Latest Conservative Party news

  • Ex-editor admits hearing hacked voicemails in 2004
    Ex-editor admits hearing hacked voicemails in 2004 5 hours ago

    LONDON (AP) — Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that he listened to hacked voicemail messages while he was editor of the tabloid. More »

  • Starbucks to move European base to London, pay more UK tax
    Starbucks to move European base to London, pay more UK tax 5 hours ago

    By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp will move its European headquarters to London from the Netherlands this year and pay more tax in the UK as a result, the company said on Wednesday. The shift by the world's largest coffee chain comes after its low tax contributions in Britain provoked widespread criticism, including Prime Minister David Cameron telling a meeting in Davos that companies that avoided paying tax needed to "wake up and smell the coffee". Starbucks was called to testify before a parliamentary hearing about its tax affairs after Reuters reported in 2012 that the company had told the UK tax authority its British arm was a loss-making business while informing investors that the subsidiary was profitable. The company revealed at the hearing that it had agreed a deal with Dutch tax authorities allowing it to pay "a very low tax rate" there. More »

  • British unemployment rate falls under 7.0%
    British unemployment rate falls under 7.0% 6 hours ago

    British unemployment has hit a five-year low of 6.9 percent, far below most of its European rivals, as the nation's economic recovery picks up speed a year before general elections. More »

  • These stunning travel photos remind us that we're all just amateurs with …
    These stunning travel photos remind us that we're all just amateurs with … 6 hours ago

    Which is why it's refreshing for publications like National Geographic — whose glossy pages have long been filled with such prominent photographers as Steve McCurry and David Guttenfelder — to distinguish the talented from the rest of us. SEE ALSO: The perfect Coke glass More »

  • EU lays out impact of financial sanctions on Russia 6 hours ago

    By Luke Baker BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission handed documents to EU member states on Wednesday explaining the potential impact on their economies of imposing stricter trade and financial sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, diplomats said. Worried about potential leaks of the sensitive data, the Commission informed each country only about the risks it would face, rather than sharing full details with all 28 member states. The documents examine several categories of sanctions, including on energy, finance and trade, setting out the impact imposing the restrictions would have on the bilateral economic relationship between Russia and each country. "We can't have a situation where a set of sanctions ends up having a retaliatory impact on one member state or two or three member states. More »

  • North Korean embassy complains to UK after salon mocks leader's hair
    North Korean embassy complains to UK after salon mocks leader's hair 6 hours ago

    North Korea failed to see the joke when a London hair salon used a picture of its leader Kim Jong Un to try to attract more customers and has written to Britain's Foreign Office asking it to stop what it calls a "provocation". A hair salon in west London put up a giant poster of the North Korean leader in its window after reading unconfirmed media reports that men in the reclusive Asian state had been ordered to have the same hairdo. 15 percent off all gent cuts through the month of April." With its shaved sides and bowl-like shape, Kim Jong Un's distinctive haircut has been a light-hearted talking point for North Korea watchers. The embassy, located in a semi-detached house near the hair salon, filed a complaint to the police too. More »

  • France seen missing 2015 European deficit deadline - Reuters poll
    France seen missing 2015 European deficit deadline - Reuters poll 7 hours ago

    By Brian Love PARIS (Reuters) - France's public-sector deficit will overrun EU limits yet again next year, breaching a deadline that was already extended by two years and setting the stage for a clash between Paris and its European partners, a Reuters poll found. "If it misses the target it would not be dramatic in itself but it would start seriously damaging France's credibility with its European partners and investors," said Jean-Louis Mourier, economist at Aurel BGC, a brokerage. The median forecast in the Reuters poll, conducted April 10 to 14, showed the deficit coming in at 3.3 percent of GDP in 2015 before dropping finally in 2016 to 3.0 percent, the benchmark the European Union considers sustainable for euro zone members. President Francois Hollande's government, which only last year won an extension of its deadline, is dogged by insipid economic recovery. More »

