This is the Hud11 Corpus The publisher of the Daily Mail has challenged Lord Justice Leveson over the six advisers to the phone-hacking inquiry amid concerns that the prime minister's appointees lack tabloid or regional newspaper experience. Jonathan Caplan QC, representing Associated Newspapers, told a preliminary hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice that the inquiry would "benefit greatly" if the judge appointed additional advisers "to fill the gap" in expertise. The application by Associated Newspapers was supported by Trinity Mirror, the Newspaper Publishers' Association and Guardian News and Media. Caplan said Associated did not wish to be confrontational, but the inquiry would "raise very important issues for the future conduct, regulation and ownership of the newspaper industry". Leveson's advisory panel includes two prominent journalists - a former political editor of Channel 4 News, Elinor Goodman, and a former political editor of the Daily Telegraph, George Jones. The former chairman of the Financial Times, Sir David Bell, is also one of the appointees. Leveson said he took on board Associated's concerns and would reserve judgment until he had considered the matter fully. Earlier he told the hearing he was eager to engage with the Daily Mail and had invited the paper's editor in chief to attend a pre-inquiry seminar next month. Gillian Phillips, director of editorial legal services for the Guardian, said: "Our view is that tabloid and mid-market papers, as well as regional papers, will play a vital part in the story and we believe it is important that those assisting the inquiry reflect the plurality and divergence of the wider UK media." Leveson said that the role of assessors was limited to assisting from within their area of expertise with the conclusion being "mine and mine alone". He added: "It is of critical importance throughout this inquiry that I have the help of everybody. I have a vast and difficult task to address within a comparatively short period of time. I accept the importance that it holds for your clients and for the industry, the profession. A big smile spreads over the Tunisian's handsome face as he stands among the shoppers outside the magnificent old railway station in the chic city of Nice on the French Riviera. He's one of the lucky ones who made it here, dodging the French police and their batons by hiding on a night train to cross the border from the Italian coastal town of Ventimiglia. Karim Messaoudi is 26. He wants to go and live in Birmingham, where he has relatives and friends. Any day now, he will start his next journey by train up towards the northern coast of France. Once in Calais, just 21 miles from the white cliffs of Dover, he will take his chance where he can find it. 'I may have to smuggle myself on a ferry to your country. But I will do that,' he says in near-perfect English. 'I need a new life. I was a tourist guide in Tunisia, but now there are no jobs because there are fewer holiday-makers after our uprising. I plan a good future in England.' Karim, who speaks four languages, including German, may have a chance of that. He is just one of many thousands of migrants from North Africa who have fled the current turmoil of their own countries by sailing in ramshackle boats to the island of Lampedusa, off the southern tip of Italy. A flood of nearly 26,000 Tunisians (and hundreds of Libyans) began to arrive on the Italian island two months ago. It was quickly overrun, and in recent weeks Silvio Berlusconi's government has shipped most of the migrants to mainland Italy, where they have been given six-month residency visas. Crucially, under the so-called Schengen agreement signed by five of the then ten members of the old EEC in 1985, this means that they can travel freely just about anywhere within mainland Europe, apart from the UK and Ireland. Thus thousands of the Tunisians have made their way to the Italian seaside town of Ventimiglia, hoping to move on to France, and some illegally from there to Britain. Tunisia was once ruled by the French and therefore the migrants speak the language and hope to get work there. But such has been the volume of new arrivals on their south-eastern border in recent days that the French authorities - once self-righteous champions of open borders - have been doing all they can to refuse them entry, temporary visas or not. So the men hang around the parks and river banks in their hundreds during the day. At night, they sleep in places such as an old shed adjoining the railway station or in the storm drains under the pavements. They beg for money from tourists, occasionally get drunk in the cafes, and wash their T-shirts in the streets' drinking fountains. Almost all are young men under 30, who admit they are economic migrants - not political refugees fleeing oppression. Ventimiglia's mayor, Gaetono Scullino, fears his town is becoming overwhelmed and asks despairingly: 'Do you think just one European country, Italy, can resolve these kinds of immigration problems? The Tunisians are just the start. 'There are 520,000 Libyans waiting on the Libyan border with Tunisia because of the war there. There are another 720,000 Egyptians at their border hoping to get to Tunisia, too.' The onward journey of those hundreds waiting in Ventimiglia hoping to travel to France has been blocked, as a simmering diplomatic row has blown up between Paris and Rome over the mass migration from Africa into Europe. Italy said it couldn't cope with so many migrants. And, of course, France says the same. Both countries say they need concerted action from all the other EU nations to tackle the problem. So, after years of heralding the benefits of the Schengen border treaty (which was originally signed to facilitate trade and business), the two countries have suddenly woken up to the dangers - which were sufficiently clear to Britain that this country refused to sign up 26 years ago. The EU Commission has now been asked by the French and Italians to reform the agreement. Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says: 'Schengen needs a review, so it is suitable for the modern world.' One suggestion is that - as far as it is ever possible - a much tighter security cordon should be thrown around mainland Europe, allowing those inside to move about freely, but preventing newcomers from entering. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy who formerly championed a border-free Europe, has changed his tune in recent weeks and now agrees with the need for changes. This week the mayor of Nice - now home to 6,000 Tunisian migrants - was witheringly sarcastic about the way Italy had issued so many visas to North Africans: 'It is easy for Italy to be generous with other people's territory. 'By giving out these passes, Italy has made an incredible offer of hope to the North African migrants.' In many cases, it is a false hope because of the way the French have cracked down on the Italian border, or have harried those who have made their way into the country. Finding no welcome there, many migrants are turning their thoughts to Britain, where they believe they will be entitled to the benefits of the UK's generous welfare state. Already, 1,000 North Africans have made it to Paris and set up camps near the Gare du Nord station, where trains leave hourly for the Channel ports. At the Paris camp this week, 32-year-old Murad Broug, a hotel worker from the Libyan- Tunisian border, told the Mail how many of his friends had already left for England. 'They went north to the Channel coast and were hoping to sneak onto the train there,' he said 'We've heard it is better in England. We have nothing here - no jobs, no accommodation. We're not welcome in France.' Last week, French police launched a crackdown on the Paris camp. During dawn raids they took away 100 migrants, insisting that their visas were not in order. They were arrested and will be asked to leave French soil. Yesterday, the authorities in Calais were waiting for Tunisian and Libyan arrivals. They will join many other immigrants set on crossing the Channel to start new lives in England. In a derelict and roofless warehouse in the port town, Akram Jabrkhel, a 31-year-old Afghani, also hoping to make the journey to Britain, said: 'Where else will these people go?' Akram lived in Birmingham, Leicester, Cardiff and Nuneaton for a year until 2009. But he was deported because his asylum claim was rejected. Now, he is desperate to return. On the wall of their makeshift home, the men he is dossing down with have painted the words: 'We love England.' And as more migrants gather in Paris and the rest of France, the French authorities will increasingly attempt to cut off the flow from Italy. Trains travelling from Ventimiglia across the Italian-French border to Nice are being patrolled and immigrants seized. Those caught are handcuffed and held in prison before being sent back across the border to Italy. On the Ventimiglia streets, groups of migrants sent from France claim they were beaten with batons by gendarmes over the border. I watched this week as two young Tunisians bought tickets for Nice, boarding a train at Ventimiglia station with rucksacks. They took their seats nervously. At Menton, the first French town across the border, several French police got on board. They made straight for the Tunisians and asked to see their visas and identity cards. Three minutes later at the next stop, they hauled the Tunisians off the train and took them away for questioning. It is not entirely clear what happened next, but plenty of the Tunisians waiting in Ventimiglia whom I had spoken to said they had all been sent back to Italy. 'We go, they bring us back,' said Bicel Memni, 22, who paid £150 for two tickets to Paris for him and a friend. He was hoping to get to Manchester, where he has a Tunisian girlfriend, who works as a nurse. 