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‘Don't bring gifts, vote for PM Modi’: Groom's father requests in wedding invite

A man from Sangareddy in Telangana made a unique request while inviting guests for his son039s weddingThe invitation card contained a message asking people not to carry gifts for the newlyweds but rather to vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the upcoming electionsThe cover of the wedding card for Sai Kumar and Mahima Rani which has been widely shared on social media bears a message that reads quotIf you vote for Narendra Modi ji thatrsquos the gift for this weddingquot The wedding is scheduled to take place on April 4nbsp nbsp nbsp nbspnbspnbspnbsp nbsp nbspSai Kumar039s father Nanikanti Narasimhalu who printed the message expressed his regard for PM Modi and the BJP by printing the messagePublished By Ashutosh AcharyaPublished On Mar 25 2024

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Eilis O’Hanlon: Not even Kate Middleton’s emotional cancer disclosure can halt cruel conspiracies

Kate Middleton speaks about her cancer diagnosis Kate Middleton spoke with her customary grace and composure. Her status as the most beloved member of Britain’s beleaguered royal family will only have been enhanced. But any hope that last Friday’s announcement, that she is being treated for cancer, would put an end to the lurid conspiracy theories which have been doing the rounds online for weeks was soon dashed.

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Fine Gael representatives speak about Simon Harris as he prepares to become party leader and Taoiseach

Sunday, 24 March 2024 ePaper Puzzles Our Journalism Our Story Contact Us Log In News Opinion Business Sport Life Style Entertainment Travel Video Search for articles News Overview Irish News Overview Politics Education Health Courts Crime Environment Seachtain Dublin Local News Overview Select your county Local ePapers World Overview Europe Britain North America Latin America Middle East Asia-Pacific Australasia Africa Farming Overview News Agri-business Dairy Tillage Beef Sheep Farm Property Machinery Legal Advice Comment Rural Life Schemes Finance Latest News Subscriber Exclusives Podcasts Overview The Indo Daily The Left Wing The Big Tech Show Real Health Podcast The Throw-In Seachtain Podcast Opinion Overview Letters Editorial Analysis Comment Business Overview Irish World Technology Personal Finance Small Business Jobs Commercial Property In The Workplace Sport Overview Rugby Overview The Left Wing Champions Cup United Rugby Championship Six Nations Leinster Rugby Munster Rugby Ulster Rugby Connacht Rugby GAA Overview Gaelic Football Hurling The Throw In U-20 Gaelic Football U-20 Hurling Camogie Ladies Football Soccer Overview Premier League International Soccer Champions League League of Ireland Other Soccer The Left Wing Women’s Sport Golf Horse Racing Other Sports Overview Cricket Cycling Hockey Athletics Boxing Equestrian Motor Sport Snooker Swimming Tennis ICycle Life Overview Health & Wellbeing Overview Health Features Healthy Eating Fitness Mental Health Baby Loss Home & Garden Overview Homes New Homes Gardens Interiors Family Overview Family Features Learning Parenting Mothers & Babies Parenting Food & Drink Overview Recipes Food News Food Reviews Wine Motoring Overview News Reviews Car Talk Style Overview Celebrity Overview Celebrity News Celebrity Features Fashion Overview Fashion News Fashion Fix Style Talk Beauty Overview Body Hair Makeup Sex & Relationships Entertainment Overview Movies Overview Movie News Movie Reviews Television Overview TV News TV Reviews Music Overview Music News Music Reviews Radio Books Overview Book News Book Reviews Theatre & Arts Games Festivals Puzzles Competitions Travel Overview Reader Travel Awards Travel News Staycations Ireland Reviews Walks Europe World/USA Cruise Ski Video Extra ePaper Puzzles Our Journalism Our Story Contact Us Home > Videos Fine Gael representatives speak about Simon Harris as he prepares to become party leader and Taoiseach Fine Gael Ministers comment on appointment of Simon Harris as Taoiseach Steve HumphreysToday at 16:45 Minister Simon Coveney with MEP Maria Walsh, European candidate Nina Carberry and Justice Minister Helen McEntee at Fine Gael’s Midlands-North West Selection Convention. Popular VideosMore ‘What I saw was not from this earth’ – Meet the Irish people who claim to have seen UFOs and the expert who is not surprised Fine Gael representatives speak about Simon Harris as he prepares to become party leader and Taoiseach Deputy Mattie McGrath raises Sean Meehan’s case in the Dáil Latest Videos Simon Harris elected Fine Gael leader Simon Harris thanks his parents and credits his brother for getting him into politics Simon Harris pledges to be voice against ‘moral outrage’ in Gaza Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael Simon Harris met with hugs and applause by Fine Gael members in Athlone Fine Gael representatives speak about Simon Harris as he prepares to become party leader and Taoiseach Destruction in Rafah after deadly Israeli strike on southern city Malawi faces existential threat due to climate change 11 held after Moscow concert hall shooting leaves more than 90 dead Ireland head coach Scott Bemand and co-captain Edel McMahon reflect on France game Show more Top Stories Courts Divorce in Ireland: The real reasons couples break-up, how most people get caught cheating and why the system is broken Health & Wellbeing Ciara Kelly on her double hip replacement: ‘My life was shrinking. I was afraid I was going to end up disabled’ Crime BREAKING | Man (30s) charged over fatal Sword attack on Cork chef Ian Baitson Irish News LATEST | Rain warning issued for five counties as Met Éireann forecast potential flooding and difficult travel conditions Latest NewsMore Celebrity News Olivia Colman says she would be paid more if she was a man19:35 Videos Simon Harris elected Fine Gael leader19:32 Rugby England open Women’s Six Nations defence with Italy mauling despite early red19:18 Celebrity News Private funeral for former Strictly star Robin Windsor to be held in Ipswich19:00 Videos Simon Harris thanks his parents and credits his brother for getting him into politics18:56 Videos Simon Harris pledges to be voice against ‘moral outrage’ in Gaza18:56 Gaelic Football Westmeath limp to promotion with six-point defeat to Sligo18:54 Celebrity News British Museum shuts doors to visitors early after protest18:45 Videos Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael18:18 World News The waiting game! Cafe workers carry loaded trays in 2km race through Paris18:05 Top StoriesMore Politics LIVE | Simon Harris becomes new Fine Gael leader paving way for youngest ever Taoiseach to take office Irish News BREAKING | Four people killed in single-vehicle crash in Armagh: ‘An unspeakable tragedy’ Comment Eilis O’Hanlon: Not even Kate Middleton’s emotional cancer disclosure can halt cruel conspiracies Interiors My favourite room: ‘We wanted a kitchen island big enough for seven’ – How the Hostys converted a two-bed into a large family home Hurling Tommy Conlon: The 29 minutes in court that Kyle Hayes will never forget Most Read Videos Entertainment Sinéad O’Connor’s daughter performs Nothing Compares 2 U in tribute to late singer Irish News Video Trailer seen coming loose and crashing in Dublin’s Port Tunnel Irish News Video ‘What I saw was not from this earth’ – Meet the Irish people who claim to have seen UFOs and the expert who is not surprised Videos Dermot Whelan: ‘‘I ended up lying on the side of the road on a tarmac driveway. I was thinking, please don’t let me die’ Videos Fine Gael representatives speak about Simon Harris as he prepares to become party leader and Taoiseach The Indo DailyMore Episodes The Indo Daily Revisited: Mysteriously abandoned – How three siblings found each other & their search a fourth foundling News Latest News Irish news World News Dublin Local News Local ePapers Environment Weather Video Topics Opinion Letters Editorial Comment Journalists Business Budget 2023 Irish World Technology Personal Finance Small Business Farming Jobs Commercial Property In The Workplace Sport Rugby GAA Soccer The Left Wing The Throw In Women’s Sport Golf Horse Racing Other Sports ICycle Life Health & Wellbeing Home & Garden Family Parenting Food & Drink Motoring Style Celebrity Fashion Beauty Sex & Relationships Voices Galleries Entertainment Movies Television Music Radio Books Theatre & Arts Games Festivals Puzzles Competitions Travel Reader Travel Awards Travel News Staycations Ireland Reviews Walks Europe World/USA Travel TV Cruise Ski Podcasts The Indo Daily The Left Wing The Big Tech Show Real Health Podcast The Throw In More Our Journalism Our Story Contact Us Corporate and Social Responsibility Subscription Bundles Subscriber Rewards Subscription Puzzles FAQ’s ePapers Newsletters _________ Storyplus CarsIreland.ie Carzone.ie Cartell.ie Switcher.ie Discount Codes Reach Delpac Socials SitemapArchiveTerms & conditionsContact usPrivacy statementCookie PolicyGroup WebsitesAdvertise with Us A WEBSITE © independent.ie Follow us: Sitemap Archive Terms & conditions Contact us Privacy statement Cookie Policy Group Websites Advertise with Us Subscription Bundles Subscription Rewards Subscription Puzzles FAQ’s ePapers Newsletters

