All infants in England to get free school lunches

 

Nick Clegg: "A healthy hot meal gives children the ability to concentrate and do well in the classroom"

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All pupils at infant schools in England are to get free school lunches from next September, Lib Dem leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg has announced.

The change - for children in reception, year one and year two - will save parents about £400 a year per child.

Targeting infants would ensure "every child gets the chance in life they deserve", teach healthy eating habits and boost attainment, Mr Clegg said.

But Labour said the Lib Dems could not be trusted to deliver.

Money is being provided for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to emulate the English scheme, but as education is a devolved issue, it is up to those running schools there to decide whether to spend the money on free lunches.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "We are committed to expanding this provision further and, once we see the financial implications of this announcement for Scotland, we will examine how best to deliver that expansion."

'Feeling the squeeze'

Free primary school meals for all pupils was one of the recommendations of a recent review of school food by two founders of the Leon restaurant chain for the Department for Education.

Analysis

The idea of free school meals for all pupils has been cooking away for many years.

There have been several pilot studies and researchers analysing the outcomes last year claimed that a free meal for all helped to narrow the divide in the achievement gap between rich and poor pupils.

Supporters argued that children with a regular healthy meal were more likely to be able to concentrate, get better academic results and were less likely to be obese. It's a public health approach, covering everyone for the long-term benefit.

A similar project saw free fruit being given to the infant years, with its advocates saying that the gains from this measure would be felt decades in the future.

The quality of school food has also become an issue, since Jamie Oliver exposed the dark underbelly of twizzler cuisine.

Now Nick Clegg's announcement will see free meals offered as the recipe for better results.

It concluded that packed lunches were nearly always less nutritious than a cooked meal, and that giving all children free lunches would raise academic standards.

The new policy does not ban packed lunches, but the aim is that having the hot, free option, will boost the numbers of pupils having school dinners.

Mr Clegg said: "My ambition is that every primary school pupil should be able to sit down to a hot, healthy lunch with their classmates every day.

"Millions of parents across the country are feeling the squeeze... I am determined to do all we can to help put money back in the pockets of these families.

"We will start with infant school pupils because teaching healthy habits young, and boosting attainment early, will bring the biggest benefits.

"Universal free school meals will help give every child the chance in life that they deserve, building a stronger economy and fairer society."

The move was welcomed by the National Union of Teachers, who called for it to be extended to all primary school pupils.

Children "do not stop being hungry at seven years-of-age", said general secretary Christine Blower.

Dr Hilary Emery from the National Children's Bureau said: "It's encouraging that politicians have recognised the clear link between a good diet, children's health and performance in education - which is of particular importance to low income families."

At the moment free school meals are available to all children whose parents are on benefits or earn less than £16,190 a year.

Start Quote

Giving people something for nothing is rarely unpopular, even when they are paying for it through their taxes.”

End Quote

Providing them for all infants will cost an estimated £600m and comes after the previously universal child benefit was cut for those earning more than £50,000 a year.

The Lib Dems also announced that poorer college students will be entitled to free school meals - on the same basis as those studying at school sixth forms.

"The news will no doubt be welcomed by disadvantaged students and their parents at a time when family budgets are being stretched to the limit," said Martin Doel, chief executive of the Association of Colleges.

But Labour's Stephen Twigg said: "After three years of broken promises and empty words, people have come to judge the Lib Dems on what they do, not what they say.

"They talk about helping families but they will have taken up to £7bn a year of support away from children by 2015. They talk about helping with school meals after supporting the Tories in scrapping Labour's plans to extend free meals for school kids. You can't trust a word the Lib Dems say."

Marriage tax break

Asked if it was fair to provide free schools lunches for the children of all, irrespective of wealth, Mr Clegg said: "We believe that where we can find the money, even in these difficult times, we need to really invest that money in giving all children regardless of their family background the very best possible start in life."

He said the details of where the money to fund the lunches was coming from would be given in Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement.

At a briefing ahead of the announcement the Lib Dems suggested they had got the funding for school lunches in return for allowing Conservative plans for a marriage tax break.

