A third of women consider themselves to be a better parent than their partner, according to new research from YouGov, while a third of men think they are a worse parent than their partner.
Around half of all the parents surveyed who were raising a child with a partner said they think they and their co-parent are both equally good (54% of men, 53% of women).
But 34% of women felt they were better at parenting than their partner, while 32% of men said they considered their partner to be the better parent. The survey included both heterosexual and same-sex parents.
Only 6% of women felt their partners were better, and similarly, just 6% of men believe themselves a better parent than their partner.
The survey of 1,000 parents with kids under 18 found that anxiety is high among parents of both genders - over two thirds said they worry either “very often” or “often” about how well they are raising their children.
Yet the majority of both mums and dads actually consider themselves to be “good” parents.
Mums were more likely than dads to worry about how well they were parenting, and the more highly people rated their parenting skills, the less likely they were to worry.
Among self-reported “excellent” fathers, 56% worry very or quite frequently, compared to 60% of “excellent” mothers.
Six in ten (58%) of all parents who consider their parenting to be “excellent” say they worry “very often” or “quite often” - a percentage that rises to to 71% among self-described “good” parents and 76% among those believing their child-rearing skills are “average”.
The majority of mums and dads (55%) consider themselves to be “good” parents. One in eight (13%) go even further, calling themselves “excellent” parents, while a quarter (26%) feel that they are only “average” parents.
Ben Glanville, Head of YouGov Omnibus UK said: “Our data confirms how fretful parents can be when it comes to how they are raising their children.
“Generally, it is positive situation, with the majority of mums and dads rating themselves as good parents.
“A notable part of the study is the number of fathers that say their partner is the ‘better’ parent, and the percentage of mothers that say that they themselves are.”
Tackling bad landlords and boosting shared ownership schemes are among the measures set out in the Government’s new social housing plan.
Housing secretary James Brokenshire said landlord league tables and plans to empower residents amount to “major reform” of the sector as the minister set out the social housing green paper on Tuesday.
But his offer was savaged by opponents and the housing charity Shelter, who said it fails to outline “a single extra penny” to build more council-run homes, with ministers simply agreeing to a consultation on how cash from the the Right to Buy policy could be spent.
Former housing secretary Sajid Javid had promised “a wide-ranging, top-to-bottom review of the issues facing the sector” and “the most substantial report of its kind for a generation” in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Key proposals in the green paper now include:
Giving the social housing regulator “sharper teeth” to intervene when needed and ensure social homes are well managed and of decent quality.
Speeding up the complaints process and dispute resolution to give tenants support when something goes wrong
Making it easier to progress into home ownership through shared ownership schemes by allowing tenants to purchase as little as 1% of their property each year
The introduction of landlord league tables
A consultation on how councils can spend cash from stock sold under the Right To Buy policy
Brokenshire said: “Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a core priority for this Government.
“Our green paper offers a landmark opportunity for major reform to improve fairness, quality and safety for residents living in social housing across the country.
“Regardless of whether you own your home or rent, residents deserve security, dignity and the opportunities to build a better life.”
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, hit out at the proposals, saying: “The terrible Grenfell tragedy has shone a light on social housing and forced the country to think about the choices we face.
“Today’s Green Paper is full of warm words, but doesn’t commit a single extra penny towards building the social homes needed by the 1.2m people on the waiting list.”
Judith Blake, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesperson, meanwhile, described the green paper as “only a small step” towards delivering more social homes.
“There is a desperate need to reverse the decline in council housing over the past few decades,” she said, adding: “The Government must go beyond the limited measures announced so far, scrap the housing borrowing cap, and enable all councils, across the country, to borrow to build once more.
“This would trigger the renaissance in council house-building which will help people to access genuinely affordable housing.”
Shadow housing secretary John Healey said the green paper was “pitiful”, with nothing that “measures up to the scale of the housing crisis”.
He said: “The number of new social rented homes is at a record low but there is no new money to increase supply, and ministers are still preventing local authorities run by all parties from building the council homes their communities need.
“After eight years of failure on housing, ministers should back Labour’s long-term plan for a million new genuinely affordable homes over 10 years.”
Wasps could soon be allowed to swarm unchallenged as supplies of a leading nest killer run perilously low due to unprecedented demand.
German chemical giant Bayer confirmed supplies of Ficam D – a powdered insecticide used by professional pest controllers to treat an estimated 95% of wasp nests in Britain – have run out.
