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Official figures: 2.3 million UK children living in poverty

The number of children classed as living in relative poverty is 2.3 million, the lowest level since the 1980s, official Government figures show.

Official figures show 2.3 million UK children are living in poverty Credit: PA

The average household income before housing costs in the period from April 2013 to March 2014 remained unchanged from the previous year at £453 per week, the Department for Work and Pensions said.

Average household income after housing costs was also unchanged from 2012/13 at £386.

Relative low income is based on those living below 60% of the national average.


Government plans to sell off Green Investment Bank

The government is set to announce plans to sell off the Green Investment Bank to private owners.

The Edinburgh-based bank has invested £2 billion of taxpayers' money in 50 green infrastructure projects and funds since its launch in 2012.

The decision to privatise the project has been branded "reckless" by critics.

The Green Investment Bank has invested £2bn in green infrastructure projects Credit: PA

Business Secretary Sajid Javid will announce the plans at the bank's annual review event in London.

In a speech, he is expected to say that the move would "free" the bank from limitations on borrowing.

But Green Party MP Caroline Lucas called the plans "rash and irresponsible".

At precisely the time when we should be leading the world in the fight against climate change our Government appears to be in retreat.

The Government should keep at least a majority stake in the Green Investment Bank to ensure investor confidence is upheld and the commitment to low-carbon lending remains.

– Caroline Lucas MP

Paddy Ashdown backs Norman Lamb for Lib Dem leader

Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown has endorsed Norman Lamb to be the next Liberal Democrat leader.

Lord Ashdown, who led the Lib Dems from 1988 to 1999, admitted it was "hard to chose" between Lamb and his rival Tim Farron, but that it was "decision time"

Lib Dem party members will decide Nick Clegg's successor in a leadership election the July 16.

Mr Clegg stood down as party leader after the Lib Dems defeat in the general election in May.


Obama tells Hollande: The US is not spying on you

President Obama has told French President Francois Hollande that the US is not spying on his phone calls.

US and French presidents have discussed the Wikileaks spying claims Credit: Reuters

The two leaders spoke by phone earlier after the release of WikiLeaks documents which claimed the National Security Agency had spied on Hollande and his two predecessors, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac.

The White House said Mr Obama had "reiterated that we have abided by the commitment we made to our French counterparts in late 2013 that we are not targeting and will not target the communications of the French president".

Mr Hollande had earlier described the allegations as "unacceptable between allies".

Disability rights protest in Parliament over cuts

Scores of disability rights campaigners are protesting inside Parliament against the Government's plans to axe the Independent Living Fund, which helps the severely disabled to live on their own.

There is a heavy police presence inside the lobby at Parliament as campaigners from Disabled People Against Cuts demonstrate during Prime Minister's Questions.

One woman was led away by police as she tried to get into the chamber at the House of Commons.

Another protester, Mary Johnson, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, said: "We tried to get down there because the Government needs to listen. We tried to get into the chamber but we were stopped by police."

She said she witnessed one protester being "dragged away by police" claiming officers' behaviour was "disgusting" and that they had been "pushing wheelchairs around".

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