Good evening. A visit by Lancashire Police to Nicola Bulley’s home before she went missing is under investigation by the policing watchdog. And almost one year on from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have the latest analysis of the conflict, as Vladimir Putin attended a pro-war rally in Moscow.
Police visit to Nicola Bulley’s home under investigation
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation into Lancashire Constabulary over its handling of information relating to Nicola Bulley before she went missing.
Helena Lambert Reports that the watchdog is examining the contact officers had with Ms Bulley, a mother of two, during a welfare check at the family home less than two weeks before she disappeared.
The IOPC announcement came as an inquest into Ms Bulley’s death opened at Lancashire Coroner’s Court, with the senior coroner confirming that the 45-year-old had been identified through her dental records.
Shamima Begum loses legal fight to return to Britain
Shamima Begum has lost an appeal against the revocation of her British citizenship, after MI5 argued that she continued to pose a threat to national security. Ms Begum, now 23, fled the UK at the age of 15 to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Syria and had her British citizenship removed by the home secretary when she resurfaced in a refugee camp in 2019.
She mounted a legal challenge against the decisionarguing that MI5 was wrong to conclude she represented a threat to the British public and claiming she was trafficked to Syria for sexual exploitation.
On Wednesday, Mr Justice Jay, sitting at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), rejected Ms Begum’s legal challenge. The judge found that there was a “credible suspicion” that Ms Begum was a victim of trafficking to Syria.
However, the commission concluded the then home secretary, Sajid Javid, was not formally required to consider whether Ms Begum was a victim of trafficking when he removed her citizenship.
Tory Brexiteers will ‘come after Sunak’, says Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer has told Rishi Sunak that “irreconcilable” Tory Brexiteers will eventually “come after him” over his Brexit deal to improve the Northern Ireland Protocol. During PMQs, the Labor leader repeatedly pressed Mr Sunak on what will be in the deal. Sir Keir said the country is being made to wait while the Prime Minister “plucks up the courage to take on the malcontents, the reckless, the wreckers on his own benches”.
The Prime Minister replied that Sir Keir was “jumping ahead” because “intensive discussions” with the EU remained ongoing.
Our political correspondent Nick Gutteridge writes that No. 10 is Alarmed by spiralling criticism of the deal and is seeking to allay MPs’ fears – but not everyone has been convinced.
Evening briefing: Today’s essential headlines
Strikes | Ambulance and other health staff including nurses and blood collection workers are to stage a fresh strike in an escalation of industrial action in the long-running dispute over pay. Unison announced that its Members will walk out across England on March 8.
Comment and analysis
World news: Putin addresses rally in Moscow
Vladimir Putin led tens of thousands of people in chants of “Russia, Russia”, in a patriotic stadium rally on the eve of the anniversary of the war. “We are proud of those who are fighting in Ukraine to defend the fatherland,” he told the crowd at the Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the 2018 World Cup Final. It was reported that Muscovites were offered free food and a payment of 500 rubles (£5.50) to attend the rally. As the anniversary of the Russian invasion approaches, our experts have answered questions from readers – whether they were about military aspects of the war or the humanitarian and political consequences of the conflict.
Interview of the day
Evanna Lynch: ‘JK Rowling has always advocated for the most vulnerable members of society’
The Irish actress was mentored by Rowling, and went on to star as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films – then cancel culture arrived.
Sport news: Wales strike would be catastrophic
The cancellation of the Six Nations match between Wales and England on Saturday because of strike action by the players would lead to losses of more than £20 million and have a catastrophic impact on the finances of the sport, it has been claimed. Gavin Meyers Reports that with no sign of any breakthrough in the negotiations between the Welsh Rugby Union and their players, senior sources have warned of a huge impact for all the Six Nations unions if the game does not go ahead.
Ukraine | Four obstacles facing Putin one year after invading Ukraine – as told by our experts
Culture | George Orwell’s chilling prediction has come true – it’s time to make a stand
Investigation | ‘Three soldiers took turns raping me in front of my children’
Business news: Tesco begins rationing fruits and vegetables
Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco has become the fourth supermarket in the UK To begin rationing the amount of fruits and vegetables customers can buy. It has joined Aldi today in announcing that it has started limiting purchases to three items per person across peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. Asda and Morrisons had already revealed they are restricting items across a number of products following a squeeze on supplies.
Reports from Ukraine: One year on from the invasion
How the war could end – four scenarios examined | A year on, the conflict has triggered profound changes in Europe. An An expert on global peace explains what an endgame could look like.
YourView | Ahead of the anniversary of the Russian invasion, do you think Rishi Sunak should send jets to Ukraine? Send a short comment and your name, with Front Page as the subject, to [email protected] and you might feature in an article later this week.
Tonight starts now
The simple hack that will save you hundreds of pounds on your summer holiday | When it comes to cutting the cost of your peak-season break, good things come to those who wait – Read this article to find out why.
Three things for you
And finally… for this evening’s downtime
Yellowstone’s ‘spoiled diamond diva’: is Kevin Costner the most demanding actor in Hollywood? | The star reportedly wants out of his hit TV show – much to his boss’s annoyance. But what Costner wants, he usually getswrites Alexander Larman.