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May 9, 2012

Elusive growth overshadows UK plans for new laws

LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – Britain’s coalition government
proposed to streamline employment laws and reform business
regulation in new legislative plans on Wednesday, but critics
said ministers were shrinking from taking bolder action to drag
the economy out of recession.

The broad parliamentary programme, disclosed according to
tradition by Queen Elizabeth, will also split banks into retail
and investment arms, reform the upper house of parliament and
the utility market and create a “green investment bank”.

May 4, 2012

Anti-EU party says PM faces “political earthquake”

LONDON (Reuters) – The leader of Britain’s biggest anti-European Union party said on Friday his best-ever local election result was the first tremor of a political earthquake that would tear out a crucial chunk of the ruling Conservative Party’s electoral support.

Nigel Farage, leader of the small UK Independence Party (UKIP) and known for his grandiloquent gestures, assumed a cool yet buoyant demeanour after local elections dealt a drubbing to David Cameron’s Conservatives and rattled lawmakers eyeing 2015 national elections. Time, he felt, was on his side.

May 4, 2012

Voters punish Conservatives in regional polls

LONDON (Reuters) – British voters lashed out at David Cameron’s Conservative Party on Friday, punishing the prime minister in local government elections for leading Britain back into recession and cementing a surge in support for the Labour Party.

Cameron will hope a likely win for his party’s larger-than-life London mayoral candidate Boris Johnson will soften the blow this weekend, but a big defeat in the provinces may have far-reaching consequences for his gaffe-prone coalition government.

May 2, 2012

Conservatives face local polls backlash over recession

WALSALL, Britain (Reuters) – “We’re not ‘all in this together’,” grumbles Mark Franks, a 50-year-old public sector worker, echoing a frequent complaint made by those who question the government’s promise to spread the pain of austerity equally.

“It’s always the poor that get the rough end of the stick,” says Franks, one of many voters unhappy with the Conservative-led government as Britain heads into nationwide local authority polls on Thursday.

May 1, 2012

Anti-euro UKIP scents Conservative blood

DUDLEY, England, May 1 (Reuters) – British voters are sick
of an out-of-touch political elite and want a new breed of
leaders to stem immigration and free Britain from the shackles
of the European Union.

So goes the pitch from the UK Independence Party, which
expects to take votes from Prime Minister David Cameron’s
Conservatives in local elections on Thursday and so lay the
foundations for a bid to break into parliament in 2015.

Apr 25, 2012

EU ambassadors to return to Belarus

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union nations are sending ambassadors back to Belarus, Britain said on Wednesday, as relations between Minsk and the 27-nation bloc improve following a diplomatic spat over the former Soviet republic’s treatment of political dissidents.

EU states withdrew their envoys from Minsk in February in a solidarity gesture after Belarus told representatives from Brussels and Warsaw to pack their bags and get out.

Apr 18, 2012

Bad boy Galloway back at war in Westminster

LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) – A pariah to Britain’s
mainstream politicians, a maverick with a silver tongue and a
stranger to self-doubt, “Gorgeous George” Galloway is back at
Westminster, relishing a remarkable electoral comeback and, as
ever, waging war on war.

Last month, he stunned the Labour party that expelled him
for opposing its Iraq war with an election victory in one of its
inner-city strongholds. Now, after two years out of parliament,
when it seemed he might best be remembered for an embarrassing
moment in a catsuit on reality TV, he was back in the House of
Commons demanding another prime minister end another conflict.

Apr 16, 2012

Government to raise Heywood murder with senior Chinese official

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to discuss the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in China with a visiting senior Chinese official, an aide said on Monday, as the government faced questions over its handling of the affair.

“It’s likely to come up,” a spokeswoman for Cameron said when asked about the prime minister’s talks on Tuesday with Li Changchun, China’s propaganda chief and a member of China’s most powerful leadership body, the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee.

Apr 16, 2012

UK to raise Heywood murder with senior Chinese official

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to discuss the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in China with a visiting senior Chinese official, an aide said on Monday, as the British government faced questions over its handling of the affair.

“It’s likely to come up,” a spokeswoman for Cameron said when asked about the prime minister’s talks on Tuesday with Li Changchun, China’s propaganda chief and a member of China’s most powerful leadership body, the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee.

Mar 30, 2012

By-election reflects popular disenchantment

LONDON (Reuters) – A maverick leftist dealt a heavy blow to Labour Party in a by-election that reflected general disenchantment with the mainstream parties.

George Galloway, a former Labour Party member best known recently for his role in a reality television programme prancing in a leotard, won a clear majority on Thursday in a constituency held since 1974 by Labour. The bearded Scot has been a thorn in the side of Labour since leaving the party, campaigning against wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for a return to socialist ideas.

    • About Matt

      "I cover all aspects of government policy from the British parliament, but concentrate on Number 10, fiscal policy at the Treasury, and monetary policy at the Bank of England. I am based in our parliament office in Westminster and in our UK bureau in East London."
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