A man has been charged with assaulting the former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith in Manchester last year.
Elliot Bovill, 31, appeared in Manchester Magistrates’ Court, where he was accused of common assault against the senior Tory MP in the city centre on 4 October 2021, although it was confirmed that no further details of the offence were read out during the hearing, and Mr Bovill did not enter a plea.
The incident occurred while the Conservative Party Conference was happening in Manchester city centre, and was said to have happened while Sir Iain was walking to a fringe event with his wife, Betsy.
Sir Iain was due to take part in a talk with then-Brexit minister, Lord David Frost, at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel.
At the time of the incident, the former Tory party leader told The Spectator that he had been struck on the back of the head “with a traffic cone”, and he also told the BBC that protestors shouted “Tory scum” at him while he made his way to the fringe event – but he managed to escape from the situation without any serious injury.
He told The Spectator: “For half a second I was about to go up and punch them, I went forward and they all backed off – I nearly knocked them out, lost my rag”.
Sir Iain also told the BBC at the time: “They then decided to follow me and started shouting abuse, such as ‘Tory scum’ and any other reason they could think of. I carried on walking and when I was getting close to the place [where I had a meeting], someone came up with one of those rather heavy traffic cones and tried to smack me with it in the back of the head.”
Greater Manchester Police arrested five people following the incident.
During the hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Mr Bovill was told that the case was being moved to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and was granted unconditional bail to appear again on 16 May.
Two other people have also been charged in connection with the incident.
Radical Haslam, 28, of New Wakefield Street, Manchester, and Ruth Wood, 50, of Oak Tree Avenue, Cambridge, are accused of using threatening, abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of or provoke unlawful violence.
Mr Haslam did not attend court, but Ms Wood appeared by video link and was also bailed until 16 May.
Manchester Airport announces direct flights to Las Vegas from 2024
Manchester Airport has announced that passengers will once again be able to catch a direct flight to Las Vegas from next year.
The bright lights of the fabulous Las Vegas are calling.
When it comes to non-stop flights, those jetting off on holiday from Manchester Airport currently have over 169 exciting destinations in 50 countries to choose from – but now, you can add the party capital of the US to that list, as Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that its latest direct route from the Northern hub is Las Vegas.
The Nevada hotspot has always been a popular travel destination, not only because of its legendary nightlife scene, but also thanks to the fact it provides a gateway to the wide range of attractions in America’s West.
The stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, the Pacific Highway, and the major cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, are all within reaching distance from the desert city – which is presumably why Virgin Atlantic has chosen it as its next direct route from Manchester.
Starting from 2 June 2024, three flights a week will depart from Manchester Airport Las Vegas.
Flights to Las Vegas will operate on Virgin Atlantic’s newest Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, and will be added to the US routes already available through the airline from Manchester Airport to Orlando, New York, and Atlanta
The new Las Vegas route makes Manchester the only airport in the UK outside London to fly directly to America’s West Coast.
“It’s hugely exciting to see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to Las Vegas, which has always been one of our most popular long-haul routes,” Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Chris Woodroofe, said of the new flight destination.
“As the UK’s global gateway in the North, it’s great to work with airline partners like Virgin Atlantic to connect the region directly to as many destinations around the globe as possible.
“I am sure this service will be really popular with passengers and we look forward to continuing our work with Virgin Atlantic to further grow its route network from its Northern home in Manchester in the years to come.”
Manchester City named the most valuable football club brand in the world
Manchester City have been named the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time in their history.
Following yet another successful season punctuated with a fifth Premier League title in six years, another FA Cup following their historic Manchester derby victory and potentially a first-ever Champions League trophy in just a few days’ time, the club has arguably never been in a stronger position.
In monetary terms, it is a simple fact: according to this year’s Brand Finance Football 50 report, Man City’s brand value has grown 34% since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to more than £1.3 billion and overtaking European giants Real Madrid to become the most valuable club in world football.
Despite Man United being named the most valuable club in the Premier League according to Forbes’ latest rankings at the start of this month, this report suggests that Man City took in the most revenue on a global scale, reaching their all-time high notwithstanding the pandemic recovery period.
Further backing up the numbers, City also topped Deloitte’s Money League for the second year running after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record — and that was before the two most recent major honours. Crikey.
Elsewhere in the report, United did jump back above Liverpool into fourth overall, with Arsenal seeing the most growth over the last year following an impressive runner-up season. As for around Europe, PSG leapfrogged German giants Bayern Munich, and AC Milan are said to be the fastest-growing Italian club.
The City Football Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Roel de Vries, said the following after the announcement: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years.
“This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the Club as a whole. The Club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season…
“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this Club’s great history.”
Pep Guardiola and his squad are now just one game away from winning the treble, an achievement which would not only see them join an exclusive club of just seven teams to do so, such as United’s famous 1999 team, but would no doubt see their value skyrocket even further. Can they do it?