Tag Archives: sunday times

Just when you thought the Home Office couldn’t get any worse..

…a story in the Sunday Times (£) today tells how details from a suicidal young girl’s medical notes were used to deny her family asylum. And what’s worse, an immigration judge found in favour of the Home Office and the family faces deportation.

The girl, who lives in the northeast and cannot be named, had been given a “sugar-coated” version of why her family had to flee Albania for a new life in Britain. Her father did not tell the child about an alleged assassination attempt on his life by the local mafia.

At an interview with a psychiatric nurse, 48 hours after the girl overdosed in 2016, the child said her family came to Britain to “have access to better healthcare for dad”.

The Home Office was assessing the family’s asylum application at the time and learnt that the girl was “experiencing medical issues”. It requested access to her records for “safeguarding” purposes. But officials found the nurse’s psychiatric assessment and, in an unprecedented step, used it to argue that her father was lying about his reasons for coming to the UK.

If you are in a vulnerable situation, you need to know that you can talk openly to those giving you care in confidence. Of course parents aren’t going to burden their children with dangerous realities if they can avoid it, particularly if they have reason to be worried about a child’s mental state.

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Charles Kennedy’s partner Carole MacDonald talks to the Sunday Times

It’s just over three months since Charles Kennedy died suddenly. Yesterday his partner Carole MacDonald spoke for the first time to the Sunday Times (£). In a very moving interview, she said that what upset her in the days following his death was the idea that he was a tortured, sad soul.

They made out that Charlie was this tortured individual and that angered me,” she says. “I didn’t think they knew him particularly well. Yes, there were issues but he wasn’t tormented. There weren’t two sides to him. He was very considerate, gentle and non-confrontational. What you saw in public was the way he was in private.”

She also wanted to make it very clear that although the election campaign had been pretty bruising, Charles’ defeat had nothing to do with his death.

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LibLink: Sir Menzies Campbell: Commons reform is fitting tribute to Kennedy

Sir Menzies Campbell has written an article for the Sunday Times in which he argues that the House of Commons should be reformed to reflect Charles Kennedy’s style of politics.

It is hard to match the extraordinary and justified tributes made this week on the too-early death of Charles Kennedy. But perhaps the most fitting thing to do now would be to see what can be learnt from his style of politics in order to create a more appreciative understanding between politicians and the people they represent.

He talked about Charles’ ability to communicate, his sense of humour which was mischievous but never cruel and his tolerance and respect for others.

He went on to outline the specific reforms that could be enacted in the Commons to make it reflect those values:

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Liberal Democrats support mixed-sex civil partnerships – and Tories don’t. There’s a surprise.

imageFrom yesterday’s Sunday Times (£):

DAVID CAMERON is to veto proposals to give heterosexual couples the same right as gays to enter into civil partnerships, provoking a coalition split with the Liberal Democrats.

Cameron believes that allowing civil partnerships for heterosexuals would undermine the sanctity of marriage and alienate many traditional Tory voters.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Slam the door on EU migrants and it is Britain that will get hurt

There are many Liberal Democrats, myself included, who feel distinctly uneasy about the changes that the Coalition has made to EU benefits changes, agreed to by Nick Clegg. My personal view is that while these changes save the country a very small amount of money, tackling a problem that doesn’t really exist, we lose a lot more by ceding ground to UKIP and the Tory right.

From Nick’s point of view, though, he feels that he’s agreed to it to make the system fairer and acceptable to British taxpayers in the current climate. He’s fine with free movement around the …

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Opinion: Being tough on drugs means being pro-reform

The Sunday Times is claiming to have knowledge of the results of Jeremy Browne’s drug policy “grand tour”. In an article today, Put that in your pipe, Mrs May, the paper describes many conclusions expected to feature in the final report which will bring great cheer to the ordinary Liberal Democrat member:

“A review ordered by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, and due to be published before Christmas, is expected to suggest Britain could benefit from emulating two American states where the use of recreational cannabis is legal. The Home Office report is also expected to call for

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Lib Dems set to name 7 new peers for House of Lords, says Sunday Times

rumi verjeeToday’s Sunday Times front page (£) splashes with a ‘Cash for peerages row hits Clegg’ headline. The reality is slightly less exciting: Rumi Verjee, a prominent donor to the Lib Dems, is apparently top of the list of seven names put forward for peerages:

