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News in Brief: 14/05/14

FIDDLING: Tory peer Lord Hanningfield was suspended from the House of Lords yesterday for the rest of the current Parliament over his claims for allowances.
He was handed the maximum sanction after being found to have claimed a £300 allowance for 11 days on which he did no Parliamentary work.
Hanningfield, jailed in 2011 for a separate abuse of his expenses, has also been ordered to repay the £3,300 he wrongly claimed.

CHILDCARE: Swedish expert Staffan Janson told the Scottish Parliament yesterday that it needs explicit anti-smacking laws to stop violence against children.
He said banning smacking in 1979 had brought about a culture change in his homeland, with more than 90 per cent of parents now regarding smacking as “disgusting.”
Scotland’s laws criminalise shaking, blows to the head and the wielding of implements against children, but hitting a child can be considered “justifiable assault.”

POLICE: A chief constable was suspended yesterday while claims of inappropriate behaviour towards female officers and staff are investigated.
A number of serious allegations against Avon and Somerset Police chief constable Nick Gargan have been made, police and crime commissioner Sue Mountstevens said.

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