Week in Parliament


Alicia McCarthy looks back at the big political stories of the week at Westminster, including the funeral of Baroness Thatcher, a key vote on changing planning rules for home extensions and is joined in the studio by two political characters to ask whether the drama has gone out of politics.

On Tuesday, 26 coalition MPs - 16 Conservatives and 10 Lib Dems - voted against the government by backing a House of Lords amendment stipulating that individual councils should be given the right to opt out of the temporary planning rules changes.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wants to ease planning rules in England for three years to boost construction. But after coming up against opposition from coalition MPs, Mr Pickles has promised to set out a "revised approach".

On Wednesday Baroness Thatcher left the Palace of Westminster for the very last time. The former prime minister's coffin bearing her body lay overnight in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, before leaving on Wednesday morning for the ceremonial funeral at St Paul's Cathedral.


As the curtain came down of on the Thatcher years - one of the most dramatic periods in modern British politics - The Week in Parliament is joined by two politicians who discuss whether the drama has gone out of politics.

The Conservative and former Tory advisor, Lord Dobbs has written a string of best selling political novels about the darker goings on at Westminster. He is joined by Labour MP Chris Bryant, who's been at the forefront of the phone hacking campaign, and is not adverse to making a noise in the House of Commons.

The previous week's programme can be found here

Watch The Week in Parliament on BBC Parliament at 11pm on Friday 19 April, 11am on Saturday 20 April and 9am on Monday 22 April.

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