Labour says the government “botched” the sale of Royal Mail. Business secretary Vince Cable had said the soaring share price should only be judged after three months and Labour points out that those three months have now elapsed and the share price is 561p per share, 70 per cent higher than the original value of 330p.
RECORD ONLINE SALES OVER CHRISTMAS
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) says shops made record online sales over the Christmas period, with a 19.2% growth in internet purchases in December 2013. It was the fastest increase in three years and meant that one in five non-food purchases were made online. Overall retail sales increased 0.4%, like-for-like.
LE PEN WANTS ANTI-EU PACT WITH UKIP
Marine Le Pen, leader of the French far-Right party Front National, has proposed joining forces with Ukip to bring down the EU's "Berlin wall of Brussels". Speaking from her Paris headquarters, Le Pen said Ukip has far more in common with the Front National than it would like to admit.
CHRIS CHRISTIE SACKS BRIDGE SCANDAL AIDE
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has sacked the senior aide who ordered the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge to damage a political rival. Christie insisted he had no knowledge of the scheme and said he felt betrayed by Bridget Kelly who had lied to him about the emails.
LABOUR CONSIDERS EU MOVEMENT CURB
Shadow business secretary Chukka Umunna has said Labour is investigating a proposal to limit movement within the EU for workers who do not have a firm offer of a job, in response to worries about Romanian migrants arriving here. Umunna said yesterday he had discussed the idea with partners from other countries.
BEACH LIGHTNING STRIKE KILLS THREE
A lightning strike in Argentina killed three beach-goers and injured 20 others in Villa Gessell, south of Buenos Aires. The victims were said to have been sheltering from the storm on the beach when the lightning hit, throwing people into the air. Many of the injured were burnt, two seriously. The dead were aged 17, 19 and 21.
PLEBGATE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY
The only officer charged in connection with the 'plebgate' affair, PC Keith Wallis, has pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office. He was accused of falsely claiming that he had seen an incident at the gates of Downing Street involving former chief whip Andrew Mitchell and other police officers.
FIVE-MINUTE GRACE FOR PARKING FINES
The government is considering a proposal for a five-minute ‘grace period’ for people who overstay the parking period they’ve paid for, part of a raft of measures aimed at making parking fairer. Several local councils already allow a few minutes over the official time but the proposal would see this system enshrined in law.
JESSICA ENNIS-HILL ANNOUNCES PREGNANCY
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill has announced that she is pregnant with her first child and will miss the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The athlete, who married Andy Hill last year, said she was "excited" by the news, which had turned her plans for 2014 "upside down". She vowed to compete in the 2016 Olympics.
HOT TICKET: MANTEL NOVELS ON STAGE
The Royal Shakespeare Company's stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel's prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies have opened at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. The two-part drama follows the political machinations of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII. "Exhilarating," says The Guardian. Until 29 March.