Disabled and ill people unable to get to hospital and forced out of their homes as personal independence payments (PIP) come under scrutiny by MPsMark Harper, the minister for disabled people, will appear in front of the work and pensions select committee on Wednesday today to defend the government’s troubled record on implementation of the new disability benefit, the personal independence paym
Economic inequality is a core Labour issue. The leader’s failure to deliver a blueprint on it could cost the party dear in MayAs long as a political party doesn’t move too fast it can make sclerosis look like unity. Under Ed Miliband, Labour has taken a few thrusting strides – attacking Rupert Murdoch over phone hacking; pledging to freeze energy bills – but the distance travelled since the las
Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen, including David Cameron’s and Ed Miliband’s morning interviews, Labour’s health launch and Sir Jeremy Heywood being questioned by MPs about the Iraq inquiry*Cameron’s morning interviews - Summary*ONS says economy grew by 2.6% in 2014*Miliband’s morning interviews - Summary*Burnham’s speech on Labour’s 10-year healt
Theatre Delicatessen, LondonToo many of this series of short works look inwards, failing to tackle broader questions of culture, morality and freedom of expressionYou couldn’t accuse Offstage Theatre and Theatre Uncut of ignoring the news: the same day this series of 10-minute playlets probing the relationship between art and politics premiered, Tate was forced to reveal how much cash it gets
Have you made your mind up, or are you still undecided? And if you're still unsure, which parties are you choosing between? Continue reading...
Labour leader Ed Miliband launches his party's 10-year plan for the NHS in Sale near Manchester on Tuesday. Miliband says voters cannot trust the Conservatives with the NHS for another five years. He says a Conservative victory would mean further fragmentation and privatisation of the health service Continue reading...
Party’s former health secretary issues warning on day that Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham intensified Labour’s pivotal election pledgeLabour is running a “pale imitation” of its losing 1992 general election campaign as it retreats to its “comfort zone” on the NHS, the former health secretary Alan Milburn has said.In a pointed intervention on the day that Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham intensifie
Sarah Wollaston says she doesn’t support scrapping housing benefit for 18-to-21-year-oldsDavid Cameron’s plans to target benefit cuts at the young and vulnerable have come under fire from within his own party.Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative chair of the health committee, said she did not support scrapping housing benefit for 18-to-21-year-olds, after the prime minister toured the televisio
With 100 days until the UK goes to the polls, Conservative leader David Cameron makes an appeal to voters. 'The choice is the competence we offer versus the chaos of a Labour government,' he says. The polls indicate that neither the Conservatives nor Labour will secure a majority in the House of Commons Continue reading...
A BBC executive has damned the label as ‘loaded’. Where does it come from, and can it ever be more than a value judgment?Tarik Kafala, the head of BBC Arabic, prefers to avoid the word “terrorist”. He’s avoided it in coverage of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, saying it is a “loaded” term. Cue outrage: from Norman Tebbit, a victim of the Brighton bombing, and historian Anthony Glees, who said the
Edited extracts of written evidence to a recent House of Commons work and pensions select committee on the impact of benefit sanctionsI have been sanctioned on three occasions. On the first, I cancelled a jobcentre appointment to go to a job interview. It was short notice, but I phoned the jobcentre to inform them and was assured on the phone that it was OK. Continue reading...
The London mayor’s interventions in his transport body’s dispute with the capital’s black cab drivers have had a rather political flavourThe continuing row between Transport for London (TfL) and the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) about the private hire firm Uber and its fare-calculating booking app has been notable for many things, not least as an example of how digital innovation c
Prime minister told off chief whip over smartwatch malfunction in cabinet meeting but draws a blank on title in radio interviewThe mystery of the Beyoncé tune played at a cabinet meeting has deepened, after David Cameron was unable to identify it as one of her biggest hits.Chief whip Michael Gove was given a dressing down by Cameron earlier this month when his smartwatch interrupted discussi
Education committee make a series of recommendations to address concerns over governance, transparency and oversightA parliamentary inquiry into the coalition’s education reforms has called on the government to stop exaggerating the success of academies and to be more open about how it runs the programme.The report by the cross-party education select committee said that although it was clear
Documents filed at Companies House show no repayments were made during year it was taken out nor a term of loan set outPeter Mandelson received £400,000 tax-free in cash last year from a company he owns, accounts filed recently at Companies House reveal.The company, of which he is the sole shareholder, gave the former secretary of state a loan for that amount in the financial year 2013/14 –
