UK government

Alan Sugar: Small business are 'moaners'

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

Alan Sugar has faced calls for his resignation as government enterprise 'tsar' over derogatory comments he made at a conference about small businesses, callling them "moaners".

Lord Sugar, who is the star of the BBC's The Apprentice, came under fire from the Federation of Small Businesses Liberal Democrats after the comments, made at a conference in Manchester for small to medium businesses.

He allegedly told the delegates: "I can honestly say a lot of problems you hear from people who are moaning [about the recession] are from companies I wouldn't lend a penny to.

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BNP banned from Parliament

October 21, 2009

Following action by John Mann MP and a vote in the House of Commons, MEPs including the BNP’s Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons will be denied Parliamentary passes and access to House of Commons facilities thus putting an end to a 20 year precedent.

Mr Mann’s early day motion was signed by dozens of parliamentary colleagues. It noted that while Euro MPs had traditionally been granted passes to the Houses of Parliament, the reverse was not true for UK MPs trying to access European parliamentary services.

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Clinton and Kaminski: What the papers say

By Jessica Elgot, October 21, 2009

The Jewish Chronicle revealed last week that concerns were expressed during the London visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Conservative links to far-right European groups and Polish MEP Michal Kaminski.

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Michal Kaminski: the debate rages

October 8, 2009

The controversy surrounding the Conservative Party's European pact with the rightwing Polish party of Michal Kaminski has been the talk of the Conservative Party Conference this week.

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Ed Miliband's radio reunion with lost aunt

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

Ed Miliband, energy minister and brother of foreign secretary, David, was reunited with a long-lost relative during a live phone-in while appearing on a Russian radio station.

Mr Miliband appeared on the Ekho Moskvy programme on Monday to answer questions on climate negotiations and global warming, when an elderly woman phoned in.

Live on air, she said: “My name is Sophia Davidovna Miliband. I am the only remaining relative. I would like to tell him about all his relatives.”

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Blood and Honour: Johnson pressed to act

By Leon Symons, October 1, 2009

Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones has called on home secretary Alan Johnson to proscribe the extreme right wing group Blood & Honour.

Only last week the group was reported to the police for distributing racially offensive CDs.

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Defence chief in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 1, 2009

Chief of the UK Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup, has made a three-day visit to Israel.

During the trip — which was not publicised by the British or Israeli defence ministries — Sir Jock met IDF Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and other senior officers. Issues discussed included missile defence, Iran’s nuclear programme and methods of defending ground troops from explosive devices. British forces in Afghanistan have a strategy based on Israel’s experience in dealing with suicide bombers and explosives.

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Chris Grayling: No more funding for extremists

By Martin Bright, October 1, 2009

Chris Grayling is a cool customer.

He has a reputation as a Tory attack dog, a ruthless opposition politician who can put the squeeze on any government minister unfortunate enough to cross his path.

He has already seen off one Home Secretary during his short time in the shadow post and is building a reputation as a worthy adversary to the current incumbent, Alan Johnson.

He has the demeanour of an establishment man — crisp pink shirt, Tory blue tie, House of Commons cufflinks — and speaks with the authority of someone heading for the Cabinet.

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Analysis: Denham reveals how government's Islamist stance unresolved

By Martin Bright, September 24, 2009

Our interview with Communities Secretary John Denham illustrates that the British government’s stance on engagement with home-grown Islamism remains unresolved.

Mr Denham has made it clear that the Muslim Council of Britain will remain out in the cold while its deputy secretary general remains a signatory to the Istanbul declaration calling for attacks on Israel and the Royal Navy.

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Ehud Barak to speak at Labour conference

September 23, 2009

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak will speak at the Labour Party Conference next week.

He will be addressing the Labour Friends of Israel at their annual reception on Tuesday afternoon.

The presence of Mr Barak, who is also Israel’s deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, is certain to be controversial given the hostility of many Labour Party members to Israel, and his role in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza earlier this year.

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