Government Minister- Michael Fallon MP

Secretary of State for Defence.

Responsibilities: The secretary of state for defence has overall responsibility for the business of the department providing strategic direction on policy, operations, acquisitions and personnel matters including: Operational strategy including as a member of the National Security Council, defence planning (Including SDSR 15) programme and resource allocation (Including the spending round) international relations including lead for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) defence exports policy, including as Chair of the cross-Government Exports Working Group, nuclear programme and communications.

Educated at Epsom College and University of St. Andrew’s and was MP for Darlington from 1983 to 1992. Elected MP of Sevenoaks, Kent in 1997.

Minister for Department of Education and Science 1990 to 1992. Has recently held positions on Treasury Select Committee and was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. Appointed Minister for Business and Enterprise in September 2012 and Minister of State for Energy in March 2013 became Minister for Portsmouth in 2014 and was appointed Defence Secretary on 15 July 2014.


Government Minister- Baroness Stowell of Beeston

Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal.

Responsible for organisation of government business in the house, providing assistance to all Lords and offering advice on procedure. The leader also expresses collective feelings of the House on formal occasions, such as motions of thanks or congratulations.

Before July 2014 this role was covered by Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Baroness Stowell was appointed Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal on 15 July 2014. She was raised to the peerage in 2011 and is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.

Educated at Chilwell Comprehensive School and Broxtowe College of Further Education.

Entered House of Lords in January 2011 promoted to front bench as Government Whip in September 2011.

Promoted to Conservative Deputy Chief Whip in September 2012 and became government spokesperson for Women and Equalities and for Work and Pensions.

Appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 7 October 2013.

She was a Civil Servant between 1986 and 1996 including at Ministry of Defence, British Embassy in Washington and 10 Downing Street. After leaving Civil Service she worked in the private sector for a couple of years, mainly in the Media Sector. She also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the leader of the Conservative Party between 1998 and 2001.

Moved to the BBC and spent time in various roles including as Head of Corporate Affairs between 2008 and 2010.

Awarded MBE for services to the Prime Ministers office in 1996.

Baroness Stowell

Government Minister- George Osborne MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer and First Secretary of State.

Born and Educated in London and studied History at Oxford University.

Elected Conservative MP for Tatton, Cheshire in June 2001.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the governments chief financial minister, responsible for raising revenue through taxation or borrowing and controlling public spending. He has overall responsibility for the work of the treasury.

Responsibilities cover Fiscal Policy (Including presenting of the annual budget) monetary policy, setting inflation targets and ministerial arrangements (in his role as second lord of the treasury).

Worked as Political Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition before being elected to Parliament. Entered Parliament as the youngest Conservative MP in the House of Commons.

Served on the Public Accounts Committee and held a number of shadow ministerial posts, being appointed Shadow Chancellor in 2005 aged 33.

Successfully ran David Cameron’s campaign to become leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, was part of the small Conservative negotiating team that led to the formation of the coalition government in 2010 which then saw him appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer in May 2010.

George Osborne - budget

Government Minister- David Cameron MP

Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service.

Studied at Eton before graduating from Oxford University with First Class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Elected Conservative MP for Witney, West Oxfordshire in 2001, became Prime Minister in May 2010 leading a Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition government, won overall majority in May 2015 to secure a second term as Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister (PM) oversees the operation of the Civil Service and government agencies, appoints members of the government and is the principal government figure in the House of Commons.

Currently engaged in trying to convince the electorate that Britain should remain part of the European Union whilst trying to convince the 27 other European Leaders that he will pull Britain out of the European Union if he doesn’t get the reforms he wants in Europe.

Previously worked for the Conservative Party Research Department before being elected as a member of Parliament. Held a number of positions on the opposition front bench including Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Front Bench spokesman for Local Government Finance and Head of Policy Co-Ordination in the run up to the 2005 General Election.

Member of the influential House of Commons Select Committee 2001-2003.

Appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Skills after the 2005 General Election and was elected leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005.

Became youngest Prime Minister in 198 years when leading coalition government in 2010.

Prime Minister David Cameron addresses members of the No campaign on September 15, 2014 in Aberdeen,Scotland. The latest polls in Scotland's independence referendum put the No campaign back in the lead, the first time they have gained ground on the Yes campaign since the start of August.

Prime Minister David Cameron addresses members of the No campaign on September 15, 2014 in Aberdeen,Scotland. The latest polls in Scotland’s independence referendum put the No campaign back in the lead, the first time they have gained ground on the Yes campaign since the start of August.

Six Characters In Search Of A Handout- Review

Theatre On The Edge have launched their latest production called Six Characters In Search Of A Handout at Kardomah 94.

