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The Independent


The Rochester and Strood result may make Conservative MPs ready to defect think twice
There is perhaps no clearer indication of just how far Ukip has come in this parliament than the fact that its second by-election success came as little surprise.
(Sat, 22 Nov 2014 01:38:13 +0000)

Rochester by-election: An expression of voters’ rage that is unlikely to dissipate
Yesterday the Conservatives resorted to the old clichés about by-elections being a mid-term protest as they expressed confidence they would regain Rochester and Strood from Ukip’s Mark Reckless at next May’s general election.
(Sat, 22 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000)

Nicola Sturgeon recruits new government top team with equality in mind
The Scottish government’s top team is to be split evenly between men and women, Nicola Sturgeon, the new First Minister announced today.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:02:25 +0000)

Hysteria, vilification, a spurious 'victim': welcome to the age of anti-politics
Emily Thornberry’s tweet of a flag-draped house, her resignation and the deification of the owner who lived in the house form one of the great emblematic narratives of our time.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:51:14 +0000)

Jubilant Ukip sets its sights on power after Rochester and Strood victory
Ukip will target at least 20 seats it believes it can win at next May’s general election in an attempt to hold the balance of power in another hung parliament.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:44:54 +0000)

Plebs, public school boys and politics: class war breaks out in Court 13
Only in England. Maybe it’s because so much of Andrew Mitchell’s libel case against The Sun turns on whether he used the socially loaded term “pleb” about the police on that fateful evening at the Downing Street gate in September 2012, that it’s hard to escape the class overtones of the hearing in the crowded, oak panelled intimacy of Court 13.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:56:53 +0000)

The National: New paper will support independent Scotland
A new pro-independence daily newspaper is expected to launch in Scotland on Monday in response to the burgeoning support for the SNP following the independence campaign.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:49:20 +0000)

The Supreme Cat Show: Is it possible to train a moggie?
There’s one big difference between cat shows and dog shows, which makes life rather difficult for breeders: “You can’t train a cat.”
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:48:24 +0000)

Employers told to look out for the signs of domestic violence or 'they could be held liable'
In the advice from the Government’s health agency, managers will be asked to spot sudden shifts in behaviour, or changes to clothing and appearance which may disguise bruising, and are to be encouraged to approach staff sensitively and offer help.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:39:44 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Lib Dems blame tactical voting for party’s worst ever result
Liberal Democrats have blamed the sort of tactical voting that has benefited them in past by-elections for their humiliating showing in Rochester and Strood.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:36:26 +0000)

Record numbers visiting A&E raise fears of winter NHS crisis
Record numbers of people were admitted to hospitals in England last week, official figures show, raising fears of an imminent “winter crisis” in the NHS.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:05:19 +0000)

Last Post sounds for Normandy Veterans’ Association – but their memories will live on...
The Normandy Veterans are no more. At midnight last night, the Normandy Veterans’ Association (NVA), the main organisation for British survivors of D-Day and the vicious fighting which followed, ceased to exist after the veterans, most of them in their nineties, decided to disband it.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:56:43 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Forget Emily Thornberry, Labour long since betrayed the working class
What is striking about the Emily Thornberry affair is not that a Labour minister has “shown contempt for the working class”, as has been suggested, but that this should be a surprise.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:55:14 +0000)

Ed Miliband defends Emily Thornberry sacking: 'Her tweet conveyed a sense of disrespect'
Ed Miliband has defended his decision to sack a member of his Shadow Cabinet after she was accused of acting like a “snob” towards working class voters.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:39:57 +0000)

The key to Ukip's victory in Rochester? We listened to people
On Thursday evening, with three hours until polls were due to close, I was still campaigning in Rochester and Strood, knocking on doors and asking members of the public to go to their polling station and vote for Ukip. It was already dark out, and I must have traversed thousands of steps to speak to people about our candidate - now our MP - Mark Reckless.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:37:01 +0000)

Knightsbridge balcony collapse: Shock as two die in one of London's most expensive districts
Two removal men were killed today, and several people injured, when a large iron railing on the first-floor balcony of a Knightsbridge flat collapsed and fell on them as they tried to hoist a sofa into the property using ropes.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:21:48 +0000)

