activist. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the 53 heads of Commonwealth nations attending the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London at that time. (ANI)

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Indian Diaspora expresses solidarity at the HCI

More than 200 community members have gathered outside the HCI waving Indian flags and chanting Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai, and celebrating their belongingness and pride…reports Ragasudha Vinjamuri

“You try to take down one, and there will be hundreds and thousand raising” was the strong message non-verbally communicated by the Indian Diaspora members at a mega show of strength and unity in front of the High Commission of India on 21 March.

Scores of Indian origin people have congregated in Aldwych, London to show massive support to the flag-cause demonstrating the community spirit, patriotic fervour and love for the nation they originate from. It demonstrated “Jhanda ooncha rahe hamara” in real sense. This outpour follows the attempt to bring down and vandalise the Indian tricolour on the HCI building on Sunday, 19th March which was foiled immediately by the security officers present on the premises at the time.

The attempt caused global outrage, has hurt and angered the huge diaspora living outside India, while  the Indian government called British Diplomats for an emergency meeting express dismay over the lack of police presence and pointed out the absence of security- as per Vienna Convention.

More than 200 community members have gathered outside the HCI waving Indian flags and chanting Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai, and celebrating their belongingness and pride. Before dispersing, they rendered the national anthem.

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READ MORE-‘Attack on Indian High Commission unacceptable’

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UK signs historic trade deal with Ukraine  

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch MP said, “The historic digital trade deal signed today paves the way for a new era of modern trade between our two countries…reports Asian Lite News

The UK signed a pivotal digital trade deal with Ukraine that will support the country’s economy and greatly enhance the UK-Ukraine trade and investment relationship.

The Department for Business and Trade today hosted a number of Ukrainian ministers, as well as 200 UK and international businesses and officials, at Mansion House to lay the foundation for closer future co-operation.

The Road to Ukraine Recovery Conference, geared towards supporting Ukraine’s National Recovery Plan and mobilising UK businesses to engage in future Ukraine reconstruction projects, opened with a welcome from the Business and Trade Secretary. This event, and our mobilisation of UK industry, is a key stepping stone on our route to the Ukraine Recovery Conference that will be hosted in London in June.

Badenoch, alongside Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Yulia Svyrydenko, virtually signed a ground-breaking new Digital Trade Agreement (DTA) that will help Ukraine support its economy through the current crisis and lay foundations for its recovery and revival.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch MP said, “The historic digital trade deal signed today paves the way for a new era of modern trade between our two countries. We are also extending tariff free trade on imports from Ukraine to early 2024, providing much needed support to Ukrainian businesses. These initiatives will help protect jobs, livelihoods and families now and in Ukraine’s post-war future.”

Since June 2022, UK negotiators worked at record pace with their Ukrainian counterparts to deliver a deal after President Zelenskyy highlighted the important role Ukraine’s first ever digitally focused trade agreement could play in bolstering his country’s economy.

Ukraine will have guaranteed access to the financial services crucial for reconstruction efforts through the deal’s facilitation of cross-border data flows. Ukrainian businesses will also be able to trade more efficiently and cheaply with the UK through electronic transactions, e-signatures, and e-contracts.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy for Ukraine, Yuliia Svyrydenko said, “This digital trade agreement illustrates that Ukrainian IT companies operating in Ukraine are in demand around the world despite all the challenges of war. The UA-UK Digital Trade Agreement has enshrined core freedoms for trade in digital goods and services. Ukraine believes that an open and free framework for the digital economy is the best investment in future oriented development.”

The UK’s total military, humanitarian and economic support pledged since 24 February 2022 now amounts to over £4 billion. The UK is a key partner for Ukraine in its reconstruction efforts. We hosted the UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Summit in June 2022, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to play a leading role in the reconstruction of Kyiv Oblast and set up the Infrastructure Taskforce to implement this agreement.

In the margins of the Road to URC event, the UK confirmed its intention to extend the removal of tariffs on Ukrainian products until March 2024. This follows the UK’s world-leading decision in May 2022 to cut tariffs on all goods from Ukraine to zero and will provide much needed support to Ukrainian businesses given the impact of the war on Ukraine’s ability to export goods.

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Strike averted as nurses accept pay offer in UK

It called for the Scottish government to “live up” to its promise to reform the Agenda for Change and make nursing a career of choice once again…reports Asian Lite News

NHS strikes in Scotland have been averted after unions representing midwives and nurses voted to accept the Scottish government’s pay offer.

Just over half of Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members voted in the ballot, with 53.4% of those voting to accept the offer equating to an average 6.5% increase in 2023/24.

About half (49%) of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) members voted in the ballot, with 69% voting to accept the deal.

Last week, Unison and the GMB unions also voted to accept the pay offer.

The RCN said that while the vote ends an immediate threat of strike action, a significant minority of members voted to reject the offer, demonstrating their “continued frustration and concern” about the ongoing staffing crisis in the NHS.

It called for the Scottish government to “live up” to its promise to reform the Agenda for Change and make nursing a career of choice once again.

Colin Poolman, director of RCN Scotland, said: “Our members voted for strike action with a heavy heart. Their commitment to standing up for patients and their profession brought the Scottish government back to the table. Members have narrowly voted to accept this offer but the Scottish government must be under no illusion, much more is required for nursing staff to feel valued and to ensure Scotland has the nursing workforce it needs. They must live up to their promises. The Agenda for Change framework must be modernised to recognise the clinical skills and expertise of nursing staff and further improvements to pay, terms and conditions are needed in the years ahead.”

Meanwhile, the RCM called for an improvement to working conditions across Scotland after a damning report last year showed three-quarters of midwives had considered leaving the profession.

Jaki Lambert, RCM director for Scotland, said: “This is a good offer that gives our members most of what they had been asking for, including an above-inflation pay award and a commitment to reform of NHS pay bands.

