One week on – the parties find their feet

talks17:39 Friday 15th May 2015
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: They say a week is a long time in politics. Since the election results were announced last Friday we’ve had twists and turns, ups and downs, from all of the political parties. And our political reporter Hannah Olsson has been trying to keep up. She joins me in the studio now. It’s been quite a week, and today, well, the drama of the Labour leadership contest took another strange turn.
HANNAH OLSSON: It certainly did. Now since Ed Miliband announced he was resigning as Labour Party Leader after to his party’s disappointing defeat in the General Election last week, contenders have been throwing their hats in the ring. We’ve had Chuka Umunna, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Mary Creagh, all saying they wanted to enter the race. But then today Chuka Umunna surprised us all by announcing he was withdrawing. The reason he gave in a statement was that he wasn’t comfortable with the level of pressure and scrutiny that came with being a Leadership candidate. Now Chuka Umunna is a polished media performer, and was seen as a real contender for the job, so the announcement will come as a big shock for many people within the Labour Party. But former labour Leader Lord Kinnock says he has probably done the right thing.
LORD KINNOCK: If he felt in his soul that he wasn’t prepared to subject himself, and more importantly his family, to the kind of attention which is fairly typical sadly these days, he has done absolutely the right thing. There’s no point at all in inflicting avoidable unnecessary misery on those that you love most.
HANNAH OLSSON: Candidates must secure nominations from 34 colleagues, that’s roughly 15% of the Labour party’s MPs, by 15th June, to make it onto those ballot papers. So we may see more twists and turns in the race before then.
CHRIS MANN: Let’s move on to talk about UKIP. Yesterday I spoke to Patrick O’Flynn, who had very publicly criticised the party’s Leader Nigel Farage, calling him ‘thin skinned and aggressive’. Has there been more reaction to that?
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Cambridgeshire candidates reflect on the rise of UKIP

17:06 Friday 10th October 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: The UK Independence Party, UKIP, has its first elected Member of Parliament, and has gone close to getting a second. Former Conservative MP Douglas Carswell won the Clacton by-election in the early hours of this morning with a majority of more than 12,000 over his old Party. If that wasn’t enough, UKIP came within just over 600 votes of taking the Heywood and Middleton by-election, where Labour just clung on. .. The UKIP MEP for the East and prospective Parliamentary candidate for Cambridge Patrick O’Flynn said it was a great day, but the Party still had work to do before the General Election in May.
PATRICK O’FLYNN: We can’t take anything for granted. It is an absolute breakthrough for UKIP. We’ve had our first directly elected MP, and the British public are clearly taking a look at us, and saying we like some of the things you say, we quite fancy adding you to the range of parties represented in the House of Commons. But we need to keep building on our strengths, improving ourselves where we’re not strong enough, and showing that we recognise the magnitude of the opportunity we might be given by the British public.
CHRIS MANN: Well at the General Election next year he will be up against Chamali Fernando, who is the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for the Cambridge seat. She joins me now. Hello Chamali
CHRIS MANN: So, only one in four voters stayed loyal to the Conservatives. Second place there, and heaven only knows what at the Rochester by-election. Disarray.
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Huw Jones on the merits of international aid

water_supply11:42 Friday 26th September 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: Earlier on in the show we were talking to Patrick O’Flynn, who’s the Parliamentary Candidate for UKIP in Cambridge, and we were getting his reaction to what Nigel Farage says, that he wouldn’t support the Government’s plan for air strikes in Iraq when they vote today, and that they’d cut various things in order to support an income tax cut in this country. One of the things they would cut is overseas aid. And listening to that earlier was Huw Jones. He’s the Prospective Labour MP for South East Cambridgeshire. Huw, Patrick got your goat, didn’t he?
HUW JONES: Yes he did. I think it’s a very short-sighted attitude to cut international aid, because essentially we’re buying influence and power at a far better deal than if we send troops in. Had we spent maybe a tenth of the amount we spent on fighting in Afghanistan on nation-building and helping the people there, we’d have friends in that country, rather than the mess, and it would have saved us an awful lot of blood and treasure in the long run.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. Somebody did make that point earlier, that it’s the way you have to do trade with some countries. You help them out with a bit of aid and they’ll give you a few contracts for airplanes or machinery or whatever.
HUW JONES: I think it’s soft power rather than hard power. It’s a very good way of gaining influence in the world, rather than sending the troops in or sending the bombers in.
PAUL STAINTON: But then again, on the flip-side of that, many of our listeners listening to what Patrick had to say would have been cheering, and saying woop woop. Yes. It’s about time we looked after our own rather than giving money abroad, particularly to India or somewhere like that. Half their population starving and they’re sending people to Mars.
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Cameron Moves To Reassure On Further Immigration

the_runaway_horse17:07 Wednesday 27th November 2013
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[C]HRIS MANN: The big story this evening, David Cameron says he’ll push ahead with plans to restrict access to benefits for EU immigrants, after a European Commissioner warned the UK risked being seen as the nasty country. The Prime Minister wants to restrict housing benefit and JobSeekers Allowance for entrants from Romania and Bulgaria. We’ll get the comments of the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge Julian Huppert a little later on, and I’m also going to be debating this live with two people who are very involved locally with Europe. First of all, Labour’s current MEP for Europe, Richard Howitt. Hello Richard.
RICHARD HOWITT: Evening Chris. Good evening everyone.
CHRIS MANN: Live from our studio in Brussels. And also Patrick O’Flynn, who’s recently been chosen as the lead UKIP candidate in the East of England. Patrick, hello to you.
PATRICK O’FLYNN: Good evening Chris.
CHRIS MANN: Also the Chief Political Correspondent of the Daily Express. So we’ll talk to them a little later on, but first of all, let’s hear our report from Westminster on this PM proposal, from Joe Inwood.
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