Exclusive: Former Conservative minister Mike Penning used House of Commons stationery while he was a justice minister to write a personal recommendation for a donor who had given him tens of thousands of pounds thetimes.co.uk/article/tory-m…
Sir Mike Penning wrote an open letter commending Jan Telensky and a company to which he is closely linked, without mentioning the sums he had contributed to him and his constituency party
Three weeks after the letter was written, Telensky gave Penning free tickets worth £500 to watch England get knocked out of the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham by Australia

Months earlier, Penning’s constituency party had received £10,000 from Telensky
After Penning left government in 2017, Telensky employed him in a second job as non-executive director of his property firm JT Consultancy, which he wholly owns

Penning has earned £76,000 from this second job since September 2019

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More from @thetimes

23 Nov
A while back, the 5:2 diet acquired cult status. But new research finds that the 5:2 is hardly more effective than your GP’s traditional weight loss advice. thetimes.co.uk/article/the-5-…
The diet calls on people to restrict their intake of food and drink to just 500 to 600 calories on two non-consecutive days each week, roughly a quarter of the usual recommended amount.

They then apply sensible eating rules on the remaining days. thetimes.co.uk/article/the-5-…
Variations of the diet have been circulating for some time, under names such as the dodo diet (day on, day off), the ADF (alternate day fasting) and the on-off diet.
Read 10 tweets
23 Nov
Whenever she meets anyone new Amanda Knox goes on trial again. It’s not enough that she has twice been acquitted of murder. That didn’t exonerate her in the court of public opinion.

She speaks to @HelenRumbelow: thetimes.co.uk/article/amanda…
Knox has to continue to patiently defend herself 12 years after she was wrongfully convicted in Perugia in one of the most notorious trials of the past half-century.
Rudy Guede, the man who killed Meredith Kercher, is forgotten. Even after his early release from prison he gets none of the vilification that Knox, who was Kercher’s friend, has faced.
Read 12 tweets
19 Nov
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Dacre has pulled out of the race to become the next chairman of Ofcom thetimes.co.uk/article/ex-dai…
In a letter to The Times, he says: "If you are possessed of an independent mind and are unassociated with the liberal/left, you will have more chance of winning the lottery than getting the job"
He describes the BBC as a “great, civilising force” which he would “die in a ditch to defend” but added it needed to be “saved from both itself and the frighteningly well-resourced streaming giants”
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
#WorldatFive: “Kodokushi” — a lonely death — is an increasing feature of an ageing, urbanised Japanese society in which more and more people live and die alone and unnoticed, strangers even to their closest neighbours thetimes.co.uk/article/cleani…
The situation has been made all the more extreme by the pandemic, which has reduced contact even between people who were formerly close.
There are no national statistics or an agreed upon definition of kodokushi but the government counted 5,500 such deaths in central Tokyo in 2018, a 16 per cent increase on the previous year — and that was before the pandemic.
Read 6 tweets
19 Nov
Philosophy professor Kathleen Stock’s views on the gender debate turned her into a hate figure at Sussex University. After three years of death threats and online abuse, the polarising academic resigned three weeks ago.

She talks to @VictoriaPeckham thetimes.co.uk/article/profes…
When the government launched its public consultation into reform of the Gender Recognition Act, Stock wrote a blog calling upon fellow philosophers to participate.

“I asked why they talk such a big game about being able to debate important things yet they can’t handle this.”
Stock believed erasing the material categories “male” and “female” had vast implications, especially for women.

“My bête noire is middle-class academics sitting around making decisions that impact on women in prison. It’s just so decadent.”
Read 12 tweets
19 Nov
Could you write an Adele song?

Every musician at the wrong end of a critical mauling has at one time or another said: if these critics think it’s so easy to write a song, let them try it.

So our pop critic @WillJHodgkinson did.
"Adele’s voice makes grown men and women cry for its ability to capture emotional pain. My voice makes toddlers cry for its ability to cause physical pain."
"Adele’s songs have a sense of yearning, a sadness, yet they’re tinged with hope. In person she approaches global fame as though she’s having a laugh down the pub, but her songs deal with the big subjects: heartbreak, loneliness, growing up and facing the world."
Read 5 tweets

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