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Ex-Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to be knighted

Former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is to be given a knighthood, Downing Street has announced.

The Conservative will be made a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his public service as an MP, a former Cabinet minister and his time in local government, No 10 said.

Former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will be knighted in recognition of his services as an MP. Credit: PA

Mr Pickles, who was first elected to Parliament in 1992, lost his frontbench role following the general election.


Conservative politician Sir Peter Fry dies aged 83

Sir Peter Fry Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Sir Peter Fry, who was the Conservative MP for Wellingborough for 28 years, has died at the aged of 83.

He won the seat in a by-election in 1969 and held it until he lost it by 187 votes in 1997. That election was also marred by Sir Peter having a heart attack during the campaign. He blamed his defeat on Ukip intervening to poll 1,192 votes.

Cameron in 'stronger position' to reshape British-EU ties

Former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has said David Cameron is "in a stronger position" to reshape British-EU ties following his re-election.

Cameron wants to renegotiate Britain's position in the EU Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Barroso told BBC radio: "Prime Minister Cameron now has a renewed fresh legitimacy and I think now internally he has greater authority to make the case for Europe."

The Portuguese politician, who reportedly remains close to other European Union leaders, also indicated that other EU members would be willing to "accommodate some concerns and points made by Britain" regarding its membership.

Cameron, who was re-elected on Thursday, has said he plans to hold an in-out EU referendum by the end of 2017.

Back to business for PM as Cabinet reshuffle continues

Conservative disquiet with modern Europe was on David Cameron's mind today. He said he had already made calls to several fellow leaders, explaining how and why he wants to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the EU.

And tomorrow the Prime Minister will continue his cabinet reshuffle and address his backbenchers.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports.

Iain Duncan Smith to stay Work and Pensions Minister

The Prime Minister will address the Conservative Party’s 1922 committee, tomorrow, in another sign of his tough stance on Europe.

Iain Duncan Smith. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Downing Street has also confirmed that Iain Duncan Smith will continue his work making work pay and reforming welfare as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Tina Stowell will be made a full member of the Cabinet, as Leader of the Lords and Lord Privy Seal.

The full reshuffle is expected to happen tomorrow.


Cameron: There will not be another Scotland referendum

Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted there will not be another referendum on Scottish independence - and said the SNP was not pushing for one.

David Cameron has said there will not be another referendum on Scottish independence Credit: PA

In an interview with Channel 4 News, he said he was "very confident" he would not be the last UK Prime Minister.

We had a referendum. Respect and trust should be at the heart of our system and that's what we did and Scotland voted emphatically to stay in the United Kingdom which I think was an affirmation of what a great country this is.

There isn't going to be another referendum. We had the referendum and the SNP aren't pushing for another referendum actually, Nicola Sturgeon said that vote in the general election was not about another referendum.

Now what we need to do is bring the United Kingdom together. We are going to do that by delivering the devolution settlement in Wales, delivering the devolution settlement in Scotland, keeping all the pledges that were made.

– David Cameron

Pensioner who bet £30k on Tory win yet to collect winnings

A pensioner who took bookies by surprise by defying the polls and placing a record £30,000 bet on a majority Conservative win in the election has yet to collect his £240,000 winnings.

The man placed what Ladbrokes called the largest wager in the country to make the call for a majority government more than a week before polls opened.

The record-breaking £30,000 bet was placed at a Ladbrokes in Glasgow Credit: PA

The bet was placed in the firm's branch in Hope Street, Glasgow, at a time when experts were declaring a majority was hugely unlikely, with the Tories and Labour neck-and-neck in pre-election polls.

There's still no sign of our record-breaking election forecaster following on from his incredible political prediction. Whilst there's never a time limit to collect any winning bet, we thought he'd have made a beeline for us as soon as the result was confirmed.

We'd like to congratulate him on his win. He's shown pollsters and pundits up and down the land the way to do it.

– Alex Donohue, Ladbrokes

The winnings can be collected from any branch.

Fifteen arrests made at anti-government protest

Fifteen people were arrested at a political protest in central London yesterday - two fewer than the Met Police originally said.

Twelve were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and three for assault on police. 14 have been bailed pending further enquiries, while one, a 24-year-old man, remains in custody on suspicion of assault.

The demonstration saw hundreds of protesters converge on Downing Street in opposition to the new Conservative government.

Protesters march onto Whitehall Credit: Rick Findler / PA Wire

WWII monument defaced during anti-austerity protest

The Women of World War II monument on Whitehall was defaced during a protest. Credit: Rick Findler / PA Wire/PA Images

Damage caused to The Women of World War II monument on Whitehall during an anti-austerity protest has been condemned by Downing Street as "despicable".

The words "F*** Tory scum" were scrawled in red near the bottom of the large memorial and police have now appealed for witnesses.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "Spraying graffiti on war memorials is a despicable display of disrespect for those who fought and died for their country, particularly at a time when the whole nation comes together to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day."

Chief Superintendent Gerry Campbell added: "The vast majority of those protesting did so peacefully. However a small minority were intent on causing disorder and engaged in violence, injuring five officers and staff - two of which required hospital treatment. Our best wishes are with those officers and staff at this time.

"We have launched an investigation into criminal damage to the Women in World War II Memorial. This is particularly abhorrent considering we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

"I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the criminal damage taking place or may have information regarding those involved to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."

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