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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).

What Tom Watson told Rupert Murdoch at News Corp's AGM

Black Country MP Tom Watson (Lab West Bromwich East) told News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch that his company faced a new scandal as devastating as the phone hacking scandal, when he travelled to Los Angeles to confront the media mogul in person.

He took part in News Corporation's annual general meeting in the US, after being appointed as a proxy by the US trade union organisation AFL-CIO, which owns a small amount of News Corp shares.

Mr Watson, who led the campaign to expose phone hacking by journalists on the News of the World, the former Sunday tabloid owned by News Corp's subsidiary News International, said police were investigating allegations that private investigators employed by the newspaper group hacked computers.

Referring to Glen Mulcaire, the investigator who was convicted of illegally intercepting phone messages in 2007, he said News Corp faced a "Mulcaire 2".

The MP also accused News Corp of employing investigators to impersonate a former Prime Minister (presumably Gordon Brown) and Illegally obtain information from former army intelligence officers.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/crF6PMAKoCg/what-tom-watson-told-rupert-mu.html

We want a different way of life - West Midlands protesters at St Paul\'s

From this week\'s Birmingham Post. Protests against corporate greed and inequality have spread from Wall Street to Britain and across the globe. I asked demonstrators in London\'s financial district what they hoped to achieve.

Johnny spent last night sleeping under a pile of cardboard. He doesn\'t have a tent, but he doesn\'t regret making the journey from Staffordshire to soak up the \"festival atmosphere\" and protest against the billions poured into failing banks.

Aaron\'s also making do without a tent - after somebody stole his belongings on the train from Coventry to London. Luckily, he\'s already made friends among the protesters camped outside St Paul\'s Cathedral in the heart of London, and they\'ve offered to let him share theirs.

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\"Johnny\" - click on the photo for a larger version

Both young men are among the hundreds taking part in protests in London\'s financial district, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street events in the United States.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/0p8saIFJe_I/we-want-a-different-way-of-lif.html

Just 2,000 public sector jobs lost in the West Midlands

In 2008 there were 508,000 public sector employees in the West Midland region.

But how far has that figure plummeted?

Believe it or not, the number of public sector workers has fallen by just 2,000 over two years, and now stands at 506,000.

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Click on the graph for a larger version

I must admit I was surprised by the figures, which I dug out as I was researching a story on job losses. I thought the number of jobs axed would be higher.

Yes, the number of public sector jobs in the region has fallen significantly since May 2010. But the result has is simply to bring them back down to the level they were under Tony Blair's government.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/mHvj59RBG2M/just-2000-public-sector-jobs-l.html

David Cameron has turned the police against the Conservative Party

There was a time when the Conservatives were seen as the party that supported the police - and enjoyed the backing of officers in return.

But somehow, David Cameron has managed to turn rank and file cops against the Tories.

Evidence for this is contained in a hard-hitting and moving report which tells the story of ordinary police officers as they struggled to cope during August's riots.

Published by West Midlands Police Federation, it was originally distributed to the Home Affairs Select Committee, which is conducting an inquiry into the riots, and is now being sent to every MP.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/PZeOLo_LEeg/david-cameron-has-turned-the-p.html

Liam Fox's resignation letter

Here is the full text of Liam Fox's resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron:

Dear David,

As you know, I have always placed a great deal of importance on accountability and responsibility.

As I said in the House of Commons on Monday, I mistakenly allowed the distinction between my personal interest and my Government activities to become blurred. The consequences of this have become clearer in recent days. I am very sorry for this.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/NZerTZf2AXM/liam-foxs-resignation-letter.html

Stephen Twigg leads Labour's u-turn on free schools

Labour's new Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg is making waves - after overseeing a major reversal in Labour policy just a week into the job.

Mr Twigg has said Labour now supports free schools, such as the three in Birmingham and the Black Country, as long as they are raising standards for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

As recently as September 25, Labour leader Ed Miliband was firmly opposed to the free schools policy.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/i28kLpGQQ0M/stephen-twigg-leads-labours-u-.html

MPs don't know what questions are being asked in their names

MPs don't always know what questions have been asked in their names - because researchers submit the query without telling them, it has emerged.

Asking questions of Government departments is one of the key tasks of any backbench MP, whether they are in a governing party or in opposition.

While many questions are posed orally in the Commons - including the high profile Questions to the Prime Minister on Wednesday - MPs also submit written questions on a regular basis. The benefit of doing it this way is that they are guaranteed to get an answer, rather than standing up in the Chamber and hoping the Speaker calls them.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/JStSMncBO40/mps-dont-know-what-questions-a.html

David Cameron collared by the MEP behind Commons Europe vote

This was the moment David Cameron came face to face with the West Midlands MEP threatening to cause him a major headache.

Nikki Sinclaire collared the Prime Minister during the Conservative conference in Manchester - and asked him when his government would back a referendum on leaving the European union.

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Click on the photo for a larger view

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/At7se2U4Wqk/david-cameron-collared-by-the.html

More than one in six on the dole in parts of Birmingham and Dudley

There are 234,000 unemployed people in the West Midlands, giving an unemployment rate of 8.9 per cent, according to new official figures.

This is an increase of 8,000 people over the past three months.

But it's not an historic high for the region. This time two years ago, unemployment stood at 280,000.

Birmingham has one of the highest unemployment rates of any local authority, with 60,000 people unemployed. This is an unemployment rate of 12.9 per cent - it means roughly one in eight people in the workforce are unemployed.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/deyXRMNEI3A/more-than-one-in-six-on-the-do.html

Birmingham council criticised for failing to ask staff and tenants if they are gay

Eric Pickles has done Birmingham City Council one favour. Never again will the authority be criticised for failing to ask staff and council house tenants whether they are gay.

Mr Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, confirmed at the Conservative conference that he planned to scrap rules which forced councils to carry out surveys into people's private lives.

Birmingham was a victim of these rules recently, when the Audit Commission criticised it for failing to ask staff in its housing department - and residents in council housing - what their sexuality was.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/4x7VHZXiYrk/birmingham-council-criticised.html

MPs attempt to impose Commons Twitter ban

MPs will attempt to ban colleagues from using Twitter in the Chamber, in what may be a bad-tempered debate this Thursday.

Many MPs now regularly whip out their phones during debates and send a tweet or two about the discussion taking place.

But Tories James Gray (Con North Wiltshire) and Roger Gale (Con Thanet North) want to put a stop to that.

They have submitted an amendment to be discussed on Thursday October 13 - Speaker allowing - which will effectively outlaw Twitter in both the Chamber and during select committee meetings.

Read more http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/birmingham-post/news/jonathan_walker/~3/x1ayioI-iqk/mps-to-debate-commons-twitter.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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