Sebastian Payne rssSebastian Payne

Sebastian Payne is online editor of The Spectator

Theresa May on the cover of the new Spectator Life.

Five things we learnt from Theresa May’s Desert Island Discs appearance

23 November 2014 13:31

This week belongs to Theresa May. Although the longest serving Home Secretary in fifty years continues to dodge leadership questions, her movements over the next few days will make it harder to deny that she… Continue reading

Nigel Farage outside Rochester Castle in Kent, after Mark Reckless won the Rochester and Strood by-election last night.  Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Nigel Farage: I would love a Labour defector to join Ukip

21 November 2014 18:25

Ukip’s victory in Rochester has lead to the inevitable question of ‘what next?’ for the party. Now that Nigel Farage has two representatives in the House of Commons, his main… Continue reading

A victorious Nigel Farage emerges in Rochester on Friday morning. Photo: Sebastian Payne.

One night in Rochester: how Ukip won and what comes next

21 November 2014 16:01

How did Ukip steal their second seat from the Tories with a candidate as uninspiring as Mark Reckless? Now that he has begun work in the Commons alongside Douglas Carswell, here’s… Continue reading

The odds Ladbrokes are giving on the next defectors and the 2015 election. Photo: Sebastian Payne for The Spectator.

Bookies point to Philip Hollobone as next Tory-Ukip defector

21 November 2014 12:02

Forget opinion polling, bookmakers are usually the most astute predictors of election outcomes. Ladbrokes are out in force in Rochester town centre this morning, giving odds on what might happen… Continue reading

Nigel Farage (L) and Mark Reckless (R) shake hands before the by-election announcement in Rochester, Kent on November 21, 2014. Photo: Getty.

Ukip’s Mark Reckless wins Rochester by-election

21 November 2014 4:29

Rochester, Kent Mark Reckless has become Ukip’s second member of Parliament, winning the Rochester and Strood by-election with 16,687 votes – a majority of 2,920 – or 42 percent of… Continue reading

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 05.16.00

Podcast special: was Emily Thornberry right to resign?

20 November 2014 23:50

Just a few hours ago, Labour’s Emily Thornberry was protesting that she had no idea why anyone would take offence at her Tweeting a picture of a Rochester house with three St… Continue reading

Nigel Farage emerges from Sweet Expectations with high expections for tonight's result. Photo: Sebastian Payne for The Spectator

Nigel Farage: ‘I think we’re going to win’ Rochester and Strood

20 November 2014 18:45

Rochester, Kent With five hours before the polls close in Rochester and Strood, Nigel Farage is confident that Ukip will romp home to victory. Outside the Sweet Expectations shop on Thursday evening,… Continue reading

Students take part in a protest march against fees and cuts in the education system on November 19, 2014 in London, England.

Podcast: Brendan O’Neill on Oxford’s Stepford Students, and Scotland’s new first minister

20 November 2014 8:34

Do today’s students care about free speech? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Brendan O’Neill and Harriet Brown from the University of Oxford debate this week’s cover feature on… Continue reading

Ukip parliamentary candidate Mark Reckless campaigns in Rochester, Kent on November 18, 2014 ahead of the by-election poll on November 20.. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL

Listen: what Mark Reckless said about EU migrants

19 November 2014 11:04

Mark Reckless has landed himself in the soup over comments he made at hustings last night about what might happen to EU migrants if Britain quit the EU. First reported in… Continue reading

Rt Rev Justin Welby, the incoming Archbishop of Canterbury (background) looks on as Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury is given a hug,

Justin Welby defends Rowan Williams against Spectator’s criticism

15 November 2014 16:39

We at 22 Old Queen Street have never been great fans of Rowan Williams. At a time when strong ecclesiastical leadership was needs he served up abstract, pew-emptying waffle. But as this week’s… Continue reading

Ed Miliband's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference

Podcast: the death of the left, Rochester and Strood and equality in marriage

13 November 2014 8:50

Has Ed Miliband found himself on the wrong side of history? In this week’s View from 22 podcast, James Forsyth discusses his Spectator cover feature on the plight of progressives with John… Continue reading

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 16.02.23

Ukip now 12pts ahead of Tories in Rochester and Strood, but what about next year?

