A man accused of rape was caught on camera at a hotel just before one of his alleged victims smashed him over the head and escaped, a court heard.
Joseph McCann went into the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April, leaving two women in a car outside, the Old Bailey was told.
He was allegedly captured on CCTV entering the hotel wearing a tracksuit and a baseball cap.
Mr McCann, 34, from Harrow, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.
After going into the hotel, he held the front door open and glanced repeatedly outside while rapping on the window of the reception desk to speak to staff, the court was told.
He then told his alleged captives to get out of the car and smile as he put his arms around them.
Instead, one of them, a 25-year-old woman, grabbed a bottle of vodka and hit him over the head with it before running for help, jurors heard.
The trial continues.
Britain’s Vanessa Wallace has won her first World Championship medal with bronze in the F34 shot put in Dubai.
Wallace, 42, threw a personal best effort of 7.66m, with China’s Zou Lijuan winning gold with a championship record of 8.76m.
Wallace, who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, was fifth at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and 2018 European champion.
“I’m a little bit shocked. It’s been a long time coming but it feels so good. I’m really proud of myself,” she said.
“My coach told me to get [the others] a little bit worried early on. I did my best and it came through.
“The event has moved on so much since the last Worlds in 2017. It was an amazing competition.
“[The Tokyo Paralympics] can be my time, and it definitely will be. We’re doing really good.”
Elsewhere in Tuesday’s morning session in Dubai, Zak Skinner placed fifth in the T13 long jump.
The visually impaired 21-year-old, who won European silver last year, recorded a best jump of 6.86m.
Team-mate Ola Abidogun, a London 2012 Paralympic silver medallist earning his first British vest since 2014 at these championships, reached the T47 100m final, qualifying from the semi-finals with the fifth-quickest time, while defending champion Sophie Kamlish is into the T64 100m final with a season’s best time of 13.26 seconds.
In the T54 400m, Rich Chiassaro reached Tuesday night’s final after placing second in his semi-final, but Nathan Maguire could not follow, finishing seventh in the other semi.
A DIY home urine or swab test could potentially help more women discover whether they are at risk of cervical cancer, researchers say.
The new method could be used as an alternative to the smear test and would not require a visit to the doctor.
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London asked 600 women to provide self-collected samples for screening.
Although larger trials are needed, the work has been called “promising” and a potential “game-changer” by charities.
The findings, being presented at the NCRI cancer conference in Glasgow, suggest the method is feasible and popular.
However, larger trials may still be needed before the NHS could decide whether to offer it to patients, say experts.
Even then, it would only be one option for women – as the researchers believe smear tests would continue in their current form.
But the researchers say that in the future, some women could order the test kits online, use them at home and then send their sample by post to be analysed.
The 25% who do not attend
Screening aims to pick up early warning signs of cancer – known as pre-cancers – that can be treated to prevent the disease.
All women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 in the UK are invited for NHS cervical screening, but the number of women attending cervical screening in the UK has been falling.
Around one in four UK women do not attend when invited, figures suggest.
Experts have put the low uptake rates down to embarrassment, a lack of awareness or just putting it off.
Dr Belinda Nedjai and colleagues have developed an alternative screening method that does not rely on smear tests.
The S5 test measures chemical changes that are detectable in urine or self-collected vaginal fluid samples to gauge a woman’s cancer risk.
A high score suggests there is an increased risk of a pre-cancer lesion being present.
In the study, the S5 test was good at distinguishing which women had pre-cancerous growths diagnosed following conventional screening.
‘Potential to revolutionise’
Dr Nedjai said the self-sampling was “pretty accurate”, but was not as quite as effective as the UK’s current smear testing programme.
“It will be soon. With improvement we’ll get there,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Dr Nedjaj said the S5 test needed to be tried on more than 10,000 women before it could be offered on the NHS.
She predicted the at-home tests could be available via the health service in five years.
Researchers say the test could also be used alongside conventional cervical screening to help improve detection and spare some women from unnecessary investigations.
