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The badger culls will continue

Liz Truss
New Environment Secretary Liz Truss Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

New Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, has insisted that the controversial badger culls must continue , despite Labour calls for them to be abandoned.

The culls, in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire, are due to resume later this summer under a programme to prevent the spread of TB in cattle. Ms Truss, who took over her new job two days ago, was answering questions in the Commons for the first time in her new role.


Cameron: Full employment key aim of economic plan

David Cameron has welcomed today's figures which shows there has been a fall in unemployment.

The Prime Minister tweeted that the figures "show more people have the security of a job than ever before".


Today's figures show more people have the security of a job than ever before. Full employment is a key aim of our #LongTermEconomicPlan.

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million


McVey: Employment rise reward for country's resilience

The country's "resilience" during the economic downturn "is being rewarded" after figures released today showed a fall in unemployment, Employment Minister Esther McVey said.

Employment Minister Esther McVey
Employment Minister Esther McVey. Credit: PA

Read more: Unemployment falls by 121,000 to 2.12 million

She said: "An important milestone has been reached in our country's recovery. With one of the highest employment rates ever, it's clear that the Government's long-term economic plan to help businesses create jobs and get people working again is the right one.

"With an employment rate which has never been higher, record women in work and more young people in jobs, the resilience of the country during the downturn is being rewarded.

"We know there is more to do, and the best way to do so is to go on delivering a plan that's creating growth and jobs."

Read: Esther McStay - why has she missed out on a promotion again?


Tory MP's half-brother charged with sex abuse

The half-brother of senior Conservative MP John Whittingdale has been charged with one count of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency as part of Operation Cayacos, Scotland Yard said.

Charles Napier, 67, from Sherborne in Dorset, is among two men charged in connection to alleged historical abuse. The charges are said to relate to offences in the late 1970s when the victim was 11 years old.

Napier has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on July 29.

North Somerset MP turns down Foreign Office post

Liam Fox, who stepped down as Defence Secretary in 2011, has turned down a ministerial position Credit: PA

Liam Fox, the MP for North Somerset has turned down an invitation to become Minister of State in the Foreign Office as part of the cabinet reshuffle.

He stepped down from the role of Defence Secretary in 2011, following controversy over his working relationship with lobbyist Adam Werritty.

He has released the following statement:

"I was honoured to be offered a post as Minister of State in the Foreign Office by the Prime Minister. I have turned it down. The issues that matter most to me and my constituents in North Somerset are the economy, immigration and Europe.

"I do not want to be distracted from what needs to be said on these matters at such an important time politically and look forward to discussing them from the back benches in the lead up to the General Election."

Cameron promotes West MPs in cabinet reshuffle

Claire Perry leaving Downing Street after being told she will be made Transport Minister Credit: ITV News West Country

There have been promotions for three of the West's MPs as the Prime Minister reshuffles his cabinet. Devizes MP Claire Perry becomes a Transport Minister. While her Wiltshire colleague, Robert Buckland, who represents South Swindon, has been made Solicitor General.

Mark Harper, who resigned a year ago is returning to the cabinet as Minister of State in the Department for Work & Pensions Credit: ITV News West Country

Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper moves to the Department for Work and Pensions, just a year after quitting as Immigration Minister over the employment of his cleaner.

Owen Paterson loses job in reshuffle

Owen Paterson (centre) visiting Northmoor Pumping Station in Somerset. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has lost his job in David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle.

The Conservative minister came under intense pressure, following his handling of the flooding on the Somerset levels, and also received criticism for the horsemeat scandal andthe unsuccessful badger culls.

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