Christmas 2014: Smart TVs, iPhones, and laptops takeover from toys, bikes and sweets on kids' wishlists
Kids used to want sweets, bicycles and toys for Christmas, but now parents spend hundreds of pounds on each of their children – shelling out for pricey kit including TVs, cameras and iPhones, a new study has found.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:50:05 +0000)

Worried about your brain getting old? Get a more complicated job
Staying active, living well and keeping social can all help you stay fit as old age approaches. But one of the best ways to keep your brain nimble is to do something complex for a living, according to a new study.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:47:38 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Six things we learnt about Ukip, Labour and the Greens
On the night that Ukip got its second elected MP, Labour lost a member of its shadow cabinet and the Tories were well and truly humbled in the polls, here are six other things we learnt from last night’s Rochester and Strood by-election.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:24:27 +0000)

Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner took Ukip defector Mark Reckless to task in a memorable address shortly after he was sworn in into the House of Commons.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:27:59 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Tories break their silence over 'backstabbing' Ukip MP Mark Reckless
Conservatives in Rochester and Strood have turned on their new MP and former colleague Mark Reckless accusing him of being an unprincipled, back-stabbing, liar who would lose the seat at the next general election.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:17:16 +0000)

Ed Miliband on relating to working-class voters: 'I feel respect when I see a white van'
Ed Miliband claimed that he feels "respect" when he sees a white van during an interview about MP Emily Thornberry's controversial tweet of one parked outside a house covered in three England flags in Rochester.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:12:07 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Bad news for Ukip supporters? Farage admits no more Tories set to defect
No more Tory MPs will defect to Ukip in the wake of yesterday’s Rochester by-election victory, Nigel Farage has admitted.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:00:19 +0000)

Penguin toy sales up 300% on eBay following John Lewis 'Monty' Christmas advert
Sales of penguin toys on eBay have soared by 300 per cent since the John Lewis Christmas ad aired on television and told the story of an adorable child and the love of his stuffed toy penguin, Monty.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:56:44 +0000)

Birmingham Six: 40th anniversary of pub bombings that led to 'one of the worst miscarriages of British justice'
Today is the 40-year anniversary of two pub bombings in 1974, which killed 21 people and injured 182, that led to the charges and unjust life sentences of the Birmingham Six.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:27:56 +0000)

Another webcam security threat uncovered as police launch computer hijack crackdown
Police undertook a Europe-wide action on hackers who had allegedly gained control of internet users’ laptops to spy on them — just a day after it emerged that hundreds of cameras had been unknowingly broadcasting from British homes.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:19:51 +0000)

Welsh cannibal murder: Victim found with Matthew Williams died from 'sharp force trauma to the face and neck'
A young woman found dead by police in a half-way house in Wales this month sustained serious neck and facial injuries after suffering what is believed to have been an act of cannibalism.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:06:28 +0000)

Chelsea balcony collapse: Two people dead and six injured in London
Two people have died and six people have been injured after a balcony collapsed in west London.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:54:59 +0000)

Paul McCartney enters virtual reality with 3D concert app
Sir Paul McCartney has taken a daring leap into the world of virtual reality — launching a free app to watch one of the ex-Beatles recent concerts, that can be used with home-made goggles.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:24:49 +0000)

Emily Thornberry: MP who claimed she had never seen a home 'completely covered' by England flags tweeted similar image 2 years ago
A Labour shadow minister who defended a controversial tweet, that forced her resignation, by claiming she had never seen so many St George’s flags on a home posted a similar image two years ago.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:23:45 +0000)

Leeds pick-up truck kidnap sticker: Owner apologises over picture of woman tied-up
A Leeds man has been given a warning by police over a disturbing sticker on the tailboard of his truck appearing to show a woman bound and with a hood over her head.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:00:11 +0000)

Netflix accounts for up to a third of the internet — but torrenting still dwarfs legal sites
Netflix makes up as much as a third of the internet when people sit down to watch it in the evenings, according to a new report by Sandvine. But less legal ways of sharing videos continue to dominate the internet.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:48:52 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as former Conservative Mark Reckless sworn in
Former Conservative MP Mark Reckless has been sworn in as Ukip’s second Member of Parliament this morning, but his taking of the oath was marred by heckling from the Labour benches.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:38:18 +0000)