The NHS is currently moving to primary human papillomavirus (HPV) screening of smears – testing for the presence of this virus in samples before looking for abnormal cell changes. Almost all cases of cervical cancer are linked to HPV.
Dr Manuel Rodriguez-Justo, from University College London, said: “This is exciting research that shows it’s possible to detect cervical pre-cancer that is at high risk of developing into invasive cancer in urine and vaginal samples collected by women in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
“This has the potential to revolutionise the way a positive HPV test is followed up, as well as making it easier for women in countries with no cervical cancer screening programme to be tested.”
Sophia Lowes, Cancer Research UK’s health information manager, said: “The results look promising for detecting women with advanced cell changes. But we need to know if this test picks up all changes and if it’s as successful when testing a wider group of people.”
Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said although more research was needed, DIY checks could be a “game-changer”.
“For women who find the current methods of cervical screening difficult, including those with a physical disability or who have experienced trauma, it could mean they can access screening in a far more acceptable and accessible way.”
“It could mean those requiring treatment are identified faster and reduce the number of women having to go for potentially unnecessary investigations at colposcopy.”
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has been condemned for “serious shortcomings” and systemic failures in its response to the Grenfell Tower fire, in a report into the 2017 blaze.
Fewer people would have died in the fire if the LFB had taken certain actions earlier, the report by inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said.
He also said some evidence given by the LFB at the inquiry was “insensitive”.
The BBC has seen sections of the report ahead of Wednesday’s publication.
The head of the Fire Brigades Union said the inquiry was “back to front” and the focus should be on why the building was dangerous in the first place.
Matt Wrack told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that decisions were made on the night “in the context of a building that [had] completely failed”.
Referring to the flammable cladding, he said: “People will be baffled [as to] why people haven’t already been prosecuted for doing that to a building, which led to the deaths of 72 people, and yet the actions of individual firefighters on the night of a fire are being subject to such scrutiny.”
The 1,000-page document follows the first phase of the inquiry, which looked at what happened on the night that 72 people died in the tower block fire on 14 June 2017.
The council, the tower’s tenant management organisation, the police and the fire service were all quizzed during the inquiry’s first phase.
The inquiry has criticised the Daily Telegraph, which first published leaked details of the report, and other media which followed suit. A spokeswoman said publication had deprived “those most affected by the fire – the bereaved, survivors and residents – of the opportunity to read the report at their own pace”.
Sir Martin’s report praised the courage of firefighters on the night.
But it found many “institutional” failures that meant the LFB’s planning and preparation for the incident was “gravely inadequate”.
For example, Sir Martin said control room staff who fielded 999 calls “undoubtedly saved lives” but “a close examination” of operations revealed “shortcomings in practice, policy and training”.
He said staff that night were in an “invidious” position when they were outnumbered by 999 calls.
“Supervisors were under the most enormous pressure, but the LFB had not provided its senior control room staff with appropriate training on how to manage a large-scale incident with a large number of FSG [Fire Survival Guidance] calls,” he said.
“Mistakes made in responding to the Lakanal House fire were repeated,” he added – referring to a fire in Camberwell, south London, in 2009, which killed three women and three children.
By Lucy Manning, special correspondent
This report could not be more critical of the London Fire Brigade.
The Grenfell families wanted this level of criticism, especially those whose relatives died when they were told for nearly two hours to stay put in the building as it was covered in flames.
But there is also some frustration that this first part of the inquiry wasn’t about those who made the cladding and oversaw the refurbishment of Grenfell.
That will only happen in the second phase of the inquiry next year and then they’ve got even longer to wait for the police investigation to finish.
So they are seeing some blame apportioned and they hope they will eventually see justice but the Grenfell survivors will always suffer the loss and grief and ask the question how did 72 people die in what was supposed to be the safety of their homes?
Sir Martin also criticised the LFB for following a “stay put” strategy, where firefighters and 999 operators told residents to stay in their flats for nearly two hours after the blaze broke out.
The strategy was rescinded at 02:47 BST, the report said. Sir Martin wrote: “That decision could and should have been made between 01:30 and 01:50 and would be likely to have resulted in fewer fatalities.”