Start Quote

Ministers are determined to make a series of gestures designed to alleviate the squeeze many families are feeling”

End Quote

The Department for Education ordered a review by restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent into the state of school meals in 2012 following strong criticism from TV chef Jamie Oliver, who earlier led a successful campaign to ban junk and processed food from school canteens.

Mr Oliver's campaign resulted in tight nutritional guidelines and healthy eating policies in many schools for those bringing packed lunches.

But in 2011 he claimed that standards were being eroded because academies and free schools were exempt from national nutritional guidelines.

Mr Dimbleby said he was "absolutely buzzing" following Mr Clegg's announcement.

He said: "Even those who have free school meals already benefit from this change of culture... Hopefully it will be the first step on the road to free school meals for everyone."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 739.

    I guess this is a good idea. However are hot school meals really healthier than a sandwich? We currently send both kids in with packed lunches as we therefore know exactly what they are eating; based on our judgement of what is healthy. Food for thought.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 738.

    So, 2013, coalition govt in name, but let's not pretend it is anything other than tory in nature.

    We are cutting the benefits of the poorest, the ill, disabled, unemployed and those who rent and have no qualms about forking out for food for the offspring of the better off. Apparently families on 300k pa also get 2k nursery help would be insane if that was true


    How perverse and sick can it get?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 737.

    People who produce children get benefits, among them child benefit. What do they spend the money on, if not feeding their offspring? We already pay for the roofs over their heads - how many more freebies are they going to get to encourage them to go on producing children they can't house, feed or clothe?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 736.

    Oh for god's sake! if people would learn how to even spell in the first place maybe they could begin to teach their children to.
    Some of the comments on here are just pathetic in their lack of anything to do with intelligent discussion. With lols and suchlike, their kids are going to be eating chips anyway! God help the next generation when it comes to communication in the first place. Blah Blah!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 735.

    completely agree with Joe Bloogs comment

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 734.

    Hot free meals for all, regardless of ability to pay - but what will the meals be like? How nutritious? Some kids only eat chips- I can foresee countless rows with chav parents threatening 'dinner ladies' for daring to force fresh fruit and veg on their chav offspring - Come on Darren, we'll go down McDonalds, you don'ave ter eat that muck -oo der they fink they are? LOL i.e. lots of luck!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 733.

    I think the real issue is how the people will be wasting their vote at the next election? Will they vote for:

    Labour who almost bankrupted the country with overspending?
    Conservatives who imposed so any cuts, who ignore billions of pounds of tax avoidance by corporations but go after 1 guy who owes £1000
    Or LibDems who crumbled under the Tories during this coalition gov.

    None of the above I say

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 732.

    I suppose the poor will have to pay for this again - a furher cut in benefits?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 731.

    Oh, I see. It is free lunch not breakfast. The same applies, though. If you have the money to pay for it, why should it be free? Free should be only to those who would not otherwise be able to buy a lunch.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 730.

    In theory, this is a welcome (although minor) measure (if it occurs, which is not certain if it is said by Clegg) but its the exception that proves the rule of the LibDems having such little influence over govt policy.
    On the major policy decisions, the Tories have been a free ride, even though the UK public were not convinced enough by them at the last election to give them a majority.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 729.

    697.Algy
    Were to rich to receive children's allowance but can't afforded to buy them a lunch? unbalavbly perverse stop treating people as idiolects

    Algy, if you're too rich to receive children's allowance why not spend some of your money on night school to teach you spelling and punctuation?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 728.

    Help me to understand why this policy is being proposed. Don't most children eat breakfast before going to school? And why should everyone get a free meal? Shouldn't the meals be reserved for the needy who would otherwise not receive them?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 727.

    Just another vote catcher for 2015 election and as soon as they have been re elected it will be found too costly or the take up is not good enough and it will be gone once schools have spent out on all the extra equipment how are schools going to know they are getting value for money or is it just another exercise to hand cash over to contractors

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 726.

    As a single and childless professional, it seems that my hard-earned cash, is for feeding other people's children, and with a marriage tax break, I'm also paying for other people's relationships.
    Don't worry Mr Clegg, I'll also be voting for another party.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 725.

    There really is no end to how much of our money the LibDems will give away. Clegg should really concentrate on other more important things.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 724.

