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Louise Stewart, Political editor, South East

Louise Stewart Political editor, South East

This is where you can find updates on all things political from Westminster to Whitstable, and my thoughts on how they affect you

Lord Howard wants fewer terminally ill people dying in hospital

23 July 2014
Michael Howard, Lord Howard
Michael Howard, before his peerage, was Conservative leader during the 2005 general election

A hospital ward should be the last resort at the end of someone's life - not the first one, according to the Conservative Peer and former party leader Lord Howard.

Currently, around 250,000 people each year die in hospital.

Lord Howard, who represented the Kent constituency of Folkestone and Hythe for 27 years, is now leading the Help for Hospices campaign to try to change that.

Help the Hospices wants to work with the NHS to help terminally ill people who want to leave the wards and aims to reduce the number by a fifth - around 50,000 people.

Lord Howard believes it would not only lead to better targeted care, but would save the NHS £80m.

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Louise Stewart blog: The spread of caste discrimination?

11 July 2014
Villagers collect near tree where the girls were found in Badaun
Residents of the village of Katra Shahadatganj accused the local police of 'caste' discrimination

There was worldwide condemnation when two teenage cousins were gang raped and murdered in India in May.

The father of one of the victims said police refused to help search for his missing daughter because she belonged to the Dalit caste - formerly known as the untouchables.

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Will London Bridge work mean misery for South East rail commuters?

27 June 2014
London Bridge station
The rebuilding of London Bridge station is set to cost £1.6bn and take years to complete

London Bridge is one of the busiest railway stations in the capital with 120,000 passengers passing through it every morning - many having started their journey from towns and villages across Kent and Sussex.

Most of them now face months of disruption as the majority of trains won't be stopping at London Bridge station during the building works taking place there over the next three years.

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State Opening of Parliament: Coalition 'fizzing with ideas'

4 June 2014
The Queen and Prince Philip at the State Opening of Parliament
The Queen delivered her speech at the State Opening of Parliament

With the usual pomp and ceremony the Queen arrived for the annual State Opening of Parliament - this time in a brand new coach, gifted to her for her Diamond Jubilee.

But the other traditions - Black Rod knocking on the Commons door which is then slammed in his face - remained the same.

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European elections: UKIP strong support in the South East

26 May 2014
Nigel Farage
Does Nigel Farage have plans to stand as an MP in South Thanet when Laura Sandys stands down?

Throughout the recent election campaign the UKIP leader Nigel Farage had promised his party would cause an "earthquake in British politics" beating Labour and the Tories in the European elections.

Today he celebrated as UKIP topped the polls in most of the council areas across the South East. From Dartford through to Dover and Crawley.

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Local elections: South East battlegrounds

25 May 2014
Polling station
UKIP predicted a "political earthquake" but had mixed fortunes in the South East

I think the local election results in the South East are significant as the Conservatives lost control of two councils - Maidstone and Crawley.

Labour won control of Crawley, which was a real boost for them - they'd pushed hard there - Ed Balls and Ed Miliband had both been campaigning in the town - it's one of their key target seats in the South East.

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European Elections: UKIP's chances in the South East

24 April 2014
Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage claims to represent the "biggest threat to the political establishment" in modern times

It's just four weeks until May's European elections which will be the last big electoral test for all the parties ahead of next year's General Election.

They will be a key test for the South East MEP and UKIP leader Nigel Farage. He used his conference speech earlier this year to tell activists that his party could top the polls in May's European elections.

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Budget 2014: Chancellor's plan aims to change 'more ebb than fleet' housing

19 March 2014
George Osborne

George Osborne had largely managed to keep this year's budget under his hat after last year's debacle when the Evening Standard ran most of its contents in advance.

The silence led most political journalists to assume that meant the chancellor was going to pull a big rabbit out of the hat - a giveaway no one was expecting.

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Pitfalls of UKIP's 'major party status'

5 March 2014
Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage will take part in a televised debate about Europe with Nick Clegg in April

It's been a pretty good week for UKIP and Nigel Farage.

The broadcast regulator Ofcom ruled the party must be given the same coverage as the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the run up to the European elections.

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Brighton and Hove council tax rise 'unlikely to be backed'

19 February 2014
Brighton Pavilion
Brighton and Hove City Council could become the first local authority to trigger a referendum over council tax

Brighton and Hove City Council could be about to make history.

A meeting of the full council to vote on next year's budget doesn't normally hit the headlines, but next Thursday the council could become the first local authority in the country to trigger a referendum over its council tax.

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More Correspondents

  • Peter Henley, Political editor, South of England Peter Henley Political editor, South of England

    Analysis and thoughts on politics in the south of England

  • Deborah McGurran, Political editor, East of England Deborah McGurran Political editor, East of England

    Analysis and updates on politics in the East of England

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

    People and policies that make Westminster tick

About Louise

Louise joined the BBC as a news trainee when she graduated and has held a variety of roles from TV reporter to radio and television presenter in Scotland, political reporter based at Westminster and most recently - since September 2010 - political editor for BBC South East.

Louise's career highlight was covering the last general election at Westminster.

She was the late reporter the night Gordon Brown came out of 10 Downing Street and announced he was stepping down, and when David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrived. She also covered the coalition agreement, emergency budget and has been following the spending cuts.

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