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Peter Henley, Political editor, South of England

Peter Henley Political editor, South of England

This is where you can find my thoughts on politics in the south of England - from parish councils in Sussex to European politics in Oxford

UKIP angry over 'confusing' Euro election name

23 April 2014

First we had the candidate for the "Literal Democrats". A name so similar to the Liberal Democrats that just enough voters made a mistake and changed the result.

Now UKIP is complaining to the Electoral Commission about the registration of a party for May's European elections in the South West of England with the name "An Independence from Europe".

Adding the "An Independence.." puts them at the top of the ballot paper in an alphabetical list, whereas the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is at the bottom.

And the tag line below the party name seems set to sow confusion - "UK Independence Now" - is this UKIN, or UKIP?

Gawain Towler, a candidate for UKIP in the South West of England constituency, calls the rival campaign a "deliberate spoiler".

list of parties
Parties are listed alphabetically

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Three MPs in two-bed 'shocker'

11 April 2014

Looking through some of the online records of MPs' expenses I come across a startling disclosure.

3 mps
Caroline Dinenage, Mark Lancaster & Caroline Nokes

The MP for Romsey and Southampton North Caroline Nokes is very open about her affairs. Every penny is listed, with a chart comparing her spending to others in Hampshire.

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An 'ocean of anger' in Basingstoke

9 April 2014

So finally she went and many will feel that Maria Miller brought it upon herself.

Not by overclaiming on expenses back into 2009, plenty of MPs did that. Not by her grudging apology or the more heartfelt approach she finally adopted in her Basingstoke Gazette article.

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UKIP accused of putting thousands of south of England jobs at risk

24 March 2014
A380 testing

There was just one vote in it.

Members of the European Parliament environment committee have been voting on plans to charge US, Indian and Chinese airlines a levy for every flight to or from the EU.

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Where will Boris stand as an MP?

21 March 2014
Boris Johnson

David Cameron says he wants Boris Johnson "back on the pitch" in the House of Commons as an MP in 2015 even though he should still be London Mayor.

He has billed it as the manager's vote of confidence in a star striker. But is it as simple as selecting a player for the big match ahead? And where will he want to build a new power-base?

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Chancellor is pressing UKIP's buttons

20 March 2014
George Osborne delivers his Budget

George Osborne has been on a diet. It's clear from the suit jacket hanging off him that he's successfully lost weight, and his smile delivering the budget speech was the broadest indication that he really believes the austerity diet that he's put the country through is working too.

As ever with Mr Osborne he wasn't content just to reel off the figures detailing the economic recovery, he wanted to press a few political buttons.

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Peter added analysis to:

Portsmouth shipbuilding loss 'tragedy for city'

6 November 2013

What would Nelson have made of it? Before the Battle of Trafalgar he signalled "England expects".

But is it the argument over Scotland's independence that has left shipbuilding holed below the waterline in the Royal Navy's headquarter port?

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High politics ends Navy shipbuilding in Portsmouth

6 November 2013
Portsmouth's naval dockyard

What would Nelson have made of it? Before Trafalgar he signalled "England Expects." And it is the argument over Scotland's independence that has left ship-building holed below the waterline after 500 years on the south coast.

Already work on the new aircraft carriers is being moved from Portsmouth to Glasgow, and now Phillip Hammond says he will order three new warships to tide the Govan and Scotstoun yards over until the bigger order to replace existing Type 23 frigates.

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Is Balcombe fracking's first stumble in the South?

30 July 2013

We spent several hours just trying to find a vantage point to film Cuadrilla's rig through the trees.

The steeply sloped piece of woodland near the Sussex village of Balcombe is called Lower Stumble.

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Eastleigh by-election a grudge match

6 February 2013
Canvassing in Eastleigh
The Eastleigh by-election is being described as a grudge match

So now we know. Eastleigh voters will go to the polls on Thursday, 28 February.

A short sharp three-week campaign, even before the resigning MP Chris Huhne has been sentenced for perverting the course of justice.

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About Peter

Peter Henley has been a reporter in the South of England for more than 20 years, covering five elections and interviewing all the party leaders since Edward Heath.

Favourite assignments include flying to Antigua at three hours' notice to report on a volcano erupting and mysteriously being unable to come straight home.

Peter enjoys old cars, new gadgets and playing cricket. He lives in the New Forest with his three sons and wife Sam, who's a counsellor.

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