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Last Updated: Friday, 14 September 2007, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Welcome back...
Jon Sopel
Jon Sopel
Presenter
The Politics Show

Sir Menzies Campbell
Sir Menzies - the leading light of the conference..?

Well honestly. You turn your back for a second - or two months - and suddenly there's a new Prime Minister.

This Sunday, the Politics Show is back, and we'll be kicking off with the party conference season.

We'll be taking a long hard look at the Liberal Democrats.

It's been a pretty bad year for the party in yellow - they lost 250 councillors in the English local elections, were thrown out of coalition government in Scotland and refused to take up power sharing in Wales.

David Laws MP
David Laws MP

And then there are the mutterings about Menzies Campbell's leadership and the party's poll ratings - significantly down on where they were at the last General Election.

So what are the party for, exactly?

Gillian Hargreaves is in Eastleigh looking for answers, and I'll talk live to the party's spokesman on Schools and Families, David Laws.

That "constitution"

European flags
A battle blowing up

And as political headaches go, they don't come bigger than the vexed question of whether or not to hold a referendum on the proposed European constitution - sorry, the new Reform Treaty.

For new readers, the original EU constitution died a death after being rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands.

Now a revised version exists, called a reform treaty, and there's a fierce battle brewing about whether we should have a referendum on the new version.

Those for a referendum say many of the key features remain, so Labour should honour its manifesto promise.

The government and others say the new version is a very different beast and does not require a referendum.

So who's right?

And will Gordon Brown be able to withstand pressure for a referendum?

Paola Buonadonna has been hearing the arguments.

Political animals

Sybil the Downing street cat

And political animals of the 4 legged kind.

This week, we learnt that this week cats are back in Downing Street with the arrival of Sybil, who belongs to Alastair Darling and his wife Margaret.

We'll consider the relationship between politicians and their furry friends. If you can't wait till Sunday, try our Political Animal quiz here...

Join me at 12 midday on BBC One - oh, and please feel free to give the moggie a lunchtime treat and let it watch the programme too - there'll be much to purr about.

In his Political Cartoon Gallery II, Gary Barker gives his own personal take on the politics of the week...



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