Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Thursday, 20 December 2012
The Westminster Review: Recess edition

The bleakest of economic times?

Professor Iain Begg on the economy

The Westminster Review looks back at the last term in Parliament, which saw Chancellor George Osborne deliver his autumn statement on the economy.

Critics of the government's economic policy, including shadow chancellor Ed Balls, have talked about how bad this recession is compared to ones in previous decades, and compared to other European countries.

But are they right, and if things are so bad why have people in the UK not taken to the streets like their European neighbours in Greece and Spain?

Alicia McCarthy speaks to Professor Iain Begg of the European Institute at the London School of Economics.

Leveson report

Ross Hawkins on the Leveson report

Lord Leveson unveiled his report on the press, which called for a new independent regulatory body to be established, backed by legislation.

Since then, politicians have been unable to agree a way forward.

Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed "misgivings" about the central recommendation of legislation, while Labour leader Ed Miliband supports independent regulation backed by law.

Such was the level of disagreement over the report that Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, made a separate statement to MPs for the first time since the coalition was formed in 2010.

Alicia McCarthy asks BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins, who covered the Leveson inquiry in depth, why David Cameron is unwilling to accept the report in in full.


Watch The Westminster Review on BBC Parliament at 11pm on Friday 21 December, with regular repeats over Parliament's Christmas recess. Parliament will return on Monday 7 January 2013.

To watch the programme on iPlayer, visit the programme page.




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