Firefighters who attended the fire did not have training on how best to combat a cladding fire, the report added.
Four experienced members of the first crews to have fought the blaze had 52 years of combined experience. However, they had not received any training on the risks posed by exterior cladding or the techniques to be deployed in fighting fires involving cladding, the report found.
Sir Martin said the “principal” reason the fire spread so quickly “up, down and around the building was the presence of the aluminium composite material (ACM) rainscreen panels with polyethylene cores, which acted as a source of fuel”.
The report also said evidence given by the LFB’s commissioner, Dany Cotton, suggested lessons from the fire might be missed.
Sir Martin wrote: “Quite apart from its remarkable insensitivity to the families of the deceased and to those who escaped from their burning homes with their lives, the Commissioner’s evidence that she would not change anything about the response of the LFB on the night, even with the benefit of hindsight, only serves to demonstrate that the LFB is an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of the Grenfell Tower fire.”
A spokesperson for the LFB said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the report’s findings before they were officially released on Wednesday.
Speaking on Monday, Sir Martin said the report was long and detailed.
He stressed that readers of the report “should understand as clearly as possible the terrifying conditions faced by those who were in the building, at the time”.
The cause of the fire was found by the report to be “an electrical fault in the large fridge freezer in the kitchen” in a fourth-floor flat.
“It occurred without any fault on the part of the tenant… and I am pleased to clear him of any blame, given that some people have unfairly accused him of having some responsibility for what happened,” Sir Martin said.
- Additional reporting by Vinnie O’Dowd.
Where is Mesut Ozil?
It must be a question Arsenal boss Unai Emery is getting tired of answering. Or, sort of answering.
The German midfielder has made just one Premier League start for Arsenal this season and has now been left out of the Gunners’ last four matchday squads.
On Monday, his absence prompted more questions, with Arsenal badly lacking any creativity as they fruitlessly tried to break down a solid Sheffield United defence.
In the end, the Blades won 1-0 while Arsenal slumped to another defeat on the road.
Asked by BBC Sport if Ozil was available, Gunners boss Unai Emery simply replied with: “He can help us, yes.”
BBC Radio 5 Live summariser Chris Sutton, however, believes Emery should be more forthcoming.
“It would be nice if Unai Emery just came out and said and then we would know instead of us guessing,” he said.
“Is it a lack of commitment? We know he’s a quality player but do we think he’s lost his guile? His awareness? His touch?
Of course we don’t – so what’s the problem?
That, it seems, is the question on many people’s lips.
Why has he not played this season?
Since joining Arsenal six years ago, Ozil has missed 101 games for the Gunners but has only had one major injury in that time.
Most of his absences have been explained away by illness or minor niggles, while he missed Arsenal’s season opener against Newcastle along with team-mate Sead Kolasinac because of security concerns after they were involved in an attempted car-jacking.
Kolasinac, however, has long since returned to the squad but Ozil has appeared and then disappeared, sometimes because of fitness, sometimes because Emery has felt other players have been more deserving of a chance.
Arsenal? Emery? Ozil? Who is to blame?
Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie believes this is a situation Arsenal could and should have handled better.
“It’s definitely mismanagement,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.
“This is the problem these days in football, these bumper contracts players are getting and when they’re not performing, it’s coming straight to the headlines of how much money he earns and what he does.
“Whether Mesut Ozil is going to turn a corner – and I don’t think he is – it just seems like there is a massive issue behind the scenes as to why he’s not playing.
“On his day he’s a world-class player but when you’re earning that type of money, then you are going to come under scrutiny for earning that money and not playing.
Sutton, however, believes only Ozil himself can truly resolve the issue.
He said: “I don’t care how much Mesut Ozil is paid, the main thing is how he’s is performing on the pitch in an Arsenal shirt – and he’s not.
“We aren’t party to how Arsenal train or what’s goes on but if Ozil was doing that well – and we know what a superb talent he is – Unai Emery would know what impact he would have on the team, so he would play him, because he wants to win games and improve.
“There must be something amiss and it looks Ozil will have to sort this situation out himself.
