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Soaring ethnic minority population will revolutionise politics

Majority‘Non-white voters will become increasingly influential in UK elections as their share of the population rises sharply, a report says. And it warns politicians must stop treating non-whites as one big ethnic group and start taking individual needs and concerns seriously. The report from The Policy Exchange predicts almost a third of the population of England and Wales will be non-white by 2051.’ – The Sun (£)

>Today:

Under Universal Credit, unemployed may lose benefits for refusing zero hours work

‘For the first time, benefit claimants are at risk of sanctions if they do not apply for and accept certain zero-hours jobs under the new universal credit system, despite fears that such contracts are increasingly tying workers into insecure and low paid employment. Last week, the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of contracts that do not guarantee minimum hours of work or pay but require workers to be on standby had reached 1.4 million.’ – The Guardian

  • Benefits Street star investigated after Magaluf holiday – Daily Mail

NHS beds shortage hits mental health patients

NHS_Logo‘A lack of beds is forcing mental health patients in England to seek treatment in other NHS facilities up to hundreds of miles away, BBC research has found. The number of patients travelling to seek emergency treatment has more than doubled in two years – from 1,301 people in 2011-12 to 3,024 in 2013-14.’ – BBC News

  • One in seven hospital patients is diabetic – Daily Mail
  • 800 avoidable asthma deaths each year – The Times (£)

Why was the ’skull cracker’ in an open prison?

‘A terrified woman victim of a fugitive armed robber known as the ‘Skull Cracker’ lashed out at officials last night for putting him in an open jail as he was prepared for release. As police urged the public not to approach Michael Wheatley, the Government ordered an urgent inquiry into why he failed to return to Standford Hill in Kent.’ – Daily Mail

Planning reforms bear fruit with a building boom

Homes For All Big‘A new housing boom could be on the way – with a relaxation of planning laws prompting a surge in the number of large housing estates being forced through by developers, a study claimed today. England’s local authorities approved 195,000 planning applications over the past year, which is a 9 per cent rise on the average before legal changes came in promoting sustainable development. Planning permission for large residential developments increased by a quarter from 4,000 in 2010/11 to 4,900 in 2013/14 – with a rise in the approval rate from 73 per cent to 77 per cent.’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Lord Flight on Comment: Boom followed by bust – yet again?

Ukraine lays siege to rebel stronghold

‘Four Ukrainian soldiers died and ­dozens of pro-Russian fighters and civilians were killed and injured yesterday when government troops stepped up attacks against rebels in the eastern town of Slovyansk. Kiev lost its third helicopter gunship in four days. It was shot down as the government tried to cut off what it said were about 800 rebels equipped with large-calibre weapons and mortars.’ – The Times (£)

Is Cameron’s EU renegotiation too timid?

CAMERON EU fence‘Jean-Claude Piris, former legal counsel of the European Council and the Council of Ministers, said that Mr Cameron’s seven key demands could be met with some deft legal drafting, provided there was political will and a mood for compromise on both sides of the negotiations. Mr Piris’s legal analysis of Mr Cameron’s EU strategy for the Financial Times is likely to reinforce a view among Tory MPs that the prime minister’s European strategy is too timid and open to a political fudge.’ – FT

  • Faeces and blood sent to UKIP freepost address – Daily Mail
  • New row over Jimmy Savile mask – The Sun (£)
  • Farage rejects Wilders’ suggestion of a deal with Le Pen – Daily Telegraph

>Today: ToryDiary: Opposition to a Conservative-UKIP pact hits record high among Party members

Number 10 back-pedals on AstraZeneca

‘The British government has rushed to recalibrate its reaction to Pfizer’s bid for AstraZeneca following a warning from the UK pharmaceutical group’s chairman and pressure from the opposition Labour party. Chairman Leif Johansson’s intervention last Friday prompted a hasty response by Number 10, with Prime Minister David Cameron declaring that AstraZeneca had “a fantastic role in the British economy”.’ – FT

Blunkett: Teachers’ unions should merge to dilute left-wing influence

School‘David Blunkett has called on teaching unions to merge and create a single body to marginalise “off the wall” behaviour at some teachers’ conferences. A merged teachers’ union would be more likely to get respect from parents and could better represent the profession by speaking with one voice, the former education secretary said.’ – The Times (£)

Adams ‘warned’ McConville son of ‘backlash’

‘Michael McConville said the Sinn Fein leader spoke to him as he prepared to name suspects for the 1972 killing of the mum of ten. He told BBC Radio 4: “Gerry Adams says to me, ‘Michael, you are getting a lot of support from the republican people’. He says, ‘If you release the names I hope you are ready for the backlash’. I took it as a threat.” Mr Adams said last night: “I never said that.”’ – The Sun (£)

Tube strike called off at the last minute

On strike‘Londoners were granted a last-minute reprieve from another bout of Tube strikes after the warring parties came to a deal. The three-day industrial action, due to start last night, was called off this afternoon after crisis talks between Transport for London (TfL) and the RMT union.’ – The Times (£)

Huhne still doesn’t get it

‘Chris Huhne has caused outrage by comparing his speeding points ‘ordeal’ to the Stafford Hospital scandal. The former Cabinet minister was jailed last year for swapping penalty points with his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce.’ – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Andy McNab: I’m a psychopath – Daily Mail 
  • Oscar Pistorius’ housekeeper was home on the night of the killing – Daily Telegraph
  • Newly restored Victoria Cross hero’s grave – The Sun (£)
  • Sixty children simultaneously vomit on long-haul flight – The Times (£)
  • Alan Bennett: Treachery of the Cambridge Spies was ‘no big deal’ – Daily Mail
  • Boko Haram intend to sell kidnapped girls – The Sun (£)

14 comments for: Newslinks for Tuesday 6th May 2014

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