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By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 18, 2012

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Former Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw is returning to his old stamping ground. The Exeter Labour MP has been confirmed as the new member on the influential Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, which garnered headlines with its phone hacking inquiry, replacing outgoing Tom Watson. Mr Bradshaw will play a key role in scrutinising the Government department he once ran.

Striding onwards

A Westcountry MP has featured on a list of Conservative "rising stars". Mel Stride, who represents Central Devon, has been appointed ministerial aide to John Hayes, the Energy Minister. The MP held the position – officially Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) – for Mr Hayes when he was previously Skills Minister. Such an appointment is seen as the first rung on the ladder towards government office.

'Hot rocks' champions

Cornwall politicians are championing "hot rocks" in Parliament. Deep geothermal energy harnesses power stored within the ground, with Cornwall boasting plans for the UK's first commercial-sized plant. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Deep Geothermal Energy has been set up by Truro and Falmouth Tory MP Sarah Newton and Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Robin Teverson.

Dairy support

Around 40 MPs last week attended a Westminster Hall debate on the future of dairy farming, a massive turn-out for a corner of Parliament described by one MP as the equivalent of the Siberian salt mines. But South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray managed to get a word in to represent the 20 dairy farmers in her constituency. The most farmers of any MP? More to come in the diary.

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