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This week’s front page editor

Claire Provost

Claire Provost is editor of 50.50 covering gender, sexuality and social justice.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Dark money investigations: what we’ve found out, and why we’re looking

For the past two years openDemocracy has been tracking down the secretive, wealthy donors trying to influence British politics unseen.

Major Scottish Tory funders fined over illegal donation

The Irvine Unionist Club donation funded 10% of Ruth Davidson’s campaign spending in 2016

‘Second’ bank account: MPs demand probe into Rees-Mogg’s Brexit group

Cross-party demands for an urgent investigation into the financial affairs of the European Research Group follow openDemocracy’s investigation.

Parliament watchdog probes Rees-Mogg’s hard Brexit lobby group over “other sources of funding”

EXCLUSIVE: Emails released by UK parliamentary standards watchdog reveal a ‘second’ bank account held by the powerful ERG group of Tory MPs, as they pressure May to abandon Chequers.

Opposition MPs call on PM to investigate former minister over hidden links to Tory ultra-Brexiteers

After openDemocracy revealed how former Brexit minister Steve Baker continued to work with the secretive European Research Group despite being in government, demands for Downing Street to investigate.

Ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker remained in charge of secretive Tory ultra faction

Under the ministerial code, Baker was supposed to cut his ties with the European Research Group when he joined the government in 2017. But newly released emails show that as Brexit minister, he offered them private briefings on critical government policy.

Revealed: how the UK’s powerful right-wing think tanks and Conservative MPs work together

The Institute of Economic Affairs, accused of offering US donors access to government ministers, is among right-wing think tanks meeting monthly. Conservative MPs have attended, too.

UK government minister hides leading role with hard Brexit group

Exclusive: Steve Baker accused of playing "fast and loose" with ministerial rules after openDemocracy investigation finds Brexit minister had undisclosed meetings with European Research Group

Six of Theresa May’s cabinet are paid up “members” of secret group demanding a total break from the European Union

The head of the secretive European Research Group won’t reveal which senior ministers are members of the hardline anti-EU group. Why not? Because the answer and the reach of the ERG leaves the Prime Minister looking like a Brexit hostage.

MPs demand full investigation of hard-Brexit backing Tory "party within a party"

Labour MPs are demanding that the pro-Brexit European Research Group is investigated by parliament's expenses watchdog on the back of openDemocracy's revelations.

Revealed: The Tory MPs using taxpayers’ cash to fund a secretive hard-Brexit group

Senior MPs including Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom and Jacob Rees-Mogg have used their expenses to fund a 'party within a party' inside Westminster – effectively holding the government hostage over its negotiations with the EU.

New Scottish Tory MP slammed for anti-Gypsy attack

New Moray MP Douglas Ross has been slammed by Amnesty International and Traveller groups after saying that his top-priority is “tougher enforcement against Gypsies”.

Leadsom campaign chair denies involvement in dark-money funded poll which boosted her campaign

The MP who ran Andrea Leadsom’s leadership bid tells openDemocracy that he wasn’t involved in commissioning a key opinion poll which boosted her campaign and was funded by the secretive Constitutional Research Council.

Key poll which boosted Leadsom’s leadership bid funded by DUP’s dark-money donors

An important poll which added momentum to Andrea Leadsom’s campaign to become prime minister was funded by the secretive Constitutional Research Council.

Selling Theresa May: Why the Conservatives will never gamble on her again

The Tory campaign scared off potential customers. How much that let in competitors we will soon know.

The dark money driving the Scottish Tory surge

Electoral Commission 'looking into' Scottish Tory £100,000 donation after openDemocracy exposes potential rule breach.

Meet the Scottish Tory behind the £425,000 DUP Brexit donation

Senior Scottish Conservative Richard Cook is at the centre of a major Brexit funding scandal.

The NHS stays centre stage as the political ground shakes

As Labour's newly elected leader throws down the gauntlet on undoing NHS privatisation, the Tory ideological and financial attacks on our health service are escalating.

Osborne hides his fiscal secrets under the hospital bed

The NHS promises yet more mythical savings to unlock a few crumbs from the Chancellor's red box. Meanwhile its deficit soars to Greek levels – and the shadow of more NHS charges stalks the policy corridors…

Eight reasons you really can't trust the Tories with the NHS

Huge hidden cuts to hospital budgets, soaring privatisation, and some scary plans to make us pay for healthcare - as voters go to the polls, the consequences of more Tory government could be dire.

Are the Tories applying a scorched earth strategy to the NHS?

The Tories now seem not to care what we think of their NHS policies. Last election, it was all very different - a new book highlights how promises were made - then broken. 

Should politicians summer reading lists include 'unthinkable' ideas for the NHS?

Corporate think tanks hope their bravely unthinkable suggestions to "fix" (or kill) the NHS are on politicians' summer reading lists. But why are far more popular and evidenced solutions - like reversing privatisation - so unthinkable to the political class?

Labour turn spotlight on GP shortages

Yesterday Miliband pledged a GP appointment for all within 48 hours, today Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham visits inner-city GP practices facing the axe. 

“The worst thing a UK government has done to its people in my lifetime”

Marcus Chown explains why, in the European elections, he is standing for the National Health Action Party in London.

Nuffield Trust report exposes Tory lies on Welsh NHS

David Cameron claimed last week that the Welsh border was "the dividing line between life and death". A new Nuffield Trust report shows such rhetoric is dishonest. 

Tory links of health agencies exposed as Hunt lines up next NHS sell-off in England

Whilst understaffed wards and surgeries turn to well-connected private sector agencies to fill the gaps created by Cameron's health 'reforms', the NHS's own in-house recruitment agency is to be sold off, it has emerged.

What lies behind Hunt's message of the 'bad, cruel' NHS?

Jeremy Hunt's claim that cruelty by NHS staff has become 'normal' is a politically motivated insult to the nurses trying to look after patients and hampered by destructive government 'reforms'.

NHS charges - the Zombie policies walking into Downing Street?

Reform - the think tank that provided David Cameron with his lead health advisor - is trying to resuscitate discredited policies on NHS charging in England and introduce some dangerous new ideas to boot.

Conference season: Labour set the agenda, Tories could do better, UKIP continue to ride high

In the final part of our series on UK party conference season, we hear what Labour and the Tories each need to do, and that UKIP didn't have the disaster the media would have us believe.

Powellism, Conservatism and Syria

Enoch Powell highlighted the differences between England's vision of itself and its reality, but has this led ideology to be chosen over pragmatism in the Commons rejection of the Syria vote?

The decline and fall of the Conservative Party

The Conservative Party is fighting an uphill battle, as it is rapidly losing members. But in the face of reduced membership rights and lack of privilege, where is the incentive and who is to blame?

Death knell sounds for cradle to grave service

Is Cameron about to realise Margaret Thatcher's dream and abandon universal healthcare provision?

"This Can't Go On" - Cameron hires private health lobbyist into the heart of government

Nick Seddon, former lobbyist and private healthcare advocate, today walks through the doors of `10 Downing Street to lead on health policy formation for David Cameron. What does this say about Cameron’s real attitude to the lobbying game he has publicly decried? And what kind of policies will Seddon be pushing now? There are good reasons to be concerned.

American conservatives shift on mass incarceration

When Newt Gingrinch announced last year, “The criminal-justice system is broken, and conservatives must lead the way in fixing it," it may have signaled that those who formerly advocated rapid prison expansion, have shifted gears and begun to distance themselves from private prison corporations and explore ways to reduce spending on corrections.

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