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Steerpike rssSteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator’s gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

Jeremy Paxman

Paxo turns fire on the Beeb

16 April 2014 18:02

Is Mr Steerpike alone in thinking that Jeremy Paxman can’t be bothered anymore? First there was his wet rag interview with the ‘Chrystal Methodist’ Paul Flowers, the former Co-op chairman.… Continue reading

11 Comments
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage Campaigning In South Shields

Will the last person to leave the EU please turn out the lights

15 April 2014 15:26

Nigel Farage is feeling the heat after saying that the electricity bill for his 620 square foot office is over £3,000. According to Consumer Futures, the average household dual-fuel energy… Continue reading

140 Comments
Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 16.26.14

When is a party not a celebration?

15 April 2014 12:12

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans stood on the steps of Preston Crown Court last week and said: ‘This isn’t a time for celebration or euphoria. Bill Roache just a few… Continue reading

25 Comments
Keith Vaz is all things to all men. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Vaz on the smarm offensive

14 April 2014 15:52

Keith Vaz was in full oil slick mode on Friday night when he found himself as the only Labour MP at the Asian Business Awards in Waterloo. Surrounded by dozens… Continue reading

38 Comments
'Eating The City' Biscuit Sculpture At Selfridges

Hilary Benn squashed by 720,479 packets of Jammie Dodgers

10 April 2014 17:13

For months now the Tories and Labour have each been trying to out-do the other by revealing embarrassing examples of spending. Labour has generated the odd story about pot plants,… Continue reading

27 Comments
BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards - Red Carpet

Ed Vaizey for the BM?

9 April 2014 15:28

There was only one topic of discussion at the launch of Nadine Dorries’s novel Four Streets last night – will Maria Miller survive? The conversation was particularly pointed because Ed… Continue reading

3 Comments
The Speccie and The Staggers will go head to head at the Fortnum and Mason drinks writer of the year award.

Staggers Drawn at Fortnum & Mason Awards

9 April 2014 9:30

As the two leading British political weeklies, the Spectator and the New Statesman, have for many years enjoyed a relationship of jocular antagonism. This amiable sort of rivalry can been maintained as their differences… Continue reading

0 Comments
Finally, Gerald Scarfe has made it: he has had a bar named after him. (JENS SCHLUETER/AFP/Getty Images)

A tipple and a scribble with Gerald Scarfe

8 April 2014 12:46

Mr Steerpike longs for the day that he has a bar named after him, so he went to doff his cap to Gerald Scarfe at Scarfe’s Bar last night. Cartoonist… Continue reading

1 Comment
Maria Miller's support is vanishing as press moves in for the kill. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Tory MPs turn on Maria Miller – and Dave

7 April 2014 14:38

Maria Miller is losing friends, fast. Furious briefing over the last 24 hours has seen a host of Tory MPs withdraw their support for the embattled Culture Secretary - and question the judgment… Continue reading

96 Comments
Stop the press! Delegates at the 2011 Conservative Party conference in Manchester are alleged to have taken part in a gay orgy! (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

What happens at conference stays at conference

7 April 2014 12:17

Readers of yesterday’s Mail on Sunday were treated to what appeared to be the perfect ‘Tory Sleaze!’ story. But appearances can deceive. Here’s what the Mail reported: ‘A Tory Minister… Continue reading

64 Comments
James Murdoch Faces Calls To Stand Down As Chairman Of BSkyB At Their AGM

Tom Watson and Alex Marunchak keep it civil at the Savile

3 April 2014 17:23

The potential for brouhaha lurks on any party guest list; but the stakes are not often as high as they were last night at the Savile Club, where hacks and… Continue reading

3 Comments
Mr S could have been an Ukrainian egg decorator, but he didn't have the minimum PTTLS. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/GettyImages)

Eggcellent openings in Westminster

2 April 2014 11:45

Westminster City Council is advertising the role (offered by the Westminster Adult Education Service) of tutor in ‘Ukrainian egg decoration’ – at £25 an hour. Anyone who thinks that the job… Continue reading

6 Comments
(Image: MEDIA RIGHTS CAPITAL / THE KOBAL COLLECTION)

Does Andrew Davies prefer Kevin Spacey’s version of ‘House of Cards’ to his own?