Public accounts committee says HMRC heading for ‘enormous challenge’ in replacing current Aspire system for better value IT setup in 2017Taxpayers and the government’s finances could face “havoc” because of HM Revenue & Customs’ complacent approach to IT systems, according to parliament’s spending watchdog.The public accounts committee said the tax authority faced an “enormous challenge” in
A slowdown to 0.5% from 0.7% in third quarter disappoints City analysts but George Osborne insists recovery is on trackBritain’s economic recovery slowed in the fourth quarter of 2014, but annual growth was the fastest since the financial crisis of 2007.With 100 days until the general election, evidence of a slowdown and continued reliance on consumer spending to drive the recovery will come
More research into the environmental and economic impact of fracking in the UK is needed• Tories forced into U-turn on fast-track fracking after accepting Labour plansHeated arguments about whether shale gas should be developed in the UK have intensified yet again in recent days. Strong convictions have been expressed on both sides, but has this latest flurry of debate helped to resolve the u
Reasons to be cheerful for UK GDP in 2015 depend on extraordinary factors such as a plunging oil price and rockbottom interest rates and inflationA slowing economy is the last thing a chancellor needs going into an election. Yet that is what the latest figures show is happening to the UK.A slip from 0.7% in the third quarter to 0.5% in the final three months of 2014 matters when the fault li
Labour leader reveals how Holocaust memorial day has personal resonance and how he has experienced antisemitismEd Miliband has spoken about encountering antisemitism and lighting a candle for his grandfather who died in a Nazi labour camp as politicians prepared to mark Holocaust memorial day.The Labour leader, who has said he wants to be the UK’s first Jewish prime minister, said the day wa
Poll suggests Nick Clegg’s party would come in sixth place and be left with only one seat after the general electionThe Liberal Democrats are trailing in sixth place in Wales behind Ukip, Plaid Cymru and the Greens as well as Labour and the Tories, according to a poll that examines voting intentions at the UK general election.Labour came out on top of the poll with 37% ,ahead of the Conserva
Nick Clegg says his party would stop Labour and Conservatives from ‘lurching to extremes of left and right’Exactly 100 days before the UK general election, the Liberal Democrats have launched an election campaign poster that pokes fun at the Conservative party’s ill-fated “Road to a stronger economy” poster.The image, which has been posted to Facebook, depicts a long, straight road with th
The skills and experience you gain as a law student could benefit you in other careers – such as politics*What do you need for a career in law? – join our live Q&A*Read more stories about studying lawAs any law student knows, it’s tricky to get a graduate job in the legal industry. Competition is fierce, the legal aid budget has been cutand crime is, apparently, falling. Law schools are
Rivals pitch key issues, with Labour leader promising to fight for the NHS and the prime minister pledging to lower cap on benefitsEd Miliband has promised to fight for the future of the NHS and David Cameron repeated his pledge to cut benefits for working-age people as the party leaders marked 100 days to go before the general election.Both leaders gave early interviews to broadcasters as t
Committee wants answers from venture capitalist on why parcels firm went bust and shed thousands of jobs at ChristmasThe former owner of City Link will be grilled by MPs on Tuesday afternoon over the collapse of the parcel delivery firm which led to the loss of more than 2,000 jobs over the Christmas period.Jon Moulton, the founder of City Link’s parent company Better Capital, will be questi
Labour is launching its pivotal election pledge on the NHS, promising 36,000 more staff and the repeal of privatisation lawsLabour is launching its pivotal election pledge on the NHS on Tuesday, promising 36,000 more staff and the repeal of privatisation laws. It also promises to end the culture of 15-minute visits by care workers by recruiting an extra 5,000 of them and changing the incentive
Leaking roofs, rising damp … four years after Building Schools for the Future was scrapped, this is the reality for 35% of school leaders surveyedOne of the swiftest and most dramatic acts after the last election was the axing of the Building Schools for the Future programme. The building plans of more than 700 schools, which were being developed as part of a £55bn project to rebuild or refurbi
With 100 days to go until polling day on 7 May, Guardian writers get you up to speed on the slogans and anthems you may expect to hear, the constituencies you need to watch, and the new faces you’d best get used toWhich party will come up with the best slogan?Is Nigel Farage bigoted enough for Gillian Duffy?David Miliband tells Hello! how much he enjoys eating bacon buttiesIf Labour'
Insisting on Tina, ‘there is no alternative’, brought down the once mighty Pasok. It could do the same in the UK As I write this, some of the best-paid brains in Europe are puzzling over what happens when the inevitable suddenly becomes impossible.For the past half-decade, Greece was run by machine politicians who took orders from their northern European creditors and stamped on their own
Cuts to welfare offset by tax cuts higher up income scale, with no overall contribution to paying down deficit, study findsThe coalition’s changes to benefits and direct taxes have hit families with children under five harder than any other group and hurt the poorest more than the better off, according to the most comprehensive evaluation yet of the government’s social policy record.While Co