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'Hackney Heroine' quits national Lib Dem campaign

A woman who was dubbed the Hackney Heroine for standing up to rioters in 2011 has announced she is stepping down from the race to be Liberal Democrat president over the party's "Neanderthal views on diversity".

Pauline Pearce, 48, posted a video statement on her Facebook campaign page accusing the party of "underhand racism" and claiming senior party figures would not support her because of her criminal record.

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She said she would remain in the party but was resigned to remaining "the token person who sits and smiles in the background" rather than being able to take on prominent roles.

The party said it was saddened by the decision and would look into her claims "as a matter of urgency".

Part-time season tickets to be trialled

Part time workers who commute into the capital could be in line for cheaper rail fares. The Government has announced it's going to trial a scheme on one major commuter line next year, but it hasn't yet chosen which it will be.

The plan is to offer discounted season tickets to people who don't have to come in to London every day, and comes after the success of flexible working during the Olympics. Nick Thatcher has the details.

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Clegg admits London seat will be tough to win

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has admitted his party will face a tough fight in London at the next election, when Brent Central MP Sarah Teather stands down.

Last week the former education minister criticsed her own party and announced she was quitting in 2015. In an interview with ITV News, Nick Clegg said he knows the keeping the seat won't be easy. He spoke to Paul Brand.

Brent MP "doesn't believe in family"

A Conservative former colleague of Sarah Teather has said her lack of children made her a less effective families minister Credit: David Jones/PA

A former colleague of Brent MP Sarah Teather, who has resigned as an MP because she disagrees with government policies, has suggested she failed to support tax breaks for married couples because "she doesn't really believe in family"

It's reported that Conservative Tim Loughton, who worked alongside Miss Teather in the Department for Education, told the Conservative Renewal conference in Windsor:

“The person who was actually in charge of family policy amongst the ministerial team at the DfE was Sarah Teather.

Which was a bit difficult because she doesn't really believe in family. She certainly didn't produce one of her own. So it became a bit of a family-free zone. I think that is a huge disappointment”

See the Telegraph article reporting the story here

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Tory MP: Teather 'a bad minister as she was childless'

A former Conservative education minister has allegedlysuggested that the Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather was a poor families minister because she has no children.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Tim Loughton said Miss Teather, who has no children, failed to support married couples in office because she “doesn’t really believe in family”.

MP Sarah Teather. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Loughton, who was speaking to activists at the Conservative Renewal conference in Windsor, said: "The person who was actually in charge of family policy amongst the ministerial team at the DfE [Department for Education] was Sarah Teather.

"Which was a bit difficult because she doesn't really believe in family. She certainly didn't produce one of her own. So it became a bit of a family-free zone. I think that is a huge disappointment."

Mr Loughton has since tweeted that his words had been "distorted" by journalists, and were "not a personal attack" on Miss Teather.

The MP said he was "sorry" and his criticism was "not intended or fair" and was meant to be of Lib Dem family policy rather than of Miss Teather.

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House prices in London an exception claims Treasury Secretary

Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander claims London's housing prices are the exception as he hit back at Vince Cable over claims the Government is in danger of stoking a new housing market bubble. Mr Alexander ruled out calls for a rethink of the second stage Government's Help to Buy scheme.

Mr Cable has warned that providing Government guarantees for low deposit mortgages risked stoking property prices - creating a dangerous new asset bubble.

However Mr Alexander said the concerns of the Business Secretary - who represents Twickenham would simply not be largely recognised.

"We are a million miles away form a housing bubble in this country," he said.

"Of course in central London, in Kensington and Chelsea, you see very high house prices but I don't think we should allow the tail of central London to wag the dog of this policy.

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Lord Rennard 'refutes the basis of allegations'

The senior Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard's solicitors said in a statement:

We can confirm that Lord Rennard agreed to meet with the police and that he welcomed his first opportunity to refute the basis of allegations made against him.

We do not intend to make any further statement until the conclusion of the police inquiry.

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