Phone-hacking editor Andy Coulson released from open prison to serve home detention
Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was released from prison this morning after serving less than five months of an 18-month sentence for conspiring to hack voicemails.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:25:43 +0000)

Six journalists sue the British police over spying revelations
A group of six journalists are taking legal action against London's Metropolitan Police and the Home Office after it was revealed that they had been been under government surveillance for years — and had even been listed as 'domestic extremists'.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:25:01 +0000)

Grandfather burned alive at 280C after accidentally being trapped in an industrial oven
A factory worker was burned alive at 280C when he climbed inside an industrial oven to clean it and became locked inside.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:28:57 +0000)

Ukip leader Nigel Farage claims Labour party is 'anti-English'
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has claimed the Labour party is “anti-English” just hours after shadow minister Emily Thornberry offered her resignation to leader Ed Miliband following her controversial tweet depicting a Rochester home.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:07:07 +0000)

Ukip timeline: The gradual rise to Westminster
With two MPs over 24 years elected in the past two months, Ukip's climb to the House of Commons has been slow. However the party has played a big threat to the Conservatives with both wins being made by Tory defectors.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:50:42 +0000)

Mark Reckless: Newly elected Ukip MP reveals he was so 'frightened' following defection from Tories he installed 'fireproof letterbox'
Mark Reckless’s defection from the Conservatives was received so badly that the recently elected Ukip MP was forced to install extra security at his home.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:38:15 +0000)

Rochester 'white van man' from Thornberry tweet says he's 'not got a clue' who the MP is but claims 'she's a snob'
Dan Ware, the man from Rochester whose house, large white van and three England flags became the subject of the tweet that caused Labour’s shadow attorney general to resign, has said he’s “not got a clue” who Emily Thornberry is, but that “she’s a snob”.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:29:58 +0000)

Rochester by-election analysis: David Cameron acted in haste – and is now repenting at leisure
It was a rash decision - made to avert an immediate crisis - but one that David Cameron is now regretting at his leisure.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:24:07 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
Ukip seized their second House of Commons seat in less than two months today - inflicting a humiliating defeat on David Cameron six months ahead of the General Election.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 04:29:24 +0000)

Train kills at least seven horses on Cambridgeshire level crossing
At least seven horses have died after they were hit by a train at a level crossing in Cambridgeshire, police have said.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:07:33 +0000)

Treasury blasted for not clamping down on billions in tax relief fraud
The Treasury has been accused of putting billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money at risk by failing to crack down on abuse of tax reliefs.
(Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000)

Emily Thornberry resigns from Shadow Cabinet following controversial England flag tweet
Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry has resigned from the Shadow Cabinet, the Labour Party has said.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:32:35 +0000)

Comedian Mark Thomas to sue Met Police over ‘snooping’
The Metropolitan Police is being sued by the television presenter Mark Thomas and five other journalists who claim they were unlawfully snooped on by a little-known Scotland Yard unit dedicated to “domestic extremism”.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 22:04:11 +0000)

If foreign state-owned companies can make enormous profits in the UK, why isn’t our Government competing?
There can be no question that privatisation has brought much good to Britain – and in more than just financial terms. It seems strange to think that it was only a few decades ago that taxpayers owned a sizeable proportion of the country’s grandest hotels, its cross-Channel ferries and British Airways. Not to mention our dockyards and steel and car industries. The sale of these assets brought billions of pounds into the Exchequer and relieved Britain of the risks involved in playing the global capital game.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:37:02 +0000)

Green support: More than one-quarter of voters would back party - if they thought it had chance of success
More than one-quarter of voters could support the Greens if they thought the party had a chance of victory, a poll has suggested.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 20:04:50 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
A Labour front bench MP has resigned after she apologised for tweeting a photo of a house in Rochester adorned with three England flags, which saw her accused of holding working class voters in “contempt”.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:50:45 +0000)

Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Foreign governments are making hundreds of millions of pounds a year running British public services, according to an Independent investigation highlighting how privatisation is benefiting overseas – rather than UK – taxpayers.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:30:10 +0000)

