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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

Analysis: David Cameron's 'agonising' EU immigration speech

Immigration official

It is a speech which David Cameron and his advisers have agonised over for months.

Ideas for it have been floated in the media, tested in capitals across Europe, debated with civil servants and, no doubt, market tested as well.

What is revealing is not just what has stayed in but what has come out.

In - and the centrepiece of the prime minister's proposals to cut EU immigration - is a proposal for a significant new limit on benefits paid to those in work. It is a recognition that what attracts people to the UK is not just the availability of jobs and decent wages (relative to those available at home) but the fact that money is topped up by the state.

So David Cameron will argue today that no EU worker should be able to claim tax credits, social or council housing until they have lived and worked in the UK for four years. What's more, no child benefit or credit should be sent to children living abroad. This is a tougher version of an approach already set out by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Read full article Analysis: David Cameron's 'agonising' EU immigration speech

Why change in Scotland will change the whole UK

Lord Smith presents his recommendations

If you think today's constitutional changes are only about Scotland, think again.

If you think they mark the end of a process of change, think again.

Read full article Why change in Scotland will change the whole UK

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.

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

More Correspondents

  • Robert Peston, economics editor Robert Peston Economics editor

    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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