    705.Kat
    Well you should talk to your local adult social services and see if they can help they may tell which benefit you can claim to cover such costs but such help may be means tested like most things this government have done

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 723.

    It is silly. Kids that need it already get free school meals. The privilege should not be extended to those that don't need it, including those from well-off backgrounds, to be subsidized by the already hard-pressed and often less well-off taxpayer.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 722.

    #720: "double the length of the lunch break"

    Not sure why this is necessary ... when I was at primary school, almost all of the 350 pupils ate school dinners. At grammar school, almost all 1200. This was done within a one-hour lunch break - with children having at least half of that for playtime, clubs, study, etc. before or after eating.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 721.

    706. brownbear
    Nasty party politics, go away Clegg you are done

    Not a Liberal voter,Labour in fact. Clegg is a very brave man, swallowed his promises, because reality crept in. Didn't realise how we'd screwed up. It was okay until Blair told Brown to free the Cheque Book and Brown took his eye off the ball. Still that's history. History will judge him, better than his press today.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 720.

    Good move; now all we need is to reopen the kitchens and employ the staff to administer all this and to double the length of the lunch break - currently it takes the best part of an hour to serve half our school who take up school dinners . We dont have the capacity to implement this policy. A few years down the line the Jamie Oliver effect has already given way to cost cutting at county level.

 

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  54.  
    11:44: Commons 'man through and through'

    Commons Speaker John Bercow has been paying tribute to Churchill as a parliamentarian. Speaking at a special commemoration service in Parliament, Mr Bercow said the wartime leader was a House of Commons "man through and through" and had resisted blandishments to join the House of Lords. Churchill, he said, believed that the "cut and thrust of debate and the searing searchlight of scrutiny were vital".

     
  55.  
    11:42: Barbara Lancaster MBE, Leeds

    emails: I still remember my father, who was a staunch Labour man, saying there will never ever be another politician like him in your lifetime.

     
  56.  
    11:37: Boat ceremony BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Ben Brown, at the Tower of London, says in about 30 minutes a wreath made by Royal British Legion - at the poppy factory in Richmond - will be carried to the Havengore, the boat which carried the wartime prime minister's coffin along the Thames 50 years ago. The boat will then set off on the same journey again from the Tower of London to Westminster, and Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as a mark of respect. Once it reaches the waters opposite the Palace of Westminster, there will be special service and wreath laying in the waters.

     
  57.  
    11:33: Havengore in 2015
    The Havengore docked in London

    And here it is in 2015, being prepared ahead of the anniversary events.

     
  58.  
    11:31: Havengore 50 years ago
    Winston Churchill's coffin on a boat - the Havengore - on the Thames on the day of his funeral

    Here's the Havengore 50 years ago.

     
  59.  
    11:29: Stephen O'Sullivan

    emails: I watched the funeral on the BBC, I was five-years old and it is the first television memory I have, something I've always remembered to this day. I knew it must have been important because things were quiet and everybody knew that it was happening. I remember the procession, the train, the boat journey past the dipped cranes on the Thames. I asked my mother whether everybody got a funeral like this and she replied "oh no, this is different, he was an important man". Older now, I appreciate how important.

     
  60.  
    11:21:

    If you have any pictures of Churchill's state funeral 50 years ago, or other relevant pictures you'd like to share, please send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk.

     
  61.  
    11:20: US/UK special relationship 'alive' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill with US President Franklin Roosevelt in 1943

    The US ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, tells the BBC he is "inspired every day" by Sir Winston Churchill. He says the wartime leader was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States and the special relationship between the US and the UK is still "alive" as the countries stand "shoulder to shoulder" in the fight against Ebola in Africa and ISIS in Iraq.

     
  62.  
    11:17: Boris on 'extremist losers'

    Boris Johnson, who recently published a biography of Churchill, has been making a few headlines of his own this morning. In an interview with The Sun, he has described men who join religious extremist groups such as Islamic State as "losers" who are likely to be users of pornography. Such individuals often turn to violence to boost their own-self esteem, he has suggested.