TTIP backlash: NHS needs protecting from US trade deal, says Labour
The NHS must be explicitly excluded from the controversial trade deal being struck between the EU and the United States, Labour will demand today, as David Cameron and European leaders face a growing backlash against the plans.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:26:16 +0000)

Royal Bournemouth Hospital threatens to evict elderly patients
A hospital is threatening to take legal action to evict mainly elderly patients whose relatives refuse to take them home when they are well enough to leave. An official at Royal Bournemouth Hospital said one family had asked staff to “keep hold” of a relative so they could go on holiday to Turkey for two weeks.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:15:10 +0000)

Andy McSmith's Diary: Labour’s image problem reaches Rochester
Labour’s last day of campaigning in the Rochester by-election would have gone better if Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South, had not turned to help. Out on the stomp, she was so taken by a house decked in three St George flags, with a white van parked outside, that she took a picture and posted it on Twitter, with the caption “Image from Rochester.”
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:09:14 +0000)

American-born Boris Johnson refuses to pay hefty US tax bill
Boris Johnson is refusing to pay a large sum in capital gains tax to US officials after he revealed he is in dispute with American authorities.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:00:02 +0000)

Labour will ban Jobcentre claim-reduction quotas
Labour would scrap any targets for Jobcentre Plus staff to reduce or stop a certain number of benefit claims, the party has announced.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:31:07 +0000)

Biting the ballot: Leaders join the move to digital democracy
Over the years, politicians have got used to being interrogated by grizzled inquisitors like Jeremy Paxman and Jon Snow. Although this has provided some memorable sparring, it hasn’t always helped to engage younger would-be voters – and can have the opposite effect. But the web is changing all that. The potential is there to break down barriers between Westminster politicians and younger generations, but has not really been used to its potential. Until now, perhaps.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:14:58 +0000)

Most MPs make poor ministers, says Michael Gove's former adviser Dominic Cummings
Most MPs are completely unsuited to become ministers because they only succeed by being good at political “gimmicks” and have no understanding of how to make complex decisions or run big departments, a former senior Tory adviser has claimed.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:10:22 +0000)

Bird flu: Dutch authorities confirm second outbreak at chicken farm
Dutch authorities have confirmed a second case of bird flu at a chicken farm, 15 miles away from a farm infected earlier this week.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:58:11 +0000)

The 7 Tory backbenchers most likely to defect to Ukip next
As the Conservatives braced themselves for defeat in today’s Rochester and Strood by-election, they knew that Ukip’s expected triumph was unlikely to be Nigel Farage’s last celebration.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:49:28 +0000)

Gordon Ramsay's signature allegedly forged by his own father-in-law to secure 25-year York and Albany pub deal worth thousands
Gordon Ramsay’s father-in-law Christopher Hutcheson allegedly used a ghostwriting machine to forge the chef’s signature and use it to seal a pub deal worth thousands.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:40:23 +0000)

Sasha Wass QC, prosecutor in Rolf Harris trial, to lead island sex abuse inquiry
A prominent barrister who successfully prosecuted Rolf Harris will head an investigation into an alleged police and government conspiracy to cover up the widespread sexual exploitation of girls on a British overseas territory.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:21:40 +0000)

Politicians' alleged paedophile ring murder could have been covered up, says top detective
A senior detective who worked on an unsolved case of child murder in the 1980s says she fears there could have been a “cover-up” surrounding allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring based at the notorious Elm Guest House.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:56:27 +0000)

New York snowstorm: Will US polar vortex hit UK next?
The US is currently in the grip of a particularly cold period of weather, that has seen a year’s snow fall in three days in New York state and temperatures dip below freezing in all 50 states – even Hawaii.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:19:57 +0000)

Captain Phillips actor Mohammed Abdi, who starred opposite Tom Hanks, jailed for assault that left victim brain damaged
A British man, who played the role of a Somali pirate opposite Tom Hanks in the award-winning film Captain Phillips last year, has been jailed for the brutal assault of a man.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:14:05 +0000)

'Poppy terror plot': Three men were planning to behead member of public court hears
Three men have been charged with terrorism offence over an alleged plot to behead a member of public.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:28:03 +0000)