'They ripped up our tickets. They said they did not recognise our visas.' Not surprisingly, these migrants are growing angry. However, the most resourceful are slipping through. This week I saw three Tunisians walk into France from Italy on the main coast road. Ramzi Smaci, 20, his friends, Rabai Sima, 17, and Sliti Rabiak, set out on Tuesday morning and an hour-and- a-half later were strolling along the promenade among holidaymakers in Menton. They passed the old border control post next to the sea, abandoned when the Schengen agreement was struck. 'We are happy,' said Rabai as I stopped him to talk in Menton five minutes later. 'We were frightened that we would be stopped. We cannot believe we are here.' With his friends, he plans to go to Marseilles, France's second-biggest city on the Mediterranean coast, where there is a big Tunisian enclave and they have family waiting for them. 'I have told them we are on our way,' added Rabai, taking out an expensive BlackBerry phone from his jeans. 'We will get a bus to Nice and then a train. We could still be caught if we are not careful.' What is happening here in Ventimiglia is having huge repercussions across Europe. Document checks are being hastily reintroduced on borders of the Netherlands and Belgium. Austria and Germany are threatening to tighten up border controls. In a matter of days, a passport-free area that stretched from the North Cape of Norway to the Straits of Gibraltar has started to crumble. Of course, all this means little to Karim Messaoudi, as he sips a coffee in Nice on a sunny spring day. In the past month, his world has been uprooted. He was among the first Tunisians to get to Lampedusa, sailing there on a small boat back in March. When he was given his 'Berlusconi visa' at a holding centre in Italy, he began to make his plans to get to England. He looks smart, in a black T-shirt and pressed clean jeans. A wave of bomb attacks across Baghdad left at least 69 people dead and almost 200 injured yesterday as a row between Iraq's Shia Government and its Sunni opponents erupted only days after US troops withdrew from the country. The crisis in Iraq's power-sharing Government threatens to plunge the country into fresh sectarian conflict and a return to the violence at the height of the insurgency in 2005-07 that left thousands of Iraqis dead and the country on the brink of civil war. Officials said that there were at least 14 bombings in mainly Shia areas of the capital although some Sunni areas were also attacked. They included a suicide bombing that killed 24 people when explosives in an ambulance were detonated in the district of Karrada. Roadside blasts ripped through morning traffic across the city. In the Amil district, a second bomb was apparently aimed at rescuers arriving at the scene of a previous explosion. "I heard a huge explosion and saw smoke and heard sirens. The police were firing their guns in the air to keep people back. I saw ambulances taking away bodies of the dead and injured," said Sameer, 40, in Karrada. The carnage yesterday was in contrast to the picture painted by US officials following their withdrawal last week -- of a country finding stability after almost nine years of war. An increase in sectarian violence was widely expected as militants moved to fill the vacuum left by the departing Americans. There were no immediate claims of responsibility but Sunni groups are suspected of carrying out the attacks yesterday in retaliation for accusations levelled at Tareq al-Hashemi, the Iraqi Vice- President, the most senior Sunni figure in the Shia-led Government of Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister. An arrest warrant has been issued for Mr al-Hashemi over claims that he used his personal guards to assassinate political rivals and ordered a recent car bombing near the Iraqi parliament. He denies the accusations and has fled to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north. Shia MPs have demanded that the Kurdish government send him back to Baghdad to stand trial. Mr al-Maliki has been accused for months of seeking to marginalise Sunnis within the Government and consolidating the Shia grip on power. The Prime Minister's response to the attacks yesterday did little to calm the situation. Though he did not accuse any specific group, Mr al-Maliki's comments made specific reference to the sectarian nature of the bombings. "The timing of these crimes and the locations they took place [make clear] the political nature of these attacks ," he said. He did not respond to calls this week from Iraq's Kurdish bloc for a national dialogue between the warring factions. Positions are becoming entrenched. Saleh al-Mutlak, the Deputy Prime Minister, called Mr al-Maliki a dictator. Nahidah al-Daini, a Sunni MP, said that only an overhaul of the Iraqi political system could drag the country back from the brink. "Everybody is responsible for what happened today, including MPs and government ministers ... This political struggle gave the terrorists the chance to attack and kill civilians in cold blood," she said. "Nothing will save Iraq except the formation of a non-sectarian distribution of government posts. Only Allah will save Iraqis because the officials are indifferent to their people's miseries." Across the country, Iraqi police and armed forces were placed on high alert amid fears that the violence would spread beyond the capital. The latest bloodshed has reopened debate over whether American troops should have been allowed to remain longer. The al-Maliki Government refused requests from Washington to allow its forces to extend their stay beyond the 2011 deadline agreed by President Bush. The country's most senior judge criticised the dominance of the European Court of Human Rights yesterday, saying that British courts are free to ignore its rulings. Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, said there was an arguable case that judges must take account of decisions in Strasbourg but were not bound by them. His comments, to the Lords Constitution Committee, will fuel mounting controversy over the Human Rights Act and hostility to the influence of the Strasbourg-based court over UK legislation. It will also bolster the case for reform of the Act, which is now the subject of an inquiry set up by David Cameron. Lord Judge and other leading judges are concerned that some rulings from Europe threaten to undermine the workings of the English justice system. But a split emerged yesterday over whether the Act ties judges' hands. Lord Judge told peers that it was unclear what Parliament had meant when it enacted the Act and required courts to follow rulings of the European court. But the head of Britain's Supreme Court, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, suggested that the Strasbourg court must be followed. Lord Phillips, who was at the same evidence session, said: "In the end, Strasbourg is going to win. As long as we have the Human Rights Act ... and that is designed to give effect to that part of the rule of law which says we must comply with the convention [on human rights]." But Lord Judge added: "I would like to suggest that Strasbourg should not always win." It did not need to because of the existence of the European Union and the European Court of Justice. Judges, he added, would give them due weight and seek to follow the rulings, but might not necessarily do so. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, called for the scrapping of the Act this month, claiming that it protected an illegal immigrant from deportation on the ground that he had a pet cat. The coalition also faced a parliamentary revolt after saying that it would accept a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that some prisoners must be given the vote. MPs warned that the court rejected fundamental rules of criminal evidence enacted by Parliament to ensure that criminals do not escape conviction. Ministers appealed against the ruling to the European Court's Grand Chamber of 17 judges and a decision is due soon. Lord Phillips has also raised concerns about whether the Strasbourg court sufficiently appreciates UK procedures. Britain is bound by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and Lord Judge said that those rulings had to be adhered to because Britain was a member of the European Union. Judges are currently split about what Parliament meant when it enacted the Human Rights Act and stated that the courts must take account of Strasbourg rulings. Dominic Raab, the Conservative MP for Esher & Walton, said that Lord Judge's intervention bolstered the case for reform. "The Lord Chief Justice has highlighted a serious flaw in the Human Rights Act. We should not be importing the Strasbourg case law wholesale, with its continental approach to rights, and there is little point in having a Supreme Court unless it has the final word on how the law of the land is applied. "Lord Judge's intervention bolsters the case for a British Bill of Rights, both to strengthen our judicial independence and restore democratic accountability over the growth industry that human rights law in this country has become." Lord Pannick, QC, a human rights lawyer and member of the constitution committee, said: "Section 2 of the Human Rights Act says our judges must take account of the Strasbourg judgments; it does not say our courts are bound by them." But he predicted that if judges disagreed with those rulings and felt Strasbourg did not properly appreciate the reasoning of British courts, they might more regularly say that they had taken account of a ruling but not followed it. Jonathan Fisher, QC, a member of the commission of inquiry into a British Bill of Rights, said: "There plainly is debate as to the impact of the Strasbourg decisions and this adds to it. There are a number of decisions about which our courts feel squeamish and this is saying that they do not slavishly have to follow them." Controversial European Court of Human Rights cases 1996: European Court