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Support for eurosceptic UKIP hits 20%, Tories slip

Support for the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) has spiked to 20 percent while Britain's ruling Conservatives have hit their lowest rating this year, according to a poll published Sunday. The ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers showed Nigel Farage's UKIP up four points since last month to achieve its highest ever result in a poll by the consultancy. Support for the Conservatives was down 3 percent at 29 percent, the poll showed.

Scottish leader urges voters to put aside politics for independence

By Belinda Goldsmith ABERDEEN, Scotland (Reuters) - First Minister Alex Salmond on Saturday urged Scots to look beyond party politics and break the 307-year union with England when they vote in an independence referendum in September. Closing the Scottish National Party's (SNP) last conference before the ballot on September 18, Salmond said a vote for independence was not a vote for his party or for him, but a way to put Scotland's future in its own hands.

Referendum is about Scotland, not SNP: first minister

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond will seek to set aside party politics on Saturday as he appeals to Labour voters to back independence in the nation's forthcoming referendum, insisting the priority is the future of Scotland. Speaking at his Scottish National Party's final conference before the historic vote on September 18, Salmond will say that all parties will be involved in negotiating the break with the United Kingdom in the event of a "yes" vote.

Scotland's SNP hold final conference before independence vote

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond opened the Scottish National Party's spring conference on Friday, urging delegates to seize "the opportunity of a lifetime" in September's independence referendum. Speaking in Scotland's oil capital Aberdeen, the SNP leader told party members that they had the chance to achieve a "prosperous, just society" by voting "yes" in the ballot on September 18.

Scottish nationalists mark 160-day countdown to independence vote

By Belinda Goldsmith ABERDEEN, Scotland (Reuters) - Despite a drumbeat of warnings from businessmen, financiers and British government officials that an independent Scotland would be doomed to failure, Scottish nationalists go into their spring conference this weekend with banners flying and polls showing support for their dream is gathering pace.

UK's Cameron says rivals' views on Europe 'extremist'

By Kylie MacLellan and William James LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron described rival parties' views on the European Union as "extremist" on Thursday as he launched his bid to ward off a threat from an anti-EU party ahead of European Parliament elections. Polls show the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which campaigns for tighter immigration rules and to leave the EU, could win the most votes in next month's European vote, pushing Cameron's Conservatives into third place behind the opposition Labour Party.

British culture minister quits over expenses claims

British culture minister Maria Miller, an ally of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, was forced to quit her post on Wednesday following a row over her parliamentary expenses. Miller, who oversaw the legalisation of gay marriage and new plans to regulate the press, said she feared she had become a "distraction" for voters ahead of European and local elections next month.

British culture minister quits over expenses claims

Maria Miller, the minister who oversaw future regulation of Britain's newspapers, quit her cabinet post on Wednesday following a row over expenses linked to a mortgage. Miller said she took "full responsibility" for her decision to stand down as culture secretary, saying she feared she had become a "distraction" for voters who are set to go to the polls in European elections next month.

Independent Scotland will face dearer energy: UK govt

Scotland's households and businesses would face higher energy bills if Scots vote in favour of independence from the rest of Britain, the British government warned Wednesday. With six months to go until the landmark vote on September 18 that could force an end to Scotland's 300-year union with England, the coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron published a paper warning of a hike in energy charges.

UK's Cameron promotes Javid to cabinet, names Morgan to Treasury job

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron appointed former banker Sajid Javid as the country's new culture minister, replacing Maria Miller who resigned earlier on Wednesday over an expenses scandal. Javid, considered a rising star in the Conservative Party, has served since last year as financial secretary to the Treasury.
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