Minister makes house-building plea
PEOPLE must accept more house-building or face “propping up their kids and grandkids” in the years ahead, the coalition Planning Minister has warned.
Nick Boles said the shortage of affordable housing was now the biggest threat to social justice in the UK and insisted greenfield sites had to be developed to tackle the problem.
He claimed that England was not “massively overdeveloped”.
BBC’S Marr in hospital after stroke
BROADCASTER Andrew Marr is recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke, the BBC confirmed.
The 53-year-old journalist and television presenter was taken ill on Tuesday, the corporation said.
The BBC said in a statement: “His doctors say he is responding to treatment. His family have asked for their privacy to be respected as he recovers.
M&S suffers clothing sales slump
MARKS & Spencer has revealed a bigger-than-expected slump in clothing sales over Christmas.
Non-food sales at the retail bellwether were down 3.8%, in the 13 weeks to December 29, pushing overall like-for-like UK sales down 1.8%.
The group, which has drafted in the former Debenhams and Jaeger boss Belinda Earl to revitalise its womenswear, said it had been a “challenging and highly promotional” general merchandise market.
Warning over MOD aircraft delays
THE armed forces are facing “critical shortfalls” in air transport and air-to-air refuelling capabilities because of delays in delivering new aircraft, the Whitehall spending watchdog warned today.
The Ministry of Defence has already spent £787 million trying to plug the gap caused by the delays to the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) and A400M transport aircraft programmes, the National Audit Office (NAO) disclosed.
It said that officials were now looking at the possibility of extending the life of its elderly VC10s – which were supposed to be retired from service in March – by “a few months” in order to eke out as much refuelling capacity as possible.
Deputy PM holds radio phone-in
DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg will hold the first of his new weekly radio phone-ins today as he seeks to reconnect with voters.
The Liberal Democrat leader is to take calls from listeners to London’s LBC 97.3 radio with presenter Nick Ferrari from 9am.
“I’m doing this because I don’t think politicians get to hear enough from people directly,” Mr Clegg said this week.