Asa Bennett
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Asa Bennett is the business reporter for the Huffington Post UK

Entries by Asa Bennett

George Osborne's Big Budget Tax Cut Has Labour Feeling Uneasy

(121) Comments | Posted 5 March 2015 | (13:56)

George Osborne is reportedly preparing to raid pension savings to fund a pre-election tax cut for working Britons, in a move which has senior Labour figures on edge.

The chancellor is expected to raise the level at which national insurance is paid in his Budget, in...

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Tony Blair Gives Labour £106,000 In Bid To Help Ed Miliband

(24) Comments | Posted 5 March 2015 | (13:17)

Tony Blair has given the Labour party more than £100,000 in a bid to silence suggestions that he is not fully behind Ed Miliband's campaign.

The former prime minister, who has frequently been forced to deny reports that he is sceptical about Miliband's leadership,...

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MPs Want Mumsnet To Help Recruit Spies, Their Users Respond Hilariously

(5) Comments | Posted 5 March 2015 | (10:46)

Users of Mumsnet have mocked MPs' suggestion that the parenting website could be a good recruiting agent for the nation's intelligence agencies.

After studying the diversity of Britain's spy agencies, Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee concluded that MI5, MI6 and GCHQ could use portals like

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Nigel Farage And Steven Woolfe At Odds Over Ukip's Stance On Terminally Ill Immigrants

(143) Comments | Posted 4 March 2015 | (20:47)

Nigel Farage has been awkwardly undermined by his own migration spokesman after saying the party would ban immigrants with "life-threatening" illnesses coming to Britain.

This comes just hours after Steven Woolfe, a Ukip MEP, was publicly humiliated by Farage after he dropped the...

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Nigel Farage Has Just Dumped Ukip's Immigration Target

(124) Comments | Posted 4 March 2015 | (13:26)

Nigel Farage has back-flipped on imposing "arbitrary targets" on immigration, despite Ukip previously advocating a cap on people coming to Britain for employment.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph ahead of Wednesday's major speech on an "ethical" visa system, the Ukip leader wrote that targets would "only...

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Tory Minister Nick Boles Slams Iain Duncan Smith's 'Inhuman' Benefit Sanctions

(81) Comments | Posted 3 March 2015 | (18:03)

A senior Conservative minister has risked opening up a party rift after lashing out at the “inhuman” application of benefit sanctions, a regime overseen by Iain Duncan Smith.

Business minister Nick Boles, a close ally of David Cameron, also told constituents that the way sanctions...

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George Osborne's Budget Will Be Great Say Tories, But Lib Dems Aren't Quite So Keen

(5) Comments | Posted 3 March 2015 | (13:45)

George Osborne's last Budget statement before the general election will mean "great things, jubilation, excitement and further progress" for Britain, a Tory minister has said.

Business minister Matthew Hancock, who is seen as close to the chancellor, gave the markedly chirpy assessment after the Huffington Post...

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Tory Minister Says Prosecuting Firms Paying Below Minimum Wage Is 'Envy'

(54) Comments | Posted 3 March 2015 | (09:22)

A Tory minister has come under fire after dismissing calls to prosecute more firms that pay staff below the minimum wage as being motivated by "envy".

Business minister George Freeman made the controversial defence after admitting to MPs on Monday afternoon that only nine firms had been taken to court...

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Michael Sheen Tears Into NHS Cuts In Blistering Speech

(135) Comments | Posted 2 March 2015 | (18:38)

Michael Sheen has savaged "bland" politicians for cutting the NHS as he urged crowds to fight to stop the health service from being systematically "undermined".

Speaking on Sunday in Tredegar, the birthplace of NHS founder Aneurin Bevan, the Newport-born Hollywood actor accused politicians of "sniffing around for markets...

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David Cameron Urged By Tories To Forge 'Minimalist' Links With EU

(30) Comments | Posted 2 March 2015 | (14:14)

David Cameron needs to forge a "minimalist" relationship for the UK with the European Union, a senior Tory MP has argued, warning that the political bloc is "too costly politically and economically".

