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Panorama's week that was - 1-8 June

Last week proved very damaging for both Gordon Brown and the Labour party. A month after the expenses scandal first rocked Westminster, he lost five ministers through resignation and had to come up with a 'make-or-break' cabinet reshuffle hours before the UK went to the polls to vote in European elections.

You can read all the results of the 2009 Elections here but in short, support for Labour has plummeted to a historic low, while the Conservatives managed to increase their share of the vote.

The fact they have done this appears to show that they have been less badly affected by the expenses scandal than Labour.

The UK Independence Party's significant gains mean they now have the same number of MEPs as Labour, while the British National Party has its first two seats in the European Parliament.

Alarming as this may be for some, analysis shows that the reason for the BNP's gains is down to a collapse in the Labour vote, rather than any huge surge in support for the right-wing party. But we can't avoid the fact that the overall political landscape of Europe is moving towards the right.

Despite these results, the low number of voters show that for the most part, people are not feeling a massive desire to change the status quo. Perhaps this is down to the disillusionment that people feel with all politicians?

In response to the public's anger at the expenses scandal, Panorama looked into other areas of MPs' working lives in Is Your MP Working for You?

While Europe was focused very much on itself, the USA and the Middle East were focusing on their relationship with one another.

In a landmark speech from Cairo, US President Barack Obama called for a new beginning in US relations with the Muslim world.

But before he spoke, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had delivered his own speech, in which he said that the US was still "deeply hated" in the Middle East.

Iran's presidential elections take place on Friday, and the election is not just about who becomes the next president - it will also shape Iran's future relationship with the West.

Panorama's Jane Corbin went to Iran to look at how the nation might vote, and to ask whether Barack Obama's recent plea for greater understanding will be heeded.

If you missed Monday's programme, "Obama and the Ayatollah", watch it here.

A judge has found Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt responsible for the 1998 Omagh bombing which killed 29 people and injured 200. Mr Justice Morgan made the ruling at the High Court in Belfast after a landmark civil action case brought by some of the families of the victims.

Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were also found liable for the attack while Seamus McKenna was cleared. The relatives have been awarded more than £1.6m in damages.

In September 2008, seven years after his award-winning programme Who Bombed Omagh? Panorama reporter John Ware revisited the subject in Omagh: What the Police Were Never Told.

John gives his latest analysis of Monday's judgement here.

There has been a huge wave of pension closures this past decade, but over the last year the situation has worsened for those hoping to retire because the stock market - which many pensions are based on - has lost so much of its value.
Barclays, BP and supermarket chain Morrisons have announced they are to join the long list of companies to downgrade their final salary pensions.
Panorama first asked the question, How Safe Is Your Pension in November 2002, and in March this year reported on Britain's long-running pensions and savings time bomb in Who Will Save the Savers?

If you missed the programme you can watch it again here.

The MMR debate is back in the news, with calls growing for compulsory MMR vaccinations for children attending school and nursery.

Last Tuesday, the Welsh health minister Edwina Hart said she was exploring options for compulsory vaccination in response to the largest measles outbreak in Wales in the last 20 years. And on Thursday, the public health expert Sir Sandy Macara gave his backing to compulsory vaccines.

Uptake of the MMR vaccine fell sharply after controversial research wrongly linked it to a raised risk of autism.

Back in 2002, award-winning Panorama reporter Sarah Barclay sorted the fact from the fiction about the triple jab and asked what the Government should do to avert a measles epidemic in MMR: Every Parent's Choice.


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