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Fraud probe over Bank of England liquidity auctions

A fraud investigation is underway into Bank of England liquidity auctions carried out during the financial crisis.

The Bank of England confirmed it had commissioned an independent inquiry into the auctions. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it is looking into auctions conducted in 2007 and 2008.

Liquidity auctions allow banks to bid for cash in the form of borrowing from the central bank, and were used to help banks recover following the crash.

The Bank said it had previously launched an independent inquiry into the matter, which was conducted by Lord Grabiner QC.

Once that was concluded, it was then passed on to the SFO in November, a statement said.


US envoy slashed with blade in South Korea attack

The US ambassador to South Korea was left bleeding heavily after being slashed in the face by an attacker during an event in the country's capital.

Mark Lippert was seen bleeding from the face after the attack. Credit: Yonhap/Reuters

Mark Lippert, 42, was seen walking out of the Seoul breakfast forum as he was taken to hospital, where he was later reported to be in a stable condition and not suffering life threatening injuries.

The suspect, identified as Kim Ki-jong, 55, had been seen wearing traditional Korean clothing and shouting that North and South Korea should be reunited, police said.

The table at which Lippert was placed at the time of the attack. Credit: Reuters

He was also said to have shouted that he opposed war exercises, in what appears to be a reference to yearly joint US-South Korean military exercises that began this week.

The White House said it strongly condemned the attack, and said President Barack Obama had called Lippert to tell him that he and his wife were "in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him a speedy recovery".

TV debates: Clegg urges Cameron to 'get on with it'

Nick Clegg urged David Cameron to 'get on with it'. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Nick Clegg has called on the David Cameron to "get on with it" and agree to TV debates after the Prime Minister made a "final offer" to broadcasters.

Writing on Twitter, the Liberal Democrat leader urged the Prime Minister to stop holding the debates "to ransom".

In separate statement, a spokesperson for the party said: "The Tories clearly do not want to discuss and debate the merits of their manifesto with the British public - it's why they don't want them to happen during the campaign - but the Liberal Democrats do."

The Lib Dems had previously said they wanted to take part in "all the TV debates", but plans but forward by BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 propose two debates of seven party leaders, with one further debate featuring Ed Miliband and David Cameron alone.

Labour: Cameron 'running scared' of Miliband debate

David Cameron (left) has rejected proposals that included a head-to-head debate with Ed Miliband (right). Credit: Paul Rogers/The Times/PA Archive

Labour has accused David Cameron of being frightened of a debate with Ed Miliband, claiming the PM's latest proposal to broadcasters was an attempt to "bully" them.

In a statement following the Conservative leader's "final offer" of a one-off, seven-party debate, the head of Labour's General Election strategy Douglas Alexander said: "We continue to support the broadcasters proposals, including for seven-way debates alongside a two-way debate.

“But this is an outrageous attempt from the Prime Minister to bully the broadcasters into dropping their proposals for a head-to-head debate between David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

“That it comes only hours after Ed Miliband called David Cameron's bluff and said he would debate him any time, any place, shows the lengths David Cameron will go to run scared of a debate with Ed Miliband.”


Convicted terrorist planned attack on scale of 7/7

An Al Qaeda terrorist has been found guilty of plotting to bomb a Manchester shopping centre and the New York subway by a US jury.

Abid Naseer, 28, planned a car bomb attack on the Manchester's Arndale shopping centre on the Easter weekend in 2009.

Had his Manchester plot succeeded, police believe it would have been as big as the 7/7 attacks in London.

ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports:

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