Police to review £10k fine given to NHS pay protestor
Local Mayor Andy Burnham has asked the force to perform an "additional review process" of the Fixed Penalty Notices - which was issued to Karen Reissmann for organising a 40-person protest on St Peter's Square on Sunday (March 7).
The £10,000 fine handed to a 61-year-old health worker for protesting NHS pay rates is being reviewed, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed.
Local Mayor Andy Burnham has asked the force to perform an “additional review process” of the five-figure Fixed Penalty Notice issued to Karen Reissmann for organising a 40-person protest in St Peter’s Square on Sunday (March 7).
Reissmann had helped arrange the mass gathering to campaign against the government’s proposed 1% pay rise for nurses – which she called “insulting“.
Under current coronavirus legislation, maximum penalties of £10,000 can be issued to anyone who organises gatherings of over 30 people.
Reissmann was accused of showing “a degree of non-compliance” when officers aimed to disperse her protest group, with police claiming it “necessary” to issue her with a fine.
The decision is now currently being reviewed.
A GMP spokesperson stated: “The FPN given last weekend is currently undergoing an additional review process following a request from the Mayor to do so.
“All of our £10k FPNs are reviewed before processing so as well as this initial review we will review both the command decisions to ensure they were proportionate and commensurate with our strategy and previous operations, in addition we have asked for this to be reviewed by our legal department and provide a response back to the Mayor as to whether this was an appropriate course of action by GMP.”
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help Reissmann pay her fine – with over £17,000 donated so far.
The fundraiser page, supported by actress Maxine Peake and over 900 others, said that extra donations would be passed on to a mental health charity.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the pay increase this week, claiming the government was giving “as much as we can” during the tough conditions of the pandemic.
But The Royal College of Nursing (RCB) has repeatedly called on the government to reverse their decision and “give nursing what it deserves”.
The organisation has claimed a 1% pay rise would only amount to an extra £3.50 a week in take home pay, and a petition has been posted online calling for a much higher boost of 12.5%.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the RCN said that nursing staff’s wages does “not reflect the essential work they do” in “highly skilled, complex, responsible roles”.
“Many are now worse off than they were 10 years ago and are considering leaving the profession,” reads the statement.
“Fair pay for nursing is about making sure that a safety-critical profession can reach safe staffing levels, to provide safe and effective care for all people of the United Kingdom.”
UK union UNISON is one of several groups campaigning for a show of solidarity for health workers tonight – with people urged to head to their doors and balconies for a ‘slow hand clap‘ on Thursday 11 March.
The display aims to put a sardonic spin on the ‘clap for carers’ campaign – which saw Brits applaud essential staff for their work during the pandemic.
There is also a plan for the slow handclap to be repeated on April 1 – the date NHS staff were due for a wage increase.
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Times may be tough but this deal is below-inflation and derisory.
“It’s like the worst of austerity is back.”
Police search for Moors murder victim Keith Bennett resumes as ‘skull is found’
Police are back searching for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett after a skull was reportedly found.
12-year-old Keith was snatched by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.
The pair’s victims were five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, all aged between 10 and 17 years old at the time of their murder.
The victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor, but Keith’s remains have never been found.
Now a major breakthrough may have come from an author, Russell Edwards, who alerted police to ‘potential human remains in a remote location’.
Specialist GMP officers have now begun initial exploration activity but say it is ‘far too early’ to confirm if human remains have been discovered.
Officers have also updated Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, who was just eight years old when his sibling vanished and who has dedicated much of his life to solving the mystery of the missing body.
MP Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said: “At around 11.25am on Thursday 29 September 2022, Greater Manchester Police was contacted by the representative of an author who has been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
“Following direct contact with the author, we were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors and he agreed to meet with officers yesterday afternoon to elaborate on his find and direct us to a site of interest.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity. We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family. As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development – he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected.”
A further GMP statement published by the Manchester Evening Newsadded: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr Edwards yesterday evening (29th September) and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Featured image: GMP
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.