One in three doctors in Britain are now trained in a foreign country
With India and Pakistan making up a large part of the countries of origin — two countries where training standards are at best patchy
More than one in three doctors practising in Britain were not trained in the UK, according to the General Medical Council. The latest figures found that 73,542 doctors, or 37 per cent, were trained in 147 different countries including Mongolia, Sudan and Haiti.
The List of Registered Medical Practitioners includes both GPs and specialists.
It comes as doctors leaders expressed concerns about foreign doctors who are allowed to work in the UK without checks because European laws forbid employers to test their skills if they were trained in the EU. This applies to 22,000 foreign-born medics, according to the GMC.
Last year, the Nigerian-born German doctor Daniel Ubani was banned from working in the UK in 2010, after he gave a lethal overdose to a 70-year-old patient on his first shift working for a private out-of-hours firm. David Gray had been suffering from renal colic when he was treated by Ubani at his home in Manea, Cambridgeshire, in 2008. It emerged that Ubani was unfamiliar with the drug diamorphine and its administration.
Figures from 2009 reveal that 51 out of 83 doctors who were struck off that year had gained their qualifications outside Britain and 12 of these had qualified in Europe.
Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, who is on a Commons health select committee said there was a growing concern that these doctors, who may have poor English, are now able to work in Britain. Some hospitals have even introduced language lessons to deal with the problem.
‘You can practise here from Australia and have to take a test but from Poland no language test may be applied under EU regulations,’ she told the Daily Express.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council agreed. He said: ‘We are calling for urgent legal change so we can be sure that all doctors on the register have the necessary language skills to practise safely in the UK.’
Europe’s judges have ‘made UK a safe haven for terrorists’
European judges have turned Britain into a ‘safe haven’ for foreign terrorists, the independent reviewer of anti-terror laws warned yesterday.
Lord Carlile said rulings by the European Court of Human Rights had undermined efforts to deport dangerous individuals intent on causing mayhem.
The Liberal Democrat peer and QC attacked the court for refusing to allow the risk of harm to British citizens to be weighed in deportation hearings. Instead, only the human rights of the suspected terrorist can be taken into account. ‘The effect [of the court’s rulings] is to make the UK a safe haven for some individuals whose determination is to damage the UK and its citizens – hardly a satisfactory situation save for the purist,’ he said.
His comments will heap further pressure on ministers over relations with the Strasbourg court. Conservative MPs are already in open revolt over plans to give thousands of prisoners the right to vote following the court’s judgement that prisoners must have access to the ballot box.
Last night Dominic Raab, Tory MP for Esher and Walton, said European judges’ law making was ‘out of control’. He added: ‘It is not the job of an international court to re-write British laws on deportation, parental discipline or prisoner voting. It is high time we drew a line in the sand.’
Under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights individuals are protected against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment. The clause allows foreign terror suspects to fight deportation on the grounds that they would be tortured in their home countries if returned. A string of terrorists have taken advantage of the clause.
Britain has argued that the courts should be allowed to take into account the risks posed to its citizens. But the unelected judges ruled, in the 1996 Chahal judgment, that the only factor of importance was the protection of the human rights of terror suspects.
The European convention has been incorporated into British law in the Human Rights Act. British courts have to apply rulings of the European court.
Lord Carlile’s comments make clear how Britain’s efforts to deport foreign terror suspects have been hamstrung by the court.
In an attempt to deal with the issue, Labour made deals with countries with dubious human rights records in which they pledged not to torture anyone returned to them. These ‘deportation with assurances’ (DWA) agreements exist with Algeria, Libya, Jordan, the Lebanon and Ethiopia.
Home Secretary Theresa May has pledged to step up efforts to make more agreements and send more foreign terror suspects home. But Lord Carlile, in his sixth and final report as independent reviewer of terror legislation, wrote: ‘The negotiation of DWAs is a time-consuming process. ‘Even where successfully agreed, there is no guarantee the courts will accept them, given the relatively low threshold required for an individual to avoid deportation.
‘The Government sought by intervention in the European Court of Human Rights to argue that where a person seeks to resist removal on the grounds of risk of ill-treatment in their home country, this may be balanced against the threat they pose to national security if they remain. ‘And where the person poses a risk to national security, this has an impact on the standard to which he must establish a risk of ill-treatment. The court rejected both arguments. This leaves the UK reliant on DWAs.’
Lord Carlile’s comments angered human rights groups. Kate Allen, UK director at Amnesty International said: ‘The global ban on deporting people to countries where they’re at risk of torture exists for a very good reason – to protect us all from the threat of being tortured.’
