For the sake of BHS staff being in work, it could be out of the frying pan into discount store Zero hours contract fire.

The controversial billionaire Sports Direct boss is planning to rescue stricken BHS, vowing to save all jobs and stores.

Mike Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United football club, is mulling over whether to make a formal offer to administrators.

It sparked speculation BHS could be turned into a bargain-basement discount shop like Sports Direct, with staff facing pay and benefits cuts.

Administrators are seeking buyers for the retailer as a going concern.

More than 50 firms have expressed an interest in all or part of the business and the administrator will open the books to allow suitors to get a better idea of BHS’s financial state.

Co-operative Group chairman Allan Leighton is also said to be considering a bid for a chunk. He is a former chairman of BHS and was responsible for turning Asda around.

Mr Ashley tried to mount a rescue last week but could not agree terms. It is thought he was unwilling to take on the firm’s huge pension liabilities.

But he is still interested in the 164 stores and issued a statement saying: ‘Any continuing interest that we have in BHS would be on the basis that we would anticipate that there would not be any job losses including jobs at head office, and that all stores would remain open.’

Although Mr Ashley’s rescue plan could see the BHS name kept alive and save many jobs, it will be greeted uneasily by many. In March the Sports Direct owner refused to appear before MPs who summoned him to answer questions over staff working conditions at Sports Direct.

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Just because it says ‘made in Britain’ doesn’t mean it’s safe.

BRITISH firm Reckitt Benckiser – which makes leading household cleaning brands such as Dettol, Finish and Vanish as well as pharmaceutical products such as Nurofen painkillers – has apologised and accepted responsibility for selling disinfectants that killed or injured more than 200 people.

Ata Safdar, head of the company’s Korean division, made the apology on Monday at a new conference in Seoul.

Angry and tearful victims and their relatives interrupted the news conference, swearing and hitting Mr Safdar.

South Korea is investigating the deaths from mysterious lung ailments, which were discovered in 2011.

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Zac Goldstein’s desperate bid for Londons Mayor reaches new low.

Zac Goldsmith’s campaign for London Mayor has been criticised by former Conservative minister Sayeeda Warsi, after an article he wrote attacking his rival was illustrated with an image of a bus destroyed in the 2005 7/7 terrorist attacks.

In the piece, published in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Goldsmith suggested a win in the election on Thursday for rival candidate Sadiq Khan – who is Muslim – would see control of the capital city handed to a Labour Party “that thinks terrorists are its friends”.

But in a significant intervention just three days before Londoners head to the polls to cast their ballots for the next mayor, Baroness Warsi, a former co-chair of the Conservative Party, tweeted: “This is not the Zac Goldsmith I know.”

The article, written by Mr Goldsmith and his aides, ran with the headline: “Are we really going to hand the world’s greatest city to a Labour Party that thinks terrorists are its friends?”

It is illustrated with a photo of a London bus destroyed in the July 2005 terror attacks in the capital.

Baroness Warsi added: “Are we Conservatives fighting to destroy Zac or fighting to win this election?

“In the real world Londoners worry about housing, jobs and NHS. In the world of politics new reality TV show ‘Britain’s Biggest Bigot’ launched!”

On Friday, Baroness Warsi also said: “The left needs to root out anti-Semitism in its ranks and the right needs to weed out its Islamophobes… Dog-whistle nasty politics is damaging the UK.”

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Corbyn ally Len McCluskey attacks ‘treacherous’ Labour MPs.

A key ally of Jeremy Corbyn has accused MPs of employing treacherous tactics designed to undermine Labour’s leader, as an analysis of the latest polls by a leading academic suggests the party is on course for its worst local election results for 35 years.

Len McCluskey, the head of the UK’s biggest union, Unite, claimed former shadow ministers Liz Kendall and Michael Dugher, Gordon Brown’s former aide Ian Austin and newly elected MP Wes Streeting have made interventions meant to damage Corbyn.

