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Ukip member in election broadcast suspended over racist tweets

Andre Lampitt said Ed Miliband 'not a real Brit', 'most Nigerians are bad people' and Islam is an 'evil organisation'The UK Independence party has suspended one of its five supporters chosen to appear on its first European election broadcast after it emerged he had posted a series of racist and Islamaphobic tweets that also condemned Ed Miliband as "a Pole" and called for Africans to be left al

Clegg launches Lib Dems as pro-EU anti-Ukip party for European elections

Lib Dem leader bids to exploit high-profile TV debates with Nigel Farage arguing only his party can fight Ukip on EuropeNick Clegg will launch the Liberal Democrats' European election campaign on Thursday, hoping his high-profile defence of UK membership of the EU can prevent the party being wiped out in the European parliament.He will tell a rally in Colchester: "The election on the 22 May

Scottish independence: plans to loosen immigration controls 'need debate'

Yvette Cooper questions Alex Salmond's proposal to pursue a more liberal policy to offset a predicted pensions deficit because of Scotland's ageing populationYvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has called for an "open, honest debate" about Alex Salmond's plans to loosen Scottish immigration controls after independence.Cooper said the first minister's plans for Scotland to pursue a more

David Kingsley obituary

One of the first spin doctors in British politics, who advised Labour under Harold WilsonWhen Harold Wilson made his dramatic first speech as Labour leader to his party's 1963 annual conference, offering a new vision of socialism and a Britain "forged in the white heat" of a scientific and technological revolution, his words were hailed as a portent of an exciting future for the country, whose

Politics Weekly podcast: Is Britain a Christian country?

Max Wind-Cowie, Hugh Muir and Martin Kettle join Tom Clark to discuss David Cameron's statement that 'Britain is a Christian country'; plus Ukip's controversial posters and the Obama campaign chief now working for Ed Miliband Continue reading...

Nick Clegg backs Mets call for Muslims to stop sons joining Syria conflict video

Speaking on his regular phone-in radio show on LBC, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg backs the Metropolitan police initiative to stop young British men from joining the Syria conflict. The Lib Dem leader warns that the return of radicalised fighters from Syria presents a serious security threat to the UK Continue reading...

Nick Clegg restates view on separation of church and state

Deputy PM says on radio phone-in that he would like to see disestablishment of the Church of EnglandNick Clegg has said the church and state should be separated, a view he has expressed before but one that is likely to gain fresh currency after David Cameron described Britain as a Christian country.Clegg, an atheist, said he would like to see the disestablishment of the Church of England, wh

Nick Clegg hosts his LBC phone-in: Politics live blog

Clegg calls for disestablishment of Church of England.Clegg's LBC phone-in - SummaryLunchtime summary 1.11pm BST Nick Clegg has declared that taking on the "Eurosceptic establishment" will be at the heart of the Lib Dems' European election campaign. Clegg has called for the disestablishment of the Church of England. (See 10.17am.) 12.49pm BST Here's a short politics reading li

Iain Duncan Smith warns over costs of Scottish welfare pledges

Work and pensions secretary says Scottish government has not explained how independent Scotland would afford spendingThe work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has challenged first minister Alex Salmond to explain how Scotland could afford extra pension and benefits costs of up £1.55bn a year after independence.Duncan Smith released figures from the Department for Work and Pensions

East Belfast MP claims Alliance party is target of sinister campaign

Naomi Long believes the alleged theft of campaign posters is aimed at disrupting its local and European election effortsA Northern Ireland MP has said there is an organised and sinister campaign to disrupt the centrist Alliance party's efforts in the local and European elections next month. East Belfast MP Naomi Long pointed to the alleged mass theft of the party's posters in her constituency,

Scottish referendum groups officially confirmed by Electoral Commission

Yes Scotland and Better Together designated as lead campaigns as commissioner urges other, smaller groups to register quicklyThe Electoral Commission has officially designated the two main referendum groups Yes Scotland, which is fighting for a yes vote, and the pro-UK group Better Together as the official lead campaigns in the contest.The two groups will be allowed to spend up to £1.5m duri

Diary: Boris's legendary sense of humour gets lost in the smog

Some mischevious cartoons about air quality in London appear to have ruffled the blond one's feathers What to make of the Mail's definite assertion that Boris will seek a return to the Commons in time for the next election. He will announce it by the summer, the paper says, in time for party conference in October. No doubt the blond will, for a while, combine his responsibilities as mayor and a

Deputy PM's wife: men who care for children have more cojones - video

Miriam González Durántez interrupts Nick Clegg's speech on Wednesday to ask a question about attitudes towards men who care or their children. The lawyer addressed misconceptions among 'dinosaurs' that being a caring father affected men's testosterone levels. The deputy prime minister agreed, claiming the argument is parallel to arguing it is not womanly to work Continue reading...

