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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Fracking push gets go-ahead across UK as ministers tighten safeguards

Drilling will be allowed in national parks in 'exceptional circumstances' but ministers retain power to veto plansMinisters will give the go-ahead on Monday for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in "exceptional circumstances".The government will invite firms to bid for onshore oil and gas licences for the first tim

David Cameron 'not surprised' by calls for Russia to be stripped of World Cup

Downing Street warns Kremlin to change course in Ukraine, but stops short of Nick Clegg's call for outright 2018 boycottDavid Cameron has distanced himself from calls for a boycott of Russia when it hosts the 2018 football World Cup, although Downing Street said it was no surprise that the issue was being raised.The prime minister held back from calling for the tournament to be taken away fr

Ed Miliband proposes 'public question time' for prime minister

Labour leader says he will urge Speaker to come up with new session of audience questions as part of reform of PMQsEd Miliband has proposed a weekly "public question time" where an audience would be allowed to tackle the prime minister on any issue of the day.In a radical suggestion for changing the culture of politics, the Labour leader will write to the speaker of the House of Commons with

Labour to allow cooperatives and mutuals to run railway franchises

Shadow transport team also to confirm manifesto pledge to give public sector and private operators same bidding rightsLabour will offer cooperatives and mutually-owned companies the chance to run Britain's rail services.Senior figures in Labour's transport team will suggest in Glasgow on Monday that employees and passengers could take a far greater role in running the railways, including bid

David Cameron 'must answer for Russian oligarchs' donations'

Ed Miliband particularly questions £160,000 donation Tories accepted from wife of former Russian finance ministerDavid Cameron has questions to answer over the money he is taking from Russian oligarchs, Ed Miliband has said.The Labour leader particularly questioned the £160,000 donation the Conservatives accepted from the wife of a former Russian finance minister, who won an auction offering

Scotland's GDP per head £2,300 higher than UK as whole, says SNP

Party says new analysis of OECD figures show an independent Scotland would be 14th richest country in the economic blocScottish wealth per head is more than £2,300 higher than in UK as a whole and outstrips major economies such as France, Japan and Italy, according to the SNP.New Scottish National Party analysis of figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD

Theresa May what lies beyond the public image?

She's widely tipped as the next leader of the Tory party, yet little is known about the home secretary. Here, friends and colleagues tell the truth about the inscrutable MPThere are the shoes, of course. Despite the fact that Theresa May is among the most senior politicians in Britain and is now the longest-serving home secretary for more than 50 years, it is the shoes that come most immediatel

Nick Clegg says Russia should not host World Cup 2018

Fifa has ruled out calls for boycott after the shooting down of MH17, insisting the tournament could be 'a force for good'Nick Clegg has joined calls for Russia to face the axe as hosts of the 2018 World Cup as part of tougher sanctions over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.The deputy prime minister said it was "unthinkable" at present that the tourname

Britain is open for business, but is it still the right policy?

The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has thrown a spotlight on the influence of Russian oligarchs. Now other areas of laissez-faire policies are being examined, from football clubs to party fundingFor more than 30 years successive Conservative and Labour prime ministers have declared with a pleading ebullience that Britain is "open for business". In response, some of the richest p

Mocking Ed Miliband's image would be bad electoral strategy, say Tory women

Lynton Crosby is told that his hard-hitting general election strategy would reinforce the Tory 'nasty party' imageA group of prominent women in the Tory party have warned election strategist Lynton Crosby that personal attacks on Ed Miliband will backfire and put female voters off the Conservatives at the general election.The MPs and peers, backed by women at grassroots level, believe that a

Lord Rennard gets Lib Dem apology for botched disciplinary process

Lib Dems drop investigation into whether his failure to apologise for sex harassment claims brought party into disreputeThe Liberal Democrats have apologised to Lord Rennard for mishandling part of his disciplinary process and dropped their investigation into whether he brought the party into disrepute by refusing to say sorry to female activists who accused him of inappropriate sexual behaviou

A great leap forward for Labour | @guardianletters

While Polly Toynbee may well be right to say the solidity of the policies taking shape is giving Labour a new spring in its step, she omits the fact that it is the moderation of the policies which has lost Labour so many voters, especially to Ukip, predicted in the latest Ashcroft poll to win two of Labours target seats (Labours got its spring back but what about the swing? 22 July). Goodwin and

Ed Miliband's novel speech could flip some of his negatives into positives

Labour leader admits he is not a conventional retail politician, but ultimate question remains whether voters can trust him to be competentPoliticians in trouble often home in on the negative, but normally against their opponent, rather than themselves.In a novel speech on Friday, Ed Miliband reeled off what the media and others have listed as his drawbacks, ranging from his misjudgments, un

Cameron Tees off listeners by confusing them with Tynesiders in radio interview

PM tells BBC Tees listeners about improvements being made in Tyneside, months after confusing Colchester and ChelmsfordDavid Cameron repeatedly mistook Teesside for Tyneside in a radio interview on Friday, just months after appearing to confuse Colchester and Chelmsford in Essex. Continue reading...

George Osborne: economic growth thanks to hard work of British people video

Chancellor George Osborne says GDP figures published on Friday show the UK's economy is bigger than it was before the recession. He puts the recovery down to the efforts of the British people and hails the progress as a major milestone in the government's economic plan Continue reading...

