June 28, 2007 at 1:44 pm (Beckham, dismissal, football, madrid, manager, new manager, Real madrid, sacked, Sport)

Real Madrid sack manager Capello

Real Madrid have sacked coach Fabio Capello – just 11 days after the Italian led the Spanish giants to their first league title since 2003.

 Real Madrid badge and former boss Fabio Capello

 capello was fired after leading real madrid to their first title since 2003 

The sixtyone-year-old still had 2 years to run on his contract at the Bernabeu, but drew criticism for his tactics.

Real president Ramon Calderon told Marca newspaper: “We’ve laid the foundations, but we need to find a more enthusiastic way of playing.”

Getafe’s German coach Bernd Schuster is tipped to succeed Capello.

Capello, who joined Real last summer from Juventus on a three-year contract, had also guided Real to the Spanish title during his one previous season in charge in 1996-97.

 

Calderon brought Capello to the Bernabeu last July and charged him with the task of reining in the players and clearing out dead wood on the playing staff.

Spanish pundits believe Capello paid a price for his treatment of England’s David Beckham.

After Beckham confirmed he was joining LA Galaxy at the end of the season, Capello publicly declared he would never consider Beckham for the first team again.

Capello was forced to back-track on that, and it was Beckham’s form which inspired Real to the title.

Capello’s dismissal underlined that Real show little sentiment when it comes to firing successful managers.

Real’s last Spanish title victory in 2003 was not enough to keep Vicente del Bosque in the job, while German Jupp Heynckes was sacked after guiding Real to the Champions League title in 1998.

Real’s sporting director Predrag Mijatovic said: “We have taken the decision not to continue with Fabio Capello next season.

“It was a difficult decision but a unanimous one based on an exhaustive report I made to the board.

“We don’t think Capello is the right person to lead Real Madrid into the future given what we want this club to achieve.

“Now we have time to think over who will be the next head coach.”

Capello, who previously managed AC Milan and AS Roma in addition to Real and Juventus, maintained his record of winning at least one league title with every club he has managed.

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June 28, 2007 at 1:38 pm (an appeal, jail, retrail, U.K, Uncategorized)

Lockerbie bomber allowed appeal

 

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has been granted leave to make a second appeal.

 Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi

  

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was jailed for the 1988 atrocity in which 270 people died when Pan-Am flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which has been investigating Megrahi’s case since 2003, recommended the second appeal.

The Libyan was convicted in January 2001 and is in jail in Scotland.

The commission is responsible for looking into possible miscarriages of justice.

It said the Lockerbie review, which cost £1.1m, was a “difficult” one to deal with.

The chief executive of the group, Gerard Sinclair, said it was the “longest, the most expensive and singularly most complex case we have had to investigate and review”.

There were four main areas for referring the case back to court.

They included the “reasonablness” of the court’s verdict; additional evidence; new evidence and “other” evidence.

Scotland’s Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini said it was inappropriate for her to comment on the basis of the commission’s decision.

Year away

However, she added that she had appointed Ronald Clancy QC and advocate Nick Gardiner as the Crown’s counsel in the event of an appeal going ahead.

It is likely to be held in Scotland before a panel of three judges and is unlikely to be heard for about a year.

The commission had the option to refer the case to the High Court for a second appeal or reject the submissions by Megrahi’s lawyers.

The Glasgow-based body looked at the way Megrahi’s defence was carried out, as well as the way the panel of three judges handled the case.

Announcing the decision, the chairman of the commission, the Very Reverend Dr Graham Forbes, said: “The commission has a special role within the Scottish criminal justice system and has been given extensive statutory powers to enable it to carry out this role.

“The function of the commission is not to decide upon the guilt or innocence of an applicant.

“We are neither pro-Crown nor pro-defence. Our role is to examine the grounds of review identified, either by the applicant, a third party, or by our own investigations, and to decide whether any of the grounds meet our statutory test.”

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said the ability to look into alleged miscarriages of justice was a vital part of the criminal justice system, adding that it was now time to allow the independent legal process to take its course.

 Crash scene

 He told the Scottish Parliament: “Let us never forget that 270 men, women and children lost their lives in December 1988. Whatever the eventual outcome of this process, their loss can never be recovered.”

Lawyers representing Megrahi have always maintained he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

He has already had one appeal following his conviction in January 2001.

