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New UKIP MP takes up his seat

Douglas Carswell MP arriving at the Commons Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Clacton's new UKIP MP is due to take his seat in the commons for the first time following last week's historic by-election.

Douglas Carswell, who is the party's first elected MP, defected from the Conservatives in August.

He took the seat with a majority of more than 12,000.

He will be sworn in at Parliament this afternoon. (Monday)

Health Secretary says "we can't afford" what strikers want

Midwives on strike in Ipswich Credit: ITV News Anglia

Thousands of health workers across the East have walked out on strike today and some of them for the first time.

Midwives were among health workers who walked out for four hours in protest at the Government's decision not to give all of them a recommended 1% pay rise.

Whilst the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government would talk to the unions, he said some 14,000 people would be laid off if unions received the one per cent salary increase they were calling for.

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  1. London

Public poll shows support for NHS strike

A poll for the union Unite shows the public supports health workers in their campaign for an above-inflation pay rise.

A survey of more than 1,000 people showed that almost two thirds thought a continued below-inflation one per cent pay cap was unfair.

Three out of five of those questioned said they believed industrial action being taken by NHS workers was justified.

According to Frances O'Grady, of the Trades Union Congress, this is the first time there has been a national strike over pay in the NHS since 1982.

  1. National

Hunt: 'We absolutely will talk to unions'

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the government is prepared to talk to the striking NHS unions about the current pay rise dispute.

Jeremy Hunt Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

He said: "We will talk to them if they're prepared to look to reform the system of increments, which is unclear and unfair.

"I recognise frontline staff do a magnificent job in the NHS."

Thousands of NHS staff walk out on strike

Staff on strike outside Northampton General Hospital Credit: ITV News Anglia

Hundreds of thousands of health workers across East Anglia have walked out on strike, many for the first time in their lives, in protest at the Government's decision not to give them a recommended 1% pay rise.

Midwives, nurses, paramedics, ambulance staff, and hospital porters and cleaners mounted picket lines from 7am for four hours.

The four-hour stoppage by members of a number of unions is part of a week-long campaign of industrial action over pay.

Hospitals say they're making contingency plans, but people are asked only to call 999 in a life-threatening situation.

Health workers downed tools for four hours Credit: ITV News Anglia
  1. National

Carswell: 'Conservative party like HMV stores - defunct'

The UK Independence Party's first elected MP has compared the Conservative party to HMV music stores, describing it as "defunct".

Douglas Carswell speaking to Andrew Marr. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

"It's a little bit like HMV music. Once ubiquitous when it came to buying music. The way the Tory party is retailing politics is like the way HMV retailed music - it is a defunct retail model," Douglas Carswell told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

Carswell, who won the Clacton by-election with a huge majority last week, said he argued that "we needed to Spotify" the Tory Party, but found too much opposition to change.

He also played own suggestions Ukip could gain 25 MPs at the next election, saying: "Let's keep a sense of perspective....I don't like bravado talk and Ia'm not going to use it."

Carswell he was hopeful fellow Tory defector Mark Reckless would win the upcoming by-election in Rochester, saying a win would show that British politics is becoming "fundamentally different".

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Essex MP Brooks Newmark to stand down over sexual images

A Conservative MP from Essex who quit as a minister over an internet sex scandal is to stand down from Parliament, claiming the media spotlight has become "intolerable".

Braintee MP Brooks Newmark is to step down at the next election. Credit: PA

Braintree MP Brooks Newmark, who served as minister for civil society and founded the Women2Win campaign group, had exchanged suggestive pictures over the internet with a reporter posing as a young Tory PR woman.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the American-born MP for Braintree said he would quit at the general election next May:

"The continued media intrusion into past episodes in my personal life is placing an intolerable burden on my family. I have therefore decided to stand down at the general election. I will continue to serve my constituents to the best of my abilities until that time. "I again appeal to the media to respect my family's privacy and to give me a chance to try to heal the hurt I have caused them. "I have no one to blame but myself and take full responsibility for my own actions."

– Brooks Newmark, MP for Braintree
  1. Meridian

UKIP hit the campaign trail in Rochester

UKIP leader Nigel Farage (centre) and newly elected Ukip MP Douglas Carswell (right) joins their party's candidate Mark Reckless on Rochester High Street Credit: PA

UKIP has accused the Westminster parties of running a smear campaign against them and has ruled out entering into any form of election pact with the Conservatives. It comes as Nigel Farage and newly elected MP Douglas Carswell hit the campaign trail in Rochester and Strood in the fight to rally support for Tory defector Mark Reckless.

Addressing supporters in the Kent constituency, Mr Farage said the party was "targeting everybody in this campaign". He said: "Let's make the people's army of Ukip march on Rochester and Strood."

UKIP supporters from across the South East flooded the Rochester and Strood constituency as the campaign to get Mr Reckless into parliament got underway.

The date for the vote is yet to be set.

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