Brian Binley, member of the Commons business committee, also said the government should calculate the true...

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George Osborne's Austerity Plan Isn't Making Many Voters Happy, Poll Shows

(40) Comments | Posted 2 March 2015 | (13:39)

Very few voters are happy with George Osborne's austerity plans, a poll has found, with over a quarter wanting a slowdown in the rate of cuts.

The survey, conducted by ComRes, found that barely a quarter (24%) of voters backed the current rate of spending cuts, with just...

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Anna Soubry Most Likely Didn't Call Ed Miliband A 'Sanctimonious C***'

(38) Comments | Posted 25 February 2015 | (20:19)

A video has emerged of a clip edited out of a BBC documentary series last night which appears to cast doubt on claims published in today's Daily Mail that Tory Defence Minister Anna Soubry called Ed Miliband a "sanctimonious c***".

Soubry categorically denied the "outrageous" claim, and...

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David Cameron Didn't Really Want To Ban 'Double-Jobbing MPs'

(14) Comments | Posted 25 February 2015 | (17:12)

Ed Miliband tried to mock David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions over his apparent reluctance to back Labour's proposal to ban MPs from holding directorships or consultancies.

The vote comes a day after former Conservative foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind

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Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit Making 'Very Little Progress', Say MPs

(10) Comments | Posted 25 February 2015 | (14:02)

Iain Duncan Smith's flagship welfare policy Universal Credit is making "very little progress", an influential committee of MPs have warned.

Universal Credit, which aims to replace six current benefits with one single payment, began its phased roll-out earlier this month, but critics say the project is "failing' and...

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Energy Giant Scottish Power Faces MPs' Probe Into £79m Mis-Selling Scandal

(12) Comments | Posted 24 February 2015 | (19:41)

Scottish Power is set to feel the heat as MPs prepare to look into its alleged failure to avoid paying out as much as £79 million owed to 625,000 customers who had taken out cash back on warranties under a scheme that ended up going bust.

The energy giant...

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Natalie Bennett's 'Excruciating' Media Interviews Bring Humiliating Apology

(90) Comments | Posted 24 February 2015 | (16:44)

Natalie Bennett has been forced to issue a grovelling apology to her party after a series of "excruciating" media interviews overshadowed her party's key election campaign launch.

In a series of major embarrassments, the Green Party leader was quizzed by LBC on Wednesday morning, but appeared not to...

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Lib Dem Minister Jo Swinson Blasts 'Sexist' Daily Mail Attack On Pregnant Labour MP Rachel Reeves

(24) Comments | Posted 24 February 2015 | (14:10)

A Lib Dem minister has condemned The Daily Mail's "staggeringly sexist" attack on pregnant Labour frontbencher Rachel Reeves, which has dismissing her plan to go on maternity leave in the first weeks of a prospective Miliband government as "anything but feminist".

Business Minister

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Malcolm Rifkind To Quit As MP After Cash For Access Sting

(50) Comments | Posted 24 February 2015 | (09:15)

Former Conservative foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind is stepping down as an MP after May, as well as chair of Parliament's intelligence and security committee, after being caught in a cash for access undercover sting.

The Tory veteran said in a statement that he has told colleagues on the committee, which...

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Tory MP Andrew Rosindell Questions Pregnant Labour MP Rachel Reeves' Fitness For Cabinet

(49) Comments | Posted 23 February 2015 | (18:43)

David Cameron has slapped down a Tory backbencher who suggested that a pregnant Labour frontbencher may struggle to "handle" becoming a cabinet minister as she could not give it her "full attention".

Over the weekend, shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves told The Telegraph that...

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Tony Blair Defends Jack Straw's Integrity After Cash For Access Sting

(50) Comments | Posted 23 February 2015 | (15:10)

Tony Blair has issued a fierce defence of Jack Straw, his former foreign secretary, after he was caught in a cash for access sting.

An undercover investigation by the Daily Telegraph and Channel 4 Dispatches suggested that he, and senior Tory Malcolm Rifkind,...

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