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Unemployment down 22,000 in the East of England

Unemployment has fallen by 22,000 in the East of England. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Unemployment in the East of England has fallen by 22,000 in the latest quarterly figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

The jobless total in the region was 136,000 in the three months to April or 4.4% of the workforce. Only London and the South East have a lower rate of unemployment.

In the East Midlands region, which includes Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, there were 115,000 unemployed people in the same period.

Unemployed people in the East of England in the three months to April 2015

Nationally unemployment fell by 43,000 between February and April to 1.81 million. The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits last month fell by 6,500 to 791,800.

Average earnings increased by 2.7% in the year to April, 0.4% up on the previous month.


Michelle Obama arrives at Stansted Airport ahead of two-day visit

Michelle Obama arrives at Stansted Airport. Credit: ITV News Anglia

America's first Lady, Michelle Obama, has flown into Stansted Airport this evening ahead of a two-day visit.

Mrs Obama was accompanied by her teenage daughters Malia and Sasha plus her mother Marian Robinson as she touched down shortly after 20:30.

Mrs Obama was wearing a yellow and blue summer dress. Credit: ITV News Anglia

She's in the country as part of her campaigning work for an organisation that promotes education for young women.

Lib Dem leadership nominations close

Norman Lamb Credit: PA

Nominations for the next leader of the Liberal Democrats have closed, with Nick Clegg's successor to be elected in July.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb is one of two contenders to lead the party. He faces opposition from Cumbrian MP Tim Farron.

Today Mr Lamb handed in his nomination papers to Liberal Democrat Party Headquarters. The campaign will now last six weeks with the winner announced on July 16th.


Police forces facing sharp budget cuts offered no relief in Queen's speech

Police forces across the region facing sharp cuts in their budgets, have been offered no relief in today's Queen's speech.

The government policies outlined in the speech before parliament this morning set the scene for further austerity measures across the board to eliminate the national deficit.

Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd says it's about listening to what the public wants.

What I have said in my Police and Crime Commissioner plan is that there are things that the people in Hertfordshire want and that is to have local neighbourhood policing.

They want to make sure they don't have to pay anymore for policing and they want to make sure that victims are put at the heart of everything they are doing.

– David Lloyd, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner
  1. National

Queen's speech draws praise, anger and concern

The Queen's Speech did not go down well with everyone. Credit: PA

The first all-Conservative Queen's Speech for two decades drew praise, anger and concern.

While much of the reaction will focus on the future of the UK's membership of the European Union, human rights and immigration, there were differing responses to issues closer to home.

Unions pledged to fight plans to introduce a threshold in strike ballots, while business leaders welcomed measures to increase the number of jobs and apprenticeships.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "This is a Queen's Speech which entrenches inequality.

"Visits to food banks will increase as benefit cuts bite, the sale of housing association stock will not address the housing crisis and more families will be uprooted due to the bedroom tax."

While Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "The Government's plan to cut housing benefit for 18-21 year-olds could spell disaster for thousands of young people who cannot live with their parents.

"At an age when other young people are leaving home to travel, work or study, growing numbers could be facing homelessness and the terrifying prospect of roughing it on the streets."

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