ONLY TORIES CAN DELIVER EU VOTE
Only the Conservatives can deliver a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, David Cameron will declare today as he launches his party’s campaign for the European and local council elections.
The Prime Minister will seek to counter the growing appeal of Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party by highlighting his own record of “standing up” to Brussels since coming to office in 2010.
Speaking in the West Midlands, he will underline his promise to Conservative activists that he would not be prepared to lead a government after next year’s general election unless it was committed to an in/out referendum on the EU.
SECOND NIGHT IN CUSTODY FOR ADAMS
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has spent a second night in police custody after his arrest by detectives investigating the notorious IRA murder of a Belfast mother-of-10.
Officers are set to resume questioning the 65-year-old politician today about the killing of Jean McConville in 1972.
It comes as her eldest daughter said she is prepared to name the people responsible for her mother’s death.
MAX CLIFFORD FACING JAIL SENTENCE
Shamed PR expert Max Clifford could face jail today when he is sentenced for a string of indecent assaults.
The 71-year-old was found guilty on Tuesday by a jury at Southwark Crown Court, becoming the first person to be convicted under sex crime investigation Operation Yewtree.
He was convicted of eight counts of the crime against four women between 1977 and 1984.
BOY FACES JUDGE OVER TEACHER MURDER
A 15-year-old boy accused of stabbing a much-loved teacher to death in her classroom is due to appear before a judge today.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear by video-link at Leeds Crown Court a day after he appeared at the city’s Youth Court accused of murdering Ann Maguire, 61, as she taught a lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College on Monday morning.
Yesterday, Mrs Maguire’s husband, Donald, stared intently at the youth when the boy appeared for a two-minute hearing.
FIREFIGHTERS STRIKE IN PENSIONS ROW
Firefighters will launch a series of fresh strikes over the Bank Holiday weekend, with its long-running dispute over pensions remaining deadlocked.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales will walk out for five hours from noon today, between 2pm tomorrow and 2am on Sunday, and between 10am and 3pm on Sunday, forcing fire authorities to make alternative arrangements for fire cover.
The union said the strikes could be halted immediately if the Government made a revised pensions offer that “takes the evidence into account”.
CLARKSON ’HORRIFIED’ BY RACIST ROW
Presenter Jeremy Clarkson said he “wishes to God” that his attempts to cover up a racist word during filming for Top Gear had been better.
Clarkson became embroiled in a racism row following claims that he used the n-word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe while shooting an episode of the BBC2 programme.
He said: “I wish to God that my attempts to cover up that word were better than they were.”
JUDGE WARNS BRISCOE SHE FACES JAIL
A disgraced barrister and part-time judge was facing jail today after being found guilty of lying to police investigating the Chris Huhne speeding points scandal.
Constance Briscoe was accused of trying to pervert the course of justice in connection with the investigation into how disgraced cabinet minister Mr Huhne passed speeding points to his then-wife Vicky Pryce a decade ago.
Briscoe, 56, of Clapham, south London, had been suspended since her arrest in October 2012 and could now be barred from sitting as a judge.
GUNFIRE AND BLASTS IN UKRAINE CITY
Gunfire and blasts have been heard around an eastern city in Ukraine that has become the focus of an armed pro-Russian insurgency.
An emergency siren sounded in Slovyansk at dawn today in a further indication government troops were mounting a military assault in an attempt to retake control.
Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the insurgency-appointed mayor of Slovyansk, said self-defence forces had shot down two helicopters and taken one pilot hostage.
CANCER CARE ’LACKS COMPASSION’
Too many cancer patients are being shown a “lack of compassion” by healthcare workers, a charity said.
A fifth of cancer patients said they felt like a “set of symptoms” rather than a person, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Meanwhile, 17% of patients said their doctor spoke to them as though they were not even there.
PARENTS ’HAVE DOUBTS ON NEW EXAMS’
The majority of parents do not believe that the Government’s move to introduce tougher exams will help to raise school standards, a poll suggests.
It also reveals that many parents think that pressures on schools to rapidly introduce new initiatives will have a negative impact on their child’s education.
The survey, conducted by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) ahead of their annual conference due to be held in Birmingham this weekend, asked around 1,000 parents for their views on education.