EU referendum: Cameron's campaign starts here

David Cameron

It comprises 17 pages of closely argued legal jargon, diplomatic ambiguity and square brackets.

The contents are dismissed by critics as a "pint-sized package" that fails to match the prime minister's lofty ambition of fundamental reform.

It is a draft text that oozes with the obfuscation of old-style EU fudge.

There are paragraphs of compromise that fail to meet the promises of the Conservative manifesto.

The newspapers look down sniffily and ask: "Is that it?"

Read full article EU referendum: Cameron's campaign starts here

Lords veto powers 'to be curtailed'

Chamber of the House of Lords
Image caption The government does not have a majority in the House of Lords

David Cameron is preparing to use the full force of the law to clip the wings of the House of Lords after it blocked his welfare cuts, the BBC has learned.

A review will say peers should lose their absolute veto over detailed laws known as secondary legislation.

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David Cameron told to 'play EU system hard' on migrant benefits

Iain Duncan Smith Image copyright Getty Images

Iain Duncan Smith is resisting attempts by some in Downing Street to water down plans to curb benefits for EU migrants as part of the UK's EU reform demands.

The government wants migrants to wait four years before they can claim tax credits, to reduce immigration.

Read full article David Cameron told to 'play EU system hard' on migrant benefits

Labour's Oldham by-election nerves

A poster supporting Labour candidate Jim McMahon in a window in Oldham Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Labour is sitting on a 14,000 majority but the eagerness of its supporters remains to be seen

If you want to know who is going to win the Oldham West and Royton by-election next Thursday, don't listen to the bookies or people like me. Instead consult the weather forecast.

For the outcome of this poll will most likely be determined by which voters are prepared to turn out on a dank, dark December day.

Read full article Labour's Oldham by-election nerves

Spending Review will shape politics for years to come

Chancellor George Osborne Image copyright PA
Image caption Finding an extra £20bn in spending cuts will not be an easy task for the chancellor

The next four years of this parliament and the framework for the next election will be shaped by the events of this week.

And yet the greatest political impact will come more from George Osborne's Spending Review and Autumn Statement than perhaps from David Cameron's decision to extend airstrikes over Syria or Labour's uncertainty over how to respond.

Read full article Spending Review will shape politics for years to come

Syria: Why the mood among MPs is changing

Flowers laid at the site of the attacks on the Bataclan concert venue in Paris Image copyright AP
Image caption Attacking Islamic State as an act of self-defence is seen differently in the wake of the Paris atrocities

David Cameron has yet to publish his new plan for extending military action to Syria but his team are already making the case in the House of Commons.

I have been told that this afternoon Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has been briefing Labour MPs alongside one of his top military aides, Lieutenant General Gordon Messenger, the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations) who commanded British forces in Helmand.

Read full article Syria: Why the mood among MPs is changing

Why the timing of the EU referendum may depend on who can vote

Ballot boxes waiting to be counted during last year's Scottish independence referendum Image copyright PA
Image caption 16 and 17-year olds were able to take part in last year's Scottish independence referendum

How long does it take to register to vote? On this question may hang the date of the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.

Some eurosceptics and election officers claim an expected decision by the House of Lords this week to give 16 and 17 year olds the vote could delay the referendum by up to a year.

Read full article Why the timing of the EU referendum may depend on who can vote

David Cameron is walking a tricky path on EU

David Cameron Image copyright Getty Images

The prime minister is walking a tricky path. He has to convince Brussels that he is serious about campaigning to leave if he doesn't get his reforms. Otherwise he has no leverage.

But he also has to convince them that he will campaign to stay in if he gets the changes he wants. And sometimes that means arguments get confused.

Read full article David Cameron is walking a tricky path on EU

Ten days that toppled Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher in tears as she leaves Ten Downing Street after her resignation as Prime Minister
Image caption Mrs Thatcher was visibly upset as she left Downing Street after her resignation

Twenty five years ago next month Margaret Thatcher resigned as prime minister.

Yes, it is now almost a quarter of a century since the longest-serving premier of the 20th Century was unceremoniously booted out of office.

Read full article Ten days that toppled Margaret Thatcher

What is the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war for?

Sir John Chilcot Image copyright PA

Usually, politicians like independent inquiries - they use them to outsource and delay difficult decisions.

The risk, of course, is that they lose control.

Read full article What is the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war for?