Closing Parliament for repair work ‘most efficient’ option

Closing Parliament for repair work ‘most efficient’ option

Image copyright AP Vacating the Palace of Westminster to carry out urgent restoration work is the most economic and efficient option, says Parliament’s spending watchdog. The World Heritage Site has asbestos, leaks, old electrics and is said to be at high risk of “catastrophic failure”. Further delaying a decision on a total overhaul may inflate […]

Public appointments process not transparent, say MPs

Public appointments process not transparent, say MPs

Image copyright PA The process for filling senior jobs at public bodies is not transparent despite changes, MPs have said. The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee said it was concerned ministers, not the watchdog, set the appointments code. MPs said they were not assured that candidates would not be deliberately excluded from high profile […]

UK aid in Libya could be harmful – watchdog

UK aid in Libya could be harmful – watchdog

Image copyright PA An independent watchdog has warned that the UK’s aid programme in Libya could be harming vulnerable migrants. About £9m is spent providing water and sanitation for refugees in detention centres, training Libya’s coastguard, and helping migrants return home. But the Independent Commission for Aid Impact says that support could be leading to […]

National Insurance rise ‘fair’, says PM

Media captionTheresa May says the rise in National Insurance for the self-employed will make things fairer Theresa May has said the National Insurance increase for self-employed workers will make the system “fair”, amid criticism from some Conservatives. The Budget change broke a manifesto pledge – with one Conservative whip saying ministers should apologise. But Mrs […]

Boris Johnson: UK should reject ‘Brexit cash bill’

Media captionBoris Johnson: Britain has an “illustrious precedent” Boris Johnson has told the BBC that Britain should reject any EU demands for a £50bn “exit bill” and follow the example of former PM Margaret Thatcher. It has been reported that EU negotiator Michel Barnier has said the UK must continue to pay into the EU […]

Institute for Fiscal Studies backs National Insurance increase

Institute for Fiscal Studies backs National Insurance increase

Image copyright BEN STANSALL The chancellor was right to raise National Insurance contributions for the self employed in his Budget, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says The rise will see millions of self-employed workers pay an average of £240 a year more, but ministers say those earning £16,250 or less will pay less. Philip […]

Hammond: Budget National Insurance rise due to ‘new challenges’

Media captionChancellor Philip Hammond defends his changes on Today Chancellor Philip Hammond says National Insurance is being increased for self-employed workers because of “new challenges” the government faces. Mr Hammond is facing a backlash against the Budget announcement, which breaks a 2015 manifesto pledge on tax rises. He insisted ministers had honoured a “broad commitment” […]

Northern Ireland could face another snap election, says Brokenshire

Northern Ireland could face another snap election, says Brokenshire

Image copyright AP Image caption A second snap election would cause uncertainty and disruption, James Brokenshire said Northern Ireland could face another election if political parties cannot reach agreement within three weeks, James Brokenshire has said. The Northern Ireland Secretary warned that there would be “significant consequences” if there is no deal to restore Stormont’s […]

Sturgeon: Autumn 2018 ‘common sense’ for indyref2

Media captionNicola Sturgeon was interviewed by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg Scotland’s first minister has said autumn 2018 would be a “common sense” date for any second independence referendum. Nicola Sturgeon continued to insist, however, that no final decision had yet been made on holding such a vote. In a BBC interview, she said she […]

Poland threatens ‘whole EU summit’ over Tusk vote

Poland threatens ‘whole EU summit’ over Tusk vote

Image copyright AFP Image caption Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo says Mr Tusk has “violated multiple times his European mandate” Poland has threatened to derail Thursday’s EU summit as it attempts to block the re-election of Donald Tusk as president of the European Council. Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said nothing should be decided without Poland’s […]