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28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 08 December 2012

Sue Cameron of The Daily Telegraph looks behind the scenes at Westminster.

The Chancellor's autumn statement gave a gloomy economic outlook for the next few years. But who does the public hold responsible for this state of affairs? Pollster Peter Kellner of You Gov, and former Conservative Cabinet minister Peter Lilley who has experienced two recessions in the past, discuss the politics of austerity.

Recently the government has had some success in keeping announcements secret as was the case with the appointment of the new governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. On the other hand Whitehall leaks occur with some regularity and even sometimes with approval. Is there a new impetus to preserve secrecy and if so how necessary is it in an open accountable society? Peter Riddell director of the Institute for Government and George Jones of the Leveson inquiry recount their involvement with secrecy.

With the success of parliament's select committees in banging multi- national companies and bankers to rights, is there a quiet revolution taking place in the halls of Westminster? Margaret Hodge MP Chair of the Public Accounts Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie chair of the Treasury Select Committee and the Joint parliamentary Banking Commission, plus former MP Tony Wright on the these new developments.

And the royal succession, is it as simple as the Prime Minister claims, to ensure a first born girl can be monarch? Dr Bob Morris former civil servant and now of The Constitution Unit at UCL considers the move.
The Editor is Marie Jessel.


Westminster Hour

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Radio 4's Sunday night political discussion programme.


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