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The Guardian view on employment tribunal fees: denial of justice | Editorial

The UK’s supreme court has ruled the government wrong to levy charges. They undermine the rule of law. Ministers must respect the limits of power

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, can be forgiven for boasting that Wednesday’s supreme court ruling against employment tribunal fees is “the biggest victory in a court in British employment history”. The justices’ decision that the fees, of between £400 and £1,200, are an unconstitutional denial of access to justice, is a triumph both for workers and for the union that has been fighting their corner ever since the fees were …read more

The Guardian view on air pollution proposals: too little, much too late | Editorial

If the UK government is serious about cutting noxious emissions, it needs to step on it. We should not have to wait 23 years to breathe easy

Only 20 years ago, it would have sounded like the stuff of fantasy: a clean, green image of the 21st century, with Britons gliding along in electrified, no doubt self-driving, cars. Even now, the pledge to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 has a bold, vaguely futuristic ring to it. That is its political genius. In fact, it reflects the current trajectory of the motor industry – while …read more

Government’s air quality plan branded inadequate by city leaders

Michael Gove’s pledge to ban new petrol and diesel cars in 23 years is not enough to tackle health crisis now, say campaigners

The government’s new clean air plan has been branded inadequate by the leaders of eight heavily polluted cities, as campaigners said banning petrol and diesel cars from 2040 would not help the thousands dying each year from illnesses linked to toxic fumes.

The long-awaited report was published by Michael Gove, the environment secretary, on Wednesday, after a court ruled last year that the government must improve its proposals for tackling illegal levels of pollution.

Continue reading… …read more

Phasing out diesel and petrol cars is a woefully tiny step towards cleaner air | Caroline Lucas

Even if the ban came in sooner, it would still fall short. Rather than tinkering with the transport system, we need to completely rethink how we travel

• Caroline Lucas is co-leader of the Green party

Today’s air pollution announcement from the Tories is the latest in a string of green-sounding policies from a government that had previously gone quiet on the environment. Sadly, like so many of their plans, scratch beneath the surface and the green all but disappears.

The ban on new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 is a step forward, but it really is a tiny one. By then …read more