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Can the Keto diet help mental illness? US tech billionaire’s Matt Baszucki found diet helped bipolar

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Matt Baszucki is a musician and tech professional living in San Francisco. At just 26, he could be expected to be leading a certain kind of life as befits his age and profession.

Instead, every morning Matt gets up at the same time and goes outside for the morning light to reset his body clock. He spends two hours a day exercising — running in the morning, lifting weights in the afternoon.

He makes sure he gets enough sleep and doesn’t drink or smoke. He also emphatically steers clear of drugs.

But it’s his diet that really sets Matt apart from his peers. He often eats only two meals a day — the first at 1pm or 2pm, the other at 6pm or 7pm — then fasts until lunchtime the next day.

And then there’s what he does, and doesn’t, eat: no bread, pasta, rice or refined carbs, sweets or cola. His meals are instead based on protein and fat — ‘a lot of super-heavy fat foods’, including nut butters and avocados, plus meat, eggs, fish, chicken and ‘a lot of vegetables’.

Matt Baszucki (pictured) found the Keto diet majorly helped him with his bipolar disorder. Pictured: Matt with his mother Jan

Matt Baszucki (pictured) found the Keto diet majorly helped him with his bipolar disorder. Pictured: Matt with his mother Jan

Matt Baszucki (pictured) found the Keto diet majorly helped him with his bipolar disorder. Pictured: Matt with his mother Jan 

None of his friends lives like this. ‘This damned diet has turned me into a monk,’ Matt says wryly. ‘It’s lonely.’ But it’s also been the making of him, as he explains: ‘It gave me my life back.’

That he is where he is now is an extraordinary story.

At 19, Matt was hospitalised with severe bipolar disorder, a condition characterised by mood swings, including mania and depression, after he suffered a psychotic breakdown, experiencing delusions.

The next five years were a chaotic blur of recovery, psychotic episodes and mania. At one point Matt was ‘running around barefoot and homeless’ travelling across California (once sleeping behind a skip); at other times, he’d be ‘doing crazy, embarrassing things in front of my friends in public’; or at home, playing the piano for hours and hours, for instance — followed by deep depression.

Matt was in and out of psychiatric wards and treatment centres. In between, he suffered from major anxiety, irritability, brain fog and sleep problems — all the while trying many different medications (with ‘horrific side-effects’) and treatments, and consulting a string of mental health professionals.

Matt describes it as a time of ‘hell’ for him and his family.

And then his parents heard about someone who knew someone who’d used the ketogenic diet to manage his bipolar.

The keto diet is high in fat (such as dairy, nuts and oil) and very low in carbohydrate (typically around 25-30g per day; for context, a slice of white bread provides 6g).

The keto diet is high in fat (such as dairy, nuts and oil) and very low in carbohydrate (typically around 25-30g per day; for context, a slice of white bread provides 6g

The keto diet is high in fat (such as dairy, nuts and oil) and very low in carbohydrate (typically around 25-30g per day; for context, a slice of white bread provides 6g

The keto diet is high in fat (such as dairy, nuts and oil) and very low in carbohydrate (typically around 25-30g per day; for context, a slice of white bread provides 6g

While keto has gained notoriety as a fashionable way to lose weight, as a medical therapy it has strong credentials for treating children with epilepsy that doesn’t respond to medication, significantly reducing their seizures (in the UK, the ketogenic diet is a recognised treatment option for drug-resistant epilepsy).

This may be because it provides a fatty acid, decanoic acid, which acts on receptors on the surface of brain cells that cause seizures. Another suggestion is that it offers an alternative source of energy for brain cells — which is where it may play a role in treating mental illness.

There is evidence that bipolar disorder, for instance, is linked to a problem with the mitochondria, the ‘batteries’ in all our cells.

In some people, the mitochondria can’t handle glucose properly. This is the body’s main fuel source, so the cells don’t work efficiently.

In the brain this can affect the communication between cells, in turn affecting brain function and mental health, the theory goes.

With the keto diet the body uses an alternative source of fuel, ketones (which the liver produces when it breaks down fats, a process called ketosis), which effectively stabilises brain function. Medication is a mainstay treatment for bipolar, but this can be a case of trial and error — and by the time Matt’s mother, Jan, told him about the keto diet, he’d already been treated by 41 mental health professionals and prescribed 29 different drugs, including nine antipsychotics.

Matt had also made lifestyle changes, such as taking exercise. But he was still unwell.

He started the diet on January 4, 2021, a date he remembers precisely because it was such a radical shift in his eating habits.

Within just a few weeks he started feeling better: the brain fog lifted, the irritability dissipated.

More significantly for Matt, he ‘was able to get through the equinox on a lower dose of Zyprexa [an antipsychotic] than in previous years — I knew something was changing’. The spring equinox in March is the start of the days becoming longer, and it’s recognised that some people with bipolar (and other disorders) are affected by seasonal changes, though it’s not clear why. With bipolar, it can herald the start of a cycle of not sleeping and mania, followed by deep depression.

‘The equinox would always set my mood off and cause me to become manic,’ says Matt. Significantly, his first manic episode (in 2016) was in March.

‘But in 2021, I was sleeping normally, eight hours a night, and my mood was stable.’

And where previously he’d needed to increase his Zyprexa dose fourfold at that time of year, for the first time he was able to remain on his usual dose. He also didn’t develop depression.

The keto diet is high in fat and eliminates virtually all carbs

A keto diet slashes a person’s carb intake, and instead uses protein and fat to get daily calories

People who eat a keto diet experience rapid weight loss, though it can cause severe longterm health issues if used for a long period of time

The goal is to reach ketosis, a point where a person is using fat as energy instead of carbs

The diet has been associated with rapid weight gain, reduced risk of diabetes or prediabetes and other health benefits

People of a keto diet also often report lower levels of harmful cholesterol and other positive heart developments

There are fears the longterm use of a keto diet will lead to someone developing chronic health conditions

Nutrient defeciency is a common issue for people on a keto diet

 Sources: healthline, Mayo Clinic

Since then, Matt has been able slowly to reduce the number of his medications to just four — ‘all super-low doses’, he says.

And now? ‘I feel great pretty much all of the time; my mood is stable. I can work all week — two or three years ago I could never have imagined I’d be able to have a job — and I have the energy to work on my music.’

In his own words, Matt has become a ‘functional member of society’ — a significant contrast with the ‘serious impairment’ experienced by 83 per cent of people with bipolar, according to the National Institute of Mental Health in America.

Matt’s psychiatrist had previously concluded that his condition was treatment-resistant — and while he supported Matt through this, he’s said to be surprised by the diet’s transformative impact.

This is not just about healthy eating. For as Jan explains, Matt had tried ‘a lot of different diets — Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free’, she says, listing them off. ‘We knew about diets, but we didn’t know ketosis or a well-managed ketogenic diet could treat mental illness.’

And that’s ‘what changed everything’, she says.

‘It’s been such a miracle to watch it happen and go beyond where Matt was before — his executive function [i.e. ability to plan and focus] and cognitive function are soaring. His calmness is way beyond where he was when he first got sick,’ she adds.

‘None of this happens in bipolar disorder treatment, especially in as serious a case as he had. Yet Matt’s now leading a regular life.’

