Today, 12/07/2013 In today's programme

12 Jul 2013 Last updated at 08:31

Friday 12 July

The government is to postpone its plan to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes. Head teachers in England are being urged to ban packed lunches to increase the take-up of school dinners. And abortions are to become legal under certain conditions in the Republic of Ireland.
  • 12 Jul 2013 08:57:04


    Our editors today were Sareen Bains and Terry O'Neill. Coming up next on Radio 4, Jane Somerville is Kirsty Young's castaway on Desert Island Discs.

  • 12 Jul 2013 08:55:41


    Ministers are drawing up plans for a radical overhaul of Parliament that would see only English MPs voting on legislation that does not affect Scotland or Wales. Professor Vernon Bogdanor of King’s College, London, and Sue Cameron, columnist for the Daily Telegraph, discuss the impact of new plans that are being considered by the Cabinet Office that would mean that only English MPs would vote at a new 'fourth reading' stage with powers to change and veto Bills.

  • 12 Jul 2013 08:48:31


    The Irish parliament has for the first time decided to legalise abortion in situations where the mother's life is in danger. Joan Collins, explains her opinion of the decision.

  • 12 Jul 2013 08:34:31


    Head teachers in England are being urged to ban packed lunches to increase the take-up of school dinners and promote healthy eating. The BBC's education correspondent Gillian Hargreaves reports and Theresa Aanonson, headteacher of St Luke's school in Newham, east London, and Ian Bauckham, head of Bennett memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, examine whether pupils should be made to take school meals.

  • 12 Jul 2013 08:25:21


    The role played by women at armaments factories in the second world war is being celebrated in a War Effort exhibition at the Coventry Transport Museum. Penny Summerfield, professor of modern history at Manchester University, looks at whether women's career opportunities were sown by that wartime experiences.

  • 12 Jul 2013 08:17:41


    The family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has said he has become "a hero" and that the intentions of his killers have "backfired". Rebecca Rigby, Lee's wife explains that good wishes have flooded in from around the globe and across all religions in the UK over the last seven weeks.

  • 12 Jul 2013 07:58:16


    The government is to postpone its plans to introduce standardised plain packaging for cigarettes in the UK.

    Ministers are expected to tell MPs that a decision on the policy has been formally delayed so that more time can be spent examining how similar plans have worked in Australia.

  • 12 Jul 2013 08:12:04

    Still to come

    BBC Radio 4 Today
    Coming up: #Cigarette packaging (0810) #school food (0833) #Egypt (0841) #r4today
  • 12 Jul 2013 07:47:54


    Ministers have accused two big private security firms, G4S and Serco, of over-charging the Government by "tens of millions of pounds" for tagging criminals. Tom Gash, director of research at the Institute for Government, and Chris Halward, director of professional development at the National Outsourcing Association, discuss news that G4S now faces a possible investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

    BBC Radio 4 Today
    Effectiveness of outsourced govt services isn't where it needs to be & work needs to be done to improve it: Chris Halward @TheNOA #r4today
    BBC Radio 4 Today
    Market for outsourcing govt services is worth more than £80bn per year but effectiveness is unclear says Tom Gash @instituteforgov #r4today
    Jill Hayward
    @bbcr4today My kids gave up on school dinners because they were too junky, expensive and the queues too long.
    Torty @tortyshell tweeted:
    @BBCr4today #schooldinners Fine to ban packed lunches, but schl dinners must then be free. Atm is £2.20. 4kids = £44p/w. not poss for us.
    ben wohl
    ben wohl @benwohl tweeted:
    Ban sweets chocolates and fizzy drinks but don't assume all packed lunches aren't healthy @BBCr4today
  • 12 Jul 2013 07:46:16


    Usually performing Wagner's The Ring, a 14 hour, four part opera epic is a challenge for the biggest opera company. But one small private theatre company has managed to do it during Wagner's bicentenary. Martin Graham, Founder and chairman of the Longborough Festival Opera, explains that today will be the last night of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Opera's small five hundred seat theatre.

    Anthony Negus is conducting the orchestra:

Show more posts

Radio 4 ♥ Knitting

Guest Editors 2014: The best bits

Guest Editors 2014

The best interviews from Today's 2014 Christmas guest editors.

Paddington creator Michael Bond talks to Today