George Osborne lowers benefit cap further... so will Labour leader hopefuls now get off the fence?

George Osborne lowers benefit cap further... so will Labour leader hopefuls now get off the fence?

05 Jul 2015 19:04

The Chancellor is pressing ahead with his plan for a reduced benefit cap. But not quite as we knew it.

George Osborne has confirmed he will reduce the annual welfare cap from 26,000 to £23,000 when he delivers the Budget on Wednesday.

But has also revealed that this figure will only apply to people living in London. For those outside of the M25, it gets worse.

Osborne outlined his latest thinking on the Andrew Marr

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Win a pair of tickets to see 1984 in the West End!

Win a pair of tickets to see 1984 in the West End!

03 Jul 2015 15:45

April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is always watching... 

The international five-star smash hit production of Orwell's dystopian masterpiece 1984 is now back in London and we’re offering Total Politics readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to see it.

The "definitive book of the 20th century" (The Guardian) is re-examined in this radical and much-lauded staging exploring surveillance,

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Camila Batmanghelidjh: I hope Downing Street is not briefing against me

Camila Batmanghelidjh: I hope Downing Street is not briefing against me

03 Jul 2015 09:08

High profile charity boss Camila Batmanghelidjh has suggested that aides of David Cameron could be trying to “discredit” her because she has challenged the government over failures in provision for vulnerable children.

The founder and chief executive of Kids Company hit the airwaves this morning, after reports that she is stepping down amid concerns in Whitehall about some aspects of the way the charity is managed. It has been reported by BBC Newsnight and Buzzfeed

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The complicated politics of Glastonbury and Kanye West

The complicated politics of Glastonbury and Kanye West

02 Jul 2015 17:25

The owner of an anti-Kanye West flag that caused controversy at Glastobury has spoken out about the political motivations for her actions.

The "Fuck off Kanye West" flag was confiscated and burned by Lily Allen, after the singer spotted it and took a dislike to the creation.

But flag owner Aoibheann has now hit back at Allen for stealing her stuff.

Speaking to the NME, the Glasonbury-goer also explained why she made the flag

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Lobbyists slam Cherie Blair’s 'not terribly skilful' lobbying

Lobbyists slam Cherie Blair’s 'not terribly skilful' lobbying

02 Jul 2015 16:17

Cherie Blair repeatedly pressured Hillary Clinton to meet a leading Qatari royal, according to newly-released emails.

Over a four-month period in 2009, the pair swapped 19 emails as Cherie urged the then US secretary of state to carve out a space in her diary to meet Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned.

Cherie began her email offensive in May 2009. Unfortunately her first missive was addressed to Hilary, rather than Hillary. It also referred to Sheika Mose

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Over half of ministers will have taken drugs, says Norman Lamb

Over half of ministers will have taken drugs, says Norman Lamb

02 Jul 2015 14:15

Liberal Democrat leadership contender Norman Lamb has attacked current UK drug laws as “pathetic” and called for a more liberal approach.

Speaking at an event organised by the IPPR thinktank, the former care minister said:

“We have the crazy situation that, almost certainly, more than half of this government – half of the government ministers in a Conservative government – will have taken drugs in their younger years.

“They put it down, in a

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Kevin Maguire: Why zombie Lib Dems still matter

Kevin Maguire: Why zombie Lib Dems still matter

02 Jul 2015 11:44

There is still a major role for the Liberal Democrats in British politics, writes Kevin Maguire in his latest column for TP.

The Daily Mirror’s associate editor states:

“Family pets healthier than the ailing Liberal Democrats have been put out of their misery by a veterinary surgeon’s injection.

"The election juggernaut that ran over the yellow bird crushed most of the life out of a party which just two months ago was in government and

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John Bercow and Jeremy Corbyn take action as heatwave hits

John Bercow and Jeremy Corbyn take action as heatwave hits

01 Jul 2015 17:22

In the midst of the record-breaking heatwave in Britain, the Speaker has taken drastic action.

John Bercow is relaxing of the archaic dress code for male journalists, which dictates jackets and ties in the Commons.

The rules will be cast aside until the summer recess later this month, he said.

But Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn wants to go a step further.

Corbyn clearly thinks it isn't just lobby hacks that might need a bit

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Iain Duncan Smith's credit card suspended

Iain Duncan Smith's credit card suspended

01 Jul 2015 12:54

Iain Duncan Smith and Rachel Reeves are among 19 MPs to have had their official credit cards suspended this year, it has emerged.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority issues MPs with credit cards for to pay for items such as travel and accommodation. The politicians then have to prove the spending is genuine.

Former Labour MP Eric Joyce had his card blocked when he owed a tidy £12,919.61. Joyce, best known for assaulting a Tory MP in Strangers'

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As Heathrow expansion gets green light, will Boris still lie down in front of bulldozers to stop it?

As Heathrow expansion gets green light, will Boris still lie down in front of bulldozers to stop it?

01 Jul 2015 08:34

The Airport Commission has come out in favour of building a third runway at Heathrow.  So will Boris Johnson still lie down in front of the bulldozers to stop the runway being built, as he pledged earlier this year?

The London mayor appeared on the Today programme this morning and stated:

“As it happens I don’t think my services as a bulldozer blocker will be required for decades, if ever. I don’t think this is

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John Healey hits out at ‘unseemly scramble’ to bury Miliband legacy

John Healey hits out at ‘unseemly scramble’ to bury Miliband legacy

30 Jun 2015 15:06

Former housing minister John Healey has urged the Labour party's leadership hopefuls: "Don’t lose sight of what worked as well as what didn’t."

Speaking to TP, Healey said the biggest problem for Labour in 2010-2015 was the way it drew a line over the successes of the Blair and Brown governments.

And he said that some of the Labour leadership candidates had been in a hurry to repeat the same mistake.

"I think early on

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Glenda Jackson set for acting comeback after 22 years as MP

Glenda Jackson set for acting comeback after 22 years as MP

30 Jun 2015 09:33

Having stood down as Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate, Glenda Jackson is returning to acting in a "mash-up" adaptation of novels by French writer Emile Zola.

Jackson will star in Blood, Sex and Money, based on the 20-novel series Les Rougon-Macquart charting the lives of members of a single family from the 19th century into the industrialised era.

The first instalment will be broadcast every day over a week on Radio 4 in November.

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Philip Davies: 'One thing David and I agree on is that I should not be promoted.'

Philip Davies: 'One thing David and I agree on is that I should not be promoted.'

Taking pride of place on the wall of Philip Davies’ parliamentary office is a large black and white portrait of Winston Churchill.

Slightly less conspicuous is the sheet of orange A4 with block capitals setting out the Shipley MP’s “mission and purpose” for his time in the House of Commons.

It states: “To give my constituents the best service of any MP and vigorously hold the government to account no matter which party is in

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