UKBA’s dispersal policy ‘puts pregnant asylum seekers at risk’ says report
The health of hundreds of pregnant women and their babies are being put at risk by the UK Border Agency’s policy of dispersing asylum seekers, according to midwives involved in their care.
A report published on Monday by the Maternity Action and the Refugee Council says that the immigration authorities are endangering the health of pregnant asylum seeking women and their babies by moving them to accommodation around the country and so removing them from essential healthcare and leaving them isolated.
UKBA does not keep a separate record of the numbers of pregnant asylum seekers who are dispersed but a Freedom of Information request has disclosed that there were 611 maternity payments made to women supported by UKBA during the first six months of 2011. Read more.
Alan Travis | The Guardian | 25th February 2013
Nick Clegg has Fifteen Spads – of whom TEN appear to be employed to spy on the Tories
A Freedom of Information request by the Labour Peer George Foulkes has revealed that Nick Clegg has 15 Special Advisers costing a total of £1 million each year. Only 5 out of these 15 SPADs appear to advise Clegg on his policy responsibilities (which since constitutional reform has hit the buffers, already seems like a few too many). The other 10 seem to be tasked with keeping a watchful, distrustful eye on the Tory administration – including 4 stalking the corridors of Downing Street.
Speaking to LabourList this morning Lord Foulkes said:
“While five of his Special Advisers advise on his direct responsibilities, four seem to shadow the Prime Minister for him and six keep an eye on what Tory ministers are up to in other departments. It is a scandal that so much public money is being spent on a political operation for a minister who has so few real responsibilities. All his constitutional reforms have fallen by the wayside and he is now reduced to spying on his Coalition colleagues in other departments”.
“Before he came to power, Nick Clegg attacked Special Advisers as ‘political jobs’ that ought not to be paid for by the taxpayer. He appears to have changed his tune, to the cost of £1 million. This is another example of hypocrisy from a man whose policies in government have become increasingly divergent from the positions on which he was elected”. Read more.
Labourlist | 24th February 2013
South Yorkshire chief constable David Crompton forced to apologise after claiming families lied
A top policeman accused Hillsborough families of lying about the tragedy in a leaked email to colleagues.
South Yorkshire’s chief constable, who has been forced to apologise, made the allegation just before last year’s report into the disaster.
David Crompton told officers: “The Hillsborough Campaign for justice will be doing their version… in fact their version of certain events has become ‘the truth’ even though it isn’t!!”
Mr Crompton adds: “I have the feeling the media ‘machine’ favours the families and not us, so we need to be a bit more innovative to have a fighting chance – otherwise we will just be roadkill.”
The email, revealed by a Freedom of Information request, was sent to an assistant chief constable and the force’s media chief. Read more.
John Kelly | The Mirror | 24th February 2013
MPs’ computers used to access porn sites, including foot and fat fetishism, more than 2,500 times
Parliamentary computers are being used to view hardcore pornography featuring sadomasochism and foot and fat fetishism.
The X-rated websites have been accessed more than 2,500 times on computers used by MPs, peers and their staff.
Gay cruising websites have also been visited a further 3,500 times along with obscure erotica sites – including one showing naked women posing with cats.
Asked for an explanation, a parliamentary spokesman claimed the sites may have been visited accidentally.
The Mail on Sunday obtained the information through a Freedom of Information enquiry. It covers a 14-month period between May 2011 and July 2012. Read more.
Simon Murphy | Daily Mail | 24th February 2013