US flight

That was heard at Kamp van Zeist, the former Dutch air base where he and his co-accused, Al-amin Khalifa Fhima, were tried.

Mr Fhima was acquitted and flew home to Tripoli.

Megrahi’s appeal was rejected in March 2002 and since then he has been held in Gateside Prison in Greenock.

On 21 December 1988, the Boeing 747 was en route from London to New York when it exploded in mid-air.

All 259 people on board were killed, along with 11 people on the ground

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June 28, 2007 at 1:33 pm (brown, cabinet overhall, cabinet reshuffel, george Bush, Gordon Brown, Iraq, Iraqi Bomb, Iraqi Murders, John Reid, new cabinet, News, politics, prime minister, Racism, Racist, Sport and breaking news, tony blair, U.K)

New faces in huge Cabinet revamp

Gordon Brown has appointed Jacqui Smith as Britain’s first female home secretary in a huge Cabinet overhaul.

 Jacqui Smith

 jacqui smith takes over at the home office

Alistair Darling becomes chancellor, David Miliband foreign secretary, Alan Johnson health secretary and Peter Hain work and pensions.

Mr Brown’s closest political ally Ed Balls will be the newly-created schools and children secretary.

Ruth Kelly goes to transport, Jack Straw is the new justice secretary and Hilary Benn moves to environment.

The newly-appointed ministers are gathering in 10 Downing Street for the first Cabinet meeting of Mr Brown’s premiership.

OUR NEW CABINET

Prime minister: Gordon Brown

Chancellor: Alistair Darling

Foreign Secretary: David Miliband

Home Secretary: Jacqui Smith

Health: Alan Johnson

Schools and children: Ed Balls

Innovation, universities and skills: John Denham

Justice: Jack Straw

Commons leader: Harriet Harman

Defence and Scotland: Des Browne

Int Development: Douglas Alexander

Wales/Work and Pensions: Peter Hain

Northern Ireland: Shaun Woodward

Chief secretary to the Treasury: Andy Burnham

Cabinet office minister/Duchy of Lancaster: Ed Miliband

Culture: James Purnell

Olympics: Tessa Jowell

Transport: Ruth Kelly

Lords leader: Baroness Ashton

Attorney General: Baroness Scotland

Environment: Hilary Benn

Chief Whip: Geoff Hoon

Business and enterprise: John Hutton

Housing minister (attending Cabinet when needed): Yvette Cooper

Communities: Hazel Blears

Children and youth justice: Beverley Hughes

Africa, Asia and UN: Lord Malloch Brown

There are 11 members of the old Cabinet – including Tony Blair and John Prescott – who are not in Mr Brown’s first administration.

Mr Brown has created three new departments: the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

The Department for Trade and Industry has been abolished, along with the Department for Education and Skills which has been split into two.

New Cabinet faces include James Purnell, who takes over as  the culture secretary from Tessa Jowell and Andy Burnham, who becomes chief secretary to the Treasury.

David Miliband, who at 41 becomes the youngest foreign secretary since David Owen in 1977, said he felt “tremendously honoured”.

He pledged a “diplomacy that is patient as well as purposeful, which listens as well as leads”.

Jacqui Smith, formerly Labour’s chief whip, is perhaps the biggest surprise in the new line-up.

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said she was highly regarded by Brownites.

But he said she faced a tough job even with a slimmed down Home Office.

Prisons and other functions now come under the control of new Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who also becomes the first MP to take up the post of Lord Chancellor.

‘Heavyweights’ departing

Douglas Alexander, who was named as Labour’s general election coordinator at the weekend, takes over at the department for international development, which is expected to be given an enhanced role under Mr Brown.

Harriet Harman, who was elected deputy leader of the Labour Party, and will be taking over as party chairman, becomes leader of the House of Commons.

Hazel Blears, who was among the five MPs to lose out to Ms Harman in the deputy race, becomes communities secretary.

John Hutton, who has been replaced as work and pensions secretary by Peter Hain, will become business and industry secretary.

LEAVING CABINET

John Reid
Margaret Beckett
Patricia Hewitt
Lord Goldsmith
Hilary Armstrong
Valerie Amos

Shaun Woodward, best known for defecting from the Conservatives to Labour in 1999, will replace Mr Hain as Northern Ireland Secretary – the job turned down by Lib Dem peer Paddy Ashdown.

Former defence secretary Geoff Hoon is the new Labour Party chief whip.

Yvette Cooper, Ed Balls’ wife, becomes housing minister, attending Cabinet when needed.

Also attending Cabinet will be Tessa Jowell, who becomes Olympics minister, Attorney General Baroness Scotland and Lords Chief Whip Lord Grocott.

Former United Nations deputy secretary-general, Sir Mark Malloch Brown, has been granted a peerage in order to take up the post of minister for Africa, Asia and the UN.

He will not have Cabinet rank but will attend Cabinet meetings.

Several heavyweight figures in predecessor Tony Blair’s Cabinet are going.

John Reid is retiring as home secretary, Margaret Beckett is leaving the role of foreign secretary and Baroness Amos is no longer to be leader of the House of Lords.

Patricia Hewitt, who has elderly parents in Australia, said she was quitting as health secretary, and resigning from the government, for “personal reasons”.

Former Labour chairman and consumer affairs minister Ian McCartney turned down the offer of a government job, telling Mr Brown it was time for some “fresh faces”.

Mid-East envoy

It is thought unlikely that a replacement will be announced for outgoing Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Before entering 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, the new prime minister said: “I will try my utmost. This is my promise to all of the people of Britain. And now let the work of change begin.”

After stepping down as prime minister, Mr Blair also quit as MP for Sedgefield to become a Middle East peace envoy on behalf of the EU, US, UN and Russia.

This will prompt a by-election, expected to take place in mid-July.

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June 27, 2007 at 12:37 am (Henman, Sport, Sport and breaking news, tennis, Uncategorized, Wimbledon)

should Henman call it a day after this years Wimbledom?

Tim Henman’s Wimbledon dream lives on after he finally overcame Carlos Moya in their delayed first-round match at Wimbledon on Tuesday. 

The players resumed at 5-5 in the final set after bad light had halted their match late on Monday evening.

It was another nail-biting affair as the first 13 games went with serve.

But Moya eventually double-faulted on Henman’s seventh match point to allow the 32-year-old Briton a famous 6-3 1-6 5-7 6-2 13-11 victory.

Four-time semi-finalist Henman will now play another Spaniard in the 2nd round in the shape of Feliciano Lopez, who beat Britain’s Josh Goodall.

 

After the drama that had taken place on Monday evening, there was further tension for Henman’s fans in a packed Centre Court on Tuesday.

Both players looked solid on serve until 30-year-old Moya earned two break points at 11-11.

British number 2 Henman saved both with terrific serves, including a second-serve ace on the latter.

In the following game, it was Moya’s turn to struggle as he went 15-40 down after a clever lob from the Briton, who had failed to convert four match points on Monday evening.

He saved both and another but finally cracked on the seventh, tamely handing victory to Henman, who had fought back from a break down earlier in the final set.

It also ensured the Briton avoided his first first-round defeat since his Wimbledon debut 13 years ago.

Afterwards, Henman said his twilight heroics on Monday evening had been the turning point.

“The key was coming back from 2-4 and 15-40 down in the fifth set. I stuck to my guns to hold serve then broke back to get back on level terms.

“I have to give Carlos credit for coming out and serving and volleying like he did. If I’d lost, on reflection I could have accepted it because he played so well.”

He also paid tribute to the Centre Court crowd. “They were fantastic,” he said.

“It’s obviously different without the roof, but the atmosphere is second to none and the support I’ve had here has always been incredible and I use it to my advantage.”

 after only narrowly beating Moya should Henman just call it a day after this years competition? tell me what you think…

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June 27, 2007 at 12:36 am (debate, developing, Henry, manchester city, Sport, Sport and breaking news, summer transfers, sven, Sven Goran Eriksson, transfer window, transfers, U.K, Uncategorized, united kingdom)

 

 

Sven-Goran Eriksson has agreed a three-year contract in principle to take over as manchester city manager! are you disgraced that he would even think of showing his face in english football? should he be back? city fans is he good for your team?

 Sven-Goran Eriksson will return to football at Manchester City 

there are some fine details still to be ironed out, and there is unlikely to be an official announcement before the weekend.

The 59-year-old former England coach will succeed Stuart Pearce, who was sacked at the end of last season.

