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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Ed Miliband: Labour faces a fight to save its Scottish MPs

Labour party leader reacts after poll suggests Scottish National party could win up to 54 Scottish seats in 2015 electionEd Miliband has admitted that his party must fight for every hour and every day to hold on to its Scottish MPs after a shock poll predicted Labour could be wiped out by the Scottish National party next year.The dramatic poll for STV said the SNP could win up to 54 Scotti

Cameron stands firm against drugs legalisation despite Lib Dem pressure

Prime minister says no to drugs policy review after report fails to find link between tough laws and levels of illegal substance useDavid Cameron on Thursday set his face against a change in UK drugs policy after the Liberal Democrat crime-prevention minister Norman Baker hailed a Home Office-commissioned report finding no obvious link between tough laws and levels of illegal drug use.Baker,

Re-written letter adds to questions over child abuse inquiry head

Fiona Woolf re-wrote letter to Theresa May seven times playing down links to Lord Brittan, who is at centre of cover up claimsThe head of the governments inquiry into historic child sexual abuse allegations repeatedly re-wrote a letter to Theresa May, the home secretary, to play down her links with former home secretary Lord Brittan, it has emerged.Fiona Woolf has faced calls to resign over

Jim Murphy: can the Irn-Bru street fighter save Scottish Labour?

The big political beast in the Scottish Labour party leadership contest is a vegetarian teetotaller who can be hard as nails yet may have enough stardust to revive the partys fortunesIn an era in which the sons of privilege dominate British politics, Jim Murphy stands out with a powerful personal backstory. The future cabinet ministers parents lived in such cramped conditions on a housing estat

David Cameron accused of getting sums wrong on spending cuts claims

Thinktank claims that not even half of the austerity measures mentioned by the prime minister would be implemented by 2015David Cameron has been accused of getting his sums wrong, after appearing to suggest the government had already made most of its proposed spending cuts.The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said not even half of the austerity measures would be implemented by 2015. Conti

Policy guide for civil servants to boost family life in the UK

Guidelines set out five questions that all civil servants need to consider before they go ahead with a policy changeCivil servants are to be required for the first time to check their policies to ensure they will promote family life in the UK.The initiative is the brainchild of the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, who is in charge of family policy. Continue reading...

The law of unintended consequences affects refugees, drugs even badgers

When the immigration minister suggests Italys sea rescues might be an incentive to people-traffickers, all hell breaks looseOn refugee policy, then on drugs policy, MPs grappled on Thursday with one of their favourite bits of legislation: the law of unintended consequences. Rescue African asylum seekers from drowning in the Mediterranean? It only encourages more to risk death, ministers insiste

Politics Weekly podcast: Scottish Labour, Mediterranean migrants and US midterms

Libby Brooks, Anne Perkins, Ken Rudin and Martin Kettle join Hugh Muir to discuss Labour's Scottish meltdown, migration across the Mediterranean Sea and the US mid-term elections Continue reading...

Tory minister defends axing migrant rescue as it happened

Rolling coverage of all the days political developments, including the dispute between the Lib Dems and Number 10 over a Home Office report on drugs policy and a debate on migrant rescue 5.38pm GMT Heres a round-up of the day:Shambles in the chamber as government whip fails to turn up to the bench and move the adjournment 5.35pm GMT Labours problems in Scotland have been highligh

Labour faces massive losses to SNP at UK general election, poll shows

Shock Ipsos Mori poll comes as Jim Murphy, the clear favourite to be the next Scottish Labour leader, accuses his party of lacking passionJim Murphy, the clear favourite to become the next Scottish Labour leader, has accused his party of lacking passion and vision as a shock poll showed Labour faces being almost wiped out by the Scottish National party at the general election.As he confirmed

Civil service chief to step down from second job at major drinks firm

John Manzoni came under fire from more than 70 leading medical professionals and charities concerned over job at SABMillerJohn Manzoni, the new chief executive of the civil service, will step down from his second job at a major drinks company next summer after coming under fire from more than 70 leading medical professionals and charities.The Cabinet Office initially said he could keep the £

UK governments drug laws survey was suppressed, Lib Dem minister says

Norman Baker says Tories did not like evidence gleaned as deputy prime minister Nick Clegg criticises foot dragging over report that says tough laws make no differenceA groundbreaking Home Office report which concluded that tougher enforcement of drug laws does not lead to lower levels of drug use was suppressed by the Conservatives, a Liberal Democrat minister has said.Norman Baker, the Lib

Jim Murphy hopes to become first minister of Scotland

Former Scottish secretary is third candidate to stand to succeed Johann Lamont after Sarah Boyack and Neil Findlay made announcementsJim Murphy, the shadow international development secretary, has confirmed he will leave Westminster for the Scottish parliament if he wins the contest to become Scottish Labour leader.Murphy will stand to replace Johann Lamont after her shock resignation last w

Greens ahead of Liberal Democrats in YouGov poll

Calls to include party in BBCs general election TV leader debates are likely to increase after it comes fourth in pollThe Green party is ahead of the Liberal Democrats in a national opinion poll a finding that intensified pressure for the Greens to be represented in a general election TV debates between party leaders.YouGov research for the Sun has Labour on 34%, three points ahead of the Co

Jim Murphy, Neil Findlay to stand in Scottish Labour leadership contest

Former Scottish secretary and Scottish shadow health secretary enter contest after Gordon Brown rules himself outThe former Scottish secretary Jim Murphy has announced that he intends to stand for the leadership of the Scottish Labour party. Following Johann Lamonts surprise resignation last Friday, Murphy, who took a prominent role in Labours pro-union campaign during the summer, is now the

