The picture Farage wants to forget

Ashley Mote on South Today

He talks like a UKIP MEP, he looks like a UKIP politician, right down to the rosette with the pound. But Nigel Farage would have developed a blind spot for Ashley Mote.

After Mote was convicted of fraud for a second time in Britain's biggest ever expenses scandal, the UKIP leader commented "I knew he was a wrong 'un."

"He was never a UKIP MEP I'm pleased to say. He was elected on a UKIP list. I found out very quickly and I kicked him out even before he took his seat."

But here is the picture Farage would rather forget. Mote in the South Today studio the day after the 2004 election count, one of two UKIP MEPs elected in the South East England constituency.

Mr Farage was top of the list, Mote was number two. It is perfectly true to say that when they realised the charges being brought against him, UKIP acted swiftly to stop him sitting with them in the Brussels Parliament, but they got him there in the first place.

Read full article The picture Farage wants to forget

South jobs hang on airport expansion

Plane taking off

Politicians should be good at taking decisions, after all that's what they're paid for.

But the Heathrow third runway is a really knotty one. A classic from the economy versus environment debate that will probably define this generation.

Read full article South jobs hang on airport expansion

MPs don't make good voters

"Can I count on your support in the forthcoming election?"

An original campaign leaflet idea

It's the opening gambit every MP knows by heart. They've all trotted it out on innumerable doorsteps as they canvass for votes.

Read full article MPs don't make good voters

Magna Carta and the UK's newest citizens

The Salisbury copy of Magna Carta is thought to be the best of the four remaining copies on display in the UK.

And the 800 year-old bill of British rights has a huge emotional impact on some of the tourists who come to see it.

The Latin text of the Salisbury Magna Carta

Read full article Magna Carta and the UK's newest citizens

Why a safe seat is the certain route to power

  • 29 April 2015
  • From the section England
Jeremy Vine with the election map of the South
Jeremy Vine with the election map of the South

You can read the polls, talk to insiders, see which way the seaweed is blowing or talk to Jeremy Vine. But I can confidently predict the places in the South of England that will see the greatest turnover of MPs at this election.

Just look at the safe seats.

Read full article Why a safe seat is the certain route to power

Why wasn't mother warned of paedophile?

  • 12 March 2015
  • From the section Oxford

It was a clear sunny day when I met Suzie in a park next to the River Thames.

Mothers and young children were feeding bread to squawking ducks by the riverbank, but Suzie was anxious and emotional.

Read full article Why wasn't mother warned of paedophile?

Why was Oxford child abuse ignored?

  • 4 March 2015
  • From the section Oxford

"If the perpetrators could spot these vulnerable children, why couldn't the authorities?"

The words of one victim, summing up the question asked by many after the release of the serious case review into child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire.

Read full article Why was Oxford child abuse ignored?

What motivates a campaigner?

  • 26 February 2015
  • From the section Berkshire
campaigners outside the House of Commons

Tracey Fidler and Hayley Lindsay had their lives turned upside down on 13 February last year.

Their fiancées Kris Jarvis and John Morland were out cycling in Berkshire when they were hit and killed by a drunk driver.

Read full article What motivates a campaigner?

David Cameron's check shirt makeover

  • 25 February 2015
  • From the section Oxford
PM

There's an old joke about the BBC journalist's shirt. It is like our pay - small cheques.

But when the prime minister chooses a shirt with small checks, there's a different message.

Read full article David Cameron's check shirt makeover

Snowballs the least of Eastleigh's hazards

On the News Channel at 10.35am this morning I was talking about politics, as I do, on the corner of Leigh Road, Eastleigh, when someone threw a snowball at me.

I say threw. He barely placed it on my arm, bless him.

Read full article Snowballs the least of Eastleigh's hazards