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18/09/2010

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 18 September 2010

Jackie Ashley of The Guardian looks behind the scenes at Westminster.

The BBC has learned that ministers are considering delaying decisions about the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent, possibly until after the next general election. Former Conservative Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Defence Committee Labour MP Gisela Stuart discuss the potential ramfications of any deferred decision.

Harriet Harman took part in her last PMQs as acting Labour leader this week, and was praised for her stewardship of the party since Gordon Brown resigned. We speak to Ms. Harman about her time in the job and her expectations for British politics in the weeks to come.

Nick Clegg had to field hostile questions in the Commons this week over constitutional changes going through Parliament. Not only did Labour MPs give him a rough ride, Mr. Clegg also faced grillings from Conservatives on the Coalition benches. We ask Sir Menzies Campell about Lib Dem anxieties as they gather in Liverpool for their conference.

Whoever ends up leading Labour will have their work cut out from the start. The party has been through a long process to replace Gordon Brown and has large debts. We ask former Conservative Party leader Michael Howard about the crucial first few weeks after being chosen to lead a political party.

Editor: Chris Wimpress.

Chapters

4 items
  • Defence and Trident's future

    The Coalition government appears to be split on a replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system. BBC leaked a report suggesting the decision could be delayed until 2015 – after the next election.

  • The Liberal Democrats

    Another headache for Nick Clegg is the Fixed Term Parliament Bill, which has had little Lib Dem backbench support so far. What reaction can he expect at the conference which starts in Liverpool today?

  • Life after Leading Labour

    Harriet Harman made her farewells as Acting Labour Leader this week at Prime Ministers Questions, a job she seemed to thoroughly enjoy. So was it fun and what does the future hold for her?

  • (Michael) Howard's Way

    Michael Howard knows too well what life is like for an ex party leader in opposition. So he will look forward to the party conferences with the Tories in power for the first time in 13 years.

Broadcasts

Westminster Hour

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Radio 4's Sunday night political discussion programme.

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