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Lord Ashcroft resigns from House of Lords

The Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft has quit his seat in the House of Lords Credit: PA

Lord Ashcroft is standing down as a UK peer, suggesting in a statement released on his website that he can no longer "contribute meaningfully”.

Here is Lord Ashcroft's full statement:

Earlier this year Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker, said that any Member of the House of Lords who can “no longer contribute meaningfully” should retire.

She added that since the House has close to 800 members, “retirement at the right time should be seen as a condition of membership of the House of Lords – a duty as well as a right”.

I agree with the Speaker, and have concluded that my other activities do not permit me to devote the time that membership of the Lords properly requires.

Accordingly, I have today written to the Clerk of the Parliaments giving notice of my resignation from the House of Lords with immediate effect, pursuant to Section 1(1) of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014.

I will continue my involvement in politics through Lord Ashcroft Polls and my political publishing interests: Conservative Home, Biteback Publishing and Dods.

– Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft, who remains a life peer, said he intended to continue his involvement through his polling organisation and his publishing interests.

Missing Malakhi, 10, found in Hertfordshire

Missing 10-year-old Malakhi Chijiutomi-Ghosh has been found in Hertfordshire.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman told ITV News that Malakhi was found by an off-duty police officer in Cheshunt, who recognised him from his description.

Malakhi Chijiutomi-Ghosh has been found Credit: Metropolitan Police

The spokesman said the boy, who suffers with a rare medical condition, has been taken to hospital as a precaution but is otherwise unhurt.

He thanked the media and everyone who shared the appeal for their help.


Humber Bridge closed as lorry overturns in high wind

The Humber Bridge has been closed completely after a lorry overturned in high winds. Police had earlier closed the bridge to high-sided vehicles.

Humberside Police's road traffic unit later posted: "Very windy on the bridge! But recovery well under way". Drivers in the area reported widespread congestion caused by the closure, which was put in place after the lorry overturned close to one of the bridge's 150-metre high support towers.

Police to missing Malakhi: You are not in trouble

Officers hunting a missing 10-year-old with a serious congenital condition have urged him to make contact, telling him: "You are not in trouble".

Officers are searching in Grangewood Park near Malakhi Chijiutomi-Ghosh's family home in Thornton Heath Credit: Google Maps

A team from the Metropolitan Police is searching in Grangewood Park near Malakhi Chijiutomi-Ghosh's family home in Thornton Heath, London, scouring CCTV and speaking to neighbours and family.

I would like to reach out to Malakhi and say - please get in touch with us, we are worried about you and want to make sure you are ok.

You are not in trouble. Your mum, dad and brother are really worried about you and want you to come home and make sure you take your medicine.

– Ch Supt Andy Tarrant, Met Police

Malakhi suffers with congential adrenal hyperplasia and needs medication three times a day. His family fear he may already have slipped into a coma.

'Miliband and Cameron know they won't get a majority'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg during his visit to the Panasonic Manufacturing site in Cardiff while on the General Election campaign trail Credit: PA

Nick Clegg has that said both Ed Miliband and David Cameron know they will fall short of a majority in the general election.

He made the comments during a visit to the Panasonic Manufacturing site in Cardiff, after claiming yesterday that "the era of single party politics is over".

They will tell you they think they are going to get a majority.

I think in their heart of hearts they know they are not and I think most people know they are not.

So the question is not who gets a slam dunk result where one party can run everything in the way they want.

The question is how do we make sure we have the right kind of people around the table doing the responsible thing for the country.

– Nick Clegg


Missing boy, 10, 'seen boarding bus to Brixton'

A missing 10-year-old boy with a serious medical condition may have been spotted boarding a bus in London, police have revealed.

Malakhi Chijiutomi-Ghosh suffers from congential adrenal hyperplasia and needs medication three times a day, sparking fears for his welfare after going missing overnight.

He is thought to have gone missing from his home in Thornton Heath at around 1am, and was last spotted on CCTV at 7.30am.

Police say a boy matching his description has been seen boarding the 250 bus service headed to Brixton, after waiting at a stop in Streatham Common at 8am.

Congential adrenal hyperplasia means the body is missing a chemical substance which should stimulate the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, and increases the level of male hormones.

It reduces the patient's ability to cope with emotional and physical stress and can be life-threatening.

Scottish Labour 'confident' they can turn polls around

Polls continue to show the SNP holding a large lead in Scotland but the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy believes things will change.

"This campaign has only really just got under way, we're only 24 hours or so into it. There are weeks to go and most people are now just starting to think about it," Murphy said during a visit to an Edinburgh cafe.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy believes things will change. Credit: Mark Runnacles/PA Wire

"I'm confident we will turn these polls round, there's a lot of hard work involved, but we've got a plan to end Tory austerity, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts and increase the national minimum wage," he said.

"I think not only will Labour's policies increase opinion poll ratings, it's also fact that only Labour is big enough and strong enough to beat the Tories."

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