Rumi Verjee, a multimillionaire who brought the Domino’s pizza chain to Britain, is top of a list of seven names compiled by the Lib Dems who are expected to be awarded honours within weeks. He has given £770,000 to the party since May 2010. … Verjee

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LibLink: 160mph Vince Cable stands in for Jeremy Clarkson

Vince Cable - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsYesterday’s Sunday Times carried a treat for those of us who are Liberal Democrats and petrolheads. Jeremy Clarkson being “away” is seen by some as a treat in itself, but his replacement for this week was our Vince Cable.

Vince took an £150,000 Aston Martin Rapide S for a test drive during which he reached 160 mph. His criticism was as follows:

The car was more capable and felt quicker than my favourite Aston — the DB9 — although I was disappointed that it didn’t have

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The tale of Nick Clegg, 36 celebrities and 3 wishes

With all the other stuff in the papers yesterday, it won’t be surprising if Nick Clegg’s appearance in the Sunday Times magazine passed you by. He faced questions from a panel of 36 celebrities who put their hearts and souls into thinking all sorts of original questions for him.

First up was Jeremy Clarkson, characteristically pithy, asking whether Nick felt sorry for Chris Huhne. “After all,” the Top Gear presenter said, “he was only speeding.”

Nick’s played that with a compassionate but clear bat:

I do feel sorry for the whole family because they have all clearly become engulfed in something that has

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LibLink | Starved by the Japanese: the Clegg family’s war

Today’s Sunday Times has an interview with Nick Clegg in which he talks for the first time about his mother’s time in an internment camp during World War II.

As a child, when Nick Clegg heard his mother talk quietly about her time in “the camp”, it conjured up happy images in his mind of a Butlins-style summer vacation. The truth was very different, as he would later find out — a discovery that brought home to him the grim reality of war, he reveals in his first interview about his mother’s wartime experiences.

“My mother Hermance, her two sisters

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Well fancy that! A poll finding you won’t have seen reported

I’ve commented before on some of the poll findings that papers pay for but then don’t report (all for reasons of space you understand; never because they don’t meet the desired editorial line; not at all; no way).

Here’s another one, courtesy of The Sunday Times and YouGov:

A group of 23 business leaders have written to the Daily Telegraph newspaper backing the Conservative announcement that they will shelve part of next year’s rise in National Insurance. Do you think that the business leaders are…

Speaking out in the country’s interest 18%
Speaking out in their own interest 50%
Both 22%
Don’t know 11%

Pretty …

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Were there two YouGov polls for the Sunday Times?

I only ask, you see, because in the newspaper online I read of the unions:

Their intransigence is beginning to hurt the government’s standing, as the YouGov/Sunday Times poll shows today.

But in the full polling tables up on the The Times website I read:

Will the strikes, and the prospects of disruption for BA’s passengers, change the way you vote in the election?

Yes, it will make me less likely to vote Labour: 4%
Yes, it will make me more likely to vote Labour: 1%
No difference: 80%
Don’t know: 15%

That’s about as tepid a finding as you could get: a measly net +3%.

A …

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Lib Dems and Labour neck-and-neck on 28%, says voting study

Today’s Times publishes a study by Professor Colin Rallings and Professor Michael Thrasher of Plymouth University based on actual votes cast in the dozens of by-elections that take place for council seats each month. Here are the headline findings:

It shows that although David Cameron’s Conservatives have a 10-point lead over Labour as the year draws to a close, the gap has been narrowing since the summer. The by-election model, which has been reworked to take account of different patterns of competition between the parties, has the Tories on 38%, with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on 28%.

The calculations

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Times features Nick’s and LDV’s ’25 random things’

You know a craze is over when the Sunday supplements start featuring them – from today’s Sunday Times, ’25 random things’ confession craze sweeps the internet:

Millions of people are revealing 25 ‘random’ and often embarrassing things about themselves in the latest phenomenon to sweep the internet … The first of 25 random things is: “The weirdest thing I have ever eaten is fried bees in China.”

Clegg, you might think, sounds like a fearless action man. Study his list more closely, however, and he comes across as too slick by half. He oils his eco-credentials with his second

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