Royal Navy's Trident-class nuclear submarine.

How do you move a nuclear weapons system?

It's suggested Trident could be moved from Scotland if the country votes for independence. We look at where the nuclear deterrent could go.

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Lib Dems accused of 'dropping inquiry as election looms'

One of the women who accused Lord Rennard of sexual harassment has told ITV News she is "very disappointed" by the Liberal Democrats' decision to drop disciplinary proceedings and lift his suspension.

Former Lib Dem activist Bridget Harris was among four women who made such allegations against the peer - and said she suspects the decision was motivated by next year's General Election.

Lib Dems 'recognise failings' in handling complaints

The Liberal Democrats have "recognised their failings" and have overhauled their code of conduct in the wake of allegations against Lord Rennard, the party president has said.

The Liberal Democrats have worked hard in the last 18 months to fundamentally change the way our party treats these matters.

We asked Helena Morrissey to review our party’s culture and practices and her report helped us to recognise our failings and set about correcting them.

We have changed our rules and codes of conduct at every level, from grassroots members to parliamentarians so that everyone involved in the party is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

We have changed how complaints are reported and addressed, and we have appointed a Pastoral Care Officer to help and advise those making a complaint.

No one should ever have to feel that their concerns are being dismissed or ignored and I am clear that the Liberal Democrats should become the ‘gold standard’ for how voluntary organisations treat their members and staff.

– Tim Fallon, party president


Lib Dems: Lord Rennard matter is 'closed'

The Liberal Democrats have said they have dropped disciplinary proceedings against Lord Rennard, bringing the matter "to a close".

It follows a Regional Parties Committee review over whether statements made by Lord Rennard had brought the party into disrepute.


Lib Dem statement on Lord Rennard - matter is 'closed'. Temporary suspension from party over.


Independent Scotland 'would have to apply to join Nato'

An independent Scotland would have to apply to join Nato as a new state, the head of the defence alliance has said.

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said any decision to accept a new country would require the unanimous agreement of all 28 member states.

The Union flag and Scotland's Saltire.
Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said an independent Scotland would have to apply to join Nato as a new state. Credit: REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

"In [the] case that Scotland voted in favour of independence then Scotland would have to apply for membership of Nato as a new independent state," he told The Times (£).

"Some aspiring countries have waited for many years. Others enjoy a very short procedure depending on how close they are to fulfilling the necessary criteria," Mr Rasmussen added.

Ex-Army chief plea for parliament recall over Iraq

General Sir Richard Dannatt.
Credit: PA

The retired head of the British Army has said that "the nation would expect" Parliament to be recalled to debate Britain's continued involvement in Iraq, adding to the mounting criticism of David Cameron's decision to take a second summer holiday.

I think the nation would expect that. Everyone has private points of view, I think they need to be aired publicly, I think they need to be aired in Parliament and then I think the PM is going to have confidence that he has got Parliament behind him and hopefully a consensus across the political parties that we are doing the right thing.

– General Sir Richard Dannatt.

More: Mosul dam retaken by Kurdish and Iraqi forces


PM starts second summer holiday amid Iraq criticism

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha pose for a photograph outside a cafe on summer holiday last year.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha pose for a photograph outside a cafe on summer holiday last year. Credit: Reuters

David Cameron commenced the second of his summer holidays today despite the UK's growing involvement in the developing crisis in Iraq.

"Wherever I am, wherever I am in the world I am always within a few feet of a BlackBerry and an ability to manage things should they need to be managed," he said yesterday.

However, the decision is not without its critics.

Former SAS soldier and author Chris Ryan voiced his fears for the UK if British people who have gone to Iraq and Syria to join Islamist extremists return home and continue their fight here.

"Without a shadow of a doubt Parliament should be recalled...this simply cannot wait."

"My biggest fear is when they (Islamist extremists) come back to the UK, Germany and France. They will join forces again and develop ways of bringing military grade explosives and weaponry."

The 53-year-old said he strongly believes the SAS can overcome Islamic State fighters if they work alongside American special forces.

More: Obama: Iraqis and Kurds 'capable of working together'

Government scheme 'fixes the services and the families'

The reason the Government's troubled families programme works is because it is "fixing the services around the families as much as we're fixing the families," the head of the scheme told Good Morning Britain.

Louise Casey, director general of Troubled Families, said too often families' problems have been looked at separately, which "isn't going to solve anything."

Eric Pickles has announced a major extension of the programme - it has reached 120,000 families so far, and will now target over half a million.

These families have an average of nine significant problems; truancy, domestic violence and debt are just some of the wider set of issues the expanded scheme will tackle.

'Crisis' prison 'under-staffed, overcrowded warehouse'

The director of the Prison Reform Trust has called a south east London Young Offenders institution "grossly under-staffed, cash-strapped, overcrowded warehouse", after inspectors warned that there were signs of increasing violence at Isis due to its high population of gang members. Juliet Lyon said:

Time and again the Justice Secretary claims he is transforming rehabilitation, yet here is another example of a violent institution where far too many young prisoners spend the working day locked down with little or nothing to do save for half an hour of exercise.

– Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust

Isis Young Offenders institution 'an improving prison'

The Governor and his staff have done some excellent work with the police to challenge gang affiliation in prisons, the chief executive of the National Offender Management Service said, after inspectors warned over high levels of violence. Michael Spurr added:

Isis manages a difficult population of young adult men - many of whom are serving sentences for violence and have links with London gangs.

As the Chief Inspector makes clear, Isis is an improving prison. In particular, it is doing really good work to support resettlement. Three quarters of prisoners go into employment or training on release - this is crucial for successful rehabilitation.

– Michael Spurr, National Offender Management Service
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