Euro rebellion grows as more Tories look to support move referendum topic

Dozens of MPs are planning to defy the government and vote in favour of a referendum on leaving the EU.

EU referendum
Prime minister David Cameron: Facing mutiny over EU vote? (Picture: PA)

A eurosceptic rebellion grew on Thursday with a further 18 MPs signing a backbench motion calling on the government to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership, bringing the total to 76.

Ministerial aide Stewart Jackson became the first member of the government to say he was willing to resign in order to vote Yes in Monday’s Commons poll.

‘I will vote in favour of the motion and, in so doing so, I will very likely relinquish my position as parliamentary private secretary to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland,’ he told BBC Radio 4.

Other ministerial secretaries are thought to have made an agreement to do the same if the government whips the vote, to make government members toe the coalition line. It is potentially the biggest rebellion to have faced Mr Cameron in his premiership.

Downing Street is planning to put a three-line whip on the vote but could declare it a ‘free vote’ or a ‘one-line whip’, meaning MPs could vote with their consciences without having to resign.

However, the rebellion is unlikely to succeed as Labour leader Ed Miliband said he will push his MPs to vote with the government on the issue.

He accused the prime minister of failing to control backbench MPs, adding: ‘ David Cameron should show some leadership. He should not be spending the next few days negotiating with his backbenchers but negotiating for Britain to sort out the eurozone crisis.’

Mr Cameron said it was the wrong time for a referendum ‘when we have so much to do to get Europe to sort its problems out’.

Lockerbie families: Chance to get truth is lost with Gaddafi death topic

Relatives of Lockerbie victims have hailed
Gaddafi’s death but warned that the dictator may have taken secrets of the atrocity with him to the grave.

gaddafi dead, Lockerbie bombing
The remains of Pan Am 103 in Lockerbie in 1988 (Picture: AP)

Dr Jim Swire, whose 24-year-old daughter Flora was killed when Pan Am 103 was blown up over the Scottish town, said Gaddafi’s death could set back the effort to find the truth.

The former dictator had accepted Libya’s responsibility for the 1988 bombing that killed 270 but never admitted ordering the attack.

However, new Libyan leader Mustafa Abdel-Jalil – the regime’s former justice minister – has said he could prove Gaddafi personally ordered the atrocity.

Dr Swire said: ‘There is much still to be resolved and Gaddafi, whether he was involved or not, might have been able to clear up a few points. Now he is dead, we may have lost an opportunity for getting nearer to the truth.

‘Although we have not a scrap of evidence that Gaddafi himself was involved in causing the atrocity, my take was that he would have at least known who was.

‘In 1988, he was plugged into the terrorist networks of the world. I’m sure he would have known it was going to happen and I feel sure he would have approved of it if he did know.’

Dr Swire has always maintained that former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – the only person convicted of the bombing – was innocent.

Briton Pamela Dix, who lost her 35-year-old brother Peter, said: ‘It might be the case that Gaddafi knew a great deal about what happened.’

Lockerbie expert Peter Biddulph said there was ‘a great deal of evidence’ that Iran paid a Palestinian group to carry out the atrocity in revenge for the US shooting down an Iranian civilian jet.

But he added: ‘He would have known if the Palestinian group did it along with Syria at the behest of Iran.’

David Cameron: It’s time to mourn all Gaddafi’s victims topic

David Cameron urged the world to remember ‘all of Col Gaddafi’s victims’ as he welcomed the death of the Libyan dictator.

Gaddafi dead
David Cameron arrives to make a statement in Downing Street about the death of Col Gaddafi in Libya (Picture: PA)

The prime minister was ‘proud’ of the role Britain played in Nato air strikes in the uprising against the 69-year-old.

‘We have been waiting for this moment for a long time – Muammar Gaddafi has been killed,’ he said.

Warning against excess jubilation, he added: ‘I think today is a day to remember all of Col Gaddafi’s victims, from those who died in connection with the Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie to Yvonne Fletcher in a London street and obviously all the victims of IRA terrorism who died through their use of Libyan Semtex.

‘We should also remember the many, many Libyans who died at the hands of this brutal dictator and his regime.’

Labour leader Ed Miliband said Gaddafi’s death ‘marks the end of a tragic period in Libyan history marked by brutality and repression’.

He added: ‘We should all hope this day also marks the end of the armed conflict and the start of a period of stability where we see a transition to democratic government.’

Foreign secretary William Hague insisted Britain would ‘still be working hard in Libya’ but added it ‘brings much closer the end of the Nato mission’.

‘Libya now has the chance to be a free and democratic country,’ he said.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said the death ‘closes a dark, 42-year-long chapter in the country’s history’.

And caretaker Libyan ambassador to London, Mahmud Nacua, said: ‘It is a glorious victory against the tyranny of Muammar Gaddafi, his sons and cronies.’

PICTURES:See photos of graffiti depicting Col Gaddafi’s demise

Bloody end for Gaddafi as body shown to the world topic

The body of
Muammar Gaddafi was paraded through the streets hours after he was captured hiding in a drainage pipe in his hometown.

Gaddafi dead photo
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is pulled from a truck by NTC fighters in Sirte (Picture: Reuters)

Jubilant rebels used a vehicle to carry the dead dictator through Misrata, the town where hundreds of protesters were slaughtered at the start of the rebellion.

