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GMB union: Energy inquiry 'bad for jobs in the UK'

A major competition inquiry into the 'Big Six' energy firms will be "bad for jobs in the UK, bad for investment and it will do nothing for consumers apart from maybe delay the relentless rise in energy bills until after an election", a union has warned.

The warning from GMB comes after SSE announced yesterday it will cut 500 jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme.

This is designed to kick the issue down the road until after the next election.

The country is in the midst of an energy crisis. Energy bills are going to keep going up. Households will struggle to pay their bills and British industry is losing competitiveness.

The market is being propped up by huge subsidies. Electricity wholesale prices across Europe are dropping. Desperately needed investment has been slashed.

– Gary Smith, GMB national secretary for energy

Read: 'Big Six' energy firms to face major competition inquiry

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Schoolchild worried about strike's impact on her exams

A schoolchild has told ITV News the teachers' strike has affected her because she is "not getting enough education" ahead of her SATs exams.

Lauren Scobie said the walkout was both "good and bad" because teachers were "getting the attention" of Education Secretary Michael Gove but they were also adversely affecting her education.

Read: Poll shows 51% oppose teachers' walkout

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Striking teachers hold rally in Preston

Crowd of teachers with NUT banners and balloons in Preston
Teachers on strike in Preston Credit: ITV Granada

Teachers have been holding a number of rallies across the North West as part of their industrial action, forcing the closure of many schools.

The NUT are boycotting classes as part of an ongoing dispute over pay, pension cuts and working conditions.

Teachers with balloons and whistles in Preston
Teachers on rally in Preston Credit: ITV Granada
Teachers with banners, balloons and whistles at rally in Preston
Teachers on strike in Preston Credit: ITV Granada

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Poll: 51% oppose teachers' walkout

Half of the British public oppose teachers going on strike today, according to an ITV News Index poll carried out by ComRes.

A young boy in Liverpool's Mann Island holds aloft a flag in support for the strike. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Read: Schools in your area affected by teachers' strike

When asked whether teachers were right or wrong to go on strike, 51% said they opposed the walkout, 35% supported the strike and 14% did not know.

The poll also showed that those working in the public sector are more likely to support the strike (45%) than oppose it (41%).

Some 2,039 people were asked by ComRes about the strike.

Watch: Teacher claims 'we are standing up to erosion of standards'

Educating Essex head: Strike 'is like a snow day'

There are "no winners" in the teachers' strike with schools running as if it was "a snow day", head teacher Vic Goddard told Daybreak.

Mr Goddard, the principal on Channel 4's hit documentary series "Educating Essex" described his love for teaching but admitted there was no pleasing everyone with today's strike.

"I am sure I haven't pleased the union today by not having a partial closure. Heads have to make that decision - can I keep all children safe in my school?"

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