Ukip is “über-nationalist” and “xenophobic” but not racist, a Tory minister said last night. Community secretary Eric Pickles said he does not believe “in my heart” that the party is racist, though he said Nigel Farage has played on people’s fear of immigration in a “shameful” way. Pickles added that some Ukip members have made “racist calculations”.
HMRC DOUBLES TAX INVESTIGATIONS
HMRC has doubled the number of investigations it makes, says the Daily Telegraph. The tax authority made inquiries about the tax returns of 237,215 people last year, up from 119,000 the previous year. The news has raised concerned that people who have made innocent mistakes are being targeted. HMRC estimates it loses out on £35bn of tax every year.
MAN CITY FINED £49M OVER FFP
Manchester City have been fined £49m and had their squad capped after failing Uefa financial fair play rules. The Premier League champions will only be permitted to name a 21-man Champions League squad next season. They will also only be allowed to spend £49m on players this summer, as well as any transfer fees they receive.
BILL CLINTON: ‘HILLARY IS STRONG’
Bill Clinton has responded to the controversy about the health of his wife Hillary. Republicans have asked whether Hillary suffered brain damage when she fainted in 2012. Bill said: “First they said she faked her concussion and now they say she’s auditioning for a part on The Walking Dead”. He added: “Look, she works out every week, she is strong, she’s doing great.”
MANTEL: UK ‘NARROW AND INTOLERANT’
Author Hilary Mantel says the public and media outcry after she described the Duchess of Cambridge as a “doll” shows that Britain is becoming a “narrow and intolerant” nation. The author of Wolf Hall described Kate as a “machine-made” princess with no personality. Although she insists her words were taken out of context, she adds: "I would say it all over again and I stand by what I said."
UK MAN ARRESTED OVER BOKO ATTACK
The British-born man suspected of masterminding Boko Haram bomb attacks in Nigeria was radicalised during his studies at a Welsh university, it has been claimed. Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche was arrested in Sudan this week under suspicion of organising the attack which left around 100 people dead. Ogwuche allegedly describes himself as the “Lion of God”.
FARAGE ENDURES TOUGH RADIO QUIZ
A testing radio interview for Nigel Farage ended with Ukip’s director of communications attempting to haul the party leader off air. Farage was being quizzed by long-time LBC critic James O’Brien. Following tough questions over his stance on immigration and his expenses, the party’s spin doctor Patrick O’Flynn stepped in.
MIGRANTS ‘CAN PAY £500 TO PASS TEST’
Migrants who can speak no English have paid for a certificate saying they passed a language test, claims the Daily Mail. The Home Office is investigating footage claiming to show that the certificates – which are necessary for anyone applying for British citizenship – have been sold for £500. Applicants are offered a “guaranteed pass” for the fee.
CAN GUNNERS END TROPHY DROUGHT?
Arsenal hope to end a nine-year trophy drought this afternoon with victory over Hull City in the FA Cup final. Arsene Wenger’s team last tasted glory when they beat Manchester United in the 2005 FA Cup final. Wenger said the drought “may make it a little more difficult”, adding: "We need to just turn up and play well." Steve Bruce agrees his Hull side are “rank outsiders”.