The Baszuckis are speaking to Good Health to help de-stigmatise mental illness — and, importantly, to support others with bipolar (a condition that affects 1.3 million people in the UK).

To this end, they’ve done more than generously tell their story.

In 2021, Jan, a writer, and her husband, David, the billionaire CEO of Roblox, a video gaming and communications platform, set up the Baszucki Brain Research Fund (BBRF) — a philanthropic foundation that’s donated more than $60 million to mental health research, with the bulk going towards funding work on bipolar disorder.

This includes $2 million for researchers to investigate specifically the keto diet for bipolar, schizophrenia and depression, with five teams given grants, including one at Stanford University in the U.S. and another at the University of Edinburgh.

Jan says this is about providing the scientific evidence to back the grassroots stories, such as Matt’s, showing keto can help with bipolar, and understanding more about why it helps.

‘When people talk about healthy diet being important for mental health, what we really want to get at in our science is that maybe it’s the ketosis that really matters. We were lucky that we had the resources,’ adds Jan, recalling their family’s five-year struggle.

‘That’s part of why we started the foundation. It was so hard for us, we have to make it easier for people to find things that work.’

The first modern drugs for mental illness emerged post World War II — with the first antipsychotic, chlorpromazine, prescribed for schizophrenia and mania.

But if the focus since has been on pharmaceutical solutions, there has been growing disquiet among some researchers and clinicians that medication has proven inadequate for conditions such as mild to moderate depression — or as the sole approach for severe mental health problems including bipolar. Increasingly, experts are looking at the role of diet.

Matt's meals are based on protein and fat — ‘a lot of super-heavy fat foods’, including nut butters and avocados, plus meat, eggs, fish, chicken and ‘a lot of vegetables’. [File image]

Matt's meals are based on protein and fat — ‘a lot of super-heavy fat foods’, including nut butters and avocados, plus meat, eggs, fish, chicken and ‘a lot of vegetables’. [File image]

Matt’s meals are based on protein and fat — ‘a lot of super-heavy fat foods’, including nut butters and avocados, plus meat, eggs, fish, chicken and ‘a lot of vegetables’. [File image] 

One of the leading UK figures in this emerging field of nutritional psychiatry is Carmine Pariante, a professor of biological psychiatry at King’s College London, who has been studying the role that inflammation plays in depression.

As Professor Pariante explains: ‘Over time, inflammation feeds back into the brain and changes the function of the neurons [nerve cells].’

He says there is good evidence for the Mediterranean diet, and in particular, a diet rich in fish — specifically, fish oil, which has anti-inflammatory effects — in helping treat depression.

In the landmark SMILES trial in 2017 at Deakin University in Australia, a third of patients with moderate to severe depression put on a modified Mediterranean diet were able to come off their medication after just 12 weeks.

‘With mild depression, it can be worth trying some lifestyle changes first,’ says Professor Pariante.

‘That means exercise and going out in the day — and fish oil, at a dose of at least 1g per day, works as part of that.

‘With moderate or severe depression, in combination with antidepressants, fish oil can help.’

He says that with bipolar ‘the evidence [for nutritional impact] is much more anecdotal, case reports and small studies’.

The need for a scientific evidence base is where the Baszucki Brain Research Fund comes in, sponsoring the work of ground-breaking researchers such as Dr Shebani Sethi, a clinical assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Stanford.

Matt’s psychiatrist had previously concluded that his condition was treatment-resistant — and while he supported Matt through this, he’s said to be surprised by the diet’s transformative impact. [File image]

Matt’s psychiatrist had previously concluded that his condition was treatment-resistant — and while he supported Matt through this, he’s said to be surprised by the diet’s transformative impact. [File image]

Matt’s psychiatrist had previously concluded that his condition was treatment-resistant — and while he supported Matt through this, he’s said to be surprised by the diet’s transformative impact. [File image] 

In 2015, Dr Sethi coined the term ‘metabolic psychiatry’ to describe an approach to treating mental illness that also involves treating patients’ physical health — including specifically addressing metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance (where the cells don’t respond properly to insulin, leading to raised blood sugar levels) and excess weight.

As Dr Sethi told Good Health, ‘the prevalence of these disorders is greater in patients with psychiatric diseases’, putting them at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. (Research shows that people with severe mental illness die on average ten to 20 years earlier than the general population.)

Excess weight and insulin resistance are recognised side-effects of some psychiatric medicines. But it may be that they precede the mental illness.

Dr Sethi points to findings by Stanford researchers in 2021, showing that if you have insulin resistance, your risk of developing major depression is twice that of someone who doesn’t.

One potential link is inflammation. Dr Sethi describes how insulin resistance can lead to the brain becoming ‘leakier’, allowing more substances to get in, leading to inflammation.

There is ‘significantly more inflammation in the brains of people with mental illness, especially in treatment-resistant patients’, she says.

Another potential link is mitochondrial dysfunction: bipolar disorder is ‘20 times more likely in people with mitochondrial disease’, Dr Sethi told Good Health.

All this may speak to Matt Baszucki’s experience. In the lead-up to his illness, he’d recently started on a demanding degree course at the prestigious University of California, Berkeley, eating a lot of sugar and burning the candle at both ends leading the lifestyle of a fraternity member.

He describes his bipolar as ‘a brain energy imbalance: the brain is not getting the right fuel. It’s nothing to do with personality.’

Metabolic psychiatry is about more than simply using nutrition as ‘an add-on’ to medication that might improve diabetes, for instance, says Dr Sethi — it’s about ‘targeting’ metabolic dysfunction.

‘It’s about the understanding that a metabolic therapy [a drug or dietary intervention] could alter the structure and the way the brain functions,’ she explains.

This lies at the core of the work at the Metabolic Psychiatry Clinic that Dr Sethi has set up — ‘the world’s first’ speciality clinic to treat patients struggling with both mental illness and metabolic disorder.

Research is in its early days, but in a recent pilot study she led, with 24 patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, after four months on a ketogenic diet (20/30g carbohydrates a day, along with moderate amounts of protein, cheese, eggs, salad and non-starchy veg, e.g. broccoli), they lost on average almost 11 per cent of their body weight.

Their visceral fat (the dangerous type around the organs that pumps out toxic chemicals) dropped by 31 per cent, and their blood fats, cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation levels — markers for metabolic disease — all improved.

Significantly, the patients were sleeping better and experienced a vast improvement in their psychiatric symptoms such as mood. A few were also able to reduce their need for psychiatric medicines.

In another small study, published last year, 64 per cent of patients were able to reduce their psychiatric medication (with improvements in their symptoms, as well as markers for metabolic conditions).

In this study, led by Dr Albert Danaan, a psychiatrist at the University of Toulouse in France, 28 hospital patients with bipolar, schizophrenia, or severe depression whose condition was poorly controlled with medication, followed a ketogenic diet for between two weeks to up to nearly nine months (there was no control group of patients for comparison).

Separately, Dr Iain Campbell, a researcher at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, is conducting a pilot trial with 25 patients with bipolar, looking at keto’s impact on mood, metabolic markers and brain scans (as with all these studies, patients continue taking their medication).

The significance of being able to add other options to the current treatments cannot be underestimated. Dr Campbell says that ‘even with widely available access to modern medications, the attempted suicide rate for bipolar disorder is 25 to 60 per cent’.

