Isabel Hardman rssIsabel_Hardman

Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator and edits the Coffee House blog. She also writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph.


Listen: Lucy Powell tries to dodge questions on leaked Ukip document with ‘it’s irrelevant to you!’

19 December 2014 14:21

How has Labour managed to make such a mess of its response to the leak of a document on dealing with Ukip that came out on Monday that it’s still… Continue reading


Why Alex Salmond’s help could hinder Labour

19 December 2014 12:02

Anyone surprised by Alex Salmond’s comments in the Independent about SNP MPs possibly voting on English matters if it helped Labour is clearly missing out on the wealth of wisdom… Continue reading

Lucy Powell told MPs they could get a 'quick and dirty' briefing on Ukip.

Labour’s ‘quick and dirty’ briefing

18 December 2014 14:12

More fallout from the Labour Ukip leak reaches me. Some sources in the party remain amazed that it apparently never crossed the desk of Yvette Cooper, given her role in the… Continue reading


Labour tries to deal with dysfunctional campaign machine after Ukip leak

18 December 2014 8:56

After spending all week stamping all over their own report about how to approach Ukip, Labour is now trying to work out what on earth led to the row. It’s… Continue reading

Libby Lane, the first female bishop in the Church of England (Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty)

Meet Libby Lane – the first interview with the first woman bishop

17 December 2014 16:54

Why is Libby Lane the first woman bishop appointed by the Church of England? She was one of the first to be ordained as a vicar 20 years ago when… Continue reading


John Bercow loses his battle to appoint Carol Mills as Commons clerk

17 December 2014 12:24

John Bercow has lost his biggest attempt at a power grab after MPs recommended that the appointment process for the Commons clerk be terminated. The governance committee set up after… Continue reading


Is this the best speech given by a minister in this government?

16 December 2014 15:00

Here’s a challenge for Coffee Housers. Find a speech that beats this one by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid. It is one of the finest speeches from a government minister I… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Ministers to crackdown on food waste in summit with supermarkets

16 December 2014 14:00

Ministers are to hold the first of a series of meetings aimed at helping food banks after pressure from MPs to address hunger in the UK, Coffee House understands. Early… Continue reading

Prime Minister's Questions

Tory MPs prepare mischief for EVEL statement

16 December 2014 10:55

William Hague is unveiling his EVEL plans in the Commons at 12.30 today. Just in case you were trying to work out what sort of atmosphere will greet this discussion… Continue reading


Tory EVEL plotting to annoy many different camps

16 December 2014 8:50

William Hague is today setting out the Government’s EVEL plan – which includes options for English votes for English laws that some Labourites see as an evil plan to deprive… Continue reading

(Photo: Paul Hackett/Getty)

Is David Cameron telling porkies on the deficit? His spokesman explains

15 December 2014 17:26

As Fraser points out, David Cameron has gone from saying the deficit has been brought down by a third to claiming it has been halved, but with the often unspoken caveat… Continue reading

The Prime Minister Joins The Irish Taoiseach At Stormont For Cross Party Talks

Labour accuses Government of ‘U-turn’ on Budget charter

15 December 2014 14:42

The government has published its Charter on Budget Responsibility, which at one stage was supposed to be a Labour trap but which now appears to be something that Labour can… Continue reading

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Gives A Speech On The Economy

It’s beginning to feel a lot like a General Election

15 December 2014 10:27

David Cameron is talking about the ‘great, black, ominous cloud’ that Labour’s economic plans would put over the British economy. Labour is talking about its immigration policies while trying not… Continue reading

Theresa May. Image: Getty

Theresa May’s moral mission: Home Secretary to stop sick children being locked up

15 December 2014 9:11

Theresa May will announce changes the Mental Health Act this week that mean mentally ill teenagers are never held in police cells when they should be in a hospital bed.… Continue reading

Police snipers enter Martin Place, Syndey, where the Lindt Chocolate CafÈ is under siege, on December 15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

Sydney hostage situation: what we know so far

15 December 2014 6:50

At least one armed gunman has taken ‘fewer than 30′ people hostage in a Sydney café. Here is what we know so far. Five people have escaped the café in… Continue reading

The Residents Of New Era Estate Protest Against Their Eviction

Why Russell Brand isn’t wrong to fear entering Parliament

12 December 2014 15:31

Oh look, Russell Brand doesn’t want to stand for Parliament even though he moans about it! You can watch the clip of the man who was introduced as a ‘comedian… Continue reading

UKIP leader Nigel Farage delivers his keynote speech at the annual UKIP (UK Independence Party) party conference. Image: Getty

Labour briefs MPs on the Ukip threat in their constituencies

12 December 2014 8:54

Unfortunately for Labour, it cannot dismiss Nigel Farage as a ‘pound shop Enoch Powell’ quite so easily as Russell Brand did last night. The party knows that Ukip can take… Continue reading

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 14.39.53

In defence of the smug Cereal Café owners – and the mugs who eat there

11 December 2014 14:46

There is a great deal of excitement around today about an interview that Channel 4 News did yesterday with some quite smug chaps who have set up something called a… Continue reading

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband speaks to business leaders on December 11, 2014 in London, England. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

What we learnt from Miliband’s Big Speech, with no Big Announcement

11 December 2014 14:41

Ed Miliband’s speech on reducing the deficit has attracted a fair bit of criticism for not telling us very much that’s new. It was supposed to be a Big Speech,… Continue reading

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Labour now thinks it is safe to reject the Tory narrative on the economy

11 December 2014 7:58

Labour has returned to a bit more of an even keel in the past few wintry weeks after a torrid autumn. Plotters are resigned to letting Ed Miliband fight the… Continue reading

Day Four - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Who privatised Hinchingbrooke hospital? And does it matter?

10 December 2014 17:06

When it comes to rows about the NHS, these days it doesn’t rain, it pours. In fact, fights between the parties about who cares more/privatised the most are turning into… Continue reading

Lance Corporal Corey Hilton from US Mari

Ministers plan informal review of lessons learned from Afghanistan

10 December 2014 16:10

British troops have now left Afghanistan, but the debate about the conflict itself and what happens next rumbles on. There have been a number of calls for a review of… Continue reading

Canvassing With The Labour Candidate For South Shields

Are poor people really having to bury their loved ones in the back garden?

10 December 2014 11:52

One of the most striking stories in today’s papers – and on the front of one of them – is the claim made by Labour’s Emma Lewell-Buck that people on… Continue reading

(Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty)

Nick Clegg’s PMQs challenge

10 December 2014 8:56

Nick Clegg is taking Prime Minister’s Questions today, which will at least force the Lib Dem leader to turn up to a major Commons session, rather than bunking off to… Continue reading


The tricks being played over a VAT rise

9 December 2014 17:34

Today’s Treasury Questions was a bit odd, not least because neither George Osborne nor Ed Balls were there, so everyone seemed to be quite keen to get the thing over… Continue reading