Eriksson has been out of football since leaving the England job after the World Cup in summer 2006.

City’s players report back for training on Wednesday week, and club officials are confident Eriksson will be in place by then.

Eriksson is not expected to be formally unveiled until City’s prospective new owner, former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shiniwatra, takes his shareholding in the club past the 75% that will allow him to take it off the Stock Exchange.

Thaksin currently has 55.9% in promised pledges, and is likely to increase that to 65.8% if, as expected, he acquires Sky’s shares within the next 48 hours.

He made Eriksson his top managerial target and is understood to have made a £50m transfer fund available.

City attempted to play down suggestions that an announcement on Eriksson’s arrival was imminent.

A statement on the club website said: “The board notes the media speculation concerning the managerial position at the club.

“Earlier today (Tuesday), UK Sports Investments Limited announced that the offer document in respect of its offer for the club was posted to shareholders.

“Discussions are on-going with managerial candidates and once the offer becomes or is declared unconditional in all respects, the club expects to announce the appointment of a new manager.”

Eriksson has already sounded out Roland Andersson about becoming his assistant at Eastlands.

Currently Sweden’s assistant coach, Andersson said he was “flattered” 2 be offered the role.

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June 27, 2007 at 12:35 am (Barcelona, football, Henry, Sport, Sport and breaking news, summer transfers, transfer window, transfers, Uncategorized)

Can Barca make Henry’s dreams come true?

gunner’s out there, Henry’s departure is it a relief or a strain?

Arsenal premership winner season 2007/08 are will it be another untied victory, or wil chelsea start to challange?

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June 27, 2007 at 12:34 am (breaking news, celebritiy, debate, developing, george Bush, Gordon Brown, Iraq, News, tony blair, Uncategorized)

Brown to become prime minister

 

Gordon Brown is set to become prime minister, bringing to an end Tony Blair’s 10 years in power.

 WILL BROWN PERFORM OR WILL IT ALL GO BALLS UP?

 Gordon Brown

Mr Brown is expected to meet the Queen, who will formally offer him the role, at about 1400 BST.

Mr Blair will leave office after his final prime minister’s questions session. It is thought he will also announce he is standing down as an MP.

Mr Brown is expected to begin his Cabinet reshuffle by naming the next chancellor and home secretary.

Priorities

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling, a close ally of Mr Brown, is widely tipped to become chancellor.

John Reid has also said he will step down as home secretary, leaving another Cabinet seat avaible.

A fuller reshuffle of government jobs is expected on Thursday.

Brown, who has been chancellor since Mr Blair became prime minister in 1997, has promised to create a government “of all the talents”.

He has already offered former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown the job of Northern Ireland secretary, but this was refused.

Mr Brown has singled out education and affordable housing as two of his key concerns, but says the NHS is his “immediate priority”.

Iraq

He has also admitted that Iraq is “a divisive issue for our party and our country” and pledged to ” learn lessons that need to be learned”.

The parents of soldiers who have died in Iraq will protest in Downing Street as Mr Blair leaves No 10.

Members of Military Families Against the War say they are determined the outgoing PM “will not be allowed to forget the suffering he has caused”.

There has been speculation that Mr Brown might call a general election next year, rather than waiting until 2009 or 2010, after he announced he had appointed Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander as Labour’s campaigns co-ordinator.

Mr Blair is expected to attend a meeting in his Sedgefield constituency, in north-east England, on Wednesday evening to announce he is standing down as an MP after 24 years.

  George Bush and Tony Blair

It is thought he will be confirmed by the Middle East “quartet” of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU as an envoy to the region.

John Prescott steps down from frontline politics after 10 years as deputy prime minister. It is not certain whether Mr Brown will appoint a replacement.

On Tuesday, Mr Brown was “delighted” by the defection of Tory MP Quentin Davies to Labour.

The MP for Grantham and Stamford wrote in a letter to Conservative leader David Cameron that the party seemed “to have ceased collectively to believe in anything, or to stand for anything”.

what do you think? will Brown deliver for the british public are make a mess of our beloved nation?

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January 17, 2007 at 6:02 pm (Big Brother, breaking news, celebritiy, debate, developing, imigration, important, News, pictures of shilpa, Racism, shilpa, tony blair, U.K, united kingdom)

Shilpa Shetty

Politicians enter Big Brother row

Gordon Brown has become involved in the row over alleged racism on Celebrity Big Brother during a visit to India.The chancellor said the issue had been raised repeatedly during his trip, adding that Britain should be “seen as a country of fairness and tolerance”.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “We should oppose racism in all its forms.”

