MP Joyce held after Commons fight
SHAMED politician Eric Joyce is being held by police following a late-night brawl at a bar in the House of Commons, sources said.
The independent Member of Parliament for Falkirk was arrested after the incident at the Sports and Social Club bar.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said last night: “Police were called shortly before 10.30pm this evening to reports of a disturbance at a bar within the House of Commons.
Labour-Lib Dems in Leveson alliance
THE Liberal Democrats will combine with Labour today to intensify the pressure on David Cameron ahead of next week’s crunch Commons vote on press regulation.
Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband will publish their own proposals to implement the recommendations of the Leveson Report, after the Prime Minister yesterday pulled the plug on months of cross-party talks.
Mr Cameron has said he will now publish a Royal Charter to underpin a new self-regulatory system for the press without the need for parliamentary legislation.
Tories ‘cannot be trusted’ – Clegg
THE UK Liberal Democrat leader will accuse his Tory coalition partners of being unable to stand up for Scottish interests in a conference speech today.
Nick Clegg, appearing before Scottish Lib Dems in Dundee, will draw attention to the backlash his party suffered for agreeing to join the UK Government at the last general election.
“I know that the fact of going into coalition with the Conservatives has been particularly controversial in Scotland,” he is expected to say.
Adviser axed after Forces pay stand
THE head of the independent body responsible for military pay has been told by No 10 that he cannot serve a second term amid claims he had been sacked for calling for troops to be compensated for government defence cuts.
Downing Street confirmed Professor Alasdair Smith would not be reappointed as chairman of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB), but insisted it was not linked to advice that service personnel should be given a rise to reflect the pressure of redundancies and cuts.
The Government yesterday rejected a recommendation by the AFPRB that there should be a 0.5% increase in the so-called “X-factor” supplement – added to military pay to reflect the hardships and uncertainties of service life – on top of a 1% rise in basic pay.
School funding ‘a real challenge’
TENS of thousands of extra school places will be needed by next year amid a continuing surge in demand, the spending watchdog warned today.
Despite more than 80,000 extra primary spaces being created in the last two years, there are still signs of a real strain on school places, according to a new report by the National Audit Office (NAO).
It says that the Government is pumping billions of pounds into establishing more places, but suggests that the Department for Education (DfE) still needs a better understanding of the costs, and the impact its funding is having in local areas.