ruling in case over Karamjit Chahal, a Sikh activist, that foreign terrorists and criminals cannot be deported if they face risk of torture 1999: European Court ruled that boy killers of James Bulger did not receive a fair trial 2005: European Court ruled Britain's long-standing ban on prisoners having the vote was unlawful July 2010: European Court ruled that extradition to the US of Abu Hamza, "preacher of hate", could breach human rights laws February 2011: Sex offenders could appeal against being on the sex offenders register for life -- on the basis of European Court ruling February 2011: Supreme Court ruled that European Convention on Human Rights means a woman on benefits who failed to pay rent cannot be evicted September 2011: European Court ruled that a Nigerian man convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl cannot be deported back to country of birth Tough on Ken, tough on the causes of Ken. That was the Commons yesterday, but Mr Clarke simply doesn't seem to care. His face, as rumpled as his trousers, which he was constantly hoicking up, creased in joviality when he heard the toughest Ken question of all. "Are you on probation?" demanded the Labour MP Stephen McCabe. "And do you anticipate time added on or early release?" Ken fell forward on to the dispatch box, stomach hitting first, elbows propping him up. "I've been on probation for the last few decades!" His chuckle was low and soft and sounded, in cartoon terms, like "yuck yuck yuck". "Sooner or later I'll get the hang of it, but I'm working on it!" The rest of those words were lost forever as they collided, slipped and slid out of his mouth. He added: "The Prime Minister and I and the Cabinet have developed these policies together." This brought cries of hilarity. "Yes, we have," he insisted, his voice going falsetto now. Labour frontbenchers made rather rude-looking gestures intended to be Pinocchio's nose growing. Earlier in the day the Prime Minister had, extraordinarily, called a press conference to pre- announce Ken's announcement. That's how much he trusts the Justice Secretary. And, as I watched Ken perform what can only be called his stand-up comedy shtick, I could see why. Dave may hug hoodies but, if he's hugging Ken (not easy with that stomach), it's only to keep him close. The Tories seem to remain more or less furious with Ken. Edward Leigh, always close to explosion, castigated Ken for saying he was going to introduce drug-free wings in jails. "The public believe all parts of jail are drug-free and to them this sums up the irretrievably soft attitude to the entire prison system!" Ken embraced this. "I share your amazement!" he cried. "The fact is that drugs are very widely available in prisons." The Tories looked disgusted at this, while all the Lib Dems nodded madly. The coalition was hanging together by a thread. Bill Cash denounced "wishy-washy liberals". A Lib Dem stood up and pleaded guilty to wishy-washiness. Other Tories urged Ken to be more right-wing, to throw away human rights, to imprison at will. Ken turned this way and that, doing his trademark suede shoe shuffle. He was accused of multiple U-turns. "I've done many U-turns in my time and they should be done with purpose and panache," he trilled. "But I actually don't think that this is a U-turn at all!" This brought more guffaws from Labour but, for the Tories, this is no laughing matter. Probation? I think that they'd rather lock him up. EURO MPs want to blow Pounds 1.8million on new-age homeopathic treatments - for cows, sheep and pigs. The European Parliament's agriculture committee wants to test whether the remedy - opposed by British vets - can replace antibiotics. Tory MEP Richard Ashworth said: "Wasting millions on highly questionable remedies is sheer madness." BRITONS are so fed up with immigration that 48 per cent might back a far-right political party if it did not promote violence, a poll showed. Almost two-thirds of white people 43 per cent of British Asians and 17 per cent of black Britons believe immigration has been a bad thing for the nation. Asians already here were keenest to see it halted until the economy improves. BORIS Johnson yesterday hit out at two key Government policies -- on income tax and immigration. The London mayor said the 50p top tax rate "can't go on forever" if the UK is to remain competitive. And he said the planned cap on immigration "hacked off" bosses who cannot recruit talent from abroad because of the new quotas. Mr Johnson said on radio that London had a great future, but added: "We can't be complacent." He said: "We are in a battle, competing constantly with other growing centres of economic activity." Government sources said the tax hike is a temporary measure and migrant limits are "a rational approach". 20% New rate of VAT starts on Tuesday Charity Action for Children chief executive Dame Clare Tickell, who was asked by the coalition to review the "nappy curriculum," reported today that the current system was "far from perfect" and claimed it was bogged down by targets and bureaucracy. She said that there should be checks to identify early problems or special educational needs, that everyone working with under-fives should at least have A-levels, and that the goals youngsters are expected to meet should be slashed from 69 to 17." And it isn't doing enough to engage parents in their child's development or make sure children are starting school with the basic skills they need to be ready to learn," she said. However unions NUT and ATL questioned the government's priorities in the wake of he findings. They warned that any attempt to improve youngsters' education will be scuppered while the coalition oversees swingeing cuts to local services." We are appalled that cuts to local services are putting children's centres and other early years provision under threat," said ATL general secretary Mary Bousted. And NUT general secretary Christine Blower added: "This is an appalling situation which will simply lead to an increase in social disadvantage. If the government is serious about addressing inequality it needs to rethink its cuts agenda." A spokesman for the Department for Education said there wasn't a problem and claimed that it was providing a decent amount of funding. Tories grunted in protest as Mr Lavery urged the government instead to pay heed to the message brought to the streets of London by 500,000 anti-cuts marchers last Saturday. London Mayor Boris Johnson disgraced himself at the weekend by accusing Labour leaders and the TUC of stirring up violence and glorying in clashes with the police. Intervening in a debate on the chancellor's Budget, Mr Lavery told MPs: "It was an absolute credit to the TUC and Brendan Barber that they organised such an historic event." He added: "It was a privilege and an honour to stand shoulder to shoulder along with so many people - nurses, doctors, teachers, policemen, prison officers, council workers and trade unionists, among many others." The Wansbeck MP also launched an attack on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, "who has established a record in betraying the young people of our country." Birmingham Labour MP Jack Dromey protested that 300 of the most experienced police officers in the West Midlands would face the axe tomorrow. They included an inspector who achieved a 97 per cent reduction in crime on a Birmingham estate, and a detective constable who had "put away those who robbed old people at cash points and those who robbed shops with a machete." Mr Dromey told the House: "They all now face having to leave the force against their will. The government has said to them, thanks for your past loyalty, but here's your notice." Governments should cut crime, not the police." Unions and campaigners struggled to get to grips with the scale of the cuts because such a diverse array of organisations were told they faced a funding axe. Internationally renowned institutions including the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare company fell victim - their funding will be reduced by 15 per cent each over the next four years. But while London's Almeida theatre was hit by a 39 per cent real-terms cuts the Arcola theatre, a stone's throw away in north London, welcomed an 82.1 per cent rise in its grant. Rather than making equal cuts across all organisations the Arts Council devised a series of criteria to determine which organisations' budgets would be cut, remain static or rise, while 110 completely new organisations were awarded grants. Overall more than 200 institutions suffered a complete loss of council funding and a further 308 face reductions. The latest cuts will pile more pressure on creative workers already grappling with the impact shrinking local authority support because of government funding cuts of around 28 per cent. Professional performers and creative workers' union Equity warned today that Britain's status as a "beacon of world theatre" was under threat. President Malcolm Sinclair said: "I fear that this is a move away from artistically led local theatres producing work for local people. This hits at the very heart of our theatre." We're looking today at the results of a cut of £100 million to arts funding. That's just 10 per cent of the figure awarded in in bonuses to Royal Bank of Scotland bankers this year." The impact of these cuts will be greatest on the smaller organisations, particularly in the regions and rural areas." These are the groups that provide the lifeblood of our great national institutions - cut support to those lower down the pyramid and eventually those at the top will starve." Musicians Union general secretary John Smith said the announcement was "the start of the end" for many organisations, with few music groups emerging "unscathed." Director of Zinc Arts Jonathan Rennison, whose organisation serves disabled and socially excluded people, said that the Arts Council's decision to withdraw funding would leave