Dr Campbell, who last December was announced as the BBRF’s Metabolic Psychiatry Research Fellow, has a unique perspective on keto, having experienced substantial reduction in his own bipolar symptoms with the diet over the past seven years.

He came across it serendipitously, wanting to lose weight. Then, three days into a very low-carb diet, it was like a light was switched on in his brain. ‘For the first time in my life’, he says. ‘I thought: “This is what normal people feel like.” ’

The question is how much of a role diet plays ultimately.

‘People think “Maybe the diet accounts for 15-20 per cent of his recovery”, but this is it,’ says Matt emphatically.

He believes it’s ‘totally possible’ he will no longer need medication within two to five years, ‘though there’s no rush, it’s a slow process, the side-effects are pretty manageable’.

But he also acknowledges that

medications saved his life — and he is certainly not suggesting people don’t take them. But keto is what gave him his mind back, he says.

Professor Pariante is emphatic that, with bipolar, ‘because it can quickly go one way or the other — unlike depression, which takes weeks to appear — patients really should be on medication.

‘Of course diet could be helpful, especially if patients don’t respond to medication or even if just to counter some side-effects of medication such as weight gain.’

‘But my main message is that people can’t cure any mental illness with diet: it’s part of the package, but shouldn’t be the only resource.’

Dr Campbell explains that the ketogenic diet is not a ‘cure’ but suggests that for those for whom it works, it could be a long-term therapy in combination with medication — should the evidence prove the theory.

And the ketogenic diet is not for everyone, says Dr Sethi.

Furthermore, all those involved in this area cannot stress enough the importance of it being undertaken only under the proper supervision of both a psychiatrist and a dietitian, and not coming off medication without medical advice.

And if it has been transformative for Matt, there is no doubt this lifestyle is challenging.

‘I did enough drinking for a lifetime from the ages of 16 to 21 and enough staying up late, but it is difficult to feel left out.’

Has he cheated?

‘I’ve had tiny things, like two M&Ms that wouldn’t throw me out. But for me, food is just fuel and I don’t cheat; I don’t want to go back.

‘My whole life is trying not to fall prey to the temptations of the world, and then, as a result, I get everything else: my brain fog lessens, my mood is stable and my temperament is balanced, and that solves issues in my relationships and issues with work and productivity,’ Matt says.

‘It means I don’t have to worry about the rest of my life — it takes care of itself as long as I just keep doing those basic things: good sleep, sun in the morning, exercise in the morning, keto diet, don’t smoke or drink or do drugs. The energy, the productivity . . . it’s worth it.’

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Caitlin Clark celebrates with fellow Iowa Hawkeye Ashton Kutcher and his wife Mila Kunis after her first WNBA win over the LA Sparks

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The Indiana Fever celebrated their first win of the season on Friday night – which was the first professional win in Caitlin Clark’s career as well.

Clark put up a solid all-around performance with 11 points, ten rebounds, eight assists, four steals and a block in the 78-73 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.

All the while, Iowa native Ashton Kutcher and his wife Mila Kunis were watching with their children on the sidelines.

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Caitlin Clark met up with Ashton Kutcher and his wife Mila Kunis at the Sparks-Fever game

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Caitlin Clark met up with Ashton Kutcher and his wife Mila Kunis at the Sparks-Fever game

Clark and Kutcher embraced in celebration after Clark won her first ever WNBA game

Clark and Kutcher embraced in celebration after Clark won her first ever WNBA game

Clark and Kutcher embraced in celebration after Clark won her first ever WNBA game

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Tories hammer Starmer on security, claiming UK would be less safe under Labour in the face of economic, military and energy threats – after gaffe-laden start to campaign

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The Deputy Prime Minister has claimed that a Labour government would threaten the country’s national security – as he says the Tories will roll out ‘bold new ideas’ to bring stability to the nation.

Oliver Dowden warned of Keir Starmer’s plans to halt exploration of the North Sea and defence polices – saying he is putting Britain’s military security, economic security and energy security at risk.

Adding that overseeing ‘the structures that keep us safe’ in his government role has made him ‘acutely aware of the threats facing our country’, he slammed the Labour leader, saying: ‘Labour simply don’t have a plan’.

It comes as Rishi Sunak has been under fire for a gaffe-laden start to his election campaign – being told yesterday that Conservative candidates ‘deserve better’ after a series of mishaps in the first two days of campaigning ahead of the 4 July vote.

Today, the opposing parties are set to fight it out over the economy as Starmer centres Saturday’s campaign on the cost-of-living crisis while the Conservatives hint at tax breaks for high earners. 

Writing for The Times, Mr Dowden said: ‘In an increasingly uncertain world, we need bold action to give our country the security it needs. But Labour would undermine that security. Whether it’s conventional security, economic security or energy security; Labour simply don’t have a plan.’

Oliver Dowden warned of Keir Starmer's (pictured) plans to halt exploration of the North Sea and defence polices - saying he is putting Britain's military security, economic security and energy security at risk

Oliver Dowden warned of Keir Starmer's (pictured) plans to halt exploration of the North Sea and defence polices - saying he is putting Britain's military security, economic security and energy security at risk

Oliver Dowden warned of Keir Starmer’s (pictured) plans to halt exploration of the North Sea and defence polices – saying he is putting Britain’s military security, economic security and energy security at risk

It comes as Rishi Sunak (pictured) has been under fire for a gaffe-laden start to his election campaign

It comes as Rishi Sunak (pictured) has been under fire for a gaffe-laden start to his election campaign

It comes as Rishi Sunak (pictured) has been under fire for a gaffe-laden start to his election campaign

Saying that overseeing 'the structures that keep us safe' in his government role has made him 'acutely aware of the threats facing our country', Mr Dowden (pictured) slammed the Labour leader, saying: 'Labour simply don’t have a plan'

Saying that overseeing 'the structures that keep us safe' in his government role has made him 'acutely aware of the threats facing our country', Mr Dowden (pictured) slammed the Labour leader, saying: 'Labour simply don’t have a plan'

Saying that overseeing ‘the structures that keep us safe’ in his government role has made him ‘acutely aware of the threats facing our country’, Mr Dowden (pictured) slammed the Labour leader, saying: ‘Labour simply don’t have a plan’

He continued: ‘While Rishi Sunak is bringing stability to the economy and to the country, the threats from abroad are increasing. We need a leader who is prepared to act decisively, and has the right priorities for the UK. 

‘One who has a fully funded plan to boost our defence spending to 2.5 per cent by 2030. And one whose commitment to Nato has never wavered, unlike Starmer, who backed Jeremy Corbyn, but won’t match our defence spending commitment.’

The Prime Minister will take the campaign trail back to Yorkshire after completing a whistlestop two-day tour of the four home nations.

But the election effort has not got off to the dream start many were hoping for – after he was hit by a series of gaffes in the first days of his appeal.

In the latest setback, Mr Sunak was delayed by pro-Palestinian protesters picketing the final stop of his two-day tour of the UK.

A crowd of demonstrators carrying placards and Palestinian flags this afternoon took position outside the venue in the West Midlands where the PM was expected to hold another campaign visit.

Mr Sunak had earlier visited the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which prompted reporters to ask him whether he was ‘captaining a sinking ship’ in the election.

At another event, he was also mocked for building a Red Wall as he was taught how to lay bricks and mortar.

