Isabel Hardman rssIsabel_Hardman

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

General Election 2015 campaign - March 30th

Will we learn anything from this election campaign?

30 March 2015 8:56

Will we learn anything from any of the parties in this election campaign? And will the polls tell us anything either? Yesterday Labour was excited that it had a four-point… Continue reading


‘The noes have it’: Government loses bid to topple John Bercow

26 March 2015 13:45

More crying in the Commons. More applause. John Bercow didn’t try to hide his tears as it became apparent that the government had lost its vote that would have fatally… Continue reading

Charles Walker

Charles Walker: I have been played for a fool

26 March 2015 13:28

The Commons has gone beyond uproar on the vote on the secret ballot to re-elect the speaker. There has been clapping, a standing ovation, and tears. Charles Walker, chair of… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Parliament finishes in uproar over Speaker vote

26 March 2015 12:33

Well, after months of Parliament appearing boring, tired and without things to discuss, the zombie seems to have woken up. MPs are currently in uproar in the Chamber over William… Continue reading


Revealed: Julian Lewis’ email on the ‘unworthy manoeuvre’ against John Bercow

26 March 2015 9:02

William Hague has given today’s vote that will set up a secret ballot on the re-election of the Speaker as a ‘leaving present’ to Tory MPs. But not all of… Continue reading


Main parties seem rather old and tired, say voters

20 March 2015 15:41

Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with negative campaigning (though surely there’s something a bit wrong about being inaccurate). But when parties pontificate about crafting messages of hope and avoiding smears and… Continue reading


Labour launches scary NHS attack poster

20 March 2015 11:05

The post-Budget attack lines for Labour were clear in Ed Miliband’s speech on Wednesday: his party will allege that the Tories have a ‘secret plan that dare not speak its… Continue reading


Tory MPs content with ‘boring’ Budget

19 March 2015 17:53

How has George Osborne’s Budget gone down with his party? The Tory MPs I’ve spoken to in the past 24 hours or so since the Budget seem reasonably content with… Continue reading

U.K. Chancellor George Osborne Launches National Loan Guarantee Scheme

IFS: Osborne should come clean on his welfare cuts

19 March 2015 16:11

George Osborne this morning said that people should judge him on his track record, as he refused to set out the detail of welfare cuts planned in the next parliament.… Continue reading

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne poses for photographers outside 11 Downing Street in London, England

Voters won’t be able to make an informed choice in May

19 March 2015 10:57

If there’s one major takeaway from this morning’s Budget interviews, it is that voters won’t get the opportunity to make as informed a choice as many would like in May.… Continue reading

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Osborne gets the post-Budget front pages he hoped for

18 March 2015 23:12

If George Osborne’s Budget is going to end up in a mess, it hasn’t done so yet. The worst criticism that the front pages of even hostile newspapers can come… Continue reading


Labour’s aggressive election campaign was evident in Miliband’s Budget response

18 March 2015 16:10

Ed Miliband didn’t produce a spectacular response to the Budget, but neither did he have a bad outing at the despatch box. It was certainly better than his performance last… Continue reading


PMQs: Was Ken Clarke snoozing? If so, he missed nothing

18 March 2015 12:33

The PMQs before the Budget is always pretty pointless, and David Cameron turned up clearly determined to trivialise his exchanges with Ed Miliband as much as possible. He came armed… Continue reading


Nick Clegg is preparing to boast about which Osborne ideas he quashed

18 March 2015 11:55

Nick Clegg is turning up to the Budget today, which is an improvement on the Autumn Statement, which he bunked off in order to hang out in Cornwall with Lib… Continue reading

Olympics & Paralympics Team GB - London 2012 Victory Parade

Cabinet celebrates the Budget ‘in the traditional manner’

18 March 2015 11:31

The Cabinet met this morning to discuss the Budget, with the Chancellor telling ministers that today the Conservatives will ‘set out the next stage in a plan that is working’ and… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Budget 2015: The challenges for Labour

18 March 2015 11:02

Ed Miliband will respond to the Budget today (the Shadow Chancellor responds to the Autumn Statement, and has a Budget speech the day after the main event). In the past… Continue reading


How will the Tories sell today’s Budget?

18 March 2015 8:59

It’s Budget Day, possibly George Osborne’s last Budget and certainly the last big event in the House of Commons that anyone outside it will notice. The Chancellor will, within the… Continue reading

British opposition Conservative party le

Labour and Lib Dems welcome ‘progress’ on TV debates

17 March 2015 17:14

So both Labour and the Lib Dems have responded to the TV debates with caution and enthusiasm respectively. A Labour spokesman said ‘based on the broadcasters’ proposals we have accepted… Continue reading


Cameron’s controlled media strategy keeps voters in the kitchen

17 March 2015 16:59

Why is David Cameron inviting everyone into his kitchen? The Sun has followed the Prime Minister around with a day-in-the-life video, which starts in his kitchen and includes a recipe… Continue reading


Tory knives dangle over Grant Shapps

17 March 2015 15:01

Though his Conservative colleagues have largely been very supportive of Grant Shapps during the latest row about his alter ego Michael Green, there is a contingent in the party who… Continue reading

Artisanal Beer Brewers Find Growing Niche In Berlin

Muscly hipsters force ONS to change its basket of goods

17 March 2015 13:17

The Office for National Statistics has updated its basket of goods that it uses to measure inflation, and has added some amusingly middle class items in, including sweet potatoes, liver… Continue reading


The Coalition is drawing to an end in a surprisingly civil manner

17 March 2015 9:08

It’s the last Budget before the election tomorrow and there are just a few days left of the Coalition. Which is why it is hardly surprising that a few of… Continue reading

The Attorney General Applies To Judges At The High Court To Quash The Original Hillsborough Inquest Verdicts

Andy Burnham: I am mainstream Labour

16 March 2015 15:21

Has Andy Burnham really reinvented himself to prepare for a future leadership bid? In this week’s Spectator, I interviewed the Shadow Health Secretary about his rather forthright views on the… Continue reading

Grant Shapps and his Tory colleagues are thrilled that Labour will abstain on the EU referendum bill. Picture: Getty

Labour aims fire at Grant Shapps over second job allegations

16 March 2015 8:52

How damaging for the Tories is the row about Grant Shapps’ second job? While it is quite easy to write up the Conservative chairman’s business past in a way that… Continue reading

UK Political Parties Seek To Form A Coalition

Paddy Ashdown slaps down Tim Farron: ‘Judgement is not his strong suit’

15 March 2015 11:27

It seems Tim Farron has rather annoyed his senior Lib Dem colleagues with his quite naked desire to become party leader. After the ambitious MP said that the Lib Dems… Continue reading