“Arsenal have either got to ship him out and just bite the bullet, or they’ve got to get him back playing in the side, but it’s been down to their own doing and I feel they’ve caused their own problems.”
Do Arsenal miss him?
The statistics would suggest so.
Since Ozil made his debut for the Gunners, no player has created more chances than him. In fact, no-one comes even close.
|Premier League (since Ozil’s debut)|
He has also been the club’s top assist maker in three of their last six seasons, although admittedly did not feature in the top three of the list in the last campaign.
|Premier League (since Ozil’s debut)|
Against Sheffield United, the influence of the midfield five of Nicolas Pepe, Granit Xhaka, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi and Bukayo Saka paled in comparison to the Blades.
They managed two key passes between them compared to five for the Sheffield United midfield.
What does Ozil say?
Ozil has been quiet on the matter for a long time, but recently provided some insight into the situation he finds himself in.
Speaking to The Athletic, he said: “When I signed the new deal (in 2018) I thought about it very carefully.
“I didn’t want to stay for just one or two more years, I wanted to commit and the club wanted me to do the same.
“You can go through difficult times, like this, but that is no reason to run away and I’m not going to. I’m here until at least 2021.
“Whenever people see me in the street I always say, ‘This is my home’. I’m going nowhere.”
Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass says he has retired from international football to “let the younger players take my place and hopefully push the squad forward”.
The 32-year-old West Ham winger won the last of his 28 caps in the 4-0 Euro qualifying defeat in Russia last week.
Snodgrass made his Scotland debut against Northern Ireland in 2011.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live my childhood dream,” Snodgrass wrote on Instagram.
“It’s been such a special feeling pulling on that Scotland jersey since I was 16 years old. There’s been many highs throughout my international career which I’ll always remember with fondness, including my debut against Northern Ireland, winning two international player of the year awards and my hat-trick in Malta.
“It’s now the right time for me to step aside. “I want to especially thank the Tartan Army for the special support you’ve showed me over the years. I will now watch as a fan and I hope to see us play at a major tournament again soon – fingers crossed the boys do it come March!”
More to follow.
Extinction Rebellion protesters on the streets of London have been labelled “uncooperative crusties” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The demonstrators – who are demanding action on climate change – should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads, the PM added.
Police have already arrested more than 300 people at the start of two weeks of protests by environmental campaigners.
Mr Johnson made the comments at a book launch on Monday evening.
“I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters of all kinds littering the road,” he said.
“They said there was some risk that I would be egged.”
Mr Johnson added protesters could learn from former PM Margaret Thatcher, who he said had taken the issue of greenhouse gases seriously long before activists such as Greta Thunberg were born.
“I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylaid by importunate nose-ringed climate change protesters, we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases.”
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
The Metropolitan Police said there have been 319 arrests in relation to the demonstrations since 00:01 BST on Tuesday.
Some 200 campaigners who camped overnight on streets in central London also faced arrest on Tuesday morning after being issued with warnings by police.
Under section 14 notices, which were handed out to tents at around 07:30 BST, protesters will be allowed to demonstrate in a specified location – Trafalgar Square.
Those who do not comply with the order will be arrested.
On Monday, organisers blockaded key sites in central London, in addition to demonstrating outside government departments.
Some glued and chained themselves to roads and vehicles – those who did so outside Westminster Abbey were later removed by police.
The roads behind Downing Street were blocked throughout the day by protesters, some of whom had erected tents in the street and were sitting down and singing songs together.
‘A last resort’
By Becky Morton, BBC News
Behind Parliament Square there are dozens of tents where protesters from Scotland, Cumbria and north-east England have camped overnight.
Mikaela Loach, 21, travelled from Edinburgh on Monday with a friend on a bus organised for protesters.
She says she has attended protests before but this is her first time camping out overnight.
“I was a bit worried about police coming in the middle of the night, but it was a nice atmosphere having people around you that are here for the same cause,” she said.
“I’ve spoken to my local MP, I’ve taken part in protests, I just feel like I haven’t been listened to. This is a last resort,” she said.
