Queen speaks of 'sombre national mood'

Queen speaks of 'sombre national mood'

The Queen has said it is “difficult to escape a very sombre national mood” following tragedies in London and Manchester. The monarch said the UK had “witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies” in recent weeks. Her official birthday message followed protests over the Grenfell Tower fire which killed at least 30 people. The Queen’s message added: “Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity.” ‘Terrible tragedy’ It comes…

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Grand National 2017: One For Arthur, ridden by Derek Fox, wins

Grand National 2017: One For Arthur, ridden by Derek Fox, wins

Media playback is not supported on this device One For Arthur became only the second Scottish-trained winner of the Grand National after a four-and-a-half-length victory at Aintree. The 14-1 shot, ridden by Derek Fox and trained by Lucinda Russell, charged clear to finish ahead of Cause Of Causes (16-1) and Saint Are (25-1). Jockey Fox only returned to riding this week having broken a wrist and a collarbone in March. The 8-1 favourite Blaklion, who…

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U-turn over Budget plan to increase National Insurance

U-turn over Budget plan to increase National Insurance

Plans to increase National Insurance rates 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 a Commons statement: “There will be no increases in National Insurance rates in this Parliament.” Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn said the U-turn showed a government “in chaos”. Mr Hammond had…

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May defends 'fair' National Insurance rise amid criticism

May defends 'fair' National Insurance rise amid criticism

Theresa May has said the National Insurance increase for self-employed workers will make the system “fair”, amid criticism from some Conservatives. The Budget change broke a manifesto pledge – with one Conservative whip saying ministers should apologise. But Mrs May said the poorest workers would pay less and the change would “close the gap in contributions”. She said a bill to bring in the change would come in the autumn – not the summer as…

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Hammond: Budget National Insurance rise due to 'new challenges'

Hammond: Budget National Insurance rise due to 'new challenges'

Chancellor Philip Hammond says National Insurance is being increased for self-employed workers because of “new challenges” the government faces. Mr Hammond is facing a backlash against the Budget announcement, which breaks a 2015 manifesto pledge on tax rises. He insisted ministers had honoured a “broad commitment” not to raise taxes. Labour urged the government to “think again” on the change, which will mean 1.6 million people paying £240 on average more every year. Shadow chancellor…

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Michael Flynn: Trump's national security adviser resigns

Michael Flynn: Trump's national security adviser resigns

US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned over allegations he discussed US sanctions with Russia before Donald Trump took office. Mr Flynn is said to have misled officials about his call with Russia’s ambassador before his own appointment. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy. US reports earlier said the White House had been warned about the contacts last month and was told Mr Flynn may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail….

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Triple success for Ant & Dec at the National Television Awards

Triple success for Ant & Dec at the National Television Awards

Ant and Dec have won the prize for best TV presenter for the 16th year at the National Television Awards. Accepting the award, Dec said: “We are thrilled. If anything we get grateful more and more each year.” The pair also picked up the award for the best entertainment programme for Saturday Night Takeaway, beating The Graham Norton Show and Celebrity Juice. Ant said: “It really is our baby and, it’s a bit of a…

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Great British Bake Off stars up for National Television Awards

Great British Bake Off stars up for National Television Awards

The Great British Bake Off co-hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are joined by judge Mary Berry in the nominations for this year’s National Television Awards. The programme gets another nomination in the challenge show category, ahead of its move from BBC One to Channel 4. Berry, 81, is up against by Strictly Come Dancing’s departing head judge Len Goodman in the TV judge category. Mel and Sue face competition for the TV presenter award…

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