UK News: Bid to clear backlog led to asylum 'amnesty'

A CHANGE in guidance for border officials created an "amnesty" for asylum seekers, MPs have said.

The UK Border Agency's target of clearing a backlog of 450,000 cases "seems to have been achieved largely through increasing resort to grants of permission to stay", the Home Affairs Select Committee said.

NHS reform 'can change'

HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley today said he was ready to accept "substantial and significant" changes to his NHS reform plans.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Mr Lansley insisted that sticking with the status quo was "not an option". Without change, the NHS faces "enormous financial pressures", he warned.

Downing Street gives care home reassurances

THE Government has moved to bolster confidence in the care of Britain's most vulnerable people after the nation's biggest residential home operator said it faced a financial crisis and a probe was launched into alleged abuse of patients at a private hospital for people with learning difficulties.

Downing Street gave a guarantee that 31,000 elderly residents of Southern Cross would not "lose out" as the care home chain warned it was in a "critical financial condition".

Call to decriminalise drugs

DAME Judi Dench and Sir Richard Branson have called for the Government to consider decriminalising drugs as its current policy was condemned as a failure.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy warned that major policy reforms were needed to reduce the prison population. It comes as Justice Secretary Ken Clarke plans to divert more people with drug problems into treatment.

Wogan offers some PG tips

SIR Terry Wogan is to host a documentary about one of Britain's best-loved comedy writers, PG Wodehouse.

The Radio 2 presenter has been a long-time admirer of the creator of Jeeves and Wooster. The programme is to be screened on BBC2.

Leeds: A review is to be launched into the care of a six-year-old boy who died after plunging from the eighth floor of a tower block. Officials said they would investigate the circumstances of the death of Liam Shackleton, who fell from the window of a flat in Leeds on Tuesday. Police last night released a woman, two men and a teenage girl, arrested on suspicion of neglect.

Cumbria: A two-minute silence was to be held today to mark the first anniversary of the West Cumbria shootings in which taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people before he turned his gun on himself.

Related topics: