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Miliband barred Lamont from attacking bedroom tax for 12 months

Glasgow Pollok MSP, who quit as head of Scottish Labour, was told to stay mute on topic while party leader decided on policyEd Milibands leadership of the Labour party is under renewed pressure as sources close to Johann Lamont, who dramatically quit as Scottish leader on Saturday, claimed he banned her for a year from condemning the bedroom tax while he made his mind up on it.The diktat fro

The Green party surge and why its coming from Bristol and all points west

Polls this week put the Greens on 8%, overtaking the Lib Dems for the first time in a decade and providing a clear challenge to Ukip in the eastAs a display of political activism in difficult circumstances, it looks very noble: in the midst of grim weather, a dozen or so members of the Green party, gathered around a street stall in the middle of Bristol, doing their best to make the case for a

David Cameron kept in the dark over EUs bill for 2.1bn

PM denounces conduct of European commission as he admits Osborne knew of demand for cash two days before he didDavid Cameron admitted that he had been left in the dark by George Osborne for two days as he complained that he had been hijacked by Brussels over an unexpected demand to pay £1.7bn (2.1bn) to the EU.The prime minister said he would refuse to comply with the sudden bill, which he

UK driving licence fees fall

Cost of provisional licence will fall to £34 from £50, while cost of renewing licence online will drop to £14Young drivers facing the mounting costs of taking to the road might well breathe a little easier after the government announced it was slashing the cost of obtaining a licence. The cost-cutting measure, which will see the price of a provisional licence fall to £34 from £50, was anno

Tony Blairs office rubbishes claim he doesnt believe Labour can win election

Denial comes after report former prime minister told friends that Ed Miliband isnt ready to beat the Tories in 2015Tony Blairs office last night insisted the former prime minister believes Ed Miliband will win the general election following a report he has told friends that Labour is not ready to beat the Conservatives next year.The report in the Daily Telegraph said Blair had told long-stan

Johann Lamont resigns as leader of Scottish Labour party

Lamonts decision comes as she accuses colleagues of trying to run Scotland like a branch office of LondonJohann Lamont is to stand down as leader of the Scottish Labour party, after describing some of her Westminster colleagues as dinosaurs who do not understand the politics they are facing since the referendum.At the end of a week in which two former Labour first ministers expressed grave

EU financial woes cant keep Cameron from Chatham

Factory workers expecting a visit from the prime minister were surprised to see his face on TV live from BrusselsAs factory workers in Chatham awaited the arrival of David Cameron, the prime ministers angry face popped up on a TV screen in the centre of town live from Brussels. He had been due for a tour at some docks in the parliamentary seat of Rochester & Strood, no doubt to explain why it w

Sayeeda Warsi: Tories will lose if they focus only on Europe and immigration

Lady Warsi claims that while contending with Ukip is necessary, a lurch to the right by David Cameron would spell defeatThe Conservatives will lose the next election if David Cameron lurches to the right and talks only about Europe and immigration, the former party chair Sayeeda Warsi has warned.Lady Warsi said that while it was necessary to contend with the rise of Ukip, concentrating on th

Have you changed your political allegiance?

Were looking for people who are planning to vote for a different party in the next election. Perhaps youve gone from Labour to Green, or Lib Dem to Ukip. If so, we want to hear from youAre you thinking about voting Ukip, because youve had enough of the mainstream parties? Perhaps you voted Lib Dem last time, and now youre thinking never again? Were interested in whats happening in your area,

Camerons join secondary school dash as admissions deadline looms

Prime minister and his wife are expected to send their daughter Nancy to a top state comprehensive in LondonFor David and Samantha Cameron, like every other parent of a child in their final year of primary school, time is almost up. After all the open days, the headteachers speeches, and the poring over Ofsted reports and league tables, next Friday is the deadline for applications for secondary

Rochester and Strood byelection campaigns: Politics Live blog

Full coverage of the Rochester and Strood byelection, including background to the campaign and todays developments 5.08pm BST Kelly Tolhurst is doing an event in the constituency this afternoon. But its running late and so Im afraid Im going to miss it.After a fleeting visit, Im not an expert on Rochester politics, but I know a bit more about the byelection than I did nine hours ago. Th

David Cameron refuses to pay £1.7bn EU bill by 1 December deadline

Prime minister launches scathing attack on appalling behaviour of European Commission, saying its demands are unacceptableDavid Cameron delivered his most embittered attack on the EU executive in Brussels on Friday, bluntly stating that Britain would not pay more than £1.7bn in top-up EU budget payments. Continue reading...

David Cameron: 'We are not going to write a cheque for two billion euros, it's not happening' video

David Cameron calls the European Union's demand for £1.7bn from Britain unacceptable. Speaking at a press conference at the end of a two-day European Council meeting, he called the sudden request 'an appalling way to behave.' Cameron says there will be an emergency meeting of finance ministers to discuss the issue Continue reading...

MPs shall go to the ball thanks to more than £100,000 of free hospitality

Analysis of register reveals MPs have accepted VIP tickets, often from corporations, and £800,000 worth of foreign trips MPs have been given free tickets to sports events, balls and the opera, worth more than £100,000, alongside £800,000 worth of foreign trips, an analysis of the current register of members interests reveals.Perks received by parliamentarians, often from large corporations

Ed Balls photobombed by spider on BBC News

Arachnid drops into frame during live interview with the shadow chancellor about economic growthA spider photobombed Ed Balls during a live interview on the BBC News channel.Appearing large due to its position in the shot, the spider dropped into the frame as the shadow chancellor was talking about economic growth. Continue reading...

