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Lib Dems: Miliband 'only paying lip service' to Lords reform

Ed Miliband is paying "lip service" to the principle of House of Lords reform the Liberal Democrats have said.

The Labour leader's plans drew an angry response from the Lib Dems who bitterly accused Labour of combining with Conservative MPs to wreck their plans to reform the Lords two years ago.

Ed Miliband partnered up with backbench Tories to destroy the best chance this country has had to reform the Lords.

We could have given the UK greater representation in Parliament, but when presented with the chance, he bottled it; turned his back and ran.

This is simply lip-service from a Labour party who have no intention of actually delivering.

– Sir Malcolm Bruce Lib Dem deputy leader

Miliband: Labour will replace Lords with Senate

Ed Miliband arrives at Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Ed Miliband will say the House of Lords should be replaced with an elected Senate at Labour’s North West conference in Blackpool today.

Mr Miliband is expected to say:

We’re going to reverse a century of centralisation and make sure that £30 billion of resources is devolved to the city and country regions that need it.

Labour has a radical plan for spreading power and prosperity across the great towns, cities regions and nations so that the recovery reaches your town square – not just the Square Mile of the City of London.

And today I am announcing plans to give the regions and nations greater power and a stronger voice in Westminster too.

When people say that they are turned off from politics and that it doesn’t represent them, we have to do something about it.


US Marine Andrew Tahmooressi freed from Mexico jail

A former US Marine, who had been held in Mexican jail for months after arriving at the border from California with guns in his vehicle, has been freed on psychological grounds, a Mexican court said.

Andrew Tahmooressi is escorted to a federal court in Tijuana in August. Credit: Reuters

Andrew Tahmooressi, a 26-year-old American veteran of the war in Afghanistan, had been held in Mexico since arrest on 31st March.

After agents discovered three guns in his pick-up truck, he was charged with weapons offenses and put in prison. But he was freed on Friday by a federal judge in Tijuana so he could be properly treated for the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) he developed after his military service.

Tahmooressi's case drew considerable attention, with US lawmakers taking the unusual step of scheduling a House of Representatives hearing during a congressional recess in the hope of putting pressure on Mexico and on President Barack Obama's administration to intervene more urgently in the case.

Movement restrictions removed from US 'Ebola nurse'

Credit: Reuters

The US nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone can move about as she pleases after a judge eased state-imposed restrictions on her.

Judge Charles C LaVerdiere ruled yesterday that Kaci Hickox must continue daily monitoring of her health but said there is no need to isolate her or restrict her movements because she has no symptoms and is therefore not contagious.

The judge also decried the "misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information" circulating about the lethal disease in the US.

Firefighters strike in pensions row

File photo: Firefighters on strike in 2010 Credit: PA Archive

Firefighters in England have walked out on strike for the weekend as their bitter row with the government over pay continues, ahead of several fireworks displays across the country.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union in England left their stations at 6pm yesterday and will not return until 6pm on Tuesday, the evening before Bonfire Night.

Picket lines were mounted outside fire stations, and will continue throughout the next few days.

Fire brigades again launched contingency plans, including hiring contract staff to cover for striking firefighters, but the public were warned to be extra vigilant, especially if they attend a firework event.

The Government has been accused of showing "contempt" for public sector workers amid continued deadlock in the long-running dispute in England.


Richard Branson: 'Space is hard, but worth it'

Sir Richard Branson has said he will persevere with his plans for a pioneering space tourism venture following the death of a test pilot killed when a rocket crashed during a test flight in California's Mohave desert yesterday.

'Matching sombreros' for Charles and Camilla

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall don sombreros during a visit to the Museo del Oro Credit: PA Wire

Colombian dignitaries gave the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall some much-needed protection from the blazing sun - his and hers matching sombreros.

Charles and Camilla tried on their gifts and posed for a picture as they toured an exhibition showcasing traditional crafts from across the Latin American country.

The black and white hats, made from woven palm leaves, are called Vueltiao and are worn by peasants and cattle ranchers from the coast.

Charles and Camilla were visiting a gold museum showcasing fabulous treasures from the Latin American nation's early history.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are on a nine-day visit to Colombia and Mexico.

Burkina Faso: Second army officer claims leadership

An anti-government protester films events with his cell phone outside the parliament building in Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, October 30, 2014. Credit: Reuters

A second high-ranking army officer in Burkina Faso has announced he his taking charge as head of state, apparently in direct challenge to top military chief General Honore Traore who had already proclaimed himself temporary leader.

According to Reuters, Former presidential guard commander Lieutenant Colonel Issaac Zida has dictated his own set of emergency measures and put his own soliders on the streets.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore resigned on Friday amid mass street protests at his attempts to extend his 27-year rule, plunging the West African nation into the chaotic situation that now exits in the country.

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