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Martyn Oates, Political editor, South West

Martyn Oates Political editor, South West

This is where you can find my take on South West politics, high and low, from Portland to Penzance

Martyn added analysis to:

South West MPs in HS2 support threat

26 February 2014

MPs don't always follow through on threats to vote against government legislation.

Neil Parish, the Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, who hinted he might oppose HS2 today, also threatened to vote against the Local Government Finance Settlement but ended up falling into line when it came to the vote earlier this month.

There is also no likelihood of HS2 being derailed by a South West revolt, however big, as Labour currently support it as well.

But a rebellion against such a major plank of government policy would be viewed very dimly by the government whips.

Dan Rogerson declined to commit new money to funding major new rail infrastructure in the South West until Network Rail has produced its report into the options, which is expected by June or July.

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Martyn added analysis to:

Cornwall MP presses Charles on Duchy tax

3 July 2013

Defining the status of the Duchy of Cornwall is a tricky business.

Despite the name, it has large landholdings east of the Tamar - including the Oval Cricket Ground in London and a third of Dartmoor - as well as extensive property in Cornwall itself.

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Martyn added analysis to:

Union describes tugboat cuts as 'dangerous'

16 September 2011

The government has made significant concessions on coastguard station closures and the reduction of cover - but it's standing its ground when it comes to the Emergency Towing Vessels.

The Transport Select Committee said cutting funding for ETVs would be "literally inviting disaster".

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Martyn added analysis to:

Devon and Cornwall cross-county constituency proposed

13 September 2011

The Boundary Commission has chosen to cross the Cornwall/Devon border in the shallow upper reaches of the Tamar.

Under the new law on constituency sizes, the Boundary Commission says Cornwall will inevitably have to share an MP with Devon in some way, shape or form.

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Martyn added analysis to:

MPs press minister on Raleigh and Britannia navy bases

2 August 2011

If training were to end at either Raleigh or Dartmouth there would obviously be an outcry in either place.

But it might not be the end of the matter in this game of military musical chairs - with 45 Commando looking for a new home, with a government that wants to bring all the Marines to the South West and a military base potentially going begging.

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Martyn added analysis to:

Falmouth and Brixham coastguards welcome safety report

30 June 2011

This report is not talking about a tweak here or there, it is taking issue with pretty much everything the government suggested.

Overall it says that the plans could jeopardise safety and the members of the committee are not confident that the service can be as effective as it is now, let alone more so as the government claims.

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About Martyn

Martyn has worked at the BBC for 10 years.

Born and went to school in Cornwall - working back in the South West for the last 13 years.

Read history at Oxford University.

Started his career in newspapers and worked as Business Editor.

Leads political coverage for BBC news in the South West and presents Sunday Politics.

Covering politics since the early years of the Blair government. Appointed political editor in 2008 and clocked up his first election and prime ministerial interview within a fortnight. Recently interviewed Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband in the same morning; he's now aiming for the hat trick of grilling all three party leaders before lunch.

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