Posts in Parliament

Education Secretary Michael Gove has already achieved something I cannot recall any of his predecessors managing.

He triggered a successful vote of no confidence not just by the more abrasive National Union of Teachers but also by the traditionally uber-moderate Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

No doubt his supporters and apologists regard this as a badge of honour. Personally I see this as a reasonable assessment of the worst Education Secretary of at least the past 20 years. It almost makes one nostalgic for John Patten and Kenneth Baker - but not quite.

To mark International Women's Day, the excellent History of Parliament project (twitter: @HistParl) has been seeking examples of women in history whose political influence has gone unnoticed. Nobody who knows me will be surprised by my nominee: the Liverpool-born academic, politician and social reformer, Eleanor Rathbone. In the course of my exchange on twitter with @HistParl, I recalled a short piece I'd written about Rathbone and her political significance back in 2007. Having discovered that the website for which it was written no longer exists, I'm re-posting it here as a record of one of Liverpool's many remarkable female social reformers. Re-publishing the piece also seems timely in light of the recent reforms to Child Benefit, which mean that it is no longer a universal provision.

THE GOVERNMENT has today approved the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme to regenerate the city's northern docklands.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he would not "call in" Peel Holdings' huge skyscraper project a public inquiry. Read the full story HERE.

Below is the letter from the DCLG:

oday transport authority Merseytravel will vote to increase the tunnel tolls by 10p.

A report recommending the increase is at pains to point out that the transport authority is obliged to do this under the terms of the Mersey Tunnels Act 2004 which sets down that tolls should keep pace with inflation.

But in the financial year 2011/12 of the £37m raised through the toll, more than £8m was returned as a surplus.

It is clear that the terms of the Act are outdated and present an unfair burden on motorists in Merseyside.

View Gay Marriage legislation - how Merseyside MPs voted in a larger map

Yesterday the House of Commons backed gay marriage by a margin of 400 to 175.

The purple markers on the map (put together by my colleague Dan Kay) show the MPs that voted in favour of the gay marriage bill, the green markers show those who voted against.

Click the zoom out button to get a better perspective.

The peasants are revolting

By Cath Bore on Jan 10, 13 07:21 PM in Conservatives

Thousands of minimum wage earners around the UK are due to take to the streets in protest tomorrow, disgusted at the plight of their fellow low paid - and the derisory pay rises offered to them.

Eagle_McGovern_Rotheram.jpgMerseyside MPs are continuing to make their mark in Westminister with three shortlisted in the prestigious House Awards.

Maria Eagle (Garston MP) is nominated for opposition frontbencher, Steve Rotheram (Walton) is in the rising star category, and Alison McGovern (Wirral South) for backbencher of the year.

Their nominations read as such:

In May 2009, as leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg announced his 100 day action plan 'to save British democracy', 'take back power' and 'change politics for good'. Clegg's proposals were for an urgent and far-reaching set of political reforms, including fixed-term Parliaments, a mechanism for voters to be able to recall MPs, a referendum on adopting the 'AV+' electoral system, an elected second chamber, and a cap on donations to political parties.

Clegg's call to arms was prompted by the MPs' expenses crisis, as a result of which the leaders of all three major parties came to proclaim that British democracy was in crisis and in urgent need of reform. Against this backdrop, he explained the rationale for swift and radical action in the following terms:

"Britain's democracy is at a turning point. Not in living memory has confidence in politicians, trust in the system, or faith in the government's capacity to change things been as low as it is today. Now the true extent of the rot in the system is clear to people, there is huge and growing public demand for change. This has become a once in a generation chance to reform politics completely, putting power back into the hands of the people, where it belongs. The need for constitutional renewal is now recognised across the political spectrum".

Liverpool_MPs.jpgLiverpool MPs Maria Eagle, Stephen Twigg, Luciana Berger, and Louise Ellman.

Not for the first time the Liverpool Labour party will be feeling somewhat grateful towards Nick Clegg this morning.

His party's marriage to the Conservatives had already destroyed its short-term electoral chances locally.

And now he has saved the Labour party from a potentially damaging Merseyside internal war, by killing off the boundary review, that would have seen one Liverpool constituency deleted.

The proposed boundary changes had set Garston MP Maria Eagle and Wavertree MP Luciana Berger against each other as their constituencies were set for a merger.

usain_bolt.jpgYou may have seen the furore today about members of the culture, media and sport select committee accepting tickets to the men's 100m final at the Olympics.

Walton MP Steve Rotheram, who is a member of the committee, was not one of them though.

Mr Rotheram told me: ""There is always a perception of it being a jolly with these things.

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David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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