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Ukip: Teens 'brainwashed' by pro-EU colouring books

Ukip has said 16 and 17-year-olds should not be allowed to take part in a referendum on Britain's place in the EU because they have been "brainwashed" by pro-EU colouring books.

The party's deputy chairman Suzanne Evans made the claim after condemning the Liberal Democrats' calls for the age on participating in the public vote on the issue to be lowered.

Asked about the nature of the alleged propaganda, she said: "It's everything there from colouring-in books on the Common Agricultural Policy for primary school children right up to research projects at university level.

"The amount of money that the EU is putting into this propaganda and throughout the entire education system is enormous."

Ukip economics spokesman Patrick O'Flynn joined in the condemnation of a "very partial view" in education and added: "It is an emotive term but I wouldn't demur from the description of brainwashing."

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'No plans' for Zayn Malik solo launch

One Direction fans might have to wait a little longer for Zayn Malik to launch his solo career after a spokesman for his producer Naughty Boy said the track that appeared online was actually recorded for the boyband's last album.

Credit: Press Association

The song, called I Won't Mind, which features the star singing over an acoustic guitar, was put up online by Naughty Boy and led to claims Malik was about to release it as a solo single.

But a spokesman for the producer, who has also worked with acts including Emile Sande, said: "Naughty Boy and Zayn wrote and demoed the song as a contender for One Direction's album last year.

"They aren't furiously writing on his solo material or anything, there aren't plans in place for a big solo launch and this wasn't recorded in the last few days they were together.

"They are very good friends and Zayn is taking time out, including visiting Naughty Boy at his studio and hanging out together."

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Miliband: No family security in zero hour contracts

Ed Miliband has insisted that abolishing zero hours contracts are essential if people are to have security at home.

Responding to a member of the audience during a visit to a factory in Huddersfield who had run into difficulties with paying bills because of a zero hours contract, the Labour leader was scathing and challenged the prime minister to live under such conditions.

"The reality is that I don't think it provides any sort of security for you and your family," Miliband told the audience.

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Scunthorpe couple win the lottery for a second time

A couple from Scunthorpe have won £1 million in the EuroMillions for the second time - beating odds of more than 283 billion to one.

Credit: Press Association

The pair, who scooped the big money prize on Friday night, won their first £1 million within the last two years.

They are the first people to win £1 million twice who have gone public and are expected to reveal themselves later.

A UK ticketholder who won the £53 million EuroMillions jackpot is yet to claim the prize.

This is an extraordinary situation where somebody's been fortunate enough to win twice.

As you can imagine, we see winners who win once who are very, very shocked. It must be even more shocking to win twice.

– Camelot spokesman

Teaching assistant 'used pupil's email to send bomb threat'

The teaching assistant worked at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey Credit: Google Maps

A teaching assistant will appear in court later this month accused of using a pupil's email account to send a bomb threat.

Zoe Gregory, 26, has been charged with communicating false information and unauthorised computer access.

It is alleged the 26-year-old wrote an email purporting to be from a 16-year-old girl warning a bomb had been left at Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey near Norwich where she worked.

Police raided the teenager's home and questioned her over the threat.

Gregory, of Blackhill Wood Lane, Costessey, will appear before Norwich Magistrates' Court on April 14.

Justice Secretary's absconding prisoner policy unlawful

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling Credit: PA Wire

The High Court has ruled that the Justice Secretary's policy of excluding prisoners from open prisons if they have a history of absconding is unlawful.

Chris Grayling introduced the policy last May following high-profile media reports last year of prisoners with a history of violence absconding while on release on temporary licence (ROTL) from open prison.

Among them was Michael Wheatley, a fugitive armed robber nicknamed the Skull Cracker.

But two senior judges at London's High Court have ruled that excluding transfers - save in exceptional circumstances - for prisoners "with a history of abscond, escape or serious ROTL failure" is inconsistent with his own directions to the Parole Board.

The long-standing directions state that "a phased release" from closed to open prison is necessary for most inmates serving indeterminate sentences "in order to test the prisoner's readiness for release into the community".

Lord Justice Bean, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting, gave the Justice Secretary permission to appeal against the court's ruling.

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New passport checks could force more travel disruption

New passport checks at Britain's ports are introduced on 8 April. Credit: PA

Passport exit checks at ports could lead to more travel problems following the Easter break.

In an effort to clamp down on illegal immigration, every traveller leaving the UK will have their passports checked at ferry ports for the first time in 20 years.

Ferry operators predicted that the exit checks, which are to be introduced on 8 April, could lead to long delays and lengthy traffic queues.

The companies have also warned of hold-ups on roads to Dover with "coach-loads of grannies" having to have their passports checked.

Immigration minister James Brokenshire, who has advised travellers to set off in good time, said he said he did not recognise the "extreme" stories about how the changes could impact travellers and insisted there were contingency plans ready.

Productivity fall could spark recovery concerns

A fall in UK productivity could raise concerns about the sustainability of the wider economic recovery.

Productivity fell in the final quarter of last year compared to the previous quarter according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Productivity fell by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014 Credit: ONS

Productivity fell by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is slightly lower than pre-economic crisis levels in 2007, the ONS said.

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