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Simon Harris becomes new Fine Gael leader paving way for youngest ever Taoiseach to take office

Sunday, 24 March 2024 ePaper Puzzles Our Journalism Our Story Contact Us Log In News Opinion Business Sport Life Style Entertainment Travel Video Irish News Politics Education Health Courts Crime Environment Seachtain Dublin Local News Select your county Local ePapers World Europe Britain North America Latin America Middle East Asia-Pacific Australasia Africa Farming News Agri-business Dairy Tillage Beef Sheep Farm Property Machinery Legal Advice Comment Rural Life Schemes Finance Latest News Subscriber Exclusives Podcasts The Indo Daily The Left Wing The Big Tech Show Real Health Podcast The Throw-In Seachtain Podcast Topics Search for articles News Overview Irish News Overview Politics Education Health Courts Crime Environment Seachtain Dublin Local News Overview Select your county Local ePapers World Overview Europe Britain North America Latin America Middle East Asia-Pacific Australasia Africa Farming Overview News Agri-business Dairy Tillage Beef Sheep Farm Property Machinery Legal Advice Comment Rural Life Schemes Finance Latest News Subscriber Exclusives Podcasts Overview The Indo Daily The Left Wing The Big Tech Show Real Health Podcast The Throw-In Seachtain Podcast Opinion Overview Letters Editorial Analysis Comment Business Overview Irish World Technology Personal Finance Small Business Jobs Commercial Property In The Workplace Sport Overview Rugby Overview The Left Wing Champions Cup United Rugby Championship Six Nations Leinster Rugby Munster Rugby Ulster Rugby Connacht Rugby GAA Overview Gaelic Football Hurling The Throw In U-20 Gaelic Football U-20 Hurling Camogie Ladies Football Soccer Overview Premier League International Soccer Champions League League of Ireland Other Soccer The Left Wing Women’s Sport Golf Horse Racing Other Sports Overview Cricket Cycling Hockey Athletics Boxing Equestrian Motor Sport Snooker Swimming Tennis ICycle Life Overview Health & Wellbeing Overview Health Features Healthy Eating Fitness Mental Health Baby Loss Home & Garden Overview Homes New Homes Gardens Interiors Family Overview Family Features Learning Parenting Mothers & Babies Parenting Food & Drink Overview Recipes Food News Food Reviews Wine Motoring Overview News Reviews Car Talk Style Overview Celebrity Overview Celebrity News Celebrity Features Fashion Overview Fashion News Fashion Fix Style Talk Beauty Overview Body Hair Makeup Sex & Relationships Entertainment Overview Movies Overview Movie News Movie Reviews Television Overview TV News TV Reviews Music Overview Music News Music Reviews Radio Books Overview Book News Book Reviews Theatre & Arts Games Festivals Puzzles Competitions Travel Overview Reader Travel Awards Travel News Staycations Ireland Reviews Walks Europe World/USA Cruise Ski Video Extra ePaper Puzzles Our Journalism Our Story Contact Us Home > Irish News > Politics LIVE | Simon Harris becomes new Fine Gael leader paving way for youngest ever Taoiseach to take office Get live updates from the Irish Independent from the Fine Gael event at which Simon Harris is named new party leader on Sunday afternoon Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael Irish IndependentToday at 14:05 Simon Harris has become the new leader of Fine Gael as a special party conference today. It paves the way for the Wicklow TD (37) to become the youngest ever Taoiseach. He was greeted with hugs and applause from party members as he arrived at a European elections selection convention event in Athlone, Co Westmeath, this afternoon, when he was named the successor to Leo Varadkar, after no other candidates came forward. Key updates Fine Gael meeting opens to select European candidates Minister Simon Coveney has opened the party conference, which will select both its MEP candidate and confirm Simon Harris as new party leader, meaning he will become Taoiseach in two weeks. He thanked sitting MEP Colm Markey, who said he would not be contesting for the European elections for Midlands-North West, for “putting the party first.” “For the decision he made today for what we believe is the strongest ticket, I really want to thank him,” Mr Coveney said. Former jockey Nina Carberry and sitting MEP Maria Walsh, a former Rose of Tralee, are in the race. He also noted that 10 years ago the party lost former Longford-Westmeath TD Nicky McFadden to motor neurone disease, saying to her family: “We’re thinking about you.” Minister Coveney welcomed former minister Regina Doherty, who is contesting the European elections in Dublin, and wished her luck and also welcomed Frances Fitzgerald, who is not running again as an MEP. Simon Harris leadership gives Fine Gael a poll bounce – but public doubts he is right man for the job – Voters would prefer Paschal Donohoe or Simon Coveney – Most underwhelmed by change at the top – Big increase in those wanting election now 45 minutes ago — WATCH: Simon Harris’s speech as he is elected leader of Fine Gael, replacing Leo Varadkar Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael www.independent.ie Today 16:58 — Simon Harris has officially been named as the new leader of Fine Gael, paving the way for the Wicklow TD to become the youngest ever Taoiseach in two weeks’ time. In his speech marking his election as the leader of Fine Gael, Mr Harris hit out at the use of the Irish flag at the funeral of IRA man Pearse McAuley, who was jailed for the murder of Garda Jerry McCabe. Mr Harris told the room: “I want to promise and placed to you today that I will repay that trust, with hard work, with blood, sweat and tears, day in and day out, with responsibility, with humility and with civility.” He paid tribute to Leo Varadkar and spoke of his brother Adam who had autism, which had led him to campaign as a teenager and to eventually become leader of Fine Gael. “This is an important moment for fine gael to reset… there is a hell of a lot to do in the time to come. Fine Gael stands for supporting businesses the length and breadth of this country,” Mr Harris said. “Fine Gael stands for making work pay. It stands for supporting educational pathways, no matter where you’re from or what your mother and father did, we want you to be able to reach your full potential. “We must work everyday to make sure it’s not a happy slogan trotted out at elations. Fine Gael stands for law and order. “We stand on the side of the gardai, for streets that are safe. In a week I saw a tricolour spread over the coffin of a Garda killer, I say shame.” Mr Harris added: “We need a fair and firm system when it comes to migration in this country. We will work with everyone … to harness the all-island economy. “We condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Putin. We stand by Ukraine, always.” He also hit out at “the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and the moral outrage” perpetrated by Hamas. He called for ceasefire in Gaza, the release of hostages and to bring about a two-state solution for the Palestinian people. Mr Harris also said an end needed to be brought to populism. “This is a great country and we should never let people talk it down,” he said. Mr Harris continued: “I want young people to believe in their future in Ireland…. An economy has to work for people, so they feel it on their farm… in the years ahead for their children. “Fine Gael talks about security, as a nation, for individuals, when they buy their first home. For care, for a health service that delivers better and excellence. “To those of you who vote Fine Gael, I sincerely thank you.” In a message