RSS feed
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

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.

The proposed benefit freeze would come into effect if the Conservatives are re-elected and would start in 2016 - the first full year of a new government.

It would include Jobseeker's Allowance, Income support, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, Child Benefit and Employment Support Allowance paid to those judged capable of work but it would not affect pensions, disability benefits and maternity pay.

The chancellor's political objective is clear - to put Labour on the spot by saying, in effect, "here's how I would save £3bn to cut the deficit - what would you do?".

'Fair cut'

Read full article

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

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

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

Will Ed Miliband's deficit slip haunt him?

For just £2 in Manchester you could buy your very own souvenir copy of a speech by a man who wants to be your next prime minister.

A speech which will be remembered for two things - a promise to spend more on the NHS and Ed Miliband's failure to utter a single word about the subject he forgot - the deficit.

Read full article

Ed Miliband sets out CV for 'No 10 job'

Ed Miliband, with his wife Justine, after Tuesday's speech

Today's conference speech marked the start of an eight-month job application.

So said Ed Miliband. The role to be filled - prime minister. The decision to be taken - by you next May.

Read full article

Will the UK join military action against Islamic State?

David Cameron outside Downing Street
Downing Street officials held talks with Labour counterparts last week

One thing and one thing alone will determine whether the UK joins the United States in taking military action against Islamic State forces - parliamentary opinion.

David Cameron will not risk a repeat of the Commons defeat he faced last summer over air strikes in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons.

Read full article

Ed Miliband to pledge rise in NHS spending

Ed Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband will pledge to increase spending on the NHS in England in his party conference speech on Tuesday, the BBC understands.

He will say a "mansion tax" on homes worth more than £2m will help pay for the extra funding.

Read full article

Constitutional change: The debate starts here

Alex Salmond

There has never been a day in politics like this one.

A vote to reject massive constitutional change in one part of the UK has triggered a debate about just that in every part of it.

Read full article

The people have spoken. But it's not over

David Cameron

The people have spoken. Scotland has rejected independence. The result has been accepted by both sides. So that, you might think, is that. Not a bit of it.

The fact that more than 1.5m British citizens voted not to remain part of the UK, the fact that a majority in Scotland's biggest city - Glasgow - backed independence, the fact that the Westminster establishment briefly thought this vote was lost, is the reason for that.

Read full article

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.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.