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Latest David Blunkett Stories

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2009-08-10 15:41:41

British police, intelligence services and local councils made more than half a million requests to access the private telephone records and emails of citizens last year, according to an annual report of government surveillance released by the Interception of Communications Commissioner. The figures show that roughly 1,500 surveillance requests were made every day in Britain, the annual equivalent to one in every 78 people being targeted.     Although these numbers...

2008-09-13 00:00:27

By Richard Garner THE MAJORITY of secondary-aged pupils no longer go to their nearest school, causing chaos on the roads every morning as they arrive by car, according to research published yesterday. Figures show 55 per cent of parents now bypass their local school as a result of the move towards giving them more choice over their children's schooling. In addition, the number of children driven to primary school has more than doubled in the past 20 years to 41 per cent and 21 per cent...

2008-08-17 18:00:42

After 26 years of record increases in A-level passes, I believe Government ministers realise at last that the game is nearly up. Schools Secretary Ed Balls has referred to the "sterile debate" on endlessly improving A-levels, but I think even he knows that this annual farce cannot continue indefinitely. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that making sure students get through the exam is geared to packing as many as possible into universities, irrespective of whether they have the...

2008-07-01 18:00:18

"Gordon is not interested in strutting his stuff on the show courts; he is quite happy to do it on the outer courts which makes him quite unique for a politician" Health Secretary Alan Johnson on Gordon Brown "I need my men to be stable, smart and sorted" Actress Jaime Murray imposes her standards "Bond is an industry. You make your pact with the devil. You know that it will follow you. But you just hope you get yourself off the ropes. I have no bitterness, but I just feel exhausted by...

2006-09-06 05:58:18

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Tony Blair will be replaced as British Prime Minister by the end of July 2007, newspapers reported on Wednesday, signaling the start of a leadership battle which some fear may paralyze government for months. Finance Minister Gordon Brown is widely expected to succeed Blair as leader of the Labour Party and the country, and several leading political figures said it was vital the two men map out a joint leadership plan. But others insist there must...

2006-09-01 04:40:38

By Adrian Croft LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair called for an end to speculation about when he will leave office, sparking renewed calls on Friday for a departure timetable from critics within his party. Blair has faced constant pressure about when he will step down after he pledged before winning a third successive general election last year that he would not seek a fourth term. With his popularity plunging, calls have grown within the Labour Party for Blair to...

2005-11-17 10:00:07

By Katherine Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Tony Blair, who suffered his first-ever parliamentary defeat this month when rebels in his own party voted against him, is facing another possible revolt -- this time over education reform. He suffered a humiliating setback over his anti-terrorism plans, prompting many analysts to suggest he was losing his vice-like grip over the ruling Labor party. Now, 27 Labor lawmakers have signed a motion opposing plans to free schools from...

2005-11-10 09:35:03

By Katherine Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Tony Blair set himself up on Thursday for high-risk clashes with his party, refusing to compromise on future reforms despite a first parliamentary defeat that raised doubts about his ability to govern. Forty-nine lawmakers in Blair's Labour Party rebelled on Wednesday against government plans to let police hold terrorist suspects for up to 90 days without charge. Commentators said the shock vote marked a turning point for a...

2005-11-10 07:46:08

By Katherine Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Tony Blair set himself up on Thursday for high-risk clashes with his party, refusing to compromise on future reforms despite a first parliamentary defeat that raised doubts about his ability to govern. Forty-nine lawmakers in Blair's Labour Party rebelled on Wednesday against government plans to let police hold terrorist suspects for up to 90 days without charge. Commentators said the shock vote marked a turning point for a...

2005-11-10 06:16:18

By Katherine Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Tony Blair began the fight back on Thursday after his first parliamentary defeat over anti-terrorism powers raised doubts about his political future. Ministers said Wednesday's shock vote was a one-off that would not impact the prime minister's wider reform program. But commentators said the defeat marked a turning point for a once invincible leader who has seen his authority wane since the 2003 Iraq war, despite winning a third term...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'