15 Mar 2013 15:51
The group arrived in Johannesburg mid-morning on the Monday and were greeted by representatives from Anglo American and Johnson & Johnson for a short lunch before a series of briefings and presentations, designed to provide some context to the work that the parliamentarians would be seeing on the visit. Frans Cronje, Deputy CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) also took part in the discussions, providing an
by Emma Burnell / 15 Mar 2013 15:14
I used to know Eric Joyce a bit. Not well, but a bit. He was funny and charming. An incorrigible flirt, mind.
We lost touch several years ago. But I felt sorry for him last year when he first got a bit “fighty". I worried that his response was not that of someone who recognised he had a problem. The way he normalised his violent behaviour and the drinking that
by Gavin Devine / 14 Mar 2013 14:35
An article published in yesterday’s Financial Times may have given some in the business community the impression that a great change is sweeping over the UK public affairs industry.
If you were to take the excellent Jim Pickard’s report at face value, you would conclude that innumerable shifty recruitment consultants are queuing up around the back of Labour Party HQ, signing up unsuspecting politicos for the public affairs industry.
by Anoosh Chakelian / 13 Mar 2013 13:48
Whitehall. Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. The prime minister has called his government to respond to a major national crisis: its apparent inability to organise a piss-up in a brewery.
Prime ministerial aide: Are you sure this is wise, prime minister?
David Cameron: (Smoothing out an old crumpled document, scouring it intently, red cheeks resolutely puffed in toadlike concentration) Yes, I can do this. I organised Brasenose ball, remember? This
by Tom Wadsworth / 12 Mar 2013 16:03
The ever-changing horizon of the political media means looking a week ahead to the Budget is about as long-term as it gets; looking several months or years ahead often doesn’t happen.
But it’s the decisions taken in a few months’ time, in the summer, which will hugely impact the political and economic outlook of spring 2015, and could cause some of the biggest tensions we’ve seen in the coalition so far.
by Ray Filar / 12 Mar 2013 15:17
Labour’s sudden conversion to the mansion tax cause could be that rumoured beast: a One Nation Labour policy. A real, One Nation-values espousing policy. The sort of concrete, saleable idea eagerly anticipated by party activists, who can now rejoice in the hope of more where that came from. By stealing a Liberal Democrat flagship policy to partially fund the return of the 10p tax rate, Labour may have just pulled off a
by Ray Chambers / 12 Mar 2013 13:03
Tonight sees a gathering of 150 influencers at the House of Lords, organised by Malaria No More UK to mark UK action and global progress on malaria, shortly after the UK premier of ‘Mary & Martha’, the new film written by Richard Curtis about two mothers who unite to save lives after losing their own sons to malaria. I’m encouraged by the breadth of support for tonight’s event with speakers including Professor
by Brian Donohoe MP and Paul Goggins MP / 11 Mar 2013 15:29
A major new report released last week by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on travel and tourism competitiveness has confirmed what many of us have long feared: the UK is now officially one of the world’s least competitive countries when it comes to the ticket taxes levied on passengers.
The report ranks the UK 139 out of 140 countries for flight tax competitiveness based on ‘ticket taxes and airport charges’. There
by Sadie Smith / 07 Mar 2013 10:52
The end of day adjournment debate is undertaken after all the other usual business of the House – Departmental questions, Private Member’s Bills, government legislation, and Dennis Skinner roaring about “posh boys” – is over. They are an opportunity for backbench MPs to pin a Minister down about a local issue and, whilst nothing substantive often emerges, it is a useful way in which ordinary Members can hold the Government to account.
by Anoosh Chakelian / 06 Mar 2013 12:54
“John works in East London…”, thundered Ed Miliband grimly to the House.
The chamber sat in reverential silence – no jeering allowed when a tragic individual tale of a distant constituent’s helpless woe is told, by either side. Muggles have feelings too.
“His salary is £1m, and he’s worried his bonus may be capped at £2m.”
A banker joke, no less!
Cue Labour guffaws.
But perhaps it
by Henry Smith MP / 06 Mar 2013 11:57
Under the previous Labour government, the NHS lost hundreds of millions of pounds through the treatment of foreign patients where the costs were not recovered. As such, last year I was delighted by the broad support I received from my Conservative colleagues following my introduction of the NHS Audit Requirements (Foreign National) Bill to Parliament.
Freedom of Information requests have shown that most NHS trusts at best only cursorily audit the
by Anders Lustgarten / 06 Mar 2013 11:38
I’ve written a play called If You Don’t Let Us Dream, We Won’t Let You Sleep, which is on at the Royal Court Theatre til Saturday. It’s the first piece of fiction since the financial crisis to deal not with the technicalities of high finance but with the daily ways in which it is eating into our society.
The play posits ‘Unity Bonds’, which allow the City to speculate on the