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“While pay is crucial, this was also about midwives feeling seen and valued. Improving retention through better working conditions, professional midwifery issues and the wellbeing of staff are also a key component of this.

“Most importantly, it was also about our members standing tall and being prepared to take action to ensure better care for women, babies and their families.”

Last month, Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, committed to establishing a nursing and midwifery taskforce which will recommend a series of actions to support the retention and development of existing nursing staff and encourage more people to consider a career in nursing.

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UK train strikes expected to end

The RMT said it was not making a recommendation on how to vote on the offer, compared with a similar offer in December 2022, which union officials advised members to reject…reports Asian Lite News

The deadline for RMT members to vote for the latest Network Rail offer has now passed, with members expected to vote in favour of the offer.

The new offer includes a salary increase of 14.4 per cent for the lowest paid and 9.2 per cent for the highest paid staff.

There is an additional 1.1 per cent on basic earnings and increased backpay. The results are expected to be announced shortly.

The RMT said it was not making a recommendation on how to vote on the offer, compared with a similar offer in December 2022, which union officials advised members to reject.

On Sunday, senior rail sources were “quietly confident” a majority of workers had backed the pay offer.

A senior industry source said: “We [are] not counting our chickens, but the mood music is certainly more positive. That’s principally because the union hasn’t put out a communication to reject it. Everything we’ve heard is very positive. People are voting for it in bigger numbers than last time. The vast majority of members have already voted and we’re expecting a majority will have voted in favour.”

A pay deal being reached would pave the way for months of strike action to end. Additional disputes involving the train drivers union Aslef still need to be resolved, however.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “We will continue our campaign for a negotiated settlement on all aspects of the railway dispute.”

Speaking on Saturday, Lynch said RMT members are not prepared to “swallow vast changes to their working conditions” in exchange for a “poor pay rise”.

The union leader compared the government’s approach to transport workers with public sector workers, stating: “We need a change in attitude. We’ve seen a bit of that in the health service and maybe in the teachers’ unions. The difference in that is there are no conditions, it’s new money – but our members are expected to swallow vast changes to their working conditions and they’re not prepared to do that to get a very modest, poor pay rise.”

The RMT said that more than 20,000 workers will be taking strike action unless there is a negotiated settlement.

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Women, children failed by Met police, review finds

Baroness Louise Casey’s review of the culture and standards in the police force found it institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic…reports Asian Lite News

The Metropolitan Police have “nowhere to hide” after a “rats’ nest” of institutional misogyny was exposed by a damning report, women’s organisations have said.

Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ), Rape Crisis and the End Violence Against Women Coalition have called for urgent changes to the UK’s largest police service after a scathing review was published on Tuesday.

Baroness Louise Casey’s review of the culture and standards in the force, commissioned after Sarah Everard was murdered by serving officer Wayne Couzens, found the force is institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic.

Baroness Casey also suggested there may be more officers like Couzens and serial rapist David Carrick, and she found the force has failed to protect the public from officers who abuse women.

CWJ, a legal charity that campaigns for victims of male violence, said the review “confirms a culture which not only tolerates but fosters many of the worst forms of criminal abuse from within its ranks and reveals shocking treatment of forensic evidence gathering in sexual violence investigations”.

“As an organisation that works with victims of male violence and police abuse, the rats’ nest that has been laid to bare provides an explanation for the repeated dreadful stories we hear from the many women who have contacted us,” a spokesman added.

“It is utterly shameful that women and children have been failed as the report highlights.”

CWJ director Harriet Wistrich called for the all report’s recommendations’ to be “accepted and effectively” enacted, with police chiefs held accountable for their implementation and regular reviews of this process.

Jayne Butler, chief executive of Rape Crisis, a charity working to end sexual violence and abuse, said the review is “the latest in a long line of reports that outline the serious and deep-rooted failures within the Metropolitan Police”.

“It is evident that the Met has not just tolerated a culture of misogyny, racism and homophobia, it has enabled it to thrive,” she added.

“It should not take years of scrutiny for changes to be made: radical transformation is now a matter of urgency. We are tired of hearing a rhetoric of building trust. Trust will only follow when policing is effective in minimising rather than enabling harm to women.”

Andrea Simon, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, added: “This damning report leaves the Met nowhere to hide when it comes to the depth of its problems with institutional misogyny, racism and homophobia. Words can only go so far, and the Met cannot be more concerned with fixing their image than fixing their problems. Many women and girls rely on the police when seeking safety and justice, and we will be looking to the Government to see what concrete actions they take to transform their experiences.”

Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has accepted there is racism, misogyny and homophobia in the force but said he would not use the term institutional.

Since the 1999 inquiry, the Met has remained largely white and male, the review found.

The police force was also accused of homophobia over the failure to stop serial killer Stephen Port after he took the life of his first victim and went on to murder three more men, but force bosses denied there was an issue.

Relatives of the victims have called for a public inquiry into the force in the wake of the report.

Following the report, Baroness Casey has called for the Met to “change itself”, adding: “It is not our job as the public to keep ourselves safe from the police. It is the police’s job to keep us safe as the public.

“Far too many Londoners have now lost faith in policing to do that.”

Her 363-page report, published on Tuesday, found that violence against women and girls has not been taken as seriously as other forms of violence.

It found that there is widespread bullying in the Met, with a fifth of staff with protected characteristics – for example, race, sexuality or disability – being victimised.

In recent years, the force has lurched from scandal to scandal including Miss Everard’s murder by serving officer Couzens and Carrick being unmasked as one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders.

Baroness Casey called for a “complete overhaul” of the Met and a “new approach to restore public trust and confidence”.

If the force does not reform, it could face being broken up in future, Baroness Casey said.

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