UK government

UK, US critical of new home building in Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2009

The British and US governments and the United Nations have denounced plans approved by Israel to build 900 homes in Gilo, a neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

The building has been approved by the Israeli Interior Ministry has approved the expansion of the neighbourhood in south west Jerusalem.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The Foreign Secretary has been very clear that a credible deal involves Jerusalem as a shared capital. Expanding settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem makes that deal much harder. So this decision is wrong and we oppose it."

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New legal right for victims of Nazi looters

By Jessica Elgot, November 13, 2009

A new bill, which will allow art looted by the Nazis and found in British museums to be returned to its original owners, has passed into law today.

Labour’s Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, first sponsored the Holocaust (Stolen Art) Restitution Act, which has now been given Royal Assent.

He said: “It shows what could be achieved by a determined backbencher: by rolling out my sleeping bag and sleeping on the floor of the Public Bill Office overnight, I was able to become the first in the queue to apply for Second Readings after the balloted Bills, and this tactic paid off.

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Whitehall in turmoil over Muslim advisers

By Martin Bright, November 12, 2009

An ideological battle has broken out in Whitehall over the advice given to ministers on Islamic radicalism.

A series of recent changes of personnel and promotions at key departments has led to concerns that the government is moving away from a policy of dialogue with moderates towards a policy of engagement with more radical groups.

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Labour MP pulls out of pro-Palestine event

By Jessica Elgot, November 11, 2009

Labour MP Neil Gerrard has pulled out of a pro-Hamas rally, which will be attended by Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Tonge, after an anti-racism group asked him to withdraw.

Mr Gerrard told the anti-fascist group Nothing British About the BNP that he would not attend the event organised by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC).

He claimed this was because of “substantial evidence” that far-right Hungarian MP Kristina Morvai would be attending.

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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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