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'Moving the writ' triggers Eastleigh by-election

The Liberal Democrats' chief whip Alistair Carmichael has triggered the Eastleigh by-election in Parliament. He 'moved the writ' for the constituency of former Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne in the House of Commons this morning.

Huhne resigned as Eastleigh MP after pleading guilty in a court case over whether his ex-wife had taken speeding points on his behalf.

The by-election to find a new MP for the constituency in Hampshire will take place on Thursday 28th February,

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Labour close gap on Green Party

Although no seats changed hands in the latest council by-elections, there was a boost for Labour and disappointment for the Green Party at Brighton and Hove. The city is a key battleground for the two parties.

Labour's share rose by nearly 9% since last year at East Brighton with the Greens dropping more than 4%. The Green Party has the largest group of councillors and forms a minority administration on the authority.

The city also includes the Brighton Pavilion constituency of its leader Caroline Lucas, the party's only MP. However East Brighton is in Kemptown, currently represented by Tories. The Liberal Democrats defended borough and county seats at Maidstone, Kent.