Evening bus services to resume after antisocial attacks

Lothian Buses, Lothian Country and East Coast Buses suspended their evening services on Wednesday night.

Edinburgh: Bus services across the city were suspended on Wednesday night. Lothian Buses via Website
Edinburgh: Bus services across the city were suspended on Wednesday night.

Lothian Buses has resumed all evening services after suspending them for a night following months of antisocial behaviour in Edinburgh.

All services on Lothian Buses, Lothian Country and East Coast Buses were stopped from 7.30pm on Wednesday. NightBus services continued as normal.

The decision came after a number of buses were targeted by vandals on Monday evening, with large stones thrown at their windows.

The police warned such incidents could lead to “serious injury or even death” and have charged 18 people in connection with a spree of alleged antisocial behaviour through Operation Proust.

On Thursday, Lothian Buses confirmed that evening services will resume with increased police presence on the ground.

Sarah Boyd, Lothian Buses’ operations director, said: “Lothian remain committed to supporting local communities and those keyworkers that require travel during these difficult times.

“Despite a small number of antisocial incidents last night, all of our evening services will resume tonight as scheduled.

“Working in partnership with Police Scotland, we will continue to monitor services closely and will not hesitate to take any action in any area that record acts of antisocial behaviour directed towards our drivers or our vehicles.

“The support from businesses, stakeholders and our customers has been overwhelming and I would like to thank you all for your understanding and the appreciation you have shown to our drivers.

“After a difficult year, it is heartening to see the city come together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both our colleagues and our customers.”

If you have any information in relation to the antisocial behaviour, call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Edinburgh Castle gun salute marks Prince Philip’s death

Saluting batteries fired 41 rounds in cities across the UK following the Duke of Edinburgh's death at the age of 99.

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Gun salute took place at Edinburgh Castle.

Gun salutes have been fired at Edinburgh Castle to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99.

Saluting batteries began firing 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday on Saturday in cities across the UK including London, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as from Royal Navy warships.

Ships taking part included HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment joined the salute from the British overseas territory, the Ministry of Defence said.

Buckingham Palace said Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family “mourning his loss”.

The public were encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which are fired to mark significant national events, on television or online, rather than gathering in crowds to watch outside.

Edward and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour at the castle and Sophie told reporters “the Queen has been amazing” as they left Windsor in a Land Rover.

Two of his sons, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, arrived at Windsor Castle on Saturday morning, while the Prince of Wales visited his mother there on Friday.

Details of the duke’s funeral, due to take place at St George’s Chapel, are also expected to be released this weekend – but the ongoing lockdown in England will affect plans.

Philip, famously described by the Queen as her “constant strength and guide”, was known to have wanted a minimum of fuss at his funeral.

Buckingham Palace said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, and in light of current Government advice and social distancing guidelines, modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements for His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh are being considered by Her Majesty The Queen. Details will be confirmed in due course.”

Speaking on a BBC tribute on Friday evening, all four of Philip’s children remembered him as someone who had encouraged and supported them.

Charles described his father’s life as an “astonishing achievement” while Edward said his father had a “challenging role” but carried it out with the most “extraordinary flare”, and had never tried to overshadow the Queen.

The Princess Royal said she would best remember her father as “always being there”, someone to help with a problem or bounce ideas off, and the Duke of York recalled Philip reading to the family in the evenings.

An online book of condolence was opened on the royal family’s official website for the public to post personal tributes, while a steady stream of mourners left flowers outside both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle on Friday.

The Palace asked members of the public not to gather in crowds, saying: “Those wishing to express their condolences are asked to do so in the safest way possible, and not to gather at Royal Residences.”

The monarch may give a televised address in memory of her husband of more than 70 years – the longest-serving consort in British history – but details of any possible broadcast have yet to be confirmed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Philip would be remembered for his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, that had “shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people”, as well as his “steadfast support” for the Queen.

US President Joe Biden highlighted the duke’s “decades of devoted public service”, Second World War service and environmental efforts in remembering his legacy.

During coronavirus lockdowns, Philip stayed at Windsor Castle with the Queen for their safety, alongside a reduced household of staff dubbed HMS Bubble.

The couple are thought to have spent more time together during the past 12 months, shielding from the virus, then they would in a normal year – a throwback to the early years of their marriage.

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on March 16 to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest ever stay.

He initially received care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.