The programme drew its third-largest audience of the series amid more than 21,500 complaints about housemates’ treatment of Indian Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

In other developments:

  • A small-scale protest in the eastern Indian city of Patna saw the burning of an effigy
  • Bollywood actress Shetty’s family issued a statement saying they were “overwhelmed by the outpouring of public support”
  • TV regulator Ofcom said it had received a record number of complaints for a television broadcast – over 19,299
  • Bookmaker William Hill made Shetty favourite to win Celebrity Big Brother

Condemnation

During his visit to India, Mr Brown said he had heard about the vast amount of complaints regarding the reality show.

“I want Britain to be seen as a country of fairness and tolerance. Anything detracting from this I condemn.”

 ‘I think the whole thing has been blown completely out of proportion’

 

Asked about the issue during prime minister’s questions, Tony Blair said he could not comment on the Channel 4 reality show because he had not seen it.

A Downing Street spokesman later said that the UK response to the programme showed “there is no level of toleration in this country for anything which, rightly or wrongly, is perceived to be racist”.

The Indian government is awaiting a report on the programme and could raise the matter with the UK.

Anand Sharma, India’s junior minister for external affairs, said: “The government will take appropriate measures once it gets to know the full details. Racism has no place in civilised society.”

Audience boost

The story featured on the front pages of several Indian newspapers on Wednesday.

Shilpa Shetty’s family issued a statement saying they were “overwhelmed by the outpouring of public support for Shilpa not just in India, but from across the globe”.

As well as approximately 19,300 complaints to Ofcom, a further 3,000 have been made directly to Channel 4.

Hertfordshire Police said two e-mail threats against housemates had been sent to Channel 4, but would not say if they related to the alleged racism.

Celebrity Big Brother’s main highlights show averaged 4.5 million viewers on Tuesday evening, up from 3.5 million on Monday and 3.8 million on Tuesday last week.

Bookmaker William Hill, offering odds of 6/4 on Shetty to win the series, said: “She has stuck in there and if she now picks up the public sympathy vote, punters certainly believe she will be very hard to beat.”

 ‘The only way there is going to be peace in the house is for everybody to show each other some respect

Leo Sayer

 Leo Sayer

Housemates Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara have been seen making fun of Shetty’s accent.

On Monday night’s episode, former S Club 7 star O’Meara reportedly suggested that Indians were thin because they were always ill as a result of undercooking their food.

The trio also complained that Shetty had touched other housemates’ food with her hands.

“You don’t know where those hands have been,” said former beauty queen Lloyd.

‘Absolutely absurd’

Leo Sayer, who fled from the house last week, said the alleged bullies were “all being very stupid, but I think basically they are good people”.

“I wouldn’t put them down as nasty people,” the singer told Capital Radio.

He added: “The only way there is going to be peace in the house is for everybody at least to show each other some respect.”

 

Jade Goody

A friend of Lloyd, Leeandra Anderson, said that the suggestion the housemate was racist was “absolutely absurd”.

“I’ve known Danielle for five years now and not once has she had a racist undertone in her voice ever,” she told BBC Radio Five Live.

A programme spokesman previously defended the decision to show the offending footage.

“The social interactions of the group are part of the Big Brother story and viewers have a right to see these portrayed accurately.”

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January 16, 2007 at 5:35 pm (bombings, breaking news, convicted criminals, death, debate, developing, Economic, george Bush, illness, imigration, important, Iraq, Iraqi Bomb, Iraqi Murders, Money, News, politics, Racist, rates, sadam, tony blair, U.K, united kingdom)

Bombers rock Baghdad university

At least 62 people have been murdered and scores wounded in a double bombing at a university in Baghdad, officials say.A car bomb blew up outside Mustansiriyah University, and a suicide bomber targeted students as they fled.

Elsewhere in the Iraqi capital, at least 25 people died in car bombings and shootings.

The attacks came as the UN said more than 34,400 Iraqis had died in 2006 in violence across the country.

It also said more than 36,000 civilians were hurt during the year.

The UN’s figures were almost three times the Iraqi government’s estimate.

