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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).

Yes to a Birmingham Mayor campaign asks business to donate on behalf of named staff, friends and family

The Yes to a Birmingham Mayor campaign has launched a fundraising drive, and hopes to raise up to £45,000 in the run-up to the referendum on May 3 when Birmingham will be asked whether it wants a directly-elected mayor or not.

Julia Higginbottom and colleagues at the campaign have done an excellent job raising awareness of the referendum so far, and it seems to me that their work has could be applauded by "no" campaigners - and anyone else who wants Birmingham residents to make an informed choice on referendum day - almost as much as supporters of a mayor.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/8mvforDjl4o/yes-to-a-birmingham-mayor-camp.html

Department for Transport fails to spend £1 billion, has to give half back to the Treasury

The Department for Transport managed to underspend its budget by a whopping one billion pounds in 2010-11, it has emerged.

Aren't there plenty of transport schemes which will benefit local economies - both by providing jobs in the shorter term (eg in construction) and helping employers in the longer term by giving them access to better transport links?

The underspend is revealed in a Commons Transport Committee report published today. Here's an extract:

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/2SfRftqKJ08/department-for-transport-fails.html

New ways of following politics news from the Birmingham Post Mail

I'm trying to find ways to make it easier for people to follow the Birmingham Post's politics news online.

I've had a twitter account for a long time now - my user name is @jonwalker121, so please do follow me! But I've now created a second account which will share links to stories about politics and current affairs in Birmingham and the West Midlands, from the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail and other sources too. You can find that at @walkerjonbot.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/J_p0oe7zGEU/new-ways-of-following-politics.html

Nick Booth receives Big Society reward for Birmingham bloggers, as Cameron praises Social Media Surgeries

David Cameron has recognised the work of Birmingham bloggers and other volunteers who run "social media surgeries" to help community groups, by awarding them the Prime Minister's Big Society Award.

Entrepreneur and blogger Nick Booth, owner of Digbeth-based firm Podnosh, received the award on behalf of volunteers who have taken part in the surgeries since they began in 2008.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/5rDX-l-VSQc/nick-booth-receives-big-societ.html

Government Minister Greg Clark urges Birmingham to vote yes to a directly-elected mayor, to fight for the city at home and abroad

Grag Clark, the Minister for the Cities, urged Birmingham residents to vote "yes" to an elected mayor, after signing the order telling Birmingham to hold a referendum on May 3.

In an article, originally published in abbreviated form by the Birmingham Mail, he said "the choice is yours" - but argued that a Birmingham Mayor would give the city a strong and accountable leader "who fights their corner - batting for Birmingham on a national and international level."

Mr Clarke is a Minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government. He writes:

Yesterday I was delighted to sign an order which will give residents here in Birmingham the chance to put a directly-elected mayor at the helm.

Putting pen to ballot paper, voters here, and those in the nine other cities, hold the power to bring in a new politics on May 3rd.

Why is this such a great opportunity?

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/6cP_RnsHq7E/government-minister-greg-clark.html

John Bercow tells Aidan Burley to shut up during clash with Ian Austin over Nazi-themed stag do

Cannock MP Aidan Burley receives a right telling off from the Speaker in this video, as he heckles Dudley MP Ian Austin. The Black Country MP was demanding to know when an inquiry into Mr Burley's involvement in a Nazi-themed stag do would report its findings.

John Bercow, the Speaker, tells Mr Burley (Con Cannock Chase) to keep quiet after Mr Burley shouts "disgrace". Only Mr Austin had his microphone on, but Mr Burley's words were more audible in the Chamber than they are in this clip from the TV broadcast.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/ucD4HJJqy_Y/john-bercow-tells-aidan-burley.html

Labour should hold open primaries for mayor candidate, says David Miliband

Labour should hold open primaries allowing casual supporters to choose the party's candidate for mayor of Birmingham, according to senior Labour figure David Miliband.

Mr Miliband, the former Foreign Secretary and ex-Labour leadership contender, said the candidate for a Birmingham mayor could be decided in an open primary where anyone can vote if they sign a declaration saying they support Labour and pay a nominal fee of £1.

At the moment, the decision will be made just by party members, who so far have a choice of three candidates - Gisela Stuart, Sion Simon and Sir Albert Bore.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/uBHUqJIMb3E/labour-should-hold-open-primar.html

Mayor candidates given £47,000 spending limit - but where will they find the money?

Candidates hoping to stand for mayor of Birmingham will be set a strict spending limit of just over £47,000 each - but it's unclear where they will get the money from.

The parties have given no indication that they will actually be willing to fund mayoral campaigns. And with elections for police commissioners also taking place at the same time as the mayoral vote in November, they may simply not have the cash to splash out for leaflets and traditional mailshots.

The funding cap was revealed by Local Government Minister Andrew Stunell, who said candidates would be allowed to spend £2,362 plus 5.9p for every voter.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/_YYCi20NSTY/mayor-candidates-given-47000-s.html

Ed Miliband: I don't read the papers, I don't watch the news

How does Ed Miliband know what anyone is saying about him?

One thing that struck me as odd in an interview the Labour leader has given to The House Magazine (edited by one Gisela Stuart) is that he doesn't read the papers or watch the television news.

The interviewer, Paul Waugh (here he is on Twitter), reports:

Does he read the newspapers? "No, not really." Does he watch the TV news? "When you get home, the thing I most want to do is spend time with my kids.".

The commentariat are another group that don't trouble him. "You know I think the thing you learn most in this job is you let the commentators, the people who give you advice, to take their own view and you carry on doing the right thing as you see it."

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/KqfeHkwy5EU/ed-miliband-i-dont-read-the-pa.html

Tom Watson says he will #savetheintern who tweeted rape comment in his name

MP Tom Watson has forgiven a researcher who plunged him into an internet row by pretending to be him - and making a joke about rape.

Mr Watson (Lab West Bromwich East), Labour's internet guru in his role as deputy party chair, said he had accepted an apology from the 21-year-old researcher and would not fire her, even though she sent an offensive message in his name.

The MP has also issued an apology after the researcher sent a message on Internet service Twitter stating: "I should log out of my twitter so that my intern doesn't twit-rape me..."

She used Mr Watson's Twitter account, which has 65,000 followers, so that the comment appeared to come from the MP himself.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/uKUGpTgzolA/tom-watson-says-he-will-saveth.html

Vince Cable warns of practical problems with Osborne's regional pay plans

Business Secretary Vince Cable has hinted at a division within the coalition over plans to introduce controversial regional pay deals.

Proposals to end national pay agreements in the public sector were a surprise announcement in George Osborne's Autumn Statement last year. The policy is opposed by unions and Labour - but Dr Cable, one of the most senior Lib Dems in the Cabinet, has now warned there are "practical problems" with the proposal, calling it "a subject we'll have to approach with very great care".

In today's Birmingham Post we've published a lengthy interview with Dr Cable, who spoke to representatives of regional newspapers about a wide range of topics including high speed rail, city mayors and the failure of big cities to match the economic success of their equivalents on the Continent.

But he also hinted that he had doubts about regional pay, a policy which is supposedly designed to help private sector employers in regions outside London to compete to staff.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/Qql269-i7bo/vince-cable-warns-of-practical.html

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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.

Contact me:

Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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