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Announcing the jury for the New Statesman SPERI Prize for Political Economy

The jury for the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute and the New Statesman's new prize for original and critical writing in political economy has been decided.

The New Statesman and the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield are delighted to announce the names of the members of the jury that will choose the first winner of the New Statesman SPERI Prize for Political Economy.

The prize was announced last month and will be awarded biennially, starting in 2014, to the scholar who has succeeded most effectively over the preceding two or three years in disseminating original and critical ideas in political economy to a wider national and international public audience.

The members of the jury are as follows:

Helen Lewis – Deputy Editor of the New Statesman

George Eaton – Political Editor of the New Statesman

Tony Payne – Professor of Political Economy and Director of SPERI at the University of Sheffield

Andrew Gamble – Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge and Chair of the International Advisory Board of SPERI

Sarah O’Connor – Economics Correspondent at the Financial Times

Gavin Kelly – Chief Executive of The Resolution Foundation.

The jury will be chaired by Professor Tony Payne from SPERI.

The jury will publish a shortlist of five to six names in September and announce the winner of the prize in October. He or she will then deliver the New Statesman SPERI Prize Lecture at the Royal Institution in London at a date to be confirmed in November 2014.

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PMQs review: Jeremy Corbyn bids for the NHS to rescue Labour

Ahead of tomorrow's by-elections, Corbyn damned Theresa May for putting the service in a "state of emergency".

Whenever Labour leaders are in trouble, they seek political refuge in the NHS. Jeremy Corbyn, whose party faces potential defeat in tomorrow’s Copeland and Stoke by-elections, upheld this iron law today. In the case of the former, Labour has already warned that “babies will die” as a result of the downgrading of the hospital. It is crude but it may yet prove effective (it worked for No to AV, after all).

In the chamber, Corbyn assailed May for cutting the number of hospital beds, worsening waiting times, under-funding social care and abolishing nursing bursaries. The Labour leader rose to a crescendo, damning the Prime Minister for putting the service in a “a state of emergency”. But his scattergun attack was too unfocused to much trouble May.

The Prime Minister came armed with attack lines, brandishing a quote from former health secretary Andy Burnham on cutting hospital beds and reminding Corbyn that Labour promised to spend less on the NHS at the last election (only Nixon can go to China). May was able to boast that the Tories were providing “more money” for the service (this is not, of course, the same as “enough”). Just as Corbyn echoed his predecessors, so the Prime Minister sounded like David Cameron circa 2013, declaring that she would not “take lessons” from the party that presided over the Mid-Staffs scandal and warning that Labour would “borrow and bankrupt” the economy.

It was a dubious charge from the party that has racked up ever-higher debt but a reliably potent one. Labour, however, will be satisfied that May was more comfortable debating the economy or attacking the Brown government, than she was defending the state of the NHS. In Copeland and Stoke, where Corbyn’s party has held power since 1935 and 1950, Labour must hope that the electorate are as respectful of tradition as its leader.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.