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Archive for September 22nd, 2009

Baroness Scotland to fight illegal staff inquiry

Independent: Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the Attorney General, will come out fighting to clear her name today over employing an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper.

The UK Border Agency, which reports the findings of its investigation into the affair to the Home Office today, is understood to have uncovered evidence that a passport was doctored.

Lady Scotland is fighting to save her job after the revelation that she employed a Tongan cleaner who had overstayed her student visa by five years. She sacked Loloahi Tapui last week, before her status became public, and asked the agency to look into the matter.

If the Attorney General did not carry out sufficient checks, she could face a £10,000 fine under the 2006 Asylum Immigration and Nationality Act, which she helped to push through parliament. She will say today that in January she was shown documents which stated that Ms Tapui was entitled to remain and work in Britain.

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Supreme Court will give a peep into the land of the obscure

Times: It is a supreme irony that two of the first cases before the new Supreme Court will be veiled in secrecy — for its main selling point was that it would enable justice to be seen to be done.

The highest court in the land will emerge from its hidden corridor in the recesses of the House of Lords and take its place in a newly refurbished building in Parliament Square full of plate glass to bring light on the proceedings.

People will be able to find it and they will be able to watch the justices at work. As Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the court’s President, put it earlier this year: “The public will be welcomed and justice will be seen to be done very much more easily than it is at the moment.”

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Music industry talks break down in illegal downloading row

Times: The music industry dispute over illegal downloading intensified yesterday after talks between record labels and a rebel group of artists broke down.

The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) has spent a week in talks with record labels such as Sony and EMI, who back plans by Lord Mandelson to disconnect internet users who persistently download music illegally.

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Lloyds Bank faces allegations of tax evasion

Times: Investigation by HM Revenue & Customs follows undercover filming in Jersey office of the part-nationalised bank

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Top commercial lawyers forced to slash rates

Times: The “magic circle” has lost some of its power: average hourly rates for London’s top commercial lawyers fell by a third last year as law firms offered substantial discounts after competition intensified in the downturn.

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Voters believe Labour is not telling truth about public finances – poll

Guardian: Guardian/ICM poll records 17-point Tory lead over Labour – second highest since series began in 1984

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Cabinet split over election-day referendum on voting reform

Guardian:

• Pressure mounting on Brown to delay proposal
• Clegg says antipathy to PM would ensure rejection

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