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.

A celebration of the NHS during the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012. Image: Getty

Stephen Dorrell: The NHS still has plenty to learn

21 July 2014 15:11

If anyone thought Stephen Dorrell would take a break from talking about health after standing down as chairman of the House of Commons health select committee, they were quite wrong. The… Continue reading


Exclusive: Senior Tory backbenchers to push Cameron further on Europe

18 July 2014 16:11

Key eurosceptic MPs are planning to push David Cameron further on his plans for European reform next week, Coffee House has learned. Leading members of a powerful group of right-wing… Continue reading

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Reshuffle 2014: where is the radicalism?

17 July 2014 16:46

One of the more dispiriting things about this reshuffle has been the way in which important policy areas appear to have been downgraded. This week’s leading article in The Spectator… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Tories to keep Gove on tight leash

17 July 2014 13:57

Why is Michael Gove a minister for the Today programme when he was removed as Education Secretary because of his poor poll ratings? This paradox has amused some in Westminster,… Continue reading

Landsley holding job sign

Andrew Lansley’s international role in public service remains a mystery

17 July 2014 13:16

Coffee House apologises unreservedly for keeping readers in suspense for two days about Andrew Lansley’s mysterious international role in public service. Yesterday, Number 10 did tell us that discussions were… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Reshuffle 2014: the fallout

16 July 2014 17:43

New ministers are marching through the corridors of power today with the special ‘I mean business’ walk that denotes an MP who finally has a job they consider important. Meanwhile… Continue reading


Tories vs Labour tax row continues

16 July 2014 15:39

Labour has now reviewed the Harriet Harman interview on LBC in which she said ‘I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes’ and concluded that she… Continue reading


Reshuffle 2014: How will Labour attack?

16 July 2014 8:50

How will Ed Miliband deploy the reshuffle at Prime Minister’s Questions today? The Labour leader may not use it as his main theme, but he has plenty of elements from… Continue reading

Picture: Carla Millar

Andrew Lansley, international man of mystery

15 July 2014 21:31

Earlier today, Andrew Lansley was just very cross. He wasn’t Leader of the House anymore, and he wasn’t the UK’s nomination for European Commissioner. But in a few hours, the… Continue reading

Britain Prime Minister David Cameron (L)

David Cameron’s cosmetic exercise bemuses the Tories

15 July 2014 17:47

Today’s reshuffle has been largely about cosmetic improvements to the Conservative party — not just through the promotion of female MPs, but also by neutralising certain policy areas such as… Continue reading


Reshuffle 2014: where is the new centre of gravity in the Tory party ?

15 July 2014 7:22

After a night of firing, we should start to see a round of hiring in David Cameron’s government from around 8.30 this morning. Only one post has been filled –… Continue reading

Baroness Butler-Sloss. Image: Getty

Lady Butler-Sloss steps down from child abuse enquiry

14 July 2014 13:15

It is not a surprise that Lady Butler-Sloss has stepped down as chair of the independent inquiry panel into child abuse: a critical mass of stories had built up against… Continue reading


Reshuffle 2014: Cameron’s key challenges

14 July 2014 8:50

What does David Cameron need his reshuffle to do? As has been the case with every reshuffle in this Parliament, the changing of the guard, which is expected to start… Continue reading

Britain Prime Minister David Cameron (L)

Cameron could introduce ‘voluntary’ all-women shortlists

13 July 2014 22:30

David Cameron could introduce ‘voluntary’ all-women shortlists if the Conservatives continue to struggle to recruit female MPs, senior Tory sources have said. The Prime Minister has also set party chairman… Continue reading

Unemployment Figures Set To Rise Further In UK

Mental health and benefits: ministers get the wrong end of the stick

13 July 2014 17:19

Every so often when ministers are considering a policy, they send a little kite up to see how it’s received. Sometimes it gets hit by a lightning bolt of fury… Continue reading


Is cross-party agreement on surveillance legislation a good thing?

10 July 2014 12:01

So all three party leaders agree that it’s worth rushing through emergency surveillance legislation. While David Cameron and Nick Clegg were holding their rare joint press conference, Ed Miliband released… Continue reading

Baroness Butler-Sloss. Image: Getty

Will Ed Miliband attack over Lady Butler-Sloss’s appointment as head of the child abuse inquiry?

9 July 2014 11:58

Will Ed Miliband decide to attack David Cameron on the appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss to chair the child abuse inquiry when he stands up at Prime Minister’s Questions in a… Continue reading

Big Ben and the The Houses of Parliament

Inside the whips’ ‘dirt books’

9 July 2014 8:55

So all three parties are to trawl their ‘dirt books’ held by the whips and disclose any evidence that they find of child abuse. The role of the whips was… Continue reading

The Prime Minister and Baroness Warsi clashed over the government's counter-extremism strategy while the minister was on a plane. Picture: Getty

‘Hopeless’ Warsi ‘resisting’ David Cameron’s fight against extremism

8 July 2014 15:43

The government has failed to produce an adequate strategy to tackle non-violent extremism because the minister in charge of it is said to disagree with the Prime Minister’s approach, sources… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Harriet Harman’s push for gender equality – and her own career

8 July 2014 15:03

Harriet Harman’s scathing attack on the top men in politics for their failure to advance gender equality has certainly annoyed Damian McBride, who argues that Labour’s deputy leader is talking… Continue reading

(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

The Home Office acts busy, hoping to avoid a ‘tide of public anger’

8 July 2014 14:12

Theresa May updated the Cabinet this morning on the inquiry she has launched into how public bodies have dealt with allegations of child abuse. The name of the inquiry panel… Continue reading

Unemployment Figures Set To Rise Further In UK

Universal Credit ‘hasn’t been signed off’ – what does that mean?

8 July 2014 8:57

Is Universal Credit progressing as well as it should? Yesterday Sir Bob Kerslake, who is not consistently helpful to political colleagues, dropped a bit of a bombshell during a Public… Continue reading

Theresa May Speech On Organised Crime

Theresa May announces independent inquiry into child abuse allegations

7 July 2014 17:24

Theresa May has just given as comprehensive a response as possible to the allegations of child abuse in the Commons. Insisting the government will leave no stone unturned in pursuit… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Labour is falling in love with localism – but is it ignoring the individual?

7 July 2014 13:44

Today’s New Deal for England announcement by Labour doesn’t just underline how much of the political action is in the regions at the moment, but how the party is coming… Continue reading


Theresa May to give ‘significant’ statement on child abuse row

7 July 2014 8:55

What can we expect from the government response to the growing child abuse dossier row? Government sources are stressing this morning that Theresa May’s Commons statement will be ‘significant’ and… Continue reading