Union flags were flown at half mast at all royal residences as a mark of respect and Westminster Abbey – where the Queen and Philip married in 1947 – tolled its tenor bell once every 60 seconds, 99 times, during Friday evening.

A period of mourning is expected and any planned official royal events that fall within this period are likely to be postponed.

The Cabinet met at 5pm on Friday to pay tribute to the duke, and Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess on Monday, a day earlier than its scheduled return.

What happens next following Duke of Edinburgh’s death?

Prince Philip's ceremonial royal funeral and burial are expected to take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

STV News
The Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday aged 99.

The Duke of Edinburgh has died. What happens next?

There will be no lying in state and no state funeral for Philip, in accordance with his wishes.

His ceremonial royal funeral and burial are expected to take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

But the coronavirus pandemic – with the ban on mass gatherings and England in national lockdown – means the exact plans for the aftermath of Philip’s death have had to change, with public elements removed to prevent crowds gathering.

Flags are already flying at half mast on UK Government buildings in tribute to the duke and will do so until the morning after his funeral.

Members of the public have been asked not to gather at royal residences nor to leave floral tributes – but to donate to charity instead.

– The funeral

The details of Philip’s televised funeral are expected to be officially announced this weekend, with Buckingham Palace aides having to consider how it should be handled during the worst public health crisis for generations.

The Queen has final approval over the plans – codenamed Forth Bridge – and will be considering the amended arrangements.

The date has yet to be confirmed, but originally, the funeral was due to be staged eight days after Philip’s death, which would be April 17 – just four days before the Queen’s 95th birthday on April 21.

The duke’s children and older grandchildren were likely to have walked through the streets behind the coffin, similar to the processions for the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother – but anything with the potential to draw a crowd will no longer take place.

The Lord Chamberlain, Baron Parker of Minsmere, will oversee the long-held master plan and the days leading up to it, with the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, headed by the Queen’s Comptroller, setting in motion the carefully orchestrated programme of events.

Philip helped draw up the original details himself and was determined there should be a minimum of fuss.

Behind the scenes, aides and household staff will be busy putting the plans in place.

– The guest list

Only 30 people – in addition to the clergy – will be allowed to attend Philip’s funeral.

It was originally planned for 800 guests, but will now have to take into account the strict limit on numbers during the pandemic.

The Queen will have to decide which family members to invite.

The Duke of Sussex is likely to travel back from the US to attend.

Gun salutes

Gun salutes marking Philip’s death will take place across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea on Saturday.

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Gibraltar and from Royal Navy warships, the Ministry of Defence said.

– Royal Family’s Mourning

The Queen also has to decide whether the royal family will enter Court Mourning – dressing in black and using black-edged writing paper – or the alternative, shorter Family Mourning – dressing in black – and how long this will last.

Some official engagements may continue, but social engagements – most on hold anyway because of the pandemic – are usually cancelled after the death of a senior member of the royal family unless in aid of charity.

Family Mourning for the Queen Mother in 2002 lasted three weeks.

– National Mourning

The Government decides on the length of any National Mourning, which usually lasts until the day after the funeral.

A nationwide two-minute silence could take place, as it did for the Queen Mother on the day of her funeral.

– Parliament

Parliament is being recalled from its Easter recess to allow MPs and peers to pay tribute to the duke.

Downing Street and parliamentary officials confirmed the move to reconvene the House of Commons on Monday, a day earlier than scheduled.

The House of Commons is expected to meet from 2.30pm on Monday.

– Queen may address the nation

The Queen may record a televised speech in tribute to her husband, just as she did for the Queen Mother in 2002, but it will depend on how she is feeling.

The rest of Philip’s family are likely to release their own statements about the royal patriarch in the coming days.

The royal family’s website is honouring the duke with memorial pages.

– Online book of condolence

An online book of condolence has been opened on the royal family’s official website instead of traditional books for people to sign around the country because of the pandemic.

– Television and media

TV channels scrapped their schedules to make way for an evening of tributes, and news of Philip’s death made headlines around the world.

Scores of broadcasters gathered near Buckingham Palace to report on developments.

The funeral is expected to be televised live by the BBC and other broadcasters.

– Coffin at rest

Traditionally, the duke’s coffin would have been moved to the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace to remain at rest for several days, but at present it remains at Windsor Castle.

It is unlikely to be moved away from Windsor for fear of drawing crowds.