Scottish independence and civic nationalism | @guardianletters

I cannot be the only reader mystified by Tom Morton's referring to "civic nationalism" as a "myth" (I believe in solidarity with folk living south of Carlisle, 22 April). This may be because he thinks civic nationalism "defines community by a shared set of political values", as opposed to ethnicity. This is wrong.Civic nationalism defines community by a shared set of political institutions an

Nick Clegg's delusion about winning the debate on Europe | @guardianletters

Your editorial (22 April) perfectly illustrates the British problem with Europe. You quite rightly observe that our continental neighbours largely take for granted a European dimension to political debate and that all sides find it normal to frame issues in this broader context. The idea that mainstream parties can communicate with a mature and informed electorate on these terms is not a stunt b

Ratings agency: banks in independent Scotland risk Iceland-style meltdown

S&P says it would be 'challenging' for Edinburgh government to support its banks without backing of LondonAn independent Scotland would need the support of the UK Treasury and the Bank of England to prevent savers in its banks being as vulnerable as those who had money in Iceland during the 2008 financial crisis, according to one of the three leading credit rating agencies.In a detailed anal

Boris Johnson told to announce his intentions for next election

Conservative party HQ wants the London mayor to declare he will stand as MP to avoid speculation during annual conferenceConservative party headquarters is putting pressure on the London mayor, Boris Johnson, to announce shortly that he will stand as a Conservative candidate at the next election, hoping to prevent another bout of speculation about his intentions overshadowing the party conferen

Ofsted hunt for Islamist 'infiltration' was harrowing says headteacher

Michael Gove 'radicalism' checks on Birmingham schools to beat alleged Operation Trojan Horse plot whip up complaintsA Birmingham headteacher whose school was among 18 in the city inspected as part of an investigation into alleged infiltration by Muslim fundamentalists has described the experience as harrowing.Christine Quinn, the executive principal of Ninestiles academy, in Acocks Green, c

Fake job ad for Nigel Farage PA gets hundreds of responses

Ukip leader said only his wife was capable of fulfilling role working unsociable hours for him on modest salaryA fake job advert seeking a PA for Nigel Farage has attracted hundreds of responses, according to a recruitment firm.The advert was posted by a recruitment firm, Xpat Jobs, after the Ukip leader said that only his wife who is German was capable of fulfilling the role while earning "

Tony Blair: radical Islam threat 'spreading' - video

Tony Blair warns in a keynote speech that the West must 'take sides' against radical Islam. The ex-British prime minister claims the spread of extremism is hampering efforts at 'peaceful co-existence' while warping the true message of Muslims' faith. Blair was speaking to Bloomberg in London on Wednesday Continue reading...

U-turn over human rights protection for home care

Amendment to care bill tabled to extend protection of Human Rights Act to people receiving state-funded care at homePeople receiving state-funded care in their own homes will now be given additional protection by the Human Rights Act, ministers have conceded following pressure from the Liberal Democrat side of the government.An amendment to the care bill in the Lords will be tabled to make s

UK military operations since cold war have cost £34bn, says study

Study says bulk of money was spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, interventions judged later to be 'strategic failures'Britain's military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an authoritative study.The bulk of the money has been spent on interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan judged to have been "

Tories would scrap windfarm subsidies

Minister says Conservatives will end projects funded by energy bills and hand planning power to local councils Eco audit: will Tory plans kill onshore wind in the UK?The Tories have pledged that if they are elected with an overall majority in 2015 they will axe public subsidies for any newly planned onshore wind turbines.Existing windfarms and those already with planning permission would b

Labour and Co-op Bank may sever ties

Unclear whether Labour party was pushed to shift £1m loan to a trade union bank or whether new Co-op Bank owners sought changeThe Labour party is considering severing its commercial relationship with the Co-operative Bank Group and moving a loan worth more than £1m to the trade union-owned Unity Trust Bank.A spokesman said that any move had not yet been finalised, adding: "The Labour party i

Blair's speech on Islamic extremism generates strong reactions

International commentary focuses on former prime minister's credibility on the subject as much as the subject itselfTony Blair's speech seeking to rally global support for a confrontation with Islamic extremism generated a storm of reaction, most of it negative and much of it focusing on the messenger rather than the message.The director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, Chris D

Tony Blair's speech calling for global drive to fight Islamist extremism - reaction: Politics live blog

Tony Blair's speech - Summary Twitter reaction - from journalists and commentators Twitter reaction - from politicians Lunchtime summary 2.07pm BST Tony Blair, the former prime minister, has called upon the world to confront the challenge posed by radical Islam. In one of the most substantial speeches he has delivered in the UK since leaving office, he reaffirmed his long-held belief th

Paul Sykes: the man spending millions to make Ukip's posters visible from space

The multimillionaire, unmoved by claims that the Ukip posters he funded are racist, has vowed to spend whatever it takes to get Britain out of EuropeName: Paul Sykes.Age: 70. Continue reading...

Nick Clegg's wife hails 'cojones' of men who do childcare

Miriam González Durántez interrupts talk on male parenting to urge change in attitudes towards masculinity and caringMiriam González Durántez on Wednesday interrupted a speech by her husband Nick to speak out in favour of fathers who look after their children, saying they have "more cojones". Continue reading...

Tony Blair: west must take sides against growing threat of radical Islam

In keynote speech on Middle East, former PM blames Islamic extremism for failures of western intervention in regionWestern military intervention in the Middle East has so far failed due to the distorting impact of an Islamic extremism so opposed to modernity that it could yet engender global catastrophe, Tony Blair warned on Wednesday in a keynote speech on the state of politics in the Middle E

Lobbyists: Tony Abbott to tighten rules governing influence-peddlers

PM and NSW premier Mike Baird understood to be worried about the role of lobbying in the NSW Liberal partyThe prime minister will soon announce a crackdown on the rules governing who must register as a lobbyist in a bid to remove the blurred accountability requirements for influence-peddlers revealed by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac).It is not yet clear whether th


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