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News round-up 1/3: Gove 'gutted' by Eastleigh loss

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

Eastleigh by-election

Speaking on the Today programme, Education Secretary Michael Gove said that he was “deeply disappointed” by the result in the Eastleigh by-election.

He was “gutted” that the Conservatives had not won and thought that UKIP had been well placed to capture protest votes.

It was right that the Government addressed concerns in relation to migration by having a balanced migration policy, he continued, but stressed that it was vital that the Government did not lose sight of key issues such as welfare reform and strengthening the economy.

The decisions taken by the Prime Minister on education and welfare were radical, but “correct,” the Education Secretary continued, adding that he did not like pacts with other parties and wanted people to vote Conservative at the next general election.


Undercover policing

Also on the Today programme, Harriet Wistrich, a solicitor acting for eight women who had relationships with undercover police, said she was pleased that the Commons Home Affairs Committee had taken evidence from women who had been left devastated by relationships with undercover officers.

She said that all the women she was working with had suffered “significant psychological damage” as a result of their relationships with the officers concerned and believed it was “outrageous” that that type of infiltration should take place.

James Bannan, a former undercover police officer, said entering into a relationship during undercover policing was only justifiable in extreme circumstances.

When every other avenue of infiltration had been attempted and the only course of action was to have a relationship in order to affect cover, then he thought that this action could be justified. Mr Bannan explained that undercover policing was a specialist role and “a very high calibre of individual” was required to carry out work of that nature.


Welfare reforms

The national roll-out of the benefits cap could bring significant disruption to education as pupils move to new areas in the middle of a school year, the Guardian reports. It says research by the RSA has identified a sharp rise in the number of pupils from poorer families that have done this over the past year.



The Daily Telegraph leads with the news that up to two thirds of doctors and nurses at some hospitals would not recommend that their friends and family should be treated there. It says nationally almost 40% of NHS staff would not recommend the treatment at the hospital where they work.


Mid Staffordshire

 the Guardian reports that protesters gathered outside an NHS Commissioning Board meeting to call for the resignation of its chief, Sir David Nicholson, in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire crisis.

The Times’ editorial also calls for the departure of NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson.

Referring to a meeting of the NHS Commissioning Board yesterday in which Sir David said he was continuing in post, the paper’s leader said: “This cannot be right… Only by taking responsibility can we hope to get serious reform in an institution that chess up such a large proportion of the national budget.”

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust looks set to go into administration after being branded neither “clinically nor financially sustainable” by regulator Monitor, according to the Financial Times. It says the development will add to the calls for NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson to resign since Francis inquiry into “excess” deaths at the hospital.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Nicholson at least owes patients or their surviving relatives a credible explanation why he could not or did not intervene when CE of the strategic HA.

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