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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

Ed Miliband facing sustained glare of scrutiny

Ed Miliband

Just after noon today Ed Miliband will get to his feet in the House of Commons expecting to be greeted by a wall of noise.

This will be the first Prime Minister's Questions since that conference speech. The first too since Labour's near-death experience at the hands of UKIP in a by-election they won by just over 600 votes.

Conservative MPs may greet him with their usual ironic cheers or with cat calls about forgetting the deficit or calls to welcome the fall in unemployment - expected to go below two million today

Watching nervously will be dozens of Labour MPs who worry whether he's got what it takes to lead them to victory. MPs who at a meeting earlier this week were urged by Mr Miliband to stay united, to hold their nerve and to keep believing that victory was possible.

Few raised their voices there to criticise, though elsewhere they certainly do. Shadow ministers complain of their "immense frustration" at their leader's failure to take a lead on those other issues he left out of the conference speech - immigration and welfare.

Lib Dem crutch

Read full article Ed Miliband facing sustained glare of scrutiny

UKIP: How far could they go?

Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell

It's a breakthrough all right but a breakthrough to what?

First and foremost to the end of the stranglehold on British politics which the two big UK parties have had for so long. British politics is now a national contest between at least four parties - Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and UKIP - and arguably five or more if you add the Greens (who are polling as well as the Lib Dems), the SNP (who are threatening Labour's many former Labour strongholds) not to mention Plaid Cymru and Respect.

Read full article UKIP: How far could they go?

UKIP enjoys revenge for insults

Douglas Carswell and Nigel Farage

Those David Cameron once called loonies, fruitcakes and closet racists will be savouring their revenge today.

UKIP has made a historic breakthrough in Westminster just a few months after winning a national election - for the European Parliament.

Read full article UKIP enjoys revenge for insults

Nick Clegg's message to voters

Nick Clegg

I may no longer be the fresh faced outsider, Nick Clegg told the country today, but someone has to stand up for liberal Britain against the politics of fear and grievance.

This was the speech of a man who knows that many voters don't trust him, many don't like him and many have not forgiven him for that broken promise to stop tuition fees but he believes that a big gap has opened up in British politics for his party - a gap between a Labour party which has yet to be trusted to run the economy and a Tory party which is not seen as fair.

Read full article Nick Clegg's message to voters

Cameron: Talk of 'better times' rather than austerity

What a difference a few days make.

Gone were the warnings of more pain, more spending cuts, more austerity to come.

Read full article Cameron: Talk of 'better times' rather than austerity

Is Conservative benefit freeze fair?

The prime minister often talks about benefits as if they are paid to people who don't work and paid for by people who do.

The truth is that the benefits freeze the chancellor announced yesterday will affect more than twice as many working families as workless families - seven million compared with three million.

Read full article Is Conservative benefit freeze fair?

Osborne - Benefit freeze and 'Google tax'

George Osborne

There is nothing George Osborne likes more than making twin pack announcements designed to make him look tough but fair.

So it is that he has just announced that a future Conservative government would freeze benefits paid to people of working age for two years at the same time as what will quickly become known as the "Google Tax" - a crackdown on what accountants and tax lawyers call the double Irish arrangement - a tax avoidance strategy that multinational corporations use to lower their corporate tax liability first used by Apple.

Read full article Osborne - Benefit freeze and 'Google tax'

Iraq strikes: Pure symbolism or precursor to Syria?

Six RAF Tornado strike aircraft will once again be in action over the skies of Iraq very soon - in theory as early as this evening but I understand that Saturday night is more likely.

The question today's Commons vote leaves unanswered is whether these attacks will mark the start of the third Iraq war in the past quarter of a century or what Ken Clarke today called a largely symbolic contribution to the coalition which is already attacking the forces of the so-called "Islamic State".

Read full article Iraq strikes: Pure symbolism or precursor to Syria?

Nick added analysis to:

MPs support UK air strikes against IS in Iraq

What will worry opponents of military action and those who are sceptical about it is the prime minister's clear desire to extend action to Syria. He has promised MPs another vote before that happens unless there is a need to move swiftly to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

One well-placed government source told me that what he called "the next step" would be possible if people saw the success of action in Iraq or if IS carried out further murderous attacks on hostages, or targets in Europe.

Read full article MPs support UK air strikes against IS in Iraq

British military action in Iraq: what next?

David Cameron in the Commons

If/when the House of Commons votes for air strikes against IS forces in Iraq the next steps are becoming increasingly clear.

Air strikes this weekend

Read full article British military action in Iraq: what next?

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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