to those who no longer voted he said: “I want to win back your trust.” And he added I “respect” those who don’t vote for the party. “I pledge every single day I will work for the common good of this country that we all love,” he said. “I feel the desperate need for hope right across the country…. I’m up for it – are you?” The room ignited and members shouted “yes.” Today 16:35 — WATCH: Simon Harris met with hugs and applause from Fine Gael members as he arrives in Athlone Simon Harris met with hugs and applause by Fine Gael members in Athlone Simon Harris is to become the new leader of Fine Gael today. www.independent.ie Today 16:57 — Maria Walsh and Nina Carberry have also been officially chosen as the party’s MEP candidates Today 16:44 — Party members break into applause and take to their feet as Simon Harris is officially elected leader of Fine Gael this afternoon Today 16:42 — Simon Coveney says: “Simon Harris is ideally placed to take this party forward… to bring people perhaps this party has lost… to make sure they hey have a safe home. To get this party up into the mid 20s which is where we should be. Simon Good luck. You have everybody at your back.” Today 16:33 — Nina Carberry has told Fine Gael members she wanted to be a voice for farmers in Europe. “I’d like to make sure the voice of the farmers are heard in Europe,” she said. Ms Carberry also told how since she was a child conversations at home were often interrupted and “a quiet word from my dad,” ensured she and her family would support Fine Gael. “I began to consider when I was looking at my two young girls, wondering what the future has store for them,” and that decided for her that she would stand. “I’ve always had the mantra: Do you want to make a difference? You need to put your hand up and that’s what I’m doing.” Sitting MEP Maria Walsh praised Ms Carberry and the “future Taoiseach,” Simon Harris. “I thank our current Taoiseach Leo Varadkar… politics requires great courage and commitment. “He has been nothing but gracious with his time…” And she said she was “really excited to work with Simon Harris.” At this time, European politics was more important than ever. She said there was an “unjustified genocide killing thousands in Gaza,” while Russian “aggression” was still impacting Ukraine. Meanwhile she said suicide is the second leading cause of death in Europe and she was confident she would see the first ever EU mandate on mental health to “end this horrific loss of life.” She added that gender equality was vital to ensure men and women are equal in workplace. She said she wants to continue working for gender equality and to ensure an investment fund is set up to help female-led businesses. She also “acknowledged the importance of our farmers,” and said as a young farmer she understands the challenges. “I want to economically support our farm families through the green transition,” she said. And she called for a “100pc redress” for families affected by the mica defective building blocks crisis. “I have a vision for modern Ireland,” and wanted to see all communities “working together.” She thanked Clodagh Higgins and Michael Ring for seconding her candidacy. Today 16:11 — Councillor Sharon Tobin said she stood, like Ms Carberry for “the workers,” and Ms Carberry “gave blood, sweat and tears.” “I’ve told her by the time she finishes with this race Cheltenham will seem like a walk in the park,” she said. Michael Ring praised Simon Coveney and thanked him for his contribution and this was greeted with applause and a standing ovation. He also paid tribute “to our Taoiseach Leo.” And he thanked him for his contribution to Ireland, Europe and Fine Gael and again this was greeted with applause. “Simon Harris I want to wish you well for the next number of years,” Mr Ring said. “I want to see you leading Fine Gael back into Government with the core values of Fine Gael and I won’t go into more of that today.” But today he said he was here to nominate Maria Walsh and “what an MEP you have been.” She said when she stood five years ago she didn’t know a lot about politics but “how well you have done”, Mr Ring said. “We want you to get out there to fight for the heart and soul of Fine Gael,” he added, referring to the two candidates and Simon Harris in his soon-to-be position leading the party. “This party is good in Government and it wants to stay in Government.” Today 16:06 — Simon Harris has just entered the room to huge applause. One Fine Gael member said: “I wish I’d got his photo. I didn’t know he was coming in that quick.” Minister Harris pressed the flesh as he made his way to the front of the room. Maria Walsh and Nina Carberry have just signed a pledge to Fine Gael to stand as MEPs. Laura Lynott Today 16:04 — WATCH: Fine Gael reps at special party conference speak about Simon Harris becoming party leader and Taoiseach Fine Gael representatives speak about Simon Harris as he prepares to become party leader and Taoiseach Minister Simon Coveney with MEP Maria Walsh, European candidate Nina Carberry and Justice Minister Helen McEntee at Fine Gael’s Midlands-North West Selection Convention. www.independent.ie Today 15:57 — Colm Markey, who pulled out of the European race, said: “Our new leader is not with us yet… but members of Fine Gael, I’m delighted to be here today with a crowd this size for the big handover… “ He said Leo Varadkar was akin to a high performing athlete, including speaking up for Gaza in Washington. “The hallmark of Leo Varadkar was his decisive decision making during Covid,” said Mr Markey, who had taken over Mairead McGuinness’s seat when she became an EU commissioner. Mr Varadkar has “handed over to another high performance athlete in Simon Harris,” who Mr Markey said carried the nation through the pandemic. He called Maria Walsh and Nina Carberry “superstars,” for Ms Walsh talking openly about mental health and for Ms Carberry being a pioneer as a jockey in a male dominated field. “I was honoured to be in the (European) Parliament the last few years,” he said. “I’d like to thank my family… my great mentor Fergus O’Dowd… “It was a tough conversation,” he said when he touched on his decision not to stand but “logic and wisdom had to hold across Europe,” because “it’s not happening in America.” He was greeted with applause and Mr Coveney thanked him, saying “you have a big future in the party,” and “we appreciate your contribution.” Today 15:44 — Former MEP Mairead McGuinness told the Fine Gael Midlands-North West selection convention: “We were all sad to say goodbye to John Bruton and I want to thank him for putting his faith in me. “These are extraordinary difficult times… we have a very divided world. There’s fragmentation everywhere,” the European financial stability commissioner said. There is a “value of being at the table” and not “closing your ears.” Those “willing to stay in the room are the ones who prevail,” she added. “Look at the size of this gathering in this room… we want to manage change that may come our way.” She added that it was “important people show up…”Colm Markey has served our party and Ireland really well. He helped Donegal fishers and farmers…” She wishes MEP Maria Walsh the best of luck. Meanwhile, a Fine Gael staff member was ordering people to “sit down” at the back of the room, although it is a case of standing room only at this point. Laura Lynott Today 15:42 — Fine Gael meeting opens to select European candidates Minister Simon Coveney has opened the party conference, which will select both its MEP candidate and confirm Simon Harris as new party leader, meaning he will become Taoiseach in two weeks. He thanked sitting MEP