UK / INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES
MI5 has been forced to hand over highly sensitive files on the killers of soldier Lee Rigby to a parliamentary committee of MPs and peers.
The drummer in the Royal Fusiliers was hacked to death last year in Woolwich, south-east London. The UK’s Security Service, better known as MI5, faces claims that it failed to realise the threat posed by his killers.
Business / DEFENCE
Italian prosecutors have agreed a ‘plea bargain’ with a middleman who they accused of bribing Indian officials to help Britain secure a huge helicopter contract.
Pressure on AgustaWestland, the British helicopter maker, over the corruption allegations has increased as an Italian judge approved the plea bargain. Ministers in Britain also face even more questions over the affair.
UK / PUBLIC OFFICIALS’ PAY
More than 2,400 senior NHS officials were identified as working ‘off payroll’ in an unpublished review by the Department of Health.
Exaro can reveal the astonishing figure as the ministry prepares to submit a report to Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, on what action is being taken to clamp down on the practice in the UK’s National Health Service.
International / RUSSIA
BRUSSELS: Russia’s ambassador to the European Union issued a startling warning to other diplomats at a private lunch, Exaro can reveal.
Vladimir Chizhov, permanent representative of Russia to the EU, warned that Russia could intervene on behalf of ethnic Russians beyond Crimea – in particular in Estonia and Latvia. Western diplomats and businessmen were taken aback the comments at a private lunch.
UK / CHILD ABUSE
Boxes of archived documents have turned up that could provide crucial clues about child sex abuse linked to former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith.
Detectives have been given access to 33 boxes of previously unknown paperwork as part of their investigation into historical claims that boys were sexually abused at a special school where Smith was a governor.
Parliamentary computers crash 90 minutes after IT assurances
Parliament was hit by another computer crash within 90 minutes of an assurance to MPs, peers and their staff that the system had been fixed. It is the latest problem for its computer system. Exaro last month revealed an e-mail sent to staff by the head of IT for the Houses of Parliament about the embarrassing failures. Updated 4 April 2014 2.00pm.
Company failures rise despite George Osborne’s budget cheers
Company failures are on the rise again as insolvency figures across the board are up compared with last year, according to data compiled by Exaro. As George Osborne, chancellor, celebrated improved economic indicators in his budget speech last week, the Exaro Insolvency Index highlights a more troubling picture for UK business. Increasing numbers of companies filed one or more insolvency notices.
Customs seized video of child sex abuse and ex-cabinet minister
Customs officials are trying to silence an ex-colleague who seized video that shows child sex abuse allegedly in the presence of a former cabinet minister. Exaro can reveal that the politically-explosive video was confiscated by a Customs officer at Dover’s Eastern Car Terminal in 1982. An Amsterdam-based businessman was importing the video cassette, which was seized with other child pornography.
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