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The Guardian (U.K.) 

EU contribution: Cameron will have to pay up, says Farage

Prime minister under pressure from Tory backbenchers to refuse additional £1.7bn for the EU budgetNigel Farage has claimed that David Cameron will be forced to pay out an extra £1.7bn into the EU budget by the end of next month despite the government saying the extra demand was not acceptable.The Ukip leaders comments, which he says is a reflection of Britains impotence in Europe, will incre

Ed Miliband: immigration is at top of Labours agenda

Labour leader says bill will contain clear, credible measures to address voter concerns, without threatening UKs place in EUEd Miliband has promised an immigration reform bill in the first few weeks of a new Labour government as he challenged the false promises of Ukip and the Conservatives on the campaign trail in Rochester and Strood.The Labour leader said the bill would contain five cle

MI5 spied on leading British historians for decades, secret files reveal

Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill had phones tapped, correspondence intercepted and friends and wives monitoredMI5 amassed hundreds of records on Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, two of Britains leading historians who were both once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed.The scholars were subjected to persistent surveillance for decades as MI5 and police special branc

Rochester and Strood byelection campaigns: Politics Live blog

Full coverage of the Rochester and Strood byelection, including background to the campaign and todays developments 12.04pm BST At the Tory campaign HQ, which, like the Lib Dems, is also on Rochester high street, theyre refusing to accept claims that their all-postal ballot was a bit of a flop. (See 8.53am and 10.56am.) One source said:Im not surprised that Ukip are talking us down, beca

Nigel Farage defends Mike Read's Ukip Calypso song video

Nigel Farage defends the Ukip Calypso song, arguing that other artists use Caribbean accents and the song was designed to be 'a bit of fun'. Speaking on LBC on Friday morning, he says people are only 'screaming blue murder' because it's in support of Ukip. Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, the song's creator, has apologised and withdrawn the recording from sale Continue reading...

What's it like being a Ukip voter on the Guardian website?

Ukip voters explain their support for the party and why theyre happy to spend time arguing in its favour on a site not ideologically supportive of Ukips aims and policiesThere are more Ukip-friendly corners of the internet than the web pages of the Guardian. Nevertheless, a decent proportion of comments left on our politics articles come from those sympathetic to Ukip.In some ways, this is

Alex Salmond may run for Westminster seat in 2015

Retiring first minister says on Question Time that he has not made up his mind about a return to the UKs parliamentAlex Salmond has not ruled out running for a seat at Westminster in next years general election as he prepares to stand down as Scotlands first minister. Salmond, who will leave his office next month, was asked on BBCs Question Time if he would consider a return to Westminster.H

Rochester byelection: Tories select local businesswoman Kelly Tolhurst

Winning candidate edges out rival by slimmest of margins as Tories reveal determination not to lose another seat to UkipLocal businesswoman Kelly Tolhurst has been selected as the Conservative candidate in the Rochester and Strood byelection after narrowly topping a postal ballot open to all voters in the constituency. Tolhurst pipped fellow Tory councillor Anna Firth to the nomination, with 50

Unsavoury campaign swung Smethwick in 1964 | @guardianletters

Keith Graham (Letters, 21 October) suggests an alternative reason for Patrick Gordon Walkers 1964 Smethwick defeat. But his theory that it was the intervention of a Liberal candidate, on a higher turnout, that swung the result is factually wrong and also at odds with the national trends in that election. The turnout was down, not up, in Smethwick, by 2% (also nationally). Obviously, third candid

Politics Weekly podcast: the cost of saving the NHS

Michael White, Anne Perkins and Rafael Behr join Hugh Muir to discuss the plans to reform the NHS, the debate on Britain and the EU and the ill-advised Ukip calypso Continue reading...

Philip Hammond questioned by intelligence and security committee: Politics Live blog

Rolling coverage of all the days political developments as they happen, including Nick Clegg hosting his LBC phone-in and Sir David Omand and Philip Hammond giving evidence to the intelligence and security committee 3.11pm BST Our agencies are in close contact with their Canadian counterparts and, as you would expect, are already analysing what happened in Canada and the implications for u

Nick Clegg defends Harry Roberts release: 'justice is not about emotion' - video

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defends the decision to release Harry Roberts who was jailed 45 years ago for murdering three unarmed police officers. Speaking on his weekly LBC radio phone-in show, Clegg says he supported such choices being made by an independent process. He says, 'it's not about my feelings, it's about how the justice system works.' Continue reading...

Ed Miliband promises concrete immigration reform

Labour leader says he will not make false promises or offer policies that endanger British economy if he wins electionEd Miliband has promised he will introduce an immigration reform bill within a month of winning the next election that offers clear, credible and concrete measures to deal with the concerns of voters.Reminding people that he is the son of immigrants, the Labour leader said he

Twenty MPs declare more than £100,000 from second jobs

Former ministers among those saying that they received combined £7.1m in income from outside parliamentMPs, including former coalition ministers who have since returned to the backbenches, have declared more than £7.1m earnings from second jobs and outside interests, according to parliamentary records.An analysis by the Guardian shows that 26 MPs declared more earnings from directorships,

Enhanced Scottish devolution must not be conditional on devolution elsewhere

Smith commission cross-party talks described as constructive, though key differences over tax and spending remainFurther powers for Scotland must not be conditional on devolution elsewhere in the UK, according to one of seven principles agreed at the first cross-party talks of the Smith commission, which was set up to fast-track greater powers after the country rejected independence in a refere

