Tory whips scramble to secure party against further departures after hardline Eurosceptic MP triggers Clacton on Sea byelectionDavid Cameron was forced to interrupt a pre-referendum trip to Scotland on Thursday as the Conservative leadership scrambled to deal with the surprise defection of a hardline Eurosceptic MP to Ukip, triggering an early byelection.A major operation by the Conservative
Heckled by protesters outside the Hilton, his presence in Glasgow was appreciated by a local cabbie 'it's about time'In the rank outside Glasgow's Hilton hotel is that rare breed: the undecided cabbie. Embarking on what looks set to be a profitable night for fares, the first two drivers shake their heads at the prospect of the forthcoming referendum, more vigorously at the notion that David Cam
Labour MP John Mann says government should run South Yorkshire if police commissioner Shaun Wright fails to resignA longstanding culture of disregard for victims of rape, sexual assaults and other major crime was exhibited by the police force at the centre of the Rotherham child abuse scandal, the official watchdog concluded on Thursday.As its embattled police commissioner, Shaun Wright, ref
How Lidl went upmarket with a smutty gag from its adman An education for those attending the very swish launch at Londons Victoria and Albert Museum of Lidls new £20m marketing push for upmarket types. Some will have known that Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, is the colloquial term for a male genital piercing. Others will have been motivated to look it up. Either way, they will ha
Clacton locals ignore media frenzy but immigration and EU a concern in seat targeted by party for 2015 general electionLicking ice-creams in the late August sun as the waves lapped in, locals and day-trippers at Clacton-on-Sea's historic seafront were blissfully indifferent on Thursday to the political and media frenzy surrounding the defection to Ukip of the constituency's Tory MP, Douglas Car
Ex-Tory Roger Lord has no intention of stepping aside for latest defector and says its 'arrogant to think electorate are like sheep'Ukip's existing general election candidate in Clacton-on-Sea said he had no intention of standing aside for the Conservative defector Douglas Carswell and even said that the Tories had been making overtures to him.Roger Lord, a former Conservative candidate turn
Leader of the House of Commons William Hague says Douglas Carswell's decision to join Ukip is 'regrettable' and 'totally counterproductive'. Hague says by leaving the Conservative party, the former Tory MP has made it more difficult to achieve change in Europe. Carswell's resignation will trigger a by-election in his Essex constituency of Clacton Continue reading...
Essex MP's resignation could persuade electioneering Tories to back EU withdrawal instead of Cameron reformsEver since Margaret Thatcher's defenestration nearly a quarter of a century ago, the Conservative party has been inching towards a historic split on Europe to rival the divisions over the repeal of the corn laws in 1846.Under Sir John Major's leadership the party was divided, with, on
*Douglas Carswell resigns as Clacton MP forcing byelection *Tories not serious about real change Carswell claims*Nigel Farage urges other MPs to follow noblest move*Bookies make Ukip favourites to win Clacton byelection*Conservatives say Carswells defection is regrettable *Read the latest summary 3.26pm BST We are now closing this liveblog on Douglas Carswells surprise defection
Ex-Conservative MP who has defected to Ukip lived up to his law and order credentials when he caught a shoplifter in JanuaryA frequent Tory rebel on Europe, Douglas Carswell first stood for parliament in 2001 against Tony Blair, as the Conservative candidate for Sedgefield. He apologised for coming second, but managed to cut Blair's majority by over 7,500 votes. Continue reading...
Eurosceptic MP says he is resigning from parliament and standing for Ukip at a byelection in his Essex seat of ClactonLive blog: all the reaction to Carswell's defectionA hand grenade has been thrown into David Cameron's general election campaign after the Eurosceptic Tory MP Douglas Carswell defected to Ukip, triggering an early byelection. Continue reading...
As Douglas Carswell moves from the Tories to Ukip, see how the Guardian reported previous political defections Continue reading...
The Tory MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, announces his resignation from the Conservative party on Thursday as he joins the UK Independence party. His move to Ukip forces a byelection in the Essex constituency, which he won in 2010 with a majority of more than 12,000. Carswell says: 'Only Ukip can shake up that cosy little clique called Westminster' Continue reading...
