Connect with us

Politics

Asbestos horror warning as dozens working in UK Parliament may have been exposed

Published

on

[ad_1]

Sources from inside the iconic London landmark say a possible exposure occurred while work was taking place in Speakers House, the official residence of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, in August. Reports suggest those potentially affected by the dangerous chemical substance are now in the process of being notified.

One official familiar with the maintenance of parliament told Politico it looked like “a huge failure of safety systems.”

A House of Commons spokesperson said: “The House is currently working with our contractors, supply chain and the Health and Safety Executive following an incident of possible asbestos exposure on the estate.

“A temporary pause in construction projects was implemented to ensure lessons learned from this incident are rapidly implemented.”

A previous report conducted in 2016 stated the home of British politics was “riddled with asbestos” and a “thorough renovation of the Palace of Westminster would allow this asbestos to be removed safely and more cost-effectively.”

The report, which followed a year-long inquiry by MPs and peers, recommended a “full decant” of MPs to another location while the outdated sewage, electrical and heating systems are replaced and asbestos removed.

However, plans for a wholesale restoration are currently in limbo as the Commons Commission — its managing body — wants to explore the option of MPs remaining on the estate while the work is carried out.

Recent work to the clock tower saw MPs and peers continue their work while maintenance took place.

With the highly delicate and dangerous work of removing the toxic substance now a priority, some have called to move the two houses to a temporary location while work is carried out.

However, this has been met with opposition.

READ MORE:
MPs told ‘they can discuss and criticise’ Royal Family in Parliament

Already the cost of repairing the tower housing Big Ben, known officially as Elizabeth Tower, came in at nearly £80 million.

An extra £18.6 million was required over the initial budget as costs soared following the discovery of bomb damage, and more layers of asbestos in the 177-year-old structure.

The four clock dials on the outside of the tower contain a total of 1,296 individual pieces of glass, each of which needed to be replaced as part of the restoration work.

And 700 stone repairs have been needed – 300 more than the initial estimate – and every new piece of stone needs to be painstakingly re-carved.

SHOULD ALL HIGH PROFILE GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS BE CHECKED FOR ASBESTOS? SHOULD THIS BE EXTENDED TO PRIVATE HOMES? HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ASBESTOS IN YOUR HOME OR WORKPLACE? JOIN THE DEBATE IN OUR COMMENTS SECTION BY CLICKING HERE – EVERY VOICE MATTERS!

The Elizabeth Tower is often mistakenly called Big Ben by tourists and Londoners alike – but the latter name only refers to the bell it houses.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral.

There are six types, all of which are composed of long and thin fibrous crystals, each fibre being composed of many microscopic “fibrils” which can be released into the atmosphere by abrasion and other processes.

Asbestos causes mesothelioma, lung cancer and other cancers if ingested or inhaled into the body.



[ad_2]

Politics

'Have to kick the pedal to the metal' Ex-Ukrainian leader slams Macron tank aide hesitancy

Published

on

[ad_1]

Ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk sat down on LBC Radio to discuss NATO leaders. NATO has been allying themselves with Ukraine, sending help and weaponry and taking fleeing Ukrainian refugees. NATO members held a conference on the Russian invasion earlier this week to discuss more ways to help Ukraine.

Mr Yatsenyuk pushed for Macron to send over military tanks as promised, slamming him for dragging his feet, and claiming that the war in Ukraine affects the security of every European country.

Mr Yatsenyuk said: “That’s what Putin is closely watching, as for now, Putin didn’t expect this kind of unity and consolidated and concerted actions against the Russian federation.

“But you know, the time is running and we don’t have enough time to wait until some EU member states decide to supply more weapons to Ukraine.

“Or to impose tougher and stronger sanctions on the Russian Federation, so the EU has to be decisive and they have to speed up the process of new sanctions.

“And the shipment and delivery of weapons to Ukraine, because it’s not just about Ukraina and they realise it clearly, this is about the free world.

“And this is about the security of every single nation in the European Union, so the French have to kick the pedal to the metal.”

JUST IN: Putin’s ‘biggest’ Achilles’ heel exposed as ‘derided’ Russian despot facing furious REVOLT

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky explained this week that he expected “serious steps” from Western-allied countries.

Mr Zelensky repeated the calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine to be imposed by NATO forces and complained that the Western allies had not yet provided Ukraine with sufficient planes, up to date modern anti-missile systems, tanks or anti-ship weapons.

Mr Zelensky added: “At these three summits we will see who is our friend, who is our partner and who sold us out and betrayed us.”

President Zelensky also expressed that he was grateful for the support Ukraine was continuing to receive from individual NATO member countries from around the world.

Mr Zelensky added: “But NATO has yet to show what the alliance can do to save people,” he said. “It feels like we’re in the grey zone between the West and Russia, but we’re protecting all our and your shared values.

READ MORE:Mum left fuming after letter describes her ‘active’ four-year-old daughter as overweight

Mr Johnson added: “We’ve got to tighten the economic vice around Putin, sanctioning more people today, as we are, sanctioning the Wagner Group, looking at what we can do to stop Putin using his gold reserves, and also doing more to help the Ukrainians defend themselves.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been playing an active role in trying to de-escalate the war with Russia by imposing tight sanctions on Russia to try and stop Putin’s warpath of destruction.

