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Headteacher: 'Best for children to be in school'

It is "best for children" to be in school during term time and not flout the ban on holidays when they should be in class, a primary school head teacher told Good Morning Britain.

Susan Papas sympathised with parents the difference in cost between peak and off-peak holidays had become "so extreme", but if they wanted the best for their child, they would leave them in school.

Councils call for overturn of ban on term-time holidays

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for tough new rules on term time holidays should be overturned, leaving headteachers to decide whether to allow pupils to be taken out of school.

At present under the new regulations, school leaders can only grant permission for trips in "exceptional circumstances". The LGA has said the restrictions fail to recognise that family life is not simple, and that there may be times when parents need to take children out of lessons for legitimate reasons.

Calls for term-time holiday ban to be relaxed Credit: PA

Tories choose Kelly Tolhurst as by-election candidate

Kelly Tolhurst has been announced as the Tory candidate for the by-election in Rochester and Strood Credit: ITV Meridian

The Conservative candidate for the upcoming by-election in Rochester and Strood has been announced.

Medway councillor Kelly Tolhurst has been crowned the winner in the two-way vote with Anna Firth for nomination. She may face an uphill battle though, as a poll commissioned by UKIP today gave Nigel Farage's party a 13 point lead over the Conservatives.

The Conservatives are desperate to avoid another seat falling to Ukip in a by-election triggered by Tory defector Mark Reckless's decision to stand down and run as a Ukip candidate.

Following the announcement of the result, Ms Tolhurst said: "I'm honoured that thousands of local people have voted to select me as the Conservative candidate for the upcoming by-election. I will be a strong local voice, standing up for Rochester and Strood - my home."

The chairman of the Rochester and Strood Conservatives, Andrew Mackness, said: "Kelly will make a great MP for our great constituency, and I look forward to supporting her in the coming weeks to ensure a Conservative win and a bright future for this area."

Gurkhas 'let down again' over pensions

Former Gurkha soldiers from the South East, who claim the government regard them as second class citizens, say they've been betrayed again.

The latest people to let them down: a group of All Party MPs who've produced a report about they way Gurkhas are treated.

The MPs have made several recommendations to give them a fairer deal, especially over pensions.

But angry Gurkhas say it falls well short of the full equality they've been campaigning for - and say they feel cheated. Phil Hornby reports.


  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, October 2014

In this month's Last Word, Baroness Angela Smith, Mike Thornton MP, Janice Atkinson MEP, and Damian Green MP debate the upcoming Rochester & Strood by-election.

After UKIP's success in Essex, are they on target for a second political upset within a few weeks?

And the Leaders' TV Debates - do they distort our political campaigns? And why should we include UKIP, but not the Green Party? Caroline Lucas MP tells us what she thinks of that!

Berkshire-based DJ apologises for UKIP calypso song

DJ Mike Read Credit: ITV

DJ Mike Read today apologised for 'unintentionally causing offence' with his Ukip Calypso, sung with a mock Caribbean accent, adding that he has asked his record company to withdraw the song from sale.

A Ukip party spokesman said the BBC Radio Berkshire DJ said the song was 'just a bit of fun'.

'Apologies of course if anyone has taken offence, but I have worked and sung in Jamaica for the tourist board and often have fun with the guys out there doing the accent,' Read said.

The track has had mixed reactions, with one Amazon reviewer calling it 'the musical equivalent of the Ebola virus", while another called it 'brilliant and so true'.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage, tweeted urging supporters to buy the single, which is 50-1 with Paddy Power to chart at number 1.

Labour and Tory bigwigs in town

One month today, voters in Rochester and Strood will go to the polls. They'll be electing their MP after the resignation of Mark Reckless who defected to UKIP. Today both Labour and the Tories sent party bigwigs into the area in the battle for votes. David Johns reports, speaking to Labour's Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman MP, and residents of a sheltered accommodation property in Rochester.

Prime Minister campaigning in Rochester and Strood

Prime Minister David Cameron Credit: PA

David Cameron is visiting Rochester and Strood ahead of the upcoming by-election, triggered by Mark Reckless' defection from the Conservative party to UKIP.

The Prime Minister David Cameron will join Conservative postal primary candidates Kelly Tolhurst and Anna Firth for a visit to a business and a community meeting.

Tory defector Mark Reckless Credit: PA
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