Thursday 16 December 2004

By Clare Jerrom, Lauren Revans, Derren Hayes and Amy

End of the affair

David Blunkett resigned as Home Secretary last night after an
official inquiry found that his office had intervened in fast
tracking the visa application for his former lover’s

Blunkett stepped down after being told by Sir Alan Budd that he had
discovered a fax and email from the office discussing the case of
Kimberly Quinn’s nanny Leoncia Casalme.

Source:- The Times  Thursday 16 December page 1

Clarke’s heavyweight task to stay on the road to

Charles Clarke will take over as Home Secretary today following
David Blunkett’s resignation.

The former education secretary will introduce a second reading
debate on identity cards and the other legislation that he must
pilot through the Commons is a bill setting up the Serious
Organised Crime Agency.

Ruth Kelly, who was appointed as Alan Milburn’s deputy this
summer, has been elevated to the Cabinet to take over from Clarke
in the DfES.

Source:- The Times  Thursday 16 December page 6

Fidelity pulls out of child savings fund

The launch of the Child Trust Fund suffered a setback yesterday
when Fidelity Investments, a leading retail fund manager announced
its decision to pull out of the market.

The government is just weeks away from sending vouchers to millions
of children who qualify for the scheme.

Source:- Financial Times  Thursday 16 December page

Town halls register better performance

Better services are being delivered by councils for the second year
running, according to a report by the Audit Commission.

The annual league tables show 52 councils have improved, with two
thirds of the single tier and county councils classed
“excellent” or “good”.

Source:- Financial Times  Thursday 16 December page

Incapacity benefit could be replaced

Incapacity benefit might be replaced with a flat rate allowance in
a bid to reduce the number of long-term sick and disabled on

The proposals are designed to cut the numbers claiming incapacity
benefit and will be announced in the department for work and
pensions five year plan.

Source:- Financial Times  Thursday 16 December page

Addict’s shop ban

Drug addict Paul Orbell, who has a history of shoplifting, has been
banned from every store in Britain as a condition of his bail at
Worcester magistrates court.

Source:- The Times  Thursday 16 December page 21

Travellers’ illegal camps to be razed under new

Illegal travellers’ camps aimed at bypassing planning laws
will be bulldozed and the land restored to its original state under
plans being drawn up by the government.

Source:- The Times  Thursday 16 December page 22

Death ‘lawful’

A former psychiatric patient shot dead by police after he held a
man hostage with a gun-shaped cigarette lighter was lawfully
killed, an inquest decided.

The coroner at Inner London Crown Court said Derek Bennett was
lawfully killed in London in July 2001.

Source:- The Times  Thursday 16 December page 31

Making a plea for less hysteria, Erasure star says he has

The singer with the pop group Erasure, Andy Bell, has called for
less “hysteria and ignorance” about HIV as he has
announced he is HIV positive.

The singer was diagnosed with the condition in 1998 but waited
until yesterday to declare his condition.

Source:- Independent  Thursday 16 December page 10

Woolf bows to calls to give murderers longer

Murderers will receive longer jail sentences under new guidelines
published today.

The new rules, which aim to restore public confidence in the
sentencing of the most serious crimes, mean that murderers who
plead guilty can no longer expect large discounts to the minimum
time that judges recommend they serve.

Source:- Independent Thursday 16 December page 16

Pigs behaving badly force farmer Hagan back into the

Farmer Brian Hagan will appear in court today after his pigs
breached an antisocial behaviour order.

On Monday morning, Hagan’s pigs became the first animals to
be subject to an asbo imposed on his owner to restrain their

However on Tuesday they continued their wanderings onto adjacent
land and Hagan was later arrested.

He is due to appear in court this morning and could face up to five
years in prison.

Source:- The Independent  Thursday 16 December page

Two-thirds who get capacity pay could work, says

Work minister Jane Kennedy has claimed that only a third of those
claiming incapacity benefit are sick enough to be off work.

In a speech to the Social Market Foundation think-tank, Kennedy
said a third of the country’s claimants could work
immediately and another third could potentially return in the
longer term.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 16 December page 15

Adopted girl picks her father on TV

An adopted girl who had been searching for her birth father will
try to guess which of eight contestants he is in a new American
television programme to be screened next month.

The girl, whose age and name have not been revealed, will win
£50,000 if she chooses the right man in the show
‘Who’s Your Daddy’. If she picks the wrong man,
the imposter will win the money but the girl will still be reunited
with her birth father.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 16 December page 19

Memo to immigrants: If you really want to be a model
British citizen…Know your rights

British citizen applicants will be tested on their
knowledge of human rights law and knowledge of how to claim
benefits, according to the newly published curriculum designed to
teach them the essence of ‘Britishness’.

Education campaigners greeted the curriculum for aspiring UK
citizens with disappointment, warning that it would
“encourage a dependency culture”.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 16 December page 21

Decision to let travellers stay was

High Court judge Mr Justice Forbes has branded as “perverse
and irrational” the decision to allow a travelling family who
had recently settled to build an illegal camp in

The judge has asked the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to
reconsider the matter.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 16 December page 29

Murdered for crying

A baby known to social services was beaten to death after being
left in the care of a violent drug user.

Social services had been monitoring nine-month-old Paige Windsor
and were concerned about her mother’s contact with a friend
of her mother who had once been accused of emptying a hot chip pan
over a three-year-old.

However, they decided not to intervene after Paige’s mother
promised not to leave her daughter alone with him.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 16 December page 39

Scottish newspapers

Kerr prescribes private sector to hit his health targets

Health minister Andy Kerr has set out a series of plans to use more
private sector providers in reducing waiting times in
Scotland’s hospitals.

From GP to cardiac treatment will take no more than 16 weeks. There
will be 18-week targets on the time from GP referral to outpatient
appointment, from diagnosis to inpatient or day case treatment, and
from referral to completion of cataract treatment.

Source:-The Herald Thursday 16 December

Welsh newspapers

Victim pleads for paedophile’s arrest

A 14-year-old girl, who was sexually abused throughout her
childhood by a religious fanatic, has called for him to be found
and arrested.

Benjamin Griffths disappeared a week ago and was absent when a jury
at Chester Crown Court found him guilty of raping and indecently
assaulting the girl.

He was jailed for 10 years in his absence.

Source:- Western Mail  Thursday 16 December

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