Peter Henley, Political editor, South of England

Peter Henley Political editor, South of England

This is where you can find my thoughts on politics in the south of England - from parish councils in Sussex to European politics in Oxford

What motivates a campaigner?

  • 26 February 2015
  • From the section Berkshire
campaigners outside the House of Commons

Tracey Fidler and Hayley Lindsay had their lives turned upside down on 13 February last year.

Their fiancées Kris Jarvis and John Morland were out cycling in Berkshire when they were hit and killed by a drunk driver.

Alexander Walters, from Purley-on-Thames, was over the drink-drive limit and had taken cocaine.

He was driving a stolen BMW when he lost control and hit the pair, and in April was sentenced to 10 years-and-three months in jail after admitting seven charges, including two of causing death by dangerous driving.

Tracey and Hayley are campaigning for stronger sentences, a campaign that brought them this week to the House of Commons.

John Morland and Kris Jarvis were killed on 13 February 2014
John Morland and Kris Jarvis were killed on 13 February 2014

Read full article What motivates a campaigner?

David Cameron's check shirt makeover

  • 25 February 2015
  • From the section Oxford
PM

There's an old joke about the BBC journalist's shirt. It is like our pay - small cheques.

But when the prime minister chooses a shirt with small checks, there's a different message.

Read full article David Cameron's check shirt makeover

Snowballs the least of Eastleigh's hazards

On the News Channel at 10.35am this morning I was talking about politics, as I do, on the corner of Leigh Road, Eastleigh, when someone threw a snowball at me.

I say threw. He barely placed it on my arm, bless him.

Read full article Snowballs the least of Eastleigh's hazards

Tricky questions from the youngest

MP and questioners from Berewood Primary School
MP and questioners from Berewood Primary School

It takes a difficult question to floor George Hollingbery, MP for Meon Valley in Hampshire.

I wouldn't like to suggest he has an answer for everything, just that he's someone who's thought about a wide range of issues, and has always been happy to tackle whatever I've thrown at him on the Sunday Politics.

Read full article Tricky questions from the youngest

Making the tourist bus travel further

  • 19 January 2015
  • From the section Dorset

You see an awful lot of tourists around Westminster. They pose for photos in front of Big Ben and queue to take the river buses. They spend a lot of money.

There are Germans, Scandinavians, a growing number nowadays from Korea and China. And sometimes you want to take them aside and quietly ask why they've not thought of travelling a bit further afield to see the real Britain away from the capital.

committee taking evidence
The committee taking evidence

Read full article Making the tourist bus travel further

Dorset's Christopher Chope drawn to UKIP debate

  • 11 December 2014
  • From the section Dorset

"Let's have a little sport!" was Chris Chope's reaction to hearing about UKIP's historic first debate in the House of Commons.

Chris Chope MP

It had been called by Douglas Carswell on the subject of energy prices, and UKIP's second MP Mark Reckless came to support his colleague in Grand Committee room off Westminster Hall.

Read full article Dorset's Christopher Chope drawn to UKIP debate

Is it ever OK to play Candy Crush in a meeting?

  • 8 December 2014
  • From the section England

Politicians have been playing games in meetings since meetings began. Running rings around your opponents is in the job description.

But the MP caught playing the addictive game Candy Crush in Parliament has opened a can of worms.

Read full article Is it ever OK to play Candy Crush in a meeting?

The only certainties are death and taxes

  • 4 December 2014
  • From the section England

"It's not slab, it's variable", that was my helpful phrase for Autumn Statement day, as we struggled to work out what the chancellor had done to Stamp Duty.

The old system was simple, but threw up a problem. Huge spikes of house sales at £250,000 and £500,000 - just below the threshold of a higher rate stamp duty. The treasury's graph illustrates it well:

stamp duty graph

Read full article The only certainties are death and taxes

Is the £15bn for new roads a vote winner?

Traffic cone

The newspapers are saying the announcement of new money for road improvements is all about appealing to voters in marginal seats. There are three problems with that.

Election timing

However, the timing of this is all about the election.

Read full article Is the £15bn for new roads a vote winner?

Farage blasts MP Turner over recall

  • 24 November 2014
  • From the section England
Andrew Turner - MP for the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight Conservative MP Andrew Turner must be wondering who else has got it in for him.

Independents have taken over the council. Private Eye magazine has been trawling through his old expenses. Even former Conservative colleagues compiled a dossier of allegations. That was rejected by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner but the local newspaper is still demanding answers.

Read full article Farage blasts MP Turner over recall

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About Peter

Peter Henley has been a reporter in the South of England for more than 20 years, covering five elections and interviewing all the party leaders since Edward Heath.

Favourite assignments include flying to Antigua at three hours' notice to report on a volcano erupting and mysteriously being unable to come straight home.

Peter enjoys old cars, new gadgets and playing cricket. He lives in the New Forest with his three sons and wife Sam, who's a counsellor.

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