Nigel Farage defends Mike Read's Ukip Calypso song video

Nigel Farage defends the Ukip Calypso song, arguing that other artists use Caribbean accents and the song was designed to be 'a bit of fun'. Speaking on LBC on Friday morning, he says people are only 'screaming blue murder' because it's in support of Ukip. Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, the song's creator, has apologised and withdrawn the recording from sale Continue reading...

EU contribution: Cameron will have to pay up, says Farage

Prime minister under pressure from Tory backbenchers to refuse additional £1.7bn for the EU budgetNigel Farage has claimed that David Cameron will be forced to pay out an extra £1.7bn into the EU budget by the end of next month despite the government saying the extra demand was not acceptable.The Ukip leaders comments, which he says is a reflection of Britains impotence in Europe, will incre

What's it like being a Ukip voter on the Guardian website?

Ukip voters explain their support for the party and why theyre happy to spend time arguing in its favour on a site not ideologically supportive of Ukips aims and policiesThere are more Ukip-friendly corners of the internet than the web pages of the Guardian. Nevertheless, a decent proportion of comments left on our politics articles come from those sympathetic to Ukip.In some ways, this is

Ed Miliband: immigration is at top of Labours agenda

Labour leader says bill will contain clear, credible measures to address voter concerns, without threatening UKs place in EUEd Miliband has promised an immigration reform bill in the first few weeks of a new Labour government as he challenged the false promises of Ukip and the Conservatives on the campaign trail in Rochester and Strood.The Labour leader said the bill would contain five cle

Alex Salmond may run for Westminster seat in 2015

Retiring first minister says on Question Time that he has not made up his mind about a return to the UKs parliamentAlex Salmond has not ruled out running for a seat at Westminster in next years general election as he prepares to stand down as Scotlands first minister. Salmond, who will leave his office next month, was asked on BBCs Question Time if he would consider a return to Westminster.H

Rochester byelection: Tories select local businesswoman Kelly Tolhurst

Winning candidate edges out rival by slimmest of margins as Tories reveal determination not to lose another seat to UkipLocal businesswoman Kelly Tolhurst has been selected as the Conservative candidate in the Rochester and Strood byelection after narrowly topping a postal ballot open to all voters in the constituency. Tolhurst pipped fellow Tory councillor Anna Firth to the nomination, with 50

Unsavoury campaign swung Smethwick in 1964 | @guardianletters

Keith Graham (Letters, 21 October) suggests an alternative reason for Patrick Gordon Walkers 1964 Smethwick defeat. But his theory that it was the intervention of a Liberal candidate, on a higher turnout, that swung the result is factually wrong and also at odds with the national trends in that election. The turnout was down, not up, in Smethwick, by 2% (also nationally). Obviously, third candid

Politics Weekly podcast: the cost of saving the NHS

Michael White, Anne Perkins and Rafael Behr join Hugh Muir to discuss the plans to reform the NHS, the debate on Britain and the EU and the ill-advised Ukip calypso Continue reading...

Philip Hammond questioned by intelligence and security committee: Politics Live blog

Rolling coverage of all the days political developments as they happen, including Nick Clegg hosting his LBC phone-in and Sir David Omand and Philip Hammond giving evidence to the intelligence and security committee 3.11pm BST Our agencies are in close contact with their Canadian counterparts and, as you would expect, are already analysing what happened in Canada and the implications for u

Nick Clegg defends Harry Roberts release: 'justice is not about emotion' - video

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defends the decision to release Harry Roberts who was jailed 45 years ago for murdering three unarmed police officers. Speaking on his weekly LBC radio phone-in show, Clegg says he supported such choices being made by an independent process. He says, 'it's not about my feelings, it's about how the justice system works.' Continue reading...

Ed Miliband promises concrete immigration reform

Labour leader says he will not make false promises or offer policies that endanger British economy if he wins electionEd Miliband has promised he will introduce an immigration reform bill within a month of winning the next election that offers clear, credible and concrete measures to deal with the concerns of voters.Reminding people that he is the son of immigrants, the Labour leader said he

Twenty MPs declare more than £100,000 from second jobs

Former ministers among those saying that they received combined £7.1m in income from outside parliamentMPs, including former coalition ministers who have since returned to the backbenches, have declared more than £7.1m earnings from second jobs and outside interests, according to parliamentary records.An analysis by the Guardian shows that 26 MPs declared more earnings from directorships,

David Cameron labels EU demand for extra £1.7bn from UK unacceptable

Britain hit with recalibrated contribution as PM faces anger over European membership from Ukip and his own backbenchersEuropes finance ministers will convene an emergency meeting following the disclosure of a demand for some countries, including Britain, to contribute billions more to the EU budget, the prime ministers spokesman has said.David Cameron believes the demand for £1.7bn from Bri

Enhanced Scottish devolution must not be conditional on devolution elsewhere

Smith commission cross-party talks described as constructive, though key differences over tax and spending remainFurther powers for Scotland must not be conditional on devolution elsewhere in the UK, according to one of seven principles agreed at the first cross-party talks of the Smith commission, which was set up to fast-track greater powers after the country rejected independence in a refere

Theresa May: police use Tasers too often against mentally ill

Half of those subdued are black or minority ethnic Home secretary to order review of use of forceThe home secretary, Theresa May, is to order an in-depth review of the use of force by police amid particular concerns that physical restraint and Tasers are being used too often against mentally distressed people.May will on Thursday cite evidence from the London Assembly that up to 30% of peo


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