Colm Markey, who said he would not be contesting for the European elections for Midlands-North West, for “putting the party first.” “For the decision he made today for what we believe is the strongest ticket, I really want to thank him,” Mr Coveney said. Former jockey Nina Carberry and sitting MEP Maria Walsh, a former Rose of Tralee, are in the race. He also noted that 10 years ago the party lost former Longford-Westmeath TD Nicky McFadden to motor neurone disease, saying to her family: “We’re thinking about you.” Minister Coveney welcomed former minister Regina Doherty, who is contesting the European elections in Dublin, and wished her luck and also welcomed Frances Fitzgerald, who is not running again as an MEP. Today 15:15 — Minister of State Peter Burke said he believed that the appointment of a new leader was a time for Fine Gael to reflect but also look to the future and described Simon Harris as a a “man of the progressive centre”. “I think its a time for us to reflect but also to really move forward with new energy as well, to see a new leader being elected this afternoon,” Mr Burke told RTÉ This Week programme. Mr Burke, who was one of the first to express his support Simon Harris’ leadership bid, is tipped to be promoted to a cabinet position once Mr Harris takes over as Taoiseach. While Deputy Burke said he would not speculate on whether he is being considered for a ministerial position, he said it is an ambition of anyone who gets into politics. “I don’t think there is anyone who goes forward, who puts himself forward to represent their community, who would not like to serve in cabinet. I think that’s everyone’s aspiration,” Mr Burke said. When asked if he agreed with Deputy Michael Ring’s opinion that the party had gone too far to the left, Mr Burke said it was his view that Fine Gael was a party of the progressive centre. “Fine Gael is a broad church. You’re always going to have a number of opinions but my view very firmly is that we are a party of the progressive centre. “We stand for rewarding enterprise and I am someone who does very busy clinics every single week in my constituency and also I know that when we make assertions that they have to be evidence based as well,” Mr Burke said. Today 15:10 — Fine Gael TD Michael Ring said he believes Fine Gael has been “too left for too long” and that Simon Harris needed to bring the party back to its core values. Mr Ring, who is a senior member of the party, said Fine Gael wasn’t a left-wing party and its position needed to change. “Fine Gael has to go back to it’s core values. Fine Gael in my opinion have been too left for too long,” Mr Ring told RTÉ’s This Week programme. “We’re not a left party. We’re a centre party and I think that Fine Gael have to move back into the centre again and more to the right,” he added. Some of those core values including law and order, were something Mr Ring believed needed to be focused on, as well as providing support for small businesses and farmers. “We need to forget about a lot of these social issues that we have been raising over the last number of years, annoying people and upsetting people. “People want law and order, they want small businesses to be looked after, they want their sons and daughters to have jobs,” he added. In particular, Mr Ring said he wanted to see the hate speech legislation abandoned as well as the extended opening hours for pubs. “I want the hate bill gone, I also want this daft idea of opening pubs all night. “There’s other social issues that they’re talking about and I will be stronger this time and I won’t be allowing Fine Gael to go into the left, going into these kinds of social issues that people don’t want,” Mr Ring said. Mr Ring said while the role of Taoiseach and party leader won’t be easy, he believes Simon Harris can lift the party. “He has a very difficult job ahead, there’s no doubt about it. Fine Gael have been in government now almost 13 years and I have to say that this job isn’t going to be easy particularly with all the people who are retiring,” Mr Ring told RTÉ’s This Week programme. “But I think that Simon Harris has the energy and he has the ability to try and lift the party,” he added. In the latest Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks opinion poll, Fine Gael saw a small increase support ahead of the election of Simon Harris as leader. Mr Ring said he was glad to see the party get a small lift in the opinion polls. “Now he has to continue and he has to do what Enda Kenny did, what John Bruton did in the past. He has to go around the country now, revitalise the organisation, talk to the organisation, listen to the organisation,” Mr Ring said. “He has to make sure that he is ready to give this 24 hours a day because we have only a I suppose a year left before the general election, we are into local elections and European elections in the next few week,” he added. Today 14:15 — He came into politics full of fire and he leaves bereft of energy. The leader who promised change ran out of ideas. It is as if the job had finally got the better of him, writes Eoin O’Malley. Eoin O’Malley: Time will tell the truth of Leo Varadkar’s legacy. But here’s a first draft to get us started He came into politics full of fire and he leaves bereft of energy. The leader who promised change ran out of ideas. It is as if the job had finally got the better of him. www.independent.ie Today 14:13 — Simon Harris leadership gives Fine Gael a poll bounce – but public doubts he is right man for the job – Voters would prefer Paschal Donohoe or Simon Coveney – Most underwhelmed by change at the top – Big increase in those wanting election now Simon Harris leadership gives Fine Gael a poll bounce – but public doubts he is right man for the job Fine Gael has received a marginal uplift in support ahead of the election of Simon Harris as leader, but the wider public would have preferred Simon Coveney or Paschal Donohoe as Taoiseach, a Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks opinion poll shows. www.independent.ie Today 14:07 — Simon Harris speaks to media in Athlone as European elections hopeful, former jockey Nina Carberry, looks on. Photo: PA Today 13:05 — Frances Fitzgerald on Harris’s early political career Mr Harris began his political career as an assistant to the then Fine Gael senator Frances Fitzgerald. “He applied for a job when I got the new position as leader of the opposition in the Senate,” Ms Fitzgerald told the Anton Savage Show on Newstalk on Sunday. “I got an email in, or a note from Simon saying he would like to work in politics. I met him in Buswells [hotel] informally. “I have known him for 17 years, seen him go from working with me as PA, then while he was working with me, he went for councillor in Wicklow and was successful. I think one of the highest votes ever. “And then went from that to eventually going in as a minister of state in the OPW and then joined cabinet eventually,” she added. “So I ended up in cabinet with him. I saw his trajectory over the 17 years and he never lost his absolute fascination with politics. When asked if she would have tipped him for taoiseach when she worked with him in the early years, Ms Fitzgerald said she did spot his ambition. “I would have tipped him as somebody who was very bright, very interested and very ambitious in the best sense of that word. “So, would I have thought of taoiseach? Maybe not initially but certainly fairly quickly you could see it. “I always knew he would go very far in politics.” Tabitha Monahan Today 13:03 — Taoiseach-elect Simon Harris will today tell Fine Gael members in Athlone, where he will be confirmed