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Care home work of campaigning solicitor put at risk by licensing authority's ruling
The good news for the Labour Party is that they've got themselves a new, combative, economically literate shadow Chancellor, a man who was put on God's good green earth to make George Osborne's life intolerable. "Attack Dog" is a terrible cliché, but it fits Balls's bull mastiff-like demeanour. He will pursue his mission with all the monomaniacal zeal that his mentor, Gordon Brown, brought to the task of harrying the confidence out of successive Tory chancellors in the 1990s.
They had the big stories, but where were the big laughs?
Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson dramatically quit the Labour front bench tonight 'for personal reasons to do with my family'.
Waltzing Peter Mandelson, seen here strutting his stuff at Blackpool's Tower Ballroom, will not be appearing on his beloved Strictly Come Dancing, but controversy still rages as to who snubbed whom: Mandy or the BBC. The former First Secretary suggested stroppily to Total Politics magazine that no invitation to strut his stuff had been forthcoming: "They had their opportunity [to ask me]," he said, "and now they can get lost." Yet the Corporation's head of comms for Entertainment insists that, on the contrary, Mandelson declined an offer to take part – unlike cross-party fox-trotters Ann Widdecombe and Vince Cable, who is due to feature in a Christmas special. Well, it is two years since Mandy first expressed his interest in the show; perhaps the Beeb just played too hard to get.
Oh, all right. I wouldn't have got it either. Sad but true: if you had asked me what the national debt was, I wouldn't have been able to give you a figure. If you asked me the difference between that and the budget deficit, I probably wouldn't get it either. Thank goodness it's not part of my job.
George Osborne received a double helping of good news yesterday: better-than-expected figures on the strength of the recovery and an upgrade from the credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor.
Outlook One small part of the spending review that the shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, chose not to address in his response was Mr Osborne's announcement of a £1.5bn compensation settlement for victims of the Equitable Life injustice. No wonder: the Chancellor was quite right to accuse his Labour predecessors in Government of "dithering" in their response to a series of reports from the Parliamentary Ombudsman, calling for redress for those who lost out as a result of the failure to properly regulate Equitable. Moreover, on the face of it, the offer made to Equitable victims looks to be a decent one.
Alan Johnson, the shadow Chancellor, has said that banks should take a more prominent share in plugging Britain's budget deficit, as he attacked the Government for its "perverse" plan to bring public spending under control.
As George Osborne puts the final touches to this Wednesday's Comprehensive Spending Review, Matt Chorley and Brian Brady reveal how much pain the big departments face.
Yet many big departments are still in talks over scale of cuts
The new Labour leader's choice of Alan Johnson as shadow Chancellor is a signal of economic intent, says Andrew Grice
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has relegated the fight against the ill-treatment of women under Treasury pressure to find big cuts in her £10bn-a-year budget, her predecessor in the role claims today.
A scheme to protect women from domestic abuse by removing violent partners from the family home is being scrapped by the Government as part of its drive to cut public spending.
The Home Secretary yesterday read the last rites for Tony Blair's flagship policy for dealing with noisy neighbours, drunk teenagers, fly-tippers, graffiti artists and vandals.
If politics is showbusiness for ugly people, these beauties feel entitled to go the whole hog when it comes to regressing