The Queen retreated to Windsor for the lockdown period so events will undoubtedly be focused there instead.

The monarch and the royal family will pay their respects in private, as will household staff.

Philip’s children are likely to hold a private vigil at some stage around the coffin if restrictions permit.

– Behind the scenes

The duke’s funeral was due to have a strong military presence in recognition of his naval career and his links with the armed forces.

But the prospect of creating a spectacle that could potentially attract hundreds of thousands of people means there is no longer expected to be a military procession in London or any processions through Windsor.

A military involvement is expected to take place within the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Those servicemen and women taking part will rapidly begin their preparations, from practising routines to polishing helmets and swords.

Royal dressers will be fastidiously choosing and preparing black mourning ensembles.

Thames Valley Police will be tasked with dealing with the security needed in the days ahead, and preventing mass gatherings.

– Lying in state

The duke’s coffin will not lie in state.

This has long been reported as the plan but, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has the added benefit of freeing the Government and the royal household from a series of logistical nightmares.

The Queen Mother – the last sovereign’s consort to die – lay in state in Westminster Hall, allowing hundreds of thousands of people, who queued for hours, to file past to pay their respects.

But Philip always insisted he did not want this honour.

– Burial

The duke is expected to be buried in the Royal Vault in St George’s Chapel on the same day as the funeral.

This interment service will be private, attended by the Queen and senior members of the royal family.

– No memorial service

In accordance with Philip’s wishes, there will be no official memorial service.

This might change, however, because of the scaled-back funeral – but only with the Queen’s agreement.

‘Let me travel abroad for life-changing treatment’

Emma Pratt says current coronavirus restrictions are stopping her from accessing stem cell treatment abroad.

STV News

Emma Pratt was a fit and healthy 25-year-old, when she suddenly lost her sight. 

Doctors quickly diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, a lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves. 

Emma’s sight returned but she has been left with permanent disabilities that affect her everyday life.

Despite worsening symptoms, she doesn’t meet the criteria to receive stem cell treatment in Scotland, even though it could slow the progression of her condition. 

Instead, Emma is looking to have treatment abroad but is prevented from travelling due to the pandemic.

“The flights are booked because, regardless of the rules, I know I have to do this now,” she says. “So we will figure it out, but it’s the unknown which makes it very scary. 

“Because of Covid, I haven’t been able to do bric-a-brac sales and ask people to run marathons for me [to raise money]. Literally asking for people’s help has been the only thing we’ve been able to do.”

It has now been ten years since her diagnosis, but Emma has found it impossible to come to terms with.

“I don’t think it ever really sets in,” she says. “I live every day as it comes because I don’t know how my symptoms are going to be.

“Even the simple things like pushing [my son Rory] on a swing and taking him for a walk and running races in the garden and hours of hide and seek… 

“Those are the things that a three-year-old wants to do with mummy, and it’s hard to not be able to do those things.”

STV News
David Balmer is currently unable to access MND treatment in Mexico.

Fundraising is something 41-year-old David Balmer is also finding difficult.

The father-of-two was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019 and now struggles to speak, so his sister Lynsay helps to communicate his thoughts.

“There was one drug offered that gives you, well so they say, an extra three months on top of your diagnosis,” she says. He said ‘no way’, we weren’t accepting that.”

Despite many obstacles, David made it to Mexico last October for experimental stem cell treatment.

“It was totally beneficial, it was worth it,” says Lynsay. “And he’s now needing to go back for follow-up treatment, but it’s causing more difficulties and more problems again. 

“Time is something that we don’t really have, you need to do things quickly.”

Raising funds for the treatment has also been made difficult for David, but he’s not giving up hope.

Lynsay says: “He’s saying without his family and the people behind him that he wouldn’t be here, but he’s very strong.”

There are exemptions to the current travel and quarantine restrictions, but David and Emma don’t meet the criteria. They feel this needs to change.

The Scottish Government said: “We understand the difficulties faced with those who are dealing with health issues, but to manage the risk of importing new variants and to give vaccine deployment the best chance of bringing us closer to normality these limits on international travel are necessary.

“There is a provision that an exemption can be granted to a person whom Scottish ministers consider requires exceptional arrangements to be made on compassionate grounds. 

“It would be preferable for all concerned if any such exemption were applied for and confirmed or denied in advance of travel, to remove uncertainty.”

