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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s ambassador to Iran has met with a British-Australian academic reported to be serving a 10-year sentence for espionage and says she is in good health, Canberra said on Tuesday.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a specialist in Middle East politics at the University of Melbourne, has been detained in Iran since September, 2018.

Amid reports that Moore-Gilbert has frequently attempted suicide and is often held in solitary confinement, the British-Australian academic was granted a meeting with Canberra's representative to Iran on Sunday, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

"Dr Moore-Gilbert is well and has access to food, medical facilities and books," a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The academic's family issued a statement through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade saying they were "reassured" by the ambassador's visit.

Iran has stepped up detentions of foreign and dual nationals amid a protracted standoff with Western powers, after the United States withdrew from an international agreement to curb Iranian nuclear activities and reimposed sanctions on Tehran in 2018.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Michael Perry)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Keir Starmer must wrest Labour back from the anti-Semitic dregs of the hard-Left

Starm offensive

CRANKY Corbyn might be back on the back benches where he belongs, but his miserable legacy lives on. 

Tomorrow, the race watchdog will make a historic ruling on whether Her Majesty’s Opposition became institutionally anti-Semitic under his leadership.

2Keir Starmer must wrest Labour back from Jeremy Corbyn's croniesCredit: Getty Images - Getty

And astonishingly, as The Sun reveals today, one of his MP cronies has just been charged with three counts of housing fraud. 

Car accidents aside, Sir Keir Starmer appears keen to prove that he’s a statesman in waiting. 

But British voters don’t respond well to racism and fraud. So unless he makes a stand against the dregs of the hard-Left in his ranks, his election chances will be wrecked by 2024. 

If the EHRC rules against the former Labour leader today, Jeremy Corbyn must be ousted from the party. 

Yes, Momentum supporters might scuttle off after him. But, some loss: they are extremists who fantasise about fighting “oppressors” in the streets — and they repulse ordinary Brits. 

Starmer has been given the opportunity to wrest Labour back from the hard-Left. He should seize it with both hands. 

Fruitless stance

WHEN will our European neighbours get it? If they block a trade deal with Britain, THEIR people will suffer just as much as us. 

First we had Macron saying he’d throw his toys out of the pram if Boris Johnson refused to allow French fishermen full access to our waters. 

2Spain demands Britain gives up Gibraltar in return for a Brexit dealCredit: Getty Images - Getty

Now, Spanish leaders are threatening to scupper an EU/UK Brexit deal unless Britain gives up Gibraltar — a territory populated by people who think of themselves as ­British, and have repeatedly made it clear that they reject any compromise on full British sovereignty.

If either country succeeds in blocking the trade agreement — leaving us with no deal — Spanish fruit and veg growers would almost certainly lose out on British trade to neighbouring Morocco. 

And French fishermen could be ousted from British waters altogether. 

Time to stop the grandstanding. 

Northern frights

BORIS Johnson’s plan to level up the North of England was a good one.

But, thanks to Covid, it’s not going too well so far. 

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Northern cities are disproportionately likely to be in tough lockdowns. And if the last recession is anything to go by, more jobs will be lost in the North than in the South. 

The answer is not extending the furlough scheme: the sad truth is that some jobs simply won’t be viable in a post-Covid world. But the Government must make it much, much easier for businesses to create new jobs. 

And end the petty, embarrassing squabbles with elected Northern mayors.

Nottinghamshire Tier 3 PLUS set to be confirmed as area faces closure of beauty salons, sunbeds and nail parlours

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