The Tory manifesto included a pledge to abolish the Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights, but this was kicked into the long grass after discussions with the Lib Dems over forming the Coalition.
The false rape claims start young in Britain
For the past few years, she has been an enthusiastic member of a church youth group. The club meets at her local chapel every Sunday where they say prayers and light candles before taking part in social activities and discussions on topical moral or religious issues.
So it was on the Sunday evening before the August Bank Holiday last year when this deeply disturbing but still unfolding story begins. The girl we shall call Lucy was 15 then; she is 16 now. Her true identity is protected by the law, for reasons that will become apparent.
At the weekends, her social life, like that of many of the teenagers in this Gloucestershire village, revolved around the youth group where ‘respect others’ is the most important rule. The words are printed on laminated cards which are given to youngsters when they join.
Lucy — pretty, bright and articulate — epitomised these ideals. Or so it seemed to those in charge; back in the summer she even attended a Christian summer camp. How bitterly ironic these details seem with hindsight.
One of Lucy’s friends at the club was David, 15 (again, for legal reasons, not his real name). He went to the same school as Lucy, but was in the year below her. David lived in a detached house at the ‘posh’ end of the village, about half a mile from Lucy.
The two regularly exchanged text messages. Some time on the night of August 29 last year, Lucy received one inviting her to come round to David’s home the following morning. By the time she arrived, David’s mother had left for work and his elder sister had gone out. David and Lucy were joined by two of their peer group; a boy and girl both aged 14. All four went upstairs to David’s bedroom.
They started to play a game of ‘dare’ with each other; a sexual version of the game. ‘I dare you to lift up your tops and show me your bra,’ was the gist of the first challenge. The ‘game’ culminated with Lucy and David disappearing under the duvet on the bed. They remained there for ten minutes. During that time they had full sex while their friends sat at a PlayStation in the corner.
Could there be a more graphic example of the sexualisation — and promiscuity — of too many children today?
Yet this is not the end of the story. The repercussions of what happened that morning five months ago in a village in the heart of so-called Middle England have been devastating, and are enough to shock any parent of a teenage child.
One week on from the game of ‘dare’, Lucy was at the club as usual. Sitting next to her in church was the same girl who had been with her in David’s room. Lucy began tapping a message into her mobile phone before passing the phone to her friend. Her friend read the message. It said: ‘I think I might be pregnant.’
That bombshell was followed by an astonishing accusation. David, she told her friend, had raped her that morning under the duvet. Lucy repeated the claim to her mother, who took her to the police station. David was arrested. In the harrowing days that followed, David was called a ‘rapist’ — among other things — in the street by other youngsters who presumed he must be guilty. He wasn’t.
Lucy, it transpired, was lying. She was charged with making a false rape claim. And last week, she was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice when she appeared before a youth court in Cheltenham; one of the youngest people in the country, it is believed, ever to be successfully prosecuted for such an offence. She will be sentenced later this month.
Why were detectives so sure Lucy was not telling the truth? Well, for one thing, it was not the first time she had falsely accused a boy of rape, of which more later. There were also two other youngsters in the bedroom, remember, when Lucy and David had sex. Neither of them corroborated her account.
One of those teenagers, a slip of a lad, is now sitting in his lounge next to his mother and stepfather recalling what really happened on that Bank Holiday morning. Did he know what rape was? ‘Yes,’ he replied. Was Lucy raped? ‘No.’ What did he think they were doing? Answer: ‘I thought they were just doing it.’
When they were ‘finished’, he said, David told him what he and Lucy had done under the duvet; it is inappropriate to quote that conversation in a family newspaper.
Nevertheless, no boy should have to go through what David has gone through. Or be forced to give evidence in rape proceedings as the boy now speaking to me did; a video of his testimony, which was played to the court, helped clear David, but condemned Lucy.
Lucy and many of her peer group, after all, were members of a church youth group. She describes herself on social networking sites as a Christian. Yet the well-behaved, crucifix-wearing Lucy has a very different side, it seems. This is the heavily made-up, cigarette-smoking Lucy who was often to be seen around the village in sometimes thigh-skimming dresses with a variety of different boys in tow.
Some families had stopped their own children from associating with Lucy and say she has been sexually active since the age of at least 13.
British PM: It’s time to stop tolerating the Islamic extremists and get immigrants to respect British ‘core values’
David Cameron will today pledge to make Britain ‘a lot less’ tolerant towards Islamic extremists who whip up hatred against the West.
