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BBC Onepolitics show


Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 10:32 GMT
Your call... your MP
Trudi Davies
The Politics Show South East

Paul Siegert, c: Caroline Derrick
Paul will be putting your questions to your MPs...

It's that time of year again.

Three of the region's MPs will be in the studio this week to answer your questions. Steve Ladyman (Lab) South Thanet, Norman Baker (Lib Dem) Lewes and Charles Hendry (Con) Wealden.

They have agreed to take the hot seats and the topics promise to be varied, and possibly unexpected.

The Politics Show cameras were out filming across the region this week to ask people which burning issues they wanted their MPs to answer.

Early indications suggest that hospitals, road charging, local democracy and education are all on the agenda.

But it's up to you. How often do you get to put a question straight to your MP?

This is your chance...

Get those texts and e-mails in early and we will try to get through as many as possible on Sunday.

Stephen Ladyman MP (Labour) South Thanet

According to theyworkforyou.com Steve's voting record since 2001 is as follows:
Stephen Ladyman MP
Moderately for introducing a smoking ban
Very strongly for introducing ID cards
Very strongly for introducing foundation hospitals
Quite strongly for introducing student top-up fees
Very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws
Very strongly for the Iraq war
Very strongly against investigating the Iraq war
Very strongly for the fox hunting ban
Very strongly for equal gay rights

Stephen Ladyman became an MP in 1997, winning the seat from Jonathan Aitken, a Conservative Cabinet Minister.

At the 1992 election, Mr.Aitken had a healthy majority but by the '97 election the Labour Party swept to power on a wave of popular opinion and Mr Aitken was just one of the high profile Conservative casualties of the night.

Mr Ladyman has retained his seat in each of the subsequent elections but, it is worth noting that, in 2005, he lost nearly two thirds of his majority and won by just 664 votes.

A high flyer within the government, Steve served for two years as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community in the Department of Health.

In 2005 he was promoted to Minister of State for Transport - a post with particular relevance for the overcrowded roads in the South East.

Among his responsibilities are road safety, the Highways Agency and strategic road network policy. He is also responsible for overseeing ports and shipping.

However he is very much a constituency MP and is quoted as saying: "I have no intention of being seen any less around South Thanet and will not be cutting down on local work and engagements one iota."

Steve's maiden speech in 1997 was in an agricultural debate and raised the particular problems facing Kent farmers.

He has continued to take an interest in rural life in Kent and became an officer of the All Party British Fruit Group.

He has voted strongly in favour for the introduction of Foundation hospitals and agrees with the idea of road pricing if the money raised could be given back to local councils who could spend it on additional services or council tax rebates.

Norman Baker MP (Liberal Democrat) Lewes

According to theyworkforyou.com Norman's voting record since 2001 is as follows:
Norman Baker MP
Very strongly against introducing ID cards
Very strongly against introducing foundation hospitals
Quite strongly against introducing student top-up fees
Very strongly against Labour's anti-terrorism laws
Very strongly against the Iraq war
Very strongly for investigating the Iraq war
Very strongly for the fox hunting ban
Quite strongly for equal gay rights

Norman Baker also became an MP in 1997 following a long and successful career as a councillor.

In 1991 he led the Liberal Democrats to victory in the District Council Elections and became the first ever Lib Dem leader of the Council, a post he retained until his parliamentary victory.

Continuing the trend of chalking up firsts, his defeat of the sitting candidate in 1997, Tim Rathbone, made him the first ever Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes and the first non Conservative since 1874.

He has a majority of 8,474 votes.

Norman is a high profile constituency MP with an office prominently located on Lewes High Street.

He is well known for uncovering scandal and conflicts of interest among MPs and the government.

His consistent questioning of Peter Mandelson was seen by many to lead to Mandelson's downfall, and he has also raised issues about Lord Birt and his role as Tony Blair's adviser.

