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David Blackburn rssDavid_Blackburn

David Blackburn is the deputy online editor of The Spectator.

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Boris Johnson’s European crusade to save the Tory party

3 August 2014 10:55

The Sunday Telegraph has news that Boris Johnson will give a speech next week in which he will throw his weight behind a report, published by Volterra, calling for Britain… Continue reading

70 Comments
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude Announces Plans To Scrap 192 Public Bodies

Mutually assured benefits: Francis Maude’s public sector revolution

2 August 2014 9:45

A revolution is underway in Bromley. The average time that it takes for a leg ulcer to be treated and healed has been cut from 21 weeks to 5 weeks.… Continue reading

14 Comments
AUSTRALIA-NAVY-MILITARY

The Tories must commit to more defence spending in the next parliament

1 August 2014 12:32

Nato is 65 years old this year; but there’s little cause for celebration. The Defence Select Committee’s latest report suggests that the populations of western Europe and North America are… Continue reading

35 Comments
The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

Is NATO a busted flush?

31 July 2014 9:22

Rory Stewart is no soft-touch. When he was elected chairman of the Defence Select Committee, it was thought that he would hold the government and NATO’s feet to the fire.… Continue reading

72 Comments
Prime Minster British Prime Minister David Cameron Attends A Rally Before European And Local Elections

David Cameron hints at tax cuts for Middle England

30 July 2014 11:47

The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope tweets the news that David Cameron is open to raising the threshold for the 40p rate: NEWS! PM: “I would love to raise the 40p tax… Continue reading

31 Comments
Ed Miliband's Speech On Reforming Labour's Links With Unions

Labour wants you to pay more tax. But what about its tax bill?

30 July 2014 8:53

Westminster has got in a tizz overnight because Andy Burnham has been taped saying that he still favours a ‘death tax’ of 10-15%, on top of 40% inheritance tax, to… Continue reading

74 Comments
Moeen Ali. (Image: Getty)

Moeen Ali reminds us that sometimes sport is the only place for politics

29 July 2014 18:46

Moeen Ali, the England cricketer, faces a possible reprimand after the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s governing body, censured him for wearing two wristbands, one saying ‘Save Gaza’, the other… Continue reading

114 Comments
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David Cameron aims at Ukip and attacks Labour with immigration clamp-down

29 July 2014 8:46

The government has unveiled a set of measures to curb immigration. David Cameron has written an article in the Telegraph about what the government has already achieved and what it… Continue reading

117 Comments
FarageFront

Labour confirms Tory strategy: Vote Nigel, Get Ed

28 July 2014 7:48

Talk to most Tory strategists about Ukip and Ed Miliband and they say something along the lines of ‘Vote Farage, get Miliband’. They hope that this will deter people from… Continue reading

176 Comments
(Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty)

George Osborne’s taxing dilemma

27 July 2014 11:00

Some of what David Smith, author of the essential Economic Outlook column in the Sunday Times, says today will be salve to George Osborne: ‘…the government intended to spend £722bn… Continue reading

65 Comments
kippers

Ukip MPs would have to trim and compromise like everyone else, wouldn’t they?

26 July 2014 13:16

Ukip are holding an action day in Thurrock today. Their tails are up at the moment because a recent poll of marginal seats by Lord Ashcroft put them in first… Continue reading

154 Comments
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Ed Miliband stakes all on his ‘big choice’

25 July 2014 8:59

Labour will launch its summer campaign later today. The centre-piece is Ed Miliband’s speech. He will present a ‘big choice’ to the British public, arguing that they cannot afford 5… Continue reading

132 Comments
Vladimir Putin. (ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

No EU agreement on ‘Tier 3’ sanctions against Russia

24 July 2014 18:52

Sir Malcolm Rifkind was right: there was no agreement in Europe on serious against Russia. The FT’s Peter Spiegel tweets the news that many have been expecting: The #EU ambassadors meeting finally… Continue reading

45 Comments
Sandown Races

Labour’s sports betting levy will hit poor punters

24 July 2014 12:43

Harriet Harman has set the hare running this morning by proposing a levy on sports betting. The shadow sports minister Clive Efford said: ‘We believe it is right that businesses… Continue reading

12 Comments
Putin-cover_se-474x413

What are the chances of Europe agreeing substantial sanctions against Russia tomorrow?

23 July 2014 18:17

‘Somewhere between zero and minus five.’ That is the verdict of former Foreign Secretary and current Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, to the question in the… Continue reading

12 Comments
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson plays ten

Boris Johnson won’t play tennis with Putin’s cronies

23 July 2014 11:43

‘I think you have to do stuff that actually hits Putin and his government where it hurts. I know about this tennis match – they volunteered me to play tennis… Continue reading

15 Comments
The EU's sanctions seem to fall some way short of David Cameron's ambitions. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

Europe split over sanctions against Putin’s Russia

22 July 2014 19:07

The European Council has spoken! We must all come back on Thursday after it has considered its approach to fresh sanctions against Russia. The communiqué from today’s meeting of the… Continue reading

52 Comments
Concern Grows Over Trojan Horse Inquiry At Birmingham Schools

Nicky Morgan and Tristram Hunt respond to the ‘Trojan horse’ schools report

22 July 2014 13:45

Nicky Morgan described the findings of Peter Clarke’s report into the Birmingham schools scandal as ‘disturbing’, and laid out how she plans to respond. listen to ‘Nicky Morgan’s statement on… Continue reading

26 Comments
(Photo: Getty)

David Cameron: This is a defining moment for Russia

21 July 2014 16:21

David Cameron has made a statement to the House of Commons about the destruction of MH17 over eastern Ukraine. He was quick to say that even those who shot down… Continue reading

50 Comments
BRITAIN-POLITICS

Nicky Morgan passes her first test as Education Secretary

21 July 2014 15:53

Nicky Morgan came to parliament today to praise Michael Gove, not to bury him: ‘It is a privilege,’ she said, ‘to follow him in this role.’ Her first outing as… Continue reading

6 Comments
Image: Getty

George Osborne’s grey-haired gamble

21 July 2014 9:15

George Osborne has been in retail mode this morning, selling his pension reforms and explaining how pensioners can unlock their life’s savings. The Chancellor has said that the Treasury will… Continue reading

14 Comments
BELGIUM-EU-VOTE-RESULTS

Janus-faced Juncker sets out his stall

15 July 2014 17:30

Jean-Claude Juncker delivered a speech to the European Parliament this morning. Its content was, from the British government’s perspective, provocative. Juncker had one watchword: integration: and a clear idea of… Continue reading

60 Comments
Eggborough power station (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Jean-Claude Juncker’s biggest challenge: energy

11 July 2014 12:37

‘Energy is the single biggest issue facing Jean-Claude Juncker,’ remarked a seasoned Eurocrat to me earlier this week. Europe’s energy infrastructure is decrepit and insular. Rates of cross-border interconnection, for… Continue reading

31 Comments
Natural Gas Prices In Midwest Could Jump Over 70% After Katrina

The government needs to attack the enemies of energy consumers, including Ed Miliband

11 June 2014 15:10

‘I don’t know why energy companies invest in Britain,’ said a former energy minister to me a couple of weeks ago. He was referring to the lack of progress on… Continue reading

50 Comments
FRANCE-HISTORY-WWII-DDAY-ANNIVERSARY

D-Day 70: Tribute to Bill Millin, Lord Lovat’s piper

6 June 2014 17:00

Bill Millin landed on Sword Beach as part of 1st Special Service Brigade in the second wave. He exited the landing craft, and found himself in three feet of water. Shells and mortar… Continue reading

5 Comments