Honeyball’s Weekly Round Up

Labour Party

As ministers are locked in a last minute battle to axe child benefit payments to over 16’s so it came too light that the RAF is expected to lose between 6000 and 9000 airmen and women.

Next Wednesday the chancellor will unveil the final detail of the Comprehensive Spending Review but this morning he refused to be drawn over the detail in an appearance on the Andrew Marr show. Also being interviewed by Marr was the new Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson.

I was struck by how comfortable Johnson seemed talking about the deficit and he did so with such conviction.  If you didn’t catch the interview you can watch it here. The interview with Alan Johnson is about 30.18 seconds into the show and you can watch it here.

Patrick Wintour, the Guardian’s political editor wrote on Friday how a ‘battered’ Nick Clegg will enjoy some respite when he will announce the delivery of one of his party’s central manifesto promises – a pupil premium for 1 million disadvantaged children.
The announcement will offer Clegg some much needed respite, says Wintour, after he was forced to tear up the party’s manifesto commitment to abolish university tuition fees and instead back Conservative proposals to double them. You can read the article in full here.

Next week MEPs will vote on changes to the existing EU rules on parental leave. I am a great defender of strong rights for both working mothers and fathers, but I am concerned that Parliament doesn’t end up undermining the rights of working women, albeit inadvertently, and particularly those on lower pay.

We will be debating the issue on Tuesday and a vote will take place on Wednesday.

I will keep readers informed of any developments on my blog and twitter account. And tomorrow I will be discussing this very issue on Woman’s Hour, on Radio 4.