Rishi Sunak was today facing Tory fury over his gaffe-laden start to the general election battle, with the PM told Conservative candidates 'deserve better'

Rishi Sunak was today facing Tory fury over his gaffe-laden start to the general election battle, with the PM told Conservative candidates 'deserve better'

Rishi Sunak was today facing Tory fury over his gaffe-laden start to the general election battle, with the PM told Conservative candidates ‘deserve better’

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson expressed anger at the bumpy start to Mr Sunak's election campaign

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson expressed anger at the bumpy start to Mr Sunak's election campaign

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson expressed anger at the bumpy start to Mr Sunak’s election campaign

It came after the teetotal premier yesterday visited a Welsh brewery where he awkwardly asked workers if they were looking forward to the Euros – despite Wales not having qualified for the upcoming football tournament.

Thursday also saw two men dressed in high-vis clothing at a warehouse event, who appeared to be normal voters asking questions of Mr Sunak, later exposed as Tory councillors.

On Wednesday, the PM stunned Westminster by announcing the date of the general election on 4 July – much earlier than most MPs had expected – in a downpour as his address to the nation was interrupted by campaigners playing New Labour anthem ‘Things Can Only Get Better’.

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson expressed anger at the bumpy start to Mr Sunak’s election campaign.

She posted on X/Twitter: ‘The deluge launch drowned out by D:Ream. A brewery visit with a teetotal PM, so no chance of a piss up.

‘Now a site visit to something famous for sinking. Is there a double agent in CCHQ, and were they a headline writer in a previous life? Our candidates deserve better.’  

On the first day of the general election campaign, the PM was quizzed by what seemed to be ordinary workers at West William Distribution in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

Mr Sunak’s grilling at the biscuit distribution centre went well as two of the group asked unchallenging questions of the Conservative leader.

Two men dressed in high-vis clothing at a warehouse appeared to be normal voters asking questions of Rishi Sunak - but they have now been exposed as Tory councillors

Two men dressed in high-vis clothing at a warehouse appeared to be normal voters asking questions of Rishi Sunak - but they have now been exposed as Tory councillors

Two men dressed in high-vis clothing at a warehouse appeared to be normal voters asking questions of Rishi Sunak – but they have now been exposed as Tory councillors

Erewash councillor Ben Hall-Evans

Erewash councillor Ben Hall-Evans
Leicestershire councillor Ross Hills

Leicestershire councillor Ross Hills

Erewash councillor Ben Hall-Evans (left) and Leicestershire councillor Ross Hills were both identified as Conservative politicians

Yet it later emerged how they are both Tory councillors in what Labour claimed is evidence the PM is ‘running scared’ of the British electorate.

Mr Sunak’s bumpy start to the six-week election campaign, ahead of the 4 July vote, began in Ilkeston when he stood in the centre of a group dressed in high-vis.

Two men who asked questions of the PM were later found to be Conservative politicians – with one of them also from a different county.

Erewash councillor Ben Hall-Evans and Leicestershire councillor Ross Hills were first identified by the Byline Times.

Mr Hills, who describes himself on social media as a ‘part-time dentist’, told the website he had been asked to appear at the campaign event.

During the Ilkeston event, Mr Sunak picked Mr Hall-Evans to ask him the first question, which saw the PM quizzed about what ‘sets you apart’ on improving people’s finances.

Mr Hills was picked by the PM to ask the third question, which saw Mr Sunak thanked for attending the event as he is a ‘pretty busy guy right now’.

He was then asked by Mr Hills about his Rwanda deportation plan and whether it would ‘see results and stop the small boats coming’.

Mr Sunak was also mocked by Labour for his rain-sodden address from Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon, in which he announced the general election on 4 July

Mr Sunak was also mocked by Labour for his rain-sodden address from Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon, in which he announced the general election on 4 July

Mr Sunak was also mocked by Labour for his rain-sodden address from Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon, in which he announced the general election on 4 July

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar launch Scottish Labour's General Election campaign at City Facilities in Glasgow

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar launch Scottish Labour's General Election campaign at City Facilities in Glasgow

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar launch Scottish Labour’s General Election campaign at City Facilities in Glasgow

Neither of the men mentioned in their questions that they were Conservative councillors.

A Labour spokesperson said it showed that Mr Sunak was ‘running scared’ of the electorate.

‘Rishi Sunak spent months dodging the verdict of voters and even now, he’s still running scared,’ they added.

‘The reality is that 14 years of Tory chaos have cost the country dearly and have left working people worse off.’

A Conservative source: ‘We do not control who asks questions – anyone can try and ask one.’

Labour included Mr Sunak’s encounter with the two councillors in a mocked-up ‘Rishi Sunak’s Campaign Diary’ video.

The 48-second clip also included footage of the PM’s awkward meeting, later on Thursday, with workers at the Vale of Glamorgan Brewery in Barry, South Wales.

Mr Sunak asked whether they were looking forward to the football later this summer as a potential source of revenue, despite Wales not qualifying for the Euro 2024 tournament.

Keir Starmer speaks with staff, during a visit to C&W Berry builders merchants, in Leyland, Lancashire

Keir Starmer speaks with staff, during a visit to C&W Berry builders merchants, in Leyland, Lancashire

Keir Starmer speaks with staff, during a visit to C&W Berry builders merchants, in Leyland, Lancashire

There was an awkward pause after Mr Sunak asked: ‘So are you looking forward to all the football?’

One brewery employee answered: ‘We’re not so invested in it,’ to which another responded: ‘That’s because you guys aren’t in it’.

The PM nonetheless insisted that ‘it’ll be a good summer of sport’.

The Labour video also mocked Mr Sunak for his rain-sodden address from Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon, in which he announced the general election on 4 July.

The PM himself took a light-hearted view of his soaking during his visit to Derbyshire yesterday by posing with an umbrella, quipping: ‘Better late than never!’

‘I’ll never play fast and loose with your money’: Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves says Labour will be guided by Thatcher-style commitment to ‘sound money’ as she turns her back on the party’s past profligacy with public finances

By Jason Groves

Rachel Reeves vows today that she will never ‘play fast and loose with your money’ – and insists Labour’s tax-and-spend binges are a thing of the past.

The Shadow Chancellor uses her first intervention in the election campaign to make a direct appeal to Daily Mail readers.

Writing in this newspaper, Ms Reeves says she will be guided by a Thatcher-style commitment to ‘sound money’ if she becomes Britain’s first female Chancellor in July.

Turning her back on the profligacy of Labour’s past, she writes: ‘I will never play fast and loose with your money… I believe in sound money and public spending that is kept under control.

‘I know how important it is that whoever is running the public finances has an iron grip on them.’

Rachel Reeves campaigns at Blackpool Cricket Club on April 5

Rachel Reeves campaigns at Blackpool Cricket Club on April 5

Rachel Reeves campaigns at Blackpool Cricket Club on April 5

Labour's Shadow Chancellor leaves Francis Crick Institute after announcing the London Growth Plan on April 3

Labour's Shadow Chancellor leaves Francis Crick Institute after announcing the London Growth Plan on April 3

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor leaves Francis Crick Institute after announcing the London Growth Plan on April 3

Ms Reeves explicitly rules out a return to a traditional Labour tax-and-spend approach – and even hints she could eventually cut taxes for ‘working people’.