This new black comedy is an outstanding piece of theatre with laughs, confrontation, guts and an unflinching genuine quality at its heart.

Dealing with a very hot subject that is very capable of blowing up if done wrongly, this production with a quality cast presents extremely well with six ‘Characters’ (real life people) asking six ‘actors’ (played by actors) to tell their real life stories of meeting at a food bank and how they ended up there.

The reality of the stories and the acting of them is hard to tell apart in a blissfully excellent way which moves the story along at a fantastic pace and also seems to explain some of the myths about the reputation of modern theatre in this day and age after careful cultivation over many centuries.

With a cast of 12 handling a really hot brick it would have been very easy for writer/director Barrie Wheatley to go down the political route and bash the Conservative government from pillar to the post due to the explosion of uses of food banks but it doesn’t.

It is also pleasantly noted that no one character dominates and the dynamic changes around as each character is explored in depth but for exactly the right amount of time to explain their personal story.

The cast of Molly Robinson, Maxwell Smales, Sara Featherstone, Dave Bush, Clare Crowther, Jamie Wilks, Kirsty Old, Ella Straub, Stan Haywood, Chris Gruca, Jackie Rogers and Katy Burgess are expertly pitched and perfectly suited to their parts.

The main strength comes from Arnold (Haywood) and Katie (Burgess) as the latter arrives last on the stage and gives a whole different dynamic with her ruthless treatment of the ‘Characters’ and is eventually taught a harsh lesson by the messed up but meaningful and charming older man.

With a political undercurrent which is perfectly handled by the wonderful cast who never allow it to takeover the proceedings this is very powerful storytelling at its finest with breathtaking control of a very difficult subject without creating a pervading scandal.

There is also an appeal to give to a collection for organisations that help to fight against food poverty with donations of Tinned food, Packets of food or money.

The production is on at Kardomah 94 on 5th and 6th November, Holy Trinity Church on 10th November and Northern Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) on Anlaby Road on 13th November tickets are £7 each at Kardomah 94, £5 each at Holy Trinity Church and £7/£5 at NAPA on the door at either venue.

Six Characters

Reflection- Martin Bell

The session about Martin Bell was an acute lesson in how to deliver war reports and then how to completely change direction in life because of what you have seen.

He started his career with the BBC in 1962 before being called to London in 1965 shortly before his first foreign trip for them to Ghana.

Learning about his career it has become very apparent that he covered many wars and conflicts, 11 in total, and has reported from 80 different countries.

In his reports from Bosnia he has a sense of urgency in his voice and he isn’t afraid of reporting from the side of troops and the side of civilians as well.

There are times he does a piece to camera with either troops and guns or with civilians around him which I find truly extraordinary.

It is well documented he then used his Bosnian experiences to great effect as he announced his candidacy and then overturned a huge Tory majority in the seat of Tatton in the 1997 General Election.

His success in the election made him a symbol of the fight against sleaze in the Conservative government after he had been a symbol of war reporting.

His reflection on his time as a war correspondent to a packed out audience at The Frontline Club is very insightful.

Dean Kirk and Hull Red Labour- Council story

Former Labour party Councillor Dean Kirk says his new Hull Red Labour party will be vocal in the council chamber, through their only representative Gill Kennett, and in the local area.

Mr Kirk, formerly the councillor for Derringham ward for the ruling Labour party, stood in Myton Ward this time, a ward where he has been a resident for 20 years.

He said he and Ms Kennett set up the party due to their opposition to austerity cuts being forced on Hull City Council by the Conservative led government last year, opposition which led to them being suspended.

He confirmed that Coun Shaun Moody and Coun Dermot Rathbone and Jan Hornby are all defecting from the Labour party to join Hull Red Labour saying they have five candidates now and will have a sixth in time for the local elections in May 2016.

Their main objective is to fight against austerity and to provide a voice of opposition moving forward.

Mr Kirk said: “We think the Labour run council has just rolled over and accepted the Tory governments cuts without a fight.

“We will be the REAL Labour party.”

Saying the last election was about building a platform he said he was quite pleased with the amount of votes they received, although he did say some people had been in touch since to say they voted for the wrong Labour party by mistake which cost them hundreds of votes.

Mr Kirk also said: “I believe councils shouldn’t sit on pots of money for a rainy day.

“The Labour run Hull City Council has a reserve of £11M that they’re not doing anything with, that money needs spending on services and jobs, not just left in the background waiting for a rainy day.”

Mr Kirk, who is still a governor at Rise Academy and Pearson Primary school, says he will continue to support homeless people in the area and make people aware of Hull Red Labour.

He also said there will be leaflets being posted through letter boxes in the coming weeks and months as they gear up for the next election.