  • UK Job Figures Expose Generational and Regional Employment Divide
    UK Job Figures Expose Generational and Regional Employment Divide 8 hours ago

    There were more than 30 million people in employment across the UK in three months to February as the country's unemployment rate tumbled to 6.9%. But the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed that the UK has a North/South divide when it comes to joblessness. The South West saw its unemployment rate tumble to 4.9%, down from 6.8% on the previous quarter. Likewise, the South East saw its total jobless rate fall to 5.1% in the three months to February, down from 5.3%. More »

  • Pay rises overtake 1.6% inflation
    Pay rises overtake 1.6% inflation 8 hours ago

    Average pay rises have outstripped CPI inflation for the first time in four years, sparking a fierce debate on whether workers are benefiting from the economic recovery. More »

  • Wages Growth Shows Battle Is Between Economic Figures and Feelings
    Wages Growth Shows Battle Is Between Economic Figures and Feelings 9 hours ago

    Wednesday 16 April 2014 is the day the Tory party would love to hail as the turning point in the recovery, when unemployment continued falling and, most significantly, wages outstripped inflation, destroying Labour's "cost of living crisis" assault. The reason George Osborne and others have been cautious in their reaction to the figures is because they are just that - figures, statistics and controversial ones at that. And, for the same reason, while Ed Miliband and Ed Balls will be worried the figures may have a major impact on their strategy, they are showing no signs of abandoning it just yet. The Office for National Statistics has reported that average earnings in the three months to February grew by 1.7%. More »

  • Food bank users in Britain triple to 900,000
    Food bank users in Britain triple to 900,000 9 hours ago

    The number of people in Britain using food banks has nearly tripled to more than 900,000 over the past 12 months, according to a shock report on Wednesday from food bank operator Trussell Trust. More »

  • Unemployment plunges to five-year low, pay grows
    Unemployment plunges to five-year low, pay grows 9 hours ago

    By William Schomberg and Ana Nicolaci da Costa LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped in the three months to February, reviving speculation the Bank of England will start raising interest rates earlier than it has signalled. Sterling jumped and government debt prices fell after the Office for National Statistics reported on Wednesday that the jobless rate sank to a five-year low of 6.9 percent, down from 7.2 percent in the three months to January. The sharp fall - helped by a big increase in self-employed people - took the rate below the 7 percent level originally set by the Bank for considering an increase in interest rates. George Buckley at Deutsche Bank said there was no prospect of an imminent rate hike, with markets pricing in a first increase in the first quarter of next year. More »

  • Starbucks says 'will pay more tax' in UK after Europe HQ shift
    Starbucks says 'will pay more tax' in UK after Europe HQ shift 11 hours ago

    Starbucks said on Wednesday it was re-locating its European headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain a year after the US coffee giant was heavily criticised by British lawmakers for tax avoidance. More »

  • How conservatives learned to hate Hollywood
    How conservatives learned to hate Hollywood 11 hours ago

    A lot of subversive but critically acclaimed movies from this era (from Annie Hall to M*A*S*H) reflected America's somewhat disaffected zeitgeist. And Clint Eastwood as Inspector Harry Callahan (aka "Dirty Harry") took on criminals and the bleeding-heart liberals whose "technicalities" prevented him from taking murderers and rapists off the streets. It began as a trickle, but these films were a sort of release valve, allowing ordinary conservative Americans — folks who might never attend a political rally, but still sensed something was wrong as they lost control of the culture — to make a political statement just by buying a ticket. It must have scratched an itch, because the decade that followed would give birth to a second-wave of action heroes who were even more muscular and more conservative-friendly — men like Sylvester Stallone, who, when he wasn't duking it out with Ivan Drago in the boxing ring, spent the better part of a decade fighting his own surrogate surrogate cold war against the Soviet Union in the Rambo movies. More »

