Mark Leftly

Mark Leftly is Associate business editor for The Independent

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Mark Leftly: Suspend all your disbelief and the drug chiefs' claims are compelling

Westminster Outlook Wow, this must be some sort of personal record for Vince Cable: one of the Business Secretary's many curiously emphatic opinions proved wrong within 48 hours.

Mark Leftly: The reactors are coming but the nuclear inspectors are going

Westminster Outlook We are at the start of the most ambitious civil nuclear programme in this country's history. A generation of state-of-the-art reactors worth at least £60bn will be built across the country, from Hinkley Point in the South-west to Hartlepool in the North-east. Tens of billions more are being spent clearing up radioactive waste at historic, highly hazardous nuclear sites, including Sellafield in Cumbria and Dounreay in the Scottish Highlands. A shame, then, that we're struggling to find enough nuclear inspectors to make sure all this radioactive material is stored safely.

Mark Leftly: The bruiser is right about Britain's productivity gap

Westminster Outlook More news of this column's hero from last week, the maverick Conservative MP for Northampton South, Brian Binley. Done – temporarily – with verbally skewering the ministers and advisers involved with undervaluing Royal Mail by around £1bn when it was privatised in October, the 72-year-old has returned to his greatest concern, the fate of small business.

Mark Leftly: Royal Mail's cheap float and the elephant in the room

Westminster Outlook Back to the Royal Mail and the Business Select Committee on which Mr Binley sits. During last week's mauling of the Business Secretary Vince Cable and his advisers over the postal service's botched flotation, Tory minister Michael Fallon made a little- noticed comment that should have turned the tables on the committee.

BAE Systems under new attack as arms protesters target AGM

Campaigners vow 'a few surprises' will be waiting for the defence giant's board and investors at its annual meeting this week

Keith Simpson on the warpath: Frontrunner for Defence Committee job vows to ensure 'real accountability' at MoD

The Government department has been criticised for budget overruns in recent years
The LibDems want to help impoverished areas improve their surgeries

Pay doctors extra to help the poor, say Lib Dems

Party looks to revive 'patient premium' to address inequalities in access to healthcare

Mark Leftly: How battling Binley put his stamp on the Royal Mail sell-off inquisition

Westminster Outlook: Mr Binley has absolutely thundered at what passes for the financial logic of the Royal Mail flotation

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