it struggling to reach out to a section of the population that is also being disproportionately affected by government public-sector funding cuts. He said he would be seeking talks with the Arts Council to understand why it justified the cut by describing Zinc's way of working as "untested" despite it using the same practices for the past five years and having a relationship with the council for 16 years. The council stressed that its decision-making had been undertaken "collaboratively, and with honesty and clarity of purpose." It is with great regret that we have had to cease funding some good organisations." In an inspection report released today he described the delivery of care for the 500 women held at HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Middlesex, as "chaotic" and labelled some treatments "unacceptable." The unannounced inspection carried out last October also found a "shocking level" of self-harm. There had been an average of more than seven incidents of self-harm a day in the 12 months before the inspection - a total of 2,771. One woman had harmed herself 93 times in a single month." Health care was shockingly poor," said Mr Hardwick. "It was surprising that this should be so given the obvious needs of the women and that concerns had been forcibly raised by the Independent Monitoring Board." He reported that there were no female doctors at the prison, pharmacy services were "tortuous and inconsistent" and that the appointments system was "unnecessarily complicated." Mr Hardwick also highlighted the case of a woman with a severe personality disorder who had "effectively been held in the segregation unit for three years with very little human contact." Mental health care was "better," but he questioned why there were only 15 women being treated for mental health issues, saying it "seemed an unfeasibly low number given the very visible need throughout the prison." Prison Reform Trust (PRT) director Juliet Lyon said today: "This must raise questions about why such vulnerable women, many of whom injure themselves repeatedly, are held in a thinly staffed prison rather than diverted into the mental health treatment and care that so many urgently need." In view of the report Ms Lyon urged the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and Kalyx, the prison's managing company, to "put right" the health care failings at the prison. NOMS chief executive Michael Spurr claimed that improvements were "already under way." But the PRT said: "We understand that the situation has yet to be resolved." <'Shameless' MPs rubber stamp Libya air assault> Ms German called for peace activists to raise their voices against "idiotic gung-ho behaviour" following Monday night's massive vote of 557-13 in favour of Prime Minister David Cameron's leap to war. CND general secretary Kate Hudson appealed to MPs to "keep an open mind and reconsider the implications and consequences of this brutal military intervention." During a tense debate, many MPs expressed doubts about the outcome of the Libyan operation. But just 15 registered a vote against, with a number of sceptical Labour MPs abstaining. Among the tiny band of opponents were 11 Labour members, including the two tellers for the "Noes." Left MPs Katy Clark, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Dennis Skinner spearheaded the opposition. A grim Mr McDonnell reminded MPs of Britain's long involvement in the Middle East in pursuit of mineral wealth - an involvement "steeped in blood, murder and maiming." Also voting against were solitary Tory John Barron, Green MP Caroline Lucas and two Irish SDLP members. Prominent left MPs backing the war and UN resolution 1973 included Diane Abbott, Martin Caton, John Cryer, Frank Dobson, Kelvin Hopkins, Ian Lavery and Grahame Morris. Ms Abbott told a tense house: "I will support the government in the lobby tonight, partly because I genuinely believe that only swift action at the weekend avoided a bloodbath in Benghazi." She added that she was also "convinced that we have a solid legal basis for the military action." But Ms Abbott warned: "The government would be wrong to take this evening's vote as some sort of blank cheque." Opposition leader Ed Miliband sought to invoke the lessons of 1930s non-intervention in the Spanish civil war as he led the vast majority of Labour MPs in support of the Libyan military adventure." In 1936 a Spanish politician came to Britain to plead for support in the face of General Franco's violent fascism," he recalled. MPs fell silent as veteran Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner told Mr Cameron: "It is easy to get into a war. It is harder to end it. When will we know what the circumstances are for pulling out and ending the war?"Mr Cameron insisted: "This is different to Iraq."email@example.com A COUNCIL has been criticised after spending GBP 365,000 to hire a cost-cutting firm - to identify GBP 600,000 worth of savings. It was brought in to look at key services, including housing maintenance and council tax collection, to try to make them more efficient. Vanguard Consulting have been paid just over GBP 1,000 a day by Stoke-on-Trent city council and in under a year raked in GBP 365,400, with an additional expenses bill of GBP 17,884. But taxpayer groups were angered when the specialists were only able to identify just under double their own fees in savings - around GBP 600,000 of annual cuts. Matthew Sinclair, of the Tax Payers' Alliance, said: "Council taxpayers struggling with the near doubling of the rates over the last decade deserve better." BRITISH airport security was under renewed scrutiny last night after it emerged a hoax bomb was smuggled on to a plane in London. The device was hidden in a wedding cake and sent as air freight to Turkey using the international shipping company UPS. The suspicious package, complete with wires and a timer, was not discovered until the aircraft had landed in Istanbul. The fake bomb was dispatched from a UPS branch in Camden, north London, two weeks ago and was flown to Turkey on a cargo-only flight. A Department for Transport spokesman said: "The Government is aware of this incident and takes it very seriously. We have already begun an investigation which will look at all aspects of this incident, including UPS's procedures. A statement by UPS said: "Processes, systems and procedures are designed to protect our people, aircraft and customers' shipments. In addition, UPS collaborates with security agencies around the world for information exchange, risk assessment, regulatory compliance and preventive action." Met Police have arrested a 26-yearold man in connection with the hoax bomb which is not thought to be terrorist-related. He has been released on bail. It is believed the bomb was sent as an attempt to scare a Turkish couple who were getting married. The lapse in airline security comes just months after Al Qaeda operatives smuggled a bomb disguised as a printer cartridge on to a UPS cargo flight headed for the US. That device was discovered after the aircraft made an unscheduled stop at East Midlands airport to refuel following a tip off from Saudi Arabian intelligence. Another device, also disguised as a printer cartridge, was put on board a Qatar Airways passenger jet. That was found when the flight stopped in Dubai. Both printer cartridge devices were sent from the Yemeni capital of Sana'a. Cargo packages are flown both on specially-designated aircraft and in the holds of passenger planes. Former government security advisor Lord West called for cargo packages to be subject to the same vigorous security checks that passengers are forced to undergo. He said: "The passengers are getting really vigorous checks. One hopes the cargo is getting the same checks." THE chances of survival for men with prostate cancer depend on where they live, a charity claims. Sufferers living in Sandwell in the West Midlands are twice as likely to die from the disease as those in Kensington and Chelsea in London. And another 24 out of the 151 Primary Care Trusts in England have a prostate death rate that is 10 per cent above the national average. Owen Sharp, chief executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, which compiled the figures, said: "It is clearly unacceptable that men diagnosed with prostate cancer in different parts of England could live or die based on their address. What we really need to see now is a clear and credible answer to why, despite improvements in prostate cancer services, this remains the case." Previous research suggests the reason for the postcode lottery which gives some patients a better chance of survival than others may be down to diagnosis, with those living in poorer areas being less likely to go to their doctor early with signs of cancer. But a recent Government report also suggested some patients had to go to their GP more than twice complaining o f symptoms before they were referred to the hospital for tests. The Prostate Cancer Charity is launching a campaign today to encourage all men at increased risk to have a prostate test. Every year in the UK 37,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the most common male cancer, and one man dies of the disease every hour. DAVID Cameron made a plea yesterday for the biggest national strike in 25 years to be called off "for the good of the country". The PM branded unions "wrong" for pushing ahead with a mass walkout of 750,000 teachers and civil servants tomorrow. Up to 85% of schools could close or face disruption through action, which even Labour called a "mistake". Jobcentres, courts, ports, airports, tax offices and Government buildings will also be hit. The strikes are over reforms of public sector pensions, which Mr Cameron said are desperately needed or the system risked "going bust". The PM, left, said: "Public service pensions will remain among the very best, much better than for many private sector workers. So to those