The Justice Secretary Ken Clarke

Government secret trial proposals

The Government is to go ahead with changes that would allow more trials to be held behind closed doors after opposition from MPs

Live updates

Baroness Warsi: Gaza policy is 'morally indefensible'

In her letter of resignation Baroness Warsi says that the Government's policy on Gaza is "morally indefensible".

My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process generally but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically.

– Baroness Warsi's letter of resignation

Particularly as the Minister with responsibility for the United Nations, The International Criminal Court and Human Rights I believe our approach in relation to the current conflict is neither consistent with our values, specifically our commitment to the rule of law and our long history of support for International Justice. In many ways the absence of the experience and expertise of colleagues like Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve has over the last few weeks become very apparent.

– Baroness Warsi's letter of resignation

Tory press team 'tried to keep Clarke off Question Time'

Ken Clarke has claimed the Tory press office tried to keep him away from the television cameras during his time in government, even attempting to prevent him from going on Question Time.

.
Ken Clarke retired from government during last week's reshuffle. Credit: PA

"I had a great row with them [Conservative press officers] when they told the producer of Question Time that I was ill and they were able to provide a replacement," Clarke said during an interview with the Observer.

" It never occurred to them that I could ring up the producer. She said: 'I'm told you are ill.' After that, I got even more freelance."

The former minister admitted there was "constant friction" between himself and David Cameron, saying his views sometimes "didn't coincide with No 10's".

Read: Clarke says economic recovery is unbalanced and still 'fragile'

Advertisement

Clarke: Economic recovery is unbalanced and still fragile

Former Tory Cabinet minister Ken Clarke has questioned the strength of the recovery, claiming the economy is still "fragile".

Mr Clarke, who retired from the government in the reshuffle, said the economy is "not firmly enough rooted" in a balance between manufacturing and services, leaving it prone to shocks.

Ken Clarke said there is still a long way to go before the economic recovery is complete.
Ken Clarke said there is still a long way to go before the economic recovery is complete. Credit: PA

The former minister did however declare himself a "great fan" of Chancellor George Osborne and said the Conservatives had saved the country from calamity by reining in spending.

Clarke, 74, told the Observer that the economy still has a "long, long way" to go before sustainable levels of growth could be maintained.

The former chancellor added that Britain must break out of the "ludicrous cycle" of house price booms followed by crashes.

Read: Ken Clarke 'demob happy' at decision to leave government

PM: Clarke will be 'hugely missed' after reshuffle

The Prime Minister has written to Kenneth Clarke saying he will be 'hugely missed' around Parliament, after the MP stepped down from his post as Minister Without Portfolio.

On the resignation, Mr Cameron wrote to him saying:

Since you first entered Parliament in 1970, and over forty years since your first Front Bench role as a PPS, your passion for getting things done and the energy you have brought to your Cabinet posts has not diminished one bit.

To have that level of experience at my own Cabinet table has been incredibly helpful – both to me as Prime Minister and to the whole Cabinet.

You have never been timid to raise issues of importance or to stand up for causes that matter to you, but you have also brought a keen sense of humour to the Cabinet table – and you will be hugely missed.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

More: Ken Clarke 'demob happy' at decision to leave government

Ken Clarke: 'Farage knew he couldn't win Newark'

Nigel Farage decided not to stand in the Newark by-election, as he knew he could not win, according to Conservative Cabinet minister Ken Clarke.

Conservative Cabinet minister Ken Clarke. Credit: Press Association

"I am not really surprised. Whatever else Nigel is, he is not an idiot and I don't think he'd have the faintest chance of winning in Newark," he told the BBC.

Earlier the Ukip leader said: "I don't have any links with the East Midlands, I would just look like an opportunist and I don't think that would work."

But he added: "We will fight the Newark by-election and fight it damned hard and get a good local candidate.

Advertisement

MP calls for independent inquiry into torture claims

A senior Conservative MP has said "it is truly shocking" that Britain helped the United States to kidnap and torture British detainees, as he warned that the Government would come to regret its decision not to allow an independent judge-led inquiry to run its course.

Andrew Tyrie said today's confirmation by Cabinet Office minister Ken Clarke that the investigation would instead be handed over to Parliament's controversial Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) was "a mistake".

It is truly shocking that Britain has facilitated kidnap and torture. And the decision to end, to abandon this judge-led inquiry will, I think, come to be seen as a mistake.

What confidence can the public have in their conclusions when that same body wrongly concluded that Britain was not involved in 2007 only to be flatly contradicted by a High Court written ruling the following year?

Read: Security officers 'aware of mistreatment of detainees'

Ken Clarke to appear on The Agenda tonight

Conservative Minister Ken Clarke will appear on The Agenda tonight. Credit: PA

Conservative minister Ken Clarke will join ITV News Political Editor Tom Brady on The Agenda tonight.

Former BBC Economics Editor turned JP Morgan strategist Stephanie Flanders, FA director Heather Rabbatts and TV and radio presenter Terry Christian will also be on the panel.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV at 10.35pm.

Join in the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #TheAgenda.

Michael Gove reveals he likes music 'politicians are not supposed to like'

Mandelson: Business and security at risk if UK leaves EU

Lord Mandelson served as Trade Commissioner to the EU for four years and was Business Secretary between 2009 and 2010. Credit: PA

Former Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said: "If Britain quit the EU, amongst the losers would be businesses foregoing trade and investment opportunities, their employees whose jobs and workplace rights would be at risk, the police and security agencies who would sacrifice vital collaboration."

"The British people would lose the freedom to travel, live and work as they wish across Europe," he continued.

"In return we would get the dubious satisfaction of standing alone in the world."

Lib Dem minister warns against 'reckless isolationists'

Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander is Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Credit: PA

Treasury minister Danny Alexander said the EU was "one of the central pillars of British prosperity and security".

"Membership of the EU gives market access to British firms, makes us more attractive to overseas investors, and underpins more than three million British jobs," he said.

"EU trade deals with the US, India, Canada and Japan will be worth billions to the UK economy but could not be won by the UK alone."

"Britain must work with our allies for change from within to ensure the EU continues to take reform seriously.

"The isolationists are reckless with our prosperity and security. We cannot let them succeed."

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories