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Nick Robinson, Political editor

Nick Robinson Political editor

Welcome to Newslog - come here for my reflections and analysis on what's going on in and around politics

Labour to private schools: Help others or pay more tax

Pupils at Eton College
Some private schools already sponsor state counterparts but Labour says many more should do so

"Step up and play your part. Earn your keep". Or you'll pay more in tax. That is Labour's new message to private schools.

Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt wants them to provide qualified teachers in specialist subjects to state schools; share their expertise to help state school students get into top universities and to run joint extra-curricular programmes with local schools.

A future Labour government would change the law so that any private school that is found not to meet a new 'Schools Partnership Standard' will lose an existing taxpayer subsidy - in the form of business rates relief.

This could cost a school anywhere from a few tens of thousands to a few hundreds of thousands of pounds.

In a speech setting out the policy, Mr Hunt will say that "we have seen the limitations of asking private schools politely…the time you could expect something for nothing is over'."

Read full article Labour to private schools: Help others or pay more tax

UKIP - dealing with the devil

After UKIP's latest by-election victory, Nigel Farage says he's aiming to hold the balance of power after the next election.

He told me that he would do a deal with the devil - in other words supporting either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to be prime minister - if they delivered his party's principal objective: a clear in/out referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

Read full article UKIP - dealing with the devil

Are all bets off after fresh UKIP by-election victory?

All bets are off... the whole thing's up in the air. So says Nigel Farage on the morning after the night before. But is he right?

UKIP has certainly shown it can defeat everything the Conservative Party machine can throw at it - money, manpower, five campaign visits by a prime minister and, yes, even that kitchen sink David Cameron promised to throw in too.

Read full article Are all bets off after fresh UKIP by-election victory?

UKIP: Should Polish plumbers be deported?

"Go back home". That's the phrase which captures one of the most controversial ideas in British politics - the idea that some immigrants, even those here legally, should be deported.

No wonder then that the failure of UKIP's by-election candidate to clearly reject the idea has caused such a fuss.

Read full article UKIP: Should Polish plumbers be deported?

David Cameron gets his excuses in early

David Cameron

David Cameron calls it "pitch rolling" - preparing the ground for a big match.

The prime minister has just got his heaviest roller out to prepare for not one but two huge political matches - Thursday's Rochester by-election and the Autumn Statement in less than three weeks' time.

Read full article David Cameron gets his excuses in early

Major to Europe - Cut immigration or the UK may leave

Sir John Major

He was the man who said that Britain's place was at the heart of Europe, the man who watched his party riven by divisions over the issue and the man who says he has not "a shred of doubt that the United Kingdom is far better off inside the European Union".

All the more significant then that it is Sir John Major who is tonight telling an audience in Berlin that the UK "may be poised to leave the European Union" as "for the first time, there is a serious possibility that our electorate could vote to leave the EU… I put the chance of exit at just under 50%. But if the negotiations go badly that percentage will rise. Conversely, with genuine reform, it will fall."

Read full article Major to Europe - Cut immigration or the UK may leave

Ed Miliband is going nowhere

Forget all the headlines. Forget all the talk. Ed Miliband's staying exactly where he is. Indeed, he told me today that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

On Thursday, he's giving a big speech which the papers will, inevitably, dub a "fight-back" or a "relaunch". Before that, though, he spoke to me on a visit to Harlow college where one student asked him: "How come Labour is doing so poorly?" It was a theme I took up with him.

Read full article Ed Miliband is going nowhere

Theresa May wins and loses in the Commons

Theresa May
Theresa May tried to convince Conservative rebels to back the measures

How do you win a vote in the Commons and yet lose at the same time ?

How do you give MPs a vote on a crucial issue only to be attacked from all sides for not giving them a vote at all ?

Read full article Theresa May wins and loses in the Commons

Cameron set for sweaty time in political sauna?

David Cameron and Alexander Stubb

David Cameron is in Helsinki to attend a meeting of the Northern Future Forum which brings together the leaders of Nordic countries - Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway - together with the Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Iceland and the UK.

This is an important opportunity for the prime minister to test his ideas on how to limit EU immigration before delivering a major speech on the subject in the next few weeks.

Read full article Cameron set for sweaty time in political sauna?

Prime Minister's Questions: Enlightening if not edifying

David Cameron speaking during Prime Minister's Questions

It may not be the most edifying of experiences but if you listen hard to Prime Minister's Questions it can be enlightening - if, that is, you want to understand how Ed Miliband and David Cameron think they can secure power next May.

Both men start from a pretty miserable position.

Read full article Prime Minister's Questions: Enlightening if not edifying

More Correspondents

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    Latest on events, trends and issues in the economy


  • James Landale James Landale Deputy political editor

    Who is saying what to whom at Westminster and why it matters


  • Martin Rosenbaum, Freedom of information specialist Martin Rosenbaum Freedom of information specialist

    Thoughts on FoI and the issues it raises


  • Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

    Inside the chambers and committee rooms of Westminster


About Nick

Nick started blogging about politics for the BBC in 2001 when he was one of the earliest mainstream journalists in the UK to adopt the format.

He has been in his current role since 2005.

Before he was political editor, he did the same job at ITV News, before which he was chief political correspondent for BBC News 24, deputy editor of Panorama and a presenter on BBC Radio 5 live.

He began his time at the BBC behind the microphone, starting as a trainee producer in 1986 on Brass Tacks, Newsround and Crimewatch.

Based at Westminster, he has particular responsibility for serving the flagship news programmes, including Today on Radio 4 and the Ten O'Clock News on BBC One.

Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1963, he attended Cheadle Hulme School, followed by University College, Oxford where he studied politics, philosophy and economics.

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