Authorities had been forced to dip into funds allocated to other services to cope with the surge in numbers of households appealing for help
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Sunday 09 January 2011
Tuesday 04 January 2011
Communities Secretary Eric "Extra" Pickles has doubtless been described as Churchillian before now, for his considerable size if not his statesmanship. Yet even the great former Prime Minister would be impressed by the number of wars his Conservative descendant has declared, fought and/or finished. Yesterday, Extra called a ceasefire in what he described as "Whitehall's War on the Motorist". In December, he hailed the end of the non-existent "War on Christmas" (his words). He even produced a series of YouTube clips during the general election entitled "Eric Pickles' War Room briefings". Meanwhile, the media has accused Extra of "declaring war" on – among other things – town halls, "street clutter", "council non-jobs" and "bossy bollards". Two questions: should Extra be moved to the MoD (with all that military experience, he's clearly wasted at DCLG)? And could we declare war on the use of "war on ... "?
Tuesday 07 December 2010
Labour MP Chris Bryant says Liberal Democrat member Mike Hancock was always too soft on Russia following allegations that he employed a suspected Russian spy, Katia Zatuliveter, as his aide.
Thursday 02 December 2010
The US may have been "led up the garden path" by Britain over a secret deal to allow them to get round a ban on cluster munitions, a former foreign office minister said today.
Wednesday 24 November 2010
MPs were warned yesterday it would be difficult for Parliament to take action over the alleged hacking of their mobile phones by the News of the World.
Sunday 07 November 2010
Andy Coulson was last night accused of throwing his former staff "to the wolves", after it emerged that the Downing Street spin doctor had spoken to police investigating allegations of illegal phone-hacking while he was editor of News of the World.
Sunday 31 October 2010
Wednesday 27 October 2010
David Cameron dismissed talk of a climbdown over capping housing benefit today despite claims that the policy could drive 200,000 poor people out of major cities.
Wednesday 27 October 2010
The Government today dismissed talk of a climbdown over capping housing benefit today despite warnings that the policy will "cleanse" poor people from major cities.
Wednesday 27 October 2010
Nick Clegg reacted with fury yesterday to accusations that ministers were "sociologically cleansing" the poor out of parts of London with planned cuts to housing benefit payments.
Wednesday 29 September 2010
The battle for jobs in Ed Miliband's top team was joined in earnest tonight with 49 Labour MPs putting themselves forward.
Friday 17 September 2010
Good to hear that the Sky News anchor Kay "Hurly" Burley wasn't overly traumatised by her on-air altercation with the Labour MP Chris Bryant. When you've had dust-ups with photographers, or listened to protesters yelling for you to be sacked on live television, being called "a bit dim" must seem a trifling matter. Ms Burley, 49, was out in support of her fellow Murdoch employees (naturally) on Wednesday evening, at the launch of The Sun's new television magazine, Buzz. "I was just at a party with Chris Bryant, actually," she told me. "I told him I didn't recognise him with his clothes on." She was referring, I must assume, to Bryant's Y-front moment in 2003, when the honourable member for Rhondda apologised after posting a picture of himself in his underpants on a dating website. Somewhat below the belt of Ms Burley to bring it up, you might think, but hardly uncharacteristic. Burley is, after all, the relentless interrogator who made Peter Andre cry.
Tuesday 14 September 2010
The shadow Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant and former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick officially issued judicial review proceedings over the newspaper phone-hacking row yesterday.
Monday 13 September 2010
With a YouGov poll showing the Milibandroid race too close to call and the odds shortening against Forrest Gump, as Little Ed is now known by David's campaign, we are reminded that with elections you never know what you're gonna get.
Friday 10 September 2010
Sometimes Parliament – "this sacred place" as Tom Watson called it – looks less than transcendental. In yesterday's emergency debate, for instance, it looked like a turtle on its back flapping its fins.
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
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