Thursday, August 16News For London


Breaking: Former London MP Cecil Parkinson dies: Age 84

#breakingnews, Politics
Lord Parkinson, who served as Member of Parliament for Hertfordshire, Enfield and Hertsmere has died from Cancer aged 84. Lord Parkinson was considered as one of Margaret Thatcher’s closest supporters. Under Mrs Thatcher he served in cabinet in numerous roles, including Secretary of State for Transport and the Department of Trade and Industry. However it was his antics away from parliament that derailed his political career, as he was involved in one of the biggest political sex scandals of the 1980s. In 1983, it emerged that Parkinson had been engaged in an affair with his secretary Sara Keays,   resulting in the birth of his daughter, Flora. Miss Keays claimed that Parkinson has reneged on a promise to leave his wife d

Read Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation letter

#breakingnews, Politics
Read the full resignation letter from Iain Duncan Smith to The Prime Minister 18th March 2016 Dear Prime Minister, I am incredibly proud of the welfare reforms that the government has delivered over the last five years. Those reforms have helped to generate record rates of employment and in particular a substantial reduction in workless households. As you know, the advancement of social justice was my driving reason for becoming part of your ministerial team and I continue to be grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve. You have appointed good colleagues to my department who I have enjoyed working with. It has been a particular privilege to work with with excellent civil servants and the outstanding Lord Freud and other ministers including my present team, throu

Shake-up of local healthcare as Brent Council tries to cut costs

News, Politics, ReportingWeek2
The leaders of Brent Council have approved wide ranging changes to healthcare as part of a package to save £18.8m over the next three years. The measures were approved by the Labour controlled council yesterday at Brent Civic Centre. The local Conservative opposition described the cuts as: "premature, and not in the right areas." The council's cost cutting measures include: closures of elderly day care centres, restructuring physical rehabilitation services, and a pan-London project to streamline access to sexual health services. When combined with previously approved cost-cutting proposals of £28.3m, this means the council will save £47.1m over the next three years. Labour councillors at the meeting were unanimous in condemning the Conservative government at Westminster for

The Death of the Tax Return: blessed relief or nagging pain?

Business, News, Politics, ReportingWeek2
Image Courtesy of Phillip   Today HM Revenue and Customs bought in a new system to help self-employed taxpayers work out how much tax they owe, but opinion is divided over the change. The Personal tax account is an entirely online system that will allow self assed tax payers to manage their payments more regularly online. Tax expert Guy Bridger believes the changes are long overdue and that the old system was “a big panic for people who are self-employed”. He said:  “It’s going to make people’s lives easier. Yes it’s going to be more regular clicking on buttons hitting keypads and calculating things but it’s not rocket science to do these things. If it can be somewhat automated in the sense that it’s all more manageable and things can be assessed more easily then yes it ju

Labour MP Jess Phillips’s interview about the Labour Party

Media, Politics, ReportingWeek2
“I would knife Jeremy Corbyn in the front” Labour MP Jess Phillips to the Guardian columnist Owen Wilson in an interview. This sentence is in all media this Monday. If the Birmingham MP criticized the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it is not the only point of her interview.   The Birmingham MP was indeed asked about her opinion on her party and its leader and answered honestly that she did not believe Labour could success in general elections were to happen now. When asked if she would change leader she answers “I would do anything that I felt was going to make the Labour Party to win the next elections”. She is still very clear about the fact that she would support him and do her best to make him electable.   As a Birmingham MP, she considers people in her district are c

Labour MPs at war

Politics, ReportingWeek2
Questions have been asked about the state of the Parliamentary Labour Party following weekend reports that one senior MP is trying to have another sacked. MPs were talking on Friday night about the growing spat between the two with one anonymous MP saying “Diane Abbott is behind trying to oust Chief Whip Rosie Winterton” and that it was the “talk of the tea room.” Rumours intensified over the weekend forcing Corbynites supporting Dianne Abbot to deny the allegation, stating: “Diane has never wanted to be a whip. She is very happy in her international development role.” The Daily Mail, who ran the story on Saturday, gained a quote from an insider in Rosie Winterton’s camp: “This criticism of Rosie bears all the hallmarks of Diane.” Today both Winterton and Abbott were unavailabl

Saudi Arabian females say that the votes are ‘not such a big deal’

Politics, Uncategorized
Saudi females have voted and run for office for the first time in History during Saturday’s municipal elections. The step for a more democratic country was widely covered and praised throughout worldwide media. The Telegraph reported that the election ‘marked an important step forward’. According to BBC’s report, a total of 978 women registered as candidates, alongside 5,938 men. And Officials have said about 130,000 women had registered to vote in Saturday's poll, compared with 1.35 million men. In order to understand what this change means for those living in the country, I spoke to Saudi women.     But what do Saudi females feel about this move? A Saudi female artist who didn’t want to be named shared her views on the votes:  “I didn’t participate in
Child rights activists to urge UK parliamentarians to end child marriage

Child rights activists to urge UK parliamentarians to end child marriage

International, Politics
Girls Not Brides, a coalition of more than 400+ civil society organisations, will launch a new publication and resource pack on Child Marriage on Wednesday at the Houses of Parliament (16 December). The Parliamentary launch "The Role of Parliamentarians in Ending Child Marriage"  is being co-hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and Girls Not Brides (GNB) in attendance by women parliamentarians from the Middle East and South East Asia. The GNB's publication is designed to be used as a "Parliamentary Toolkit", to encourage parliamentarians to use their political will and intensify efforts for the campaign #endchildmarriage. The need for greater action is highlighted by the facts: that every year some 15 million girls around the world are marri

Big Tobacco take on government

Business, News, Politics, ReportingWeek2
Image Courtesy of Sophie Riches Plain cigarette packaging regulations due to come into force in May 2016 are being challenged in the high court by four of the world’s largest tobacco companies. Imperial Tobacco Group, British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International claim that the legislation aimed at discouraging smoking will unlawfully impact their trademark intellectual property by making their packets look the same. The Chief Executive of anti smoking group ASH, Deborah Arnott, said: "This is a desperate last ditch move by the tobacco companies to try to protect their right to promote their products in glitzy brightly coloured packaging, hoping that they will attract children and young people to become the next generation addicted to s

EU Referendum: Peers to present a fresh amendment for votes at 16

Politics, Uncategorized
Source: JesmondLocal Peers are about to present a new proposal to force the Government to allow 16 and 17 years old to vote in the European Union membership referendum Today they are putting down a new amendment in the House of Lords to question claims by the government that temporarily lowering the voting age to 16 would involve costs of around £6 million. Last Tuesday MPs at the House of Commons voted against the move by 303 to 253 overturning an amendment to the EU Referendum Bill passed in the House of Lords last month to let young people have a say on UK’s EU membership. The leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron said: “The Government will come with various excuses of why they can’t do it. It cost a little bit of more money, £6 million out of a budget which is much gre