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Porn to politics – Lib Dems get really liberal

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Anna Arrowsmith, 38, has directed 300 porn movies for women under the pseudonym Anna Span to counterbalance the overwhelming male dominance of the adult film industry.

Now she wants a fresh challenge and is running as a Liberal Democrat candidate in Gravesham in Kent.

Her selection has caused a media stir, confirming that sex and politics remain a volatile mix.

However, she’s unlikely to be heating up the backbenches any time soon, with the Lib Dems trailing a distant third in the seat at the last election.

Lib Dems bag a Tory – Edward McMillan-Scott

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David Cameron’s troublesome Euro MP Edward McMillan-Scott is a Conservative no more and has joined the Liberal Democrats. There is no love lost between the independent-minded Macmillan-Scott and the Tories after they expelled him for defying the party over their (anti-)European policy.

He came to the Liberal Democrat’s Spring Conference in Birmingham on Saturday (March 13) and was more than happy to be pictured alongside his new leader, Nick Clegg.

Will social media influence your voting intentions?

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brown_cameronA couple of government ministers, Andy Burnham and Chris Bryant, let the cat out of the bag this week that the general election will be in May.

So if the inclement weather has darkened your mood, cheer up — you’ve got a few months yet of political jaw-jaw and shadow electioneering as Britain’s political parties try to ingratiate themselves into your heart in a bid to snaffle your vote on election day.

Live blog: BNP on Question Time

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Welcome to our live blog of the BBC’s Question Time, which tonight features British National Party leader Nick Griffin on its panel.

Whichever side of the debate you fall on, no-one can deny that this has developed into a huge story. The BBC has defended its decision to invite Griffin on, Gordon Brown has predicted that it will backfire and security has been ramped up ahead of the show.

Clouds of change: Buzzwords from conference season

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dave1Opposition leader David Cameron has delivered his speech to the Conservative party conference in Manchester.******Cameron told delegates there would be “painful” cuts in public spending, promised to send more troops to Afghanistan and stressed the importance of confronting “Labour’s debt crisis.” He also pledged to modernise the pension system, “break the cycle of welfare dependency” and cut back on bureaucracy to make life easier for entrepreneurs.******Cameron’s speech brings conference season to an end. Leaders of the three main parties — Cameron, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats — have all laid out their plans for Britain ahead of a general election due by June 2010.******The ‘word clouds’ below have been generated using the complete texts from each of the leaders’ keynote conference speeches, in the order they were given. At first glance there are some striking similarities and fascinating overlaps — but we will leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.******How did you think each of the leaders performed? Who did you find the most convincing? Is David Cameron ready to lead the country?******Keywords from Nick Clegg’s speech:******cleggwordcloud2****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******Keywords from Gordon Brown’s speech:******brownwordcloud3****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******Keywords from David Cameron’s speech:******cameronwordcloud

Ming, coalition plans and the election that never was

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Menzies Campbell at the Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Bournemouth, September 21, 2009. Picture: Tim Castle/Reuter

For many observers it’s the key question for the Liberal Democrats — who they would support in a hung parliament — Brown’s Labour or Cameron’s Tories?

But ask the people at the top of the party at their conference in Bournemouth (and I have) — Nick Clegg, Vince Cable, Chris Huhne, David Laws, even new party chief executive Chris Fox — and they all deny they are considering the issue, let alone discussing it.

Vince Cable says life will be difficult

Vince CableDifficult – that’s how Liberal Democrats’ treasury spokesman Vince Cable sums up the outlook for Britain’s economy as it comes out of the recession.

He spoke to Reuters during an interview at the LibDem autumn conference in Bournemouth.

Liberal Democrats and the balance of power

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David LawsA senior Liberal Democrat has lifted a lid on the murky world of coalition politics – a touchy subject for the party which last tasted national power in Britain in the brief Lib-Lab pact of the late 1970s.

Leader Nick Clegg says he is not wasting a “millisecond” speculating on the outcome of the coming general election, expected next May.

Do UK troops in Afghanistan have the right back up?

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Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth came under criticism on Monday over a shortage of military equipment in Afghanistan, where 15 British soldiers have been killed in the past two weeks.

The deaths highlight the shortage of helicopters, especially Chinooks, which can carry large numbers of troops and equipment over long distances, say the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Who can restore order to the House of Commons?

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In what turned out to be something of an anti-climactic announcement, House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin has said that he will step down on June 21.

Martin has been heavily criticised for his handling of the scandal over MPs’ expenses that has tarnished the reputation of the “Mother of Parliaments”, triggered outrage across recession-hit Britain and led to opposition calls for an early general election.

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