This week's UK news: 23 October 2009
23 October 2009

Silliest story of the week

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, took part in a live webchat on a parents’ website. All went well until one mother asked what kind of biscuit he likes best.

Mr Brown did not reply. By the end of the session, he had been asked 12 times for the name of his favourite biscuit, without answering. Other political leaders were quick to tell journalists about their own favourite biscuits.

Then, a day later, he posted the answer on the social networking site Twitter. His favourite was: “anything with a bit of chocolate on it,” he said. But he was trying not to eat too many.

Some people are now saying that political advisers came up with the choice of biscuit and cannot see why Mr Brown did not answer during the question and answer session. He says he did not notice the question.


Too many balls on the pitch

Liverpool football club lost another game this week, for a strange reason.

An inflatable beach ball from the club’s shop got onto the pitch during the match against Sunderland.

Then, the football bounced off the beach ball and confused the goalkeeper. As a result, a goal was scored against Liverpool. This was allowed by the referee but should not have been. Liverpool did not appeal and lost the game.

Four days later, Liverpool lost a game in Europe. This was their fourth defeat in a row, for the first time in 22 years.

The game against Manchester United this weekend is now crucial. The Liverpool club shop has sold out of its beach balls and so the Man U fans will be searched as they arrive for the game on Sunday in case they are planning to throw them on to the pitch.


Postal strike

The country’s postal service has been badly affected by a two-day strike. Royal Mail workers are angry about the way in which their jobs are changing as the service is modernised. The management says the changes are necessary.

Now another three days of strike action is planned for next week. This means that there is likely to be a big backlog of letters and parcels, even though temporary workers have been hired. There are also fears that the strikes will cause long-term damage, as businesses, which rely on posting items, use other companies instead.


Politics in the news

The country’s main broadcaster, the BBC, has been at the middle of a big argument. It invited the leader of a far-right political party on to one of its main political programmes, called Question Time.

The BBC says it now has to invite Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, on to programmes occasionally. This is because he has been elected to the European parliament. 

But many people say he should not be treated like members of an ordinary political party. There were big demonstrations and fights outside the television studio and the programme, called Question Time, got three times more viewers than it usually does.

But most newspapers and commentators thought that Mr Griffin performed badly. He had many challenges from other guests and the studio audience who mostly did not approve of his views. One or two who spoke up for him were members of his party who had been allowed on to the programme.


by Susan Young -


  • This week's UK news: 16 October 2009 
  • This week's UK news: 9 Ocotober 2009
  • This week's UK news: 2 October 2009
  • This week's UK news: 24 September 2009

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