as party leader, that the party must refocus on Enterprise, Equality of Opportunity, Integrity and Security. “An economy has to work for people so that they feel it in their own household economies, on their farms and in their businesses, around the kitchen table, and in the lives they can see ahead for their children,” he will tell members. Harris will tell members he intends to prioritise supporting families, small businesses, law and order, making work pay, and education. “There is a helluva lot to get done in the time ahead to support businesses, to make work pay, to support education and educational pathways for all, to ensure equality of opportunity is not a slogan but is something that is woven through everything, and to ensure law and order prevails crime is never allowed go unchecked and our streets are safe,” he will say. He will commit to bringing a new energy to the party and listening to the grassroot membership across the country. It is understood Mr Harris will commit to resolving the Coalition impasse over the future funding of RTÉ in the coming weeks. He will likely commit to retaining a levy on the public , in the form of an overhauled licence fee, rather than exchequer funding. This model is favoured by Fianna Fáil. “There are two options. It’s not going to be the hardest decision, Micheál Martin has a clear view which really rules out one of the options,” a source said. Hugh O’Connell TickarooLive Blog Software Mr Harris announced his candidature on Thursday night following a series of endorsements from within the Fine Gael parliamentary party and after a number of senior colleagues said they did not intend to stand for the leadership. A shortened leadership contest saw him announced as leader in Athlone, Co Westmeath on Sunday afternoon after nominations closed at 1pm. It took place during a party selection convention for European Parliament candidates. Mr Harris will then be expected to be formally elected as taoiseach in the Dáil in two weeks following the Easter recess. Mr Harris said that if elected the next leader, he would remain fully committed to the programme for government agreed with coalition partners Fianna Fail and the Green Party. He has stopped short of ruling out a general election this year but insisted such a poll was not his priority. Aside from Mr Harris, all other senior Fine Gael cabinet ministers have ruled themselves out of contention. Mr Harris has said he is “overwhelmed and honoured” by the level of support he has secured for his Fine Gael leadership bid. Join the Irish Independent WhatsApp channel Stay up to date with all the latest news Latest Politics LIVE | Simon Harris becomes new Fine Gael leader paving way for youngest ever Taoiseach to take office Golden opportunity: National Party owns part of €400,000 bullion bought after Russian invasion Hugh O’Connell: How Fine Gael saviour Leo Varadkar appeared to lose interest Kevin Cunningham: Poll reveals a moderate Simon Harris bounce for Fine Gael as it closes the gap with Sinn Féin Antlers, lost keys, cold rooms and broken TV remotes among TDs’ gripes to Leinster House staff Exclusive | Simon Harris leadership gives Fine Gael a poll bounce – but public doubts he is right man for the job Jody Corcoran: How Simon Harris, a young man in a hurry, now has big decisions to make And now for the hard part – Simon Harris’s honeymoon will be brief as his political dream suddenly comes true Fine Gael hit with another resignation after MEP Colm Markey withdraws from upcoming European elections Labour’s Ged Nash takes aim at ‘TikTok Taoiseach’ Simon Harris, comparing him to a ‘yappy dog’ Show more Top Stories Courts Divorce in Ireland: The real reasons couples break-up, how most people get caught cheating and why the system is broken Health & Wellbeing Ciara Kelly on her double hip replacement: ‘My life was shrinking. I was afraid I was going to end up disabled’ Crime BREAKING | Man (30s) charged over fatal Sword attack on Cork chef Ian Baitson Irish News LATEST | Rain warning issued for five counties as Met Éireann forecast potential flooding and difficult travel conditions Latest NewsMore Celebrity News Olivia Colman says she would be paid more if she was a man19:35 Videos Simon Harris elected Fine Gael leader19:32 Rugby England open Women’s Six Nations defence with Italy mauling despite early red19:18 Celebrity News Private funeral for former Strictly star Robin Windsor to be held in Ipswich19:00 Videos Simon Harris thanks his parents and credits his brother for getting him into politics18:56 Videos Simon Harris pledges to be voice against ‘moral outrage’ in Gaza18:56 Gaelic Football Westmeath limp to promotion with six-point defeat to Sligo18:54 Celebrity News British Museum shuts doors to visitors early after protest18:45 Videos Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael18:18 World News The waiting game! Cafe workers carry loaded trays in 2km race through Paris18:05 Top StoriesMore Politics LIVE | Simon Harris becomes new Fine Gael leader paving way for youngest ever Taoiseach to take office Irish News BREAKING | Four people killed in single-vehicle crash in Armagh: ‘An unspeakable tragedy’ Comment Eilis O’Hanlon: Not even Kate Middleton’s emotional cancer disclosure can halt cruel conspiracies Interiors My favourite room: ‘We wanted a kitchen island big enough for seven’ – How the Hostys converted a two-bed into a large family home Hurling Tommy Conlon: The 29 minutes in court that Kyle Hayes will never forget Most Read Politics Politics Exclusive | Simon Harris leadership gives Fine Gael a poll bounce – but public doubts he is right man for the job Politics LIVE | Simon Harris becomes new Fine Gael leader paving way for youngest ever Taoiseach to take office Politics Golden opportunity: National Party owns part of €400,000 bullion bought after Russian invasion Politics And now for the hard part – Simon Harris’s honeymoon will be brief as his political dream suddenly comes true Politics Simon Harris struck vital deal with Heather Humphreys to let him become new Taoiseach The Indo DailyMore Episodes The Indo Daily Revisited: Mysteriously abandoned – How three siblings found each other & their search a fourth foundling News Latest News Irish news World News Dublin Local News Local ePapers Environment Weather Video Topics Opinion Letters Editorial Comment Journalists Business Budget 2023 Irish World Technology Personal Finance Small Business Farming Jobs Commercial Property In The Workplace Sport Rugby GAA Soccer The Left Wing The Throw In Women’s Sport Golf Horse Racing Other Sports ICycle Life Health & Wellbeing Home & Garden Family Parenting Food & Drink Motoring Style Celebrity Fashion Beauty Sex & Relationships Voices Galleries Entertainment Movies Television Music Radio Books Theatre & Arts Games Festivals Puzzles Competitions Travel Reader Travel Awards Travel News Staycations Ireland Reviews Walks Europe World/USA Travel TV Cruise Ski Podcasts The Indo Daily The Left Wing The Big Tech Show Real Health Podcast The Throw In More Our Journalism Our Story Contact Us Corporate and Social Responsibility Subscription Bundles Subscriber Rewards Subscription Puzzles FAQ’s ePapers Newsletters _________ Storyplus CarsIreland.ie Carzone.ie Cartell.ie Switcher.ie Discount Codes Reach Delpac Socials SitemapArchiveTerms & conditionsContact usPrivacy statementCookie PolicyGroup WebsitesAdvertise with Us A WEBSITE © independent.ie Follow us: Sitemap Archive Terms & conditions Contact us Privacy statement Cookie Policy Group Websites Advertise with Us Subscription Bundles Subscription Rewards Subscription Puzzles FAQ’s ePapers Newsletters

