UK news

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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Anti-Israel protestor cleared of police attack

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2009

A founding member of an anti-Israel group has been cleared of attacking a policeman during a protest against Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Deborah Fink, of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG), was arrested in London in May while demonstrating as Mr Lieberman spoke at an event at the home of JNF chairman Samuel Hayek.

Ms Fink was in a group of around a dozen protestors who were asked to move by police.

When they refused they were moved by officers. She admitted putting up “strong physical resistance” before she was arrested.

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Board sent letter to Cameron over Kaminski

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

The Board of Deputies has sent a letter to Conservative leader David Cameron expressing concern over his party’s rightwing European alliances.

Vivian Wineman, president of the Board, wrote to Mr Cameron raising his concerns over the past political activities of Michal Kaminski and Roberts Zile, who made appearances at the Tory conference this week.

Mr Kaminski, who is Polish, is the leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists bloc at the European Parliament, of which the Conservative Party is a member. Mr Zile is the leader of the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom party.

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Chelsea to ban antisemitic football chants

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2009

Chelsea FC have pledged to find and ban supporters filmed singing antisemitic songs about rivals Tottenham at a match last month.

Clips of fans chanting in a concourse at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium were posted on YouTube, leading Spurs to complain to the west London club.

They can be heard singing "Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz" while beer bottles are thrown around.

Chelsea, owned by Roman Abramovich, said they had passed the clips to police who are now investigating.

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Petition for UK to reject Goldstone report

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

A petition launched by a Board of Deputies member asks Gordon Brown publicly to reject the UN Goldstone Report into Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

Jonathan Hoffman, co-vice chairman of the Zionist Federation and a member of the Board of Deputies launched the petition “No To Goldstone” on the Number 10 website.

The petition has also been signed by Douglas Murray, the journalist and director of the Centre for Social Cohesion.

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Winehouse to perform on Strictly Come Dancing

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Amy Winehouse is set to perform live on Strictly Come Dancing, as a backing singer for her 13-year-old goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.

The singer, 26, has signed Dionne up to her own record label, Lioness Records, and the BBC show will see her debut her new single Mama Said.

Winehouse said: “Dionne is so much better than I was at her age. I’m so proud. She’s my number one.”
Bromfield spoke of her excitement at singing with her godmother.

She said: "Amy and I both love Strictly Come Dancing.

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Matt Lucas quits West End after ex-partner's suicide

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Little Britain’s Matt Lucas has left his role in Prick Up Your Ears until further notice after the suicide of his ex-partner Kevin McGee.

Mr McGee, 32, was found hanged at his Edinburgh flat and police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Mr Lucas had been playing a lead in Prick Up Your Ears, a play based on the life of writer Joe Orton, which opened on the weekend.

Producers have confirmed that understudy Michael Chadwick will take the role until further notice.

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Richard Caring offers £15,000 for stag killer

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

The Jewish owner of The Ivy restaurant is offering £15,000 reward for capturing the vandal who shot two stags on his estate.

Police are investigating the possibility that the attacks may have been intended to send a threatening message to Mr Caring.

Richard Caring, who also owns celebrity hotspot Annabel’s nightclub, has now hired former SAS soldiers as security guards for his estate in Exmoor.

The businessman, who is 146th on the Sunday Times Rich List and worth an estimated £360 million, called the hunter “a lunatic with a high-powered rifle”.

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Israel vice premier cancels UK trip after arrest fears

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe "Boogie" Ya'alon has cancelled a trip to London to speak at a JNF charity dinner over fears he may face arrest for war crimes.

Former IDF chief-of-staff Mr Ya’alon said the trip was “cancelled to avoid playing into the hands of anti-Israel propaganda” after the attempted arrest of Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak when he visited the UK last week.

He is believed to have sought legal advice before accepting the invitation to speak at the JNF event on behalf of Benji's Home, a charity for Israeli soldiers with no family in the country.

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