In a major speech on terrorism, the Prime Minister will argue that Britain has been too ‘passive’ towards organisations and preachers who poison the minds of young Muslims.
Mr Cameron will say Britain needs to be less tolerant and more judgemental when faced with ideologies that threaten the country’s basic values.
Signalling a major departure from Labour’s softly-softly approach, he will suggest that to ‘belong’ in Britain, individuals must sign up to core values such as freedom of speech, the rule of law and democracy. In a barely-concealed attack on the opposition, he will say: ‘It’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past.’
The Prime Minister will pledge to end all public funding for groups which give succour to extremist views. And he will call for action to ban extremists from radicalising young people in universities, prisons and internet chat rooms.
At a security conference in Munich today, Mr Cameron will say: ‘Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism.’
His warning comes just days after Britain’s independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws, Lord Carlile, said that human rights rulings had made Britain a ‘safe haven’ for suspected foreign terrorists.
The Prime Minister will also hit out at Labour’s experiment with multiculturalism – calling it a failure. He says society has failed to provide a strong sense of what it means to be British, making it easier for extremists to prey on youngsters seeking something to identify with.
Mr Cameron pledges to end the state funding of groups that help foster extremist views, even if they are not directly linked to terrorism. He warns that there is a ‘spectrum’ of dangerous groups, ranging from those advocating suicide bomb attacks to those who ‘may reject violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist world view, including real hostility towards western democracy and liberal values’.
He goes on: ‘As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called “non-violent extremists” and then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence.’
Downing Street last night declined to name the groups Mr Cameron is referring to. But controversial organisations which have received state funding in the past include Hizb-ut-Tahrir and the Muslim Council of Britain.
Mr Cameron will warn fellow European leaders that they cannot tackle terrorism simply by tracking down extremists abroad in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan and must ‘wake up to what is happening in our own countries’.
But the Prime Minister will add that events in Egypt – where Muslim protesters are calling for democratic reforms – show that ‘Western values and Islam can be entirely compatible’.
More than one murder a week is committed by a thug on bail in Britain
More than one murder every week is committed by a criminal who could have been locked up, it emerged last night. Shocking figures show how 60 deaths could have been prevented if the criminal had been remanded in custody rather than released on bail after their first offence.
It will re-ignite the bitter row over Justice Secretary Ken Clarke’s proposals to slash the prison population by 3,000. A key part of the plan is to grant bail to even more suspects – both adults and juveniles – than is currently the case.
Critics fear this will lead to the number of murders by suspects on bail increasing further.
The Government does not routinely publish information about the criminal background of murder suspects. But Freedom of Information requests show suspects on bail represent one in 14 of all those who face the charge. Nationwide, that is the equivalent of 60 killings.
Campaigners say that, in many cases, they are violent partners arrested for an assault, who are then allowed back home – where they commit murder. In other startling cases, thugs picked up for yobbish behaviour are released back on to the streets to commit acts of lethal violence.
Rose Dixon, the chief executive of pressure group Support After Murder and Manslaughter, said: ‘Most of the families we deal with would say the criminal justice system isn’t robust enough. ‘People who are charged with domestic violence should be locked up for the protection of the women involved. ‘The statistics say that two women every week are killed by their partner or ex-partner – and in these type of cases we should look really carefully at how best to protect the victim.’
The survey of police in Britain found that, of those forces that kept the information, a total of 624 people were charged with murder. Of those, 43 were already on either police or court bail for a previous offence at the time of the killing.
When the missing forces are factored into the figures, it means that of the 870 people charged with murder last year around 60 would have been on bail for another offence.
The worst force was Lancashire – where six of the 31 people charged with murder last year were on bail at the time they allegedly committed the killing.
In South Yorkshire four out of the nine people charged with murder were on bail at the time while in West Yorkshire five of the 37 people charged were on bail.
Suspects are given bail as an alternative to custody while awaiting trial or sentencing. They are supposed to show good behaviour in return for not being locked up while the legal proceedings against them are put into place.
Yet there are a string of examples of violent and dangerous criminals who are granted bail. Two years ago Garry Weddell shot dead his mother-in-law while on bail on a charge of killing his wife. Other cases include Jonathan Vass, a 30-year-old ex-bouncer, who cut the throat of his former girlfriend Jane Clough, 26, while on bail for raping her. Last year he was jailed for life for the killing. Vass was originally put in prison to await the rape trial but was then released and went on to murder the nurse in the grounds of Blackpool Hospital.
