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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Ed Miliband signs up top Obama adviser David Axelrod for UK election

US president's right-hand man, who masterminded back-to-back election wins, to sharpen Labour party focus on inequalityBarack Obama's most influential adviser during two presidential victories has been hired to advise Labour on its 2015 election campaign, ensuring that Ed Miliband will put inequality and the break between family finances and economic growth at the centre of his election campaig

Caroline Lucas cleared of anti-fracking protest charges

Green MP and four co-defendants found not guilty of obstructing public highway and public order offences during protestsCaroline Lucas, the Green party MP, has been found not guilty of obstructing a public highway and a public order offence during high-profile anti-fracking protests.As she and four co-defendants walked free from court, she said: "The action we took was for all of our futures

Eric Pickles: I'll shut council freesheets that publish 'propaganda on the rates'

Communities secretary targets five Labour-led London boroughs, where he says free press is being put out of businessEric Pickles has threatened to shut free newspapers given out by five Labour-run councils, accusing them of peddling propaganda.The communities and local government secretary accused the councils of behaving like Russian president Vladimir Putin, describing the council-publishe

Hugh Muir's diary: If the past is another country, where did Sajid Javid live?

The culture secretary's CV provokes murmuring The rise of new culture secretary Sajid Javid is to be welcomed. Unlike many cabinet mainstays, this stems from graft as opposed to privilege. But what kind of graft exactly? This causes some discussion. His official biog describes him as former director, Deutsche Bank, former managing director, Deutsche Bank, and former board member, Deutsche Bank

Labour's hiring of David Axelrod is latest in long line of overseas signings

British political parties, like football chairmen, are increasingly looking abroad to find the edge that will bring them successBritish political leaders, like British football chairmen, seem to have rejected homegrown talent, and when it comes to winning elections they now look abroad for strategic brains capable of persuading the British electorate.David Cameron two years ago hired Lynton

Labour's signing of campaign guru David Axelrod: a marriage of minds

Barack Obama's campaign advisor, 'one of the greatest political messengers in the business', to work with Labour up to electionThe signing of David Axelrod, the Obama message keeper, to provide strategic advice to Labour between now and the 2015 general election appears to stem from a genuine marriage of minds, rather than shallow commercialism. Douglas Alexander, Labour's Atlanticist election

Cameron, his faith and moral code | @guardianletters

Before the prime minister proclaimed his born-again Christianity (I'm evangelical about Christianity Cameron, 17 April), did he reconnect with verses 44 and 45 of chapter 2 of Acts of the Apostles? In present day language these describe the early Christians as having all things in common and as selling their possessions and distributing them to all men and women according to their need. They are

John Bercow attacks 'cacophany' at prime minister's questions

Commons Speaker says party leaders have not pledged to improve behaviour which is putting off MPs from contributingMPs are put off contributing in the House of Commons by the "histrionics and cacophony of noise" during prime minister's questions, according to John Bercow.The Speaker said party leaders had yet to make a specific commitment to improve the situation despite recognising that beh

Politics Live - readers' edition: Thursday 17 April

Share breaking news, leave links to interesting articles online and chat about the weeks political events in our open threadIm not writing my usual Politics Live blog today, but, as an alternative, heres Politics Live: readers edition. Its intended to be a place where you can catch up with the latest news and find links to good politics blogs and articles on the web. Please feel free to us

David Cameron: I am evangelical about Christian faith

Prime minister criticises some non-believers for failing to see that faith can give people a 'moral code'David Cameron has declared himself an "evangelical" about his Christian faith as he criticised some non-believers for failing to grasp the role that religion can have in "helping people to have a moral code".In his third effort this week to highlight his own strong faith, the prime minist

Hugh Muir's Diary: Magic mushrooms and the government's plan to save the planet | Hugh Muir

Succeed or fail, they'll have a high time trying We are a long way from David Cameron's pronouncement that this would be the greenest government ever. Promises made mid-seduction rarely come to anything. So it has proved. And for those keen to know what drives environment ministers these days, there was a non-too subtle hint yesterday as activists discussed the fate of the government's green ad

Veteran Labour MP Austin Mitchell to stand down, sparking battle for seat

Great Grimsby MP calls on Ed Miliband to 'mix with ordinary people more' as he announces he will quitThe veteran Labour MP Austin Mitchell has called on Ed Miliband to "get out and mix with ordinary people more" as he announced he will stand down from his Great Grimsby seat at the next election.The 80-year-old MP said he was stepping aside "basically because of age" after 37 years representi

Ed Balls faces prosecution for hitting parked car and failing to stop

Shadow chancellor's 'five or seven' point turn outside constituency office is latest offence involving poor drivingThe shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, may be prosecuted for failing to stop at the scene of an accident after hitting a parked car without telling the owner.The senior Labour MP has taken legal advice and was spoken to by police, after he was issued with a "notice of intention to pro

Theresa May given 60-day deadline to get US assurances about extradition

High court sets deadline to obtain guarantees over how terror suspect Haroon Aswat will be treated if extradited for trialThe home secretary, Theresa May, has been given a 60-day deadline by the high court to obtain guarantees from US authorities in order to extradite a terror suspect to America.The removal of Haroon Aswat, 39, will depend on assurances from the US that he will not be placed

Ed Balls faces police investigation over collision with parked car

West Yorkshire police confirm shadow chancellor collided with parked vehicle and drove off without informing ownerPolice have launched an investigation into how the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, drove off after colliding with a parked car without informing the owner. Continue reading...