Ms Truss has warned that infighting between NATO countries at the moment could be highly detrimental for progress in ending the war.

Mr Truss said: “Russia’s targeting of critical national infrastructure is calculated and dangerous.

“It shows Putin is prepared to risk lives to sow division and confusion among allies.”



[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Politics

Brexit news: What happens when Article 16 is triggered?

Published

on

[ad_1]

After Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) was confirmed, the two parties have been attempting to renegotiate terms for a special Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland. Coined the Northern Ireland protocol it’s been a point of contention that’s led to threats from each side of triggering a mechanism called Article 16. But what is it?

What is Article 16?

The UK and EU agreed to the creation of the Northern Ireland protocol, in October 2019.

By allowing goods to flow freely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland the deal removed the threat of a hard border.

But the arrangement has also resulted in what’s been labelled as an ‘Irish Sea border’.

READ MORE: ‘Totally undeniable’ MPs colluded with Remainers to try stop Brexit

Goods that now arrive into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK are subjected to more stringent checks and controls.

In the scenario that either the UK or EU feel that the protocol is leading to significant issues or hampering their capacity to trade, then they have the option of activating Article 16.

The component sets out the process for taking unilateral “safeguard” measures, which in reality would amount to suspending parts of the deal.

Specifically, Article 16 says safeguard measures can be taken if the protocol is leading to serious “economic, societal or environmental difficulties” that are liable to persist.

He said: “Triggering Article 16 now would severely disrupt the unity of the UK and EU response to the war in Ukraine.

“It is thus perhaps not surprising that key US figures chose this week to restate that any uncertainty around the stability of the Good Friday Agreement would hinder a future UK-US trade deal.”

In recent months talks between Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic have stalled, leading to calls from Brexiteers for the UK to act.

However, Professor Menon cautioned that triggering Article 16 won’t “rid” Britain of the protocol.

He added: “I think the British Government if it triggers Article 16 will do something relatively small and contained.

“And then there’s not a massive bust-up. You don’t end up getting rid of the protocol. You end up with months if not years of negotiations, mediation and arbitration.

“So, it’s a way of doing something but it’s not a way of solving anything. In a sense you’re still stuck with the protocol and you’re still negotiating about the future of the protocol.”

In essence, were Article 16 to be triggered it wouldn’t have a huge impact on the ground.

Many of the checks on goods flowing from Britain to Northern Ireland have already been unilaterally suspended.

Triggering the mechanism itself would only start a formal dispute process that requires both sides to go into talks to resolve.



[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Politics

NATO slammed as former US Army chief exposes ‘two big issues’ in united Russia response

Published

on

[ad_1]

US Army vice chief of staff general Jack Keane, sat down on LBC radio to talk about the NATO conference which took place earlier this week. Mr Keane discussed the possibility that Putin could deploy chemical biological weapons on the battlefield. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already used the highly condemned thermobaric weapons since the war started just over a month ago.

The US Army chief acknowledged there had been no public policy declaration on the consequences Putin would face if he was to take such a barbaric action.

Mr Keane said: “Listen I was very disappointed by the NATO summit.

“I totally applaud the fact that they’re going to increase by 40k troops in Eastern Europe.

“And they’re increasing sanctions and it seems like a sense of unity.

“But on two big issues, it’s got to be disappointing, there’s no NATO public policy declaration.

JUST IN: Putin’s ‘biggest’ Achilles’ heel exposed as ‘derided’ Russian despot facing furious REVOLT

Mr Keane added: “At the end of that summit to deal with this particular issue, chemical biological weapons and nuclear weapons which the Russians have been waving in front of our face now for almost 30 days.

“What we need is… Think policy statement, not something that’s left to a reporter to ask a question on.

“And then you get a statement that you just repeated, which leads to more confirmation than anything else.

“A much better statement, using my words… I don’t want to put words into other people’s mouths.

READ MORE: Mum left fuming after letter describes her ‘active’ four-year-old daughter as overweight

“But with me, the use of any form of WMB would be unacceptable.

“We will not let it stand, it will result in decisive consequential actions and all options are on the table.

“Words to that effect, in a public policy statement, and we didn’t get it and it’s really unfortunate.

“And what it does it leaves in the minds of Putin and his  leaders just what would the reaction be, ambiguous like that and I think it’s very unfortunate.”

DON’T MISS: Russia scaling back invasion as troops retreat to eastern Ukraine after weeks of stalemate

Fear of the Russian military deploying chemical biological weapons has been heightened.

Ukrainian outlet InformNapalm has warned that: “Our conclusions may sound premature or too apocalyptic, but after the missile attacks and bombing of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, which the Russian army resorted to, we believe that it is necessary to make these data public and try to thwart any such intentions of Russia.”

And NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Thursday: “We’ve tried to be very clear about the gravity of the use of any such chemical weapons.

“These are agents that should never be employed and certainly not on the battlefield, as we are concerned Russia might.”



[ad_2]

Continue Reading

Trending