  • UK Unemployment Tumbles to 6.9% as Wages Outstrip Inflation
    UK Unemployment Tumbles to 6.9% as Wages Outstrip Inflation 12 hours ago

    The Coalition government has been boosted after the UK's unemployment rate tumbled and figures revealed that wages outstripped inflation in the three months to February. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the country's jobless rate fell to 6.9%, down from 7.2% – as 2.24 million people were jobless over the period [Fig 1]. The research also revealed that employment was up 239,000 on the previous quarter and the employment rate climbed to 72.6%. More »

  • Liam Neeson’s Horse Cart Crusade
    Liam Neeson’s Horse Cart Crusade 12 hours ago

    The actor says horses are bred to pull carriages and have done so forever. The minute he uttered those words, he should have packed up and left New York City. More »

  • British unemployment rate drops below 7%
    British unemployment rate drops below 7% 12 hours ago

    A man demonstrates outside Downing Street in central London on October 20, 2012 More »

  • One more time: Natural gas is not good for the environment (yet)
    One more time: Natural gas is not good for the environment (yet) 16 hours ago

    As I've written before, one of the most environmentally damaging — and least publicized — consequences of drilling for natural gas is the release of methane. Natural gas burns cleaner than any other traditional fuel, but is composed mostly of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide if it leaks before it can be burned. Researchers just finished a new study on methane leaks in Pennsylvania natural gas wells, and the results are very, very bad: Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows. More »

  • Rachel Reeves MP: Shocking food bank stats shame the Government 19 hours ago

    Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves says today's figures showing an increase in the use of food banks prove that the "cost-of-living crisis" is deepening for many people. More »

  • Rachel Reeves: Shocking food bank stats shame the Government 19 hours ago

    Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves says today's figures showing an increase in the use of food banks prove that the "cost-of-living crisis" is deepening for many people. More »

  • Shots Fired As Troops Land At Ukraine Airport
    Shots Fired As Troops Land At Ukraine Airport 22 hours ago

    Airborne troops have seized back a key Ukrainian air base, as Kiev launched an "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Russian separatists. Shots rang out from inside the facility in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, after Ukrainian troops disembarked from two military helicopters. Ukraine's Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov says troops have taken control of the facility. Russian news reports initially said up to 11 people were killed in clashes at the base, but Ukraine's defence ministry says none of its troops were killed or injured. More »

  • UK inflation hits new four-year low, house prices continue rise
    UK inflation hits new four-year low, house prices continue rise 22 hours ago

    Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne said the data showed his coalition government policies were bringing greater economic security, and his civil servants have said that on some measures, living standards are already rising. But his Labour Party opposite number, Ed Balls, said the CPI data failed to capture rapidly rising house prices, and that tax and benefit changes since 2010 meant that the average household was almost 1,000 pounds a year worse off. House prices are rising at their fastest since June 2010, up 9.1 percent on the year, according to ONS data released alongside the CPI figures. Prices in London are up 17.7 percent, the biggest jump since July 2007. More »

  • Players, families honour Hillsborough dead
    Players, families honour Hillsborough dead 23 hours ago

    Liverpool stars joined relatives of the 96 Hillsborough stadium disaster victims as the club marked the 25th anniversary of the tragedy with a solemn memorial service at Anfield. More »

  • 'Crucial moment' in Ukraine crisis
    'Crucial moment' in Ukraine crisis 23 hours ago

    Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned the crisis in Ukraine is at a "crucial moment" after local government forces retook an airport from pro-Moscow militia. More »

  • England lags behind over rail cash
    England lags behind over rail cash 23 hours ago

    A huge disparity between the level of Government funding for train journeys in England and those in Scotland and Wales has been revealed in a report from rail regulators. More »

  • 'Shocking' rise in food banks use
    'Shocking' rise in food banks use 23 hours ago

