National News Round-up

By Adam Bergin

Union calls off London bonfire night strike

A firefighters’ strike in London has been postponed amidst fears for public safety, after private contractors brought in as cover were deemed to be incapable.

The strike, which was due to run from 10am Friday until 9am Sunday and include over 5,500 workers, was to stop the London Fire Brigade from pressing ahead with sacking firefighters who refuse to accept new contracts, which include a new shift system.

Both the FBU and London Fire Brigade (LFB) managers will attend an independently chaired panel on 16 November to discuss their differences.

RBS sinks into the red

The Royal Bank of Scotland has plunged back into the red with a £1.4bn pre-tax loss for the three month period before September.

The bank, 84%-owned by the tax payer, had looked to be improving after it reported a profit of £1.15bn for the previous three months.

Since October 2008, the bank has announced 23,000 job losses worldwide, including 17,100 in the UK, but Chief Executive Stephen Hester said the bank was making “good progress in our recovery”.

Radical Cleric succeeds in passport appeal bid

Abu Hamza, 52, has won his appeal against the governments attempt to take away his British passport.

Radical Hamza was jailed for seven years in February 2006 for inciting murder and race hate, but his lawyers argued that to take away his British citizenship would have left him “stateless”, due his Egyptian passport having been rescinded already.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said David Cameron was “disappointed” but it would not affect ongoing extradition proceedings.

Prisoners relocated after third night of riots

More than 160 inmates have been transferred to other jails following a third night of rioting at a prison in South Yorkshire.

Following smaller disturbances at the prison on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, an altercation between the Moorlands Young Offenders Institution near Doncaster and the adjacent adult unit late on Thursday nig htled to Prison Service Tornado teams arriving in riot gear at 1am.

Up to 100 prisoners were said to have been throwing objects and causing serious damage to the surroundings, with one inmate being taken to hospital with serious injuries.