Share breaking news, leave links to interesting articles online and chat about the weeks political events in our open thread 8.47am BST Im 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 f
Prime minister addresses CBI Scotland to argue that the single market underpins Scotland's economic successDavid Cameron will plead with Scottish voters on Thursday not to abandon one of the "oldest and most successful single markets in the world", after the home secretary, Theresa May, highlighted nerves in the pro-union campaign, warning that it needed to redouble its efforts.As the refere
Shadow universities minister Liam Byrne speaks approvingly of idea to give universities £1,000 for each low-income studentUniversities would receive £1,000 for every low-income student they recruit under a plan put forward by Labour intended to widen access to higher education.Liam Byrne, the shadow universities minister, describes this as a possible option in a pamphlet on university reform
British Chambers of Commerce says exports will have to grow by 10% per year to meet target set in 2012George Osborne will miss his target of doubling UK exports to £1tn by 2020 because the government has failed to take the radical action needed, a leading business lobby group has said.The British Chambers of Commerce said exports would have to grow by 10% a year to meet the target set by the
Tears all round as the peddlers of refugee misery fall out A contretemps on the rancid side of the border fence. Fury over Britains 2m illegal migrants, screamed the Express front page. Big story; important story. So important it supplanted the Rotherham scandal. So important Nigel Farage was wheeled out to give his imprimatur. The source, it appeared, was Migration Watch UK, often used to bols
PM working on plan to be agreed at Nato summit with view that any response has to be coordinated international effortDavid Cameron is planning to indicate to Barack Obama and other Nato leaders at a summit in Wales next week that Britain is keeping open the option of joining the US in launching air strikes against forces of the Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq.As Washington seeks to build a mult
PM is independence movement's bogeyman and there's a risk he'll drive more waverers to say yes in referendumDavid Cameron arrives in Scotland on Thursday in the peculiar position of being the old Etonian Tory leader who volunteered to help set up Scotland's independence referendum and the man hated by yes campaigners for being an old Etonian Tory.The leader of a party with just one MP in Sco
The Barnsley HQ of the 1984 miners' strike is buzzing again, as host to a Unite scheme aimed at empowering the communityThe small wood-panelled office, where piles of "Coal not Dole" stickers vie for space with posters decrying the government's bedroom tax, has already seen its fair share of history.It was from this room in the Barnsley headquarters of the National Union of Mineworkers that
Nick Clegg accuses police of neglect of vulnerable children in Rotherham and says South Yorkshire crime commissioner should stand downNick Clegg has accused the police, council and children's services in Rotherham of the "blatant neglect" of highly vulnerable children in the town after turning a "blind eye" to allegations of abuse.The deputy prime minister, who said he was sickened by the ab
Better Together's short film to appeal to undecided female voters instead pushes some to support independenceAn advert aimed at persuading undecided female voters to reject Scottish independence has drawn fire from across the political spectrum, with critics describing it as "sexist" and "patronising" and some even saying it has convinced them to vote yes.The advert, broadcast by the pro-uni
Nigel Farage has earmarked 12 constituencies for takeover at the 2015 general election from marginalised east-coast boroughs to a Tory stronghold on the HS2 routeNigel Farage is fond of talking about the prospect of a "political earthquake". He reckoned that Ukip coming first in this year's European elections was worthy of the higher end of the Richter scale, and we now know where the next trem
Failure by people in positions of power is a narrative that has helped Ukip gain political ground in recent yearsIt would be wrong to call this morning's headlines good news for Nigel Farage. The Ukip leader and newly-selected prospective parliamentary candidate to become MP for Thanet South must be as disgusted as most people are by the scale of Rotherham's abuse scandal. Continue reading...
Cabinet Office asks far-right party to remove all official royal images after BNP offshoot refused request from the ASAThe government is considering "next steps" after Britain First, an offshoot of the British National party, failed to remove an image of the crown from its uniform and publicity materials.The Cabinet Office, which is responsible for authorising use of official royal symbols,
Party leader, who will run in South Thanet, Kent, repeats pledge to resign if general election bids fail but insists that won't happenNigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has insisted that his party would definitely send MPs to Westminster for the first time in 2015.Speaking the morning after his adoption as Ukip's candidate in South Thanet in Kent, Farage repeated his pledge to resign as party le
Share breaking news, leave links to interesting articles online and chat about the weeks political events in our open thread 9.00am BST Im 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 fe
More than 130 bosses from various industries sign open letter urging Scots to vote no in next month's referendumMore than 130 prominent Scottish business leaders have signed an open letter warning that the case for Scottish independence has not been made.The 133 signatories include chief executives from famous high street names including the bank HSBC, Audrey Baxter of soup and food firm Bax
If the voters say yes, then Independence day will be 24 March 2016 a date that resonates in Scotland's historyIf the people of Scotland deliver a Yes vote in next year's referendum, Scotland will have its Independence Day on 24 March 2016. The date is included in the SNP's white paper on independence, due to be revealed at Glasgow Science Centre on the banks of the Clyde on Tuesday.The chose