The company told HuffPost UK that “unprecedented... never-before-seen demand” led to the shortage as wasps enjoy a “bumper year” following months of hot weather.
Bob Guy, of Pest Control Direct, said his firm had received a month’s worth of Ficam D orders in a single day this week, in what he described as “an exceptional year for wasps.”
Supplies of Ficam D, which enables treatment without agitating nests, are only expected to be replenished in the UK by the end of September.
Experts warned that the situation could lead to nests growing to the size of beach balls as the insects become increasingly desperate to sustain themselves.
Natalie Bungay, of the British Pest Controller’s Association (BCPA), said that wasps were ready to “attack” those who go near them while nests balloon to as large as 30cm in diameter.
“Nests can get as large as 5,000 workers and can become the size of a beach ball,” Bungay, the association’s technical officer, said. “I’m predicting we are going to see some very large nests this year.”
“Stings are the main nuisance from nests. We know stings can cause anaphylactic shock in some people – one sting can kill you,” Bungay added.
“It is also the case that the more people are stung the more sensitive they can become.”
Bungay said that late August often sees wasp queens begin hibernation, which can leave adult worker wasps without direction. Wasps also become increasingly competitive for food as younger wasps grow into adults, their secretions become less nutritious to the elders.
Bob Guy, of Pest Control Direct, said the product is popular among professionals because it does not “excite” wasps during the treatment process, and other products can cause more disruption.
He added: “We normally serve domestic customers but recently we’ve seen huge interest from the trade.
“We can see that our suppliers have not been receiving stock from the manufacturer.” Some nests could now go untreated, he said.
Dr Justin Little, of Bayer’s UK crop division, said supplies of the particular type of insecticide were low across Europe and that it was working hard to find an alternative source.
Last week, the BCPA said controllers were destroying up to 12 nests a day. Technical officer Kevin Higgins confirmed wasp numbers were now “rising significantly, exceeding initial expectations” which means people have a greater chance of being stung.
A baby boy was born in queuing traffic after a coach overturned on the M25 in Kent.
Thirty-one adults and seven children were treated for minor injuries at the scene while three other patients were taken to hospital with more serious injuries.
The incident at Junction Three near Swanley caused major delays and miles of tailbacks.
Kent Police’s road policing unit later revealed the birth of the child and that there were no serious injuries.
It said on Twitter: “Pleased to update no serious injuries with overturned coach at junction 3 M25.
“Proud to see all emergency services working so effectively together.
“And just to make things interesting a baby boy was born at scene.”
The Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, Kent, was put on major incident alert, a spokesman said. It later said it was treating 23 people.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service crews had to use cutting gear to free two people trapped.
Police, ambulance and fire services were called to the scene at the M25 at Swanley just before 4pm.
Kent Police later said all people aboard the coach were accounted for and a number of people had received treatment at the scene for minor injuries before being conveyed to local hospitals.
Their involvement in the BBC dance show was announced during Monday night’s (13 August) edition of ‘The One Show’.
Speaking about her involvement in the show, Faye said: “Being on Strictly is literally a dream come true! It’s everything my nine-year-old self ever wanted from showbiz and I’m going to relish every moment!
She added: “I’ve lied to so many people! I need to apologise to all my friends.”
When the ‘Tragedy’ singer was asked about what she was most looking forward to, she said: “I am all about the costumes. The feathers, the huge hair, the make up... I like to think I’m a pretty good [dancer]. Even though I have some experience I don’t have ballroom experience so I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into that.”
Danny John-Jules, who is best known for playing Cat in the sci-fi comedy ‘Red Dwarf and policeman Dwayne Myers in the crime drama ‘Death In Paradise’, said the thought of taking part in ‘Strictly’ was “nerve-wracking”.
He added: “Having spent the last few months on two wheels motorcycling around South America in pink leathers, I’m absolutely delighted to be getting back on two feet and into something more comfortable like glittery spandex.”
Faye’s dance routines as part of Steps are well-known, but ‘The One Show’ also raided the archives and unearthed Danny busting some moves next to George Michael in the ‘Edge Of Heaven’ video.
Nice hip rotation, Danny!
The rest of the ‘Strictly’ class of 2018 will be revealed over the next two weeks.
There’s still no official word on when the 16th series of the BBC dance show will kick off, but if the dates follow the same pattern as 2017, we should expect ‘Strictly’ to launch on Saturday 8 September, before the first live show kicks off on Saturday 22 September.