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Astroguide

Astroguide, March 25, MondayShobhakrut; UttarayanaTithi: Phalguna Shukla Poornima till 12.28 pm Star: Uttahra till 10.36 am Varjyam: 8.01 pm to 9.49 pm Durmuhurtham: 12.46 pm to 1.34 pm; 3.11 pm to 3.59 pm Rahukalam: 7.30 am to 9 am

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Kadapa Authorities Solve 193 of 194 MCC Cases

Anantapur: Kadapa district election authorities have solved 193 of the 194 complaints that they have so far received in connection with violation of the model code of conduct in the district.Kadapa district election officer and collector Vijaya Ramaraju said they have initiated action in these cases, including several candidates, one of them being the YSRC MLA from Proddatur.He underlined that setting up of the District Integrated Command Centre has helped them initiate action against every complaint of violating code of conduct immediately.“Our inquiry into the remaining one complaint is in progress,” the collector remarked.Parcel services raidedIn Anantapur, police teams organised surprise raids on parcel service offices over suspicions that they are transporting and delivering gifts to voters. SP K.K.N. Anburajan said they have booked 1,284 cases of ID liquor being transported from Karnataka since January. They have arrested 1,272 persons in these cases.

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Italy marks 80th anniversary of WWII-era massacre in Rome with a concert honoring the dead

Italy on Sunday marked the 80th anniversary of one of the most horrific World War II massacres in German-occupied Italy with solemn commemorations and a performance of a symphony honoring the dead. Riccardo Muti was conducting the Italian premiere of William Schuman’s Ninth Symphony, subtitled “Le Fosse Ardeatine,” which the New York-born Jewish composer wrote in 1968 after visiting the Ardeatine Caves in Rome. There, on March 24, 1944, 335 people were shot to death as a reprisal for an attack by partisans that killed 33 Nazi soldiers on a street in Rome. In an interview ahead of the performance, Muti said Schuman was completely overwhelmed by the experience of visiting the caves and said it was particularly appropriate now to finally bring the symphony to Italy. “This is a tragic story that young people have to know, especially in today’s world where every day we read about such tragic events,” Muti told The Associated Press. “This cry of pain that comes from the score of ‘Le Fosse Ardeatine’ I think can be a wakeup call, just as at a certain point a funeral bell appears in the score.” Muti led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the symphony in 2019, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the massacre. On Sunday, the 80th anniversary, he was leading the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which he founded and directs, alongside musicians from the Carabinieri orchestra at Rome’s Parco della Musica auditorium. In other commemorations to mark the 80th anniversary of the massacre, Premier Giorgia Meloni issued a note Sunday saying it was necessary to remember what she called “”one of the most profound and painful wounds inflicted on our national community.” President Sergio Mattarella on Friday visited the site itself, which has now been turned into a memorial honoring the 335 dead. The tombs carry the names, and in some cases the photos, of the victims. In notes that accompanied the original recording of the symphony, composer William Schuman said the piece doesn’t attempt to depict the events of 1944. But Schuman, who died in 1992, said that its three sections were “directly related to emotions engendered by” his visit to the site, including his thoughts about the “promise and aborted lives of the martyrs.” ___ Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield contributed.

