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Iain Dale is Presenter of LBC Drive, a columnist and broadcaster, and a former Conservative Parliamentary candidate.

Sajid Javid has done well in his first three weeks as Home Secretary. On Wednesday, he addressed the Police Federation conference in Birmingham – always a tricky experience for any holder of his office.

Theresa May was usually received with outright hostility from her audience which, given what she was saying to them, was hardly surprising. Amber Rudd fared little better, even though she was slightly more conciliatory.

Javid sent the police a message that he “gets it”, and understands their need for extra resources. He seems determined to rebuild the relationship between the Government and the police, and some will say that’s not before time.

He even got some laughs from his difficult audience, and at the end they applauded. He said what they wanted to hear, but the question is: when the time comes, can he deliver? Or perhaps more importantly, will he be allowed to deliver?

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All my instincts tell me that we are reaching crunch point on Brexit.

The Commons will soon be debating Lords amendments on the Brexit Bill, and even though Jeremy Corbyn may ride to Theresa May’s rescue on some of them, there are a couple over which the more devout Conservative Remainers could force through amendments.

Paul Waugh of the Huffington Post has calculated that only 13 of them need to vote against the Government line to trigger a defeat. If they do that on any of the more significant amendments, designed in effect to wreck a ‘proper’ Brexit, who knows what the consequences may be?

If the Prime Minister doesn’t make this an effective vote of confidence, it may well be that her position becomes (yet again) very shaky indeed. It’s time for her to come out fighting, and give a lead. She’s at her best when she does that – even though there are huge risks for her.

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GDPR. What a load of old bollocks.

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In ten years at Biteback, I published more than 600 books by around 500 different authors. On Tuesday, I announced I was stepping down as Managing Director and leaving the company. I can’t pretend it wasn’t a wrench, but it was the right thing to do. I’ll be replaced by former SAS soldier and best-selling author Andy McNab.

Dealing with some authors over the years has been an absolute pleasure. Dealing with others has left me so exasperated that I’ve wanted to kill some of them with my bare hands. The difference between me and Andy McNab is that I’ve only wanted to do that. He is actually capable of doing it! Now there’s an incentive to deliver a manuscript on time if ever there was one!

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I’ve just watched Emily Maitlis’s 20 minute interview with Steve Bannon on Newsnight. She really does get the big US interviews. It was a fascinating tussle, which I urge you to watch on the BBC iPlayer. She got a lot out of him because she didn’t try to trick him, even though you could tell her underlying hostility from her demeanour. Given Bannon’s reputation and his cosying up to European fascists, that was understandable.

She had clearly worked out that socking it to him wouldn’t have got her anywhere, so she adopted a more conversational style. It fascinates me that Bannon is still operating as an outrider for Trump, given that the President rejected and sacked him. Personal loyalties can often transcend business decisions. Bannon’s loose tongue cost him his job, but he remains loyal to the man whose benefaction in part created him. Bannon doesn’t expect Trump to ever acknowledge that, but there are lessons there for many of us.

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On Wednesday night, I hosted a pub quiz night for parliamentary researchers. They were quite a boisterous lot! So much so that I had almost lost my voice by the end of the evening.

When I walked in and met one of the organisers, I thought I recognised him, but couldn’t quite place him. It turned out that six or seven years ago I judged him the winner in a schools debating competition. I was glad to know that at the age of 55, my memory is still more or less intact!

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On Sunday, I travelled to Bath to record an episode of the podcast I do with Jacqui Smith, For the Many, at the Bath Festival. Normally, we record it on a Sunday morning with her at her home in Malvern and me in Kent.

It was rather strange to record it face to face in front of an audience. We normally degenerate into smutty humour towards the end, but this week I just couldn’t do that, with her sitting next to me.

I think she felt the same. Isn’t that odd? I suppose it’s the equivalent of people writing things in a letter which they can’t say face to face. The internet has ruined the art of letter-writing. Writing an email is just not the same.

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