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.

Image: Getty

Exclusive: Government to introduce gender pay gap legislation after Coalition row

6 March 2015 19:17

This story was first published in tonight’s Evening Blend email, a free round-up and analysis of the day’s political events. Sign up here. Over the past few weeks, Coalition ministers… Continue reading

Natalie Bennett delivers her keynote speech (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Natalie Bennett redeems herself at the start of the Green Party conference

6 March 2015 16:09

Natalie Bennett needed to give a good solid speech to the Green Party conference after a difficult few weeks, and she managed that today. The Green leader hadn’t undergone a… Continue reading


Miliband under pressure over SNP pact

6 March 2015 8:44

Labour has found Sir John Major rather useful in this Parliament, with his criticisms of government policy and praise of Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze. But his op-ed in today’s… Continue reading

Philip Hammond said David Cameron's pledge to see defence spending rising from 2015 only referred to the equipment budget. Picture: Getty

Even if there are ‘no votes’ in defence, Cameron must beware of mutiny in his party

5 March 2015 11:47

Tory MPs are becoming increasingly agitated about defence spending and whether or not Britain will maintain its defence spending at 2 per cent of GDP. They do understand the pressures… Continue reading

The BBC Host The Third And Final Televised Leaders' Debate

Cameron may have chickened out, but the broadcasters cocked up the TV debates

5 March 2015 11:06

So David Cameron won’t debate anyone unless the broadcasters agree to his exact specifications, Ed Miliband won’t debate Clegg in Cameron’s place and has instead offered Harriet Harman, and the… Continue reading

A chicken (author's own)

David Cameron’s debate ‘offer’ means he’s chickening out while pretending not to

4 March 2015 22:25

So David Cameron has made his ‘final offer’, his final condition on which he will or won’t sign up to the TV debates. And it is a clever way of… Continue reading


The PM knows the TV debates won’t happen

4 March 2015 17:24

The broadcasters have now said they could be willing to host a TV debate between David Cameron and Ed Miliband on another date if that means the programmes will actually… Continue reading


Some poorly-timed heckles made for an unedifying PMQs

4 March 2015 16:21

Thank goodness there aren’t that many Prime Minister’s Questions left before the election. As James said, there was a rather end-of-term feeling to today’s session: indeed, it felt a bit… Continue reading

(Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

Ukip dumps its 50,000 immigration target – could this help the Tories?

4 March 2015 8:42

It was a bit rich of George Osborne to tease Nigel Farage for ‘a novel approach to policymaking’ for dumping Ukip’s previous commitment to a 50,000 cap on the number… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Can the Tories really make another net migration target?

3 March 2015 8:54

Why is Theresa May doggedly sticking to the Tory net migration target, even when it has failed so badly in this Parliament? Her Tory colleagues might be asking why she’s… Continue reading


Does the Tory housing pledge really help the housing crisis?

2 March 2015 18:26

Given the Tories are the party of Macmillan, it seems quite right that they’ve picked housing as one of their six key election priorities. David Cameron gave a speech on… Continue reading

Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps Visits Rochester

Tories ‘have fixed’ beleaguered campaign database

2 March 2015 14:46

The Conservatives believe they have fixed their beleaguered campaign database, VoteSource, after increasing complaints from MPs. Coffee House understands that a number of MPs in marginal seats complained to party… Continue reading


Immigration threatens to overshadow Tory housing week

2 March 2015 8:42

It’s supposed to be the Tory housing week, with David Cameron setting out plans to double the number of discounted starter homes to 200,000. It’s an important, salient issue to… Continue reading


Are reports of a Ukip split greatly exaggerated?

28 February 2015 11:11

Day two of the Ukip conference, and the placid mood continues. Delegates seem very content with the speeches that they’ve heard from Douglas Carswell, Patricia Culligan, Janice Atkinson and Diane… Continue reading


Farage uses speech to clarify his position

27 February 2015 17:52

Nigel Farage’s speech to the Ukip conference was fine. Not a bad speech, but not his best speech, either. It was just fine. Activists seemed happy, ecstatic, even when he… Continue reading


Ukip aren’t so jubilant anymore

27 February 2015 16:00

Nigel Farage has now arrived at the Ukip conference. He strode through the bar area, followed by an entourage larger than the one that accompanies the Prime Minister. Delegates clapped… Continue reading

UKIP Spring Conference

Steven Woolfe tells us what Ukip doesn’t believe about immigration

27 February 2015 13:23

You might think that Ukip’s immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe had the easiest portfolio in the party. After all, as the ComRes/ITV poll showed yesterday, Ukip is already the most trusted… Continue reading

The press gallery at the Ukip conference in Margate.

What Ukip needs from its spring conference

27 February 2015 12:03

Ukip has put all the journalists in a special balcony above the main auditorium at its spring conference. It’s quite thoughtful of the party, as the gallery is right next… Continue reading

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Ukip backs Osborne’s deficit plans – but how would Farage cut spending?

27 February 2015 12:01

The Ukip spring conference is underway in Margate today, with the party starting the two days of speeches and fringes with a pledge that it will match the Tory plan… Continue reading

Galanthus plicatus 'Golden Fleece'

Single snowdrop sells for £1,390: welcome to galanthomania

26 February 2015 13:41

Have you heard of galanthomania? It’s an affliction that can rob people of their money – and, it seems, their senses. They’re so desperate to get hold of some small… Continue reading

(Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty)

Why are the Lib Dems spending so much time talking about mental health?

26 February 2015 13:03

Nick Clegg is to hold an hour-long phone-in next week on mental health. The Deputy Prime Minister will host the session himself on LBC on Monday. This is part of… Continue reading

Eurofighter Typhoon Launched To Replace Tornado F3s

The Tory trouble to come on defence spending

26 February 2015 11:45

There are still some unhappy mutterings about the possibility that the Tories won’t commit to spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence in the next Strategic Defence and Security… Continue reading

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron p

New figures show Cameron’s net migration target in tatters

26 February 2015 9:54

Today’s news that lots of people want to come and work in a free, welcoming country with many opportunities and a growing economy is actually very bad news. Not for… Continue reading

Public Inquiry Into Stafford Hospital Scandal Resumes

Labour unsure about health policy its own councils support

25 February 2015 20:25

The announcement today that Greater Manchester will receive full control of health spending – worth £6bn – has left Labour in a rather interesting position. On the one hand, it… Continue reading


You can tell a lot from watching how MPs act

25 February 2015 16:17

One thing worth noting from today’s PMQs – and indeed from all the sessions since the start if the year – was how many MPs left early. They are now not… Continue reading