McCluskey’s intervention comes as a new projection conducted for the Guardian shows that Labour is on course to lose 175 council seats in Thursday’s elections .

Such a result would be the worst local election performance in opposition since 1982 when voting took place against the background of the Falklands war.

Labour’s performance in the first nationwide electoral test since Corbyn won the party leadership with an overwhelming majority last year is seen in Westminster as a day of reckoning.

The decision by McCluskey, the head of the the party’s main financial backer, to escalate the party’s row by naming names follows weeks of frustration over attacks by the party’s MPs on Corbyn.

It will be seen as a shot across the bows of some of Corbyn’s harshest critics to ensure there is not a leadership challenge after Thursday’s results come through.

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A petition against cuts to local pharmacy services has received its millionth signature.


The Support Your Local Pharmacy campaign could become the largest petition circulating in the UK after reaching the landmark figure, with around 30,000 people registering their objections to the Department of Health each day.

Campaigners say the government wants to divert investment away from local pharmacies which they claim would force chemists’ stores to close.

Patients would have difficulties accessing medicines and healthcare advice, while pressure would mount on GPs and hospitals, the petition organisers believe.

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) chairman, Ian Strachan, said it was “absolutely clear” that the Department of Health had misjudged people’s feelings towards chemists.

“Patients value the face-to-face support they get at local pharmacies; getting medicines online or seeing a pharmacist by appointment in a GP surgery is not faintly equivalent to the accessible care available in pharmacies,” Strachan said.

He disagreed with the idea that “putting a few hundred pharmacists into GP practices is a good swap” and welcomed the support from the million people who have signed the petition.

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Jeremy Hunt ‘not fit to wear’ an NHS badge, says consultant.

Jeremy Hunt is “not fit to wear” an NHS badge because his “militant” politics are destroying the health service, an A&E consultant has claimed.

Dr Rob Galloway, who works at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said he was “blood boiling angry” after reading a letter sent by the Health Secretary thanking health workers for keeping patients safe during the junior doctors’ strike last week.

In the letter, Mr Hunt said: “I would like to pay tribute to the NHS staff that have once again pulled out all the stops to keep services running effectively during industrial action.”

He thanked the “dedicated” healthcare professionals who have “planned for weeks, worked long hours and pulled together to ensure services remained safe this week” and said they were a “credit to our world-class NHS”.

But the letter published by the Department of Health angered Dr Galloway who questioned how the Secretary of State could write such a “nauseating” note.

“It’s an embarrassing and pathetic letter made worse by the fact there is a picture of you on it wearing an NHS badge,” Dr Galloway wrote in a Facebook post with a photograph of the letter.

“Any picture of you creates in me a Pavlovian response of upset. But this picture with an NHS badge on, has made my blood boil.”

Dr Galloway demanded that Mr Hunt take the badge off his suit because he was at the helm of a “sinking” ship.

“You are not fit to wear it. You do not deserve to wear it. You demean and insult all of us who work and care about the NHS by wearing it.

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Junior doctors strike “Jeremy Hunt, how dare you!” Grieving mum launches impassioned attack after daughter dies at end of doctors’ strike.

A grieving mum has launched an impassioned attack on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt after her daughter died at the end of the junior doctors’ strike.

Julie Lovell, 51, lashed out at Mr Hunt’s treatment of the ‘wonderful’ NHS medics who battled for weeks to save the life of her 33-year-old daughter, Karen.

She also said she fully supports the striking medics – and will ‘not accept’ her child’s death being included in any figures aimed at discrediting them.

Karen passed away at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester on Wednesday night, just hours after the two-day strike over proposed new contracts ended.

She had been in critical care for four weeks following an operation on her heart but was sadly too poorly to pull through, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Last week, Mr Hunt warned the strike action would create an ‘unacceptable’ risk of patient deaths – and Julie says she will not have her daughter used as a political pawn.

A spokesman for Jeremy Hunt said no death statistics had been published from the strikes.