Lord Kinnock on beards, bullying and a mid-life crisis

Sean Curran interviews Lord Kinnock
Image caption 'Some of the biggest dolts that I've ever met.....are people who've thought of a career in politics'

MPs have disappeared for their summer recess. Parliament is almost deserted and there is just the distraction of the Brexit fall-out, a new government and a Labour leadership election to keep Lobby correspondents in business.

With no-one having resigned for days, you may want to fill that politics-shaped hole in your life by catching up on a fascinating Neil Kinnock interview with my BBC Westminster colleague Sean Curran.

In the interview, Lord Kinnock looks back on his upbringing as the son of a miner and district nurse ("a sort of sheriff of north Tredegar" as her son puts it). He joined Labour (against the rules) just before his 15th birthday.

He tells of his unhappiness at Lewis School, Pengam, despite its reputation for educational excellence.

"It was a highly thought of grammar school," says Lord Kinnock, now 74. "Lloyd George called it 'the Eton of Wales' as if that was the greatest flattery.

Read full article Lord Kinnock on beards, bullying and a mid-life crisis

Owen Smith on Corbyn, leadership, devolution and Brexit

Pontypridd MP Owen Smith
Image caption 'We've lost credibility, we've lost respect in many of our communities' - Labour leadership contender Owen Smith.

I've been talking to Owen Smith about his challenge for the Labour leadership. Here's a quick summary.

He blamed Jeremy Corbyn for the party's performance in May's assembly elections, said voters backed Brexit because they didn't feel the Labour Party stood up for them, denied that he was anti-devolution and insisted having a prime minister from outside England could help keep the UK together.

Read full article Owen Smith on Corbyn, leadership, devolution and Brexit

Cairns on Brexit, the Wales Bill, funding and bridges

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns MP
Image caption 'Well, there are certainly lots of challenges' - Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns on the advantages of Brexit.

MPs on Parliament's Welsh affairs committee have been grilling Alun Cairns for the first time since his appointment in March.

The hour-long session featured questions on Brexit, steel, devolution and the Severn crossings.

Read full article Cairns on Brexit, the Wales Bill, funding and bridges

Smith and Eagle battle for the anti-Corbyn vote

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle
Image caption Corbyn challengers Owen Smith and Angela Eagle on Andrew Marr's sofa.

Labour MPs have been questioning the candidates for their party leadership in a hustings at Westminster.

There was no vote afterwards but nominations for Jeremy Corbyn's job open at 7pm on Monday and close at 5pm on Wednesday.

Read full article Smith and Eagle battle for the anti-Corbyn vote

Crabb: from rising star to back benches in two weeks

Stephen Crabb MP
Image caption Stephen Crabb's last visit to Downing Street as a cabinet minister.

"MPs are imperfect in so many ways. We are made of the same stuff as the rest of humanity. From time to time we deserve challenge, criticism and ridicule."

It's fair to say that Stephen Crabb probably thinks he has received more than his fair share of challenge, criticism and ridicule in the weeks since he wrote those words (in response to the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox).

Read full article Crabb: from rising star to back benches in two weeks

Owen Smith: 'I can be the next Labour prime minister'

Owen Smith MP
Image caption Owen Smith: 'I can heal this party. I can be a credible Labour leader and the next prime minister'

Owen Smith has been explaining why he hopes to stand for the Labour leadership.

The Pontypridd MP, who resigned from the shadow cabinet last month, told the BBC he was "not part of any plot or coup against Jeremy Corbyn" but the leader had rejected compromises he had suggested.

Read full article Owen Smith: 'I can be the next Labour prime minister'

Cairns on Cameron, EU funds and elections

Alun Cairns MP
Image caption It never rains but it pours: Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns live on the BBC News Channel

I spoke to Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns after he attended David Cameron's last cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

"It was very professional, but it was also emotional," he said. "It was very dignified but I would also say at the end it was quite emotional.

Read full article Cairns on Cameron, EU funds and elections

May Day: Welsh Tory MPs react to new prime minister

Theresa May
Image caption Theresa May speaking at the 2015 Welsh Conservative conference

What do we know about the new prime minister and her likely approach to Wales?

She has spoken at several Welsh Conservative conferences both as home secretary and, in opposition, as the first female party chairman (as she styled herself).

Read full article May Day: Welsh Tory MPs react to new prime minister

Owen Smith: 'I stand ready to do anything I can'

Image caption Owen Smith: 'I stand ready to do anything I can to save and serve the party'

As Conservative MPs plough on with shortlisting their leadership candidates, the coup against Jeremy Corbyn remains a work in progress.

Pontypridd MP and potential leadership candidate Owen Smith - issued this statement on Thursday morning:

Read full article Owen Smith: 'I stand ready to do anything I can'

Crabb withdraws but 'overwhelmed' by MPs' support

Stephen Crabb MP
Image caption 'Overwhelmed by support' - Stephen Crabb says MPs want his 'one nation' vision to be at the heart of the next government.

A day is a long time in politics, as Harold Wilson might say if he were around today.

Barely 12 hours after Stephen Crabb withdrew from the Conservative leadership race, one of his "best mates" struggled on air to remember his name.

Read full article Crabb withdraws but 'overwhelmed' by MPs' support