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman will be back on presenting duties and it is highly likely the panel will remain the same as last year, which saw new Head Judge Shirley Ballas join Craig Revel-Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli on the panel, replacing Len Goodman who stepped down in 2016.
Other celebs rumoured to be taking to the dancefloor include Radio 1 presenter Maya Jama, former ‘EastEnders’ actress Samantha Womack, ‘Great British Bake Off’ winner Nadiya Hussain, Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan, 90’s TV star Anneka Rice and Capital Radio host Vick Hope.
We’ll be bringing you all of the ‘Strictly’ reveals as they happen, so keep checking back this week.
A cancer patient served an eviction notice at Christmas, a landlord who lost his flat in a card game and a mum-of-three forced to move every time she fell pregnant - these are some of the horror stories behind the rental market in 2018.
Emma Percy and husband Rob tell their children moving is “an adventure” but the family has been turfed out of a staggering 11 properties in 16 years, once when she was nine months’ pregnant.
The couple, who are calling for the government to introduce mandatory long-term tenancies, have been heartbroken watching savings for their own home decimated as they fork out for letting fees, deposits and moving vans.
Percy, mum to Elizabeth, 15, Jack, 13, and George, six, estimates she and her husband, a school premises manager, have paid £150,000 in rent since their first child was born, but “feel homeless”.
The Folkestone family’s story is one of many today shared with HuffPost UK via research carried out by the housing charity Shelter.
Other heartbreaking tales include:
A pensioner turfed out of her “forever home” just before retiring, despite having fully redecorated her property
A family who say their landlord broke the fuse box to force them out
A cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy asked to move out at Christmas.
As it stands, a landlord can rent their property out for a minimum term of six months.
Charities say the number one cause of homelessness is losing a private tenancy and a change in the the law would give five million renters the security of three-year tenancies overnight.
But landlords say the flexibility of short-term tenancies helps both them and their tenants.
Percy has had to move during every one of her three pregnancies and says she feels exhausted by the constant stress.
“The system is skewed in favour of landlords,” she said. “We once moved when I was five days’ overdue with my first baby.
“Luckily, Elizabeth wasn’t born until three days after we had moved.
“It has been hard on the kids. Other kids at school have grown up in a family home and they have never had that feeling.
“We feel homeless. The kids cope in varying ways.
“We try to tell them that it is an adventure. I try to stay positive but with the move this year, it all just hit home.”
In almost every case, the landlord wanted to cash in on rising house prices but the couple have been left counting the cost.
Percy said: “I don’t know why long term tenancies are not already the done thing. In Scotland, you can get a life time tenancy.
“After a six-month trial, if the landlord is happy and you are happy then people should be able to access a long-term tenancy.”
A 55-year-old teacher, who did not want to be named, who was being treated for cancer described the “total lack of control” she felt in private rented accommodation.
After renting the same flat for five years, she was called by the letting agent to say she would be served two months’ notice to move.
She said: “I was in the middle of chemotherapy at the time, had just had surgery, was waiting for radiotherapy and it was almost Christmas.
“I told the agency that I could not possibly move as I was so ill.”
The woman got a short reprieve because of her illness.
She added: “I managed to negotiate three months notice instead of two. Right now I am packing up my home of five years and leaving it at a time that is not of my choosing.”
In another case, a 64-year-old chef told researchers she was asked to move out on the day of her mother’s funeral.
She said: “This was after spending five years’ hard work and a lot of money completely updating house as we were assured it was our forever home.
“The council would only house us in a hostel 20 miles away so we’ve ended up renting a private home we can’t afford. Next year when we retire we have nowhere to live.”
One woman told researchers that the landlord removed the fuses to force them to move, and another 42-year-old mum said she was evicted when her landlord lost their home in a card game.
She said: “The letting agent would turn up unannounced and show people round.
“I was told it was a long-term tenancy but was given notice to leave after two years and later heard that the owners had bet and lost my home in a card game.”
Greg Beales, campaign director at Shelter, said: “There are more and more families renting in England every year, and yet they still often get lumped with blink-and-you-miss-it six-month contracts. This is barely enough time to get your broadband set up, let alone keep a job and see your kids through school.
“The government needs to keep moving forward boldly to fix our renting crisis, after all there will be renters out there looking at their Scottish counterparts who have permanent tenancies and thinking ‘why can’t I have that too?’.”
The National Landlords’ Association (NLA) said its research finds that around 40% of tenants want longer tenancies, and 40% do not.
The government is continuing to consult on introducing mandatory three-year tenancies.
