James Landale

James Landale Deputy political editor

Come here to find out who is saying what to whom at Westminster and what it may mean for you

The future for our Parliament in an era of anti-politics

The Chamber of the House of Commons during a recent debate on Scottish devolution
MPs are counting down the clock to the general election, with key decisions put off until after the poll

Take a stroll around the corridors of Westminster these days and it will not take you long to pass a parade of gloomy faces: MPs rarely troubled by legislation in these dog days of an enforced five-year Parliament, hanging around with little to do but fret about the future.

Their fear is not just the personal uncertainty of an approaching general election. It is also the sense that the old political order is changing and they perhaps are being left behind.

Some of their concern is familiar: fewer people want to join or vote for their parties; fewer people trust them to tell the truth, let alone deliver on their promises, and fewer people feel engaged with what many see as a distant political world detached from their lives.

The war in Iraq; the broken commitments; the expenses scandal, and the more recent "Sexminster" allegations have created an impression in some people's minds that MPs' sole purpose in life is to deceive voters, pick the public pocket and sleep with their assistants.

Westminster's irrelevance

In the face of such grinding disillusionment, MPs struggle on in their work as a mood of anti-politics sweeps the country, filling ballot boxes with votes for upstart insurgent new parties.

Read full article The future for our Parliament in an era of anti-politics

Labour's morale problem

Ed Miliband

So what is up with Labour?

Well, here at Westminster we have a technical term for it: the party is having a wobble.

Read full article Labour's morale problem

Conservatives criticise 'two day a week' Baker

Norman Baker
The Lib Dems have defended Mr Baker's record in the Home Office

Norman Baker left office with a few passing shots at Theresa May's lack of collegiality, saying he was treated like a "cuckoo in the nest" at the Home Office where it was "like walking through mud".

He said he was resigning to take a break from all this so he could spend some more time with his family and his music.

Read full article Conservatives criticise 'two day a week' Baker

Reasons to be cheerful from Iain Duncan Smith?

Iain Duncan Smith

Borrowing may be up, immigration rising and the number of foreign prisoners stubbornly high.

But whisper it quietly: the government's plan for a new universal credit is no longer causing quite so many red faces around Whitehall.

Read full article Reasons to be cheerful from Iain Duncan Smith?

How will life change for UKIP?

Nigel Farage

UKIP has won a foothold in Westminster. This matters because it gives the party:

1) A voice in parliament. UKIP now has the chance to quiz David Cameron once a week at prime minister's questions. It can also table amendments and instigate debates. The full panoply of parliamentary pressure and publicity is now available to it.

Read full article How will life change for UKIP?

Lib Dems seek centre 'gap' as Tories and Labour shift

Political parties claim their annual conferences are a shop window to the wider world.

They speak to the country, so the jargon goes, and not to the hall.

Read full article Lib Dems seek centre 'gap' as Tories and Labour shift

David Cameron in Afghanistan at 'end of an era'

David Cameron shakes hands with a British soldier at Camp Bastion

There are 2,700 British troops left in Afghanistan - most of them here at Camp Bastion - and hundreds of them gathered round the prime minister to hear him thank them one last time before they leave at the end of the year.

Camp Bastion was once a huge military city in the desert, a headquarters the size of Reading that served 137 British bases across Helmand.

Read full article David Cameron in Afghanistan at 'end of an era'

Islamic State strikes: UK expects 'long game' in Iraq attacks

A screengrab from a video apparently showing armed Islamic State fighters
MPs are expected to give their backing to air strikes against Islamic State

"Don't expect fireworks." That was the view of one government source describing the imminent military action by RAF warplanes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq.

Instead of one or two symbolic attacks, the source said there would be a steady stream of air strikes as and when IS targets presented themselves.

Read full article Islamic State strikes: UK expects 'long game' in Iraq attacks

When will we know about air strikes on Islamic State?

Barack Obama and David Cameron

So, are British aircraft about to take part in strikes against Islamic State? Most MPs expect it to happen at some stage. But, despite all the fevered speculation of parliament being recalled later this week, I do not think we are quite there yet. Here is why:


David Cameron is in New York having talks with the US, the Iranians and others at the United Nations. He will meet President Obama on Wednesday before giving a speech to the UN General Assembly at midnight UK time. He is not expected back until Thursday morning. He is not thought likely to make a firm decision until he holds further consultations with his ministers and security advisers.

Read full article When will we know about air strikes on Islamic State?

West Lothian question continues to puzzle

Saltire over Westminster

Lingering in the margins of Labour's conference on Sunday has been a simple question with a complicated answer: is the promise of further devolution to Scotland conditional on England getting the same?

Let us examine the evidence.

Read full article West Lothian question continues to puzzle

Latest Tweets

More Correspondents

  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics

  • Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

    Inside the chambers and committee rooms of Westminster

  • Robert Peston, economics editor Robert Peston Economics editor

    Latest on events, trends and issues in the economy

About James

James has been walking the streets and corridors of Westminster for almost two decades. He has worked in his current role as the BBC's deputy political editor since July 2009. Before that he spent five years as chief political correspondent leading all 24-hour news coverage from Westminster.

He has presented programmes such as The Andrew Marr Show, The Westminster Hour, The World This Weekend, Broadcasting House, Daily Politics and Straight Talk.

James joined the BBC in 2003 after a spending a decade at The Times newspaper, primarily as a political correspondent in the Westminster lobby. He also worked as the paper's Brussels correspondent and assistant foreign news editor.

He has written two books, Duel: A True Story of Death and Honour and Landale's Cautionary Tales: Comic Verse for the 21st Century.

He lives with his family in Hampshire.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.