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John Hess, Political editor, East Midlands

John Hess Political editor, East Midlands

This is where you can find my musings on the political scene from Westminster to the East Midlands

Scottish debate comes to the East Midlands

8 September 2014
Speakers' Corner Nottingham
A small crowd gathered at Speakers' Corner in Nottingham to discuss Scottish independence

It may be 221 miles (356km) from Nottingham to Edinburgh but Scotland has never felt so close in recent weeks.

Independence or sticking with the Union? That's the choice the Scots have in next week's historic referendum vote.

The other day, I had the opportunity to think how "Old Big 'Ead" would be voting, if he was still with us.

The statue of legendary Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough, was the location for an open-air debate on Scottish independence and the future of the UK.

I hosted the discussion for the Nottingham Speakers' Corner Trust in the city's Market Square.

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Labour reprimand councillor over Eva Braun remark

4 September 2014
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in 1943
Andy Cooper compared Kat Boettge to Adolf Hitler's mistress Eva Braun

Political debate in a council chamber or in the House of Commons often gets out of hand. Tempers get frayed and the language can turn raw.

That's because there are genuine differences in the world view of individual politicians and political parties.

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Jarrow Crusade revived to highlight NHS worries

29 August 2014
March in Nottingham

It's a long old walk, and it's not for the faint hearted.

But since the 1930s, the 280 miles from Jarrow to London has been a marching route for those who feel marginalised politically.

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Grow more food, urge MPs, as farmers warn of shortages

11 August 2014

So is Britain in danger of running out of food? It may seem an odd question since the shelves of our supermarkets appear full. Next time, why not check how much of it is imported.

Our farmers and politicians are starting to talk of the need for Britain to be self-sufficient in growing its own food.

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WW1: The war to end all wars? What our MPs thought

Soldiers head to the trenches

So just imagine what it must have been like 100 years ago, as the prime minister of the day Herbert Asquith faced the prospect of Britain at war with Germany.

HH Asquith was prime minister of a coalition government in 1914. Sound familiar?

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East Midlands councils warn on migrant pressures

A Boston street
Boston has the highest proportion of residents born in EU accession countries

Wholesale changes to how local councils cope with an influx of foreign migrants coming into the East Midlands are being urged in a new report.

It wants more funding to help migrants return to their country of origin and more English language classes for migrants. It also warns of increasing racial prejudice.

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Cities will lose out without new powers, warns leader

Sir Peter Soulsby at the science museum
Sir Peter Soulsby said Abbey pumping station was a reminder of the powers Victorian political leaders had

Gleaming in brass and polished tiles, the Abbey pumping station in Leicester is one of those tucked away Victorian gems.

It was the brainchild of civic leaders who wanted clean, safe water pumped throughout a growing city. It's also a reminder of the powers once enjoyed by political leaders in our big English cities.

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Tories relish victory over UKIP in Newark by-election

Conservative Robert Jenrick at Newark by-election declaration
Robert Jenrick won by more than 7,000 votes and promised to concentrate on local issues

So it's a moment to savour for the Conservatives in Newark.

Their candidate Robert Jenrick, an auction house director, hammered home 17,431 votes to win the seat… and in some style.

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Newark by-election test for Tories - can they hold on?

The town grew around Newark Castle, now ruined, and a large market place, now lined with historic buildings

You can always tell when parliamentary candidates start to get a bit weary.

The smile is switched on but the eyes are in pause mode.

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John added analysis to:

UKIP tops Euro poll in East Midlands

So UKIP can celebrate. They return two MEPs. That was expected.

What was not expected was a particularly strong performance by the Conservatives who also sent two MEPs to the European Parliament. That will particularly please the Prime Minister with a crucial parliamentary by-election in Newark around the corner.

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More Correspondents

  • Patrick Burns, Political editor, Midlands Patrick Burns Political editor, Midlands

    Analysis and thoughts on politics in the Midlands

  • Tim Iredale, Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

    Analysis of politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

  • Andrew Neil, Presenter, The Daily Politics and Sunday Politics Andrew Neil Daily and Sunday Politics

    People and policies that make Westminster tick

About John

John joined the BBC in 1978, and was appointed the East Midlands' first political editor in 1998.

Career highlights include interviewing four Prime Ministers and the many voters who wish they could.

John now lives near the Trent Bridge cricket ground, having returned to the Midlands in 1996.

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