“I have been changing things in my lifestyle for a long time to try and be more eco-friendly, but I had a realisation that it doesn’t matter if I go vegan or zero waste if the government doesn’t do anything.
“There need to be big structural changes.”
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April.
The protests are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025group’s aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
The Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern art gallery in London has been home to temporary exhibits, large and small, since its opening in 2000.
Installations have ranged from a giant sun to more than 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds.
Now it’s the turn of American artist Kara Walker, known for her exploration of slavery and racism through paper silhouettes and sculptures.
Her 13-metre-high piece Fons Americana “explores the interconnected histories of Africa, America and Europe… using water as a key theme”.
BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz went along to take a look at the exhibition, which is open until April 2020.
Boris Johnson is to call for the release of jailed British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe when he meets Iran’s president later.
The prime minister will meet Hassan Rouhani at a UN summit in New York, hours after blaming Iran for attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
It comes amid calls for him to take a tougher line with Tehran over its detention of dual nationals.
Mrs Zhagari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since April 2016.
The 40-year-old was jailed for five years in 2016 after being convicted of spying, which she denies.
On his flight to New York on Sunday, Mr Johnson told reporters: “I will not only be discussing Iran’s actions in the region, but also the need to release not just Nazanin but others who in our view are being illegally and unfairly held in Tehran.”
Former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested Mr Johnson should form a new coalition of allies at the UN to call out Iran for its “diplomatic hostage taking”.
And Mrs Zhagari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said the prime minister must tell his Iranian counterpart “enough is enough” and secure his wife’s release.
“I don’t mind how he does that, but this has gone on long enough,” he said.
“Nazanin is at the end of her tether. We have to be clear with Iran that it’s not OK to conduct hostage diplomacy.”
Mr Hunt is supporting Mr Ratcliffe’s move to launch a new campaign group made up of other families of different nationalities with loved ones held in Tehran.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it should be a priority to ensure the price of taking hostages is “too high” for Iran.
“Iran is one of the few countries in the world that seeks to settle disputes by taking hostages,” he said.
He said it is thought other countries’ citizens have been taken hostage in Iran and only by working together can countries find a solution.
“When Europe and the US go separate ways on Iran it doesn’t work,” he said.
Mr Ratcliffe said efforts by Mr Johnson to get his wife released could make amends for comments he made as foreign secretary in 2017, when he said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran teaching journalism.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family has always insisted she was on holiday in Iran when she was arrested – and the UK government later clarified it had “no doubt” this was the case.
A number of people with dual Iranian and foreign nationality have been detained in Iran in recent years.
In August, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary said a British-Iranian dual national, Anousheh Ashouri, had been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a court in Tehran after being convicted of spying for Israel.
British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Middle East politics specialist at Melbourne University, is being held on charges that remain unclear, according to the Australian government.
Australians Mark Firkin and Jolie King, who also holds a UK passport – are also being detained in Iran.
Earlier this year, the UK foreign office warned all dual nationals against travelling to Iran because of the risk of arbitrary detention.
Tensions between the UK and Iran have worsened in recent months following a row over the seizure of oil tankers in the Gulf.
The meeting between Mr Johnson and Mr Rouhani comes after the UK, France and Germany agreed on Monday that Iran was responsible for the attack on Saudi oil facilities last weekend.
Saudi Arabia has also accused Iran of carrying out the 14 September attacks, in which 18 drones and seven cruise missiles hit an oil field and processing facility.
However, Iran has denied responsibility, accusing the UK, France and Germany of “parroting absurd US claims”.
BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale said slowly and cautiously, some diplomatic pressure was being applied on Iran.
But he added there was little sign Iran was ready to make any diplomatic concessions, not least while Europe and the US appeared uncertain over how to respond to the Saudi attacks.
Thomas Cook is to hold crisis talks in a final bid to secure a rescue deal.
The meeting with its biggest shareholder and creditors is understood to be scheduled for Sunday morning at City law firm Slaughter & May.
The tour operator could fall into administration within days unless it finds £200m in extra funds.