Rochester and Strood by-election: Britain First claims credit for success of Ukip campaign
With the Tory defector Mark Reckless forecast to win the hotly-contested by-election in Rochester and Strood today, his rivals on the ballot paper Britain First have suggested they only campaigned “to bolster the Ukip campaign”.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:06:29 +0000)

Meet the anti-bullying ambassador: The cousin of a boy who took his own life due to school taunts
The name-calling and violence proved too much for Nathan Jones. He died in 2005 aged 12. He took his own life.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:03:05 +0000)

Fiona Anderson inquest: Pregnant mother who killed herself and her three children wrote love messages on their bodies and tucked them in bed
A pregnant mother of three who killed her children and then herself in Suffolk wrote “I love you” on their bodies before kissing and tucking them up in bed, an inquest has heard.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:22:49 +0000)

David Cameron: Barnett formula reform is 'not on my horizon'
David Cameron angered Conservative MPs today when he rejected their demand for an end to the Barnett formula, which they claim hands too much taxpayers’ money to Scotland.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:44:42 +0000)

Rochester and Strood by-election: Jumping ship? The Tory MPs most likely to join Reckless in defecting to Ukip
With the Rochester and Strood by-election now underway, the Ukip candidate and Tory defector Mark Reckless has suggested there are at least two more Conservative MPs ready to follow his lead and jump ship to Nigel Farage's party.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:26:40 +0000)

First UK bus powered entirely by human waste goes into service in Bath and Bristol
The first bus in Britain powered entirely by human and food waste has made its first journey today.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:25:51 +0000)

Boris's £60m 'garden bridge' will have no public right of way, no protests and no cycling
The Mayor of London’s planned £60m “garden bridge” over the River Thames in London will have no legal public right of way, it has been announced.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:25:30 +0000)

Rochester and Strood by-election: Conservatives brace for further defections to Ukip as voters go to the polls
The Conservatives were bracing themselves for further defections to Ukip as voters went to the polls in the Rochester and Strood by-election today.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:02:36 +0000)

Myleene Klass criticised by Nick Clegg over mansion tax claims: 'What's fair about a family in Lewisham paying the same as an oligarch?'
Ed Miliband might have had a raw deal from the Prime Minister during PMQs after his heated debate about mansion tax with Myleene Klass on The Agenda on Monday, but the pop star hasn’t escaped the ordeal entirely unchallenged.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 09:05:29 +0000)

Baby monitors, CCTV cameras and webcams from UK homes and businesses hacked and uploaded onto Russian website
A Russian website has been found to be hosting hundreds of feeds of live footage from inside UK homes and businesses, which have been accessed by hacking into people’s webcams, which includes CCTV cameras and baby monitors.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:33:38 +0000)

Obesity does more damage to Britain than war or terrorism, study finds
Obesity costs Britain’s economy £47bn a year; more than war, terrorism or armed violence, a new study has found.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:16:53 +0000)

Prince Charles to continue his 'heartfelt interventions' after becoming king
Prince Charles plans to continue to intervene in public affairs after he becomes king, sources close to the heir to the throne have reportedly said, despite concerns he has been too overtly political.
(Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:18:02 +0000)

Insulting 'decent' Ukip voters will backfire – Lord Ashcroft warns Tories
Lord Ashcroft, the Conservatives’ former deputy chairman, has accused David Cameron of putting “two fingers” up to natural Tory supporters who are now supporting Ukip.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:26:38 +0000)

Top London CofE school 'failed to safeguard pupils from Islamic extremism'
One of the country’s most successful inner-city state schools is to be failed by inspectors for neglecting to safeguard its pupils from extremism in an echo of the Birmingham “Trojan Horse” affair.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:20:12 +0000)

Wrangling over life-saving meningitis vaccine may cost 'hundreds of children’s lives'
Jeremy Hunt is under severe pressure from the Prime Minister to explain why his department has failed to agree a deal with the makers of a new life-saving meningitis vaccine.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:26:17 +0000)

Mansion tax: London MPs call for rethink as Labour endures taxing time
Labour MPs in London are urging Ed Miliband to revise his plan for a mansion tax amid fears that it will cost the party votes at next May’s general election.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:06:15 +0000)

