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  The MiP files: Anger about pet shop plans
Updated 10 December 2002, 08.49

We wanted to know what really goes on in Parliament - the place which runs most of Britain.

So we recruited a man on the inside to provide us with exclusive info and secret goss every Tuesday.

You can also ask him questions and get him to track down your MP. Go to the bottom of the page for how.

If you like animals, you'll be interested in an e-mail I've had from 12-year-old Helen, who lives in Cambridge.

Helen is upset about plans to stop children buying pets.

It's true that it might soon be illegal for children aged between 12 and 16 to buy cats, dogs and other animals in pet shops.

The man in charge of this area, Elliot Morley, is worried about cruelty to pets.

He's asked thousands of people for their opinions on the subject.

Most said they knew kids wouldn't hurt animals on purpose.

But some think children don't always know the best ways to look after pets.

Others said they think stopping kids from buying animals breaks their human rights.

What do you reckon? There's still time to change Mr Morley's mind!

  Click here to send us your opinion

Panto time is here!

And if you thought politicians were far too boring to be interested, think again.

Chancellor Gordon Brown - the second most important MP after Tony Blair - is holding a special pantomime in his house in Downing Street today, Tuesday.

Oh yes he is!

Stars from EastEnders and The Bill are taking part in the production of Cinderella, which is being held for 60 deaf children.

*If you want to find out more about what Mr Brown does, check out his new website for kids at - and learn how to run the economy!!

You might have thought Big Ben was the name of the famous clock tower over parliament.

In fact, Big Ben is the massive bell inside the tower.

It's thought it was named after a bulky official called Sir Benjamin Hall, who was knocking around in the 1800s.

And it really is huge. It weighs a whopping 13.8 tons - almost as much as two double decker buses.

The clock's pretty big too - the minute hand is 14 feet long. That's more than twice the height of footie hero Michael Owen!

"It is estimated that as many as 14 million people in southern Africa and another 14 million in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa are at risk of starvation"
Tony Baldry MP on the grim problems in Africa

Each week our MiP will give you the chance to have your MP identified.

Just send us your name and postcode using the boxes at the bottom and he'll do the rest.

This week, Emily, 12, from Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire gets her MP identified.

James Gray
Where are you from?
Slaughterford, near Chippenham
School nickname:

Greatest achievement:
Getting elected to look after North Wiltshire
Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister
Last movie I saw:
Die Another Day
Football team:
Chippenham Town
Politician I admire:
Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith
Were you interested in politics as a child?
Why does politics matter?
Someone has to run the country!
What one thing would you change tomorrow?
I'd want to find a way of creating a safe, prosperous, environmentally friendly countryside.
Emily also asks: Do you find your day in parliament boring?
Certainly not. It is fascinating. I hope that you will come and visit me in Parliament one day - I'd love to show you round.


Got a question for our Man in Parliament?

Want to know who your MP is?

Send stuff to him using this form!

Your first name

Your age

Your town

Your postcode

Any comments or questions for our MiP

Send us your details if you'd like us to hunt out your MP! We'll put a new one up each week.

More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesPhotos of the top MPs
Find OutHow does Parliament work?


Past StoriesBORDER=0
MiP file: The Queen comes into town
The MiP files: Why Blair listens to Foo Fighters!
The MiP files: Threat to cod and chips!


Web Links
UK Parliament site for kids
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Also in The MiP files now:
MiP Files: The prime minister's crucial week
MiP file: Tory leader faces off with PM
MiP files: A new leader for the Tories?
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