State education sector needs more effective oversight, says audit office

With 1.6 million pupils in schools rated less than good, structural change seems to not have had all the right answersAfter 20 years of being told by successive governments that innovation academies, beefed-up inspection, floor standards, free schools would root out Englands troubled schools, parents would be entitled to look on the National Audit Office report with some dismay.According t

Maureen Lipman drops long-standing support for Labour party

The prominent actor said she could not vote for Chuka Harman Burnham Hunt Balls brigadeActor Maureen Lipman has abandoned a lifetimes support of Labour and announced she would vote for almost any other party at the general election, partly in protest at Ed Milibands support for recognising the Palestinian state.The star of stage and screen gave a dim assessment of the present shadow cabinet,

UKs £1.7bn EU bill: Clegg turns to French PM for support

Deputy prime minister to meet Manuel Valls in hope of strengthening case for cut and delay in payment of EU surchargeNick Clegg will deploy his pro-European credentials to try to win the vital support of the French prime minister Manuel Valls for a cut and delay in the sudden Brussels demand for an extra £1.7bn UK contribution to the EU budget.With the French looking for allies in its own

Fury, disgust and apathy as people of South Yorkshire choose a new PCC

Low turnout likely in race to replace commissioner who quit after abuse scandalWhen Ukip won the Clacton byelection and almost gave Labour a bloody nose in Heywood and Middleton earlier this month, Nigel Farage suggested his party was on an unstoppable upward trajectory.Yet last Thursday, a mere fortnight after those electoral coups, Farages deputy, Paul Nuttall, found himself addressing a

David Cameron attacked at PMQs for callous and incompetent immigration policy: as it happened

Rolling coverage of all the days political developments, as immigration causes the prime minister multiple headaches ahead of his weekly Commons questions 6.10pm GMT Thats all for today. I leave you with a round-up of events: 6.00pm GMT At last, Jim Murphy, the shadow development secretary, appears to be on the brink of declaring he wants to lead Scottish Labour. Two other candidates

Nigel Farage has already won his fight with Labour and Conservatives | John Crace

A crescendo of shrill proclamations rises in Westminster as David Cameron and Ed Miliband race to be more Ukip than UkipThe Ukip Santa has come two months early. A couple of weeks ago Nigel Farage got his first member of parliament: at prime ministers questions he appeared to have 650. Well, 649 to be accurate. Douglas Carswell was nowhere to be seen; he must have been off at his shrink to find

BBC refuses to include Green party in general election TV leader debates

Furious Greens say BBC is a brake on democratic change contributing to the buildup of disillusionment with UK politicsThe BBC has rejected a demand from the Green party to be included in the proposed TV leader election debates, saying that it, unlike Ukip, has not demonstrated any substantial increase in support.The broadcasters have proposed three debates, one including Ukip, the Liberal De

Harriet Harman wears feminism T-shirt to prime ministers questions

Deputy Labour leader tweets picture after David Cameron draws criticism for refusing to wear garmentThe deputy Labour leader, Harriet Harman, wore a feminist T-shirt at prime ministers questions following David Camerons refusal to don the garment as part of a campaign.Harman sat next to the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, on the bench opposite the prime minister for the weekly Commons clash, wea

David Cameron and Ed Miliband clash over immigration - video

Labour leader Ed Miliband probes David Cameron on his government's record managing immigration to Britain at prime minister's questions on Wednesday. Miliband accuses the government of 'losing track' of 50,000 people. In response, Cameron claims immigration from outside the EU is at its lowest level since 1998 Continue reading...

US envoy and Northern Ireland parties to begin talks

Gary Hart to join negotiations on parades, flags and the legacy of the Troubles, as sectarian violence flares in east BelfastFormer US presidential candidate Gary Hart begins talks on Wednesday with the leaders of Northern Irelands parties aimed at breaking the deadlock on issues including parades, flags and the legacy of the Troubles.The US envoy to the negotiations said that while no one u

Nicola Sturgeon calls for Scottish veto on EU referendum

Incoming first minister says it would be democratically indefensible for Scotland to be taken out of EU against its willScotlands incoming first minister Nicola Sturgeon is calling for Scotland to have a veto over a future referendum on EU membership.Describing the prospect of being taken out of the European Union against Scotlands will as democratically indefensible, Sturgeon, who will succ

Civil service chief under fire for keeping job at drink manufacturer

John Manzoni waives £100,000-a-year SABMiller salary amid criticism from doctors that role is incompatible with health goalsJohn Manzoni, the new chief executive of the civil service, will waive his £100,000-a-year salary from a major drinks company as he comes under fire from more than 70 leading medical professionals and charities over his second job in the alcohol industry.In a letter to

Double blow for Cameron over EU referendum and £1.7bn demand

Bill to establish vote on EU membership collapses in coalition row as Denmark says Britain must pay what it owes BrusselsDavid Cameron suffered a double blow on Europe on Tuesday when a parliamentary bill to establish an EU membership referendum by the end of 2017 collapsed and a key UK ally told Britain to accept a demand from Brussels to pay an extra £1.7bn.The Conservatives attacked the L

Ed Balls told to take clearer line on budget deficit

Some shadow cabinet members have privately expressed concerns about recent statements on Labours fiscal plansShadow cabinet members are privately expressing concern that Ed Balls needs to adopt a more clearly defined position on the budget deficit after recent statements that have left many of them confused.The debate has been given greater force by a shadow cabinet meeting a fortnight ago i

Eric Joyce arrested and bailed over fight in London shop, police confirm

Independent MP was held on suspicion of actual bodily harm and released on bail following incident on 17 OctoberEric Joyce, the former Labour MP who now sits as an independent, was arrested earlier this month following what police described as an altercation with two teenagers in a London shop, it emerged on Tuesday.As well as detaining Joyce on suspicion of actual bodily harm (ABH), Scotl


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