Update: 12:30

May 3, 2002

Wendy Alexander resigns Scottish cabinet post
Enterprise, transport and lifelong-learning minister Wendy Alexander resigned from the Scottish cabinet today. In a letter to first minister Jack McConnell she said she had made the decision at the turn of the year, but wanted to finish preparing the new transport strategy first. Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie said: "It has been obvious for some time that Wendy Alexander has been deeply unhappy, ever since the election of Jack McConnell as first minister. We now have a cabinet entirely packed with Jack’s cronies and Wendy Alexander now joins the cabinet-in-exile on Labour’s backbenches."

Former NUS president fails in bid to become councillor
Former National Union of Students president Andrew Pakes failed in his bid to become a councillor in yesterday's local elections. Mr Pakes, communications director for the Association of University Teachers, stood for Labour in the Enfield ward of Turkey Street. He polled 1,072 votes (12.47 per cent) in the election which saw the Conservatives wrest overall control of the council from Labour.

Child drownings linked to water feature poularity
Gardening programmes may be partly to blame for a sharp rise in the number of children drowned in garden ponds, researchers from the University of Wales, the Royal Life Saving Society, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said today. A study found that while the overall number of drownings had dropped over a ten-year period, tragedies caused by children falling into garden ponds had almost doubled. The experts who discovered the trend said one reason might be the popularity of garden water features perhaps inspired by TV.

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