The former Bank of England economist insists that Labour will not try to soak successful businesses and crush entrepreneurship, arguing that the private sector is the key to generating the economic growth Labour needs to pay for its plans.

Ms Reeves savages the Tories’ economic record since 2010, and warns that giving them another term would be like ‘giving a box of matches back to the arsonists who burnt the house down’. 

She also hints that Labour is preparing a major package of welfare reform to tackle the epidemic of worklessness that has seen the number of people inactive because of ill health soar to 2.8 million. It comes as:

  • Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom has joined an exodus of Tory MPs, with a record 78 declaring they will stand down at the election;
  • Boris Johnson predicted the election will be ‘much closer than currently forecast’ as voters take fright at the idea of electing ‘the most dangerous and Left-wing Labour prime minister since the 1970s’;
  • Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was expelled from the party after confirming he will fight his Islington North seat as an independent;
  • Labour education spokesman Bridget Phillipson hinted that the party could increase university tuition fees from their current level of £9,250 a year;
  • Sir Keir Starmer vowed to press ahead with a controversial tax raid on private schools ‘straight away’ if Labour wins;
  • Sir Keir said he was seeking ten years in power to push through a programme of ‘national renewal’;
  • Rishi Sunak said he was ‘pumped up’ for the election campaign after a whirlwind tour of the four nations of the UK.

The Conservatives have targeted the economy as the key election battleground, with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt saying Treasury analysis has identified a £38 billion black hole in Labour’s spending plans, potentially leaving the average working household facing a £2,100 tax bombshell over four years.

Labour has so far announced only modest plans for raising taxes, including levying VAT on private school fees, increasing the windfall tax on the energy giants and a tax raid on private equity firms. Mr Hunt said tax would be the ‘big dividing line’ at the election, with the Tories committed to cutting them and Labour raising taxes ‘as sure as night follows day’.

Mr Sunak is expected to use the Tory manifesto to pledge further tax cuts, including a long-term ambition to abolish National Insurance, which Mr Hunt has already slashed by a third, delivering a £900 tax cut to the average worker.

Sir Keir yesterday refused to rule out further tax increases if Labour wins the election. Asked to confirm there would be ‘no additional tax rises’, the Labour leader said: ‘To be clear, where there are tax rises, we’ve set that out and we’ve also set out what the money will be used for.’

Michael Gove has joined an exodus of Tory MPs, with a record 78 declaring they will stand down at the election

Michael Gove has joined an exodus of Tory MPs, with a record 78 declaring they will stand down at the election

Michael Gove has joined an exodus of Tory MPs, with a record 78 declaring they will stand down at the election

Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street to attend a cabinet meeting in 2020

Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street to attend a cabinet meeting in 2020

Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson leaving Downing Street to attend a cabinet meeting in 2020

Treasury minister Bim Afolami accused Sir Keir of using ‘his first media round of the campaign to confirm that Labour would raise taxes’.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said tight public finances meant that whichever party wins the election will have to impose deep cuts in public spending, raise taxes or both.

Director Paul Johnson said: ‘Money is tight. Public services are creaking, taxes are at historically high levels, and both parties are hemmed in by their very clear pledges to get debt falling. It is only falling, marginally, on current forecasts, because tax rises and spending cuts are already baked into baseline forecasts.’

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Women at the helm as Indian films make a big splash in Cannes

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Indian cinema has enjoyed a bumper year in Cannes, with seven films from the country screening across the festival’s various strands. FRANCE 24 spoke to filmmaker Payal Kapadia, India’s first Palme d’Or contender in 30 years with her “All We Imagine as Light”, and the cast and director of police procedural “Santosh”, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard sidebar. 

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The ultimate British meal deal: The 5 best main, snack and drink combos, according to AI – so, do YOU agree with its selections?

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Forget fish and chips or sausage, mash, and gravy – when it comes to British lunches, it’s the meal deal that rules supreme.

According to the latest figures, ‘meal deal mania’ is at a record high in the UK, with over of a third of Britons indulging in the offer at least once a week.

But with thousands of possible combinations of mains, sides, and drinks available, one key question remains – what is the ultimate British meal deal?

To answer this burning question, MailOnline turned to AI chatbot, ChatGPT, which came up with a list of five top combinations.

So, do you agree with its meal deal selection?

With thousands of possible combinations of mains, sides, and drinks available, one key question remains – what is the ultimate British meal deal? To answer this burning question, MailOnline turned to AI chatbot, ChatGPT , which came up with a list of five top combinations

The 5 best meal deal combinations, according to ChatGPT 

1. Classic Combo

  • Main: BLT Sandwich
  • Snack: Walkers Cheese and Onion Crisps
  • Drink: Coca-Cola

2. Healthy Option

  • Main: Chicken Caesar Wrap
  • Snack: Fresh Fruit Pot
  • Drink: Innocent Smoothie

3. Vegetarian Choice

  • Main: Falafel and Hummus Wrap
  • Snack: Graze Veggie Protein Power
  • Drink: Bottled Water or a Fruit Juice

4. Comfort Food

  • Main: Ham and Cheese Sandwich
  • Snack: McCoy’s Salt & Vinegar Crisps
  • Drink: Ribena Blackcurrant

5. Gourmet Pick

  • Main: Prawn Mayonnaise Sandwich
  • Snack: Kettle Chips Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar
  • Drink: San Pellegrino Limonata

The meal deal dates back to the 1980s, when Boots became the first flagship to offer pre-packaged sandwiches alongside a snack and a drink.

In the decades since then, the meal deal has become a staple part of many Britons’ diets, with outlets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Amazon Fresh, and ASDA all offering options today.

The majority of meal deals include a main, a snack, and a drink for around £3.50.

To help you with your next meal deal, we asked ChatGPT for the best combination.

Within seconds, the bot revealed its five top combinations, albeit with an important caveat.

‘The best British meal deal combo often comes down to personal preference, but there are some popular and highly recommended combinations that people tend to enjoy,’ it said.

Topping the list is what ChatGPT calls the ‘Classic Combo’.

This includes a BLT Sandwich for the main, accompanied by Walkers Cheese and Onion Crisps, and a Coca-Cola.

The ‘Healthy Option’ includes a Chicken Caesar Wrap, a Fresh Fruit Pot, and an Innocent Smoothie.

Those of you hoping to cut down on your meat will be happy to hear that a ‘Vegetarian Choice’ has been included in the top five.

A falafel and hummus wrap is paired with Graze Veggie Protein Power, and a Bottled Water or a Fruit Juice.

Meanwhile, if it’s ‘Comfort Food’ you’re after, ChatGPT suggests you should choose a Ham and Cheese Sandwich with McCoy’s Salt & Vinegar Crisps and Ribena Blackcurrant.

Finally, its ‘Gourmet Pick’ includes a Prawn Mayonnaise Sandwich with Kettle Chips Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, and a San Pellegrino Limonata.

The meal deal has become a staple part of many Britons' diets, with outlets including Sainsbury's, Tesco, Amazon Fresh, and ASDA all offering options today

The meal deal has become a staple part of many Britons' diets, with outlets including Sainsbury's, Tesco, Amazon Fresh, and ASDA all offering options today

The meal deal has become a staple part of many Britons’ diets, with outlets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Amazon Fresh, and ASDA all offering options today

‘These combinations reflect a mix of classic British flavors, popular snacks, and drinks that complement the main meal,’ the bot added.

