Hezza the Welsh mongrel 'humiliated' by Nye Bevan

Michael Heseltine
Image caption Having failed to win Gower, Michael Heseltine was eventually elected in Tavistock in 1966.

Some more summer listening for you in the gap between updates in the Labour leadership contest. Michael Heseltine has been sharing his memories of growing up in south Wales for a Radio 4 programme.

Swansea-born Lord Heseltine fought his first (doomed) election campaign in Gower in the 1959 general election, when he left national service with the Welsh Guards to stand in the Conservative cause.

He recalls an encounter on the campaign trail with Aneurin Bevan: "It was certainly a wonderful moment for me to be so publicly humiliated by so great a figure."

'Englishman'

He explains: "I did the thing that all aspiring politicians do. No-one came to my meetings, there were no Conservatives in any numbers in the the Gower peninsula so I tried to get into a joint meeting with Ifor Davies, the Labour candidate and I went to any lengths - I challenged him to meet me, accused him of being a coward and all that sort of thing.

"Anyway he very rightly had nothing to do with me but then I saw this advertisement in the South Wales Evening Post. 'The Labour Party, the Rt Hon Aneurin Bevan will address the party in the Elysium Cinema on October 10, 1959'. So I thought 'well, this is too good to be true' and I, in the rain, in the dark, thousands of us descended on the Elysium cinema.

Read full article Hezza the Welsh mongrel 'humiliated' by Nye Bevan

Lord Kinnock on beards, bullying and a mid-life crisis

Sean Curran interviews Lord Kinnock
Image caption 'Some of the biggest dolts that I've ever met.....are people who've thought of a career in politics'

MPs have disappeared for their summer recess. Parliament is almost deserted and there is just the distraction of the Brexit fall-out, a new government and a Labour leadership election to keep Lobby correspondents in business.

With no-one having resigned for days, you may want to fill that politics-shaped hole in your life by catching up on a fascinating Neil Kinnock interview with my BBC Westminster colleague Sean Curran.

Read full article Lord Kinnock on beards, bullying and a mid-life crisis

Owen Smith on Corbyn, leadership, devolution and Brexit

Pontypridd MP Owen Smith
Image caption 'We've lost credibility, we've lost respect in many of our communities' - Labour leadership contender Owen Smith.

I've been talking to Owen Smith about his challenge for the Labour leadership. Here's a quick summary.

He blamed Jeremy Corbyn for the party's performance in May's assembly elections, said voters backed Brexit because they didn't feel the Labour Party stood up for them, denied that he was anti-devolution and insisted having a prime minister from outside England could help keep the UK together.

Read full article Owen Smith on Corbyn, leadership, devolution and Brexit

Cairns on Brexit, the Wales Bill, funding and bridges

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns MP
Image caption 'Well, there are certainly lots of challenges' - Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns on the advantages of Brexit.

MPs on Parliament's Welsh affairs committee have been grilling Alun Cairns for the first time since his appointment in March.

The hour-long session featured questions on Brexit, steel, devolution and the Severn crossings.

Read full article Cairns on Brexit, the Wales Bill, funding and bridges

Smith and Eagle battle for the anti-Corbyn vote

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle
Image caption Corbyn challengers Owen Smith and Angela Eagle on Andrew Marr's sofa.

Labour MPs have been questioning the candidates for their party leadership in a hustings at Westminster.

There was no vote afterwards but nominations for Jeremy Corbyn's job open at 7pm on Monday and close at 5pm on Wednesday.

Read full article Smith and Eagle battle for the anti-Corbyn vote

Crabb: from rising star to back benches in two weeks

Stephen Crabb MP
Image caption Stephen Crabb's last visit to Downing Street as a cabinet minister.

"MPs are imperfect in so many ways. We are made of the same stuff as the rest of humanity. From time to time we deserve challenge, criticism and ridicule."

It's fair to say that Stephen Crabb probably thinks he has received more than his fair share of challenge, criticism and ridicule in the weeks since he wrote those words (in response to the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox).

Read full article Crabb: from rising star to back benches in two weeks

Owen Smith: 'I can be the next Labour prime minister'

Owen Smith MP
Image caption Owen Smith: 'I can heal this party. I can be a credible Labour leader and the next prime minister'

Owen Smith has been explaining why he hopes to stand for the Labour leadership.

The Pontypridd MP, who resigned from the shadow cabinet last month, told the BBC he was "not part of any plot or coup against Jeremy Corbyn" but the leader had rejected compromises he had suggested.

Read full article Owen Smith: 'I can be the next Labour prime minister'

Cairns on Cameron, EU funds and elections

Alun Cairns MP
Image caption It never rains but it pours: Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns live on the BBC News Channel

I spoke to Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns after he attended David Cameron's last cabinet meeting in Downing Street.

"It was very professional, but it was also emotional," he said. "It was very dignified but I would also say at the end it was quite emotional.

Read full article Cairns on Cameron, EU funds and elections

May Day: Welsh Tory MPs react to new prime minister

Theresa May
Image caption Theresa May speaking at the 2015 Welsh Conservative conference

What do we know about the new prime minister and her likely approach to Wales?

She has spoken at several Welsh Conservative conferences both as home secretary and, in opposition, as the first female party chairman (as she styled herself).

Read full article May Day: Welsh Tory MPs react to new prime minister

Owen Smith: 'I stand ready to do anything I can'

Image caption Owen Smith: 'I stand ready to do anything I can to save and serve the party'

As Conservative MPs plough on with shortlisting their leadership candidates, the coup against Jeremy Corbyn remains a work in progress.

Pontypridd MP and potential leadership candidate Owen Smith - issued this statement on Thursday morning:

Read full article Owen Smith: 'I stand ready to do anything I can'