In response to the proposals, NLA chief executive officer Richard Lambert said that while landlords “would accept that the flexibility of the current assured shorthold tenancy isn’t used as effectively as it could be”, ministers should move away from a “more rigid system” and “take account of the changes in the people who are renting and the way they live their lives”.
The Conservative Party has deleted a tweet suggesting that new laws would protect “our most vulnerable road users” from cyclists after a backlash led by Olympic medallist Chris Boardman.
Boardman, whose own mother was killed by a truck when cycling in 2016, said he felt “genuinely sick” after seeing the message on the official party Twitter feed.
Cycling minister Jesse Norman apologised after the message sparked a hail of angry responses from bike-users, and the tweet was swiftly deleted.
It came as Norman announced plans for new road safety laws, including offences of causing death by dangerous or careless cycling, which would see cyclists who kill pedestrians treated in a similar way to drivers.
Norman insisted that the changes were intended to protect “vulnerable road users, including cyclists”.
But cycling campaigners said he was simply “tinkering around the edges” of road safety.
The laws are being proposed by the Government after 44-year-old mother-of-two Kim Briggs was knocked over and killed by a bicycle courier in February 2016.
The message on the Conservative Twitter feed said: “We’re launching a consultation into dangerous cycling so that our most vulnerable road users are protected.”
Boardman responded: “That says it all really. Wow, just wow. I genuinely thought this was a bad joke, had to check it was a real account.”
Urging other cyclists to complain to Mr Norman and his party, he added: “It’s not me that needs to know how you feel – that’s me, with the dead mother, crushed to death by a car by the way. It makes me feel genuinely sick.”
Carol Boardman died aged 75 when she was run over by a pick-up truck while on a bike ride near Connah’s Quay in north Wales.
BBC radio presenter Jeremy Vine also spoke out about the Tory message.
“When I’m on a bike, I’m a vulnerable road user,” said Vine.
“In 2016 there were 1,700 road deaths; three were caused by cyclists.”
Announcing that the tweet had been taken down, Norman said: “It did not reflect either this set of policy announcements or the very careful work the Government has done to improve road safety for all users, including cyclists. On behalf of all involved, I would like to apologise.”
Boardman said Norman was “one of the good guys, if only his party would empower him to do more”.
The latest announcement includes the introduction of national guidance for cycling and walking infrastructure and updating parts of the Highway Code to combat close passing of bicycles.
Ms Briggs’ widower Matthew supports the proposed new laws.
He said: “This public consultation is an important step towards updating the arcane laws that are currently being used to prosecute cycling offences.”
Ms Briggs was killed by Charlie Alliston, then 18, who was travelling at 18mph on a fixed-wheel track bike with no front brakes.
He was sentenced to 18 months in jail after being found guilty of causing bodily harm by “wanton and furious driving”.
The Victorian legislation, originally drafted to deal with reckless handling of horses, was used because there was no cycling equivalent to the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.
Department for Transport (DfT) figures for 2016 show that 448 pedestrians were killed on Britain’s roads, but only three cases involved bicycles.
National charity Cycling UK claimed a “full review of road traffic offences” is required.
Cycling UK head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore described the current system of prosecuting and sentencing for careless or dangerous drivers as “something of a lottery” which leaves victims and their relatives “feeling massively let down”.
He went on: “Adding one or two new offences specific to cyclists would be merely tinkering around the edges.
“If the Government is serious about addressing behaviour that puts others at risk on our roads, they should grasp the opportunity to do the job properly, rather than attempt to patch up an area of legislation that’s simply not working.”
Norman said: “All these measures are designed to support the continued growth of cycling and walking, with all the benefits they bring to our communities, economy, environment and society.”
Boris Johnson has ducked questions over his controversial comments about women in burkas as he emerged from his Oxfordshire home to offer cups of tea to journalists.
A week ago, the former Foreign Secretary likened women who wear the Muslim face veil to letterboxes and bank robbers and prompted outrage even from within the Conservative Party.
Johnson, whose latest weekly column in the Daily Telegraph has avoided the controversy, has yet to publicly comment on the backlash to his remarks.
Most recently, the campaign group Tell Mama claimed there was a “direct link” between the ex-minister’s comments and an increase in incidents in the last week targeting women who wear the niqab.
Despite being asked if he “regretted his comments”, the one-time Tory leadership hopeful evaded the questions. “I have nothing to say about this matter except to offer you some tea,” he said.
Johnson quipped the reporters had been on a “humanitarian mission” and that he felt “very sorry” for them.
