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.

Police Around The Houses Of Parliament

Labour threatens Commons defeat on purdah as Tory whips threaten their MPs

3 September 2015 19:14

Labour sources have told Coffee House that they are seriously considering voting against government amendments to the EU referendum, which means ministers still face a defeat in the Commons on… Continue reading

Eu referendum

Westminster ‘Out’ campaign snaps up key eurosceptic MPs

3 September 2015 16:25

A cross-party group of MPs, including Ukip’s only MP, is to formally join the Westminster-based ‘Out’ campaign, Coffee House has learned. An ‘exploratory committee’ of MPs which started discussing how… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Government could still face defeat on EU purdah row

2 September 2015 21:21

Will ministers really avoid a defeat on the question of purdah in the EU referendum bill on Monday? They hope that amendments, tabled today (and attached in full here in… Continue reading

A protester holds a flag reading 'welcome' during a rally against ill-treatment of migrants after the bodies of 71 refugees were found in an abandoned truck last week in Vienna on August 31, 2015 (Photo: Patrick Domingo/Getty)

The Tories are playing a risky game with their ‘hostile environment’ policy on migration

2 September 2015 14:11

It comes to something when the rather bizarre Labour leadership contest forces David Cameron to defend his government’s approach to the refugee crisis. Yesterday Yvette Cooper described ministers’ refusal to… Continue reading

The Labour Party Conference Continues

Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents are finally starting to show political nous

2 September 2015 12:23

Chuka Umunna’s call for Labourites to unite around their new leader and show ‘solidarity’ does show a growing acceptance that Jeremy Corbyn is on the brink of being installed as… Continue reading


Government tries to head off EU purdah defeat

2 September 2015 7:37

Ministers will publish amendments to the EU referendum bill later today that they hope will stave off a defeat in the House of Commons on the legislation. Tory backbenchers had… Continue reading

Photo: Getty Images

Ukip wars: Party’s London MEP blasts ‘undemocratic’ Mayoral and GLA selections

1 September 2015 15:38

Ukip’s selection procedure for its London Assembly and Mayoral candidates is ‘undemocratic’, the party’s own MEP for London has told Coffee House. Gerard Batten has refused to take part in the selection… Continue reading

(Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty)

Yvette Cooper attacks ‘cowardly’ government and says Britain should take 10,000 refugees

1 September 2015 11:46

Yvette Cooper has just given a rather fine, bold speech on the refugee crisis. Some reading will disagree with her plea for Britain to take 10,000 refugees, rather than 200.… Continue reading

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Appears Before The Committee Investigating The On The Runs Scheme

Tony Blair has given up on Labour’s leadership election

30 August 2015 9:58

It’s not entirely surprising that Tony Blair fancied one last chance to plead with his party not to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. And it’s not particularly surprising that his… Continue reading

The Prime Minister Introduces His New Members Of Parliament

Who are the rising Tory stars?

28 August 2015 15:51

In this week’s Spectator, I profile the 2015 intake of Tory MPs: a bright, pragmatic bunch who don’t like to call themselves Thatcherite. Ministers who have sat in the Commons… Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn Takes The Lead In The Labour Leadership Race

What if Jeremy Corbyn has a successful start as Labour leader?

28 August 2015 9:41

Jeremy Corbyn has taken to the Times to defend his Labour leadership campaign and attack both the press and his critics within his own party. He writes: ‘Despite the barrage… Continue reading

Shas Sheehan, "possibly the least capable or deserving person to ever be made a peer in the history of the Lib Dems"

Is Shas Sheehan the “least deserving person to ever be made a Lib Dem peer?”

27 August 2015 17:29

As well as it being rather amusing that a party officially committed to the abolition of the House of Lords has stuffed a few more of its grandees into the… Continue reading

The Evening Standard's Labour mayoral hustings at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Could a row with Uber be taxi for a London mayoral candidate?

27 August 2015 16:48

One of the striking things about the contest in Labour for the mayoral candidacy is how many of the candidates are keen to admonish private taxi firm Uber. Sadiq Khan… Continue reading

The 2013 Tory conference (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The Tories should have dropped their net migration target long ago

27 August 2015 11:55

It’s fair to say the Tories won’t be recycling their ‘immigration down’ posters for this year’s autumn conference. Net migration in the the year to March 2015 was 330,000, which… Continue reading

UKIP leader Nigel Farage passes UKIP deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans during the launch of the party's election manifesto on April 15, 2015 in Thurrock, England;

Exclusive: Ukip wars threaten to reignite over mayoral race

26 August 2015 15:12

Nigel Farage is trying to block Suzanne Evans from becoming Ukip candidate for Mayor of London with a covert campaign to install a less threatening, loyal party colleague in her… Continue reading

Ballot Papers Arrive For The Labour Leadership Election

Labour leadership contenders to demand details of party’s efforts to block infiltrators

24 August 2015 17:19

Labour is holding a meeting tomorrow morning with the different leadership camps to discuss how the party is dealing with infiltrators into its membership. The campaigns are particularly keen to… Continue reading


Does anyone really care how politicians look?

23 August 2015 14:53

Charles Moore asks in this week’s Spectator what the ‘right looks’ are for a leadership contender, comparing Margaret Thatcher’s appeal to Tory backbenchers to the appeal of Yvette Cooper and Liz… Continue reading


Why do we believe rubbish online advice?

21 August 2015 13:06

Have you been duped by the cult of clean eating? In this week’s Spectator, Lara Prendergast and I delve into the murky world of ‘clean’ diets and Instagram goddesses. These… Continue reading


Tsipras triggers second election

20 August 2015 23:27

Greece has already had one election and a referendum this year. Now it’s going back to the polls again with Alexis Tsipras announcing his resignation and snap elections. Tsipras says he… Continue reading

Ballot Papers Arrive For The Labour Leadership Election

Labour ‘members’ object to ‘purge’

20 August 2015 15:43

Some Labour party members are currently finding out that they can’t vote in the leadership election after all because they’ve been picked up as being insincere members. A number of… Continue reading

Ballot Papers Arrive For The Labour Leadership Election

Labour’s bitter, bitchy battles will continue long after its leader is announced

20 August 2015 12:40

Why is the Labour leadership contest so vile? It has been the bitterest, bitchiest battle that the party has experienced for a good long while, even though the last contest… Continue reading


Jeremy Corbyn is far less popular with Labour MPs than he is with members. Is that a problem?

19 August 2015 11:45

Why haven’t some Labour MPs ever met Jeremy Corbyn? Mr Steerpike picks up on the discussion between former Miliband aide Anna Yearley, and MPs Barbara Keeley and Lucy Powell about… Continue reading

Labour leadership candidates Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham on stage at the Labour leadership hustings in Citywest hotel on June 9, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.

Cooper vs Burnham: ‘A panicked, desperate stunt straight out of the Ed Balls playbook’

17 August 2015 20:30

Yvette Cooper has rounded on Andy Burnham this evening, demanding that the Labour leadership contender oppose Jeremy Corbyn or stand aside. Burnham gave a speech this morning that was widely… Continue reading

Miliband speech at University of London

Ed Miliband won’t say anything until after the Labour leadership contest is over

17 August 2015 16:17

Why is Ed Miliband not intervening to stop Jeremy Corbyn? Some Labourites see the former leader’s silence on the issue as a dereliction of duty, and hope to increase the… Continue reading


Exclusive: Whitehall prepares for a new cull

17 August 2015 15:09

Government departments have started to prepare their staff for job losses ahead of this autumn’s spending review, Coffee House has learned. George Osborne wants ministers to cut as much as… Continue reading