Theresa May: police use Tasers too often against mentally ill

Half of those subdued are black or minority ethnic Home secretary to order review of use of forceThe home secretary, Theresa May, is to order an in-depth review of the use of force by police amid particular concerns that physical restraint and Tasers are being used too often against mentally distressed people.May will on Thursday cite evidence from the London Assembly that up to 30% of peo

Universal credit timetable slips again

DWP insists it remains on course to secure savings even though less than 15,000 claimants are currently on new benefits systemThe increasingly vague timetable to put more than seven million benefit claimants on the governments flagship universal credit has again slipped back, the Department of Work and Pensions confirmed on Wednesday.But the DWP insisted it remained on course to secure subst

Punished for writing a letter to the Guardian | @guardianletters

It is not just in the prison service that constructive dissent is discouraged and punished (Sacking threat to prison whistleblowers, 21 October). A culture where staff are expected to keep their heads down, their mouths shut and to toe the line would seem to permeate the whole of the civil service, even in the most minor matters. My husband has just retired after 40 years exemplary service in HM

Cameron hails plan to fast-track devolution for English cities

Report from City Growth Commission says devo met could be achieved on same timetable as devolved powers for ScotlandThe prime minister has welcomed an ambitious proposal to devolve power to UK city regions along the same brisk timetable as the Scottish devolution process, suggesting Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire could gain more autonomy in 2015.The report from the City Growth Commiss

Marbles at noon, ya boo sucks, and other assurances of cogent governance

Huffs, puffs and bickering transform Prime Ministers Questions into something like a drawn-out election campaignThere was only the faintest of thuds as a small bag of marbles hit the bullet-proof glass. Few MPs even noticed as a man was bundled out of the public gallery by a Commons doorkeeper. Projectile protests have been downgraded to the ranks of futile gesture ever since a protective scree

Cameron and Miliband at PMQs: Politics Live blog

Rolling coverage of all the days political developments as they happen, including David Cameron and Ed Miliband at PMQs 4.52pm BST We will not be able to accept any money from the proceeds of this single. As a neutral organisation, we cannot benefit from something which overtly supports one political party. In addition, the Red Cross has a proud history of helping refugees and asylum seeke

Britain will have to pay extra 2.1bn into EU budget by December

Tories and Ukip condemn Brussels demand after EU statistics agency exposes major discrepancy in contribution calculationsBritain has been told it must pay an extra 2.1bn (£1.7bn) into the European Union budget by the end of next month because the UK economy is doing better relative to other European economies.The demand is certain to be used against David Cameron by the growing camp who wa

UK pledges £80m more aid to tackle Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone

Prime minister David Cameron tells Brussels summit EU countries must commit more resources to fighting the virusDavid Cameron pledged a further £80m aid for Sierra Leone to combat the Ebola epidemic as he told European leaders they should commit more resources to containing and eradicating the virus.The prime minister announced the aid at an European council summit in Brussels, bringing Brit

Nicky Morgan told to clarify Ofsteds powers to inspect academy chains

Education secretary contradicts Sir Michael Wilshaws claim to MPs that watchdog is unable to inspect management of chainsThe education secretary, Nicky Morgan, has been ordered by MPs to write to the chief inspector of schools after she publicly contradicted him over the watchdogs powers to inspect academy chains.Morgan came under fire over the governments academies and free schools programm

David Cameron defends progress on bringing foreign criminals to justice

PM faces criticism of NAO report showing one in six foreign offenders has absconded, including 58 dangerous individualsThe prime minister has told the Commons the buck stops with him, over tackling foreign criminals, following the publication of a highly critical report that has exposed governmental failure to get to grips with the issue.David Cameron said the report, from the National Audit

Lord Tebbit suggests young unemployed people should pull up ragwort

Tebbit's letter in which he explains his idea for ragwort to Matt Shardlow, chief executive of the charity Buglife Continue reading...

Make young unemployed pull up ragwort for benefits, says Lord Tebbit

Controversial remarks by former Tory minister also annoy environmentalists who bemoan decline in plant loved by beesThe former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit has said young unemployed people should be made to pull up ragwort from roadside verges in return for benefits.The 83-year-old Tory grandee made the proposal in a letter to Matt Shardlow, chief executive of a charity called

Will Uruguay's marijuana experiment survive under 'Pepe' Mujica's successor?

Luis Lacalle Pou, 41, challenges Tabaré Vázquez, 74, for presidency in most liberal nation of South AmericaTiny Uruguay, the most progressive country in Latin America, is expecting this weekend a historic electoral showdown between the elderly socialists who have been in power for the past 10 years, represented by Tabaré Vázquez, 74, and young conservatives, represented by Luis Lacalle Pou, 4

EU leaders set to strike climate deal to cut greenhouse gases 40% by 2030

But Poland threatens to use veto against agreement aimed to set the stage for Paris summit if it is not granted exemptionsEuropean leaders were expected to strike a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030.But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or

Duncan Smith: universal credit will generate £7bn in economic benefits

Work and pensions secretary says scheme will bolster economy by allowing an extra 300,000 households to enter employmentUniversal credit, the government scheme to integrate in- and out-of-work tax credits, will generate £7bn in economic benefits annually, largely due to up to an additional 300,000 households finding work once the programme is fully implemented, Iain Duncan Smith, the work and p


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