Why some fear a shortage of immigrants

  • 23 February 2017
  • From the section UK
Flower pickers Image copyright Getty Images

Britain's anxiety about immigration has long been that there is far too much of it. Concerns about the record number of foreign arrivals were a key factor in the vote for Brexit, and the national debate in Parliament and the press has tended to focus on who has got the best policies to reduce it as quickly as possible.

So one would think statistics suggesting a fall in net migration and a big drop on EU workers coming from the eight so-called accession countries (A8) like Poland would be a cause for rejoicing. Well, not entirely.

Nothing has changed at the UK Border since the Brexit vote - this isn't about Britain "taking control".

What has happened is that more than 100,000 EU citizens have left Britain - 17% more than in the previous year. And arrivals from the A8 countries have fallen sharply.

The number of new registered workers from Poland is down 16% year on year, Hungary is down 14%, Slovakia down 20% and Lithuania down 6%.

Read full article Why some fear a shortage of immigrants

Housing White Paper: Radical or feeble?

  • 7 February 2017
  • From the section UK
New housing Image copyright PA

Over the last three decades, governments of various stripes have promised radical change to solve England's housing crisis and today's White Paper is no exception.

The problem is that so many of the initiatives and ideas sold to the country as ground-breaking prove to be business as usual.

Read full article Housing White Paper: Radical or feeble?

James Ibori: Nigerian ex-governor challenges UK conviction

  • 1 February 2017
  • From the section UK
James Ibori Image copyright Reuters
Image caption James Ibori was released from a UK prison in December after serving four years of a 13-year sentence

A Nigerian politician is appealing against his British conviction for corruption, claiming the Metropolitan Police investigation was itself mired in corruption.

James Ibori was released in December after four years in a British prison, but prosecutors have since admitted they have documents suggesting police officers involved in the case took bribes.

Read full article James Ibori: Nigerian ex-governor challenges UK conviction

Drenched Thailand still waiting for its green revolution

  • 10 January 2017
  • From the section Asia
Tourists use rubber rings to cross a flooded road on Koh Samui, Thailand, 5 January 2017 Image copyright AP
Image caption Tourists use inflatable rings to cross a road on the Thai island of Koh Samui

Mr Supit bows low, palms together, fingers pointing to the wrathful heavens above.

The north-east monsoon should have left the Thai island of Koh Samui more than a month ago, but the start of 2017 there has been greeted by a week of unremitting tropical storms.

Read full article Drenched Thailand still waiting for its green revolution

Boxing Day Family Puzzler 2016

  • 26 December 2016
  • From the section Magazine
Mark Easton game image

It is time once again for that most traditional of festive distractions, my Boxing Day Family Puzzler. Now in its ninth glorious year, this is the quiz where no-one is expected to know any of the answers.

The questions relate to events in the past 12 months and all the solutions are numbers. Contestants must simply use wisdom and judgement to get as close to the right figure as they can.

Read full article Boxing Day Family Puzzler 2016

What did the Brexit vote reveal about the UK?

A union flag flies in front of the Palace of Westminster Image copyright Getty Images

The vote for Brexit was a thunderous rumble of national indignation, an outpouring of frustrated fury that shook the foundations of the British state. We misinterpret its meaning at our peril.

"Brexit means Brexit" does not cut it.

Read full article What did the Brexit vote reveal about the UK?

New evidence supports cover-up claims in Ibori case

  • 16 September 2016
  • From the section UK
New Scotland Yard revolving sign Image copyright Getty Images

Claims that Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) covered up evidence of police corruption in a high-profile money-laundering case have been given new weight after the discovery of a substantial number of documents suggesting an officer did take bribes.

The previously undisclosed material came to light after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, demanded a review into the conviction of Nigerian politician James Ibori.

Read full article New evidence supports cover-up claims in Ibori case

Ibori lawyer awarded £20,000 by Crown Prosecution Service

  • 22 July 2016
  • From the section UK
Bhadresh Gohil Image copyright Metropolitan Police

A convicted money launderer, linked to the high-profile prosecution of Nigerian politician James Ibori, has received £20,000 from the Crown Prosecution Service after claims he was wrongly deprived of his liberty.

The extraordinary payment is just the latest twist in a legal case that has led to investigations into allegations of police corruption and a cover-up of key evidence.

Read full article Ibori lawyer awarded £20,000 by Crown Prosecution Service

How can the UK build more homes post-Brexit?

  • 20 July 2016
  • From the section Business
A building site in London Image copyright Reuters

Housing sector leaders are urging government to divert billions earmarked for home ownership schemes into social and affordable rented housing to counter an expected post-Brexit downturn.

Private housebuilding in England has been falling amid the uncertainty of the referendum campaign and there are already industry reports of a reduction in new commercial activity since the vote.

Read full article How can the UK build more homes post-Brexit?

Brexit and housing: Radical ideas wanted

  • 29 June 2016
  • From the section Brexit
House-building Image copyright PA

A million homes by 2020 to deal with Britain's housing crisis - that was the government commitment made just last month in the Queen's Speech. But what chance now?

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) ministers say it is business as usual - but it plainly isn't.

Read full article Brexit and housing: Radical ideas wanted