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News round-up 1/5: Labour lead polls - but not in London

Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government

Elections

The Independent carries a “poll of polls” ahead of Thursday’s local elections, showing Labour on 40 points, the Conservatives on 33 and the Liberal Democrats on 11. The figure is based on five monthly polls for April.

In London, mayoral hopeful Boris Johnson accused a senior BBC journalist of talking “f*cking b*llocks” over claims he attempted to secure commercial deals with News International during the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into phone hacking. The Guardian says his “expletive-laden tirade” arrived as the latest YouGov poll showed he remains ahead of Labour candidate Ken Livingstone by four percentage points.

Scotland Yard has opened a formal investigation into allegations of electoral fraud in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, the Telegraph reports. The article says there is evidence of apparent “ghost voting” with up to eight voters registered for postal votes in some addresses. Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman has used his blog to accuse the paper of “irresponsible reporting”

Austerity measures

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has urged to government to follow the example of European politicians and abandon its austerity programme. The Financial Times reports that Mr Balls has said that “the consensus is changing” across Europe, with countries such as France - where socialist Francois Hollande is favourite to win the presidential election - turning away from spending cuts.

Pay

Poor teachers could be paid less than better performing ones under ministerial plans to improve standards in state education, the Daily Telegraph reports. A report from the education select committee published on Tuesday suggests a new payment by results system is needed to stop the worst teachers hiding behind a “rigid and unfair” national salary structure. The plans have been branded “total nonsense” by Christine Blower, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

The Telegraph reports that Treasury ministers have created 101 new civil service jobs with salaries higher than the prime minister’s. The story says the posts, paid more than £142,500, cost more than £14m per year. The paper understands most of these new roles are in the NHS.

Social mobility

The Telegraph reports that MPs and peers have said parents should be given lessons in raising their children, in order to improve social mobility. It says the all-party parliamentary group on social mobility, which has proposed the measure, has also called for basic literacy lessons for children ages three to get them ready for school.

Energy and planning

The Church of England faces “intense protests” over its plans to build six wind turbines in the Devon countryside, the Telegraph reports

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