News Daily: Duke urged to contact Epstein investigators, and Labour manifesto launch

By Andy McFarlane
BBC News


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Prince urged to contact US investigators

The Duke of York might have stepped back from public life but there is no end to the intense scrutiny over his links to the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. A lawyer representing some of Epstein's victims wants Prince Andrew to offer himself for interview by US authorities "without conditions and without delay". Gloria Allred's demands come hours after the prince removed himself from public duties, saying the ordeal had become a "major disruption" to the Royal Family. But Ms Allred says the prince's pledge to help law enforcement agencies "if required" was ambiguous, adding: "Is he insisting that he be served with a subpoena to testify?"

Corbyn to unveil 'radical' Labour manifesto

A windfall tax on oil companies, more cash for the NHS and tackling climate change, a £10-an-hour "real living wage", 100,000 new council houses a year by 2024, free broadband for all, nationalisation of rail, mail, water and energy companies. Those pledges will all be in a manifesto Labour is calling the "most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades" which will be released later. "The most powerful people in Britain and their supporters are going to tell you that everything in this manifesto is impossible," leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to say. "Because they don't want real change. Why would they? The system is working just fine for them. It's rigged in their favour."

Matt Hancock, for the Conservatives, argues the changes would leave "our economy staring down the barrel of bankruptcy". The Tories are offering an alternative way to provide new housing, with leader Boris Johnson offering to boost private house building, with a promise to deliver one million homes over the next five years, alongside measures to help first-time buyers. BBC Reality Check points out there is a worsening national shortage of builders and carpenters. The Conservatives are yet to release their manifesto but political correspondent Nick Eardley has been looking at what else Mr Johnson might promise after appearing to let slip a policy to raise the National Insurance threshold. Meanwhile, Reality Check has been examining whether the PM got his sums wrong.

The Liberal Democrats are considering what their role might be in the event of a hung Parliament. Deputy leader Sir Ed Davey suggests the most likely outcome is a "minority Tory government", in which case his party would work with others to ensure Mr Johnson could not deliver Brexit without putting it to another EU referendum. Our political editor Laura Kuenssberg says the Lib Dems are shifting their message in the wake of the Brexit Party's withdrawal from constituencies won by the Tories in 2017. The SNP, meanwhile, has criticised the Lib Dem manifesto for ruling out a different public vote - a further one on Scottish independence.

If no manifesto promise will convince you to vote, you won't be alone. Nearly a third of the electorate didn't exercise their right at the last election. We examine what might happen if they did.

UK workers 'fake illness for days off'

Need a day off? Why not throw a sickie? The suggestion might be shocking to many of us but two in five adults would fake a sick day, according to a BBC survey of 3,655 over-16s. When asked about their morals and values, people across the UK also admitted to lying about stealing, and taking credit for other people's work. If this all makes you wonder why some people find lying so hard to resist, BBC Ideas offers an honest assessment.

'I was given three sheep for doing well in my GCSEs'

By Charley Adams, BBC News

When Lewis Steer was 16, his parents gave him three sheep as a reward for doing well in his GCSEs. It was an unusual present but Lewis and his girlfriend Flora Searson had an unusual goal - despite coming from non-farming families, they dreamed of running their own farm.

Now in their mid-20s, that's something they're doing, rearing three flocks of rare-breed sheep on rented land in Dartmoor, Devon. They explain what it's been like breaking into an industry that's often associated with a suspicion of outsiders.

What the papers say

The Duke of York's decision to step back from public life features heavily on front pages. The Daily Express says he was "shamed" into stepping down by the Queen in the wake of questions over his friendship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Metro employs a sour twist on the classic nursery rhyme to describe him as: "The banned old Duke of York." Read the full review.

Daily digest

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Image source, Margarita Gracheva


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