11 November 2014 18:28

Ukip is still on track to pound the Tories into second place in the Rochester and Strood by-election, but not necessarily at next year’s general election, according to a new poll from Lord Ashcroft. The latest… Continue reading

Album artwork for Pink Floyd's swan song, The Endless River

Pink Floyd’s new album: it’s not hip – but it is good

11 November 2014 13:02

Yesterday, I popped into Rough Trade West record store to purchase the new Pink Floyd album. That isn’t something I expected to say in my lifetime, but 20 years after their 14th album The… Continue reading

Boris Island: now just a pipe dream.

It’s time for Boris to abandon his island and back Gatwick expansion

11 November 2014 12:04

Surprise surprise, airport expansion is going to cost more than anyone expected. Howard Davies, of the Airport Commission fame, took to the Today programme this morning to kick off the… Continue reading

Mark Reckless visits Rochester the day after his defection. Image: Getty

Reckless criticised by Medway NHS for Ukip election leaflet

10 November 2014 13:52

Mark Reckless is in trouble for reckless campaigning. One of his promotional leaflets (pdf), noting his plans for the NHS in Rochester and Strood, features a photo of Reckless alongside the… Continue reading

Mitt Romney addresses the crowd during a rally for Republican Senate candidate Dan Sullivan (Photo: David Ryder/Getty)

Obama was the Republicans’ greatest weapon last night. What will they do without him?

5 November 2014 12:45

Anchorage, Alaska You don’t mean a thing if your state’s not a swing, goes the saying in American elections. But if it is a swing, then a whirlwind of money,… Continue reading

Jim Messina and David Axelrod (Photo: Getty)

Meet the two Americans set to steer the next general election

27 October 2014 16:00

Washington, D.C. David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg – the obvious targets to blame for the disillusionment engulfing British politics. But let’s not forget the role of the Americans.… Continue reading

Day Two - UKIP Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Podcast special: Mark Reckless defects to Ukip

27 September 2014 16:44

Mark Reckless dropped a bomb on the Ukip conference in Doncaster today, announcing his surprise defection from the Tories. In this View from 22 special, James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman discuss why Reckless… Continue reading

Police attempt to control demonstrators protesting the killing of teenager Michael Brown on August 18, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images

America’s racial tensions are on show for the world to see in Ferguson

19 August 2014 9:41

Washington, D.C. Week two of the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri and peace is nowhere in sight. The problems began on Saturday 9th August when Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American,… Continue reading

Ed Miliband and Barack Obama meet in the White House yesterday. Photo: @Ed_Miliband.

Ed Miliband comes to Washington — and nobody here notices

22 July 2014 7:56

Washington, D.C. Ed Miliband met with Barack Obama yesterday, haven’t you heard? The British press covered the visit with their usual gusto but the visit barely registered on the radar… Continue reading


Video: Frank Field pulls apart the coalition’s Modern Slavery Bill

3 July 2014 13:28

How radical is the coalition’s Modern Slavery Bill? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, the Labour MP Frank Field discusses the government’s efforts to clamp down on slavery and… Continue reading

What would happen to the UK if Scotland votes for independence? Photo: Getty Images.

Podcast: The UK without Scotland, assisted dying and modern slavery

3 July 2014 8:42

How would the rest of the United Kingdom cope without Scotland? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, James Forsyth discusses his Spectator cover feature with Fraser Nelson and Eddie… Continue reading

All political parties want to devolve powers to held bridge the North-South divide.

Briefing: The three main parties’ offers on localism

1 July 2014 18:20

How much common ground do the political parties have on localism? As Isabel pointed out this morning, Labour and the Conservatives are engaged in an arms race to see who… Continue reading

Will the authorities get to the bottom of what happening in Tower Hamlets back on 22 May?

Tower Hamlets: more allegations of obfuscation and electoral malpractice

30 June 2014 18:45

Will investigators ever get to the bottom of what’s going on in Tower Hamlets? London’s most dubious borough has several ongoing inquiries into the alleged misuse of funds, electoral malpractice… Continue reading

David Cameron at his press conference following Juncker's ascension to EU president Photo: Getty Images.

Leaked: what David Cameron really told Van Rompuy and the EU leaders last week

29 June 2014 13:25

It’s well known that David Cameron voted against Jean-Claude Juncker and tried to persuade his EU colleagues to do the same. Thanks to today’s Mail on Sunday, we know exactly… Continue reading