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News round-up 13/7: NHS abortions inquiry

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

Abortion

Police could investigate 14 NHS hospitals over potentially illegal abortions following a nationwide inspection carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Today’s Daily Telegraph reports that the CQC carried out 249 inspections at abortion providers, after the paper reported that doctors working for abortion clinics were illegally granting abortions on the basis of the gender of a foetus.

The paper says the CQC has identified 14 hospitals where doctors had “pre-signed” abortion certificates, and says the commission is “studying whether prosecutions can be brought”. A decision is expected in the autumn.

 

Libor scandal

The Guardian reports that Leicester city council is preparing to move £6m out of Barclays bank in protest at the Libor rate-fixing scandal. It says the deputy mayor Rory Palmer (Lab) has said institutional investors should “vote with their feet.”

 

‘Snooping powers’

The Daily Telegraph reports that councils will “fight to keep powers that allow them to spy on people’s telephone records.” It says the LGA has told MPs that measures in the Communications Data Bill to strip councils of the powers would leave them “without the necessary tools to protect their residents.”

 

Olympic security

Following yesterday’s Commons announcement that an extra 3,500 armed forces personnel have been drafted in to bolster the Olympics’ security operation, the Financial Times reports (£) that security firm G4S is battling to restore faith in its operations.

It says home secretary Theresa May told MPs that the personnel shortfall had “crystallised” just a day earlier.

The paper says that G4S was facing intense criticism yesterday from MPs who demanded a moratorium on the company being awarded any new government contracts until it had paid the penalty costs for the problems.

 

Migration

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said that higher levels of immigration over the next 50 years would cushion taxpayers from the need to endure much harsher economic austerity, the Independent says.

 

Airports

Transport secretary Justine Greening has been ordered by Number 10 to delay a consultation on airport capacity in London and the south east, today’s Financial Times says (£).

The paper reports that Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have concluded that the question of building new runways in the London area is too difficult for the government and that final decisions should be delayed until after the 2015 election.

Meanwhile, the Independent reports the Conservatives are preparing for a u-turn on their opposition to building a third runway at Heathrow.

 

EU relations

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is mounting a direct challenge to Prime Minister David Cameron by ruling out any moves to repatriate powers to Britain from the EU while Eurozone leaders struggle to save the single currency, according to the Guardian.

 

Circuses

Ministers are preparing a law banning wild animal circuses, the Independent says. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced the news while laying parliamentary regulations for a “temporary” licensing system for lions, tigers and other performing animals.

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