eclair and present danger
Prue initially turned down the offer of a close protection officer, but Channel 4 insisted
NEW Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has been given full-time protection by coppers to protect her from threats. The 77-year-old and her agent were shocked by the extreme levels of security provide by Channel 4 and show makers Love Productions after she was announced as the official replacement to national treasure Mary Berry.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Prue was shocked by the extreme levels of security provided by Channel 4
Prue initially turned down the offer of a close protection officer, but the TV companies insisted by sending one to guard her house. In an exclusive interview, the cooking legend revealed: On the day that they announced who the line-up was, they wanted to send a close protection officer.
My husband and a bunch of friends were going out to dinner to a really nice restaurant in London.
Prue revealed they also sent someone to look after her agent
I said, Don t be ridiculous, we absolutely do not need a copper standing there looking.
But they said, No, no, no, we really must just to be on the safe side.
What did they think is going to happen? I m not likely to be trolled. This is a nice family show.
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But when multi-millionaire Prue returned to her home in the Cotswolds, she discovered she had been granted the security protection anyway. She explained: When I got home that night at 11 at night, there s a chap in a van, a security guard.
They sent somebody down to the country to look after me.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Times Newspapers Ltd
Prue is already known as a cookery queen in culinary circles
I was really amazed that they really look after you.
Prue is being paid 500,000 to replace her close friend Berry, who told her not to worry about any threats.
Prue will return to our screens in Bake Off later this year Paul Hollywood speaks about fellow Bake Off judge Prue Leith
She revealed that Mary told her: Look, if there s a big story there might be somebody at the gate, but most people like the show.
It s quite nice walking into the supermarket and being asked: Are you the lady off the telly? That happens to me now and I always enjoy it. Also joining Prue and the returning Paul Hollywood when the show moves from the BBC to Channel 4 as part of a 75 million deal are new presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.
- ^ Channel 4 (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Mary Berry (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prue (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prince Philip (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prue is being paid 500,000 to replace her close friend Berry (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Paul Hollywood (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Sandi Toksvig (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Noel Fielding (www.thesun.co.uk)
The family of an American man killed last week in the London attack has offered tribute to his generosity and say they are grateful for the help and support so many have shown during a terrible time. (March 27) AP
This undated file photo released by the Metropolitan Police, shows Khalid Masood, who authorities identified as the man who mowed down pedestrians and stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament March 22, 2017, in London.(Photo: Uncredited, AP)
LONDON The man who carried out last week s terror attack in London that killed four people was a neighbor of two Islamist extremists while living in a town in England, British media reported. Khalid Masood, 52, moved to Luton, about 35 miles north of London, in 2009 after two spells in Saudi Arabia. He was a neighbor of Taimour Abdulwahab, an Iraqi-Swedish man who blew himself up after attempting to set off a car bomb in Stockholm in 2010, after becoming radicalized at a university. Masood also lived close to Abu Rahin Aziz, an Islamic State member from Luton who was killed in a drone strike in the group’s de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria in 2015, the Telegraph reported Monday. The extent of Masood’s contact with these two neighbors before their deaths is not known.
The fresh revelations came as investigators said that Masood sent a WhatsApp message to an unknown person just minutes before he went on his terrorist rampage Wednesday. He was shot dead by police after deliberately driving his vehicle into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge. Masood also fatally stabbed a police officer outside Parliament. Britain’s interior ministry was expected to meet with social media executives in London this week to urge encrypted services such as WhataApp to make their platforms accessible to intelligence services and police. The Islamic State claimed Masood as a “soldier” of the group, a claim that has not been verified. Twelve people have been arrested in the investigation and nine of them have been released with no further action, police said. A 30-year-old man detained in the central city of Birmingham on Sunday remains in custody, as does a 58-year-old man arrested Thursday. A 32-year-old woman arrested Friday was released on bail.
The Telegraph also reported that Masood was investigated by MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, six years ago as part of a plan to blow up an army base in Luton using a remote-controlled car. Four men inspired by al-Qaeda were jailed in 2013 after pleading guilty to the plot.
Masood, a body builder, could have come into contact with them at a Luton gym, the newspaper said. It reported that the father-of-three, born Adrian Russell Ajao in Kent, a county south of London, was raised a Christian and converted to Islam. He was married to a Muslim woman. He did jail time for grievous bodily harm, assault and possession of a weapon.
