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British culture minister 'devastated' by expenses spat

Britain's Culture Secretary Maria Miller said Tuesday she was "devastated" by the furore over her expenses, as Prime Minister David Cameron faced increasing pressure to change course and sack her. Breaking her silence after nearly a week of excoriating press attacks, Miller admitted she had let people down. Her apology came after a fellow Conservative minister appeared to criticise Miller publicly and a prominent party backbencher said he was "surprised" she was still in her job, which includes overseeing a new system of press regulation.

UK minister slams concentration of privilege in government

British Prime Minister David Cameron's education minister on Friday condemned the concentration of privilege in the government, saying it was "ridiculous" that so many of the premier's inner circle went to the elite Eton school. Education Secretary Michael Gove, a member of Cameron's Conservative party who himself attended a private school in Scotland, said the situation was unique among developed nations.

British immigration minister resigns over illegal cleaner

LONDON (Reuters) - British immigration minister Mark Harper has resigned after discovering a cleaner he employed was not legally allowed to work in the country, Prime Minister David Cameron's office said on Saturday. The issue will be an embarrassment for Cameron's Conservative-led government which has pledged to bring down the number of immigrants to below 100,000 a year by 2015.

British immigration minister quits over illegal cleaner

Britain's immigration minister resigned on Saturday after it emerged that he had employed a cleaner who was in the country illegally, Prime Minister David Cameron's office said. Downing Street said there was no suggestion Mark Harper, a junior minister in the Home Office, knew the cleaner was an illegal immigrant, adding that the woman had given him false papers. Harper had been overseeing the passage of new immigration laws, a key issue for Cameron's Conservative party ahead of elections in May 2015.

British policeman jailed for 12 months over 'Plebgate' scandal

A British policeman was jailed for 12 months on Thursday after he falsely claimed to have witnessed a row over a bicycle at Prime Minister David Cameron's residence that brought down a government minister. Police constable Keith Wallis, 53, a member of Scotland Yard's elite diplomatic protection squad, was sentenced by a judge at the Old Bailey court in London a month after he pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office.

UKIP councillor blames gay marriage for British floods

A local councillor for the anti-immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP) has blamed recent storms and floods across Britain on the government's decision to legalise gay marriage, it emerged on Saturday. David Silvester, who defected from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party in protest at the move to allow same-sex couples to marry, made the claim in a letter to his local newspaper.

Britain's Prince Harry ditches helicopters for desk job

Britain's Prince Harry is to quit flying army Apache helicopters and take up a desk job organising commemorative military events, Kensington Palace said Friday. Captain Wales, as he is known in the military, served in Afghanistan as an Apache co-pilot gunner during his three years with the Army Air Corps. Kensington Palace said in a statement that 29-year-old Harry "has completed his attachment to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps and will now take up a Staff Officer role".

British anti-EU party ahead of Conservatives in Europe vote: poll

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives are set to finish behind the anti-EU UK Independence Party in an election to the European Parliament, putting them on course to finish third in a nationwide poll for the first time, a poll showed. The YouGov survey for the Sun newspaper found 26 percent of respondents would vote for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the May European election with 23 percent backing the Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party leading on 32 percent.

Return the treasures Britain looted, Chinese tell Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron faced demands for the return of priceless artefacts looted from Beijing in the 19th century on Wednesday, the last day of his visit to China. Cameron travelled to the southwestern city of Chengdu on the third day of what embassy officials said was the largest ever British trade mission to the country. British officials say 5.6 billion pounds ($9.2 billion) worth of deals have been signed so far on the trip, but Cameron has been derided by both Chinese state-run media and the country's sharp-tongued Internet users.

Britain's Cameron urged to seek 'red card' to scrap EU laws

By Peter Griffiths LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron should push for new powers for European Union member states to repeal existing laws across the bloc as part of his EU reform drive, an influential group of lawmakers in his Conservative Party said on Thursday. Fresh Start, which is backed by more than 100 Conservative members of parliament and has close links to senior ministers, said the EU must return some powers to national governments as part of wider changes or risk "terminal decline".
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