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.

But now the tables have been turned. A new rule means the powerful positions of chair of House of Commons Select Committees are being decided by a secret ballot of MPs - rather than divvyed up by the party whips.

There are 25 jobs at stake. Some are unopposed such as Chichester MP Andrew Tyrie who remains in charge of the Treasury Select Committee.

Others are hotly contested. Nicola Blackwood of Oxford West and Abingdon is head-to-head with Bracknell's Phillip Lee.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Tricky questions from the youngest

MP and questioners from Berewood Primary School

It takes a difficult question to floor George Hollingbery, MP for Meon Valley in Hampshire.

I wouldn't like to suggest he has an answer for everything, just that he's someone who's thought about a wide range of issues, and has always been happy to tackle whatever I've thrown at him on the Sunday Politics.

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Making the tourist bus travel further

  • 19 January 2015
  • From the section Dorset

You see an awful lot of tourists around Westminster. They pose for photos in front of Big Ben and queue to take the river buses. They spend a lot of money.

There are Germans, Scandinavians, a growing number nowadays from Korea and China. And sometimes you want to take them aside and quietly ask why they've not thought of travelling a bit further afield to see the real Britain away from the capital.

The committee taking evidence

Read full article Making the tourist bus travel further