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The shadow transport secretary on Labour's rail plans, Alan Johnson's possible comeback and why she doesn't regret her comments on Thomas The Tank Engine. Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 9.30am: Environment, food and rural affairs questions (topicals at 10.05am) 10.15am: Questions to the Church Commissioners and Public Accounts Commission and Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission 10.30am: B... Continue to article
Sharon Hodgson said that media coverage of Parliament did not fairly reflect the diversity of MPs. “I think the first glass ceiling we had to break, for women and people from working-class backgrounds was getting into Parliament, and the... Continue to article
Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson had "no appetite" for a police review of Scotland Yard's original phone-hacking investigation according to the Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
Sir Denis O'Connor told the Leveson Inquiry he advised the Home Office an independent review was required after a Guardian story in July 2009 alleged illegal interception of voicemails was far more widespread than previously believed.
"I said - looking at this - that I thought the revelations merited some form of independent review....I thought that the allegations that were there - if true in any degree - would raise substantial public confidence issues, and I would not be surprised if the HMIC were asked to assist in some way to facilitate such an approach...
"My understanding was that, as with a number of other options, discussions ensued with ministers and the Home Secretary at the time and there was no appetite for the HMIC being involved.
"So it never really got off the ground, sadly."
Alan Johnson has warned the Labour party that picking the "wrong leader" could lead to an extended spell in opposition, as he reaffirmed his support for David Miliband. Mr Johnson said Labour had to adopt "sensible approach" to the deficit.
Alan Johnson's wife has asked for a divorce according to the Sunday Telegraph. The police bodyguard who was suspended over an affair with the former Home Secretary's wife, is now to be questioned over a possible second affair with Mr Johnson's personal assistant in his Hull constituency.
A third major trade union has announced it is reviewing its links with the Labour party following Ed Miliband's decision to back the public sector pay freeze.
The Evening Standard reports that Unison has launched a review of its relationship with the party. This comes as senior Labour figures went on the offensive against the trade unions, with Alan Johnson warning that trade unions are at risk of falling back into the "fantasy utopias" of the 1970s,
Writing in the Guardian, the former Home Secretary and trade union leader said the unions risked becoming the "delusional left".
But other Labour MPs continue to oppose the plan. Writing for PoliticsHome, backbencher John Mann called on Mr Miliband and Shadow Chancellor to go "back to the drawing board" on the party's economic strategy. He wrote: "The reality is that this is a political gesture, because a pollster has told Ed Miliband that he is seen as a weak leader and Ed Balls as weak on the economy. Solution: kick the highest voting and self-identifying group of floating voters and a group that is nationwide! Back to the drawing board lads."
Alan Johnson has said he couldn't have "coped properly" with the demands of being Shadow Chancellor whilst dealing with problems in his personal life, but has not ruled out a return to frontline politics. In his first interview since standing down with his local paper he said: "If you are trying to deal with your job as an MP, deal with your job as a frontbench spokesman in the shadow cabinet and shadow chancellor and at the same time you have got lots of problems to sort out at home, you can't do all three."
The special operations police officer who allegedly had an affair with Alan Johnson's wife has been suspended following media reports of an inappropriate relationship, Channel 4 News reports.
Mr Johnson's replacement as Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls earlier called for the media to respect the privacy of his predecessor, who resigned yesterday. Paul Rice, who protected Mr Johnson during his time as Home Secretary, is reported to have been the police officer in question.
Ed Balls has acknowledged that he has a “big responsibility” to work with Ed Miliband on the economy.
The new Shadow Chancellor said: “I'm going to get on with the job. This is a huge debate about the future of the country, it's about jobs, it's about mortgage rates, it's about public services, and I've got a big responsibility now to do my bit with Ed Miliband to take this argument to the Coalition."
Conservative Deputy Chairman Michael Fallon this morning hit out at Ed Balls, describing him as "Gordon Brown's chief lieutenant" and claiming he was "the man who took us to the brink of bankruptcy". His Labour counterpart Harriet Harman hit back at those suggestions, saying: "I think they'll have a very dynamic and productive relationship with Ed Balls being an excellent Shadow Chancellor under Ed Miliband's leadership." She added that Mr Balls would be taking forward the economic path set out by Mr Johnson and Mr Miliband since the election.
29/06/2014 on Pienaar's Politics, BBC Radio 5Live
04/02/2014 on Daily Politics, BBC2
01/10/2013 on Conservative party
10/09/2013 on Sky News
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