Diary: We don't need no free school education, Mr Gibb

Ah free schools, David Cameron said last week, "symbolise everything that is good about the revolution that we are bringing to Britain's schools: choice for parents... free schools work and parents and teachers want more of them. So more is what they are going to get".

In that case, how many parents applied to send their children to the free academy being opened in Newham, in north London, with backing from an Essex-based company called Redeemer Education Services, the Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg inquired, in a parliamentary question. The Schools minister, Nick Gibb, did not give a reply to the question asked. Instead, he announced that the department is dropping the idea of opening an academy in Newham.

But Mr Twigg probably knew the answer before he asked the question, because Newham's Labour council is making no secret of it. The number of parents who made the Newham Free Academy their first choice of school for their children this autumn was nil.

Yo Karzai, your microphone is on

President Hamid Karzai had a "Yo Blair" moment during his joint press conference with David Cameron in Kabul. "Yo Blair" is what George Bush is reputed to have said at a G8 summit in 2006, not realising that the microphones were switched on – though it has been claimed that he actually said "Yeah Blair". President Karzai also momentarily forgot about the live mics yesterday, when he was overheard asking Mr Cameron why the Daily Telegraph's Rowena Mason, who had just asked a question on Syria, was wearing a headscarf. Cameron replied that it was to show respect.

Eurosceptics can't Express an interest

With the Tory right on the warpath over David Cameron's latest refusal to call a referendum on whether to leave the EU, it seemed a good moment to check on the progress of an e-petition the Daily Express launched on the Downing Street website a year ago, calling for just such a referendum. Any petition with more 100,000 names is considered for debate in the House of Commons.

The Express was claiming to have 65,000 supporters lined up as far back as last August, and yet the number of actual signatories is a little under 60,000, and the deadline for signing will expire in two weeks.

Peace-loving Tory finds love, not war

The former Tory MP Michael Bates is taking seriously Britain's "Olympic Truce" campaign, which calls upon combatants anywhere in the world to lay down their arms while the games are on. He has walked 3,000 miles across Europe to publicise it. It remains to be seen whether or not this admirable commitment has any positive effect on any of the world's trouble spots, but it has certainly done great things for the home life of Lord Bates. Just before he set off in April, he was invited to a dinner being held for the Speaker of the North Korean Parliament at the London home of an architect, Xuelin Li. They discussed his planned walk and when he ran into difficulties in riot-torn Athens, she volunteered to go out with spare kit. That was the beginning of more than just a beautiful friendship. The couple are getting married today in the chapel inside Parliament.

Final appeal by killers on 'whole life' tariffs

Three multiple killers have been given a final chance to convince European judges that Britain is wrong to deny them any hope that one day they will be let out of prison. They include Jeremy Bamber, who has spent 26 years denying that he murdered five members of his adoptive family, including two young boys, though his protestations of innocence are not widely believed.

He and two other convicted murderers, Douglas Vinter and Peter Moore, all have "whole life" tariffs, meaning that there is almost no chance that they will ever be released. In January, the European Court of Human Rights threw out their claim that the tariffs amount to degrading and inhumane treatment. Vintner, who spent nine years in prison for murder, and while he was out on licence, killed again, has lodged an appeal on behalf of all three. The case will be heard in Strasbourg in November.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn