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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.

Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Parris vs Monty rumbles on

2 September 2014 13:50

As Mr S predicted yesterday, the row between Times colleagues Matthew Parris and Tim Montgomerie has simmered on. And turning up the temperature in the Times’ Red Box email this… Continue reading

5 Comments
John Bercow. Image: Getty

Heckler’s verdict: Bercow ‘wounded’

1 September 2014 16:49

‘It was an utter humiliation’, says Bercow’s biographer, after the Speaker was openly mocked by MPs as he retreated in the row over who will be the new Commons clerk. listen… Continue reading

21 Comments
Image: Getty

A thundering row on the right

1 September 2014 16:24

It’s open warfare at the Times between two leading lights on the right – the newspaper’s former Comment Editor Tim Montgomerie and longtime columnist Matthew Parris, who held no punches… Continue reading

54 Comments
pen

A very Scottish dinner for the Prime Minister

29 August 2014 16:44

Mr S could not help think that last night’s Scottish CBI dinner looked a little dreary and frankly a bit ‘budget’. The PM was coming to town; could they not… Continue reading

6 Comments
A blessing from Joan Smith and Hacked Off (Photo: AFP/Andrew Cowie)

Hacked Off deliver ludicrous blessing of the Rotherham investigation

28 August 2014 13:36

Andrew Norfolk, the Times journalist that blew open the Rotherham child abuse scandal, can sleep well in his bed tonight, for he has been completely vindicated now. Forget the Jay… Continue reading

92 Comments
(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

Douglas Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and now Ukip

28 August 2014 12:44

This is no ordinary defection. It would be easy for the Tories to brush off a member of the old guard as a swivel-eyed headbanger, but Douglas Carswell is not… Continue reading

22 Comments
Image: Getty

Citizen Brand

27 August 2014 12:58

So it turns out the revolution will be televised after all. ‘Brand’, a full length documentary about the comedian turned political activist Russell Brand, is heading our way next year.… Continue reading

21 Comments
(Photo: David Cheskin/AFP/Getty)

Salmond finally works out how to wind up Darling

26 August 2014 18:20

One of the many blows landed by Alex Salmond during last night’s debate centred on Alistair Darling’s criticism of the Office of Budget Responsibility, set up in 2010 by George Osborne… Continue reading

32 Comments
John Bercow sits in the royal box on centre court before the start of the men's singles third round match between Serbia's Novak Djokovic play France's Gilles Simon on day five of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Image: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

The ‘Buckingham Bonaparte’ is cornered

22 August 2014 8:41

With the interventions of former Speaker Betty Boothroyd, ex-ministers — including Jack Straw, Malcolm Rifkind and Margaret Beckett – and the Clerk of the Australian Senate, Rosemary Laing, it is becoming… Continue reading

37 Comments
George Galloway speaking at a solidarity conference in Iraq in September 2002. Image:  Taha AL-Rubayyh/Getty Images

Cry Bradford, for George and George

20 August 2014 18:42

It’s going to be the battle of the Georges in Bradford West at next year’s general election – and Mr S reckons it could be a worth keeping an eye… Continue reading

52 Comments
Owen Jones protesting outside the head offices of the Daily Mail in October 2013. Image: Dan Dennison/Getty Images

Owen Jones: ‘Our generation’s Orwell’?

19 August 2014 15:34

Calling in a favour from a comrade to help flog your new book is hardly a new trick, but Mr S wonders if Owen Jones really thought this one through:… Continue reading

109 Comments
Austin Mitchell poised to take a photograph of a powerful woman – the Queen – arriving at Parliament in 2010. Image: Getty

Listen: Austin Mitchell’s curious theory about women in power

19 August 2014 11:25

Where are the Labour sisterhood this morning? Presumably they’re not listening to Woman’s Hour, where one of their Westminster colleagues blamed the ladies for Britain’s paralysis on the world stage.… Continue reading

57 Comments
Much hilarity over the appearance of a water bottle in the publicity shots for series 5 of Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey water bottle boob

14 August 2014 16:13

Somebody find Carson the butler!

3 Comments
Money

Up the workers!

14 August 2014 13:08

Mr S was interested to read that Mark Carney has sounded the alarm on low wage growth. In light of yesterday’s announcements, the Times’s business commentator Andrew Clark calls for… Continue reading

16 Comments
Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall — a true great

13 August 2014 11:15

As so often, no one put it better than Papa. Here is Ernest Hemingway talking of all the movies made from his novels and short stories: ‘The only two I… Continue reading

9 Comments
How far would this gruesome twosome go over Gaza?  (Photo by Ben Gurr - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

How far do the Lib Dems want to go over Gaza?

12 August 2014 18:14

Well, well, well. What’s all this then? Uncle Vince has announced the suspension of 12 export licenses to Israel. Here’s what he said: ‘We welcome the current ceasefire in Gaza… Continue reading

103 Comments
6th Annual Stand Up For Heroes - Show

What’s your favourite Robin Williams one-liner?

12 August 2014 10:49

Mr S was saddened to hear of the death of Robin Williams — a man who contributed to the gaiety of nations. People wax lyrical about Williams’s ability to inhabit… Continue reading

58 Comments
bagl

Louise Mensch fat shames ISIS’s leader

11 August 2014 16:58

After Obama sanctioned attacks on ISIS over the weekend, a new hashtag began to trend on Twitter  - #AmessagefromISIStoUS. Via social media, militants from the Islamic State began to threaten anyone… Continue reading

79 Comments
Villiers

Up yours George

11 August 2014 10:28

The most uplifting news of the weekend? Israeli tourists defied George Galloway’s decree that Bradford become an ‘Israeli-free zone’. Better even that: plenty of locals came out in sympathy with… Continue reading

145 Comments
(Photo: Getty)

Did STV just come out in favour of the Union?

8 August 2014 18:20

STV were left red faced after the live streaming of the independence debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling broke down, which meant viewers outside Scotland were unable to watch… Continue reading

12 Comments
The House of Lords is beyond reproach, apparently. (ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP/GettyImages)

Jobs for the boys and girls

8 August 2014 10:21

Mr S can’t help but notice that there is no Ukip peer among the list of the newly ennobled. This is surprising. Nigel Farage has survived attacks, smears and a… Continue reading

17 Comments
Image: Getty

Tories select raft of women – in no-hope seats

8 August 2014 9:57

It has been bought to my attention that amongst the Conservative Party candidates selected this week, women outnumbered men two to one. Tory HQ are clearly very proud that Mims… Continue reading

12 Comments
MP George Galloway In Scotland To Give Speech Against Independent Scotland

George Galloway declares Bradford an ‘Israel free zone’

7 August 2014 16:28

Mr S doesn’t imagine that Israel is among Bradford’s major trading partners. But George Galloway has put the matter beyond doubt with this outburst. It’s raving (and chilling), even by Gorgeous George’s standards.… Continue reading

374 Comments
Our Greatest Team Rises - BOA Olympic Concert

Kriss Akabusi and friends save the union

7 August 2014 13:00

Forget Alistair Darling’s debate victory. Forget the lack of Salmond’s currency ‘Plan B’. Forget the tonne of Scottish ink that savaged Salmond in print this morning (see Alex Massie in… Continue reading

78 Comments
Hold on to your hats. It's Boris vs George. (Image: MATT DUNHAM/AFP/Getty Images)

Team Boris vs Team Osborne — the first skirmish

6 August 2014 12:58

Today was set to be a boring day in Westminster. Sajid Javid, a courtier to George Osborne, was billed to give (yet another) speech about how the economy is going… Continue reading

27 Comments