     
  63.  
    11:12: 'Spellbinding orator' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill making a speech during the 1945 election campaign

    Historian Sir David Cannadine pays tribute to Churchill, describing him as a "spellbinding orator" and "at times a marvellous determiner of military strategy" who was regarded as a saviour of the country. "Even though he was a controversial figure, I think that verdict has stood the test of time," he says.

     
  64.  
    @BBCArchive 11:05: Archive footage

    are live tweeting archive footage from Churchill's funeral, replicating the BBC coverage of that day as it unfolded in 1965. Go to https://twitter.com/BBCArchive to follow the coverage.

     
  65.  
    11:01: Warship aspirations

    Not all senior politicians are in the Commons for the Churchill commemoration, with politics continuing elsewhere. On a visit to Portsmouth, Chancellor George Osborne says the UK should aspire to build a new warship every two years and to make the Royal Navy the "most modern" fleet in the world.

     
  66.  
    10:52: Cameron lays wreath
    David Cameron lays a wreath at Churchill ceremony

    Prime Minister David Cameron lays a wreath at the Churchill commemoration ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

     
  67.  
    10:51: Migrant election vote BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Louise Stewart tells the BBC News Channel this election is the first time where migrants will swing the vote in certain constituencies - most of them in London and the Midlands. "They don't vote as a blob - so many seats are tightly fought - but they could make a real difference, and they are of course more likely to support parties in favour of immigration."

     
  68.  
    10:46: Havengore ceremony BBC News Channel
    BBC's Ben Brown

    The BBC's Ben Brown is on board HMS Belfast on the Thames, where the Havengore, the boat which carried the wartime prime minister's coffin along the river from Tower of London to Westminster 50 years ago, will make the journey again later. Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT for the ceremony.

     
  69.  
    10:39: Migrant election vote

    Let's break away from events 50 years ago for a moment. Migrant voters could have a "decisive" impact in a range of key marginal seats in the forthcoming general election, a new study has found. Almost four million foreign-born voters in England and Wales will be eligible to cast a vote on 7 May, according to a report by academics at the University of Manchester and the Migrants' Rights Network.

     
  70.  
    10:34: A million mourners
    People standing on roofs to see Churchill's funeral

    Crowded streets forced people to use every vantage point to see the funeral procession 50 years ago. A million mourners lined the route in London, while 25 million people in the UK - just under half the entire population of the country - saw it on television. About 350 million viewers, a tenth of the world's population, watched around the globe.

     
  71.  
    @PhilippaBBC 10:28: Live ceremony Philippa Thomas BBC News

    tweets: We'll have live ceremony coverage @BBCWorld 1245 #GMT MT @BBCArchive: Churchill's political career #BBCChurchill

     
  72.  
    10:26: 'Fitting tribute'

    Churchill's grandson, MP Sir Nicholas Soames, says the Westminster events were a "fitting tribute" to his grandfather and a "strong reminder of all he did for his country". Emma Soames, Churchill's granddaughter, adds: "To me growing up he was a grandfather, but I came to realise at his death that he was so much more than that."

     
  73.  
    @bbcArchive 10:24: Share your memories BBC Archive

    tweets: Do you remember the day of Churchill's funeral? Share your memories with us #BBCChurchill pic.twitter.com/5gzSwuWKsP

    BBC graphic
     
  74.  
    10:23: Churchill in numbers
    Winston Churchill doing a radio interview in 1928

    Churchill's career in the House of Commons began in 1900 and spanned 64 years, the longest in the 20th Century. While he was a member of the Commons, Churchill sat for two parties, represented five constituencies and contested 21 elections. He held numerous ministerial positions and served as prime minister twice.

     
  75.  
    10:00: 'Unprecedented funeral'

    Former BBC correspondent Martin Bell tells the BBC News Channel that Churchill's state funeral was "unprecedented - we will not see the likes of it again". He says the nation was "absolutely riveted" by the funeral. "It was very quiet, dignified, almost devotional - it's hard to imagine anyone drawing that kind of emotion, it was the passing of a great man," he says.

