Peter Willsman, a member of Labour’s national executive committee, has been suspended from the Labour Party over alleged comments on antisemitism.A Labour Party spokesperson confirmed today: “Peter Willsman has been suspended from the Labour Party, pending investigation.”While suspended, he will not be able to attend NEC meetings nor perform any other functions as a member of the ruling body.It is understood that multiple complaints, including from NEC members, were submitted to the party about Willsman after fresh comments of his were exclusively revealed by LBC.According to LBC, Willsman claimed earlier this year that the Israeli embassy was “behind” claims about Labour antisemitism and that Labour members “whipping it up” were working indirectly for the embassy.In the recording obtained by LBC, Willsman can apparently be heard saying: “It’s almost certain who is behind all this anti-Semitism against Jeremy. Almost certainly, it was the Israeli embassy.”The comments were made in January to American-Israeli author Tuvia Tenenbom.Prior to the confirmation of Willsman’s suspension, Jewish Labour Movement chair Mike Katz told LBC: “Willsman is on the NEC, the party’s main governing body. He rules on cases of antisemitism.“This is what we mean when we say that the party has a deep seated institutional racism against Jews.”A number of Labour MPs including deputy leader Tom Watson swiftly called for disciplinary action to be taken against the NEC member.If Willsman is expelled from the party following investigation, a by-election will be held to allow party members to choose a new NEC representative. Until the suspension ends, his seat will be vacant.Tags:NEC /Peter Willsman /Antisemitism /Labour NEC /
THE latest edition of the Saintsrlfc.com Podcast is now available to download.Featuring interviews with Andy Dixon, Chris Flannery, Paul Wellens and Royce Simmons we preview this Friday’s Stobart Super League clash with Catalans whilst reflecting on the draw at Hull KR.Royce talks about his squad rotation policy, Andy about the season to date and Flanno explains why he plans to retire at the end of the year.To listen you can click here. Alternatively, subscribe on iTunes by searching for St Helens RFC.
After the 26-12 win over league leading Castleford Justin Holbrook’s men will be looking to continue their semi final push at the Totally Wicked Stadium this week.Hull FC are in third, two points ahead of Saints, and that makes the match a real four pointer!The Fixtures:RD1: Thursday, Aug 3 – Castleford Tigers (A) – (w) 26-12 RD2: Friday, Aug 11 – Hull FC (H) – 8pm RD3: Friday, Aug 18 – Leeds Rhinos (A) – 8pm RD4: Friday, Sep 1 – Wigan Warriors (H) – 8pm RD5: Saturday, Sep 9 – Wakefield Trinity (A) – 7pm RD6: Friday, Sep 15 – Huddersfield Giants (H) – 8pm RD7: Saturday, Sep 23 – Salford Red Devils (A) – 3pmPlease note, all fixtures are subject to change.TicketsOn sale now, we have a three-game package for the Super 8s, juniors can watch each of our home games for just a fiver!Prices (Three-Game):Hatton’s Solicitors West and Family Stand: £60 (Adult), £40 (Conc), £15 (Junior)South East Family Stand: £60 (Adult), £40 (Conc), £15 (Junior)Totally Wicked North Stand & South Stand: Bronze – £65 (Adult), £50 (Conc), £15 (Junior); Silver – £75 (Adult), £55 (Conc), £15 (Junior); Gold – £80 (Adult), £60 (Conc), £15 (Junior)2017 Memberships cover our three home games whilst Junior Members can also watch our away Super 8 fixtures as part of their Membership.Each of our home games will be themed too – with fun for all the family!To buy, call into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, telephone 01744 455 052 or log on here.The package can be found on the Membership section of the store website.
