by Sean Kippin / 09 Jan 2014 16:19
What lies behind Ed Balls’ recent display of niceness towards the Liberal Democrats? The recent softening of tone when senior Labour figures discuss the Party, and vice versa, suggests a deliberate strategy on both sides to avoid pre-emptively burn bridges between the two parties. In advance of potential negotiations in the wake of another hung parliament after the 2015 election, this is probably wise.
While the prospect of a Lab-Lib coalition would have been
by Jenny Watson / 09 Jan 2014 12:18
Electoral fraud is a serious issue. There is no evidence that it is widespread in the UK, but where it does happen electoral fraud has the potential to undermine public confidence. And the truth is our elections are run on a system of trust that is fundamentally the same as it was in the 19th century.
During our consultation we asked 'is our trust-based electoral system sustainable?' The answer that came back, following several months
by Anoosh Chakelian / 08 Jan 2014 13:20
What do opposing politicians do when they return energised from their Christmas hols and face each other hungrily across the despatch box for the first time in weeks, following days of party-political potshots about extreme flooding, the cuts and our PM's hair (or, in time, scalp) stylist?
They talk about the weather, of course!
In a particularly subdued edition of our weekly political knockabout, PMQs, neither Punch nor Judy were anywhere to be seen as
by David Frost / 07 Jan 2014 15:39
I am lucky enough to represent the industry that produces one of the United Kingdom’s most successful and iconic products - Scotch whisky. The Scotch industry is that rare thing - an industry steeped in history, but thoroughly modern in outlook, and with a positive future. It contributes around £4 billion to the UK’s balance of trade and supports 35,000 jobs.
So why does the Government want to tax it so much?
by David Davies MP / 06 Jan 2014 10:57
As a Conservative MP I publicly opposed the increases in the foreign aid budget under Andrew Mitchell's leadership. As a Special Constable in London I have spent 8 years working side by side with regular officers and experienced first hand the verbal and sometimes physical threats which the police all too often face.
So it might surprise people to learn that I believe Andrew Mitchell has been badly treated by the police,
by Alex Bryce / 24 Dec 2013 00:21
Mary Honeyball, Labour's Spokesperson on the European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, has been a vocal supporter of anti-sex work legislation and has written a report to the European Parliament recommending the Swedish Model, which criminalises the purchase of sex. She recently wrote an article published in Total Politics on the issue and has appeared regularly commenting on the issue on a variety of BBC platforms including Daily Politics, Women’s Hour and the
by Mary Honeyball MEP / 12 Dec 2013 17:55
This month police raided brothels and other sex premises in Soho. The operations, which came in response to sex trafficking and rape allegations, drew to the surface stark contrasts in attitudes towards prostitution. Pro-legalisation campaigners argued that immigrant sex workers in the area were employed safely, but senior officers took the opposite view, photographing the operation so that punters could see the “full story” behind the bohemian mystique of Soho.
As yesterday’s article in
by Joseph Roberts / 26 Nov 2013 11:41
We enter the gallery above the chamber to the raucous jeering from the politicians below us. It is not exactly how it appears on the TV and my first reaction is one of shock at just how bizarre it all seems.
As we take our seats, the shouting dies down into a lull of obedience, and the booming voice of our prime minister rang throughout the room. The topic? Energy prices. A turbulent subject to
by Anoosh Chakelian / 12 Nov 2013 14:40
Lib Dem Jo Swinson, now business minister, needed the encouragement of her MP husband to ask Nick Clegg to consider her for promotion.
Labour MP Stella Creasy was flooded with phone calls from journalists asking her if women can 'have it all' when Louise Mensch - neither in her party nor in any way resembling her domestic set-up - left parliament to join her husband in America.
Tory education minister Liz Truss recalls being on
by Katie Schmuecker / 04 Nov 2013 10:46
Today marks the start of Living Wage Week. This is the week when the new Living Wage rates for London and the rest of the UK will be announced, but it’s also an important opportunity for us to focus on the related problems of low pay and in-work poverty in the UK, and what we should do about them.
Families experiencing poverty despite having some - or all - adults in work is a problem
by Jim Steer / 31 Oct 2013 10:44
Tuesday’s Strategic Case for HS2 was a significant turning point for the future of Britain’s railways. It answered critics and resoundingly reaffirmed HS2’s convincing business rationale in principle and in detail.
The case was crystal clear on what HS2 would achieve in both improving transport links and in real added value to the UK economy.
Benefits for capacity were particularly convincing. Not only for stations directly served by HS2 but for towns and cities off
by Nick Tyrone / 29 Oct 2013 15:10
Nick Clegg has spoken of his discomfort around three current areas of Free Schools policy: teacher qualifications, Core Curriculum and school meals standards. The Tories and the right wing press have bit back hard on the Deputy Prime Minister for this sudden about face. Some of it has been (predictably) overtly political, with Conservative peer Baroness Buscombe describing Clegg as “two-faced”. But some of the criticism actually does appear to be genuinely policy driven.