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Pop goes Labour’s Mansion Tax as Myleene Klass struggles on
Class war is back in British politics! Or rather Klass war. Though sadly not present, Myleene Klass, who self-effacingly describes herself on her website as “classical musician, TV presenter, author, fashion designer, businesswoman and mother” was very much the star of Prime Minister’s Questions.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:25:26 +0000)

Yunus Rahmatullah can sue Government over alleged rendition, High Court rules
A Pakistani man can sue the British Government over claims that he was detained unlawfully by UK soldiers before being held by American forces without charge for a decade, the High Court has ruled.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:25:15 +0000)

Rochester by-election: Battle of Medway turns into a war of words as Ukip brands Tories 'BNP-lite'
The Tory and Ukip candidates in the Rochester by-election were accused of pandering to racist voters as the campaign turned into a slanging match over immigration.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:12:42 +0000)

Scottish Labour leadership: Could former bricklayer Neil Findlay be Labour’s biggest headache yet?
Three years ago hardly anyone in the Scottish Parliament had heard of Neil Findlay. The former bricklayer wasn’t even expected to win a seat in the 2011 Holyrood election. But then came the collapse of Labour, and the arithmetic of Scotland’s proportional representation system unexpectedly sent him to Edinburgh.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:02:56 +0000)

Gender pay gap falls - but men still earn 17.5% more
The gap between men and women’s earnings is at its lowest level since records began, official figures show.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:01:25 +0000)

Andy McSmith's Diary: Sir Bob Geldof’s strange claim to common cause with plebs
“I came from a poor Irish, not particularly well educated background… I am in fact ‘a pleb’,” Bob Geldof said in evidence in the Old Bailey libel trial on behalf of his friend, former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:55:22 +0000)

MoD sells charity huge army tents for Iraqis fleeing Isis, but RAF won’t fly it there
A vast complex of British military tents which could be used to shelter hundreds of Christian refugees fleeing from Isis fighters remains unused because the British Government refused to fly it to northern Iraq.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:53:03 +0000)

Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Politicians are being “unfairly” portrayed in West End plays as self-serving individuals, according to Sir John Major, who claims it discourages people from voting.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:51:46 +0000)

Stoke's Fenton Town Hall protesters vow to occupy past Christmas
Protesters campaigning against the sell-off of the Fenton Town Hall in Stoke-on-Trent have vowed to occupy the historic building over Christmas and beyond.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:47:44 +0000)

Welfare delays cause soaring numbers using food banks
Delays and gaps in the welfare state are behind the soaring numbers turning to food banks, according to new research into those relying on charity in Britain.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:31:05 +0000)

Westminster sex abuse scandal: Police investigate father's claims that eight-year-old son was murdered by Conservative MP
Scotland Yard is investigating claims made by the father of an eight-year-old boy who was murdered 33 years ago that his young son may have been killed by a Westminster paedophile ring.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:12:28 +0000)

Domino’s Xbox One app allows gamers to order pizza by waving and shouting at console
Xbox One users in the UK will be given the power to order pizza from their console without even leaving their game —through a Domino’s app that even allows takeaways to be ordered with a wave of the hand or a shout.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 17:36:02 +0000)

Coffee shop apologises for sign telling mothers to breastfeed children in disabled toilet
A coffee shop in Surrey has apologised "unreservedly" for putting up a "badly-worded" sign telling groups of women to breastfeed in its disabled toilets instead of feeding their children at tables.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 17:17:00 +0000)

Pay squeeze continues as weekly earnings fall 1.6% in real terms
The Conservatives’ hopes of reaping a political reward for the economic recovery suffered a setback when it emerged that the real value of weekly earnings had fallen by 1.6 per cent in the year to April.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:34:43 +0000)

Care Quality Commission report: Just how good is your GP?
People in England can now compare the GP surgeries in their area thanks to an interactive map published for the first time by the health service watchdog.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:26:51 +0000)

Tower of London poppies: Artist claims people are 'breaking into the lorries' to steal flowers
The careful removal of all 888,426 poppies from the Tower of London moat has been marked by a spate of attempted thefts, according to the artist of the installation.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:55:24 +0000)

Transplant patients died after receiving kidneys 'classed as "unfit" by other hospitals'
Two transplant patients died after receiving kidneys from an alcoholic donor which other hospitals deemed “unfit”, an inquest has heard.
(Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:14:24 +0000)