Saturday News Review

No You Can’t – Clegg snubbed by Obama

The White House has turned down a request for Nick Clegg to have a one-to-one meeting with Barack Obama when he visits Britain this week. Aides to the Deputy Prime Minister tried to secure an audience and a photo opportunity with the President as part of his first state visit to Britain. Mr Obama is due to meet the Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband for an hour at Buckingham Palace, so the Liberal Democrats had hoped that the White House would agree to a similar meeting with Mr Clegg. However government sources said the request has been turned down by Washington. It is understood they felt that as President it would not be appropriate for him to have a one-to-one meeting with a Deputy Prime Minister. Mr Clegg will meet Mr Obama – but at all times David Cameron will be in the room. – the Independent

New cases come forward in hacking investigation

Actor Jude Law and Labour MP Chris Bryant are now among the first people who will have their legal action against the News of the Worldover alleged phone hacking heard by the high court. The court also heard allegations that a senior News of the World executive, who was not named, had ordered private detective Glenn Mulcaire to hack into Jude Law’s phone. News Group Newspapers, the publisher of the News of the World, denied this was the case. The pair are the newest names to be included among five test cases chosen by high court judge Mr Justice Vos, also including former Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray, agent Sky Andrew and interior designer Kelly Hoppen… A secondary list of five claimants has also been drawn up in the event that further people drop out. They include comedian Steve Coogan, former footballer Paul Gascoigne, Max Clifford’s former assistant Nicola Phillips, ex-MP George Galloway and Mary-Ellen Field, former adviser to model Elle Macpherson. – the Guardian

Labour puts pressure on the government over equality

Labour MPs are attempting to set up a powerful parliamentary committee to vet government policy for discriminatory effects on women, claiming that the coalition has a “blind spot” when it comes to equal opportunities. Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, said the justice secretary Kenneth Clarke’s controversial comments on rape this week betrayed a lack of understanding of gender issues across the government, and that there needed to be a democratic institution to act as a safeguard for women’s rights. Cooper and Fiona Mactaggart, the shadow minister for women and equalities, will meet voluntary organisations to unveil the plans. The idea is attracting support from both sides of the house. It comes amid mounting concern about the impact of government policies on women, and a furious debate over some of the language used by senior Conservatives in recent weeks, not least the prime minister’s now infamous “Calm down dear” comment. – the Guardian

Huhne “can’t remember” night in question

Chris Huhne will tell police that he has no recollection of his movements on the night he was allegedly caught speeding, but he will insist to detectives that he did not ask his wife to take the penalty points on his behalf. The Energy Secretary will be questioned by detectives next week over allegations that he allowed Vicky Pryce to take the punishment after he was caught speeding while driving back from Stansted Airport on March 12 2003. But he will tell detectives that he has no memory of what he did on that day, despite the fact that official records show that he was in the European Parliament in Strasbourg until the afternoon and was likely to have taken a flight which landed at Stansted at 10.23pm that night. This weekend Mr Huhne is braced for further revelations from his estranged wife about the alleged speeding offence. Michael Fallon, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said he should step aside if he is charged by police. – the Telegraph

MPs to debate privacy laws

MPs of all parties are set to force a Commons debate on super-injunctions amid universal complaints that the privacy rules are in chaos. They are being backed by Downing Street, which has warned that a privacy law has been effectively established through a series of court judgments. The move is being led by the former shadow home secretary, David Davis, who hopes to secure the debate next month. Mr Davis and other MPs yesterday condemned Lord Neuberger’s warning that reports of comments made in Parliament designed to break injunctions could still be in contempt of court. They warned Parliament needs to assert its authority over judges over the use of super-injunctions. The issue came to a head when the Liberal Democrat MP, John Hemming, disclosed Sir Fred Goodwin had taken out a super-injunction and a Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Stoneham, told peers that the RBS boss had been having an affair with a “senior colleague”. – the Independent

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