Cameron ponders next Leveson move
DAVID Cameron is facing one of the toughest challenges of his premiership as he wrestles with the political fallout triggered by Lord Justice Leveson’s proposals to reform the press.
The Prime Minister is on a collision course with his Coalition partners, the Opposition and victims of press intrusion after indicating he will spike recommendations for a muscular new independent regulatory body, backed by legislation.
Lord Justice Leveson yesterday condemned the “culture of reckless and outrageous journalism” that dominated sections of the press for decades as he unveiled the findings of his 16-month inquiry.
Labour clean sweep as UKIP advances
LABOUR was celebrating a clean sweep in three parliamentary by-elections in Rotherham, Middlesbrough and Croydon North today.
But the celebrations were maybe bigger at the UK Independence Party, which took second place in the two northern seats and recorded its best ever by-election result in Rotherham, where its candidate secured 21.8% of the vote.
It was a dismal night for both coalition parties, with the Conservatives slumping to fourth in Middlesbrough and fifth in Rotherham.
UN recognises state of Palestine
THE United Nations General Assembly has agreed to recognise a Palestinian state, despite the UK abstaining in the vote and fierce opposition from the United States.
William Hague was under pressure to back last night’s historic move in New York but said Britain could only support the resolution if the Palestinians gave a commitment to an immediate and unconditional return to the negotiating table with Israel.
The UK also required an assurance that the Palestinians would not seek to extend the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the Occupied Territories.
Patients get more control over care
TENS of thousands of patients will be able to get cash from their doctors for “personal health budgets” which can be used for activities including singing lessons and other hobbies, it has been announced.
Patients will have access to the budgets which give them more choice and control over the care they receive, care and support minister Norman Lamb will say.
Ministers have decided to roll the scheme out after a successful pilot.
Over-50s too optimistic on savings
THE over-50s are “sleepwalking” towards their retirement by under-estimating how long they will live for and being overly optimistic about how well-off they will be, research by pensions experts warns today.
A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said savers with a defined contribution (DC) pension typically appear to be “somewhat optimistic”, and some would have to grow their pension pot by almost 80% to meet their retirement expectations.
The research, backed by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), found that one in four people aged 50 to 64 would need to save more than £60,000 before they retire to achieve the income they expect, and almost two-thirds (59%) had never considered how many years of retirement they might need to finance.