UK news

Composer behind Disney hits dies at 86

By Jennifer Lipman, March 6, 2012

The composer behind It's a Small World After All and the song Supercalifragilistic from the Disney musical Mary Poppins has died.

Robert B Sherman, the London-based songwriter who with his brother Richard composed music for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Aristocats, The Jungle Book and The Parent Trap, was 86.


Sally Hunt re-elected as UCU general secretary

By Marcus Dysch, March 6, 2012

Sally Hunt has been re-elected general secretary of the University and College Union after defeating Socialist Workers' Party member Mark Campbell.

Ms Hunt received 10,776 votes, a winning margin of almost 7,000 and representing 73 per cent of the votes cast.

The winning margin was five times larger than when she was first elected in 2007.


Police probe into Israel "must be destroyed" speaker dropped

By Marcus Dysch, March 5, 2012

Police have dropped an investigation into comments made by controversial former US marine Ken O'Keefe at an Israel Apartheid Week event.

Officers studied video footage of Mr O'Keefe telling an audience that Israel "must be destroyed", but decided no criminal offence had been committed.

Mr O'Keefe had responded to last week's news of the investigation by tweeting: "Bring it ****ing on."


Childline founder Rantzen plans Silver service for the elderly

By Jennifer Lipman, March 2, 2012

Esther Rantzen is launching a new telephone counselling service for vulnerable elderly people.

Writing about her plans in the Daily Mail, the television presenter and one-time parliamentary candidate explained that she wanted the new charity to combat loneliness and the feeling "that if you ceased to exist no one would miss you".


Sir Martin Gilbert wins prestigious Israeli prize

By Jennifer Lipman, March 1, 2012

The British historian Sir Martin Gilbert has won a prestigious Israeli prize honouring achievements of outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact.

Sir Martin, the official biographer of Winston Churchill and the author of 80 studies including of Israeli and Jewish history, was named as the recipient of the $1 million Dan David prize earlier today.


Israeli envoy to the UK responds to Tonge's outburst

By Jennifer Lipman, March 1, 2012

The Israeli ambassador to Britain has described Jenny Tonge's attack on Israel as "shocking".

The former peer and longtime Israel critic resigned from the Liberal Democrats on Wednesday after refusing to apologise for stating that Israel would "not last forever".


Judge tells stalker to sort life out

By Alison Denton, March 1, 2012

Estate agent David Bloom was told by a judge that he had "disgraced himself" after embarking on a campaign of harassment against his former girlfriend.

Bloom, 39, of Stanmore, Middlesex, could not accept the end of his relationship with Amanda Freeman and stalked her and sent her text messages.

Last Friday, Judge John Plumstead, sitting at St Albans Crown Court, issued a three-year community


Why, Mr Ambassador, you're spoiling me…

By Marcus Dysch, March 1, 2012

Many married couples agree not to discuss work issues at home but, for one Israeli family, the subject has become unavoidable.

Boaz Modai, Israel's ambassador to Ireland, warmly welcomed a familiar face as his new deputy at the Dublin embassy last week - his wife, Nurit Tinari-Modai.

It is thought to be the first time an Israeli husband and wife have worked together as ambassador and deputy.


Tragedy of tourism PR employee

By Nathan Jeffay, March 1, 2012

Two months after an employee at Israel's tourism office in London committed suicide, it has emerged that she had claimed to be the victim of sexual harassment by a superior, and faced redundancy.


Mr Vaizey goes to Israel - to see how it's done

March 1, 2012

Ed Vaizey, Britain's Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, is to lead a high-powered business delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories next week.

Representatives from some of the UK's top creative and media companies including BBC Worldwide, Ogilvy, Samsung and Albion will accompany him.