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The latest score...

  • Michael Crick
  • 4 Feb 08, 10:09 PM

Here's Newsnight's latest list of MPs who employ members of their families, or have done so recently. Our named total is now 96, though we know the overall figure is probably around 200, maybe more.

David Cameron said on Friday that more than 70 Conservative MPs employ relatives. Nick Clegg has said there are around 12 Lib Dems. Labour has yet to give us an official number but "sources" say today their "best guess is between 90 and 100".

So to add to our initial list of 79 - already supplemented by Martin Caton and the Speaker Michael Martin - we can now add the following 15:

Peter Atkinson
Julian Brazier
Janet Dean
Nadine Dorries
Sharon Hodgson
Phil Hope
Lindsay Hoyle
Chris McCafferty
Denis Murphy
Bill Olner
John Pugh
Laurence Robertson
Geraldine Smith
Bob Spink
Hugo Swire

Are the two remaining Northern Rock bids enough to stave off nationalisation?

  • Paul Mason
  • 4 Feb 08, 06:41 PM

I don't think so. The Treasury said today that any private sector solution to Northern Rock has to offer the taxpayer a "demonstrably better" outcome than any nationalisation. Let's be clear, (as I always say to finance geeks "as if for an idot") what the economic stakes are:
- Northern Rock owes the government 24bn pounds it can't pay back...

Continue reading "Are the two remaining Northern Rock bids enough to stave off nationalisation?"

Monday, 4 February, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Feb 08, 05:30 PM

Dear reader and viewer,

CommonsTonight Jeremy Paxman is down at the House of Commons asking honourable members whether they still deserve the privileges that being an MP brings. We'll have his report and debate the issue.

That on the day the Commons Speaker Michael Martin admits there is deep concern about MPs’ expenses and convenes his committee to draw up new rules. Michael Crick is asking the questions about MPs and their financial rewards.

We'll also be asking just how widespread bugging of Parliamentarians is these days - this weekend we heard from Sadiq Khan MP who was bugged while visiting a constituent in prison. Another politician who claims he's been bugged speaks to us.

Just south of Baghdad today the Americans have killed up to 20 civilians - including children. A dreadful mistake at a time when, mostly, events on the ground were improving. Our correspondent Jonny Dymond reports on how despite awful mistakes like today's, the troops are changing hearts and minds. But will it be a permanent shift? More from Jonny on his time with US troops here.

And Gavin Esler is in the States ahead of tomorrow's crucial vote dubbed Super Tuesday. Obama, Hillary, McCain, Romney or even Huckabee? Who will emerge as victors and will it finally mean we know who will be running for President for the Republicans and the Democrats? Watch David Grossman's videoblog and lots more Newsnight US election coverage here.

Simon Enright, programme producer

Prospects: Monday, 4 February, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 4 Feb 08, 10:20 AM

Simon Enright is today's programme producer. Here's his early email to the production team.

Lots we could do today. If we are going to do it properly what should we choose?

barack203flag.jpgOf course we'll preview Super Tuesday - or Super Dooper Tuesday as they keep calling it. Gavin is in Washington and David Grossman is in Arizona. David's latest video blog will appear on the US elections page very shortly.

But that is not our lead story. Should that be:

Bugging - It appears that the so-called "Wilson Doctrine" has been broken. An MP bugged whilst visiting a constituent - admittedly a constituent being held in prison as he awaits extradition ruling on terrorist charges in the States. Is the Wilson Doctrine out of date or should we be outraged by this casual bugging of our MPs?

Northern Rock - We get final confirmation of bidders today. But is there something deeply unfair to the rest of the banking industry in all this?

GPs - What is the battle between the BMA and government all about and what do GPs and patients really want?

MPs Expenses - Now the Inland Revenue is going to get involved. Is there more that we should be doing?

There are other news stories around. Do let me know which ones you think could work as well.

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