Here are this week’s headlines:
- Brexit impact shown in UK net migration figures
Reported by Radhika Morally
The first full set of data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), since the UK voted to leave the EU last June, has revealed that net migration is estimated to have fallen by a third since the decision. This has been described as the ‘largest drop since records began’.
When broken down, it has become evident that the sharpest drop was among EU citizens, with 123,000 leaving as opposed to 95,000 the year before. Although the amount of people moving to the UK for a “definite job” remained stable, those “looking for work” plummeted by 43% to 74,000.
The head of migration statistics at ONS, Nicola White, said: “These changes suggest that Brexit is likely to be a factor in people’s decision to move to or from the UK”. However, she does acknowledge that the Brexit vote is not the sole reason; there are also going to be other factors that are influencing the figures.
Some of those leaving the UK, in what has been given the tagline “Brexodus”, have revealed that they no longer felt welcome in the UK in light of the rise in hate crime and violence linked to the EU referendum. Of the 128,000 British people included in the net migration figures, some claimed that it was the EU referendum which had driven them to move abroad or apply for citizenship from other countries such as Ireland.
Professor Jonathan Portes, a former chief economist for the Cabinet Office and a senior fellow of the group UK in a changing Europe, has said that regardless of individual views on immigration, “it cannot be good news that the UK is a less attractive place to live and work”.
However, immigration minister Brandon Lewis has stated that the net migration fall and rise in confirmed job-seekers highlights that the system in place is “delivering for business needs”, and that the UK is still a country able to attract the “brightest and best”.
- Mail Online to pay for Katie Hopkins' comments
Reported by Paige Waters
Katie Hopkins, a columnist for the Mail Online, accused a teacher of taking her students to a Donald Trump protest in Westminster. This false accusation has led to the Mail online having to be substantial damages to Jackie Teale, the teacher in question.
The Mail online stated “we apologise to Ms Teale for this error and have agreed to pay Ms Teale substantial damages and legal costs”. This apology was issued the day after Katie Hopkins left the Mail Online.
This apology came from a column which was published in February, the headline stated “schools are supposed to teach kids HOW to think for themselves, not WHAT to think. So why are so many liberal teachers bullying and brain-washing children with their own intolerant views?”
Teale has commented on the matter, stating:
“my twitter feed went crazy. Setting aside the personal attacks, people were calling for me to resign. I should be sacked. ‘Someone’, they said would be in contact with me about this. They began circulating links to the Department for Education and encouraged each other to register complaints with them to inform them of my ‘illegal’ activates.
This is when I stated to panic. Not because I was worried about the personal repercussions, but because I did not want my actions to have any negative impact on the school where I work and my great colleagues. The other thing that concerned me was that people were embellishing the story. Post-truth reigns supreme on social media because anyone can say anything.” This was after Katie Hopkins not only published her article online, but also commented on the matter on Twitter.
Read more here.
- Google to be sued for unlawful harvesting of personal data
Reported by Jutha Cheewat
A claim was put forward that Google had bypassed iPhone default privacy settings affecting 5.4 million people between June 2011 and February 2012.
The class action against the tech firm could potentially mean more than 5 million people will be entitled to compensation.
A group led by former executive of consumer body ‘Which?’ Richard Lloyd, and advised by Mischon de Reya, launched a legal action aiming for compensation under a group called “Google You Owe Us”.
Google is also accused of breaching the UK law in regard to data protection, as the firm breach a violation of trust against iPhone users.
The group hopes that this action will at least send a strong message to another tech giants in Silicon Valley that people will fight back if the laws have been broken.
Richard also added:
“This is […] the first case of its kind in the UK against a major tech company for misusing our valuable personal data […] I want to spread the word about our claim. Google owes all of those affected fairness, trust and money. By joining together, we can show Google that they can’t get away with taking our data without our consent and that no matter how large and powerful they are, nobody is above the law.”
However, a Google spokesperson responded: “This is not new. We have defended similar cases before. We don’t believe it has any merit and we will contest it.”
Read more here.