Fresh Labour attack claims Tories purposely ignored fraud cases

The government has been criticized by Labour for not taking strong action against scam calls. They believe that ministers have purposely avoided dealing with the problem to maintain the perception that crime rates are decreasing.

Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry wrote a letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, stating that 1.5 million people in England and Wales have been victims of fraud in the six months since she first raised the issue. She accused the government of showing little interest and not taking effective action in addressing fraud. Thornberry pointed to former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s remarks from last year, where he downplayed fraud as a crime that people face in their daily lives.

Labour faced backlash for their strong criticism towards the government, specifically regarding an attack advertisement suggesting Rishi Sunak’s stance on imprisoning child sex abusers and gunmen. Despite this, party sources defended their approach, stating that it demonstrates boldness and a willingness to challenge expectations. Thornberry defended their language, defending the importance of holding the government accountable for their stance on locking up criminals.

Thornberry also expressed concern about the delay in the government’s promised strategy for tackling fraud. She highlighted Lord Agnew’s resignation as the former counter-fraud minister in protest of Rishi Sunak’s decision to forgive billions lost to fraud during the pandemic. Thornberry emphasized the urgency of publishing a comprehensive assessment of fraud across different sectors and a clear plan for addressing it, urging swift action from the government.

In her communication with the Home Secretary, Thornberry emphasized the need to crackdown on phone scamming gangs operating outside the country. She suggested that a Labour government would implement measures to prevent overseas calls with spoofed UK numbers from reaching UK mobile phones. Additionally, she proposed stricter regulations for businesses operating call centers abroad, ensuring only authorized companies could use UK numbers when making international calls. Thornberry highlighted the loopholes in the current measures by Ofcom meant to address scam calls and stressed the need for stronger actions to combat fraud.

Resources in the UK to Handle Phone Fraud

When dealing with phone fraud in the UK, it’s crucial to be aware of common scams and how to protect yourself. Here are some resources and tips to help you combat phone fraud effectively:

  • Age UK: Age UK provides information on various phone scams, including bank scams, undercover police scams, and more. They offer advice on how to recognize and avoid these scams, emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant against fraudulent calls.
  • Mobile UK: Mobile UK advises on protecting yourself from scam calls and texts, especially during busy shopping periods. They highlight the importance of reporting suspicious activity by texting 7726, a free service available to all mobile customers in the UK.
  • Who Called me: This website provides a free reverse phone lookup service in the United Kingdom. Users can identify unknown callers and potential scams by searching phone numbers on the site
  • National Crime Agency (NCA): The NCA highlights the prevalence of fraud in the UK and the need for better reporting. They emphasize the government’s national fraud strategy to combat fraudsters and empower people to respond effectively to fraud attempts.

Remember, if you suspect you’ve been a victim of phone fraud, report it immediately to Action Fraud or your bank. Stay informed about common scams, be cautious with your personal information, and utilize the available resources to protect yourself against fraudulent activities.

Shaun Bailey urged to self-reflect and decide on accepting honour.

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood is suggesting that Shaun Bailey should decline his peerage due to a lockdown party for staff during his unsuccessful mayoral bid in London. The party, which took place in 2020, violated the ban on indoor social events. Boris Johnson had nominated Bailey for a peerage. When asked about Bailey’s position, Ellwood emphasized the need for consideration, noting that there are significant questions that need to be addressed. The Mirror recently released footage of the event, showing Bailey’s campaign team violating COVID-19 restrictions.

The invitation to the party, titled “the Shaun Bailey for London Holiday Party,” asked guests to “jingle and mingle.” It was sent on behalf of Ben Mallet, a former aide to Boris Johnson. The gathering took place at the Tory HQ in London while indoor socializing was prohibited under Tier-2 restrictions. The Conservative Party disciplined four individuals involved in the event, without disclosing their names. Although Bailey is not seen in the footage, he previously apologized for attending the party. He expressed his disappointment upon hearing about the video and acknowledged his responsibility for the team’s actions.

Bailey has stated that the decision to accept his seat in the Lords will be determined by others. He sees it as a privilege and hopes to continue working for the benefit of the country and London. However, survivors of COVID-19 victims believe that those involved in the party should lose their honors. Matt Fowler, co-founder of a campaign group representing bereaved families, shared that witnessing the event is a distressing experience for many. The Metropolitan Police conducted an investigation after the initial image circulated but took no action against attendees. They are now reviewing the newly released video, which provides further context to the gathering.

Voluntarily resigning membership in the House of Lords is possible for life peers, but legislation is required to remove them. According to Hannah White from the Institute for Government think tank, retired peers would retain their titles. The Forfeiture Committee within the Cabinet Office has the power to recommend the removal of MBEs and OBEs following official investigations. The Liberal Democrats have called for an investigation into revoking all of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours, considering the attended party as a tarnishing factor. Housing Secretary Michael Gove, however, stated his belief that attendees retaining their awards should be the decision of the Prime Minister, with respect given to due process.