The gesture - whether genuine, tongue-in-cheek or spin - prompted anger among some on social media.
Former Labour director of communications Alastair Campbell hit out at him “inspiring extremists to attack women”. “Total charlatan. Revolting on so many levels,” he added.
Labour MP Wes Streeting said: “It’s all just one big jolly old jape for Boris Johnson isn’t it? Not so funny for the Muslim women who’ve experienced the backlash as a result.”
Comedian David Schneider added: “When you set the whole country on fire for something you don’t really believe in then incite racial hatred all for personal gain but still want to show what a nice guy you are.”
Tell Mama, which records hate crimes, says there has been an increase in Islamophobic incidents targeting victims wearing headscarves and veils in recent days.
The majority of niqab-wearing victims who have called Tell Mama’s helpline since the article appeared said the perpetrator either used phrases such as “letterbox” or referred to Johnson, it said.
In the week before Johnson’s comments, Tell Mama reported no incidents against women wearing a niqab.
But women wearing the niqab were targeted on August 8 in London, followed by another three incidents in London and Luton the next day, and a fourth in the capital on Friday.
“This is what language does,” Tell Mama said. “It does not fence off actions in the minds of perps but means identifiable Muslim women are also affected.”
In his latest Daily Telegraph column, Johnson called for cuts to “absurdly high” stamp duty and warned of an “oligopoly” of construction companies reducing the supply of new homes by “land-banking”.
Meanwhile, former Trump aide Steve Bannon has said Johnson has the potential to be a “great prime minister”,
The US right-winger, who masterminded Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election bid and joined him briefly in the White House as a senior adviser, also praised English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson as a “force of nature”.
Six people, including two pensioners, have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man’s body was found in a flat.
Paramedics alerted Greater Manchester Police after being called to a report of an unresponsive man at a property on Palatine Street in Rochdale at about 10.30pm on Saturday.
When officers arrived they discovered the body of a man in his 50s inside the property.
A murder investigation was launched and two men, aged 49 and 43, and a 44-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of murder.
On Sunday a 70-year-old man and two women, aged 69 and 47, were also arrested on suspicion of murder.
All six remain in police custody.
Detective Superintendent Debbie Dooley said: “This is a fast-moving investigation and we now have a further three people in custody bringing the total number of arrests to six so far.
“However, our investigation does not stop here and we would continue to urge the public to get in touch with any information they have.
“You might have seen or heard something untoward or suspicious and have yet to come forward to police.
“Any information could prove vital in finding those responsible for this man’s death.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 0161 856 8797 or 07387 705768 quoting incident number 2204 of 11th August or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
An off-duty police officer has been stabbed while fighting off four men trying to steal a moped in south London.
The Metropolitan Police are appealing for witnesses after the 37-year-old City of London officer was stabbed in the leg with a kitchen knife in Lewisham, south London, on Saturday evening.
The attack on the unarmed officer happened as four men on mopeds attempted to take another moped from a 21-year-old man in Maylons Road.
The unnamed officer intervened in the incident, challenging the suspects.
Despite being stabbed in the leg, he continued to confront the four suspects and tried to prevent the theft of the moped until the suspects fled the scene.
The officer has been taken to a south London hospital where his injuries were described as not life-threatening or life-changing.
The 21-year-old victim of the attempted theft was also assaulted by suspects and suffered bruising. His injuries are not life-threatening.
Commander Jane Gyford, of the City of London Police, tweeted about the attack on Sunday afternoon, saying the officer remained in hospital.
She wrote: “Informed whilst on call, one of my officers @ CityPolice @CityPoliceCops was stabbed whilst bravely intervening in a street robbery yesterday. The officer is currently in hospital and recovering.”
She added: “Thank you to our friends @ MPSLewisham for all the support you have given.”
Meanwhile, the City Police Officers Twitter account posted: “Thoughts are with the family of one of our own.
“Off duty, went to the assistance of a member of public being robbed of his # Moped.
“Outnumbered he showed extreme bravery; but was stabbed
“The officer is stable & in good hands thanks to @ MPSLewisham #OpVenice #KnifeCrime.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The incident is now being investigated by Lewisham Police and enquiries are underway to identify those responsible. Officers are keen to hear from anyone who either witnessed the incident or has information that could assist the investigation.
“Anyone with information is asked to call Lewisham Police by dialling 101 quoting reference CAD5786/11AUG, tweet @MetCC, or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Check back for the fullest version. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.