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.

Both Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service deny any wrongdoing.

Former solicitor Bhadresh Gohil was expecting to be released from prison on bail last November, having served half his sentence for fraud and money laundering. Less than a week before the release date, prosecution barrister Sasha Wass QC applied for bail to be revoked.

Mr Gohil's defence team argued in a bail hearing that the prosecution had "manipulated dishonestly and in bad faith" the process by repeatedly telling the court that unconditional bail was unopposed.

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

Managing expectations will be key

Victorious Leave campaigner Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many Leave campaigners will be expecting quick results after winning the referendum

Just as the Chancellor spent the morning trying to calm the City, so there will be a need to manage the expectations of the country.

Real politics will inevitably mean concession and compromise after a campaign in which both sides seemed at times to suggest it was a choice between Utopia and Armageddon.

Read full article Managing expectations will be key

A less than United Kingdom

Leave campaigner Image copyright PA
Image caption Leave campaigners are jubilant

The EU referendum has revealed an ancient, jagged fault line across the United Kingdom. It is a scar that has sliced through conventional politics and traditional social structures, and it is far from clear whether the kingdom can still call itself united.

The referendum was ostensibly about membership of the European Union. But voters took it to be asking a different question: what kind of country do you want Britain to be?

Read full article A less than United Kingdom

Jo Cox death highlights need for respect

  • 17 June 2016
  • From the section UK
Jo Cox Image copyright Reuters

If we lose our respect, what do we have left?

As the country tries to make sense of the killing of Jo Cox, questions are being asked as to whether our politics and public discourse have become so intolerant and vicious that respect is in short supply.

Read full article Jo Cox death highlights need for respect

Is Britain’s class gap finally starting to narrow?

Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School
Image caption Parents are encouraged to work with their children at Sheffield's Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School

Government advisers on social mobility say there are encouraging signs that in key areas, the gap between rich and poor children in Britain is narrowing.

A report for the Social Mobility Commission notes that "the trends are positive even in the most disadvantaged social classes", with parents from all backgrounds becoming more involved in their children's development and education.

Read full article Is Britain’s class gap finally starting to narrow?

Could EU referendum damage our democracy?

Ballot box Image copyright PA

With a month still to go, I know many British voters are already profoundly turned off by the EU referendum.

The mudslinging, the rows, the nonsense - it does not always look very edifying.

Read full article Could EU referendum damage our democracy?

Will ban on legal highs work?

  • 26 May 2016
  • From the section UK
People inhaling nitrous oxide Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

Conservatives are usually opposed to the "nanny state" slapping draconian new rules on business or banning things that experts think might damage your health.

But today the government's delayed Psychoactive Substances Act comes into force, introducing powers over what consumers can consume that are as radical and far-reaching as any such legislation ever.

Read full article Will ban on legal highs work?

Has the government abandoned its net migration target?

  • 19 April 2016
  • From the section UK
Border sign - UK airport Image copyright Getty Images

The Conservative manifesto promises to reduce net migration to the UK to the tens of thousands by 2020, but in calculating the cost of Britain leaving the EU in yesterday's report, the Treasury assumes a level still well in excess of that - of 185,000 per year in 2021 and beyond.

Asked to explain whether the government has quietly abandoned its pledge, the Treasury said the UK would probably have to accept the status quo on EU migration as the price of continued access to European markets. "No country has been able to agree significant access to the single market without having to accept EU regulations, financial contributions to the EU and the free movement of people" it said.

Read full article Has the government abandoned its net migration target?