Yesterday, Mr Clarke remained defiant, saying he had not once in his career produced a policy that was ‘instantly popular’. Writing in the Spectator magazine, Mr Clarke said: ‘My goal is a Conservative one: to find effective ways of punishing criminals while reducing public spending. ‘Prisons cost £4billion a year –over a billion more than they did in 1997. An adult prison place costs the taxpayer on average £45,000 a year; a young offender costs £60,000. ‘This would be money well spent if it stopped people from committing crime. But it does not.’
A Ministry of Justice spokesman added: ‘It is for Parliament to ensure that the framework used by the courts strikes the right balance between the rights of the individual and the need to protect the public.’
British recycling fanaticism achieves nothing
They were supposed to bring about a green revolution, forcing families to recycle more and send less to landfill. But fortnightly rubbish collections and strict ‘bin police’ have barely had an effect, according to official figures.
Despite the pressure of fewer bin rounds and tough rules imposed by councils, the recycling revolution has ground to a halt. The amount of rubbish sent for recycling has increased by a tiny margin and the town hall campaign to compel people to throw out less waste is also in trouble, with only a minuscule reduction in the amount left for binmen to collect.
Over the past two years, dozens of councils have switched to fortnightly collections, complicated kitchen slopbucket systems or straightforward rubbish rationing. At least 13 have cut back on refuse collections in the time since last year’s general election, and more are set to follow.
One Tory-led council, Wokingham in Berkshire, plans to restrict rubbish collections to 80 small sacks a year for everyone but large families. The stated aim is to push up recycling figures and reduce refuse. This, councils say, will cut the amounts sent to landfill, so avoiding Treasury landfill tax and EU fines due to come in next year, as well as reducing the ‘greenhouse gases’ linked to climate change.
But figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs yesterday suggest that householders have fallen out of love with recycling. In the year to June 2010, the total amount of waste destined for landfill sites fell just 0.3 per cent to 26.5million tonnes – seven times less than the average annual drop of 2.2 per cent over the previous five years.
And figures for the second quarter of 2010 show that the amount sent for recycling rose by just 0.4 per cent over three months, reaching 40.1 per cent of all household refuse. The quarterly increase is tiny compared with the 330 per cent rise in household recycling over the previous nine years.
The weak results suggest that coercive methods are no longer yielding results for town halls trying to cut the amount of waste they collect and send to landfill. It leaves reductions in spending as the only remaining reason for the introduction of fortnightly collections and rubbish rationing.
The fall-off follows a warning from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles that council methods are fostering resentment among voters. He said: ‘There is genuine anger that in the last decade their council tax bills have doubled but their bin collections have halved. ‘In their experience, the iron fist of the municipal state has come down on everyday people for the most minor of bin breaches.’
Doretta Cocks, of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections, said yesterday: ‘These are poor figures. Over the past two years we have had large numbers of councils moving to food waste collections with incredibly complicated recycling rules. ‘This is now entirely out of hand. They are not contributing any service for their money and they are losing people’s goodwill. ‘There is now a stalemate – people want to recycle but they are fed up with the stupid rules, the bin police and the fines.’
The Local Government Association, which represents town halls, insisted the initiatives are a success. Environment chief Gary Porter said: ‘The figures are another sign that councils and residents are working well to increase recycling rates and, more importantly, reduce landfill. ‘It is very encouraging to see recycling rates continue to rise.’
But Environment Minister Lord Henley warned councils not to force the issue. He said: ‘The best way to encourage people to recycle is not to punish families with bin taxes and bin fines as the previous administration did, but to encourage and reward them for going green.
‘This is good news that we have got this far, and as part of the waste review we’re looking at how to make it even easier for us all to do the right thing.’
Only women are allowed to criticize women?
That seems to be the rule on British TV. I suppose it’s the British equivalent of the American restriction on use of the word “n*gger”.
“Andy Gray and Richard Keys may have been unceremoniously dumped by Sky Sports after their off-air sexist banter was made public, but women television presenters can still apparently criticise each other with impunity.
Kirstie Allsopp, the face of such programmes as Location, Location, Location, has upset a financial commentator after publicly taking her to task over her appearance on a television show.
“Finance woman on BBC Breakfast clearly came directly from a night out,” the baronet’s daughter told her 90,000 followers on Twitter, the social-networking website. “It’s debatable whether that’s a skirt or not – hard to take her seriously.”
Women are notoriously b*tchy about the appearance of other women.