2 April 2014 11:07

It sounds like the screenwriter of the original House of Cards prefers the US version, although, of course, he couldn’t possibly comment. Andrew Davies, who adapted the BBC version from… Continue reading

2 Comments
Michael Fallon (second right) at the launch of Royal Mail Plc last year. (Image: Royal Mail Group/Getty Images)

Tory fingers point at Michael Fallon over Royal Mail debacle

1 April 2014 11:59

It’s not just Vince Cable who is getting it in the neck today for the scathing report into the sell-off of the Royal Mail. Michael Fallon is copping his share… Continue reading

89 Comments
Made In Chelsea Perfume Launch - Arrivals

They’re not all made of money on ‘Made in Chelsea’

31 March 2014 17:34

With the new season of Made in Chelsea set to air in on Channel 4 next week, I hear that all is not well in SW3. Extras and cast members… Continue reading

2 Comments
The Pythons haven't started rehearsing yet because they don't want to 'peak too early', says Michael Palin.

Monty Python’s dancing circus

31 March 2014 10:02

For those who are worried that five men in their 70s might struggle to bring the kind of energy befitting a sell-out show at the O2, have no fear. The… Continue reading

6 Comments
Ed Miliband Contacts The Owners Of The Mail Newspaper Titles

Finally, after 118 years, The Daily Mail masters irony

27 March 2014 16:10

The Daily Mail has been holding habitués of the corridors of power to account for so long, it has decided that it deserves a corridor of its own. The Editors… Continue reading

8 Comments
(Photo: Councilman Adam Richardson and Alderman Matthew Richardson presenting Mr. Kermit T. Frog with his ceremonial Key.)

Arise, Kermit, Freefrog of the City of London

27 March 2014 13:35

Move over Dick Whittington and his cat, the City of London has a new folklore hero. Yesterday Kermit the Frog was made Honorary Bridge Master of Tower Bridge. Mr S… Continue reading

3 Comments
Andrew Mitchell, Danny Alexander and Patrick O'Flynn spinning for their parties.

Nick vs Nigel debate: The room spun

26 March 2014 21:54

Nick Clegg had been given the night off babysitting; but, after the poll verdict on tonight’s EU debate with Nigel Farage, he may wish he’d stayed at home with the… Continue reading

90 Comments
Image: Getty

Ed Miliband’s sympathy for ‘needy’ Gove

25 March 2014 13:30

Congratulations to Sarah Vine. Last night the Mail columnist achieved the almost impossible feat of getting the leader of the Labour Party to defend his party’s favourite pantomime villain: Michael… Continue reading

6 Comments
Rose Leslie. Image: Getty

Life imitates art as Game of Thrones returns to our screens

24 March 2014 15:48

The last season of Game of Thrones ended while a rough and ready rabble from north of ‘the wall’ were preparing to make life difficult for the establishment down south… Continue reading

6 Comments
Eton College. (Image: Getty)

Tory MPs develop new Eton game

24 March 2014 13:35

Tory MPs from less privileged backgrounds than their leader have developed a fun new game to play in the members’ tea room: drawing up definitive rankings of Polite Old Etonians… Continue reading

13 Comments
Duncan Weldon, Newnight's Economics Correspondent, admits that he had a teenage 'flirtation' with the early politics of Oswald Mosley.

Newsnight of the long knives

21 March 2014 14:19

The controversy over the appointment of TUC economist Duncan Weldon as Newsnight’s economics correspondent has taken a surreal twist. The former Labour Party adviser appears to have used his blog to deaden the impact of a… Continue reading

60 Comments
Jerry Hayes relates the famous occasion when the editor of Punch tricked the Mail's Nigel Dempster into believing that Lord Rothermere (pictured) was on the phone.

The fake proprietor calls

20 March 2014 14:47

Westminster and Fleet Street are all a flutter about An Unexpected MP: Confessions of a Political Gossip, the memoirs of former Tory MP, Jerry Hayes. It’s a fun, naughty read.… Continue reading

2 Comments
Dr Evan Harris was drinking with the enemy last night...

Evan Harris glugs with the enemy

20 March 2014 12:45

Gongs all round at the Paddy Power Political Book of the Year Award at the Imax cinema in Waterloo. It was a bumper night for Spectator writers. Congratulations to Charles… Continue reading

10 Comments