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May 11 - 17 2011
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μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μSupplement CENTRE PAGES
μExpat Life PAGES 26-28
Jo Yeates killing Dutch neighbour Vincent Tabak pleads guilty to manslaughter
Tomlinson inquest jury verdict The man pushed by Pc at G20 protests was unlawfully killed
WORLD NEWS P14
Syria violence Assad regime accused of opening fire on female marchers
WORLD NEWS P15
Libyan diplomats expelled Hague urges Nato to step up attacks as Gaddafi mourns son
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There was one winner of Saturday’s £4.6m jackpot and one winner of Wednesday’s £1.8m prize
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By Andrew Porter NICK CLEGG has threatened to derail the Coalition’s plans to shake up the NHS unless he gets concessions to suit the Liberal Democrats, despite having fully endorsed the proposals just months ago.
The Deputy Prime Minister said in January that he was behind the plans to “put patients right at the centre of the NHS”, but now claims he will not ask his party to back a “revolution” in the health service.
Mr Clegg also signed the NHS White Paper and not a single Lib Dem voted against it in its first reading. David Cameron is allowing him to rip up the Health Bill as part of a deal to shore up the Coalition, risking a Cabinet split with Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, who this week looked a likely scapegoat.
The Conservatives believe they have engineered a deal that saves Mr Clegg’s face with his party after devastating election results last week, and solves the Prime Minister’s problem with the NHS reforms.
The Prime Minister was resigned to changing parts of the Health Bill, announcing a “pause” last month.
Allowing Mr Clegg to claim some credit is part of a Downing Street strategy to help Mr Cameron’s deputy. Mr Lansley may find his own position difficult if Mr Clegg gets his way in delaying the timetable for changes in the way GPs operate. He could find himself the victim of a reshuffle next year, although Mr Cameron has so far remained fiercely loyal.
Mr Clegg, whose party lost hundreds of council seats and saw its proposals for the alternative vote election system rejected, will spend the coming weeks trying to show his MPs and peers that he intends to get more concessions from Mr Cameron, starting with the Health Bill. He said: “As far as government legislation is concerned, no Bill is better than a bad one and I want to get this right.
“Getting these changes right, protecting the NHS not undermining it, is my number one priority.”
He added: “I am not going to ask Liberal Democrat MPs and peers to proceed with legislation on something as precious and cherished … as the NHS unless I personally am satisfied that what these changes do is an evolutionary change in the NHS and not a disruptive revolution.”
That threat to block the Bill will be taken very seriously by the Health Secretary. It was pointed out by his allies that in January, Mr Clegg had said he was fully behind the health reforms. He told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One that “funnily enough” many of the reforms were actually in the last Lib Dem manifesto, including scrapping primary care trusts and strategic health authorities.
The reforms, the most fundamental in the history of the NHS, were disclosed last July. Some Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs argued that they went against claims in the Coalition agreement that said there would be no “top-down” shake-up of the health service.
But Mr Clegg brushed this aside in his January interview and said the Government would “make sure that patients are right at the centre of the NHS; that their wishes and their needs are the guiding principle of the decisions that are taken”.
Election in full: Page 4
Jemima Khan denied taking out a super injunction to stop the publication of pictures of herself and Jeremy Clarkson
Gagging order? Not me, says Khan
By Steven Swinford
JEMIMA KHAN on Sunday denied she had taken out a super injunction to prevent publication of intimate pictures of herself and Jeremy Clarkson.
The socialite was named on Twitter alongside a host of other celebrities who, it was claimed, had taken out draconian gagging orders to prevent details of their private lives emerging. Miss Khan defended herself on the social networking website, denying that either the injunction or the pictures of her with the Top Gear presenter existed.
“I have no super injunction and I had dinner with Jeremy and his wife last night. Twitter, Stop!” she wrote.
Her denial came just days after Gaby Logan, the sports presenter, hit back at “devastating and hurtful” internet rumours that she had obtained a super injunction to prevent details emerging of an affair with Alan Shearer, the former international footballer. She said she was a “faithful wife”.
Critics have claimed that super injunctions are ineffective because sites like Twitter are outside British legal jurisdiction and the information is widely available on the internet.
The latest denials will also cause concern that innocent victims who are being named on the internet are powerless to defend themselves because of the terms of the orders.
By Tim Ross PUBLIC sector workers receive more than 40 per cent extra in pay and pensions than their counterparts in private companies, as state wages spiral “hugely out of control”, according to a report.
The six million state employees have increased their advantage over workers in the private sector since the start of the recession.
In every region of Britain, except Yorkshire, the gap in pay between public and private employees widened between 2008 and 2010, with the largest gulf in Wales and the North West, according to the study from Policy Exchange, a think tank.
When calculated on an hourly basis, the typical state employee earns up to 35 per cent more than his counterpart in the private sector, the report finds. But when the more generous pensions for state employees are taken into account, the advantage rises to 43 per cent.
Only at the very top of the scale, where the highest earners include bankers, footballers and television stars, do private sector salaries outstrip those in the state professions.
The researchers said that, on current rates, public sector pay would need to be frozen until 2018 before workers in private companies would catch up. The study called for an end to national pay bargaining from unions and urged the Government to allow more flexibility to reward key workers, such as accident and emergency staff, in parts of the country facing shortages.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, is attempting to restrain public sector pay with a two-year freeze and moves to reform pensions.
Based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, the Policy Exchange study found that public sector workers received significantly higher pay than those in private firms for doing exactly the same work.
For example, the report says that primary school teachers in state education typically earned £33,140 after banking a pay rise of 2.1 per cent, compared with a 12 per cent pay cut for the same job in a private school, where the average salary was £21,159 in 2010.
A middle-earning worker in a private company earns an hourly rate of £10.06, but someone doing the same job in the public sector earns £13.54, the figures show.
Even on a conservative estimate, the gap between private and public sector pay has doubled since the start of the recession two years ago.
The lowest estimates, which take account of the higher qualifications and older workers in the public sector, put the gap at 8.8 per cent.