Monday Politics

Time for gay marriage

Jacqui Smith  |  19 March 2012

There are many things that make me proud about having been a Labour Minister – being the Bill Minister for the Civil Partnerships Act is well up the list. Compared to some of the other legislation I was responsible for, the Bill had quite a smooth passage through the House of Commons. There had been …

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Privatisation will hinder reform

Jacqui Smith  |  12 March 2012

The police minister, Nick Herbert, had a go at John Prescott’s campaign against police outsourcing plans this week by accusing those who have concerns of being anti-reform. Come off it, Nick. These plans are about saving money. I’m (notoriously) keen on a bit of contestability and outsourcing in public services if it means that the …

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What goes up can come down!

Jacqui Smith  |  5 March 2012

With two weeks to go to the budget, everyone’s making their bids for tax cuts. Last week 500 business people called on the chancellor to reduce the 50p top rate of income tax. I thought their argument that reducing the income tax rate would help them to create jobs was pretty specious. This would be …

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Tories struggling on immigration

Jacqui Smith  |  27 February 2012

The Tories are more trusted on the issue of immigration than Labour. But then it’s so much easier to be tough on our borders in opposition. Last week the complicated reality of getting immigration right began to severely tarnish the Tories’ reputation. Home secretary Theresa May had to report to parliament on the summer’s border …

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NHS reform safe in Labour hands

Jacqui Smith  |  20 February 2012

In the 2001 general election, the majority in my Redditch seat was cut from over 6000 to under 3000 and my good friend and parliamentary neighbour David Lock lost his Wyre Forest seat to an Independent Save Kidderminster Hospital campaigner. The downgrading of Kidderminster hospital was undoubtedly a defining issue for me and David in …

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Spare the whips?

Jacqui Smith  |  13 February 2012

I really enjoyed my time as government chief whip, but who’d want the role at the moment! This week, parliament expert Professor Philip Cowley from Nottingham University reported that the number of government rebellions in this parliament already stands at 199. By contrast, the whole of the first Tony Blair parliament saw only 96; and …

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A new ‘prawn cocktail’ offensive

Jacqui Smith  |  6 February 2012

We need a ‘prawn cocktail’ offensive for the 21st century – a ‘scallops and celeriac purée’ offensive, a ‘baked figs and goats cheese’ offensive – anyway, you get my point. In the 1980s and 1990s, energetic Labour spokespeople led by then City minister Tony Blair toured the private dining rooms of the City trying to …

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