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Universal credit: May faces revolt after McVey admits some will be worse off

Minister’s remarks contradict PM’s and follow warning of poll tax-style backlash Theresa May faces a House of Commons revolt over universal credit after the minister responsible for the system contradicted the government line and admitted it will leave some families “worse off”. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) needs to pass regulations in order to implement the next phase ...

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Brexit: No 10 says it will not agree to indefinite customs union with EU

Downing Street spokeswoman tries to ease cabinet Brexiters’ concerns over Irish backstop Downing Street has insisted the government will not sign up to any deal with the EU that would keep the UK in a customs union indefinitely, as the prime minister tries to assuage concerns in her cabinet. British negotiators in Brussels are thought to be preparing to sign ...

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Jamal Khashoggi: Britain challenges Saudi Arabia

  The UK’s foreign secretary has told Saudi Arabia that Britain expects urgent answers over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In a phone call to Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, Jeremy Hunt warned that “friendships depend on shared values”.  Mr Khashoggi was last seen visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, and Turkey says he may ...

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Pro-Brexit minister refuses to explicitly back Chequers plan

Penny Mordaunt increases pressure on government not to make concessions to EU Penny Mordaunt has refused to explicitly back Theresa May’s Chequers plan for Brexit, increasing pressure on the government not to make dramatic concessions to Brussels in the crucial days ahead. The international development secretary said she would not give a “running commentary” on the proposals when asked if ...

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UK announces broad support for Rohingyas

WFP urgently needs US $66mn to provide assistance till Mar 2019   Photo: This file photo shows miserable condition of a Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazar. Dhaka, Oct 9 : The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Bangladesh has welcomed a new contribution of US $22.25 million from the United Kingdom that will help meet the immediate food and ...

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UK statistics body has ‘serious concerns’ over DfE funding claims

Watchdog demands meeting with education department over ‘potentially misleading’ claims about school funding The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has been publicly reprimanded by the UK statistics watchdog over his department’s repeated misuse of data, in particular its “potentially misleading” claims over schools funding. The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) complained it had had reason to write to the Department for Education ...

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Ray Galton, writer of classic British sitcoms, dies at 88

  LONDON : Screenwriter Ray Galton, who co-wrote the landmark British comedy series “Hancock’s Half Hour” and “Steptoe and Son,” has died at 88. Galton’s family said Saturday that he died Friday evening after a “long and heart-breaking battle with dementia.” The London-born Galton was diagnosed with life-threatening tuberculosis as a teenager. In a sanatorium, he met another sick teen, ...

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Brexit: Sinn Féin and SDLP reject Stormont backstop role

Sinn Féin and the SDLP have rejected the possibility of Stormont having a say over what kind of backstop may emerge if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit Proposals being worked on by the British government are said to include some kind of role for MLAs. Sinn Féin and the SDLP said they oppose this. Earlier the parties, along with ...

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May’s end of austerity claim ‘not credible’, says Labour

Theresa May’s claim that austerity is coming to an end is as likely as her winning Strictly Come Dancing, Labour has said. The prime minister told the Conservative Party conference that, after a decade of economic sacrifices, the end was in sight. But shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the words “lacked credibility”. He said children’s services faced a £2bn budget ...

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Theresa May’s failure to mention Chequers ‘gives Barnier hope’

EU negotiator reportedly believes speech could signal room for Brexit compromise Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has taken Theresa May’s failure to namecheck Chequers in her Tory conference speech as a sign that she may be ready to dump the plan and get realistic, according to sources in Brussels. In her speech in Birmingham, May spelled out her vision ...

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