PICTURES:See photos of graffiti depicting Col Gaddafi’s demise

Hours earlier the 69-year-old former leader was found cowering in a concrete pipe in his hometown of Sirte and begged not to be shot when he was found by National Transitional Council troops.

Gruesome images emerged showing the ousted dictator being dragged through the streets, bloody but apparently still alive.

He is seen in a blood-soaked shirt with a bloodied face, standing upright and shoved along a crowd of fighters at a roadside.

Gaddafi appeared to struggle against them, stumbling and shouting as they pushed him on to the bonnet of a truck.

A man was heard shouting, ‘We want him alive,’ before the despot was dragged away towards an ambulance.

Later footage showed his apparently lifeless body being rolled over on the pavement and stripped to the waist with a pool of blood under his head. A doctor said Gaddafi died from two bullet wounds to the head and chest.

His death came almost exactly two months after rebel forces effectively ended his 42-year rule by sweeping into Tripoli and forcing him from his huge compound.

Rumours about his whereabouts followed, including claims that he was hiding in a vast underground network of tunnels beneath the capital, but he was finally captured and killed in the Mediterranean town where he was born in a tent in 1942.

Thursday’s developments were said to have started when Gaddafi and a few dozen loyal bodyguards tried to break out of Sirte.

They escaped an air strike on their convoy and hid in two concrete drainage pipes, with government forces on their tail, according to one account.

Libya’s transitional authorities plan to bury Gaddafi in a secret location, according to Al-Arabiya TV.

PICTURES:See more photos from the day Col Gaddafi was killed in Libya

Wayne Rooney in running for Olympic call-up topic

England striker
Wayne Rooney could play for Great Britain at the Olympic Games in London next summer.

Wayne Rooney Olympics
Wayne Rooney: Set to play for Great Britain at the Olympic Games? (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Rooney is banned for the first three matches of Euro 2012 but, on the day  Stuart Pearce was named the head coach of Team GB men’s team, it was suggested he may be available for the Olympics.

The Football Association has previously intimated no players involved in Euro 2012 would be picked for the Games.

But, asked if Rooney might figure if England don’t make it out of their group, Club England managing director Adrian Bevington did not rule out the idea.

‘Our real hope and aspiration is that Wayne can be available for the European Championships,’ he said.

‘Once we know where we stand there, it is one for Stuart with Fabio Capello.’

Capello is likely to pick Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones, all of whom are eligible for the Olympics.

But asked whether players could now play at both, Bevington said: ‘What we don’t want to do is lock ourselves in.

‘We are not going to lock ourselves into a situation which says no one who goes to the Euros can go to the Olympics.

‘Any of those situations would have to be managed sensibly and sensitively.’

Reese Witherspoon ‘wants to make out with Jennifer Aniston’ topic

Reese Witherspoon has joked that she wants to get her nails done with
Jennifer Aniston and then ‘make out’ with the actress.

Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston
Reese Witherspoon admires Jennifer Aniston’s sex appeal and lovability (Picture: Getty)

The 36-year-old made her joke at an event honouring Hollywood women earlier this week.

She praised the 42-year-old’s ‘combination of sex appeal and complete lovabililty’, adding: ‘You just want to get your nails done with her and you want to make out with her at the same time – at least I do.’

Reese revealed how she first bonded with Jen during a guest appearance in Friends as her little sister in 1999.

She said: ‘I was super-duper excited. But I forgot something crucial… I had never been on TV in front of a live audience and I totally froze. I couldn’t remember my lines.’

Aniston came to the rescue with some words of wisdom. ‘You’re going to flip your line and whatever and the audience is going to love it – don’t try to be perfect, just try to be yourself,’ Aniston told Reese.

‘That’s the story that sort of captured Jen for me,’ Reese said. ‘On one hand, she is this gorgeous breathtaking beauty that men lose their thought process and their speech patterns over. And, on the other hand, she is a woman who lets you in.’

Pictures: Check out Jennifer and Reese at the Hollywood Women’s tribute here

Muammar Gaddafi’s loyal son Mutassim died with desperate dictator topic

One of
Muammar Gaddafi’s sons Mutassim, who was hiding with the cornered dictator in Sirte, was also killed yesterday, it has been revealed.

Mutassim Gaddafi found hiding with father Muammar
A picture of Mutassim Gaddafi from September 2009. The 34-year-old was found hiding with his father Muammar (Picture: AFP/Getty)

Mutassim Gaddafi, a senior army officer and security adviser, was shown lying dead on a stretcher.

PICTURES:See photos of graffiti depicting Col Gaddafi’s demise

The new Libyan government’s TV channel broadcast a close-up showing Mutassim, stripped to the waist, in what appeared to be a hospital.

‘Mutassim is dead. I can confirm it,’ said government information officer Mahmoud Shammam.

There were also conflicting reports as to the fate of Gaddafi’s most high-profile son and erstwhile heir-apparent Saif al-Islam.

He was variously reported to be captured and wounded, killed or at large.

The French security agency Interpol repeated its demand that Saif, wanted for crimes against humanity, be handed over to The Hague.

Another of Gaddafi’s sons, Saadi, a former footballer who is also the subject of an Interpol arrest warrant, has sought refuge in Niger.

Gaddafi’s widow, daughter and two other sons fled to Algeria in August while another son Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was killed by a Nato air strike in April.

PICTURES:See more photos from the day Col Gaddafi was killed in Libya