Prince Philip: The Duke’s love affair with Scotland

Even as a young boy, Prince’s Philip’s love of Scotland would shape his life.

Gordonstoun via Gordonstoun
Scotland: Prince Philip had a deep affinity for the country.

Prince Philip’s relationship with Scotland began at a young age, having attended the prestigious boarding school Gordonstoun in Moray for the majority of his education. 

The young royal, born Prince Philip of Greece, was forced to flee his home country with his family when he was just a baby following the Greco-Turkish war.

His uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate and Philip’s father, Prince Andrew, was arrested by the military government in an increasingly volatile country. With the royals’ lives at stake, the family fled to France with the aid of the British Navy, who sent a ship to rescue them. 

The young Prince would leave his home country carried in a fruit box. 

He attended a number of different schools as a child as his family adjusted to life outside of Greece. He studied in Paris and at numerous schools in England, encouraged by his grandmother Victoria Mountbatten, who took a shine to her blond-haired grandson and insisted he be given a proper education. 

A brief stint in England then saw the Prince attend German school Schule Schloss Salem for a more ‘international’ education. Yet the threat of Nazi Germany saw the school’s Jewish founder flee persecution, travelling to Scotland to establish Gordonstoun in Moray, where Philip eventually transferred.

Gordonstoun via Gordonstoun
Prince Philip learning to sail at Hopeman Harbour while studying at Gordonstoun.

At Gordonstoun the young royal found an affinity with sports and was particularly gifted at cricket and hockey, captaining the school teams and becoming head of the school.

His love of sailing, which would eventually lead the young Prince to a career in the Royal Navy, flourished as he enjoyed school trips sailing around the coast of Scotland. 

He left Gordonston in 1939, but it had such a profound effect on him he would later send all three of his sons to the school, Prince Charles the only one to openly dislike his time boarding there. 

He would regularly visit the school in later years, most recently in 2014 to mark Gordonstoun’s 80th anniversary. He insisted on joining students in the queue for lunch, rather than taking a seat and having it brought to him, despite being in his 90s.

Gordonstoun via Gordonstoun
Prince Philip returned to Gordonstoun many times throughout the years.

Joining the Navy shortly after leaving school, the 18-year-old Prince began corresponding with the young Princess Elizabeth, his third cousin whom he had met some five years prior. He would rise the ranks in the navy and go on to serve in the Second World War. 

The Prince’s relationship with Elizabeth blossomed and he was granted permission by Elizabeth’s father King George VI to marry her upon her 21st birthday. He gave up his Greek and Danish titles to become a naturalised British citizen and took the name Philip Mountbatten from his mother’s side of the family. 

The young couple’s engagement was announced in July 1947 and a few days later, they travelled to Edinburgh with the rest of the royal family, staying at Holyrood Palace. 

Amongst other meetings, they attended a ball at the city’s Assembly Rooms to celebrate their upcoming wedding some five months later. 

In the hours before their marriage on November 20, the King granted Philip the title Duke of Edinburgh, of which he would be granted the freedom of the city in 1949.

Hulton Archive via Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day in 1947.

He would later lend his title to one of the Prince’s biggest success stories – the Duke of Edinburgh Award. 

Established in 1956, it was inspired by the Moray Badge created by Dr Kurt Hahn, the founder of Gordonstoun, with the intention of giving boys a sense of responsibility. Girls were able to join the scheme in 1958.

The award became one of the most recognisable personal challenges for young people to undertake and the Duke would personally attend the scheme’s award ceremonies, presenting his 500th gold award in 2013 at St James’s Palace. 

More than six million people have undertaken the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the UK since its inception, with more than 130 countries participating in the international award across the globe.

Balmoral Castle, the Royal family’s Scottish retreat, became a firm favourite with the Princess and Duke and they regularly took their young children Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and later Princes Andrew and Edward, for holidays along with their much-loved dogs. 

The Duke was often photographed wearing a kilt whilst in Scotland, his sons also wearing the traditional Scottish dress. The family often wore the Balmoral tartan whilst in Scotland, which is only permitted to be worn by the royals. 

Upon the King’s death in 1952, he became his wife’s royal consort as she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attend the Braemar Gathering in 2006.

Their love of Scotland continued and he would regularly accompany the Queen to the Braemar Gathering, a historic Highland event near the Balmoral Estate which has been held in the area for more than 900 years.