‘Depending on where you get your meal deal from (e.g., Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots), the specific items available might vary, but these general types are widely found across different stores.’

The meal deal choices come shortly after ChatGPT ranked the best crisps in the UK. 

Walkers (otherwise known a Lay’s) top the list, according to the AI bot.

‘A classic and widely available brand with a variety of flavours including Ready Salted, Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, and more,’ the bot said.

Tyrrells comes in next, followed by Kettle Chips, who ChatGPT notes are ‘famous for their thick-cut, crunchy chips.’

Despite technically being tortilla chips, Doritos are fourth on the list, closely followed by Pringles.

'The best British meal deal combo often comes down to personal preference, but there are some popular and highly recommended combinations that people tend to enjoy,' ChatGPT said

'The best British meal deal combo often comes down to personal preference, but there are some popular and highly recommended combinations that people tend to enjoy,' ChatGPT said

‘The best British meal deal combo often comes down to personal preference, but there are some popular and highly recommended combinations that people tend to enjoy,’ ChatGPT said

‘Although not strictly crisps in the traditional sense, Pringles are immensely popular in the UK with flavours like Sour Cream & Onion, Original, Salt & Vinegar, and Paprika,’ ChatGPT noted.

Seabrook comes in sixth place, before Hula Hoops, and Monster Munch.

Meanwhile, ChatGPT has given Sensations by Walkers their own ranking, coming in ninth on the list.

‘Offering a range of more exotic flavours inspired by world cuisines such as Thai Sweet Chilli, Japanese Teriyaki Chicken, and Mexican Fiery Sweet Chipotle,’ it explained.

Finally, the list is rounded out by McCoys, which ChatGPT praised for their ‘ridged crisps and strong flavours.’

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Young US couple among three missionaries shot dead by gang in Haiti’s capital

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A US couple was among three missionaries shot and killed by a gang outside a church in the Haitian capital, which has endured months of extreme violence with deadly assaults on hospitals, prisons and government buildings.

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The 30-year-old timewarp Ford Fiesta with 139 miles on the clock: Scottish car dealer wants £13k for the ‘lowest mileage example in existence’

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There is no car that’s more popular in Britain than the Ford Fiesta.

Having amassed 4.8million sales in the UK (22million globally) and topped our annual registrations charts 17 times in its 47-year history, the plucky small Ford is the most common model on our roads today with around 1.5million still in use.

However, there isn’t another like the one being sold by a Scottish car dealership at the moment.

The 1992 Mk3 Fiesta has clocked a mere 139 miles in its 32 year lifetime – that’s an average of 4.3 miles per year. 

Interested? If so, you’ll need to stump up £13,000 if you want this timewarp motor on your driveway.

Infrequently-driven Fiesta: This 1992 example of Ford's best-selling supermini has covered a mere 139 miles in total and remains in stunning condition. It's now up for sale for £13,000

Infrequently-driven Fiesta: This 1992 example of Ford's best-selling supermini has covered a mere 139 miles in total and remains in stunning condition. It's now up for sale for £13,000

Infrequently-driven Fiesta: This 1992 example of Ford’s best-selling supermini has covered a mere 139 miles in total and remains in stunning condition. It’s now up for sale for £13,000

Since Ford made the bold decision to kill off the Fiesta last summer, there’s been a general expectation for the value of desirable iterations – like the XR2i – to rocket in value.

However, relatively modest and common examples are predicted not so soar in value at the same rate.

But this run-of-the-mill silver 1.4-litre Fiesta in range-topping Ghia trim – which would have been ten a penny back in its registration year of 1992 – is particularly special due to its incredibly low mileage.

Alan Potts, owner of classic Ford car dealership Car Cave Scotland, which is based in Midlothian and now offering vehicle for sale, says it was used sparingly by the original owner.

The first keeper, from Potters Bar on the outskirts of London, bought it new in January 1992 and drove it until he became too ill to be on the roads.

Having decided to quit driving, he gifted the vehicle to his daughter – though she hadn’t passed her test.

The J-registration Ford Fiesta Mk3 has  averaged 4.3 miles per year since it was first registered

The J-registration Ford Fiesta Mk3 has  averaged 4.3 miles per year since it was first registered

The J-registration Ford Fiesta Mk3 has  averaged 4.3 miles per year since it was first registered 

Alan Potts, owner of classic Ford car dealership Car Cave Scotland , which is based in Midlothian and now offering vehicle for sale, says it was used sparingly by the original owner

Alan Potts, owner of classic Ford car dealership Car Cave Scotland , which is based in Midlothian and now offering vehicle for sale, says it was used sparingly by the original owner

Alan Potts, owner of classic Ford car dealership Car Cave Scotland , which is based in Midlothian and now offering vehicle for sale, says it was used sparingly by the original owner

The first keeper, from Potters Bar on the outskirts of London, bought it new in January 1992 and drove it until he became too ill to be on the roads. Thought he didn't put many miles on it before handing it over to his daughter

The first keeper, from Potters Bar on the outskirts of London, bought it new in January 1992 and drove it until he became too ill to be on the roads. Thought he didn't put many miles on it before handing it over to his daughter

The first keeper, from Potters Bar on the outskirts of London, bought it new in January 1992 and drove it until he became too ill to be on the roads. Thought he didn’t put many miles on it before handing it over to his daughter

With the car having too much sentimental value to let go, she retained the motor in storage until 2019, when she eventually sold it to a motoring enthusiast.

In the third keeper’s hands, they continued to careful maintain the vehicle to guarantee its mint condition.

In fact, MOT records show it was last tested in 2018. At the time, the odometer showed 137 miles on the clock, meaning the new owner has likely added just 2 miles since becoming the custodian. 

The interior looks unused, with seat covers still in place to protect the cloth seats

The interior looks unused, with seat covers still in place to protect the cloth seats

The interior looks unused, with seat covers still in place to protect the cloth seats

The daughter of the original owner didn't have a driving licence so instead retained the motor in storage until 2019, when she eventually sold it to a motoring enthusiast. In the third keeper's hands, they continued to careful maintain the vehicle to guarantee its mint condition

The daughter of the original owner didn't have a driving licence so instead retained the motor in storage until 2019, when she eventually sold it to a motoring enthusiast. In the third keeper's hands, they continued to careful maintain the vehicle to guarantee its mint condition

The daughter of the original owner didn’t have a driving licence so instead retained the motor in storage until 2019, when she eventually sold it to a motoring enthusiast. In the third keeper’s hands, they continued to careful maintain the vehicle to guarantee its mint condition

The car's paintwork is almost totally unblemished bar a couple of 'very light' minor chips on the door edge and a few stone chips on the bonnet. Even the tyres are original - though will need changing after 32 years

The car's paintwork is almost totally unblemished bar a couple of 'very light' minor chips on the door edge and a few stone chips on the bonnet. Even the tyres are original - though will need changing after 32 years

The car’s paintwork is almost totally unblemished bar a couple of ‘very light’ minor chips on the door edge and a few stone chips on the bonnet. Even the tyres are original – though will need changing after 32 years

Potts believes the car has never even seen rain and thinks it is ‘remarkable’ with all of the original parts and the original invoice for the car.

He says that it would be highly improbable that there is a more original model of the car around and it even still has that new car smell.

