The Libya war: in pictures

The government is expected to announce that the war has cost £250m. Here are images of the conflict

Above, David Cameron arrives at a press conference on 21 June. He insisted that Britain would continue its Libya operations for "as long as is necessary". Today, the government is expected to announce that the mission has cost £250m.

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People gather next to buildings damaged by Nato airstrikes in Tripoli. Nato admitted causing civilian deaths, and blamed this on a "weapons system failure". At least nine people were killed, including two children.

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Here, French helicopters land off the coast of Libya following airstrikes. Today's announcement contradicts George Osborne's claim that the war would cost tens, not hundreds, of millions.

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A French aircraft carrier off the Libyan coast is pictured from a helicopter. In news reminiscent of the Iraq War, the Financial Times revealed that only 12 UK officials are working on plans for Gaddafi's departure and reconstruction.

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Above, Libyans loyal to Gaddafi dance at Tripoli's Mitiga International airport to celebrate 41 years after the United States left Libya on 11 June 1970.

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A child poses with a rifle at the same event. These pictures were taken on a guided government tour.

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Here, rebel fighters flash the victory sign as they drive towards the frontline from their stronghold of Benghazi.

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During Friday noon prayers in Revolution Square, Benghazi, Libyans pray over six bodies recovered from a mass grave. These were allegedly the bodies of people killed by Gaddafi's regime some 20 years ago.

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Above, Libyan rebels fire a machine gun at positions held by forces loyal to Gaddafi during fighting in the western mountain region of Qalaa. The opposition has warned that it will run out of funds in less than a week without aid.

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This picture shows another building destroyed by Nato warplanes, this t.ime in the Bab Al-Aziziya district of Tripoli where Gaddafi has his base

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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