PODCAST: Q&A with Business, Innovation and Skills team

Earlier today, Simon Hughes, Lorely Burt, Vince Cable and Ed Davey joined chair Sal Brinton to answer questions from the audience about post offices, tuition fees, the education maintenance allowance and cutting red tape for small businesses.

You can hear the session in full by clicking the “play in a new window” link below.

Coming up later today: our podcasts of the Nick Clegg Q&A and a recording of our own fringe meeting, which is happening right now.

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Daily View 2×2: 9 July 2009

Happy Independence Day, Argentina! And happy birthday to Paul Merton and Tom Hanks.

Two big stories

Murdoch Papers hack phones
The Guardian has the story of Murdoch titles doing dodgy things with mobile phones – and it backfiring on them to the tune of at least £1m. There are clear links to current Conservative communications chief Andy Coulson.

There’s an awful lot of this story on the Guardian’s site – including an interview with hack victim Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes.

I hope this story has legs. This was shoddy journalism that should have serious consequences.

Darling’s banking reforms attacked
The FT looks closely at yesterday’s announcements about how the government will regulate banks in future. Says Vince Cable:

“almost all of the important recommendations” made by Mr Darling would not happen until after the next election, rendering the white paper the equivalent of a “living will for the chancellor”.

Two must-read blog posts

Today I’m picking this story about Leominster’s MP Bill Wiggin for no other reason other than Leominster (pronounced Lem-ster) was the town where I did half of my growing up, and it doesn’t get mentioned very often. And Bill Wiggin is the MP I wrote to urging him to vote to equalise the age of consent for young gay men, an age ago. He responded after the vote to tell me that I would no doubt be pleased with the result, as it passed. He neglected to mention voting against the measure.

And I rather enjoyed this rant from Bracknell Blog about the irritating self-service tills many supermarkets are introducing. I find them irritating, because having been a cashier in a supermarket, the self-service tills are much slower at reading barcodes than real checkouts.

On LDV later today

It’s Thursday, so look out for our regular Question Time open thread. The programme is on BBC1 at the usual time of 2235, but is also available on a one-off basis live at 8pm on BBC3.

I’ll also be bringing you two pieces on the LGA conference last week.