     
  76.  
    @BenBrownBBC 09:51: Ben Brown, BBC News Presenter

    tweets: On board HMS Belfast for BBC news channel coverage of 50th anniversary of Sir Winston's state funeral #Churchill2015

     
  77.  
    09:45: 'Inspired a nation'

    Prime Minister David Cameron, who is attending a remembrance service for Sir Winston Churchill at the Houses of Parliament, says the wartime leader's legacy "continues to inspire not only the nation whose liberty he saved, but the entire world". He adds: "2015 is a year to remember Winston Churchill's extraordinary life of achievement, to admire and to celebrate it anew, and to give thanks for his service not only to the country he loved, but to humanity as a whole."

     
  78.  
    09:34: 'Touched nation's heart'

    Churchill had "touched the nation's heart", his great-grandson said. "The story of how he first entered politics, he fought 19 general elections, and he was not always right on the issues, but people so admired what he managed to do in 1940 to inspire a nation and lead them through his great speeches and oratory. So he retains a very warm place in the nation's heart and the family have been bowled over by all the coverage."

     
  79.  
    09:33: 'Proud day'
    Randolph Churchill lays a wreath at the statue of his great-grandfather Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square

    The great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill says the wartime leader would be "surprised but thrilled" at the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of his state funeral. Randolph Churchill, who was accompanied by Churchill's grandaughter Celia Sandys, says it is a "proud day" after he laid a wreath at the statue of the leader in Parliament Square.

     
  80.  
    09:12: Churchill anniversary

    A reminder that BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral of the UK's wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill in about five minutes.

    Crowds lining a London street as the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill passes along
     
  81.  
    08:54: 'Different election' BBC Radio 4

    Back to contemporary politics for a moment. Former Labour minister Peter Hain says he believes more and more people will "swing behind" Ed Miliband as the election approaches. He rejects claims by his former colleague Alan Milburn that the election could be a repeat of 1992 - which Labour narrowly lost. "I don't recognise 1992 at all and I went through that election," he tells Today. "This is a very different election."

     
  82.  
    08:48: 'Britain at a standstill'

    "It was the day Britain came to a standstill, the world watched and an era passed" - BBC South of England Correspondent Duncan Kennedy looks back at the day of Winston Churchill's funeral - 30 January 1965.

     
  83.  
    08:40: Controversial Churchill

    For some, Sir Winston Churchill remains an intensely controversial figure. The BBC's Tom Heyden writes about the 10 greatest controversies of Churchill's career.

    Churchill statue, Westerham
     
  84.  
    08:31: Churchill's place in history BBC Radio 4

    Historians Simon Heffer and Andrew Roberts have been discussing Sir Winston Churchill's place in history on Today and considering how he would have adapted to contemporary politics. They agree it is "completely impossible" to compare him with today's leaders as they face lesser challenges and "you need the crisis to create the statesman". Simon Heffer says Churchill would have struggled with modern media scrutiny given his fondness for whisky first thing in the morning and his "dictatorial" style. But Andrew Roberts says Churchill never over-ruled his generals and the "granite" he showed in 1940 and 1941 undisputedly make him the greatest occupant of No 10.

     
  85.  
    08:15: NHS row BBC Radio 5 live

    Labour's shadow health minister Liz Kendall tells BBC 5 live Breakfast that former Labour health minister Lord Darzi is "wrong" for thinking that using the private sector is the way to make "the big changes we need" to public services like the NHS. "I just don't think that that's the case," she says. It comes after Lord Darzi told the BBC the NHS should prefer providers who deliver the highest quality care - whether they are "public, private or not-for-profit".

     
  86.  
    08:02: 'Million-strong crowd' BBC Breakfast

    The BBC's Duncan Kennedy, outside St. Paul's Cathedral in central London, tells BBC Breakfast a million-strong crowd gathered between the cathedral and Westminster Abbey for Sir Winston Churchill's funeral 50 years ago. "In many places it was 20-people deep as many regarded him as the greatest Englishman who ever lived... he's one of those rare leaders that is remembered in life and in death, however history ultimately judges him," he says.

     
  87.  
    07:51: Churchill's funeral BBC Radio 4

    Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby tells Today he will be watching the replay of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral on BBC Parliament this morning. It will be poignant for him, he says, since his father Richard - whose commentary on the event has lived so long in the memory - also died 50 years ago.

