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Political Drama: Robert Harris and Margaret Hodge

Andrew Marr discusses political mistakes and intrigue with novelist Robert Harris, MP Margaret Hodge, political journalist Philip Webster and engineer Sir John Armitt.

On Start the Week Andrew Marr talks to the MP Margaret Hodge who challenged multinational companies to explain their tax affairs and shone a light on the billions wasted by government every year. The former Chair of the Public Accounts Committee argues that it's time Ministers and Civil Servants learnt from their mistakes. Sir John Armitt masterminded the successful delivery of the 2012 London Olympics and explains why big projects are notorious for budget overspends. MPs will have to decide soon on a multi-billion pound proposal to renovate the Palace of Westminster which would involve them moving out for several years: the political journalist Philip Webster reflects on working in the House of Commons for four decades and how the building influences the business of politics. The best-selling novels of Robert Harris reveal the machinations behind the closed doors of those in power, or seeking it - from Ancient Rome to New Labour. His latest book centres on the intrigue in the corridors of the world's smallest state, the Vatican, as they vote for the next Pope.

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43 minutes

Margaret Hodge

Dame Margaret Hodge is a Labour politician and the Member of Parliament for Barking.

Called to Account: How Corporate Bad Behaviour and Government Waste Combine to Cost Us Millions is published by Little, Brown.

John Armitt

Sir John Armitt is the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Philip Webster

Philip Webster is a political journalist.

Inside Story: 40 Years in Politics is published by HarperCollins next month.

Robert Harris

Robert Harris is a novelist.

Conclave is published by Hutchinson.

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Andrew Marr
Interviewed Guest Robert Harris
Interviewed Guest Margaret Hodge
Interviewed Guest John Armitt
Interviewed Guest Philip Webster

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