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Martin Lewis clashes with energy boss who said refusing to pay bills is ‘not the British way’

‘Why are you sitting there, talking like this, when you’re a fat cat making the profits, ripping people off?’

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Good Morning Britain

Martin Lewis became embroiled in a tense debate over the soaring cost of energy bills with the boss of OVO Energy this morning.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, chief executive of the energy company, described the coming months as ‘a winter like no other’ during an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

He added that there are ‘lots of things the Government can do in the next twelve weeks’ to ease the cost of living crisis and ‘lighten the load’ on British households.

And with many people pledging to cancel their direct debit payments this October, Fitzpatrick also claimed that refusing to pay bills was ‘not the British way’.

He said: “In terms of the campaign for Don’t Pay UK, I think we all understand there are going to be millions of people in the UK this winter that are really going to struggle and aren’t going to be able to pay.

“But I think when I see campaigns calling for people, that even those that can afford, not to, I don’t think that’s really the British way.”

However, the Money Saving Expert Founder, who stood in as one of the show’s presenters, said such a ‘huge mass movement’ would cause problems for energy companies.

Lewis said: “What’s interesting is people keep asking me what happens if people don’t pay? And my view is if it were to be a huge mass movement, one of the options you’d have if people choose not to pay as opposed to are struggling and can’t pay is you’d move people to prepayment meters. 

“But you couldn’t do a million prepayment meters in the winter as an energy industry. So we are in unprecedented times if that were to happen, aren’t we?”

He also questioned Fitzpatrick over his own company’s record profits while the public struggle to make ends meet.

Lewis asked: “I have to put this to you as well… a lot of people say: why are you sitting there, talking like this, when you’re a fat cat making the profits, ripping people off. How do you answer that charge?”

At this, Fitzpatrick responded: “There are a lot of companies making extraordinary large profits. Not necessarily by doing anything wrong but they are making a lot of money.

“I set up a retail energy business thirteen years ago, only in retail, we only work on behalf of customers. We have no invested interests, except for what is good for customers.”

This comes as the Don’t Pay UK gains momentum, with over 170,000 Brits pledging to cancel their direct debits in October in a bid to get energy companies to bring down their monthly costs.

Though Fitzpatrick isn’t the only CEO to speak out against the movement, with the boss of the UK’s energy regulator Ofgem previously issuing a warning to those thinking of taking part, saying it could hike costs even higher.

He said last month: “I would not encourage anyone to withhold their paying their bill because that just damages things further and it will impact them personally.”

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Mum jumps into river to rescue ‘baby’ Dachshund that’d been missing for four days

‘I really had been starting to lose hope.’

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Alifiya Mohamedbhai/Facebook

A mum jumped into a river and waded through water to reach her dachshund after it had been missing for four days.

Mum-of-one Alifiya Mohamedbhai, 33, from Burnage was distraught to learn that her pet dog had gone missing while out on its regular walk with a dog-walker. Little Violet, a brown Dachshund was walking around Reddish Vale Country Park in Stockport when she suddenly vanished.

To make matters worse, Alifiya was then targeted by a scammer who claimed to have Violet and threatened to kill her precious pooch if she did not pay them £250. Officers are investigating after the mum agreed to meet the man to hand over the payment but no one turned up.

Alifiya said of the traumatic experience: “I had a call from a number telling me they had my dog, and when I told them she was spayed they said they didn’t want her anymore, but couldn’t have her back and that we needed to pay.”

Alifiya Mohamedbhai/Facebook

She continued: “I had to sit in the bathroom for an hour and 40 minutes because he wanted to hear the extractor fan, and told me he would kill her if I didn’t.

“Police told me it had been a scam call and that the number and bank account was registered in Leicester. I was in such a vulnerable position and almost broke down.”

After many urgent appeals over social media and four days, Alifiya was beginning to lose hope of a reunion, saying: “We had no idea where she was. We spent eight hours looking for her and there were no sightings. Reddish Vale is huge, so she could’ve been anywhere.”

She went back to the nature spot where Violet’s Apple Air tag last showed her location before the battery began to drain.

Alifiya Mohamedbhai/Facebook

Suddenly, Alifiya spotted her ‘baby’ hunched over in an embankment of the River Tame with her tail still wagging. Without a second thought, she jumped into the water and made her way through it to reach her ‘baby’ Dachshund, sparking an emotional reunion which was captured on camera.

A relieved Alifiya said: “It’s incredible. There isn’t a mark on her apart from a sore ear and paw. It is insane. She is such a quiet dog and was out on the same walk that she does every day, and has done for two-and-a-half years with my dog walker and best friend. 

