Voices

Defence procurement has been one of the biggest machines for wasting money

The laggards left behind by Labour's gleaming machine

One said he had not been spoken to like that since he was 14. Another said it was the worst moment of his political career.

BCCI fraudster jailed for record 14 years and fined pounds 3m

Abbas Kasimili Gokal, the world's biggest fraudster, yesterday received the longest sentence ever handed down by a British court for fraud. Gokal, the man at the centre of the collapse of the Bank of Credit & Commerce International, was jailed for 14 years at the Old Bailey. The defendant, who had fought his case on legal aid, was also ordered to pay a record pounds 2.94m from his personal assets within two years or face three more years in prison.

Foster quits over Cabinet post snub

Tony Blair suffered his first ministerial resignation yesterday, just four days after coming into office.

Mawhinney's defective ploy

The story of the "defector who wasn't" should have been good news for Brian Mawhinney yesterday. Instead, the Tory chairman found himself fleeing into the conference centre pursued by journalists.

Labour takes the heat over out-of-town shopping

A leading countryside group attacked Labour after its front- bench spokesman, Keith Vaz, said the party was more in favour of out-of- town shopping developments than the Government. The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) criticised a speech by Mr Vaz at a planning conference in Canary Wharf, east London, saying its tone was "disturbing". He told planners, politicians and developers that out-of-town supermarkets were innovative, exciting and ``the best in the world"; Whitehall should not stand in the way of "this retail revolution''. Neil Sinden, of the CPRE, promised the council would fight ``tooth and nail'' any attempt by a Labour government to relax restrictions on new out-of-town retail developments.

Curbs on shopping centres to save towns

The Government signalled the possible end of the development of new out- of-town shopping complexes yesterday when it unveiled a stringent set of planning guidelines designed to protect Britain's town centres.

Labour may relax ban on out-of-town shop centres

Labour is considering a relaxation of the Government's ban on new out-of-town shopping centres.

Vaz to answer 'racist' claim

DONALD MACINTYRE

When were you last ripped off?

RAT SCABIES, drummer with The Damned: We came back from a tour, went to get our money, and when we got to our new manager's office, there was nothing - no furniture, no manager, no money. He went with everything - it would have been thousands.

Letter: Local inspiration will make our inner cities bloom

Sir: The Government's inner-city policy is in a mess (' pounds 10bn wasted on failed inner-city policy', 17 June). Everyone knows it, including ministers.

Letter: The lives our MPs have to lead

Sir: I read with interest your leading article 'A professional Parliament' (21 May). As the wife of the MP Keith Vaz, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the pace of his life is truly unnatural. On many days we are woken up at the crack of dawn by the cheerful sound of the telephone or pager. It might be a journalist asking him to comment on some issue or an early riser who assumes that everyone else is or should be one.

Letter: Planning shambles at the heart of London

Sir: There has been a lot of talk recently about a strategic authority for London ('Does London need central rule?', 10 May), but it seems that the discussion revolves around the recreation of the Greater London Council.

Leading Article: Token gesture for a worthy cause

ANYONE compiling a short history of pointless gestures might consider giving space to the 24-hour 'hunger' strike upon which the Labour MP Keith Vaz embarked yesterday afternoon. His gesture was one of solidarity with the thousands of Hindus protesting in London yesterday against the closure of a temple in Hertfordshire donated to the Hare Krishna movement by the former Beatle, George Harrison. The local council's decision was prompted by complaints from local inhabitants that thousands of worshippers were causing disruption by blocking roads in the vicinity at weekends.

Race bias Bill

The pounds 11,000 compensation limit which industrial tribunals can award in race discrimination cases is to be scrapped after Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East, gained an unopposed Third Reading for his Race Relations (Remedies) Bill.

The baby we love, but never knew: Life can never be the same for Keith Vaz MP and his wife since their first child was stillborn

I had just finished dinner in the Members' Dining-Room with Harriet Harman, Tom Clarke and other colleagues - discussing the outcome of the Shadow Cabinet elections - when the pager bleeped and asked me to respond to a telephone number that I didn't recognise.
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All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition