Labour criticises government hospital asset sales

Labour criticises government hospital asset sales

Labour has accused the government of selling off valuable hospital assets to help plug a hole in NHS finances. Figures from data body NHS Digital show that the amount of NHS land in England earmarked for sale has more than doubled in the past year. Analysis commissioned by Labour found 117 sites deemed surplus were still in medical or clinical use. Ministers said selling land would give vital funds for patient care and free up…

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Acid attack punishments assessed in government review

Acid attack punishments assessed in government review

Media playback is unsupported on your device Sentences for people who carry out acid attacks in England and Wales could be increased as part of a “wide-ranging” review, following a rise in incidents. Ministers have faced calls to tighten laws, including for the sale and possession of acid, after five attacks in one night in London on Thursday. Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the Sunday Times that perpetrators should “feel the full force of the…

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Brexit: Repeal Bill to be published by the government

Brexit: Repeal Bill to be published by the government

MPs must “work together” on Brexit, the minister in charge of the UK’s EU exit has said, as he publishes a bill to convert EU law into British law. The legislation, known as the Repeal Bill, will ensure the same rules apply in the UK after Brexit, while giving UK parliaments the power to change them. Brexit Secretary David Davis said he will “work with anyone” to make it a success, but he faces opposition….

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Grenfell Tower: Government sends in 'taskforce'

Grenfell Tower: Government sends in 'taskforce'

A taskforce will be sent in to take over parts of Kensington and Chelsea Council in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. The council has been heavily criticised for its handling of the disaster on 14 June that killed at least 80 people. Both the council leader and chief executive have resigned as a result. Now the government has ordered a taskforce to take over the housing department, as well as other council operations….

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Ultra-fast broadband fund launched by UK government

Ultra-fast broadband fund launched by UK government

Media playback is unsupported on your device The government has formally launched a £400m fund to boost investment in “full-fibre” broadband. The aim is to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps to households and businesses. Rather than relying on copper cables to connect them to roadside cabinets, fibre-optic cables will run directly to their properties. The plan, announced by the chancellor in November, has been called “a drop in the ocean” compared with what will…

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Grenfell Tower fire: Government to 'keep eye' on council

Grenfell Tower fire: Government to 'keep eye' on council

The government will keep “a close eye” on Kensington and Chelsea council after its leader quit over the Grenfell Tower fire, the communities secretary says. Sajid Javid said it was “right” that Nicholas Paget-Brown stepped down and said the process to select a successor would be “independent of government”. London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for commissioners to take over the council. Earlier, a victims’ group said one resident had had rent deducted from their…

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Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government

Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government

Media playback is unsupported on your device An agreement has been reached which will see the Democratic Unionist Party back Theresa May’s minority government. The deal, which comes two weeks after the election resulted in a hung Parliament, will see the 10 DUP MPs back the Tories in key Commons votes. There will be £1bn extra for Northern Ireland over the next two years. DUP leader Arlene Foster said the “wide-ranging” pact was “good for…

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Grenfell Tower fire: Government staff sent into Kensington and Chelsea council

Grenfell Tower fire: Government staff sent into Kensington and Chelsea council

Government staff have been drafted in to manage the response to the Grenfell Tower fire after criticism of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council. A team of civil servants has been embedded in the council office after residents complained they had been left with little support or information from officials. At least 58 people are dead or presumed dead, and many others are homeless. The council says it will cooperate “in full” with the government’s inquiry….

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