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Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator and edits the Coffee House blog. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.


Cameron confident about renegotiation result: but will it please voters?

22 May 2015 18:17

David Cameron was in an extremely confident mood when he addressed the press at the end of today’s EU summit in Riga. He continually joked about journalists needing to write… Continue reading

Ed Miliband speaking in Nuneaton during the general election. The seat, which failed to go red on 7 May, will host the first Labour leadership hustings. Picture: PA

BBC announces Labour leadership hustings from constituency symbolising party’s failure

22 May 2015 12:17

After Harriet Harman announced that Labour would ‘let the public in’ to its leadership contest, the BBC has announced that it will broadcast a hustings with the candidates on 17… Continue reading


Kendall is a hard act to follow for Cooper and Burnham

21 May 2015 16:36

Liz Kendall is the great unknown Labour leadership candidate. She is the only one who hasn’t been in government or Shadow Cabinet, and as I blogged earlier, she needs to… Continue reading

Labour MPs (L-R) Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh, Tristram Hunt and Liz Kendall address delegates at the Progress annual conference in central London on May 16, 2015.

Kendall, Cooper and Burnham all have perceived weaknesses to overcome

21 May 2015 12:52

Now that Liz Kendall has enough MPs backing her to make it on to the ballot paper for the Labour Party leadership contest, the three main candidates are all starting… Continue reading

Border Force At Work At UK Ports

The Tories try to deal with latest net migration target failure

21 May 2015 11:18

One of the odd decisions that the Tories made before the election was to pursue their net migration target, in spite of the fact that they cannot meet it. Today’s… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Labour should now define itself as in favour of both a referendum and the EU

20 May 2015 17:54

The three main Labour leadership candidates have now all said that they want a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU. But the party’s ‘official’ position – that is, the… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Tristram Hunt bows out of Labour leadership race and backs Liz Kendall

20 May 2015 10:42

Tristram Hunt is not standing as Labour leader and will instead back Liz Kendall, he finally confirmed at the end of a long speech this morning. The party’s Shadow Education… Continue reading


The Labour leadership checklist

19 May 2015 13:04

There seems to be a checklist for Labour leadership hopefuls which all of them are very keen to tick off. When launching a campaign, a candidate must say that their… Continue reading


What should Jeremy Hunt do next to the NHS?

19 May 2015 11:19

The Tories barely talked about the NHS during the election campaign. It was an area of Labour strength, and one Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham were keen to talk about… Continue reading

Day Four - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Dan Jarvis backs Andy Burnham in Labour leadership contest

18 May 2015 20:59

As far as endorsements go, Andy Burnham is winning the Labour leadership contest hands down. He has managed to recruit Dan Jarvis – someone who has gained huge respect and… Continue reading

Tristram Hunt. Illustration: Ian Tovey

Can Tristram Hunt persuade enough MPs to back him for Labour leader?

18 May 2015 17:58

The Labour leadership candidates are starting to release lists of names supporting them, with more announcements on the way. So far Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham, who reckon they have… Continue reading


The ‘backbenchers’ champion’ is back

18 May 2015 15:31

John Bercow has just been re-elected unopposed as Speaker of the House of Commons. Those who had been hoping to get rid of Bercow decided not to pursue this to… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Harriet Harman: Labour needs to let the public in

18 May 2015 10:37

How does the Labour party recover? Harriet Harman set out how it will try to come back from its latest election defeat in a speech this morning which told the… Continue reading


Exclusive: Nigel Farage ‘never resigned’ from Ukip in ‘stitch up’

15 May 2015 15:54

It has been alleged that Nigel Farage never formally resigned from Ukip as part of what party sources have told the Spectator was a stitch up to avoid a leadership… Continue reading

The Labour Party Conference Continues

Breaking: Chuka Umunna withdraws from Labour leadership contest

15 May 2015 10:41

In the past few minutes, Chuka Umunna has announced he is not standing for the Labour leadership after all, citing ‘pressure’ that he found uncomfortable. This is odd, although Friday… Continue reading


The one thing sadder than an ex-MP

14 May 2015 16:21

Tonight at midnight, something will change in Parliament. All the MPs who lost their seats in last week’s elections will have their passes cancelled, to be replaced by a pass… Continue reading

Peers wait in the Chamber of the House o

How Tory ministers could sneak out policies the House of Lords blocked

14 May 2015 15:38

Now that we can’t brace ourselves for the SNP ruling over Westminster and the Labour party as we’d been warned (though they still seem to be having a bit of… Continue reading

The European Court of Human Rights

Tory rebels wait for first chance to pounce

14 May 2015 11:53

That some Tory MPs wouldn’t like the idea of Michael Gove scrapping the Human Rights Act has been known for some time, but there is something else worth keeping an… Continue reading


Having a leader won’t solve all of Labour’s problems

13 May 2015 12:11

The Labour party has decided on a medium-length campaign to elect its new leader, the Press Association reports, with the announcement on 12 September. This is slightly odd, given NEC… Continue reading

Seats staying warm (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

Are Cabinet seats being kept warm for rising stars?

13 May 2015 11:36

The reshuffle seems to have gone down reasonably well with Tory MPs – though there is as yet still no position for Nadhim Zahawi or Jesse Norman, which some think… Continue reading

UKIP leader Nigel Farage campaigns with Clacton MP Douglas Carswell, on April 13, 2015 in Clacton, England.

Could this be the row that sees Douglas Carswell leave Ukip?

12 May 2015 17:22

Ukip is embroiled in an almighty row about money. It suddenly has too much of it, apparently. Guido reports that Douglas Carswell is refusing to take the full £650,000 of Short… Continue reading

David Cameron hosts the first cabinet meeting (Photo:  Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The reshuffle hasn’t mollified everyone

12 May 2015 13:24

With Dominic Raab’s appointment as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Justice, a pattern is starting to emerge in David Cameron’s reshuffle of reconciliations with old foes in a new parliament. Raab organised… Continue reading

New Cabinet meets

David Cameron ‘absolutely clear’ about priorities in Cabinet address

12 May 2015 12:39

As part of his new style of governing, David Cameron addressed Cabinet today with cameras recording the first bit. The idea was clearly to set out his mission for the… Continue reading

Rory Stewart, the Defence Select Committee chair (Photo: David Levenson/Getty)

Rory Stewart’s mysterious promotion to Defra

12 May 2015 11:59

One of the stranger appointments of this reshuffle so far has been Rory Stewart being sent to Defra. The former chair of the Defence Select Committee does represent a rural… Continue reading

The Labour Party Conference Continues

Chuka Umunna confirms he will stand for Labour leader

12 May 2015 11:15

In the last few minutes, Chuka Umunna has confirmed that he will be standing for the Labour leadership. The Streatham MP made the announcement in a video on his Facebook… Continue reading