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MP for Rushcliffe Kenneth Clarke to retire from government

Kenneth Clarke held the role of minister without portfolio
Kenneth Clarke held the role of minister without portfolio Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Veteran minister and MP for Rushcliffe, Ken Clarke, has retired from the Government, sources close to him said.

He had already been demoted in the 2012 reshuffle, losing his post as justice secretary following a series of clashes with Home Secretary Theresa May.

Now the 74-year-old Nottinghamshire miner's son has quit as minister without portfolio, concluding a career which saw him hold government posts under four different Conservative prime ministers.

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George Osborne tweets about new hospital

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Am in Black Country this morning to announce a new £350 million state of the art Midland Metropolitan hospital

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With @jamesmorrismp who's campaigned so hard for new hospital. Proof that #LongTermEconomicPlan = long term commitment to #NHS

Designs unveiled for new £353m Smethwick hospital

A computer generated pictures of what an interior space at the hospital could look like Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
The £353m hospital received backing from the Chancellor of the Exchequer this morning Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
Building work on the site in Smethwick could start as soon as 2016, and be finished sometime in 2018 or 2019 Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

New hospital 'vote of confidence in 7,500 staff'

Speaking after the Chancellor of the Exchequer this morning backed plans for a new £353 hospital in Smethwick, Richard Samuda, Chairman of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals commented:

“This is a vote of confidence in 7,500 staff at the Trust. The Chancellor’s announcement at Rowley Regis Hospital reinforces our strategy of local care for long term conditions and a single specialist acute centre at the Midland Met.”

Chief Executive, Toby Lewis added:

“This is a decisive moment for healthcare in the West Midlands. We welcome the determination of the Chancellor to support the regeneration of Smethwick with this vital project for patients.”

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Government backs new £353m hospital in Smethwick

What the new £353 million hospital in Smethwick could look like Credit: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

The Government has backed plans for a new £353 million hospital in the West Midlands.

The Midland Metropolitan Hospital has been given the go-ahead by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne this morning.

The new acute hospital will be funded by both the public and private sector through a Private Finance 2 deal.

George Osborne said:

This ambitious package will ensure that patients across the West Midlands continue to benefit from access to world-class acute treatment and cutting edge facilities.

It is because of the difficult decisions we have taken as a government that we have been able to protect healthcare spending, and announce new facilities like the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.”

Construction of the new hospital is expected to start in 2016 and be completed by 2018-19, with plans to be finalised over the coming months.

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Margaret Thatcher 'knew about paedophile ring' in 1980s

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. Credit: PA

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher knew about an alleged paedophile ring among the Conservative Party in the 1980s, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Ex-Tory activist Anthony Gilberthorpe told the newspaper he was asked to supply cabinet ministers with underage boys for illicit sex parties.

Mr Gilberthorpe claims he handed Thatcher, who died last year, the names of those involved 25 years ago but no action was taken.

Two inquiries are to be held into alleged child sex abuse involving MPs and wider institutions such as the NHS, the Church and the BBC.

Reports West Worcestershire MP in line for Cabinet role

Harriet Baldwin
Harriet Baldwin is the MP for West Worcestershire Credit: PA

The MP for West Worcestershire, Harriet Baldwin, is among those tipped for a role in David Cameron's Cabinet after a major reshuffle, according to the Daily Telegraph.

According to the newspaper, the Prime Minister is putting the finishing touches to a reshuffle that could involve a number of high-profile ministers being moved or demoted in order to promote women to the Cabinet.

Campaigners against HS2 say putting case to MPs has 'gone well'

The leader of a campaign group opposed to the building of HS2 - the High speed rail line which cut journey times from Birmingham to London in half - has been putting his case to MPs.

Joe Rukin is challenging a bid by HS2 Ltd - appointed to build the £50billion pound line - who claim that Stop HS2 has no legal right to petition the select committee now considering the actual route. He's hoping the challenge will be overturned.

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