considering strike action, I would say to you these strikes are wrong, for you, for the people you serve, for the good of the country." Shadow Education Secretary Andy Burnham said: "We support the reforms and it is wrong for action to be taken now while talks are ongoing." Labour leader Ed Miliband called the strikes "a sign of failure on both sides" and added: "Thursday's action is a mistake." Six machine gun-toting suicide bombers stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, used by western journalists and aid workers. Four blasts like those from explosive bomb vests were heard. Last night the five-star hotel was surrounded by armed police as gunmen on the roof fired off rounds. It was unclear whether` any Brits were caught up in the bloodbath. Criminal Investigations Chief Mohammad Zahir said: "It will take some time to control the area." The Taliban claimed responsibility, boasting they had killed "50 foreigners and Afghans". THE more the Tories and their sycophantic supporters in the media attack Ed Miliband, the more I cleave to his Labour leadership. His speech to the party conference was full of good ideas. He will put his stamp on Labour and on Britain. And he is demonstrably a decent and honest man, at a time when those qualities are all too rare in public life. I watched the occasion on the box in the Baltic Fleet, one of Liverpool's best pubs (and there are many vying for that title) with Mirror readers. About one-third of the way through, there was a power failure and all the Beeb could show for 10 minutes was old footage from last year's conference. Somebody joked that the power failure was the best bit of the speech. That got a laugh, but this is no laughing matter. The carping within the party is as corrosive as the attacks from without. It should stop. Ed Miliband won fair and square under the rules. It is pointless - criminal, in my view - for the Blairite rump to undermine the leader we have chosen. If they can't put up - and they can't, because Ed's big brother has thrown in the towel - then they should shut up. TONY Blair's days as Middle East peace envoy could be numbered because of his alleged bias toward Israel, it was claimed yesterday. Mr Blair has angered Palestinians by reportedly lobbying European leaders to vote against their bid for official United Nations recognition. Palestinian politicians are said to have lost confidence in the former PM and plan to have no dealings with him, although an official spokesman denied the claims. Some Labour supporters are also uneasy with Blair's role since he left office and there was booing when his name was read out at the party conference in Liverpool. He has made millions outside politics and his wife Cherie is one of the founders of Mee, a firm that stands to profit from privatisation of the NHS by the Tory-led Coalition. COUNCILS have "no excuse" but to restart weekly bin collections after ministers set up a Pounds 250million scheme to pay local authorities to offer the service. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, will today announce that central government funds will be used to pay councils that are reintroducing weekly collections. More than half of all councils have switched to fortnightly collections over the past few years, affecting more than 18million people. The move has been blamed for an increased numbers of rats in cities and other health hazards. Last night, Mr Pickles said: "The last Labour government ruthlessly forced councils into axing bin collections. Their policies of bin taxes, bin fines and bin cuts hammered hard-working households and fuelled fly-tipping. "Weekly rubbish collections are the most visible of all front-line services and I believe every household in England has a basic right to have their rubbish collected every week. "Our fund will help councils deliver weekly collections and in the process make it easier for families to go green and improve the local environment. Councils now have no excuse not to reintroduce the weekly bin collection." The Daily Telegraph disclosed earlier this year that Mr Pickles was hoping to offer councils financial incentives to reintroduce weekly collections. The scheme was initially overruled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs amid fears it would undermine attempts to encourage recycling. Following a Cabinet row, Mr Pickles has won the backing of David Cameron and will unveil the weekly bin scheme today. The Department for Communities and Local Government will make savings to provide Pounds 250 million for the scheme over the next two and a half years. A similar financial incentive was used to reward local authorities agreeing to freeze council tax, which led to no increase in England this year. Councils will be paid to cover the costs of weekly bin collections providing they guarantee the service for at least five years. They will also have to show that they have introduced recycling schemes. Doretta Cocks, founder of the Campaign for Weekly Waste, welcomed the announcement. "For too long households have had to put up with fortnightly collections so this is welcome news for hard-working families." UNION chiefs yesterday issued a stark warning to Ed Miliband to back workers striking over public sector pension cuts. Unison chief Dave Prentis got a standing ovation after demanding the party should stand "shoulder to shoulder" with workers. He added: "They will never forgive us if we let them down." Unison is one of several unions planning to ballot members for strikes, with the TUC calling for a day of action on November 30. Ed Miliband had told the TUC Congress striking was not the way to resolve the pensions dispute. But Mr Prentis said the Government was taking a "chainsaw" to public services, adding: "It's no time to sit on the sidelines while this Government tears down all that we built." And at a fringe meeting later last night, general secretary of the GMB Paul Kenny suggested the public should occupy libraries and hospitals in non-violent protest action if they are closed because of the Government's savage cuts. INTERNATIONAL aid is propping up Pakistan's corrupt political elite at the expense of much-needed reforms, according to the cricketer-turned-politician, Imran Khan. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said cutting funds was the only way to force Pakistan's government to face up to the challenge of balancing its budget and introducing tax reform. "Aid is like using aspirin to treat cancer," he said. "And the cancer is spreading." His warning that aid is propping up a corrupt and incompetent elite puts him on a collision course with Britain's recently reviewed aid policy. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, ordered the doubling of aid to Pakistan. The amount will rise from Pounds 200 million in the past year to about Pounds 400million in 2015. The department set out ambitious plans to get more than four million children into school in the next four years. The programme is controversial in Britain at a time when billions of pounds is being slashed from domestic spending, but also has its critics in Pakistan, where many are suspicious of the West's motives. Mr Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Movement for Justice, said even with careful controls to prevent the cash being pocketed by politicians it raised a longterm question over Pakistan's ability to fend for itself. Without the crutch of foreign cash, he said, the country would have to make sure its rich elite could no longer escape being taxed. "We would be forced to make changes, reforms to the link between expenditure and revenues," said Mr Khan, whose stance on corruption saw him declared Pakistan's most popular politician in a recent opinion poll. "The rich don't pay taxes here so the entire burden falls on the common man and the difference is made up by aid. This aid stops any real reform." He also added that money given directly to the Pakistan government would be stolen. Mr Mitchell said: "As Imran Khan now accepts, Britain does not directly fund the government of Pakistan. Our aid and development programme is going to help up to 4million children into school over the next four years and Imran Khan strongly supports that. Our programme is linked, however, to reform at federal and provincial levels in Pakistan, including in the area of increasing tax revenue." THE Whitehall row over ministers and political advisers using private email accounts to conduct government business intensified last night. Michael Gove and his advisers circulated emails that allegedly included a discussion of replacing personnel in the Department for Education, but civil servants could not retrieve them when asked under the Freedom of Information Act. Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, sought to kill the row by ordering departments to say that no personal emails would be disclosed. However, the Information Commissioner's Office appeared to contradict this assertion in a statement. It said: "It is certainly possible that some information in private emails could fall within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act if it concerns government business." It is not against the law for ministers and officials to use private email for government business as long as they disclose it. However, it is illegal to conceal information concerning government business from those seeking public documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The Ministry of Justice also raised concerns that the Cabinet Office was taking the wrong line, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. The Cabinet Office statement read: "Personal email accounts do not fall within the Freedom of Information Act and are not searchable by civil servants." Last night Whitehall sources dismissed reports that David Cameron's personal emails were being searched to see if he had used them for government business. A regular meeting of Whitehall permanent secretaries took place yesterday. It is understood that the issue was discussed but no conclusions were reached about taking further action. The allegations follow an email sent in February from Dominic Cummings, the Education Secretary's chief political aide, who wrote to colleagues saying he "will not answer any further emails to my official DfE account". He added: "I will only answer things that come from gmail accounts from people who I know. I suggest that you do the same in general but that's obviously up to you guys - I can explain in person the reason for this ..." Mr Gove's aides said the email was only about party business. A source said: "Mr Cummings was telling Conservative Party officials not to use his departmental account for political business." The Information Commissioner's Office is said to be investigating after being contacted by The Financial Times, which has seen the correspondence. A spokesman said it had written to the education department. Ed Miliband has admitted he could improve his "voice and communication skills". The Labour leader told New Statesman magazine he would be "crackers" if he did not care about his image. FRANCE, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland want Britain to be bypassed in order to establish an EU military headquarters. The Government opposes the proposal but the so-called "big five" have told the EU foreign minister Baroness Ashton that she must set up a European Operational HQ by any means necessary, including a legal mechanism created by the Lisbon Treaty that bypasses a British veto. In July, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, threatened to veto a proposed military HQ, which would "command and control" troops including British forces taking part in EU operations, such as the current anti-piracy naval mission off the coast of Somalia. In a confidential letter, dated Sept 2, foreign ministers from the five European countries pledged their "strong political will to continue" as a "matter of urgency". "France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain remain at your disposal to support your work in this regard," says the letter to Lady Ashton, seen by The Daily Telegraph. Most controversially, the alliance instructs Lady Ashton to seek "structured co-operation", a legal route never before used, to set up the HQ without Britain. It demands "tangible results" by the end of the year. "We encourage you to examine all institutional and legal options available to member states including permanent structured co-operation to develop critical Common Security and Defence Policy capabilities, notably a permanent planning and conduct capability." Structured co-operation would allow a majority vote to decide the fate of the headquarters. In her proposals, Lady Ashton said that the European operational headquarters currently spread across Europe in Germany, France, Greece, Italy and Britain should be united under one roof, with a 250-strong EU military staff. The move puts the EU foreign minister, a Labour peer, at odds with the Government and could lead to the worst rift in European foreign policy since the Iraq war in 2003. Mr Hague has declared the issue a "red line" and defeat would be a major setback and failure of the Government's European policy, especially for Eurosceptics within the Conservative Party. The Government has been angered by the letter and its threat to bypass Britain using a legal route that was originally intended to help countries work on practical defence co-operation, such as air transport. "Structured co-operation was designed to encourage member states to work together to increase European capabilities," said a government spokesman. "It is inappropriate to use EU mechanisms to advance the political agendas of only a few member states." Britain supports European calls, backed by America, for more investment in military capabilities, improved planning and better EUNato co-operation. "But we disagree strongly that a permanent EU HQ is the answer to these problems," said the spokesman. "Focusing energy and resources on a project which is essentially about symbolism represents a costly distraction from investment in the defence and civilian capabilities that are really required, and will do nothing to increase political will to act." Fewer schools will be rated outstanding from next year, inspectors have said. The move comes after Michael Gove, the education secretary, said many schools awarded the ranking did not deserve it. Under rules coming into force in January, inspectors will pay more attention to pupils' behaviour, the quality of teaching, and children's ability to read. They will also spend more time scrutinising whether schools are narrowing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. Miriam Rosen, Ofsted's chief inspector, said she expected it would become "more difficult to achieve the accolade of outstanding". Ofsted's most recent annual report, published in November, showed that 13% of schools in England were outstanding, 43% were good, 37% were satisfactory and 8% were inadequate. Earlier this month Gove told a conference on school leadership that it was "a worry to me that so many schools are still judged as outstanding overall when they have not achieved an outstanding in their teaching and learning". Inspectors give an overall rating to schools, but also give individual verdicts on teaching and learning. Ofsted figures show that of 3,577 schools judged outstanding overall at their latest inspection, 923 would have been ranked as good or very good at teaching. The government has instructed Ofsted to pare down the inspection categories to four: the achievement of pupils; the quality of teaching and learning; the effectiveness of the leadership and management; and standards of behaviour and safety. . Schools will no longer receive separate verdicts on whether they are doing their best to achieve community cohesion or safeguard their pupils. Schools ranked outstanding will no longer have routine inspections unless there are concerns that standards may be slipping. Schools judged to be good will be inspected every five years, as they are now, while satisfactory schools will be inspected every three years. Ofsted also announced that from next month parents will be able to fill out a questionnaire on its website which includes questions such as "are pupils at your child's school happy?" and post messages. The Ofsted site will be anonymous, with users only asked for an email address. Inspectors will consider the comments when making a judgment about a school. A surge of negative comments could trigger an inspection. Rosen said Ofsted wanted to "give greater consideration to parents', pupils' and teachers' views". Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "Allowing anyone to post comments anonymously leaves the system, and schools, open to abuse." Rosen said inspectors would also hear primary school pupils read. About one in five 11-year-olds are not reading at the expected level. The fugitive gunman Raoul Moat took his own life after police fired an unapproved Taser at him, an inquest jury decided yesterday. The jury concluded that the armed officers had behaved properly during the six-hour stand-off with the 37-year-old former bouncer at Rothbury, Northumberland, in July 2010. Moat had been on the run for a week after shooting his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 22, and killing her new partner Chris Brown, 29. He went on to shoot and blind an unarmed traffic officer, PC David Rathband, after declaring "war" on police. An Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation found no evidence of misconduct by the officers, though there may be "some learning" for Northumbria police. The three-week inquest at Newcastle crown court had been told that Moat was hit by an experimental Taser round fired by marksmen who believed he was about to kill himself. The Taser had no effect, and Moat shot himself in the head. The inquest was told that Moat had likened himself to King Kong while on the run. The jurors spent five hours considering their verdict. Summing up, the coroner David Mitford said the jury should consider either a verdict of suicide or an open verdict. He told them they had to answer five questions linked to whether police should have used the untested XRep X12 Taser that had not been approved by the Home Office. It was the first time it had been used in the UK during a police operation. The coroner said the jury had to be "satisfied so you are sure" before returning a verdict of suicide. Asylum seekers are being prevented from lodging claims for permission to stay in the UK unless their lawyers threaten legal action, according to the Law Society. In a strongly worded criticism of shortcomings at the Asylum Screening Unit (ASU) in Croydon, south London, the body which represents solicitors complains of "degrading treatment", telephones constantly engaged and individuals who arrive in person being sent away. The letter, sent to the head of the ASU and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), highlights concerns voiced by other groups about facilities in Croydon - the only place in the whole of the UK where asylum claims can be made. Mark Paulson, head of the Law Society's family and social justice section, said that the only certain means of securing an appointment was for solicitors to send in "pre-action protocol" letters on behalf of clients announcing they were instigating judicial review proceedings. In July, Law Society representatives met ASU officials to raise concerns about problems. The situation, they claim, has deteriorated since then: "In recent months [we have] received reports of asylum seekers who are finding it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to register their claim for asylum, or who experience what appear to be quite unnecessary difficulties . . ." "Our members' experience and others' reports . . . have highlighted the negative and sometimes quite degrading treatment of people on their arrival at the ASU and the appalling nature of the physical environment which they expected to be in for often prolonged and indeterminate periods of time." Registering asylum applications as soon as possible is vital for claimants. Any delay undermines the credibility of their case. The letter contained nine case studies. One detailed the experience of an elderly Zimbabwean woman who caught a bus at 3am in order to arrive at Croydon by 7am where she was given a letter informing her that she was too late to be seen that day. The UKBA's website acknowledges that it experiences delays, explaining that: "The Asylum Screening Unit operates an appointment system and will also accept applicants on a walk-in service. If you choose to use the walk-in service, you should be aware that depending on your personal circumstances, there will be no guarantee that you will be seen. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you book an appointment." In response to the Law Society's letter, the UK Border Agency said: "We are confident that the care provided to asylum seekers at the Asylum Screening Unit in Croydon is of a good standard. "Asylum seekers are given access to interpreters and information regarding the asylum process and how to contact legal representatives. UKBA takes complaints very seriously and has processes in place for those using the unit to raise any concerns they may have." The Foreign Office overspent by pounds 91m on foreign currencies and failed to manage fluctuations in the money markets, a report by MPs reveals today. But the Commons' public accounts committee concludes that the Treasury is partly to blame because it only allowed the Foreign Office to buy and sell currency on a certain day each month, whatever the predicted changes in price. Foreign Office mandarins have been asked to find a 10% reduction in the department's running costs of pounds 100m over the next four years. Margaret Hodge, the chair of the committee, said the inquiry found that the Foreign Office's currency problems were exposed following a decline in the value of sterling in 2009. "Until 2008 the Treasury protected the department against exchange-rate fluctuations. Removing that protection made the FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] budget vulnerable to a fall in the pound's value. "To make matters worse, the Treasury stopped the department from managing that risk effectively by only allowing the FCO to buy foreign currency in advance on one single day each month. "Recent events in the Middle East demonstrate that the FCO cannot always predict where additional resources may need to be directed. The department should develop contingency saving measures so that it can respond to unexpected worldwide events without derailing its plans to reduce spending," she said. Hodge's committee examined why the Foreign Office needed to make drastic cuts to its budget last year, the action it took to reduce its spending, and the lessons for the department and government. It found that around half of the Foreign Office's budget is spent in foreign currencies. As a result of a decline in the value of sterling, in September 2009 the department faced an overspend of pounds 91m on its 2009 to 2010 budget. The committee noted that in 2008 the Treasury withdrew the Foreign Office's protection against exchange rate fluctuations but limited the department's freedom to manage the risk of a fall in the value of sterling. As the value of sterling plummeted, the Foreign Office found itself on track to overspend by what was then predicted to be around pounds 70m, and was forced to make emergency savings. The department cut pounds 46m from centrally managed budgets and instructed embassies and high commissions overseas, which were facing an overspend of pounds 18.8m, to live within their budgets, saving a total of pounds 60m. Some money was saved through a shake-up of back-office functions and by recruiting local workers overseas to replace UK-based staff. Embassies also reduced travel and hospitality budgets, froze recruitment and training, enforced short periods of unpaid leave on local staff and made some staff redundant. However, the report found that many of the cuts were short term and included delaying or stopping activities, which risked further costs to the public purse. For example, the Foreign Office increased the rent on a number of its foreign-owned buildings but did not assess whether such a move would impact on other government departments. A consequence was to force the UK Borders Agency, which was renting buildings from the Foreign Office in some countries, to look for cheaper premises. Hodge said that this move was counter-productive. She said: "The FCO wants to raise income and find efficiencies by sharing its overseas offices , but the high charges have actually led to departments like the UK Border Agency moving out." A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The protection against currency changes was restored as part of our settlement last year with a new mechanism which will mean better value for money for the taxpayer." Taxpayers face an 852m bill for redundancies as a result of the Government's shake-up of the National Health Service. The Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who challenged David Cameron over the figure at Prime Minister's Questions, warned that many of the staff being sacked by strategic health authorities and primary care trusts (PCTs) would be re-employed by the GP commissioning consortiums replacing PCTs. Mr Miliband said the U-turn over the original reforms would increase the number of statutory organisations in the NHS from 163 to 521, instead of cutting bureaucracy as the Government suggested. "Is this what you meant by a bonfire of the quangos?" Mr Miliband asked. The Prime Minister insisted the shake-up would save 5bn by cutting bureaucracy. He told Mr Miliband: "What we inherited was a situation where the number of managers was going up four times as fast as the number of nurses. What's happened since we took over? The number of doctors has gone up, the number of bureaucrats has gone down." From the outset, Downing Street's response to attempts by independent- minded MPs to ban the use of wild animals in circuses was misleading and bullying. Thankfully, yesterday it also proved to be futile. Last month the Government tried to claim such a ban would breach circus owners' human rights. Then it emerged Whitehall officials had ruled out any human rights implications. At the same time they tried to blame the EU by stating that "cross-border selling regulations" would be breached by any new British legislation. Then the commission pointed out this wasn't true and member states could make exemptions on animal welfare grounds. So having lost the argument, Downing Street (and David Cameron personally) resorted to baser tactics: bullying and bribery. On Monday Tory whips told Mark Pritchard, the MP behind the Bill, that if he dropped it quietly they would give him a job for his troubles. He refused. On Wednesday night, on the eve of the debate, they threatened him: unless he withdrew the motion the Prime Minister would look upon it "very dimly indeed". He refused again and even worse for Mr Cameron revealed all the dirty tactics on the floor of the Commons. The result: Downing Street carried out the Coalition's 18th U-turn and gave MPs a free vote of the Wild Animal Bill, despite an earlier decision to issue a three-line whip. Predictably and rightly they lost without even having to go through the division lobbies. The consequences of this debacle are significant. For Mr Pritchard - an honourable man brought up on a council estate and now a leading member of the Tories' 1922 Committee - his political career is all but over. Forget ministerial office or ennoblement; he will languish on the back benches for as long as Mr Cameron is in Downing Street. His legacy will be an effective ban after the Government said it would respect the wishes of the House. And, given how much he cares about the subject, he will certainly prefer this to being under-secretary-of-state for paperclips. For Mr Cameron, it has brought into the public spotlight bullying tendencies that, until now, have been kept behind closed doors. It also raises questions about why he took such a close interest in the subject. He over-ruled his own Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, to oppose the ban. Unsubstantiated rumours have circulated all week in Westminster that he had personal reasons for doing so. Those issues are unlikely to go away soon. But amid the political shenanigans, the substance should not be forgotten. MPs stood up to the Government and voted in favour of banning the use of wild animals in circuses. That's good news for animal welfare and democracy. KENNETH CLARKE faced anger last night after threatening to scrap the automatic right of arrested suspects to receive free advice from a solicitor. As part of a drive to save 2bn from his department's budget, the Justice Secretary has announced moves to means-test suspects who want access to a lawyer provided by the state. Critics say the plan would undermine the right to equal treatment under the law regardless of background and create a new layer of bureaucracy that would hinder the criminal justice system. The move is in addition to cuts of 350m on legal aid, withdrawing it from most family disputes, as well as from medical negligence, employment, immigration, housing and debt cases. Free legal help has been guaranteed to suspects as soon as they are arrested under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984. In custody, they are entitled to advice on their legal position and to ask for a solicitor in any initial interview with police. The Act was brought in by Margaret Thatcher's government after a