A Utah husband and wife celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary are among the victims of Wednesday s terror attack near the U.K. s Parliament in London Time
He also taught English in Saudi Arabia for two years and then returned there in 2015 on a visa designed for religious pilgrimages. No information has been revealed to suggest that Masood was radicalized while in Saudi Arabia. The family of two American victims thanked the public for their “kindness and consideration” Monday.
Kurt and Melissa Cochran were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and were on the last leg of a European tour when they were caught up in the attack.
“This has been a humbling and difficult experience, but we’ve felt the love of so many people during these past several days,” said Clint Payne, Melissa Cochran s brother.
“The most difficult part of all of this is that Kurt is no longer with us, and we miss him terribly. He was an amazing individual who loved everyone and tried to make the world a better place. He left a legacy of generosity and service that continues to inspire us,” he added.
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Anyone who counts the Palace of Westminster as their place of work is filled with an overwhelming sense of sadness over the lives lost on Wednesday. But, if I am completely honest, laced with that deep sorrow is a tiny sense of something very like relief, at least in one narrow respect: that the attack, and the misery it unleashed, wasn t even worse.
For Keith Palmer, the policeman who, day in day out, guarded me and my colleagues and I speak as a former officer of the Metropolitan police there is no relief; nor for his poor wife, family and friends. Nor for other innocent victims and their families. Their loss is absolute, overwhelming, unimaginable. But there could, easily, have been even greater loss of life, and with it even greater physical pain and emotional carnage. As a Liberal Democrat peer, now the party s home affairs spokesperson, I guess it is my job to tear lumps out of a Conservative government for which I have little sympathy. But not after this. Security is graver than party politics. So I write simply in the spirit of improving security. That security must be balanced with an obligation to keep parliament open to the people. We shouldn t turn Westminster into Fort Knox, even if such a thing were possible. But we can improve security, for politicians, staff and, crucially, police on the frontline. Those officers are not armed. Armed support is a distance away. No one wants an ostentatious display of force, which would only increase that sense of alienation many feel about Westminster . But this attack shows, alas, that armed officers should be directly behind that frontline. Otherwise lives will be lost that could be saved. In this attack, I gather, it was only because a minister s armed close protection officer happened to be close by that the assailant was stopped.
While millions are spent on surveillance powers and the security services, over the past six years 1bn has been cut from the Metropolitan police budget. That s huge. This suspect was known to police and the security services. Liberal Democrats are traditionally the most hardline in defending liberty, but we support the monitoring of communication of those suspected of terrorism, with appropriate safeguards. But this needs to be focused on suspects, not everyone, and the danger of treating all citizens as suspects is that real threats slip through. Those who are not known or who are not current suspects may get through to a high-profile target, as on this occasion. So police need to be in place on the ground not just armed officers at Westminster, but armed response units throughout the UK. Meanwhile, we need proper resources for community policing to pick up intelligence on those being lured into terrorism. Ultimately, communities defeat terrorism, not police and security services given or perhaps burdened with ever more draconian powers. Communities spot the tell-tale changes in behaviour. Trust and confidence in the relevant agencies are essential. The government s Prevent strategy supposedly targeting radicalised groups, but in practice stigmatising children as young as nine is discredited because it causes resentment and drives a wedge between communities. Instead, we need to positively engage so that the security services target resources more accurately on the most dangerous, while simultaneously winning the trust of their communities.
Terrorists striking in Europe in recent months were in several cases known to security services, so the issue is with operational capacity, not identifying suspects. We need intelligent, directed surveillance, not all-embracing surveillance. After previous terrorist attacks, home secretaries typically have appealed for greater powers and accuse liberals of being soft on terror . The result is a political arms race to increase state might, rarely with evidence that this will make the public safer. Instead, we should instigate the tangible changes that are shown to work, such as increasing police budgets and ensuring there are armed officers close to likely targets. Apologies for being so Lib Dem as the anti-hard Brexit party but if we avoid a Brexit that will cost the public finances 100bn, we could afford better security, while also working closely with our friends across the Channel through the pooling of intelligence and the European arrest warrant. I struggle to see how you can have a hard Brexit and safer streets. The government s plan to collect and store all our web histories for a year is expensive, ineffective and disproportionate. The creation and maintenance of this system is likely to cost over 1bn, money that could be better spent restoring police numbers in our community.
Whether it is working with communities or other intelligence agencies, we should work together. Terrorists want division, and we should not be so foolish as to give it to them. Let us remain open, tolerant and united.
- ^ the attack (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ Keith Palmer (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ But we can improve security (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ Metropolitan police (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ Prevent strategy (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ European arrest warrant (www.theguardian.com)
- ^ collect and store all our web histories (www.theguardian.com)