Ed Miliband: if you want a PM who looks good in a photo, don't vote for me

Labour boss tries to reframe debate about his leadership by painting himself as a man of principle, not personality cultEd Miliband tried to reframe the unflattering debate about his personal leadership by presenting himself as a man of principle who is liable to lose out to David Cameron at the next election if the campaign is about image rather than ideas.In a confessional speech about the

Ed Miliband calls for Israel and Hamas ceasefire so wounded can get help

Labour leader urges halt to fighting to allow doctors access to the hundreds of injured civilians in GazaEd Miliband has called on Israel and Hamas to agree a ceasefire and allow the international community access to Gaza to provide medical help to the wounded.The Labour leader also opposed Israel's incursion into Gaza, saying whatever the provocation, the country was leading a cycle of viol

Scottish independence referendum weekly review: from cairns to Cymru

Another handful of highlights from the campaign this weekThis weekly round-up is brought to you from Glasgow, city of sport, Scottie dogs and dancing teacakes. Last Sunday found me in Gretna, where renaissance MP Rory Stewart was launching his pro-union cairn. I'm not one hundred per cent certain that a cairn can have political affiliations, but that's what I wrote in the news report so I'

Politics Live blog - readers' edition: Friday 25 July

Share breaking news, leave links to interesting articles online and chat about the weeks political events in our open thread 8.52am 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

Stephen Batess diary: Russians selling nuclear weapons expertise in Westminster? Whats not to like?

Reception at Westminster Abbey, gala dinner in Kensington, maybe even a night of top-flight football at the Crabble. Business as usual for Alexander, Lyudmila and comrades, you might say Will there be a resounding silence in September at the World Nuclear Association symposium and exhibition in Central Hall, Westminster? The worlds nuclear industries will be strutting their stuff: 700 business

Retiring clerk of Commons makes plea for Speaker to remain neutral

Sir Robert Rogers is retiring early as parliament's chief constitutional adviser amid claims of rows with John BercowThe retiring clerk of the House of Commons, Sir Robert Rogers, has made a plea for the Speaker to remain a neutral figure who acts as a servant of MPs as he defends his record as a moderniser of parliament in the face of suggestions that he has put Commons traditions before its r

NHS tax is floated by Liberal Democrats to fill £30bn hole

The policy could form one point of future agreement for a coalition with LabourAn NHS tax is being examined by the Liberal Democrats as a solution to the current crisis in funding for the health system. The plan is regarded by senior figures within the party as a necessary step towards filling a forecasted £30bn black hole in the NHS's finances over the next five years.With senior figures wi

Rennard and Ruffley undermine their own parties | @guardianletters

We would like to respond to the deeply unhelpful comment that senior Lib Dems fear the party could suffer at the election because of the suspension of Lord Rennard (Report, 22 July). While it is true that Chris Rennard was a talented campaigns chief to whom many senior Lib Dems no doubt owe their careers, he was not uniquely so, nor flawlessly. Our letter published in this paper in January (18 J

Big Society Network under investigation over 'funding misuse'

Watchdog examining whether charity set up to lead David Cameron's initiative used funds to pay debts of linked companyAn investigation has begun into the use of taxpayer-funded grants by the charity set up to lead David Cameron's "big society" initiative.The Charity Commission was examining whether funding for a childhood obesity project was used to pay the debts of a linked company, the Ind

Police to investigate Cyril Smith child abuse cover-up claims

Liberal Democrat politician, who died in 2010, is alleged to have sexually abused young boys at Knowl View School in RochdaleA criminal investigation is to be launched into an alleged cover-up of child abuse at a school linked to Sir Cyril Smith.The Liberal Democrat politician, who died in 2010, is alleged to have used his status to sexually abuse young boys with impunity at Knowl View School i

Tony Blair Faith Foundation is anything but mysterious | @guardianletters

The most basic research by Simon Jenkins would have shown him that it is totally wrong to assert that the Tony Blair Faith Foundation is mysterious (Tony Blair sees his millions as modest only in the world of the super rich, 22 July). On our website and through all our external communications we make absolutely clear what we do. The foundations charitable mission is to provide the practical supp

NHS manager redundancy payouts total £1.6bn since 2010

Latest accounts reveal more than 38,000 'exit packages' agreed since reforms began, with some 4,000 later rehiredThe cost of redundancy payments for NHS managers has hit almost £1.6bn since the coalition came to power and embarked on its sweeping reorganisation, according to the latest Department of Health accounts.The total includes payouts to some 4,000 "revolving door" managers, who left

Lords challenge No 10 to prove value of public behaviour 'nudge' unit

Select committee calls for more evaluation from Behavioural Insights Team of its failures and successesIt is one of David Cameron's pet projects and has reputedly saved the government more than £300m since its creation.No 10's "Nudge Unit" or the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), as it is officially known is charged with finding new ways to change public behaviour. Inspired by the bestselling

Tory MP cautioned for domestic abuse faces disciplinary investigation

Conservatives take action after dean of St Edmundsbury cathedral writes to David Ruffley saying he should step downThe Tory MP who received a police caution for assaulting his ex-girlfriend is to face a disciplinary investigation conducted by the party's chief whip, Michael Gove.David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, will be called to a meeting with Gove to discuss his conduct after a compla

Scottish prisoners refused right to vote in referendum by supreme court

Court dismisses attempt by Leslie Moohan and Andrew Gillon, serving life sentences for murder, to overturn voting banAn attempt by two prisoners to overturn a ban on inmates voting in the Scottish independence referendum has been dismissed by the supreme court.Leslie Moohan, 31, and Andrew Gillon, 46, who are serving life sentences for murder, had argued that the ban on taking part in Septem News | Awards & Certificates | Promote Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Uninstall Info

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