Derek Simpson backs moderate to lead Unite
Leaked emails over Mike Hancock scandal
David Miliband tipped for top EU job
87% of MPs raking it in with second jobs
David Cameron exclusive interview
"Red Ed" negotiates a minefield
"Red" Ed's knife-edge win
Don't strike over cuts, says union boss
Harman blocks Gordon Brown's farewell honours
Child benefit for older kids faces axe
Ed Miliband edges ahead of bruv in Labour leadership race
All articles by this writer...

NINE out of 10 MPs are cashing in on second jobs - with one trousering more than £285,000 since May's election.

Some 563 of the 650 MPs - 87 per cent - have revealed incomes on top of their £64,766 Commons salaries.

Many work as highly-paid lawyers, directors and business advisors.

New Tory MP Stephen Phillips - a QC - has pocketed £285,150 for legal work in just five months since the election.

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LABOUR’S stand-in leader Harriet Harman is blocking honours for ex-PM Gordon Brown’s pals.

Mr Brown has drawn up a list of those he wants to have seats in the House of Lords.

But Ms Harman says she will NOT sign off peerages for party donors for fear of reigniting the cash-for-honours row.

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FORMER LibDem leader Charles Kennedy last night branded claims he was defecting to Labour as "utter b*ll*cks" last night.

He told pals he was furious about the reports. And in an email to Deputy PM Nick Clegg he said it was "the silliest of silly season stories".

Yesterday rumours emerged that Kennedy had been in talks with Labour whips because he was unhappy the LibDems had gone into coalition with the Tories.

In May he refused to vote for the coalition deal, preferring a Lib- Lab pact. He is also thought to be upset about the extent of government spending cuts.

But a friend of Kennedy said: "He is quite clear — this story is utter b*ll*cks. It’s been put about by supporters of Ed Miliband for reasons best known to themselves.

"If Charles could find a way of suing over this, he would. But of course, it’s all been put out anonymously."

Mr Clegg called it "Labour mischief making".

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THE AMERICAN government secretly told Scottish Ministers they wanted the Lockerbie bomber to be freed.
New documents uncovered last night showed Barack Obama’s administration said they wanted to see Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi set free instead of being transferred to a Libyan prison.
The letter was sent to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US Embassy in London
It states: “If Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that Megrahi must be released from custody, the US position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer.”
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DESPERATE ministers ordered to make savage cuts are trying to make other departments pay for big-money projects.
Top Cabinet members have told the Chancellor expensive programmes should not come out of their budgets.
They are trying to force the Department of Health and Department for International Development (DfID) to foot the bill because they are not having their spending cut.
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LABOUR’S five leadership rivals yesterday united in condemning Peter Mandelson for publishing his damaging memoirs.
They demanded he quit politics after exposing Labour in-fighting in The Third Man.
Leadership favourite David Miliband called the memoirs “self-destructive” at a union hustings attended by all candidates in London yesterday.
His brother, frontrunner Ed Miliband, said: “Party members and supporters will have found it really sickening this week.”
Former Health Secretary Andy Burnham — a keen Everton FC fan — likened the book to Wayne Rooney “spilling the secrets” on his time at the club. He added: “Peter likes the spotlight and it is time to leave the stage and let a new generation put forward its case for the Labour party.”
Ed Balls, Gordon Brown’s former right-hand man, said: “Peter is perfectly entitled to publish his memoirs but to do so in such a divisive and damaging way is really sad.”
Outsider Diane Abbott said she would not buy the book because “I refuse to put money in his pocket”. She added: “It is very damaging.”
Tony Blair is also furious with Mandelson for rushing into print with his insider account before the ex-PM’s own book comes out.
Meanwhile the candidates were branded “out of touch” for not knowing the cost of everyday items such as a pint of milk, second-class stamp, litre of petrol or a prescription. And they could not name a figure for jobseekers’ allowance, child benefits, minimum wage and state pension. Only Diane Abbott knew the price of a bus fare.
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