“Nobody knows what spooked her or what happened – she doesn’t wander off to explore and always walks by your feet, but she must’ve turned and just walked off the other way. I really had been starting to lose hope. I wish I could see her memory of the last couple of days, find out what she was up to and know what spooked her.”

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Woman left fuming after boyfriend ‘told he’s too old’ to get into Manchester bar

‘I’m quite disturbed by the whole event.’

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A woman has been left ‘fuming’ after her 48-year-old partner was denied entry into a Manchester city centre bar for being ‘too old’.

The reveller, who asked to remain anonymous, claims she and her boyfriend were stopped from entering Revolucion de Cuba on Peter Street by a member of security, in the early hours of Sunday, January 22nd.

The woman claims that when she accused the member of the door staff of being discriminatory and began filming the incident on her phone, he threatened to assault her. He then pushed her and knocked the phone out of her hand, she says.

A spokesperson for Revolution De Cuba said they were ‘appalled’ to hear about the incident, and confirmed the security staff member in question no longer works for the firm.

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Video footage from the incident shows the member of security lunging for the woman’s phone before the filming cuts out.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, the woman said the whole incident had left her feeling ‘disturbed’, saying: “We went out quite late and we got to the door of Revolution De Cuba at about 2.15am.

“We went up to the door, and the doorman asked me who I was with. My partner is 10 years older than me. He pointed to him and said ‘no, too old.’ He doesn’t even look 48 but they determined he was too old to go in. There were a lot of young girls going in.

“I asked for their Security Industry Authority number and said it was discrimination. He just said ‘oh you’re too drunk.’ I don’t understand where he got that from but it’s just a standard response isn’t it?”

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The woman said the member of security refused to give his SIA number and that she began filming the doorman on her phone, saying: “One of the bouncers, a big guy, said if I filmed him he would assault me.

“I was filming and the bouncer came over and hit my phone out of my hand. I said it didn’t matter what he did with my phone as it was all backed up.

“I’m quite disturbed by the whole event. I rang the police and they said if it’s not an ongoing emergency I needed to call ‘101’, but I haven’t done that yet.”

A spokesperson for Revolucion de Cuba said: “We were appalled to hear about this incident – the safety of our guests is of the utmost importance to us and we demand that everyone is treated fairly and with respect at all times.

“Following our immediate investigation into the incident, the individual concerned is no longer employed by our security firm, Professional Security, and will not be working at any of our venues in the future.”

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Millionaire who makes ‘£7,000 in sleep’ has supercar vandalised while at meeting in Manchester

He was in a business meeting when his £100k Audi was vandalised.

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Waseem Khan

A crypto millionaire, who claims he makes thousands of pounds in his sleep, says he is ‘gutted’ after finding his £100,000 car vandalised with insults.

Waseem Khan, 20, says he made his fortune trading crypto currency, and used his earnings to buy a new Audi R8 V10 — which he purchased just three months ago. 

The entrepreneur has garnered thousands of followers and views on TikTok, where he recently featured in a video on the infamous Wakey Wines account. Waseem parked his car in Leeds overnight and then came to Manchester for a business meeting.

Speaking to Leeds Live about his experience, he said: “I left town last night, around 11, 12ish. I got called for a business meeting, they said they were gonna pick me up and go to Manchester, so I left my car in the city centre.

Waseem Khan

“I didn’t think about where I had parked it, came home this afternoon, and I went to get my car and it has been fully vandalised, and I thought it is definitely someone that knows me or something.”

When he returned to Leeds the next day, Waseem found his three-month-old car vandalised with the word ‘die’, with graffiti also branding him a ‘show off’ and a ‘virgin’.

He went on to say: “It just shows, even if you are doing something good in life, there is a lot of hate. I don’t really have any enemies, I think a lot of people just can’t see someone young, do good you know? I have a supercar at 20, they can’t put up with it.”

Waseem Khan

While he was still ‘gutted’ when he saw the car, he insisted it’s not going to ‘phase him’ adding: “I thought I could take it off, I took it to the car wash and it was not coming off, that is when I started worrying that it needed a paint job or a new wrap sheet.

“It’s not going to phase me, they did it when I wasn’t there, if I was there I don’t think they would have had the urge to do anything like that.

“I would just like to say to them, what you have done is very low and pathetic and childish, you just cannot see someone young doing well, it is just pathetic, they could be following their own dreams instead of destroying someone else’s”.

Khan went on to claim the car was ‘not much of a loss’ as he can ‘make £6-7,000 in [his] sleep’, but he claimed the vandalism was an example of attracting ‘a lot of good people and a lot of bad people’ on social media.

He added: “I would like the person that did it, to come forward.”

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