Migration data: Why is it so hard to count people?

  • 22 August 2019
  • From the section UK
Picture showing family entering the UK

The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) has downgraded the reliability of its own method for measuring migration, after discovering serious flaws in its methodology. So do we ever really know the scale of UK migration?

The headline migration figure is the number of people arriving in the UK who are planning to stay for at least a year, minus the people who are leaving the UK and planning to be away for at least a year.

The latest figures for net migration from the European Union estimate that in the year to the end of March, 59,000 more EU citizens came to the UK than left. That is the lowest figure since 2013.

But that number is not the full story. It's not a spot-on accurate count. As of this week, it is merely an "experimental" statistic after the ONS concluded it has been systematically underestimating EU migrants and overestimating others. That means it is no longer one of the 850 trusted "national statistics" that drive decisions across the nation every day.

This is of little surprise to experts who have repeatedly warned of shortcomings. In fact, the ONS itself has long said the core component of the system had been "stretched beyond its purpose".

How has it been counting migrants?

Read full article Migration data: Why is it so hard to count people?

Tommy Robinson: The rancour, rhetoric and riches of brand Tommy

  • 11 July 2019
  • From the section UK
Tommy Robinson greets his followers outside the Old Bailey in July 2019 Image copyright PA Media

It's May 2019.

A small crowd surrounds a mobile screen on the Brinnington council estate in Stockport. They've gathered to hear Tommy Robinson who wants to become their Member of the European Parliament. He says he's speaking for them - standing up against the elites in politics and the media.

Read full article Tommy Robinson: The rancour, rhetoric and riches of brand Tommy

The day I tried to be an MI5 spook

  • 2 July 2019
  • From the section UK
MI5's London headquarters Image copyright Reuters
Image caption MI5: A secret organisation that's not as secret as it once was

So there I was inside MI5's London's headquarters and under pressure to decide where I should send the last available undercover surveillance team.

And the more I agonised over which suspects they should follow, the harder it became for me to know if my decision was the right one.

Read full article The day I tried to be an MI5 spook

Jack Letts: Why jihadi's parents are guilty of funding terrorism

  • 20 August 2019
  • From the section UK
John Letts and Sally Lane arrive at the Old Bailey Image copyright PA

A former charity fundraiser and an organic farmer have been convicted of funding terrorism by sending cash to their son in Syria. So how did Sally Lane and John Letts end up before a jury in the Old Bailey?

In the words of one judge, they were "two perfectly decent people... in custody because of the love of their child".

Read full article Jack Letts: Why jihadi's parents are guilty of funding terrorism

Zamira Hajiyeva: How the wife of a jailed banker spent £16m in Harrods

  • 28 May 2019
  • From the section UK
Zamira Hajiyeva Image copyright Gustavo Valiente
Image caption Zamira Hajiyeva: Centre of NCA investigation

It is perhaps the shopping bill to end all shopping bills.

Documents disclosed to the BBC have revealed how a woman married to a jailed banker managed to spend £16m in Harrods without raising suspicions.

Read full article Zamira Hajiyeva: How the wife of a jailed banker spent £16m in Harrods

Zain Qaiser: Student jailed for blackmailing porn users worldwide

  • 9 April 2019
  • From the section UK
Image copyright NCA
Image caption Zain Qaiser scammed visitors to pornography sites around the world

A student who made hundreds of thousands of pounds blackmailing pornography website users with cyber attacks has been jailed.

Zain Qaiser from Barking, London, used his programming skills to scam visitors to pornography sites around the world.

Read full article Zain Qaiser: Student jailed for blackmailing porn users worldwide

Royal wedding 'zombies' lose human rights case

  • 28 March 2019
  • From the section UK
Zombie protesters being arrested in London Image copyright Hannah Eiseman-Renyard
Image caption Hannah Eiseman-Reynard, left, was deemed a threat on the wedding day

Protesters have lost a legal fight against pre-emptive arrests made when some of them dressed as zombies in London during 2011's royal wedding.

The nine demonstrators were detained until after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kissed on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

Read full article Royal wedding 'zombies' lose human rights case

How long will the undercover policing inquiry take?

  • 24 March 2019
  • From the section UK
Campaigners attach a banner to the entrance of The High Court Image copyright Getty Images

In February 2019, one of the UK's longest-running and most controversial inquiries confirmed what's been long suspected - that it may be another year before it hears any evidence at all.

The inquiry into alleged undercover policing abuses was launched four years ago, in March 2015.

Read full article How long will the undercover policing inquiry take?

Immigration removals stopped by injunction

  • 14 March 2019
  • From the section UK
Immigration enforcement officers raid a home in Southall in 2015 Image copyright Getty Images

Hundreds of immigration removals are in doubt after the High Court ordered the Home Office to stop using a controversial "no warning" tactic.

A charity defending detainees has won an injunction after saying the policy breached the right to access justice.

Read full article Immigration removals stopped by injunction

Secret document reveals police 'blacklisting'

  • 6 March 2019
  • From the section UK
A Blacklist campaigner wearing a hardhat declaring he had been "blacklisted" Image copyright BSG
Image caption Blacklist campaign: Workers across the UK are still demanding justice

A secret police document has revealed how the Metropolitan Police's Special Branch helped the illegal blacklisting of trade unionists - preventing them from getting jobs because of their political views.

In one case, detectives suggested one individual was a terrorist, despite the claim being wrong.

Read full article Secret document reveals police 'blacklisting'