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Britain bidding to share prison expertise with Saudi Arabia

An MP accused the government of trying to share a "best practice of how to behead" with Saudi Arabia after the Justice Secretary defended the Government's attempt to sell expertise to the country's prison service.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan slammed the MoJ bid for the £5.9 million contract.

Sadiq Khan slammed the MoJ bid for the £5.9 million contract. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling defended the move, saying the Government has always tried to encourage "improvements" and "best practice" in countries around the world.

The pair clashed after reports that the MoJ's commercial arm, Just Solutions international, is hoping to sell its expertise to Saudi Arabia's prison service.

Prince Charles and PM pay respects to Saudi King

Prince Charles has flown to Saudi Arabia to pay his condolences. Credit: Saudi State TV

The Prince of Wales and David Cameron have arrived in Saudi Arabia to pay their respects following the death of King Abdullah.

The Prime Minister is meeting the new King Salman and other members of the royal family during his visit to Riyadh, with other world leaders including French president Francois Hollande also travelling to the country.

The US delegation is led by vice president Joe Biden, but Barack Obama will cut short a visit to India to travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

ITV News correspondent Richard Morgan reports:

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Louise Mensch curses Queen over Saudi ruler tributes

Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch expressed her frustration over the glowing eulogies given to former Saudi ruler King Abdullah with some very colourful language.

Writing on Twitter, she responded to the UK embassy with a succinct "F*** YOU". When told the decision to put flags at half mast came from Buckingham Palace, and therefore the Queen, she responded "F*** HER".

Louise Mensch expressed her frustration using a number of expletives against the government and the Queen. Credit: Twitter.

Obama to travel to Saudi Arabia to meet new King Salman

President Barack Obama will cut short his trip to India this week to travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to meet with new King Salman and to pay respects after the death of King Abdullah, the White House said.

Obama is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on Sunday where he will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attend the Republic Day parade.

Row over lowering flag for death of Saudi King Abdullah

The lowering of flags on public buildings as a mark of respect after the death of the Saudi King Abdullah has been condemned as "nonsense" by the leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson.

Downing Street, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace were among landmarks to put Union Flags at half mast after a request from government officials.

They said it was a matter of protocol and that the formal request had been made by the Palace. But the move caused disquiet because of the human rights record of the country during King Abdullah's reign.

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Major: 'King Abdullah will be remembered as a peacemaker'

Sir John Major says King Abdullah will be remembered as a peacemaker. Credit: PA

Former prime minister Sir John Major has said Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah will be remembered as a "peacemaker and reformer".

King Abdullah will be remembered as a peacemaker and reformer, whose moderate views sought both to stabilise the Middle East, and soften the most conservative opinion in Saudi Arabia.

He was a good friend of Britain and a wise man whose voice will be missed far beyond his own country.

– Sir John Major

PM to 'pay condolences' to King Abdullah on Saudi trip

David Cameron meeting King Abdullah in 2012. Credit: PA

David Cameron will travel to Saudi Arabia tomorrow to "pay his condolences" to the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Downing Street has confirmed.

The Prime Minister's trip coincides with a visit to the kingdom by the Prince of Wales, who will also be paying his condolences to the monarch.

New Saudi King settles succession by naming heirs

King Salman pledged to maintain the same approach to ruling Saudi Arabia as his predecessors. Credit: Orban Thierry/ABACA/PA

Saudi Arabia's new King Salman has pledged continuity in energy and foreign policies and moved quickly to appoint younger men as his heirs.

He settled the succession for years to come by naming a deputy crown prince from his dynasty's next generation.

King Salman has appointed his youngest half-brother Muqrin, 69, as Crown Prince and nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, as Deputy Crown Prince.

Mourners gather around grave of Saudi King Abdullah

Mourners gathered around the grave of Saudi King Abdullah during his funeral, which was not over elaborate, in keeping with tradition.

Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi King Abdullah following his burial in Riyadh. Credit: Reuters
The grave was not over elaborate - in keeping with tradition. Credit: Reuters
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