The Daily Mail described him as "a constant thorn in the side of the government".

In 2001 he was named "Inquisitor of the Year" in the Zurich/Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards, and in February 2002 he won the Channel 4 Opposition MP of the Year Award.

He was the Lib Dem Shadow Environment Secretary for 4 years but stood down in 2006 following Sir Menzies Cambell's election as party leader.

He announced, on 19 May 2006, that his decision to step down was based on his desire to pursue a quest to establish the truth behind the death of Dr David Kelly.

Recently he claimed that "evidence showing David Kelly's death was not a suicide had been wiped from his hard drive".

Norman continues to lead the party on environmental issues and has fought hard to raise the profile of climate change which he believes is "a greater threat to the planet than even global terrorism".

According to the Liberal Democrat web page, when not involved in party affairs Norman enjoys music, collecting records and occasionally singing in a 60's rock band.

Charles Hendry MP (Conservative) Wealden

According to theyworkforyou.com Charles' voting record since 2001 is as follows:
Charles Hendry MP
Moderately against introducing a smoking ban
Quite strongly against introducing ID cards
Quite strongly against introducing foundation hospitals
Quite strongly against introducing student top-up fees
Moderately against Labour's anti-terrorism laws
Very strongly for the Iraq war
Quite strongly for investigating the Iraq war
Very strongly against the fox hunting ban
A mixture of for and against equal gay rights

Charles successfully contested the Wealden constituency in 2001 following the retirement of the veteran Conservative MP Geoffrey Johnson Smith.

He won with a majority of over 13,000, a margin he increased in the 2005 General Election.

At the time of the last Conservative Leadership election, Charles appeared on the Politics Show to speak in favour of his chosen candidate Ken Clarke.

Despite this however, since David Cameron's election, Charles has held several Shadow Cabinet positions including Shadow Minister for Young People and most currently, Shadow Minister for Trade & Industry.

He is also the Joint Vice Chairman of the All Party Internet Group.

In his maiden speech in 2001, Charles also raised rural issues and concerns, saying: "There is nothing in the Queen's Speech that suggests to me that the Government wish to act with regard to the countryside, apart from their knee-jerk reaction on foxhunting.

"If we do not stand up for farming, the whole fabric of our countryside will be in jeopardy and will be changed for ever."

More recently, he has raised the problem of Single Farm Payments, or the lack of them, claiming that the situation has, "quite frankly become a joke".

He has been part of a vigorous campaign to maintain the Post Office Card Account and has made several high profile contributions to the campaign to save the Post Office Network.

Charles is a supporter of green energy and has raised the issue of renewable energy in the House on a number of recent occasions including asking Ruth Kelly, "...how much energy, consumed by her Department, is acquired from renewable sources?"

Housing, overcrowding in the South East and the young people are all issues that Charles has spoken out on so if you have questions for him, or indeed for any of our guests, then do get in touch.

What would you like to ask your MP?

Text us on 07786 209252 or email us via the link below.

The earlier we receive your comments the more likely we are to get them on air. You don't have to wait until the show has started!

It is Christmas...

Well nearly! That means that the Politics Show will be taking a break for a few weeks to leave room for the more traditional televisual fare.

We are back on air on 14 January 2007 for our next run.

We will be covering more local stories from the region and be looking for people to make some video diaries for us.

Could this be you?

On behalf of the whole Politics Show team I'd like to wish you a Happy Christmas and New Year and thank you for joining us every Sunday.

See you in January...

Text us on 07786 209252 or email us via the link below.

It really is easy...

¿to take part in the show. If you have an idea for an item, want to make your own report or simply want to comment on what we are doing then please get in touch via any of the links below or write to the Politics Show team at Politics Show, Lambent Productions, The Media Centre, 21-22 Old Steyne, Brighton, BN1 1EL

The Politics Show South East

Join the Politics Show team on Sunday 10 December 2006 at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.

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Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all emails will be published.


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