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Shirley Williams, Lib Dem Peer And Former Cabinet Minister, Dies Aged 90

The former cabinet minister and Lib Dem peer Baroness Shirley Williams has died aged 90. In an announcement on Monday, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said it was “heartbreaking for me and for our whole Liberal Democrat family”. Williams was one of the disenchanted ex-Labour cabinet ministers who became the gang of four founders of the breakaway and short-lived Social Democratic Party (SDP). As a Labour minister, Lady Williams, served in the governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the 1970s rising to become education secretary. Throughout her political career, both in the Labour Party and subsequently the SDP and then the Lib Dems, Williams was a passionate pro-European. Davey said: “Shirley has been an inspiration to millions, a...

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How Can A Government That Spends Billions On Mass Testing Quibble Over Helping The Low Paid?

You’re reading The Waugh Zone, our daily politics briefing. Sign up now to get it by email in the evening. When politicians appear to defend the bureaucracy of a system rather than the needs of the public, they can sound tone deaf. When that defence involves matters of life and death, they risk coming across as robotic at best, callous at worst.‌ So it’s not hard to imagine that if Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford were a Tory minister, he would have got a right royal kicking from Labour. Why? Well, Drakeford tried to defend the lower vaccination rate in Wales by arguing that it would be “logistically very damaging” to try to use up all its stocks of the...

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'Go To The Office Or Get Sacked’ Government Briefing Sparks Backlash

The government has backed away from suggestions that workers would be vulnerable to the sack if they continue to work from home amid a backlash. Labour said it “beggars belief” that the government was “threatening people” during the coronavirus pandemic and asking them to “choose between their health and their job” as part of Boris Johnson’s drive to get workers back to the office. It came after an unnamed government source told the Telegraph that workers need to be “alert” and that it could be “problematic” if bosses “are only seeing workers once a fortnight”. “Suddenly the word ‘restructure’ is bandied about and people who have been working from home find themselves in the most vulnerable position,” the source added....

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