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Farage defends joining forces with right-wing Polish MEP

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has defended his decision to join forces with a member of a right-wing Polish party to save his grouping in the European Parliament.

The Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group escaped disbandment after it recruited Polish Congress of the New Right (KNP) member Robert Iwaszkiewicz, keeping up its tally of MEPs from at least seven member states.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he had found nothing in the MEP's background to suggest he was an extremist. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Farage insisted that he had found nothing in Iwaszkiewicz's background to suggest that he was an extremist.

Asked about the MEP's reported comment that there were "quite a few wives around who'd be brought back down to earth" if their husbands hit them, Farage told BBC Radio 4's The World At One, "I think that comment was a joke."

Reeva's cousin: 'Her life was worth more than that'

A relative of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot dead by Oscar Pistorius, has said that the model was 'worth more' than the five year sentence handed down to Pistorius.

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Argentinian ambassador demands Top Gear apology

Argentinian ambassador to the UK Alicia Castro. Credit: PA

The Argentinian ambassador to the UK has demanded a public apology from the BBC after a series of rows over a Top Gear special filmed in the South American country.

The crew had to flee after reportedly fearing they would be stoned to death when locals took offence to a number plate on a Porsche which appeared to reference the Falklands War.

Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman denied it was a "stunt" and Jeremy Clarkson said he was "shocked" when someone pointed out the link.

It then emerged there was an even more offensive number plate which 'BE11 END' in the vehicle. However, it was not shown on air.

Credit: PA

After the incident Clarkson is accused of angering Argentinians more by making a series of comments about the treatment he received which Argentinian ambassador Alicia Castro branded "fabricated".

A statement from the embassy said: "Argentine ambassador to the UK Alicia Castro made a formal complaint to the BBC regarding Jeremy Clarkson's provocative behaviour and offensive remarks towards the government and the Argentine people, following Top Gear's recent filming in Argentina, calling for the BBC to make a public apology.

"Furthermore, the Argentine ambassador deeply regretted Jeremy Clarkson's entirely false accusations of alleged resentment against British citizens in Argentina."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "The BBC has received a complaint and will apply its usual processes."

Read more: Clarkson accused of 'fabricating' danger faced in Argentina

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Gale force winds hit the Channel Islands

It is a blustery day as gale force winds whip through the islands.

Damage has been caused to property as a Red Warning is issued by Jersey Met for the entire Channel Island area.

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Public borrowing up as tax receipts stay largely flat

Borrowing for April to September stands at £58 billion, 10% higher than for the same period in 2013/14.

Taxes on income and wealth for September of £13.1 billion were flat on the same month last year and just 0.6% ahead for the year to date.

Within this, revenues from income tax and capital gains tax rose 2.2% for the month and 0.1% for the year to date.

Blow for Osborne as public spending deficit widens

A squeeze on earnings growth was blamed for the widening deficit. Credit: PA

George Osborne suffered a fresh blow today as the latest official figures showed a widening hole in the public finances.

They showed borrowing for the month, excluding the effects of bank bail-outs, was £11.8 billion, which was 15.3%, or £1.6 billion, ahead of September last year.

It means that halfway through the financial year, the Treasury looks well behind the target for a 12% fall in the annual deficit expected by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

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