Saturday News Review

Woolas woes

The former immigration minister Phil Woolas was ejected from parliament today after two high court judges ruled that he lied about his Liberal Democrat opponent during the general election, in a judgment that is likely to have profound implications for all future campaigns.

Woolas claimed the ruling – which also triggered a byelection and barred him from standing again for three years – would “chill political speech”, but the Lib Dem who challenged his 103 majority welcomed the decision, saying lying should play no part in democratic elections. – Guardian

Two High Court judges made the historic decision to overturn the result of May’s ballot in Mr Woolas’s constituency, the first such ruling for 99 years, and order a by-election. The ruling means Mr Woolas will be barred from standing for public office for three years, and he could face criminal charges after a file on the case was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. – Telegraph

Prescott… no, Farrelly

Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said he became embroiled in the brawl in a House of Commons corridor after chastising Bjorn Hurrell, a newspaper vendor, for being “lary” at the Sport and Social Club bar. The 48-year-old said he acted in self defence after Mr Hurrell, 46, followed him outside the pub and attempted to “land a haymaker” on him. “Like John Prescott a few years ago, I was under attack and I took steps to ensure he couldn’t punch me again,” Mr Farrelly said. – Telegraph

Nice one Nigel

Nigel Farage has launched an attack on Prime Minister David Cameron as he returned as leader of the UK Independence Party. The MEP and former leader beat David Campbell Bannerman, Tim Congdon and Winston McKenzie in the members’ ballot. Mr Farage, who received more than 60% of the vote, used his acceptance speech to criticise the Government and call on disillusioned voters to switch to UKIP. He said the Conservatives’ policy in Europe could be summed up as: “Surrender, surrender, surrender.” – Sky News

Mr Farage, who led UKIP from 2006 to 2009, took just over 60% of votes in a ballot of party members. He beat fellow MEP David Campbell-Bannerman, economist Tim Congdon and former boxer Winston McKenzie. He will take over from Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who stood down after only nine months in the job. The leader of the party in the European Parliament, Mr Farage was injured in a light aircraft crash on 6 May – the day of the general election. – BBC News

Calamity Clegg

Students have called on Nick Clegg to attend a rally next week against tuition fees and funding cuts, to explain his U-turn on lifting the cap. The Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats signed a pledge before the general election promising to vote against any fee hike. But the coalition government confirmed on Wednesday that from 2012, students would be charged up to £9,000 per year for a university education. Next Wednesday, students and lecturers will take part in a march through Westminster, followed by a demonstration, in protest against higher education funding cuts and plans to triple fees. – Press Association

C’mon Labour

Labour gained two marginal seats from Conservatives in the latest council by-elections. Its candidate Jenny Millin won at Moredon in Swindon Borough giving a morale boost to the party in a town where it lost both its parliamentary seats in the General Election. Analysis of five comparable results, with all three major parties standing both times, suggests a projected nationwide line-up of C 38.4%, Lab 38.2%, Lib Dem 13.5%. – Independent

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