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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

MEP and former Eastenders star Michael Cashman to leave European Parliament - may return to acting

MEP Michael Cashman has announced he is quitting politics - and may return to acting.

The West Midlands MEP is a former Eastenders star and played middle-class Colin, the show's first gay character, in the 1980s.

He's represented the region in the European Parliament since 1999 and is the current chairman of Labour's National Executive Committee, the party's governing body.

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Liam Byrne launches youth jobs taskforce

Birmingham MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill), Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, will today, Monday, launch Labour's "Youth Jobs Taskforce" which is designed to bring together Labour MPs and councils with businesses and universities to cut youth unemployment.

The aim is to demonstrate that Labour can make a difference to people's lives even in opposition.

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Labour confirms backing for High Speed Rail, challenges Government to speed up project

Labour will on Monday urge new Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to speed up plans for a new high speed rail line running from London to Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle.

Ministers plan to introduce legislation enabling the first phase, from the south to the West Midlands, before the next election.

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Ed Balls won't promise to reverse Tory and Lib Dem spending cuts

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls will deliver an uncompromising message to Labour activists on Monday, as he insists the party cannot promise to reverse a single specific spending cut.

Mr Balls is likely to anger unions with a blunt warning that Labour must not promise to undo spending cuts or tax rises imposed by the Coalition Government because it doesn't know what state the economy and public finances will be in after the next election.

Instead, he will confirm that Labour plans to hold a "zero-based" spending review - which means that every bit of existing spending will be examined, and could potentially be cut.

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Unions attack Ed Miliband as Labour conference begins

The theme of Labour's annual conference in Manchester is "rebuilding Britain" and party leader Ed Miliband will deliver his keynote speech on Tuesday.

But union leaders clashed with the Labour leadership over its refusal to promise pay rises for public sector workers.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Labour's biggest union donor Unite, warned that his members were "furious" with the Labour leadership's "crazy" policy of supporting pay restraint

And Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said Labour was "losing ground with core supporters by continuing to ignore the fact that millions of people are suffering".
In an interview yesterday, Mr Miliband conceded Labour still had "a huge mountain to climb".

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Andrew Mitchell becomes the star of Labour conference

The first day of Labour conference is just about done and a pattern is emerging - almost every speech mentions Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell one way or another.

For example, Jon Cruddas, the Labour MP leading the party's policy review, claimed Mr Mitchell's row with police officers revealed "what lies beneath" the Tory party's veneer of compassionate conservatism.

Labour has no intention of "drawing a line" under the affair, as Tories hope.

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Nick Clegg tells critics: vote Labour instead

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has branded critics "people who like protest" and told them to vote Labour, in defiant comments during his party conference in Brighton.

The Deputy Prime Minister revealed his anger after suffering two years of "mendacity" and "bile" from opponents since forming a coalition with the Conservatives.

And he told some of his critics he didn't want their votes - saying: "We are not the party for you."

He added: "If people want just protest politics, if they want a sort of 'I don't like the world let me get off" party, they've got one. It's called the Labour Party."

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Andrew Mitchell can't defend himself without risking war of words with police

Birmingham MP Andrew Mitchell, the Chief Whip, has failed to put an end to speculation about his future despite a fresh apology for swearing in a confrontation with a police officer.

In a fresh apology, the MP for Sutton Coldfield said: "Good morning, I want first of all to reiterate the apology I made last week after the incident on Wednesday night in Downing Street. It had been the end of a long and extremely frustrating day - not that that is any excuse at all for what happened.

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17 Tory MPs condemn obsession with Heathrow and tell Cameron to back regional airports

The Government should expand regional airports including Birmingham and resist pressure to focus on Heathrow, according to 17 Tory backbenchers.

While some Conservatives including former Environment Minister Tim Yeo are devoting their energies to getting a third runway at Heathrow, these Tories are warning "the current debate apparently ignores the immediate and future economic needs of the UK as a whole."

And they set out an alternative vision for Britain's future aviation strategy which would have "Birmingham as a major gateway at the centre of the UK . . . and leave Heathrow as a gateway for London and the South East."

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Rail, Afghanistan, Olympics and Birmingham's economy on the agenda for Brum Cabinet

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and others Ministers heard a first hand account of the state of the economy in Birmingham, when the Cabinet met in the city today.

An account of the Cabinet meeting provided by Downing Street reveals they heard from Andy Street, the Managing Director of John Lewis, who chairs Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, a partnership between business leaders and local authorities set up to support economic growth in the region.

Also on the agenda was rail investment, Afghanistan and the Olympics, according to Downing Street.

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

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