    Almost a million adults and children received emergency supplies from food banks in the past year, a "shocking" rise of 163% on the previous 12 months amid rising living costs, low pay and welfare problems, a new report has revealed. More »

  • UK tabloid ex-editor says only vaguely knew of phone-hacking
    UK tabloid ex-editor says only vaguely knew of phone-hacking Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson told Britain's phone-hacking trial on Tuesday he was only vaguely aware of the practice during his time at the Murdoch tabloid. More »

  • House Price Concern As Wider Inflation Eases
    House Price Concern As Wider Inflation Eases Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    There has been more good news for household budgets with confirmation that price growth eased further in March though property costs accelerated. More »

  • Britain's anti-EU leader denies expenses allegations
    Britain's anti-EU leader denies expenses allegations Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Eurosceptic UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said Tuesday he was considering legal action after a British newspaper reported that he faces an investigation over his EU expenses. More »

  • A Minnesotan's guide to Fargo
    A Minnesotan's guide to Fargo Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Tonight, FX is set to premiere a limited, 10-episode series based on the Coen brothers' legendary 1996 film Fargo, which scored with audiences and critics alike by infusing a twisty neo-noir narrative with a healthy dose of Minnesota nice. Having seen a few episodes, it's clear that the Fargo series is more than a mere cash-grab attempting to capitalize on the movie's legacy; But however audiences respond to this small-screen version of Fargo, there's one place where it's guaranteed to have a unique impact: Minnesota. Full disclosure: I grew up in White Bear Lake, a self-described "city of lakes and legends" that's roughly 15 miles outside the Twin Cities area. More »

  • Britain Drank Seven Billion Fewer Units of Alcohol over Last Decade
    Britain Drank Seven Billion Fewer Units of Alcohol over Last Decade Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Figures released by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA ) show alcohol consumption in the UK shrank by 2.1% in 2013 compared with the year before. Alcohol consumption per head was 7.7 litres – the lowest level this century. Alcohol sales contribute £21.4bn to Treasury coffers and George Osborne recently shaved 1p off beer duty. The data was compiled by the BBPA from data published in the HMRC Alcohol Bulletin and is based on the total amount of alcohol sold in the UK that is liable to tax. More »

  • Memorial service marks Hillsborough anniversary
    Memorial service marks Hillsborough anniversary Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Scarves donated by football clubs across the world were laid out in the center circle at Anfield, forming the shape of the number "96" beneath a clear blue sky. More »

  • On This Day: Queen launches Royal Yacht Britannia
    On This Day: Queen launches Royal Yacht Britannia Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    Her Majesty named the vessel, which served the Royal Family for 44 years, at an event at the John Brown shipyard. More »

  • China angered by Britain's report on human rights, cancels talks
    China angered by Britain's report on human rights, cancels talks Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) - China accused Britain on Tuesday of interfering in its domestic affairs after the British government criticised Beijing's human rights record. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Britain's annual human rights made "irresponsible remarks...about the Chinese political system, rudely slandering and criticising China's human rights situation". She was speaking a day after China called off talks with Britain on Beijing's human rights record. ... More »

  • UKIP chief defends expenses record ahead of vote
    UKIP chief defends expenses record ahead of vote Tue, Apr 15, 2014

    By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - The leader of anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) denied wrongdoing on Tuesday after a former party member referred him to the European Union's anti-fraud office less than six weeks before elections to the European Parliament. UKIP, which wants Britain to leave the EU and an end to "open door" immigration, is forecast to poll strongly in the vote, an achievement it hopes will pave the way for it to win its first seats in the British parliament next year. Styling itself as an antidote to the mainstream politicians it says are self-serving, the party has siphoned off support from all three main parties, and its leader, Nigel Farage, has become a regular on British television screens. But on Tuesday, an unnamed former UKIP official queried whether Farage was using the expense allowances he gets as a member of the European Parliament (MEP) to fund one of his offices in Britain, as he says, or whether he uses it for other purposes. More »