Anglia Late Edition - March 2024

Watch the latest Anglia Late Edition - the regional politics programme covering issues affecting the East of England and presented by Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson

This programme was transmitted in the ITV Anglia region on Thursday 14 March 2024

The programme discussed the government's new definition of of extremism and the racism row in the Conservative Party over comments made by a donor about Britain's longest serving black MP Diane Abbott.

It was the Saffron Walden MP and Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch who intervened with a Tweet on Tuesday:

"[Frank] Hester’s 2019 comments, as reported, were racist. I welcome his apology."Abbott and I disagree on a lot. But the idea of linking criticism of her, to being a black woman is appalling. "It’s never acceptable to conflate someone’s views with the colour of their skin."

The Budget saw a headline grabbing 2p cut in National Insurance but there are fears of spending cuts to come Credit: PA

MP have this week being dissecting and debating the Budget which had a headline 2p in the pound cut in National Insurance on top of the 2p cut in the Autumn Statement in 2023.

But there are concerns about the public finances with a survey of local councils revealing that half of local authorities fear they could effectively go bankrupt in the next five years unless the situation improves.

In the House of Commons on Monday, the Labour MP for Luton North Sarah Owen, said the worst-impacted schools in the town had seen £2 million of cuts.

She said: "There are school roofs with holes in, buckets scattered across corridors collecting rainwater, and entire buildings held up by scaffolding.

"Those are the defining images of 14 years of Conservative Government, 14 years of budget cuts and teaching staff expected to do more with less."

The Conservative MP for South West Anna Firth called the National Insurance reduction a "considerable and welcome tax cut for hard-working people."

She said: "The Bill will put £960 back into the pocket of the average worker in Southend, who earns £36,400, and will put £1,920 back into the pockets of a family in Southend with two people on the average wage."

Householders in the East of England are already facing an above inflation 5% increase in the main element of Council tax as bills start dropping on doormats over the next few weeks.

On Thursday 2 May everyone in the ITV Anglia region and in most of the rest of the country will have the opportunity to vote for a new Police & Crime Commissioner.

Anglia Late Edition debates what the role is for and why more people aren't interested in selecting someone for the job through an election.

Emma Hutchinson was joined by George Freeman MP (Con), Jess Asato (Lab) and Victoria Collins (Lib Dem) Credit: ITV Anglia

Emma Hutchinson was joined by three politicans from the East of England on the programme:

  • George Freeman has been the Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk since 2010. Until recently he was the Science, Research and Innovation Minister

  • Jess Asato is the Labour candidate for the new parliamentary constituency of Lowestoft which although half the size of the exisiting Waveney seat contains 91% of the households

  • Victoria Collins is fighting the new Hertfordshire seat of Harpenden & Berkhamsted for the Liberal Democrats at the next election

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