News

Live news stream

Obama: Talks promising but sanctions still a possibility

President Obama has described talks between Russian and western powers on Ukraine as "promising".

But he added the US is still prepared to impose sanctions on Russia, should the situation fail to improve.

US President Barack Obama. Credit: Press Association

"There is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation," he told reporters at the White House.

"The question now becomes will in fact they use the influence they've exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election and move forward with the decentralization reforms that they've proposed," he said.

MPs put off PMQs by bad behaviour, warns speaker

MPs are increasingly put off Prime Ministers Questions (PMQs) by the "histrionics and cacophony of noise", the Speaker of the House of Commons has warned.

Read: 'Dunce' Cameron takes aim at 'muppet' Miliband

John Bercow
John Bercow has to frequently call the house to order during PMQs. Credit: PA

John Bercow said women MPs and "seasoned parliamentarians" had given up attending the weekly question and answer session because of bad behaviour by other members of the house.

Mr Bercow said Parliament was "spray painting its own shop window" by appearing to generate higher decibel levels than heavy metal band Deep Purple, regarded as the loudest band in the world in some quarters.

He told BBC Radio 4's PM programme there are "down-market parts of the media" who would "positively relish" it if there was a fight on the floor of the Commons chamber.

Read: Tory MP Anne Marie Morris steals show at PMQs with ear-busting outburst

Advertisement

Millions in compensation paid to teachers in last year

Tens of millions of pounds worth of compensation was awarded to teachers in the last year for accidents, attacks and discrimination at work.

It has been calculated that £40m was paid to teachers in compensation in the past year. Credit: Tero Sivula/STT-Lehtikuva/Press Association Images

Figures show a surge in payouts to school staff, with the overall totals reaching record levels.

One 33-year-old West Midlands teacher received more than £300,000 after she was injured breaking up a fight between two pupils.

Information obtained from three of the UK's largest unions show that a number of school staff were handed five or six-figure payouts, with figures indicating that the total amount paid out in compensation last year stretched to more than £40 million.

The NASUWT teaching union said it secured around £20.7 million for its members in 2013 - over 30% more than in 2012.

Miliband: Axelrod will be huge asset to Labour campaign

Labour leader Ed Miliband has welcomed the news US presidential strategist David Axelrod is to join the party's election campaign.

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: Press Association

He said: "It's excellent news that David has agreed to help One Nation Labour win the next election and build our campaign to change Britain so hard-working people are better off.

"He will be a huge asset to our campaign as we work to show the British people how we can change our country for the better."

Advertisement

Obama strategist to join Labour's election campaign

One of US President Barack Obama's top campaign strategists has been recruited by Labour to play a key role in Ed Miliband's bid for Downing Street in next year's general election.

Obama strategist David Axelrod is to join Labour's election campaign. Credit: Olivier Douliery/ABACA/Press Association Images

David Axelrod, who is credited with masterminding Mr Obama's presidential victories in 2008 and 2012, will join Labour's general election campaign team as a senior strategic adviser, the party announced.

Load more updates