The latest attacks come less than a week after US President George W Bush ordered more than 20,000 additional US troops to Iraq.

Most of them are heading for Baghdad in what is expected to be a new security drive by USA and Iraqi forces to rid the city of daily sectarian attacks.

Students killed

Mike Wooldridge in Baghdad says the bombers apparently attacked at the front and rear entrances of the university building, catching many of the students as they emerged.

 ‘The majority of those killed are female students who were on their way home

A car bomb exploded followed by a suicide bomber who blew himself up among people running the first blast in the predominantly Shia area, police said.

Pictures from the campus showed a scene of devastation, with wrecked and blackened vehicles scattered across a wide area.

“The majority of those killed are female students who were on their way home,” Reuters news agency quoted a university official as saying.

“There’s glass everywhere and the doors were blown out,” an official said.

Police said more than 100 people were wounded in the blasts, the worst single attacks in the capital this year.

The Ministry of Higher Education has issued a plea for blood donors.

Market bombed

Hours earlier, another twin bombing tore through a used motorcycle market in Baghdad’s mainly Shia Bab al-Sheik neighbourhood.

An initial blast drew in many onlookers, who were then hit by a second explosion moments later.

“The first explosion – many people died and the people who came to rescue them were killed in the second explosion,” an unnamed witness told the Associated Press news agency.

“There was a motorcycle that exploded in the second blast,” he said.

Raad Abbas, 26, described a scene of carnage.

“Shortly after midday, I heard an explosion. Motorcycles were flying in the air, people were falling dead and wounded,” he told me.

Meanwhile in the north of the capital, gunmen opened fire on shoppers in the mixed al-Bounuk area, killing 10 and wounding seven others, before reportedly fleeing in vehicles.

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January 16, 2007 at 5:19 pm (Bank of England, breaking news, debate, developing, Economic, important, Inflation, Money, oil, tony blair, U.K, united kingdom)

Money being put into a cash register

UK inflation rate at 11-year high

UK inflation jumped to an 11-year high of 3% in December, raising the prospect of more interest rate increases.Official figures showed that higher fuel costs helped to push the Consumer Prices Index up from 2.7% in November.

An increase had been expected following last week’s shock rise in UK interest rates to 5.25%, but the rise was larger than analysts had forecast.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said higher oil prices had driven inflation, and forecast CPI would fall to 2% in 2007.

“The underlying position of the British economy, even with the recent interest rate rise, is one of strong economic growth, historically very low interest rates, inflation under control and employment and living standards high,” Tony Blair said at his monthly press conference.

The Retail Prices Index, which includes mortgage interest payments, rose to 4.4% in December from 3.9% thats a 0.5% increase.

The RPI figure – which is often used as a basis for wage demands – is now at its highest level since 1991.

Reaction

“Now we know why the Bank of England raised interest rates last week,” said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight.

 ‘There remains the real risk that the Bank of England will hike rates again

 

“This is a pretty unhealthy report all round for the Bank of England to digest, fully justifying the immediate hike in interest rates.”

Analysts said there is now strong chance of further interest rate rises.

“Given evidence suggesting that wage rises are picking up, there remains the real risk that the Bank of England will hike rates again,” said James Knightley, an economist at ING Bank.

“We would expect any move to come in the next two months.”

Meanwhile Investec economist Philip Shaw predicted the Bank would add another 0.25 point rise – “possibly as early as next month”.

Petrol costs

The Office for National Statistics said the largest upward impact on prices in December came from transport costs.

These were lifted by rising petrol prices and the fuel duty increase unveiled by Gordon Brown in the pre-Budget report.

 ‘The higher gas bill has been the hardest thing to deal with in the last year

 

The Bank of England is tasked with keeping CPI inflation at the government’s target rate of 2%, but it has now exceeded this level for eight months in a row.

If CPI inflation should rise above 3.1%, the Bank’s governor Mervyn King would have to write a letter of explanation to the government – the first time since the Bank gained independence in 1997.

“Given that the CPI is generally a lagging indicator, we can expect inflation in the UK to climb further in the short term, taking us well above the Bank’s 2% target,” said Martin Slaney, of GFT Global Markets.

“Although Bank of England governor Mervyn King will not be obliged to write that `Dear Chancellor’ letter just yet, his pen will be poised.”

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