Deborah McGurran, Political editor, East of England

Deborah McGurran Political editor, East of England

This is where you can come for my take on politics with an eastern twist - from Lowestoft to Luton

Norwich to London rail line 'needs £400m'

  • 29 October 2014
  • From the section England
Aerial view of Norwich Railway Station
There's a compelling case for more cash for the rail route to Norwich, says one MP

It must be a busy time for the staff who work in the post room at the treasury.

Every day, it seems, another plea for money for an important infrastructure project is sent to the chancellor as he puts the finishing touches to his Autumn Statement.

One of them is the business case for improving the main rail line between Norwich and London. The local enterprise partnership is asking for £400m to fund new rolling stock and improvement to track.

"It is the strongest and most compelling case for investment I have ever seen," Mark Pendlington, Chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), told MPs.

"The government must take notice, otherwise we are consigning passengers from an area that is one of the two main contributors to the treasury, to years of misery" .

Read full article Norwich to London rail line 'needs £400m'

Fresh calls to send foreign prisoners home

  • 17 October 2014
  • From the section England
Prisoner inside a cell
There are 10,837 foreign national offenders in our prisons which make up 13% of the prison population, said Philip Hollobone MP

The issue of foreign prisoners in England's jails has long been a contentious one.

It cost Charles Clarke his job as home secretary when back in 2006 it emerged that more than 1,000 foreign prisoners who should have been deported hadn't been. It's also been the subject of several select committee inquiries.

Read full article Fresh calls to send foreign prisoners home

The Clacton by-election campaign gets into full swing

  • 18 September 2014
  • From the section England
People on a bench

It is three weeks since Douglas Carswell's resignation and the by-election campaign in Clacton is now well underway.

The candidates have been picked, dozens of activists are out leafleting and shoppers are getting used to being accosted by journalists and politicians.

Read full article The Clacton by-election campaign gets into full swing

High noon for UKIP in Clacton

  • 1 September 2014
  • From the section England
Douglas Carswell
Douglas Carswell is a popular figure in Clacton, an opinion poll suggests

As he stood outside McDonalds in the centre of Clacton, the UKIP leader Nigel Farage was clear about the importance of the forthcoming by-election.

"This is high noon," he declared. "There is a lot at stake. This matters an awful lot to UKIP and the Eurosceptic movement."

Read full article High noon for UKIP in Clacton

No fun in the sun for politicians

  • 7 August 2014
  • From the section England
Penny Mordaunt
Coastal communities minister Penny Mordaunt visited Mobbs Way Business Park in Lowestoft

It should be the time for sun and sangria but instead it's statistics and a slew of announcements - it seems there's no time off for politicians this summer.

That's why, brolly in hand on a drab morning, new coastal communities minister Penny Mordaunt found herself in Lowestoft visiting a new business park.

Read full article No fun in the sun for politicians

Why Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley had to resign

  • 29 July 2014
  • From the section England
David Ruffley MP
David Ruffley, Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds, is to step down next year

It is a cruel fact of political life that when an MP is forced to stand down it is the scandal the public generally remembers rather than anything else about their career.

Those are the unfortunate circumstances surrounding David Ruffley, who has announced his resignation after being arrested and accepting a police caution for assaulting his former partner.

Read full article Why Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley had to resign

Cash boost to build east region science base

  • 24 July 2014
  • From the section England
George Freeman MP
Newly appointed Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman, welcomes investment at the Norwich Research Park

Science is what the east region wants to be known for these days and that transformation has been given a boost by two major new projects.

The government is investing a total of £26m in Norwich Research Park, while in nearby Downham Market in Norfolk, there are ambitious plans for a £170m science park.

Read full article Cash boost to build east region science base

Elizabeth Truss joins the cabinet table in reshuffle

  • 18 July 2014
  • From the section England
Elizabeth Truss MP
Elizabeth Truss MP, answers her first set of questions in parliament as Environment Secretary

Imagine the scene. It's late at night at the Conservative Party Conference and the then transport secretary, Phillip Hammond, is just about to call it a night, when rounding the corner, he finds his path barred by Elizabeth Truss.

"Give me a break," he pleads: "I know you want the A11 dualled."

Read full article Elizabeth Truss joins the cabinet table in reshuffle

Millions of pounds of new funding for the East

  • 9 July 2014
  • From the section England
Northampton College
A new campus for Northampton College is to be funded by local growth money

Hundreds of millions of pounds of government funding has been announced for our region and more than half of it will be spent within the next year.

This is a big award, which business leaders say will make a big difference, making it easier for local businesses to grow and the local workforce to be trained.

Read full article Millions of pounds of new funding for the East

Norfolk's burning incinerator issue: How much did councillors know?

  • 30 June 2014
  • From the section England
Artist's impression of waste incinerator
The incinerator scheme near King's Lynn faced widespread opposition

The fallout from the failed waste incinerator project in west Norfolk continues - with questions now being asked over how much councillors were told about government concerns with the project.

Last week we reported that Bronwyn Hill, the permanent secretary of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), told MPs that her department had written to Norfolk County Council before the contract had been signed expressing fears the authority may not be able to meet the necessary deadlines.

Read full article Norfolk's burning incinerator issue: How much did councillors know?

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About Deborah

Deborah McGurran is BBC East's political editor, based in Norwich.

She has worked in regional TV since 1990 when she began as a regional journalist for North West Tonight.

She has been editor for a decade and was nominated for an RTS for the expenses scandal story on Margaret Moran.

She moved to Essex with her family and started working in the east 15 years ago.

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