It comes as holidaymakers staying at a hotel in Tunisia owed money by Thomas Cook were reportedly prevented from leaving the resort until it was paid.
Guests at the Les Orangers beach resort in the town of Hammamet, near Tunis, said the hotel was refusing to let them leave because of concerns about Thomas Cook’s future.
Customers have reported that the hotel is asking visitors to pay extra money amid fears it will not be paid what it is owed by the tour operator for bookings.
‘Being held hostage’
Ryan Farmer, from Leicestershire, told BBC Radio 5 Live the hotel demanded all guests who were due to leave go to reception “to pay additional fees, obviously because of the situation with Thomas Cook”.
Security guards closed the hotel’s gates as guests refused to pay the extra fee, Mr Farmer claims.
He told the Stephen Nolan show: “I’d describe it as exactly the same as being held hostage.”
The government has been urged to step in to bail out the company amid fears its collapse could leave about 150,000 British tourists stranded.
Concerned customers have been reminded on social media that they have Atol protection – a fund paid for through industry levies – “in the event that Thomas Cook goes into administration”.
The travel firm also reassured customers on Saturday night that flights continue to operate as normal.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) union, which represents staff at the struggling travel company, has called on Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom to save Thomas Cook “no matter what”.
Government sources suggest ministers are reluctant to help the firm.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes told Mrs Leadsom it was up to the government to save thousands of jobs and to allow Thomas Cook to “flourish”.
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said “all viable options” for saving the travel giant should be explored.
She added that “the government must consider stepping in and taking an equity stake to avoid this crisis”.
BBC business editor Simon Jack reported on Saturday that government sources had questioned the financial wisdom of stepping in to save the company.
He said the government did not see its options as being between spending £200m to help Thomas Cook with its cash shortfall or £600m to repatriate its British customers abroad.
Currently there are 600,000 Thomas Cook customers on holiday, of which 150,000 to 160,000 are British.
One of the world’s largest travel companies, Thomas Cook was founded in 1841 to operate temperance day trips, and now has annual sales of £9bn.
It employs 22,000 staff, 9,000 of whom are in the UK, and serves 19 million customers a year in 16 different countries.
Chloe Hardy from Leicestershire is due to get married in Zante in October and booked the wedding package with Thomas Cook back in June 2018.
Chloe and her fiance will also have 33 family members flying out, with their trips costing more than £33,000 in total.
With the big day looming, Chloe is frustrated by Thomas Cook’s handling of their booking.
“I have emailed the wedding concierge and co-ordinator, neither has got back to me. We are unsure if we will be able to fly. Although it’s Atol-protected I have booked three weeks’ leave from work and there’s no guarantee that I will be able to get time off if I had to rebook.”
“We’ve had constant questions from our family that we are unable to answer,” she added. “This is causing great concern, worry and stress to all of us involved.”
Thomas Cook’s financial difficulties have mounted over the past year, culminating with the agreement in August of a rescue deal led by its biggest shareholder Fosun.
In July, Thomas Cook produced a business plan saying that it needed £900m in refinancing, up from a previous estimate of £150m. The £900m would come from Fosun, the group of creditors and some other investors.
The group of lenders then commissioned an independent investigation. Its financial advisers said Thomas Cook would require an additional £200m on top of the £900m already required, which would bring the total refinancing needed up to £1.1bn.
Thomas Cook succeeded in finding a backer to provide the additional £200m, but the BBC understands it has since pulled out.
The firm has blamed a series of problems for its profit warnings, including political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey, last summer’s prolonged heatwave and customers delaying booking holidays because of Brexit.
What are your rights?
If you are on a package holiday you are covered by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (Atol).
The scheme will pay for your accommodation abroad, although you may have to move to a different hotel or apartment.
Atol will also pay to have you brought home if the airline is no longer operating.
If you have holiday booked in the future you will also be refunded by the scheme.
If you have booked a flight-only deal you will need to apply to your travel insurance company or credit card and debit card provider to seek a refund.
When Monarch Airlines collapsed in 2017, the government organised to bring home all the stranded passengers, whether they were covered by Atol or not.
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