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Save 40% on this top-rated car jumper cable set during Amazon’s Big Spring Sale

Every vehicle owner knows the frustration and inconvenience of a dead battery, especially during unexpected situations. Whether you’re on a road trip, commuting to work, or simply running errands, a reliable jump starter can be a lifesaver. The NEXPOW 2000A Peak Car Jump Starter is designed to provide you with peace of mind and ensure that you never get stranded again. RELATED: When is Prime Day 2024? Everything you need to know right now During Amazon’s Big Spring Sale, the NEXPOW 2000A Peak Car Jump Starter is available at an unbeatable 41% discount, making it an even more irresistible deal. With its exceptional performance, versatility, and safety features, this jump starter is a must-have accessory for every vehicle owner. RELATED: Shop the best power generators during Amazon’s Big Spring Sale But the NEXPOW jump starter is not just about jump-starting your vehicle. Thanks to its built-in USB Quick Charge 3.0 ports, it also serves as a multifunctional portable power bank. With these ports, you can conveniently charge your smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other electronic devices on the go. Whether you’re camping, hiking, or simply traveling, you can stay connected and powered up wherever you are. Don’t wait until you’re stranded on the side of the road with a dead battery. Invest in the NEXPOW 2000A Peak Car Jump Starter today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re always prepared for any unexpected emergency. Hunting for a headline-worthy haul? Keep shopping with Post Wanted.

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MSP Christine Grahame adds voice to Kingsmeadows campaign

On Monday, Christine Grahame sent a letter to Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) chief planning officer Ian Aikman and a copy to the ‘Save Kingsmeadows’ campaign. Developer Granton Homes’ original planning permission in principle (PPP) from SBC for further flats expired at midnight on Monday, March 4. Ms Grahame, MSP for Midlothain South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, said: “I have received representations from a number of constituents concerned about planning proposals for the erection of flats within the grounds of Kingsmeadows House, Peebles. “I note that the original planning permission in principle granted in 2015 (which has since expired) permitted the felling of 38 trees. “It is my understanding that the developer applied for an approval of matters (AMC) in 2022 which is thought to have involved the felling of 46 trees. “Almost a decade has passed since the initial PPP was granted and we now have a much greater understanding of how important trees are to the environment. “Indeed, during this time SBC has declared a climate emergency. “Not only does it therefore seem inappropriate that an increase in the number of trees to be felled is being considered, I would respectfully suggest there should be a decrease. “Is the felling of trees necessary at all? “Please note that this is an objection in principle to the felling of any trees, certainly a reduction and not an increase on that previously permitted.” Granton Homes has put in a further three live SBC planning applications – two on January 5, with 81 and 95 public objections respectively, and the latest on March 4. At Peebles Community Council (PCC) last Thursday (March 14), Dr Catriona McKay, of the campaign group, made an impassioned plea. Dr McKay said: “Planning legislation has materially changed, National Planning Framework Four (NPF4) is quite clear that planners need to give significant weight to the climate and nature crises when considering any development proposals (Policy 1). “There are now three live applications and Granton is claiming that planners should only consider these narrow technicalities and, any public comments relating to the principle of development, ie that felling 50 trees is not OK, are not relevant or material. “That is simply not the case. We have done our homework and asked experts and the answer is, ‘Once a permission has expired, planners can consider the overall effect of granting a new permission and should be making decisions based on current planning legislation’, in this case, NPF4.” Dr McKay asked PCC to object to the applications and members agreed. Vice chairman Graham Mackie said a letter would be sent to SBC. The agent for Granton Homes declined to comment when contacted by this newspaper. SBC said the design, layout and details of the proposed development “would not respect the character or appearance” of the site when the planning application was rejected in May 2022. That year Gary Mawer, managing director of Granton Homes, said the firm was “committed to the sensitive development of the Kingsmeadows estate”.

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Secret celebrity smokers: From Stacey Solomon to TV’s golden girl Holly Willoughby, health-conscious…