Politics Live - readers' edition: Wednesday 16 April

Share breaking news, leave links to interesting articles online and chat about the weeks political events in our open threadIm not writing my usual Politics Live blog today, but, as an alternative, heres Politics Live: readers edition. Its intended to be a place where you can catch up with the latest news and find links to good politics blogs and articles on the web.Please feel free to use

Nigel Farage rejects 'outrageous' EU expenses allegations

Ukip leader says he makes legitimate use of flat-rate allowances after it emerged that he pays no rent on his UK officeA defiant Nigel Farage has rejected "outrageous" claims that he misused taxpayer cash from the European Union and argued that MEPs have a free rein to use around £3,500 a month "as we see fit".The Ukip leader, an MEP for South East England, said he had spent his European par

Theresa Villiers says Northern Ireland's chief constable will run crime agency

The Northern Ireland secretary also said there would be no more amnesties for IRA members on the run, after John DowneyNorthern Ireland's chief constable will control the National Crime Agency (NCA) if nationalist parties agree to its deployment in the region, the secretary of state has said.In a pre-Easter message, the Northern Ireland secretary, Theresa Villiers, also pledged that there wo

Hugh Muir's diary: They call him broad-brush McNally the man who forgets to remember

Lord McNally is the big picture guy. Others can do the detail After the defenestration by select committee of the former Co-op bigwig Rev Paul Flowers, many wait to see who next might dare to appear not quite prepared before a parliamentary star chamber. Cue muttering about the appearance last week, before the justice select committee, of Lord McNally the chair of the youth justice board who es

Ukip goes to war with Times over Farage expenses claims

Party publishes list of journalists including ones unconnected to Farage story claiming many have links to ConservativesUkip has gone to war with the Times over a story about Nigel Farage's use of taxpayer cash, arguing that many of its journalists have links to the Conservatives and come from "immensely privileged" backgrounds.In an unusual step, Farage fought back against the newspaper's s

Nigel Farage's expenses: what are the allegations and what does he say?

The Ukip leader has hit back at claims his EU office expenses are too high, accusing the Times of a politically motivated attackThe Times has reported that Farage is not paying rent on his office, a former grain store in Lyminster, near Bognor Regis. This suggests the Ukip leader was paying £1,300 per month just for utilities, business rates and insurance on the property. Continue reading...

Joan Davies obituary

My mother, Joan Davies, who has died aged 84, claimed two notable landmarks for her gender: as the first woman to lecture at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the first female chair of the Electoral Reform Society. She was also a lifelong Liberal who stood for parliamentary office.Joan took up her post as lecturer at Sandhurst in 1973 and taught officer cadets there for 11 years as a s

How did Cyril Smith outfox the law? | Michael White

Cunning, bombast and like Jimmy Savile friends in high places. Was that enough to cover up the former Rochdale Liberal MP's child sex abuse?While reading Daily Mail extracts from Labour MP Simon Danczuk's chilling exposé of the paedophile career of his Rochdale predecessor, the late Cyril Smith, I have been racking my brains: did I ever speak to Smith as a young Westminster reporter in the 70s

Politics Live - readers' edition: Tuesday 15 April

Share breaking news, leave links to interesting articles online and chat about the weeks political events in our open threadIm not writing my usual Politics Live blog today, but, as an alternative, heres Politics Live: readers edition. Its intended to be a place where you can catch up with the latest news and find links to good politics blogs and articles on the web.Please feel free to use

Scottish independence would damage maritime defence, says First Sea Lord

Admiral Sir George Zambellas says breakaway would weaken navy with bases and infrastructure carved up The First Sea Lord has claimed the "very heart" of Britain's maritime forces would be damaged by Scottish independence. Admiral Sir George Zambellas insisted the nations that remained in the UK would adapt and cope eventually but he said Scotland would feel a "deeper impact" if it broke aw

Farage under fire over MEP expenses claims

Ukip leader denies wrongdoing as he faces questions over £15,500 in expenses claimed annually for office costsUkip leader Nigel Farage is facing questions over the £15,500 in expenses he claims annually for office costs after it emerged he pays no rent on the small Bognor Regis property where he works.A former manager of the West Sussex office told the Times that upkeep of the converted grai

Everything up for negotiation if Scots vote for independence, Hammond says

Defence secretary appears to undermine no camp, saying: 'You can't go into any negotiation with things that are non-negotiable'The campaign against Scottish independence has been thrown into confusion yet again after the UK defence secretary, Philip Hammond, said everything would be up for negotiation if the union broke up.Hammond quickly clarified that he had only meant to refer to the issu

Minister says death date estimate would help pensioners manage money

Pensions minister Steve Webb suggests most people underestimate how long they will live, resulting in poor financial projectionsPensioners could be given an estimate of when they might die to help them manage their finances, according to ministers. As part of government guidance intended to help pensioners plan how much to spend and save, pensions minister Steve Webb said experts could loo

Hugh Muir's diary

Star witness chooses the wrong time to be 'away on leave' Those who fret about the criminalisation of protest always focus on the principle. Just today, such a group voiced concern on behalf of the so-called anti-fascist five, a group who were being prosecuted after trying to stop the British National party marching on the Cenotaph in London last June. Police deployed a dispersal order under se

Tory MP defends her role in Nigel Evans sexual assault case

Sarah Wollaston claims she had to offer help to complainants, but Tory colleagues demand apology for her actionsThe Tory MP Sarah Wollaston has defended her decision to help two young parliamentary workers bring complaints of rape and sexual assault against former deputy speaker Nigel Evans, saying such serious allegations could not be laughed off or brushed aside.Evans who was last week cle


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