Former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote sentenced to five years in prison

Ashley Mote, the former UKIP MEP for South East England, has been imprisoned for five years for expenses fraud. Mote stole £500,000 from the European Parliament over a period of six years from 2004 until 2010.

The disgraced politician had also been found guilty of benefits fraud in 2007 and was sentenced to nine months in jail. He was able to retain his Parliamentary seat as the jail sentence was under a year despite calls for his resignation. Mote ignored calls from the UKIP party leader Nigel Farage to resign and he continued in his role until June 2009.

During sentencing today Justice Stuart-Smith said:

“Your greed and dishonesty were matched only by your hypocrisy, because while this was going on you carried out a high-profile campaign condemning corruption and the improper use of public money in the very institution from which you were leeching it”.

Liz Kendall backs Harriet Harman

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Liz Kendall is the only one of the four candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party to back Harriet Harman in saying that she would support parts of the Conservative Party budget.

Harman in her role as acting leader of the Labour Party said that she understand how some parents were unable to afford to have more children and the party needed to listen to them as well as those on benefits.

Jeremy Corbyn rejected Harman’s stance and said that he would “not be willing to vote for policies which push more children into poverty” but didn’t comment on what he would do for parents who were unable to afford more children.

Police prevent attempts to threaten aircraft landing, positioning and take-offs

Police at Heathrow have prevented attempts from the Plane Stupid campaign to threaten aircraft landings and take-offs at Heathrow’s North Runway. The police have confirmed that they do not at this stage believe that the group had terrorist intentions.

Twelve activists from the group cut through security fencing at around 03.30 today. Heathrow Airport apologised for the cancellation of some flights but said that “our priority remains to ensure the safe running of the airport”.

The airport had indicated that it will begin civil recovery proceedings against those who trespassed onto the runway in a bid to mitigate against the losses incurred which could run into hundreds of thousands.

Liz Kendall, a contender for the Labour leadership, says other candidates are continuity Miliband

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Liz Kendall, one of the five candidates for the leadership of the Labour Party, has said that she is the only candidate who is offering a new approach.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper she said:

“I think I am the only person in this race that isn’t continuity Miliband. The other candidates haven’t spelled out how they would be different from Ed Miliband”.

The Sun announced in mid-June that they were backing Kendall for the leadership of the party saying that she understood the aspirations of their readers.

David Cameron and George Osborne announce plans to increase home ownership

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David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, have announced plans to widen home ownership and to encourage the building of new homes.

In an article for The Times newspaper they wrote:

“Having your own place is an important stake in our economy. It’s also one of the best expressions of the aspirational country we want to build, where hard work is rewarded.

We don’t want this to be a country where if you’re rich you can buy a home, but if you’re less well off, you can’t. We want it to be one nation, where whoever you are, you can get on in life.

In the last five years, we got builders building, lenders lending, and government-backed schemes alone helped more than 200,000 people on the property ladder. The next five will be about going much further. Of course, there will be opponents – but we are determined to take them on.

It’s simple: you are either pro-reform or not; for building homes, or not; on the side of young people, or not. We know our position. As a one nation government, we will always be squarely on the side of those who want to get on”.

The Labour Party had pledged to build 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 and introduce rent controls in their General Election manifesto earlier in 2015. The party has said that they are reviewing the policies pending the election of the new leader.

Amran Hussain suspended by Labour Party

Amran Hussain, who represented the Labour Party in the constituency of North East Hampshire at the 2015 General Election, has been suspended by the party. The move comes after he took a selfie at the scene of the mass murder of many individuals by a gunman in Tunisia.

Hussain dismissed requests for an apology and said in a statement:

“Selfies are not banned. I don’t see anything wrong with it”.

After refusing to apologise the Labour Party confirmed that Hussain had been suspended. In a statement the party said:

“This is completely unacceptable and offensive behaviour and he has been suspended”.

Hussain refused requests for comments but controversially retweeted a comment from another user which read:

“You have shown respect for victims of the #TunisiaAttack and they’ve exploited it for commercial gain”.

Hussain had come third in the traditionally safe Conservative seat of North East Hampshire at the 2015 General Election and he obtained 9.8% of the vote. The constituency was won by Ranil Jayawardena who was representing the Conservative Party.

 

Five Candidates in Labour Deputy Leadership Contest

Five candidates have received the 35 nominations necessary to stand in the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party contest. The role was held by Harriet Harman who stood down after the 2015 General Election defeat and the five remaining candidates are Ben Bradshaw, Stella Creasy, Angela Eagle, Caroline Flint and Tom Watson.

Real Wages show average increase of 2.7% over last year

Annual real wage growth has increased to 2.7% over the last year which is the highest increase since 2007. Annual private sector wage increases are an average of 3.3% and the Government figures show an extra 400,000 people in work compared to a year ago.

Priti Patel, the Employment Minister, said:

“Today’s figures confirm that our long-term economic plan is already starting to deliver a better, more prosperous future for the whole of the country, with wages rising, more people finding jobs and more women in work than ever before.

As the government for working people, we want to go further and create one nation that is based on security and opportunity. We will continue to help businesses create jobs and support those who want to work hard and get on as part of our ambition to achieve full employment”.

 

Ed Balls to teach at Harvard University

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Ed Balls, the former Shadow Chancellor, is set to move to a teaching role at Harvard University after losing his Morley and Outwood seat at the 2015 General Election. The Evening Standard reported that his role is expected to be in the economic department and temporary to allow him to help his wife, Yvette Cooper, with her bid to win the 2015 Labour leadership election.

Mary Creagh has withdrawn from Labour leadership race

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Mary Creagh has withdrawn from the Labour leadership race to allow more candidates to be able to achieve the 35 nominations required. Her withdrawal means that there are four candidates left in the race which include Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall.

In an article for the Guardian she wrote:

“I am withdrawing from the race to be the leader of the Labour party. I will not be nominating any other candidate, but I am announcing my withdrawal now so that the MPs who have supported me have the opportunity to nominate another candidate, should they wish to do so.

I’m grateful to the people who told me I inspired them to begin their own leadership journeys. My “bootstrap Britain” story resonated with many who have overcome disadvantage to achieve their goals. I am proud to have played my part in opening up the debate about why Labour lost, and I look forward to working with the next leader to build a society where hope, compassion and economic competence exist side by side”.

She added in the article that:

“Labour lost the election because – while people trust us to run their schools their councils, their hospitals – they do not trust us to run the economy. Tackling inequality is why the party exists. It’s in our DNA. But the next Labour leader will have to show that Labour understands the problems facing the UK’s five million self-employed people, sole traders and small businesses. That understanding must also run through our party’s DNA like a golden thread if Labour is to win in 2020”.

Creagh had gained the support of a total of ten MPs with Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall already reaching the required 35 nominations. The only candidate yet to receive the total of 35 is Jeremy Corbyn and numerous MPs are expected to change support solely to allow Corbyn to progress in the elections.