After her ascension to the throne, the Queen became the patron of the games and attended every year from 1952 onwards, often accompanied by the Duke and on occasion their children. The Queen and Duke were often pictured laughing and joking whilst watching the games and traditionally, they attended church at the nearby Crathie Kirk the day after. 

As he continued to support his wife throughout her reign, Prince Philip served as patron to more than 800 organisations. He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in 1953 and served in the role for almost 60 years, taking a keen interest in scientific development, conferring honorary degrees and often showing interest in ongoing research work undertaken by staff and students at the university.

He retired from the role in 2010 and was succeeded by his daughter The Princess Royal. 

Prince Philip took a keen interest in Scottish architecture and accompanied the Queen to open the Forth Road Bridge in 1964, becoming the first people to cross the link between Fife and Edinburgh. 

Jane Barlow via Getty Images
Prince Philip and the Queen attended the opening of the Queensferry Crossing in 2017.

Some 50 years later he would make a private visit to see the construction of the Queensferry Crossing, a new bridge designed to ease the pressure on the existing road bridge, at the age of 95. Along with the Queen, they became the first people to cross the new bridge after officially opening it in 2017. 

As the Prince entered his tenth decade, he scaled back his public engagements, passing numerous patronages of charities on to other members of the family, surmising that he had ‘done his bit’. In 2017, he retired from royal duties.

He was an avid painter and cartoonist and many of his works are hung in royal palaces around the UK, including Balmoral. 

The Prince’s health began to show signs of strain in 2008 when he was admitted to hospital with a chest infection. Over the next decade, he was hospitalised for numerous complaints, including a stint at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after falling ill at Balmoral.

However, he walked out of the hospital five days later, thanking medical staff and joking with nurses to ‘behave themselves’. He returned to the royal Scottish residence to rest, waved off by staff and patients who congregated to wish him well.

He would continue to visit Balmoral with the Queen despite his health issues and in 2020, made his final journey to the royal residence in August.

It would be the last summer retreat the Queen and Prince Philip would spend together after more than 70 years of marriage.

Prince Philip was the longest-lived male member of the British royal family and the world’s longest-serving consort.

Probe launched after body recovered from Water of Leith

Inquiries continuing after man's body recovered from Edinburgh river on Saturday morning.

Ross MacDonald / SNS Group via SNS Group
Police retrieved body from Water of Leith.

A man’s body was recovered from the Water of Leith in Edinburgh on Saturday morning.

Police say the body was found after they received an alert at around 7.55am.

Inquiries into the death are continuing.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 7.55am on Saturday, 10 April, 2021, we received a report of the body of a man in the Water of Leith near Couper Street in Edinburgh.

“The body was recovered from the water and inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing. As with all sudden deaths, a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Railway line closed after train derails during testing

The incident happened near to Dalwhinnie station in the Highlands at around 3.15am on Saturday.

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Scotrail: A train detailed in the Highlands during the early hours of Saturday morning.

A railway line has been closed after a train derailed during overnight testing.

The incident happened near to Dalwhinnie station in the Highlands at around 3.15am on Saturday.

ScotRail said it was not a passenger service and no one was injured.

It is not yet known how long it will take to recover the train and reopen the line.

Network Rail will provide information and updates where possible.

Passengers have been warned to expect disruption to services.

Trains travelling north will go as far as Pitlochry in Perthshire and restart from Aviemore in the Highlands, while southbound trains will stop at Aviemore and restart at Pitlochry.

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “Services between Perth and Inverness are currently disrupted, there will be replacement bus services for those making essential journeys.

“Customers should check our website, app and social media channels for the latest arrangements before they travel.”


Police appeal after dead buzzard found hanging from tree

Investigating officers said the bird had died from natural causes before being strung up.

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Buzzard: Police are appealing for information.

Police are appealing for information after a dead buzzard was found hanging from a tree in Fife.

Investigating officers said the bird had died from natural causes before being strung up.

The buzzard was found by a member of the public on the cycle path from Tayport to Newport, near to the West Lighthouse, on Monday.

Constable Ben Pacholek, Fife’s wildlife crime liaison officer, said: “Our enquiries show that the buzzard died from natural causes before being tied to the tree. But this was a reckless and needless act, leaving a dead bird hanging in a public place that has caused distress within the local community.

“I would urge members of the public to be respectful and considerate towards wildlife at all times. All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

“If anyone knows anything about what happened or saw anything suspicious, then please contact us on 101.”


