Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 3 May 2013
UKIP: HUGE GAINS AT LOCAL ELECTIONS
The UK Independence Party has hugely increased its number of councillors at yesterday’s local elections in England. Votes are still being counted but the party claims it will win 100 seats. The Conservatives have lost control of two local councils to Labour - and lost nine seats to Ukip in their Essex heartland.
LABOUR HOLDS SOUTH SHIELDS; UKIP SECOND
Labour has retained David Miliband’s old seat, South Shields, a stronghold for the party since 1935. Emma Lewell-Buck said she was delighted with her by-election win, albeit on a majority of 6,505, significantly down on Miliband’s 11,109. Ukip pushed the Conservatives into third place, taking 24%. The Lib Dems came seventh.
US IS CONSIDERING ARMING SYRIA REBELS
American defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, has become the first senior US figure to acknowledge that the Obama administration is reconsidering its opposition to supplying Syrian rebels with arms. At a joint press conference with his UK counterpart, Philip Hammond, Hagel said it was “an option”.
BHUTTO PROSECUTOR SHOT DEAD IN PAKISTAN
The chief prosecutor investigating the 2007 killing of Pakistan’s ex-leader Benazir Bhutto has been shot dead as he drove to court. Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali lost control of the car he was driving, hit and killed a pedestrian. It is not known who ordered the killing. No-one has yet been found responsible for Bhutto’s death.
HOW GOVE MOCKED JAGGER’S ‘EQUIPMENT’
Education secretary Michael Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, says her husband was inspired to pepper his arguments at an Oxford Union debate ten years ago with jokes about the “underwhelming size of [Mick] Jagger’s equipment” after the pair stood next to each other at a urinal beforehand. The singer was debating against Gove.
MOURINHO ‘BACK AT CHELSEA IN JULY’
The Sun claims that ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho will make a return to Chelsea this summer, predicting his arrival will be announced on July 1, “barring any last-minute hitch”. The paper says he was spotted having dinner with Blues owner Roman Abramovich at the La Famiglia restaurant in Chelsea recently.
UK AND EIRE TRAIN TROOPS IN MALI
Irish and British soldiers have joined an EU mission to train troops in Mali, in a project aimed at creating four new battalions capable of defending the North African country, which was overrun by Islamist militants earlier this year, prompting France to intervene. The British Isles troops are carrying out infantry training.
W.I. MET SOMALIA VICTIM IN PIRATE COSTUMES
A Devon branch of the Women’s Institute made an embarrassing faux pas when they donned pirate costumes, including eye patches and a stuffed parrot, to greet guest speaker Colin Dart, who was a ship’s captain taken hostage by Somalian pirates in 2008. They had assumed he would be speaking about historical piracy.
SCOTCH EGG DISH WINS BBC’S MASTERCHEF
A part-time DJ from east London, Natalie Coleman, has won the BBC’s Masterchef competition for amateur cooks with a final menu that included a Scotch egg - served alongside lobster, fennel, panna cotta and pork belly. The 29-year-old, the third woman to win the show in nine years, said it was a “dream come true”.
HOT TICKET: AIRLINE CAPER 'I’M SO EXCITED'
Outrageous Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s new comedy ‘I’m So Excited’ opens in UK cinemas today. When technical difficulties put a flight in danger, a group of flight attendants try to forget their own problems and entertain their passengers. Cameos by Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. “Crazy fun,” says Time Out.