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Churchill's cigar to go under the hammer

The chewed end of a cigar smoked by Winston Churchill in his hospital bed is expected to fetch up to a thousand pounds at auction in Dorset. The cigar was smoked in 1962 while Churchill was recuperating from a fractured hip. It was saved by a student nurse and kept in a paper bag. The cigar will go under the hammer in Dorchester in October.

Churchill's cigar to go under the hammer Credit: ITV News Meridian

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  1. Phil Hornby

MPs make their debuts

The new MPs from the south and southeast have been making their maiden speeches in the Commons. It's a nerve-wracking moment, and there is a protocol to stick to: pay tribute to your predecessor, describe your constituency in glowing terms and then make a few gentle political points. The next speaker then congratulates you on an excellent debut.

Ranil Jayawardena (North East Hampshire) described a chocolate- box village, Rotherwick, which really is: he told MPs a house there has a window which is portrayed on tins of Quality Street.

Jeremy Quin (Horsham) said he is one of the few new MPs who can honestly claim that, no matter how reviled politicians are, he has improved his standing in the world - because he used to be an investment banker.

Peter Kyle (Hove) revealed he left school "with no useful qualifications" but then started again, by attending a comprehensive school in Sussex at the age of 25. He went on to become the first member of his family to get an A level.

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More academies - change for the better?

Every failing school across the South East will be forced to become an academy under new rules proposed by the government today. At the moment there has to be local consultation before conversion but that will be scrapped.

It means 16 schools in Kent graded as "inadequate" by Ofsted will be targeted - plus another four in Medway and seven across Sussex. Another seven on the Isle of Wight will be handed over to sponsors to improve their performance - plus a further five in Reading and three in Oxfordshire. So-called "coasting schools" where pupils may do well - but don't make as much progress as they should will also be targeted.

Our social affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports

Tributes to "gifted" political leader

He was a very gifted political leader - but above all, he was a friend. That's what the former Folkestone MP and Tory leader Michael Howard said today about Charles Kennedy.

Mr Kennedy, who led the Lib Dems for more than six years, has been found dead at his home in Scotland. He was just 55.

He'll be remembered for leading his party to unprecedented General Election success. Our political correspondent Phil Hornby reports.

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