Gerrard: Social media companies are ignoring online abuse

Rangers boss believes players will continue to receive racist abuse on social media unless there is government intervention.

Craig Williamson via SNS Group
Rangers have started a week-long social media boycott.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says social media companies are ignoring the abuse being posted on their channels and hopes the public debate on the issue would force governments to act.

Players and staff at the Ibrox club – including Gerrard – have started a week-long social media boycott, following on from Championship clubs Swansea and Birmingham announcing club-wide blackouts.

Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara said earlier this week he had been subjected to daily racist abuse on social media since he alleged Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela had abused him during a Europa League match on March 18.

Gerrard believes the problem will not go away without government intervention.

“We want people to talk about it and it gets into the right people’s thinking above football, ie the governments in Scotland and England, so something big can come of it,” he said.

“We know we are not going to be the club or the individual that make that difference but I think, if people stick together, collectively people can keep it on the agenda for as long as possible, and hopefully change will happen sooner rather than later.

“It’s been spoken about for long enough now and it doesn’t seem like Instagram, Twitter or the social media outlets are taking any notice and they are not listening.

“So I think the only way they will take notice is if it goes above them. Probably the only people to do that are the governments.”

Gerrard said his club were meeting with representatives from the social media giants next week.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says players cutting themselves off from social media abuse is a “step in the right direction”.

Reds players Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane were sent racist comments and emojis on Instagram in the wake of their Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat to Real Madrid earlier this week, which the club described as “abhorrent” and “utterly unacceptable”.

Klopp believes if the abusers are given no forum to bully people, it will be a positive step.

“People can hide behind whatever account and say what they want to say – that’s a problem. I think that has to get sorted on this planet as quickly as possible,” the German said.

“They (abusers) need a forum for that, they need a situation that you take these kinds of things seriously in, that’s how bullying (works).

“If you cut that side off that’s already a lot done and it cannot harm you. That would be my advice to the players.

“I know there are some good things (about social media) but a lot of things are just not important. For you as a person if you can cut them off then it’s already a big step in the right direction.”

Liverpool Women winger Rinsola Babajide spoke out about a racist remark directed towards her on Instagram.

The 22-year-old posted a screenshot of the abuse which her club have reported to the police.

“I wanted to speak up about it because I have stayed silent for so long,” Babajide told BBC Sport.

“I just feel, as a black woman in this game, I am conditioned to it. It happens so regularly. It’s more exhausting than anything. I’ve gone past the point of being disappointed or hurt by it.

“Some days it is harder than others. I try to shrug it off and carry on with my day but sometimes it is hard.”

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce says he would ban all social media if he could.

“If you’re a little bit fragile, then it can damage people,” he said. “Ban the whole lot as far as I’m concerned. No social media, for me, would be the way forward and I’m right behind (the clubs who are boycotting it).

“But I do think in all seriousness that the platforms should be policed and a bit like your telephone, you’re accountable for what you do and what messages you send out there. Some of it – and I’ve seen it – is vile, I have to tell you, so I applaud those clubs.”

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says his club have rallied around defender Davinson Sanchez after he suffered online abuse after last weekend’s draw at Newcastle, and believes only the platforms themselves can end this problem.

“I think the ones that can make an impact on this and resolve the problem is the media giants, I think everything is in their hands to end this sad situation,” the Portuguese said.

“Social media can be funny, can bring everyone together, can bring people from different continents to look like they are living in the same street. I have some fun, I try to be positive and that is the way it should be.

“It is for the social media giants to make a decision and to make their fight. If they want to win that fight, they win it for all of us.”

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Obituary: Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II has died at Windsor Castle aged 99.

Yui Mok - WPA Pool via Getty Images

As a life goes, it was extraordinary. At the side of the sovereign for 70 years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a constant in the national story and a reminder of the enduring nature of monarchy through decades of war, political upheaval and revolutionary changes in culture and lifestyle in the country he came to know as home.

He was born on June 10, 1921 in a continent scared by the war which alas did not end all wars. Corfu was his birthplace and his lineage boasted connections to the Greek and Danish Royal families. His family were exiled from Greece following the events of the Greco-Turkish war between 1919 and 1922. His uncle King Constantine I was forced to abdicate and his father Prince Andrew was arrested.