From stylish presenters, Strictly professional dancers and popular singers, there are many celebrities who fans would never expect to smoke. After Stacey Solomon was seen enjoying a cigarette last weekend, there are plenty of stars partial to a puff behind the scenes. While professional dancers smoke as a release from the stress of Strictly, and other stars enjoy it on a night out, here MailOnline take a look at the surprise celebrity secret smokers. But are they any you didn’t expect? Stacey Solomon Stacey Solomon was spotted smoking a cigarette with her morning coffee during a family day out in north London last weekend. The Sort Your Life Out star, 34, sneaked in a moment of silence and sparked up a cigarette while husband Joe Swash played with their youngest children. The presenter previously discussed the unhealthy habit back in 2012, when she broke down on This Morning and revealed her guilt at continuing to smoke while pregnant. Although she said she had cut down from her 10 a day, she has struggled to quit altogether. She said on This Morning: ‘At the end of the day, nothing that I can say makes it right. All I can say is that from the day I found out that I was pregnant, I have tried my best to give up. I completely understand why people would be angry, because for some people it’s incomprehensible. ‘As soon as you get pregnant, you think you need so stop. I did smoke between 5 and 10 a day, but I completely cut down and from there on I have been trying to stop. ‘I’m smoking between one and three a day, if that… I just thought I would be able to quit. And some days I’ve done really, really well and had none but there are some days when I have had some. I’m doing my best to just go without, but sometimes it’s not just as easy to cut it out.’ Holly Willoughby TV’s golden girl Holly Willoughby enjoyed a cigarette back in her twenties as the star was seen having a drag while at V Festival back in 2009. As Holly had fun at the festival she appeared carefree with a cigarette in hand as she donned a pair of stylish shades. The appearance goes against the presenter’s clean-living public image which helped her secure her role on This Morning for many years up until her departure last October. Rochelle Humes Rochelle Humes is known for her healthy lifestyle and incredible physique. The singer turned businesswoman is even founder of wellness matcha brand Cloudcha. However on a night out it seems Rochelle is also partial to a cigarette after she was snapped enjoying a smoke with the This Morning crew back in 2021. Joined by Phillip Schofield and Dermot O’Leary, the group all looked in very good spirits as they congregated outside for a smoke. Rochelle was seen exhaling clouds of smoke while having a laugh with her showbiz pals. Johannes Radebe Strictly professional dancer Johannes Radebe also enjoys a cigarette, and admitted he smokes even more during Strictly Come Dancing due to stress. Appearing on Jessie and Lennie Ware’s podcast Table Manners, Jessie revealed she was shocked when she performed on the show and learnt that the professional dancer smokes. She exclaimed: ‘The thing that blew my mind was when you came in for a cuddle, and I was like “Sorry you smoke!” ‘Sorry I didn’t think dancers smoked and you had had a power fag before we’d done the bl***y run through! And you are still the fastest, it blew my mind.’ As Johannes laughed hysterically he admitted that a lot of dancers smoke. As Jessie probed: ‘Do you smoke more when you are doing Strictly?’ He replied: ‘Yes. I am weaning myself off it at the moment because I am like “you are not stressed, why are you smoking so much”, but it’s a lot honestly.’ Giovanni Pernice Giovanni Pernice has been snapped multiple times over the years puffing on a cigarette. He was last spotted smoking as he was seen for the first time since his Strictly dance partner Amanda Abbington claimed the show left her with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Italian has also been snapped smoking on rehearsal breaks before alongside fellow Strictly stars. In January 2023 he was seen alongside dancer Lauren Oakley who puffed on a vape as they two smoked outside London’s Dance Attic Studios. Abbey Clancy She’s known for her jaw-dropping figure and toned physique. But when she isn’t posing up a storm for fashion campaigns Abbey Clancy is partial to a cigarette. The model, 38, has been snapped numerous times over the years enjoying a smoke while out and about with friends. Abbey was most recently seen in February 2023 as she smoked between takes as she filmed her Paddy Power advert in Cheltenham. The star was seen outside her trailer as she indulged in a cigarette while looking stylish in a beige trench coat. Craig Revel Horwood Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood is also partial to a cigarette as he too has been snapped having a drag outside rehearsals. Recently swapping the cigarette for a vape, Craig was seen puffing on an e-cigarette in full drag makeup during pantomime rehearsals in December. Starring in Cinderella at the New Wimbledon Theatre, the star looked unrecognisable as he escaped for a smoking break at the stage door wearing a dressing gown and slippers. Gwyneth Paltrow She famously espouses a healthy lifestyle and dedicated workout regime. But even Gwyneth Paltrow enjoyed a sneaky cigarette back in the day. The 51-year old admitted she allowed herself one cigarette per week in the May issue of Harper’s Bazaar U.S. edition back in 2013. When asked about her guilty pleasures, the actress, who recently penned a healthy eating cookbook, said: ‘My one light American Spirit that I smoke once a week, on Saturday night.’ The actress went on to quit smoking but admitted to Holly Willoughby on her podcast in 2022 that: ‘I miss the cigarettes’ as she reflected on her crazy younger years. Russell Crowe Russell Crowe was last seen smoking a cigarette in Coffs Harbour, on the NSW north coast in January last year. The Les Miserables star admitted he tried to quit smoking back in 2010 after his then-six-year-old son, Charlie, caught him having a smoke. ‘I have been smoking for 36 years,’ he said at a press conference for Ben Hurr in 2010, revealing that he was ‘smoking 40’ on an easy day. Russell then admitted that ‘on a day when I would be up at 4am and still up at midnight, then it was 60-plus and it just got to the point where my body was telling me I had to stop.’ Dua Lipa Dua Lipa was an avid smoker until recently, after revealed she has quit the habit during an appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers in January. The pop star, 27, had only initially managed to kick the habit for her Future Nostalgia tour in 2022 in order to make sure her vocal health was at its best – but has now announced she has stopped altogether. She told host Seth: ‘I was smoking -cigarettes at the time… But I’ve stopped. I’ve quit, guys.’ It is not clear exactly when the Houdini hitmaker began smoking, but after suffering from laryngitis in December 2021 she felt the need to quit for the sake of her tour and later gushed about how much ‘confidence’ quitting had given her. Speaking on her At Your Service podcast, she revealed: ‘I had laryngitis in December and that kind of kickstarted me quitting smoking a month earlier than I was supposed to. But I did it and I have stuck to it.’ Emily Atack Emily Atack was last seen puffing on a cigarette as she partied with a whole host of England footballers back in October. The actress, 33, was seen smoking after heading from the Glamour Women Of The Year Awards to Chiltern Firehouse in London. The TV personality has previously opened up about how she first turned to smoking and drinking after her parents divorce when she was younger. During a chat with the Sunday Times magazine in 2020, Emily explained: ‘My idyllic childhood came crashing down dramatically when Mum and Dad divorced. I didn’t talk to Dad for months and was angry with both of them. ‘I pulled away from Mum, started hanging out with lads and smoking and drinking.’ Dani Dyer Love Island winner Dani Dyer was seen puffing on a cigarette with her dad Danny Dyer as they two enjoyed lunch together back in 2019. The star was also seen smoking after her stint in the villa, after her series of Love Island was the first to ban smoking onscreen. Prior to the 2018 series, islanders had been allowed to smoke around the pool in the villa, however new rules now mean the stars must only smoke or vape one at a time outside the villa. It is unknown whether the star, who is now a mother-of-three, still smokes. Nigel Farage While it might not come as a complete surprise that Nigel Farage smokes, the number of cigarettes he has per day is slightly more shocking. During his stint on I’m A Celeb last November, MailOnline revealed the politician was smoking between 20 and 30 cigarettes each day away from ITV’s cameras. The 59-year-old MP had been puffing in excess of one packet of Benson and Hedges a day in the jungle in the designated smoking area which viewers never get to see. If Nigel, who usually smokes Rothmans in the UK, wanted a cigarette he had to go into the Bush Telegraph and ask the show’s producers for permission. ITV executive producer, Laura Woolf, said: ‘If contestants want a cigarette, they have to request one and go off one by one.’ Ensuring the former UKIP politician was able to indulge in his habit while appearing on I’m a Celebrity was one of the first assurances sought by his team from ITV bosses.

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