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Need To Know: Corbyn apology sparks call for tougher anti-Semitism stance

■ Corbyn apology sparks call for tougher anti-Semitism stance

CALLS for Labour to take a harder line against anti-Semitism have intensified after Jeremy Corbyn apologised for sharing a platform with people who reportedly compared Israel to the Nazis.

Mr Corbyn issued the apology after it emerged he had hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day event in 2010 at which speakers are said to have likened the actions of Israel in Gaza to Hitler’s regime.

The Labour leader acknowledged that he had appeared alongside people ‘whose views I completely reject’ and apologised for the ‘concerns and anxiety’ that caused.

Labour MP John Mann insisted Mr Corbyn went against “normal decency” with the 2010 meeting.

And a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, Ann Black, called on the party leader to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, including its examples.

■ Council holds crisis talks amid budget concern

A TROUBLED county council is holding an extraordinary meeting amid concerns that it will no longer be able to pay for services for vulnerable children and adults and meet its legal budgetary duties.

Councillors at Northamptonshire County Council (above) are holding emergency talks today to discuss how to tackle the funding crisis, with the leader proposing services are cut back to a ‘core offer’.

Council leader Matthew Golby warned they face having to decide ‘what we can realistically provide and how we can help to create resilience in places where the Council can no longer step in’

He said in a discussion paper published ahead of the meeting: ‘With so much already taken out of our budget and more still to save, the County Council now needs to articulate, in the form of a core offer, the realistic level of service we are likely to provide, not merely to meet our statutory duties but to meet real local need.’

■ Cocaine use soars in richer households

COCAINE use among people from wealthier homes in England and Wales is at its highest in nearly a decade, official figures indicate.

In 2017/18, 3.4 per cent of 16 to 59-year-olds living in households with an income of at least £50,000 reported taking the drug in powder form the previous year, up from 2.2 per cent in 2014/15 and the highest recorded since 3.8 per cent in 2008/09.

Drug use has come under the spotlight in recent weeks amid warnings the demand for illegal substances is helping fuel spiralling levels of knife crime and violence.

On Tuesday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said: ‘There is this challenge that there are groups of middle class people who will sit round happily thinking about global warming and fair trade and environmental protection and all sorts of things, organic food, but think there’s no harm in taking a bit of cocaine.

‘Well there is. There is misery throughout the supply chain.’

■ Bagel tycoon’s son killed mother and sister, jurors decide

THE mentally-ill son of a bagel tycoon has been found to have stabbed his mother and sister to death at the £2.5million family home.

Joshua Cohen (pictured), 28, has been locked up in Broadmoor high security hospital since the frenzied attack on mother-of-five Louise Cohen, 64, and Hannah Cohen, 33, in August last year.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC ruled him unfit to stand trial as he is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia ‘characterised by thought disorder and paranoid delusions’.

Following a three-day trial of issue, an Old Bailey jury found Cohen did commit the act of killing the two women in the basement of their six-bedroom mansion in Golders Green, north London.

Judge Hilliard said Cohen — who is the son of Amos Cohen who set up the renowmed Beigel Bake bakery in Brick Lane, London — would remain at Broadmoor under an indefinite hospital order.

■ Swedish crown jewels thieves flee on speedboat

THIEVES in Sweden walked into a small town’s medieval cathedral in broad daylight and made off with priceless crown jewels dating back to the early 1600s before escaping by speedboat, police have said.

Two men vanished after the heist into a vast patchwork of lakes around Strangnas, 37 miles west of the capital Stockholm, at around noon yesterday, police said.

The thieves snatched two gold crowns and an orb made for King Karl IX and Queen Kristina in the daring robbery. One of the crowns is encrusted with precious stones.

The stolen items were on display at an exhibition in Strangnas Cathedral and visitors were inside at the time.