The family settled in Paris, where Philip was educated firstly at an American school before continuing his education in England and Germany and eventually at Gordonstoun in Moray. The weather was no doubt as austere as the educational experience with its emphasis on physical and mental endurance as well as learning and the young Prince loved the place, cemented by a love of sailing around the Scottish coast.

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Princess Elizabeth and The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh enjoying a walk during their honeymoon at Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire.

If the aftermath of the first war led to a nomadic existence, the Second World War would anchor him in the British military and pave the way for the relationship which would define his life.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1939 after leaving school but his military service was not at all cosseted by his privileged upbringing and he saw action at the Battle of Crete and the Battle of Capa Manata in 1941. During the allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, as second-in-command of HMS Wallace, he saved his ship from a night bomber attack by distracting the airplanes with a raft of smoke planes.

Around this time he dated Princess Elizabeth, who would later become Queen. Philip relinquished his Green and Danish titles and became a naturalised British citizen. Taking the name Philip Mountbatten he became engaged to the future monarch in July of 1947. They were married on November 20 that year.

The Princess was smitten by Philip who cut a dashing figure. Any opportunities not to be burdened by the constraints of duty and public service were relatively short lived. The Princess ascended to the throne at the age of 25 after the death of her father George VI.

Queen Elizabeth was the Head of State of a country still living with the economic consequences of war. The times were harsher for the British people and the Royals occupied a position marked by near universal deference in a socially conservative society where class distinction underpinned many of the social mores.

Philip would be the Queen’s constant companion where he had a ringside seat at some of the defining moments of the 20th century from the end of empire and the embrace of the Commonwealth to the contraction of British military strength and a mid- century gravitation to the idea of the UK as part of a wider trend towards greater European cooperation.

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Coronation Day.

And of course he would have met world leaders and heads of state and been close to Prime Ministers starting with Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.

He did however carve a role for himself against the initial instincts of a palace old guard who perhaps regarded tradition and protocol as immovable and unchangeable anchors of monarchy.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was launched in 1956 and has helped several million young people across 144 nations. He became patron of the industrial society in 1952 and was the first president of the World Wide Fund for Nature in 1961. He paradoxically had a lifelong passion both for hunting and for the preservation of endangered species.

At that time it was central to the mystique of monarchy that is was seen to be a symbol of nationhood. The key members of the Royal household lent an air of dignity to the idea of country as one extended family but they remained aloof from the experiences of their subjects.

The advent of a mass media made Philip something of a celebrity. By the late 1950s however the old certainties were under attack and the age of knowing one’s place came to an end. It marked a period when the hitherto unthinkable happened: the behaviour of the Royal’s was not above scrutiny or criticism.

This change led to occasional castigation for Philip after repeated cases of foot in mouth. At Kenya’s independence ceremony in 1963 he was moved to ask Jomo Kenyata ‘Are you sure you want to go through with this?’

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arriving at the Manoel Theatre in Valleta, Malta, 1967.

In Canada in 1969, cutting a ribbon, he memorably said, ‘I declare this thing open, whatever it is’. In Oban in 1995 he asked a driving instructor ‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?’

Some of this could be filed under banter or even risqué teasing. Some of his utterances drew little sympathy with references which were plainly racist. His supporters did however regard him as a victim of changing attitudes buttressed by a heavy thump of political correctness.

In his time as the Queen’s consort, Philip became the patron of more than 780 organisations. He was also at era defining moments: the 1966 World Cup Final, the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their baby son, Prince Edward on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, during the Trooping of the Colour, London, on June 13, 1964.

To celebrate his 90th birthday the Queen appointed him Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy, the highest title in the organisation. And on their 70th wedding anniversary on November 20 2017, the British monarch also named him Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for ‘services to the sovereign’.

What is beyond dispute is the strength that the Queen has drawn from their long marriage and by his support in the execution of her duties. His embrace of public engagements lasted into his 90s in a show of stamina and service the envy of many a younger man.

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Prince Philip is introduced to (l-r) Danny McGrain, Gordon McQueen, Kenny Dalglish and Joe Jordon before Scotland beat England 2-1 at Wembley in 1977.

The end of an era is one of the most over used and abused phrases upon death. In a sense his passing is the end of several eras for his was a life marked initially by the horrors of war and which traversed monumental societal change.

And through it all, despite acute crises, the institution of monarchy managed somehow to remain relevant. By being a source of encouragement, strength and love to the Queen, he played his part in the enduring of a very British institution.

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