Long left the club earlier this week to take up a position at Harlequins RU with immediate effect and Saints have moved quickly to appoint Marshall who left Halifax earlier in the season after four and a half successful years with the club.The 43-year-old has earned praise as one of the sport’s most promising coaches after taking part-timers Halifax to three top-four finishes in his four seasons at The Shay as well as developing a number of home-grown talents.And Marshall, who has worked in Super League before having been an assistant to Tony Smith at Warrington Wolves, now brings his experience to the Saints to work alongside Justin Holbrook in the first team set-up.Marshall said of his new role: “I had a number of options after I left Halifax, but I met Mike and Justin last week and when a club like St. Helens comes calling you jump at the chance.“This is a wonderful opportunity to continue my development at a fantastic club and I cannot wait to get started.”Head Coach Justin Holbrook is delighted Marshall is joining Saints: “It’s great news for our club that Richard has decided to join us as Assistant Coach.“He had a few offers and opportunities he could have taken up elsewhere, but he has chosen our club which is a great sign of the direction we are going as a club and it is great to have such an experienced coach join us.“He has proven himself as a great assistant early in his career at Warrington and has obviously done a fantastic job at Halifax as Head Coach over the last four and a half years so I am looking forward to working with him.”St.Helens R.F.C Chief Executive Mike Rush said: “We all welcome Richard to the club with open arms. I have known him for over 15 years having seen him rise through the ranks at Warrington and more recently at Halifax.“He absolutely fits the culture of the club. He is hard-working, driven and a talented individual who will bring further experience to our coaching staff.”As a player, Marshall represented Ireland and played at club level for Halifax RLFC, Huddersfield Giants, London Broncos and Leigh RLFC, as a prop or second-row between 1995 and 2007.Marshall will start his role at Saints with immediate effect and will be alongside Holbrook and fellow assistants Paul Wellens and Ian Talbot for the visit of Huddersfield Giants on Friday at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Wilmington Police say Robert James Bickford, 31, was trying to run from an officer.Police say Bickford was speeding on Market Street and then pulled into a parking lot. He tried to exit by turning left and then jumped the median to get in the westbound lanes. Police say he continued driving, ignoring the police officer’s lights. Police say Bickford then tried to turn right onto Dapple Court and when he did, he hit the curb and struck a pedestrian. Police say when Bickford hit the curb, he launched his truck into the nearby pond.Bickford got out of the truck before it was submerged and tried to run from police but was caught.Related Article: Police search for missing teen last seen at Hoggard HighThe pedestrian has a broken leg and was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.Bickford was not hurt. Robert James Bickford (Photo: NHSO) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A man faces several charges after an early morning chase ended with one person hit and a truck crashing into a retention pond.It happened just before 2:30 a.m. on Monday the Staybridge Suites off of New Centre Drive.- Advertisement – He is charged with the following:Driving while impairedSpeeding to elude arrestFelony hit and runSerious injury by vehicle-DWIFailure to maintain laneHe is in jail under a $45,000 bond.
Rendering of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Image: NCDEQ) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County Republicans is calling for a legislative hearing about Gov. Roy Cooper’s nearly $58 million deal with the companies behind the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick Co.), who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, said in a news release today he is calling for a legislative oversight hearing after a report by WRAL in Raleigh about how the Cooper administration came to control a $57.8 million fund with money from Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, who want to build the 600-mile long pipeline that would stretch from West Virginia to Robeson County.- Advertisement – According to the report, the money was supposed to go to the state of North Carolina, but documents show Cooper’s staff proposed changing it so that the money would go into an escrow account controlled directly by the governor. “The reason?” the story asks. “Cooper and his administration don’t trust the Republican-controlled General Assembly.”“The WRAL report proves that Roy Cooper had his hand in the cookie jar and intentionally steered money out of the state treasury and into a personal ‘slush fund’ he could dole out at his whim,” Rabon said in a statementSoon after Cooper announced the fund on the same day the state granted regulatory approval for the project, the Republican-led General Assembly passed legislation to redirect the money to schools along the pipeline.Related Article: Program aids North Carolina veterans with cybersecurity trainingIn his news release, Rabon said the Cooper administration provided documentation about the pipeline fund to a single news outlet while refusing to provide the same records to lawmakers.“This story raises more questions than it answers, and given the Cooper administration has spent weeks dodging simple questions and refusing to comply with the Public Records Act, I am asking Sen. (Phil) Berger and Speaker (Tim) Moore to include Gov. Cooper’s pipeline scandal as an agenda item at the next meeting of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations,” Rabon said.According to the WRAL story, “Cooper has since said he never intended to decide how the fund would be spent and that his executive order would have given authority to a board made up at least partly by experts. Much of the money would have been used to help companies and farmers in eastern North Carolina hook into distribution lines tied back to the pipeline, covering the cost of expensive last-mile infrastructure that has to be built before gas can flow, the administration has said.”The governor’s press office did not respond directly to our request for comment, but late this afternoon it sent out a news release about what it called the “Latest Legislative ACP Stunt.”Kristi Jones, Chief of Staff for Gov. Roy Cooper, released the following comment on the latest legislative ACP stunt:“Our goal is to provide access to natural gas to help the economy while protecting the environment in counties impacted by the pipeline and it is unfortunate that legislators chose to raid a fund intended to do just that,” Cooper’s Chief of Staff Kristi Jones said in the statement. “Sacrificing jobs in order to manufacture a partisan power grab is a new low and legislators will have to answer to the people of eastern North Carolina. We look forward to discussing this further.”
