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Labour: Nursery costs rose 36% under Conservatives

The Labour party has responded to the launch of the Conservative party manifesto, hitting out at David Cameron's pledge to provide 30 hours of free childcare a week for three and four-year-olds.

It said that the Conservatives have raised the cost of nursery places by 36% and cut 40,000 childcare places over the past five years in coalition.


One seat to Ukip, two to Labour in North East

Ukip have won a new seat in the North East in the European elections, with the party's General Secretary Jonathon Arnott being elected.Labour's Judith Kirton-Darling and Paul Brannen have also been elected

In 2009 the seats were split three ways between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

Labour party to cut ties with Co-operative bank

The Labour party is looking to end its long-standing relationship with the troubled Co-operative Bank, which stretches back to 1920.

The Labour party wants to cut its ties with the Co-operative bank Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour's general secretary Iain McNicol is understood to want to move a £1.2 million loan from the Co-op to the trade union-controlled Unity Trust Bank and current accounts are also likely to be shifted, according to PA.

The move comes after a tumultuous period for the bank, which has seen record losses and the resignation of chairman Paul Flowers, who is now facing drug possession charges.

Labour said the change of loan provider was for "commercial reasons", but the controversy gripping the Co-op over the past year is thought to have strained relations.


Miliband: Labour party union reforms 'right thing to do'

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has said his plans for future leadership contests to be decided by a one member, one vote system "is the right thing to do".

The current electoral college system gives a third of the votes each to the unions, rank and file party members, and the MPs and MEPs.

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports.

Miliband admits reform could cost Labour union funding

Labour leader Ed Miliband acknowledged that recasting the party's historic link with the trade unions amounted to "a risk" as the number of union members automatically affiliated to the party would fall.

In an interview with The Guardian, he admitted Labour could see a big drop in annual funding by unions.

But Mr Miliband denied the plans would bankrupt the party, suggesting affiliated supporters could become a further source of funds over and above an expected initial £3 annual fee.

Miliband: 'Biggest changes' to Labour since formation

Individual trade unionists no longer be automatically affiliated through the payment of the political levy, but they will be able to take part in elections if they choose to join a new category of affiliated members for a fee of just £3.

These are the biggest changes to who can become involved in the Labour Party since probably its formation.

They go much further than people expected, but they are designed to open us up and complete unfinished business of the past 20 years.

These reforms are about letting people back into our politics, and getting them back into politics.

– Labour leader Ed Miliban

They will also be able to attend party meetings and the leadership hopes they will be encouraged to become more involved in campaigning, providing a new source of activism.

It will end the system which brought Mr Miliband the leadership with the support of the big unions, narrowly beating his older brother David.

Labour unveil plan to redesign link with trade unions

Labour leader Ed Miliband has vowed to "let people back into our politics" as he unveiled details of his promised plan to recast the party's historic link with the trade unions.

Ed Miliband wants to recast Labour. Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

In an interview with The Guardian he said the proposals represented the biggest changes to who could become involved in the party since its formation, finally completing 20 years of unfinished business.

Under the plan, the electoral college system for leadership elections - which gives a third of the votes each to the unions, rank and file party members, and the MPs and MEPs - will be scrapped for a system of one member, one vote.

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