     
  88.  
    @BBCBenThompson 07:41: Housing shortage

    BBC business correspondent Ben Thompson tweets: 150,000 new homes built across UK last year but is it enough if demand still outstripping supply? @CountrysideProp boss - 0750 @BBCBreakfast

     
  89.  
    07:37: Behind the scenes at Westminster

    Parliament is not sitting today due to events marking the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral. But those wanting a different insight into how the famous institution works might like to read about a new BBC documentary - Inside the Commons - to be broadcast next week. Michael Cockerell and his team have been behind the scenes at Westminster and not all MPs have been happy about it.

    Documentary-maker Michael Cockerell
     
  90.  
    @BBCr4today 07:28: Medical training BBC Radio 4

    tweets: Plan to reduce length of medical training will lead to "lower standard of expertise" @thomasdolphin, @TheBMA #r4today

     
  91.  
    07:20: 'Dirtiest campaign' The Independent

    Ukip leader Nigel Farage says this general election could be the "dirtiest" campaign in British history. Writing in the Independent, he accused the Conservatives and Labour of employing "attack-campaign" election strategists and "hurling hundreds of thousands of pounds at Facebook and twitter".

     
  92.  
    07:07: Funeral film BBC Radio 4

    The TV pictures of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral remain "compelling viewing" 50 years on, James Rowland from BBC Archive says. There was a "little bit of damage" on the original film and dirt that had to be cleaned off, he tells Radio 4's Today, prior to its rebroadcast on BBC Parliament today. He reflects on the fairly rudimentary camerawork used in 1965, compared to today's standards, remarking that the pictures seem "slightly twitchy".

     
  93.  
    07:06: Churchill event timings

    Here are some of the 50th anniversary timings if you want to plan your day:

    • The Houses of Parliament will host a remembrance service and wreath-laying ceremony at 09:00 GMT
    • BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral, which runs for a little over four hours, at 09:15 GMT.
    • Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as the Havengore repeats its 1965 journey from the Tower of London to Westminster
    • Westminster Abbey will host a ceremony from 18:00 GMT, with flowers laid at the green marble stone placed there in memorial to Churchill.
     
  94.  
    06:58: Churchill anniversary
    The Havengore carrying Sir Winston Churchill's coffiin along the Thames

    A bit more about what's happening in London later to mark the 50th anniversary of the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill. The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey will both host remembrance services, and there'll be a ceremony recreating the flotilla which carried Churchill's coffin along the Thames from the Tower of London to Westminster Pier. Members of Churchill's family will travel along the Thames on the Havengore, which carried his coffin 50 years ago.

     
  95.  
    06:51: 'Three parent baby law'

    And the Daily Telegraph's lead is on concern from the Church of England that legislation is being rushed through to allow children to be born with three genetic "parents". The technique - mitrochondrial DNA transfer - is being promoted as a way to combat a series of inherited medical conditions.

     
  96.  
    06:45: 'Religious slaughter of animals'

    Meanwhile, the Times leads on a big rise in the number of food animals slaughtered without stunning. The British Veterinary Association - which wants the practice banned from Britain - says the number of animals killed in this way has risen by 60%. The paper says this is because of campaigning by Muslims for traditional slaughter methods.

     
  97.  
    06:41: 'Migrant voting power'

    Migration is the focus of the i newspaper. It says immigrants could decide the result in 70 marginal seats, and Conservatives fear "migrant voting power" could cost them the election.

     
  98.  
    06:36: 'Gas bill rip-off'

    It's a "gas bill rip-off" for the Daily Express, which says figures show the big six energy suppliers are enjoying bumper profits, as temperatures plummet. The paper says the big firms will pocket an extra £114 per household in the coming year.

     
  99.  
    06:34: The newspapers

    A quick look at what's making the headlines in the newspapers. Energy prices take a prominent place in a few, with the Guardian saying real take-home pay is less now than it was in 2001, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Men and young workers have noticed the greatest fall in spending power, the paper adds.

     
  100.  
    06:28: Missed Newsnight and This Week?

    Don't worry if you weren't glued to your telly seven hours ago - you can catch up with the full editions of Question Time and This Week by clicking on the 'Live Coverage' tab on this page.

     

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