Steve Richards looks behind the scenes at Westminster.
Angry exchanges in the House of Commons this week over responsibility for excessive mortality rates in hospitals lead to accusations of playing politics with the health service. Is it wise for politicians to argue over who best guards the NHS? Two former health secretaries, Stephen Dorrell and Frank Dobson, give their views on managing expectations in the health service.
It was the last Prime Minister's Questions of the session this week, and it was predictably noisy. Do these weekly battles do anything for the stature of the party leaders or do they, as the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow claims, turn people off politics? Two parliamentary sketch writers, Ann Treneman of The Times and Donald McIntyre of the Independent, discuss the merits of political combat.
The government suffered 26 defeats in the House of Lords last year. It remains unreformed despite the efforts of the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, but does it function well nevertheless? Baroness Hollis and Baroness Wheatcroft explain how in their view the Lords best fulfils its remit.
And finally what might the political classes read in their summer holidays? Keith Simpson MP, parliamentary aide to the Foreign Secretary William Hague, on what to take to the beach.

The Editor is Marie Jessel.

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28 minutes

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Sat 20 Jul 2013 11:00

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