Ed Miliband must quit if the party loses the next general election, say two Labour frontbenchers. As fears rise that Miliband is failing to connect with voters, a clamour is growing across the party that Labour would need a fresh start if Miliband were defeated. "Ed really cannot stay on if he loses – that really would not work," one frontbencher said. "He has to go if we lose," said another.
GOVT TO BAN CCTV PARKING FINES
The government will ban councils from using CCTV cameras and ‘Orwellian’ spy cars to enforce parking restrictions. Ministers will announce measures today to tackle “over-zealous” enforcement. Drivers will also be encouraged to appeal against more parking tickets, with the launch of a 25% discount for those who try to overturn a fine but fail.
ROY HODGSON BACKED DESPITE EXIT
Manager Roy Hodgson is receiving support to remain in the job despite England’s early exit from the World Cup. FA chair Greg Dyke said: "I already see people asking the question, 'Will he stay?' The answer is 'yes'." Dyke’s position has been backed by leading football writers including Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph, and the Mirror’s Martin Lipton and Ollie Holt.
IS THIS THE END FOR MOBILE BLACKSPOTS?
Mobile phone blackspots in rural areas will be dramatically cut under plans to allow networks to be shared, says The Times. The government wants to allow mobile users to switch to rival networks immediately when they lose the signal from their own provider. Culture secretary Sajid Javid will try to force operators to share networks and allow “national roaming”.
FAMILY ‘HEARTBROKEN’ BY JIHAD VIDEO
The father of a British man who has appeared in a video aimed at recruiting jihadists has says the family is "heartbroken" his son left the UK to fight in Syria. Medical student Nasser Muthana, 20, urges others to fight in Syria and Iraq in the video, entitled “There is no life without Jihad”. His father, Ahmed Muthana, told the BBC the family is “devastated”.
US STEPS UP UKRAINE SANCTIONS
The US has stepped up sanctions against separatists in eastern Ukraine, including asset freezes against seven pro-Russian leaders. The move comes as Western leaders threaten additional sanctions against Moscow, accusing the regime of stoking tension in Ukraine. The Kremlin has rejected Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko’s week-long ceasefire.
ALIBHAI-BROWN REJECTS MP APOLOGY
MP Michael Fabricant has apologised after tweeting he would punch journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown “in the throat” if he were on a discussion programme with her. The journalist has rejected the apology, saying: “There is an undercurrent of really horrible imperialism, racism and sexism in this story.” Fabricant’s tweet came as he watched Alibhai-Brown and Rod Liddle lock horns on Channel 4.
IS BBC’S MINORITY MOVE ‘TOKENISM’?
One in seven BBC presenters and actors is to be black, Asian or of another ethnic minority within the next three years, pledges the director general. Lord Hall has promised 15% of on-air BBC staff will be black, Asian or minority ethnic by 2017, along with one in ten managers. However, critics complain that the plan is “PC tokenism that makes people’s blood boil”.
‘AMAZING’ BLUNKETT TO STAND DOWN
David Blunkett has announced he will stand down as a Labour MP at the next general election. The former home secretary, who has been the MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough since 1987, says it is time for the Labour leadership to look for "new faces" in the party. Ed Miliband said Blunkett, 67, has been an "amazing asset" to the party.
CLARKSON’S MANDELA LAP DANCE GAFFE
When Jeremy Clarkson met Nelson Mandela in 2010 the Top Gear presenter asked the South African leader: “Have you ever had a lap dance?” Mandela’s PA, Zelda La Grange, says it was one of the “ugliest” moments she had experienced while working for the leader. “I immediately got to my boiling point – it was sizzling out of my ears; that’s how angry I was,” she said.