News British muslim Maajid Nawaz is the country's most famous former Islamist fanatic

A former activist in the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has been chosen to fight a marginal parliamentary seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Jackson in call for duty free inquiry

THE JUNIOR transport minister, Glenda Jackson, yesterday backed calls for a new study into the impact of abolishing duty free shopping throughout the European Union.

Tories taught a lesson in mayoral race

DOWNING STREET officials were left wondering whether the former Tory minister Steve Norris was looking for Labour backing to become the first elected mayor of London after he launched an astonishing attack on Baroness Thatcher's education record.

Leading Article: Blair can't march in two directions

"BACKWARDS into a more democratic and pluralist future." It is not much of a rallying cry, but it seems to be the Prime Minister's way. The Government is about to publish a White Paper on the government of London which will muffle plans which are destined to revolutionise local government throughout the country with mundane and confusing detail. This is typical of Tony Blair's approach to constitutional reform: the most extraordinary and radical changes are being proposed as if they were merely tidying-up measures, and their far-reaching consequences played down, despite the huge potential gains for the quality of our democracy.

Transport: Road safety drive for children

The Government is set to launch a new child safety campaign to help youngsters cope with traffic on their way to and from school.

Shipwreck blamed on open hatches

A failure to close several hatches on the Sapphire trawler, which sank last year with the loss of four lives, was partly to blame for the tragedy, investigators revealed yesterday.

Transport: Labour blocks free left turns at red traffic lights

The Government yesterday gave a thumbs down to uncontrolled turns to the left at traffic lights. Transport minister Glenda Jackson told MPs in the Commons that ministers were not in favour of a proposed adaptation to the system in the United States - where they drive on the right - turning right on red at traffic signals being introduced in Britain.

Hopes rise for Marchioness inquiry

The Marchioness Action Group emerged optimistic after a face-to- face meeting with Transport Minister Glenda Jackson yesterday to discuss the possibility of a public inquiry into the Thames tragedy in which 51 people died.

Airlines squeeze travellers as high-flying young Britons grow too tall for their seats

Air travel is becoming an increasingly cramped experience for young Britons, according to figures published today. Ministers are being asked to review regulations on the space between aeroplane seats because a tenth of 16-34 year-old men are now officially too big to fit into them comfortably.

Marchioness' inquiry hopes

`The Government is to meet relatives of victims of the Marchioness Thames pleasure boat disaster next month to hear their case for a public inquiry into the tragedy. Glenda Jackson, the transport minister, said the Government was "considering the case for a public inquiry" and would meet the Marchioness Action Group in August. She added that the group's "request for a full and open inquiry" would be discussed.

Cabinet fears gag over union cash

The Cabinet Office is reviewing the rules that dictate the conduct of ministers in order to take into account the money paid by trade unions to local Labour parties.

No, minister ... that's not how we do things here

Fran Abrams and Christian Wolmar find Whitehall trying to adapt to the wind of change

THEATRE Marat / Sade Olivier, RNT, London

To join The Caucasian Chalk Circle in this first in-the-round season in the Olivier, the National Theatre has chosen another work that predominantly exists as a play-within-a-play. The heightened sense you get of being voyeurs when seated round a dramatic action in a self-aware ring should be of particular benefit to a staging of the Marat / Sade. Set in an asylum in 1808, it makes you privy to a performance, put on by the inmates, of a play about the historical events leading up to the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat.

Letter: Lawless cyclists: drivers hit back

Sir: I hope our new Under-Secretary for Transport in London, Glenda Jackson, will put her bottom where her department's mouth is - "To promote the use of public transport and curb the car culture" ("Who's who in the Labour government, 8 May) - and use public transport to get to Westminster rather than driving to work.

Out for the count with Glenda

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted to see democracy in action, experience first hand our awesome birthright, be witness to a major political event, watch the Tories take a pasting, that kind of thing. Which is why I found myself at the Camden Centre at 9.30 on Thursday evening. This was where the votes were to be counted for two Inner London constituencies: Frank Dobson's Holbom & St Pancras and Glenda Jackson's Hampstead & Highgate.

Election `97: I simply don't believe the Conservatives

HOW I WILL VOTE: RICHARD WILSON
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