series of cases in which police were accused of intimidating and misleading suspects or falsifying statements. The new Sentencing and Legal Aid Bill opens the door to people's financial circumstances being taken into account before they are put in touch with a solicitor. Thousands - many of whom not eventually prosecuted - could face hefty legal bills as a result because they are deemed too well- off. The Bill says that "advice and assistance ... is not currently means-tested" but will provide "the flexibility to make it so in the future if it is considered appropriate". The Law Society said the practical problems of the move, and the implications for equal access to justice, were "horrendous". Richard Miller, its head of legal aid, said: "Having free legal advice as soon as possible is a cornerstone of the criminal justice system." A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "There are no plans to make any changes at this time." LEE FIRES BACK INTO CONTENTION Lee Westwood bounced back from a disappointing first round to post a four-under-par 68 yesterday at the Ballantine's Championship in Icheon, South Korea. But the world No 1 was still six shots off the lead. Australian Brett Rumford, who had nine birdies, led the way on 10 under after a second-round 63, putting him three shots clear of Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark. In contrast to the first day when a double bogey at the final hole sent Westwood (pictured) tumbling down the leaderboard, he ended a solid round with a birdie for a total of 140. Despite the cloudy conditions, the round could have been better still as Westwood, who regained the No 1 world ranking last weekend after winning the Indonesian Masters, collected three bogeys. Great Britain's women picked up six medals on the final day of competition at the ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta in Hyeres, France. Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor won gold in their Elliot 6m women's match racing final against the USA. Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark took silver and Penny Clark and Katrina Hughes bronze in the Skandia Team GBR's 470 event. Marco Simoncelli was quickest in free practice for this weekend's Portuguese MotoGP at Estoril. The Italian (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was fastest in both sessions as he sought to make up for crashing out while leading at Jerez in the last meeting. Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) was second. Salford yesterday parted company with head coach Shaun McRae with immediate effect. Australian McRae, 51, has been on sick leave since March and the engage Super League side, who play at Harlequins today, have now reached an agreement for him to leave. Last week McRae confirmed he would not renew his contract at the end of the season. With assistant coach Malcolm Alker also on sick leave and in dispute with the club, former Wigan assistant coach Phil Veivers was temporarily put in charge. ENGLAND captain Jamie Peacock is back in business Ñ and so are Leeds after a third win in eight days. Eight months ago Peacock suffered a devastating rupture of a cruciate ligament that forced him out of Leeds' play-off campaign and the Four Nations tour at the end of last season. However, his introduction from the bench after just 27 minutes got the biggest cheer of the day from the travelling supporters. He managed a 21-minute spell and returned to action for the final quarter as the pressure eased on coach Brian McDermott. The former Royal Marine was under enormous strain just 10 days ago, but victories over Bradford, Crusaders and now Castleford have coincided with the return of Peacock and Danny McGuire. Those two are arguably Leeds' greatest talents and they showed their class with the Rhinos' fourth try, when Peacock's off-load set McGuire free to round Castleford full back Richie Mathers. Buoyed by back-to-back wins over Easter, Leeds made the perfect start as they aimed for a third successive triumph. They took fewer than 90 seconds to open the scoring, with wing Kallum Watkins squeezing over from Paul McShane's sharp pass. Castleford scrum-half Rangi Chase smashed Kevin Sinfield with a well-timed tackle after just 10 minutes before collaring Brent Webb and squaring up to Brett Delaney, and those early exchanges set the tone for a bruising half in which Castleford did most of the pressing but somehow fell further behind. The Tigers had two tries disallowed after some inspirational play from Chase. The talented Kiwi combined with Mathers to give Kirk Dixon half a chance, only for Webb and Sinfield to make a superb tackle. Then Chase dummied twice and passed for Richard Owen to touch down, only for referee Richard Silverwood to rule a forward pass. Castleford fans erupted when Silverwood made the same call in the same circumstances 15 minutes later and by then Jamie Jones-Buchanan's try had stretched Leeds' advantage to 10 points. Sinfield's penalty just before the break gave the Rhinos even more comfort, but Castleford remained committed. Chase continued to boss proceedings, forcing Leeds into a drop-out after trapping Ryan Hall with a well- weighted kick. However, Cas were consistently having to rely on their scrum-half Ñ and when that didn't pay dividends, there were few other options. Instead Leeds clinched a third try when young hooker McShane produced another cute pass to give Hall just enough room in the corner. Then Peacock and McGuire combined for the fourth, before Rob Burrow extended the lead. Joe Arundel grabbed a consolation for Castleford but McShane, Ian Kirke and Hall added late tries for Leeds. MICK McCarthy has admitted that Wolves' poor form has coincided with the loss of Kevin Doyle. The Republic of Ireland striker has been missing for a month, during which time the club have picked up only one point. Although McCarthy said it was no reflection upon Steven Fletcher, he said that Doyle's absence has been keenly felt. 'I doubt very much I can put everything down to one person being out of the team,' said McCarthy, 'and Fletch was outstanding against Fulham. But we did have a team and a formula that was working. 'In that respect, Doyle has been a loss to us.' Another blow for McCarthy is that keeper Ben Foster will be fit for tomorrow's opponents Birmingham. WATCHING Mark Williams float around the Crucible yesterday, coaxing, cajoling and sometimes bullying balls into submission, it was impossible to believe that he was on the verge of slipping into snooker obscurity just three years ago. Williams leads John Higgins 9-7 and appears poised to make it a hat-trick of World Championship semi-final victories over the Scot. Only Ronnie O'Sullivan can match Williams's talent for making this technically taxing sport look so ridiculously easy. There is no fuss about his game, no need for trick shots or tactical escapes back to the baulk cushion in order to nick frames away from his opponent. The Williams motif is to see a ball, pot it, see another one, pot that. When you have potted enough to win a frame, try to do the same in the next frame. If the other bloke can match you, good luck to him. The simplicity of it is compelling. How extraordinary, then, that back in 2008 when, at 33, he ought to have been in his prime, he began to lose against players not fit to chalk his cue. There was Simon Bedford, a journeyman who never once made it to the last 16 of a ranking event in his entire career, who knocked him out of the 2008 Grand Prix in Glasgow. A year later came the lowest, most humiliating moment of all at the Welsh Open in Newport. Playing at a venue which is less than 20 miles away from Williams's home in the village of Cwm next to Ebbw Vale, he slumped to a 5-1 defeat against David Gilbert, a player who was so unsuccessful that he was forced to supplement his snooker income by planting potatoes and working in his father's forestry business. The root cause of Williams's demise had been an acrimonious split early in 2008 from the 110 Sport management company, which also looked after Stephen Hendry. Williams believed he was not being sufficiently well rewarded for his achievements. Suddenly, the future looked less secure. He lost motivation and confidence. He practised less and played worse. Slipping to 47 in the provisional world rankings, it seemed that nothing could reverse the decline. He needed a new challenge, a fresh focus. He found one by buying a snooker centre in Tredegar in his native South Wales, giving himself new surroundings in which to practise and, with them, a new start. By the time he won the 2010 China Open, he was practising hard again. Even when he allowed Higgins to snatch the UK Championship final away from him last December, there was no longer any reason to fear for him. The drama of the past fortnight in Sheffield was largely left to others before yesterday's technicolour explosion. Breaks of 115 and 103 eased him into an 8-5 lead and by the sixth frame of the afternoon, he was taunting Higgins, toying with him by compiling early points in the frame and then leaving him in impossible positions. Higgins, who has stuttered uncharacteristically through this championship, was in disarray and was forced to dredge every last ounce of belief from deep inside himself to take the final two frames of the session and retain a chance of victory. It has been a difficult year for the Scot, beginning with the folly of allowing himself to be caught on camera discussing the unseemly business of throwing frames for money, his subsequent six-month suspension and then the death of his father, John Snr, from cancer in February. For Higgins, barring a recovery in this match, there will be happier times ahead. For Williams, May was always guaranteed to be a happy month, given that he flies to Cancun to get married to his long-term partner Joanne. It appears increasingly likely that he will do so as master of his craft once again.