British Queen celebrates

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Energy giant E.ON is to cut 500 jobs in its UK support functions to reflect the "changed nature of the business" following the sale of its distribution arm earlier this year.

The company said it is seeking up to 500 voluntary redundancies, likely to impact mainly at its head office in Coventry and other sites near Nottingham.

The announcement follows the sale of E.ON's distribution arm, Central Networks, in March and the subsequent concentration on the customer-facing business.

Chief executive Paul Golby said: "We had to undertake a deep and rigorous review of how much money we spend in order to ensure we keep costs as low as possible for our customers, become a more agile organisation and build a sustainable business in the UK.



The prison population in England and Wales has reached a record high for the second week in a row.

The total number of prisoners hit 87,120 - 278 higher than last week's record high of 86,842 and about 1,600 short of the usable operational capacity of 88,747, Ministry of Justice figures showed.

The rising prison population has been fuelled by tough sentences for those involved in last month's riots, with more offenders than usual being held on remand, but the Government has insisted there will be enough jail places for anyone sentenced to custody as a result of the violence and looting.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "We are managing an unprecedented situation and all the staff involved should be commended for their dedication and hard work during this difficult time.

"We currently have enough prison places for those being remanded and sentenced to custody as a result of public disorder. We are developing contingencies to increase usable capacity should further pressure be placed on the prison estate."

No places are currently activated under Operation Safeguard, which would involve using cells at police stations as accommodation for prisoners.

Other contingency plans could involve bringing on new accommodation early, using extra places in the public and private estate, or reopening mothballed accommodation.


Parts of England are facing dangerously high shortages of midwives as Britain's birthrate rockets, according to a professional body.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said that while there are shortfalls across the country, some areas are worse than others, putting mothers and babies at risk.

Midwife numbers have not kept pace with the birthrate in England, which has risen 22% in the past two decades, an RCM report has claimed.

Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged by the RCM to honour his pre-election pledge to recruit more midwives.

The report said 4,700 more midwives are needed across England to keep up with added pressures, such as growing numbers of obese and older pregnant women.

Their figures showed the North East and North West had a shortfall of less than 10% while the East Midlands and East of England needed 41% more midwives, it was reported. Meanwhile, the South East was said to be more than a third short of staff.


NHS hospitals are making money by charging "ambulance chasing" lawyers fees to advertise in accident and emergency departments, former justice secretary Jack Straw told MPs.

He said 70 trusts had been paid a total of £2 million over the past five years as he attacked the "grubby" personal injury claims industry.

Mr Straw revealed proposals to clamp down on the compensation culture which he said had led to soaring motor insurance premiums.

The Government has already accepted one of his key demands by promising to ban the payment of referral fees in personal injury cases.

"In the last year alone there has been a 40% increase in the average premiums paid by Britain's motorists to insure their cars," Mr Straw said. "The principal factor behind these rocketing premiums has been a extraordinary increase in both the number and value of claims for personal injuries."

However the number of accidents had decreased and the increase had been "artificially generated by a new industry, unheard of 20 years ago, a claims industry with, I'm afraid, the complicity of the insurance companies themselves".


Family members of the first fallen British serviceman to be repatriated since ceremonies ended in Wootton Bassett were "overwhelmed" as they were joined by thousands of people in Oxfordshire.

The body of Sergeant Barry Weston, 40, of 42 Commando, was flown to RAF Brize Norton.

The Royal Marine, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, was the first serviceman to be repatriated to the airbase since flights resumed on September 1. They were moved to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, in April 2007 when Brize Norton was closed for runway repairs.

The quiet and humble way in which Wootton Bassett turned out to honour the fallen won a place in the hearts of the British public.

On Thursday, the Oxfordshire townsfolk of Carterton emulated the respect shown in Wootton Bassett as they stood silently and bowed their heads. Forty standards were lowered opposite a purpose-built memorial garden in which the Union flag from Wootton Bassett was hung at half mast.


David Cameron is poised to allow some court sentencing to be televised, it has been reported.

Broadcasting from courts in tightly controlled circumstances is being looked at by the Government after renewed calls from broadcasters.

The Prime Minister will unveil plans to allow cameras in court for judges' sentencing of offenders, according to The Guardian.

On Monday evening a spokesman for Number 10 repeated a statement made on Sunday by the Ministry of Justice which said: "We are considering proposals put forward by broadcasters to allow limited recording and transmission from courts in specific circumstances.

"However, before any firm proposals are developed, the Lord Chancellor will wish to consult on the principle of broadcasting from court with the senior judiciary."

Sky News, which has been campaigning for cameras in court, quoted its own sources saying cameras would be allowed in courts for some elements.


Travel advice website TripAdvisor is being investigated by the advertising watchdog over allegations that not all its reviews are genuine.

A formal complaint was lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over TripAdvisor's claim that it publishes "reviews you can trust".

The allegation is that some of the reviews may not be "real or genuine", an ASA spokesman said.

The Ministry of Defence wrote off more than £110 million in losses last year, including the cost of settling a dispute over furniture and donating helmets and body armour to Uganda.

The department's annual accounts also show that some £10.2 million of spending in 2010/11 was counted as "fruitless payments".

The losses come as the MoD is facing 17,000 job losses due to massive cuts in its £34 billion budget following the strategic defence and security review (SDSR).

The write-offs include a £1.7 million out-of-court settlement with a furniture company at the end of a contract.

A crash involving a warhead at the Naval Air Warfare Centre in China Lake, California, cost more than £1 million. The grounding of HMS Astute in Skye last October is expected to cost another £2.3 million, the accounts show.

This year's losses also include a "gift" of fibre glass helmets and body armour to the Ugandan government. It cost almost £1.7 million. Just over £57 million was written off as "constructive losses" - mainly cancelled projects.


Police have arrested a 61-year-old man over online threats against Tory MP Louise Mensch.

The Metropolitan Police said the man was arrested in Gloucester in connection with an investigation into "malicious communication and threats made via email and a social networking site".

Mrs Mensch claimed earlier this week that "morons" had threatened her children by email.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the police central e-crime unit and officers from the Palace of Westminster had been involved in the arrest.

The spokesman said "The 61-year-old was arrested at an address in the Gloucester area on suspicion of sending malicious communication.



The Malaysian student mugged by yobs posing as Good Samaritans during the riots has been given VIP treatment at the Badminton World Championships.

Ashraf Rossli, 20, who was rushed to hospital with a broken jaw after being set upon less than a month after arriving in Britain, was invited to the event at Wembley Arena as the guest of honour by London & Partners, on behalf of London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The grinning student - with his family who have flown from Ampang, near Kuala Lumpur, to be with their son after the incident - met Mr Johnson at the event. Sporting a Malaysian team T-shirt, Mr Rossli also met Malaysian player Lee Chong Wei, who lost out in his bid to claim the men's badminton world title.

This week, shocked members of the public have raised more than £22,000 for the student through the "Let's Do Something Nice For Ashraf" fund.

Mr Rossli, who is studying accountancy at Kaplan International College in north London, was robbed by hooded youths who initially pretended to help him before going through his rucksack, stealing his mobile phone, portable Sony PlayStation and wallet in Barking, east London on Monday night.