By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
No 10 bans inquiry into ministers
The government yesterday banned the parliamentary ombudsman from
investigating any ministerial conflict of interest.
Ann Abraham warned she would no longer be able to fulfil her role
and threatened to resign because of the “difficulties”
placed in her way.
It followed a ban issued by the Lord Chancellor and constitutional
affairs secretary Lord Falconer preventing her probing whether the
prime minister and cabinet ministers have had conflicts between
their private interests and public duties.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 10 July page 1
Prison race death blamed on shocking
An investigation into the death of a young Asian man who was
battered to death by his racist cellmate yesterday accused the
Prison Service of a “shocking catalogue of failures”
which justified a formal finding of unlawful discrimination.
The first part of the Commission for Racial Equality’s formal
investigation into racism in the prison service identified 20 areas
of failure in the management systems at Feltham young
offenders’ institution, west London, where Zahid Mubarek was
murdered in March 2000.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 10 July page 8
MPs warn against forced HIV tests for asylum seekers
MPs warned yesterday that mandatory HIV tests for asylum
seekers on entry to the UK would be a breach of human rights.
The all-party parliamentary group on Aids strongly advises the
government that the tests would be impractical, expensive, unjust
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 10 July page 12
Jobless face skills tests for benefits
The unemployed will be forced to take “screening” tests
in reading, writing and arithmetic before they can claim benefit,
in a new government policy aimed at improving the skills of the
Those people who fail to reach the standard expected will be
directed to courses in basic skills.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 10 July page 4
MPs seek anonymity for sex offence suspects
MPs have urged that anonymity should be given to people accused of
sex offences until they are charged.
The home office said it was considering the recommendation.
The government plans to overturn a Lords vote that suspects should
be given anonymity until convicted.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 10 July page 9
How refugees can jump housing queue, by
Asylum seekers with disabilities can jump ahead of Britons in the
housing queue, according to a top judge last night.
Lord Justice Brown said a loophole in the law means a disabled
asylum seekers stands a ‘substantially better chance’
of getting council housing than a disabled Briton.
The comments were made following the ruling that an Algerian asylum
seeker should be housed by a council because he has one leg shorter
than the other.
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 10 July page 8
Blair backs Scots
The prime minister hit back at the Conservatives yesterday
after Scottish MPs rescued his plans to create foundation hospitals
in the previous night’s vote.
Forty one Scottish Labour MPs saved Tony Blair from a Commons
defeat by voting in favour of health reforms which will only affect
England. The plans only scraped through with a 35 majority after 60
Labour backbenchers rebelled.
Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith yesterday said Scots MPs should have
no say in legislation which only affects English
Blair said: “We now have it as official Conservative party
policy therefore that no-one from Scotland, Wales or, if devolution
is up and running in Northern Ireland, can vote on English
“And they call themselves the Conservatives and Unionist
party,” he added.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 10 July page 4
Unions gang up to put pressure on Blair
The leaders of Britain’s four largest unions are to hold a
secret “war council” this summer to prepare a list of
demands for a third Labour term.
Head of the TGWU, Tony Woodley, has called the meeting with fellow
general secretaries of Unison, Amicus and the GMB.
They will work together to discuss how they can campaign against
New Labour’s flagship policies and put further pressure on
Tony Blair following the controversy surrounding foundation
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 10 July page 1
Cannabis protest targets Westminster
Supporters of the Orkney cannabis campaigner Biz Ivol protested at
Westminster yesterday to call for the drug to be legalised for
Ivol, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, left hospital at the
weekend after she tried to kill herself last week.
The campaign was led by fellow multiple sclerosis sufferer Chris
Baldwin. A petition supporting Ivol has been signed by more than
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 10 July page 6
Community wardens help police and
Ministers yesterday set out plans for local authorities in Scotland
to create community warden schemes.
From April next year, councils will be able to create two types of
initiative, one to help crime prevention and the other to help the
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 10 July page 7
Festival films tackle trauma of child abuse
Two hard-hitting films that tackle the issue of child
abuse will form highlights of the 57th annual Edinburgh Film
Festival, it was announced yesterday.
The two that deal with the aftermath of child abuse are the
documentary, ‘Capturing the Friedmans’ and the latest
film to be directed by Clint Eastwood, ‘Mystic
Source:- The Herald Thursday 10 July
A social services worker downloaded child pornography from the
Internet and amassed 90,000 indecent images of children.
Andrew Jones pleaded guilty to six charges in connection with
making, distributing and possessing indecent images of
He was sentenced to five years in prison at Merthyr Tydfil crown
court. He has been disqualified from working with children and is
on the sex offender’s register for 10 years.
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 9 July page 17
Fiasco of EU Funds
The Welsh assembly has been told that money aimed at creating jobs
in deprived areas of Wales is not being used properly.
Independent analysts presented their findings to a committee at the
assembly and economic development minister, Andrew Davies, has come
under pressure to defend the way that the £1 billion of
Objective One funding from the EU has been handled.
Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 9 July page 1
The NHS in Wales is at breaking point and must modernise or face
That is the central message of a hard-hitting report from Derek
Wanless who has carried out a comprehensive review of health and
social care in Wales.
Following the report’s publication yesterday, opposition
assembly members called on Welsh assembly health and social
services minister, Jane Hutt, to take action to remedy the
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 10 July page 1
Thursday 10 July 2003
By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
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