‘This is an exceptional little car and very possibly, the lowest mileage Mk3 Fiesta in existence,’ he explained.

‘We have the original bill of sale [which is £9,700] with the car, original handbooks, two keys, a dealer key ring, a dealer mat, the current V5 and previous V5 showing all the owners. The car is remarkable and has never seen the rain.

‘It has all the original panels. It’s as new underneath. 

‘The paintwork is still lovely – no signs of rust or wear. There are a couple of very minor chips on the door edge and a few chips on top of the bonnet whilst in storage. Overall, you won’t get a more original example than this.

‘Underneath, all the PDI marks are clearly visible, and everything is like new.’

Mr Potts adds: ‘It still smells like new inside. It’s immaculate as you’d expect with no wear on steering wheels, pedal rubbers or gear knob.

‘I’m not sure if we will ever see another one like this.’

Mechanically, the Fiesta is as it was when it left the factory, apart from a timing belt change a few years ago at a mere 118 miles. The engine starts, runs and drives perfectly

Mechanically, the Fiesta is as it was when it left the factory, apart from a timing belt change a few years ago at a mere 118 miles. The engine starts, runs and drives perfectly

Mechanically, the Fiesta is as it was when it left the factory, apart from a timing belt change a few years ago at a mere 118 miles. The engine starts, runs and drives perfectly

The car is being sold with the original handbooks, two keys, a dealer key ring, a dealer mat, the current V5 and previous V5 showing all the owners. It even comes with the original purchase receipt, showing the total price of £9,700

The car is being sold with the original handbooks, two keys, a dealer key ring, a dealer mat, the current V5 and previous V5 showing all the owners. It even comes with the original purchase receipt, showing the total price of £9,700

The car is being sold with the original handbooks, two keys, a dealer key ring, a dealer mat, the current V5 and previous V5 showing all the owners. It even comes with the original purchase receipt, showing the total price of £9,700

Priced at £12,995, it's a big price to pay for a not-very-desirable car. Though the chances of a 139-mile Mk3 Fiesta to come around again is exceptionally slim

Priced at £12,995, it's a big price to pay for a not-very-desirable car. Though the chances of a 139-mile Mk3 Fiesta to come around again is exceptionally slim

Priced at £12,995, it’s a big price to pay for a not-very-desirable car. Though the chances of a 139-mile Mk3 Fiesta to come around again is exceptionally slim

Mechanically, the Fiesta is as it was when it left the factory, apart from a timing belt change a few years ago at a mere 118 miles. 

‘It starts runs and drives. Brakes feel a little spongy and may need a bleed or more, due to lack of use. I suspect if someone buys this it will be an exhibit rather than used a lot,’ the sales description reads.

Incredibly, the car is still on its original tyres – though these would need changing immediately if the new owner wants it to pass an MOT.

Priced at £12,995, it’s a big price to pay for a not-very-desirable car. Though the chances of a 139-mile Mk3 Fiesta to come around again is exceptionally slim. 

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China ends two days of military drills around Taiwan

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China has ended two days of military drills around Taiwan that saw jets loaded with live munitions and warships practise seizing and isolating the self-ruled island. 

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World’s most turbulent flights are revealed – and list includes TWO short-haul journeys in Europe…

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Two short-haul flights across Europe are among the world’s 10 most turbulent plane journeys, statistics suggest.

Hour-long hops across the Alps between Milan-Geneva and Milan-Zurich come fifth and tenth, respectively. 

A 1,905km trip between Santiago in Chile and Santa Cruz in Bolivia ranks top.  

That is according to Turbli, a turbulence forecast website which analysed more than 150,000 long-haul and short-haul flight records from 2023 to discover which are the most jarring.

The rankings, illustrated in a set of animated maps by MailOnline, follow the death of a 73-year-old Brit onboard a Singapore Airlines jet rocked by extreme turbulence. 

Around 11 hours after take off from London Heathrow yesterday, the Boeing 777 jet hit an air pocket and sharply dropped 6,000ft in five minutes.

It unleashed mayhem in the cabin, forcing the plane – carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew – to make an emergency landing in Bangkok.

Terrified passengers described how they had little warning to put their seatbelts on before the aircraft suddenly dropped. 

One passenger said people were ‘launched into the ceiling’ as the plane fell through the sky.

Geoff Kitchen, a beloved grandfather travelling with his wife Linda on their ‘last big holiday’, died, Thai officials said. More than 70 others were injured. Seven suffered critical head injuries.

Turbulence is the bane of any long-haul flight – but the natural phenomenon can be far more than simply annoying.

In the worst-case scenario, violent rattling can lead to structural damage to the plane itself and even harm passengers.

Turbulence is the bane of any long-haul flight, but this natural phenomenon can be far more than simply annoying

Turbulence is the bane of any long-haul flight, but this natural phenomenon can be far more than simply annoying

Turbulence is the bane of any long-haul flight, but this natural phenomenon can be far more than simply annoying

Disturbance is ranked on a scale from ‘light’, which causes slight erratic changes in altitude, to ‘severe’, in which the aircraft is violently tossed about.

Turbli used ‘eddy dissipation rates’ (EDR) to rank the routes. 

EDR measures the intensity of turbulence at a given spot – 0-20 is light, 20-40 is moderate, 40-80 severe, and 80-100 is extreme.

The 1,184-mile (1,905km) route from Santiago, Chile, to Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, was ranked as the most turbulent in the world, with an average EDR of 17.5. 

Second shakiest is the 210-mile short-haul jump from Almaty in Kazakhstan to its capital, Bishke (EDR 17.4).

Six of the top ten rockiest rides across the globe are routes in Japan and China. Turbli attributes this to high jet-stream activity in these regions disrupting the air.

The worst turbulence in Europe overall was experienced on the 132-mile flight path from Milan to Geneva (EDR 16.3), ranking as the fifth-most turbulent trajectory in the world overall.

Five of the top ten most turbulent routes in Europe took off or landed in Zurich, with mountain wave turbulence coming off the Swiss Alps likely responsible for its heavy presence on the list, according to Turbli.

Routes across the US were less turbulent than the worst European routes, with the most turbulent American leg the 441-mile flight from Nashville to Raleigh scoring an average EDR of 14.7. This wouldn’t break the top ten on the European list.