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — There is plenty of surfing around the Cape Fear area, but have you ever seen someone foil surfing?A video of Jack Brandon shows him riding his foil board at Wrightsville Beach and you can see he’s not riding any waves.- Advertisement – He says foil surfing is harder than regular surfing because there’s a balance between propelling yourself and using the little force from the water, but it is a fun experience. He says a foil board works like the wing of a plane: the faster it goes, the more lift it makes.“Since it creates so much lift with these big wings, you can kind of self propel yourself, which is- in the video, we weren’t riding the wave that was breaking. So we were doing a mixture of harnessing a little bit of that ocean energy and then self propelling ourselves to kind of mix the two and bouncing in between swells and stuff,” Brandon said.Related Article: Dad’s lesson on bullying goes viralBrandon says it is perfect for an area that doesn’t get many good waves, like Wrightsville Beach, and he hopes others will try it too.
Zettie Brown (Photo: Columbus Co. Sheriff’s Office) RIEGELWOOD, NC (WWAY) — A man is behind bars after a standoff with law enforcement early Thursday morning in Columbus County.Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigators arrived at 605 Dickerson Road in Riegelwood to serve Zettie Brown with outstanding warrants related to the attempted armed robbery that happened on November 29.- Advertisement – When investigators arrived to the scene, they reportedly saw a man on the back porch of the home. Deputies say the man, later identified as Zettie Brown, ran inside of the home and refused to come out. Columbus County Sheriff’s Office then requested assistance from Bladen County Sheriff’s Office. The house was surrounded and the area was secured by both agencies, according to deputies.After negotiations, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says Brown surrendered.He was arrested and transported to the Columbus County Law Enforcement Center where he is currently held on a $535,000 secured bond.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One special athlete paid a special visit to some volleyball players in Wilmington Saturday. Players young and old came out to learn from the best of the best.“We love the game. We love to support those who are fighting for more and fighting for better,” said three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings.- Advertisement – Walsh-Jennings wants to instill that same feeling of love into the future of the sport.“I’m very excited. I have been looking forward to meeting her for really long. And I’m really excited to be playing out here in front of her and seeing my idol playing,” said Marlee Cook, who has been playing club volleyball for three years.Cook was one of dozens who came out the volleyball clinic at East Coast Volleyball Academy in Wilmington. The chance to play with one of the best.Related Article: Italy’s Milan-Cortina wins vote to host 2026 Winter OlympicsWalsh-Jennings chose Wilmington all the way from her home in California.“To be able to travel to a place that people might not equate with a great volleyball program or even beach volleyball, but to know they love our sport is so beautiful. And we want to give back just as much as we’ve been given,” said Walsh-Jennings.Through giving back, Walsh-Jennings says she finds her own inspiration.“For them to see her and be able to see how down to earth she is, and how relatable she is to them, and how much she loves the game and her passion, that’s kind of the reason we love having her here,” said Larry Salefsky, the owner of East Coast Volleyball Academy.Salefsky says Walsh-Jennings is a role model in more ways than one.“To be one of those people for these kids is a beautiful thing. It holds me accountable. It makes me want to be better. And it certainly makes me want to practice what I preach,” said Walsh-Jennings.This is Walsh-Jennings’s second time hosting a volleyball clinic in Wilmington. She also came in 2015.
Lockwood Folly River (Photo: North Carolina Coastal Federation) VARNAMTOWN, NC (Coastal Online Review) — Shellfish waters in a Brunswick County river popular for oystering and clamming have been closed indefinitely.The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, or DMF, recently announced the closure of 255 shellfish acres in Lockwood Folly River after water sample tests show fecal coliform bacteria levels exceed the national standards for safe shellfish harvest.- Advertisement – This latest closure, following one in 2017, covers about 3,759 acres of the river’s 4,417-acre growing area, which includes portions of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and inlet.“Most of the river proper is closed in the Lockwood Folly River,” said Shannon Jenkins, DMF’s Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section chief. “We continue to sample and will continue to sample in the hopes that conditions will change.”A majority of shellfish waters in the nearly 14-mile tidal river are classified as conditionally approved closed, which means growing areas cannot be harvested throughout the year.Related Article: Divers recover body of man who fell off boat on Waccamaw River“We can reopen those temporarily in conditions when it’s really dry,” Jenkins said.Read more here.