Conservative Party fined £70,000 over election expenses

Conservative Party fined £70,000 over election expenses

Image copyright AP Image caption David Cameron campaigning in the 2015 election The Conservative Party has been fined £70,000 by the Electoral Commission for breaking election expense rules. The commission’s report highlights “numerous failures” in reporting spending on three by-elections in 2014 and the 2015 General Election. These included missing payments of £104,000 – and […]

Brexit: Queen gives Royal Assent to Article 50 bill

Brexit: Queen gives Royal Assent to Article 50 bill

Image copyright PA The Queen has given Royal Assent to the Brexit bill, clearing the way for Theresa May to start talks to leave the European Union. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill was passed by MPs and peers on Monday. It allows the prime minister to notify Brussels that the UK is leaving […]

Philip Hammond defends National Insurance Budget U-turn

Philip Hammond defends National Insurance Budget U-turn

Image copyright Getty Images Chancellor Philip Hammond has defended making a U-turn on increasing National Insurance contributions for some self-employed workers. Writing in The Sun, Mr Hammond said he and the prime minister agreed that the increase was against the “spirit” of a 2015 Conservative election pledge. He said Wednesday’s reversal showed the government was […]

Ban on MPs from employing spouses at next election

Ban on MPs from employing spouses at next election

Image copyright PA Image caption Nearly one in four MPs employ spouses, relatives or family friends Newly elected MPs will no longer be allowed to employ spouses and other relatives using taxpayers’ money. The new rules will come into force at the next election, expected to take place in 2020, although the 151 MPs who […]

Iraq Inquiry: New facts would justify fresh probe say MPs

Iraq Inquiry: New facts would justify fresh probe say MPs

Image copyright PA Image caption MPs authorised the decision to go to war but many felt they had been let down by Tony Blair Parliament must be able to investigate whether it was misled over the Iraq War if “new facts” emerge, MPs have said. The Public Administration Committee said last year’s Iraq Inquiry report […]

Brexit: Queen to give Royal Assent to Article 50 bill

Brexit: Queen to give Royal Assent to Article 50 bill

Image copyright PA Image caption The Queen’s signature is needed for bills to become law The Queen will sign the Article 50 Bill into law on Thursday, clearing the way for Theresa May to formally start talks to leave the European Union. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill was passed by MPs and peers […]

Police forces pass election spending files to CPS

Police forces pass election spending files to CPS

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The way the Conservatives’ “battle bus” spending was recorded is being investigated Twelve police forces have asked the Crown Prosecution Service to consider charges over general election expenses. The CPS said it had received files from 11 forces, and a 12th, Staffordshire Police, confirmed to the BBC it too […]

U-turn over Budget plan to increase National Insurance

Media captionMay: No National Insurance increases in this Parliament Plans to increase National Insurance levels for self-employed people – announced in the Budget last week – have been dropped. Chancellor Philip Hammond has said the government will not proceed with the increases which were criticised for breaking a 2015 manifesto pledge. He told MPs in […]

Jobless rate down but wage growth slows

Jobless rate down but wage growth slows

Image copyright Reuters UK unemployment fell in the three months to January but there was a sharp slowdown in wage growth. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% – it has not been lower than that since the summer of 1975. However, wage growth has slowed to 2.3% (excluding […]

Scotland leaving EU no matter what – PM

Scotland leaving EU no matter what – PM

Image caption Theresa May warned against breaking the “deep bonds” of the United Kingdom The prime minister has claimed that Scotland will be leaving the European Union regardless of whether or not it votes for independence. Speaking during an exchange with the SNP’s Angus Robertson, Theresa May also warned against “constitutional game-playing”. Mr Robertson had […]