A passenger onboard a Singapore Airlines jet travelling from the UK described the extreme turbulence that killed a fellow flyer. Pictured: Passengers are seen in the cabin after the incident today, with belongings strewn across the floor and oxygen masks dangling from above

A passenger onboard a Singapore Airlines jet travelling from the UK described the extreme turbulence that killed a fellow flyer. Pictured: Passengers are seen in the cabin after the incident today, with belongings strewn across the floor and oxygen masks dangling from above

A passenger onboard a Singapore Airlines jet travelling from the UK described the extreme turbulence that killed a fellow flyer. Pictured: Passengers are seen in the cabin after the incident today, with belongings strewn across the floor and oxygen masks dangling from above

After around 11 hours of flying time from take off in London, the aircraft sharply dropped 6,000 feet in just five minutes, causing chaos in the cabin. In pictures of the aftermath, one air stewardess was seen with blood over her face (pictured)

After around 11 hours of flying time from take off in London, the aircraft sharply dropped 6,000 feet in just five minutes, causing chaos in the cabin. In pictures of the aftermath, one air stewardess was seen with blood over her face (pictured)

After around 11 hours of flying time from take off in London, the aircraft sharply dropped 6,000 feet in just five minutes, causing chaos in the cabin. In pictures of the aftermath, one air stewardess was seen with blood over her face (pictured)

Geoff Kitchen, 73, suffered a suspected heart attack on the flight, according to a spokesman for Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the plane was diverted and forced to make an emergency landing

Geoff Kitchen, 73, suffered a suspected heart attack on the flight, according to a spokesman for Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the plane was diverted and forced to make an emergency landing

Geoff Kitchen, 73, suffered a suspected heart attack on the flight, according to a spokesman for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the plane was diverted and forced to make an emergency landing

The rest of the ranking for America comprises Charlotte – Pittsburgh (second); Denver – Puerto Vallarta (third); New York – Raleigh/Durham (fourth); Warwick – Syracuse (fifth); Atlanta – Dulles (sixth); Pittsburgh – Raleigh/Durham (seventh); New York – Portland (eighth); Boston – Syracuse (ninth); and Boston – Philadelphia (10th).

Down under, the 450-mile flight from Brisbane to Sydney tops the Oceania table, with an average EDR of 15.3.

If you’re particularly worried about a rough landing or take-off, Turbli has also pinpointed the most turbulent airports in the world.

Number one in the worldwide ranking is Santiago Chile, where the average EDR is 17.1. It attributes this meteorological phenomenon to the surrounding Andes causing mountain wave turbulence.

The rest of the top five in the bumpiest global airports ranking comprises Natori, Japan (second); Wellington (third); Sapporo, Japan (fourth), and Osaka (fifth).

In Europe, Vienna tops the table (EDR 14.8), followed by Zurich, Marseille and Geneva, while in the USA Portland proves the most shaky airstrip to take off from (EDR 15.2), followed by Denver (second); Las Vegas (third); Vancouver (fourth); Salt Lake City (fifth); Prince George (sixth); Calgary (seventh); Quebec (eighth); Reno (ninth); and Seattle (10th).

In the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand’s Wellington airport is the most turbulent in Oceania, scoring an EDR of 16.3.

The choppy air we feel as turbulence doesn’t have a single cause and comes from a number of different sources, like normal atmospheric wind patterns, or by wakes of other nearby aircraft.

One of the most common causes of severe turbulence is ‘mechanical turbulence’ — which is very common around mountains and other physical obstructions.

If you imagine waves hitting a rock in the ocean, the previously uniform water is now broken up and choppy. When winds hit mountains, the same thing happens, forming what are known as ‘mountain waves’. 

Oxygen masks are seen hanging from the ceiling in the cabin of the Singapore Airlines flight

Oxygen masks are seen hanging from the ceiling in the cabin of the Singapore Airlines flight

Oxygen masks are seen hanging from the ceiling in the cabin of the Singapore Airlines flight

A passenger died and 30 others were injured on a flight from London to Singapore this afternoon forcing an emergency landing in Thailand. Pictured: The plane and ambulances are seen on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok today

A passenger died and 30 others were injured on a flight from London to Singapore this afternoon forcing an emergency landing in Thailand. Pictured: The plane and ambulances are seen on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok today

A passenger died and 30 others were injured on a flight from London to Singapore this afternoon forcing an emergency landing in Thailand. Pictured: The plane and ambulances are seen on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok today

These broken-up air currents create packets of rolling, turbulent air which can shake planes that try to pass through, says Dr David Birch, of the Centre for Aerodynamics & Environmental Flow at the University of Surrey.

Some of the most violent turbulence is caused by thunderstorms which create huge vertical currents of violent air.

According to the National Weather Service, these currents can cause planes to rise or fall between 600 and 1830 metres (2,000-6,000ft) at a time.

Turbli’s reporting is likely to prove increasingly relevant to jet-setters, as global warming has caused an increase in the severity of turbulence, according to scientists.

Research conducted by the University of Reading indicates that turbulence during flights is on the rise, with severe turbulence increasing by 55 per cent since 1979.

However, you can console yourself with the knowledge that although turbulence may be uncomfortable and scary, it is extremely unlikely to cause your plane to crash.

As a long-haul Dreamliner captain who spoke to MailOnline stated: ‘In terms of what it might do to you, yes it’s unpleasant, nobody likes being bounced up and down like that, or very few people do, but it’s not unsafe… 

‘Aircraft like flying, they don’t like falling out of the sky, and you’ve got to try pretty hard to make them do that.’

MOST TURBULENT ROUTES 2023 OVERALL WORLDWIDE AND IN EUROPE, AMERICA AND OCEANIA

10 MOST TURBULENT ROUTES WORLDWIDE

1. Santiago (SCL) – Santa Cruz (VVI)

2. Almaty (ALA) – Bishkek (FRU)

3. Lanzhou (LHW) – Chengdu (CTU)

4. Centrair (NGO) – Sendai (SDJ)

5. Milan (MXP) – Geneva (GVA)

6. Lanzhou (LHW) – Xianyang (XIY)

7. Osaka (KIX) – Sendai (SDJ)

8. Xianyang (XIY) – Chengdu (CTU)

9. Xianyang (XIY) – Chongqing (CKG)

10. Milan (MXP) – Zurich (ZRH)

10 MOST TURBULENT ROUTES IN EUROPE

1. Milan (MXP) – Geneva (GVA)

2. Milan (MXP) – Zurich (ZRH)

3. Geneva (GVA) – Zurich (ZRH)

4. Marseille (MRS) – Zurich (ZRH)

5. Zgornji Brnik (LJU) – Zurich (ZRH)

6. Nice (NCE) – Basel (BSL)

7. Nice (NCE) – Zurich (ZRH)

8. Yerevan (EVN) – Tbilisi (TBS)

9. Basel (BSL) – Venezia (VCE)

10. Frankfurt am Main (FRA) – Caselle Torinese (TRN)

10 MOST TURBULENT ROUTES IN AMERICA

1. Nashville (BNA) – Raleigh/Durham (RDU)

2. Charlotte (CLT) – Pittsburgh (PIT)

3. Denver (DEN) – Puerto Vallarta (PVR)

4. New York (JFK) – Raleigh/Durham (RDU)

5. Warwick (PVD) – Syracuse (SYR)

6. Atlanta (ATL) – Dulles (IAD)

7. Pittsburgh (PIT) – Raleigh/Durham (RDU)

8. New York (LGA) – Portland (PWM)

9. Boston (BOS) – Syracuse (SYR)

10. Boston (BOS) – Philadelphia (PHL)

10 MOST TURBULENT ROUTES IN OCEANIA

1. Brisbane (BNE) – Sydney (SYD)

2. Port Vila (VLI) – Auckland (AKL)

3. Melbourne (MEL) – Sydney (SYD)

4. Port Vila (VLI) – Brisbane (BNE)

5. Port Vila (VLI) – Sydney (SYD)

6. Port Vila (VLI) – Melbourne (MEL)

7. Brisbane (BNE) – Melbourne (MEL)

8. Brisbane (BNE) – Adelaide (ADL)

9. Brisbane (BNE) – Darwin (DRW)

10. Auckland (AKL) – Christchurch (CHC)

Source: turbli.com. Based on an analysis of 150,000 routes.

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