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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.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

Image is the least of Ed’s worries

25 July 2014 14:51

What were Labour thinking? Against the background of Ukraine and Gaza, the only domestic story likely to cut through is an economic one. The news today is dominated by David… Continue reading

19 Comments
The South of France is the playground of Russian oligarchs - oodles of cash, lurid boats and a lack of taste. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/GettyImages)

It’s a bit rich for France to castigate Britain for sheltering oligarchs

23 July 2014 17:52

There’s a big to-do between France and Britain at the moment, with France accusing Britain of protecting oligarchs’ money in London. President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party said that before lecturing… Continue reading

45 Comments
General View Of The Old Bailey

The law’s an ass, obviously

23 July 2014 17:17

‘The award of Queen’s Counsel is for excellence in advocacy in the higher courts,’ says the QC appointments page. ‘It is made to advocates who have rights of audience in… Continue reading

2 Comments
Here's the (daily) proof of Hamas's murderous intent. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Lib Dems David Ward and Edward McMillan-Scott on bombing Israel and ‘disputatious Jews’

23 July 2014 7:57

There’s quite a stooshie this morning, following David Ward’s latest contribution to peace in the Middle East. The Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East tweeted yesterday evening: The big question… Continue reading

145 Comments
Investigation In Jimmy Savile Allegations Continues

More big changes expected at the BBC

22 July 2014 14:05

Mr S hears that the race to succeed Paxo came down to two candidates: the PM programme’s Eddie Mair and Today’s Evan Davis. Davis’s move frees up the morning slot… Continue reading

18 Comments
Prime Minister David Cameron Announces His New Cabinet

Priti Patel ‘totally up for it’

22 July 2014 11:14

Priti Patel, poster girl for the next generation of the Tory right, will be a key face on the airwaves come election time. When the PM offered her a job last… Continue reading

48 Comments
(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

Nicky Morgan hides in office as civil servant sacks Gove’s special advisers

21 July 2014 16:59

New Education Secretary Nicky Morgan wasted no time in stamping her mark on her department – sacking all three of Michael Gove’s special advisers on Friday morning. Friends tell Mr… Continue reading

98 Comments
The Ceremonial Funeral Of Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher

Tony Blair — the unloved one

21 July 2014 13:22

Tony Blair, international superstar, has jetted into London to deliver the inaugural Philip Gould Memorial Lecture at Progress, a think tank. The speech would have enraged the likes of Len… Continue reading

141 Comments
(Photo: BBC)

It’s Evan Davis for Newsnight

21 July 2014 10:58

With the BBC set to make a formal announcement about Jeremy Paxman’s replacement at Newsnight imminently, tweets from BBC staff revealing the news were hurriedly deleted. Not quite all of… Continue reading

69 Comments
Out for revenge? Former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson. Image: Getty

Can you help Owen Paterson?

21 July 2014 8:04

Mr S was sipping his breakfast tea when he saw this plea from deposed Cabinet minister Owen Paterson: I’m looking for someone to run my new office, but I seem… Continue reading

35 Comments
Charlie Brooks. Image: Getty

Sorry Dave, it’s Boris and Farage for Charlie Brooks

19 July 2014 18:58

The other darling of the CLA Game Fair — alongside former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson — was Charlie Brooks (aka Mr Rebekah Wade), who appears to be back on the country scene… Continue reading

11 Comments
PopulOwen Paterson. Image: Getty

No love for Liz Truss at country day out

18 July 2014 16:15

Sacked Environment Secretary Owen Paterson was the darling of the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace today. A steady trickle of well wishers queued, as if at a wake, to… Continue reading

25 Comments
Image: Getty

LBC coy on ‘Grill Gove’

17 July 2014 16:15

Talk radio station LBC are coy about the prospect of a Michael Gove phone-in show, mooted by Mr S yesterday. When asked if such a show is on the cards, a spokesman… Continue reading

14 Comments
Politics - Labour Party Headshots

Labour shadow minister attacks reshuffle women

17 July 2014 13:04

There’s something wonderfully ironic about a Labour party that boasts about decency in politics yet has a frontbencher who tweets things like this: Bravo to Helen Goodman, Labour’s Shadow Culture,… Continue reading

35 Comments
Prime Minister David Cameron Announces His New Cabinet

Mrs Gove goes on the warpath, as Michael plots his media career

16 July 2014 11:16

Well, Michael Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, has made her views clear: tweeting that the reshuffle was ‘a shabby day’s work which Cameron will live to regret’. Crikey. Talk about ‘stand… Continue reading

62 Comments
David Cameron is reshuffling his cabinet today. Photo: Getty Images.

Cabinet finally feels the squeeze

15 July 2014 12:10

Some big egos are set to join David Cameron’s rubber-stamping Cabinet meetings, which will make life interesting. There is a physical problem, too. Mr S makes it 11 ministers awarded… Continue reading

3 Comments
david-cameron-dilemma

Women in Parliament group serve ‘Eton Mess’ at Speaker’s House lunch

14 July 2014 16:14

The Speaker’s House hosted the launch of ‘Women in Parliament’, a cross-party initiative to get more women into parliament, today. Fittingly, there was barely a man in sight — besides… Continue reading

2 Comments
Tulisa Contostavlos. Try saying that six times fast. Or just once correctly, if you're a BBC presenter. Image: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Tulisa tongue twister

14 July 2014 13:33

The BBC has departments devoted to pronouncing dialect and names; but they must have been in management meetings this morning, leaving news presenter Joanna Gosling to struggle with the name… Continue reading

2 Comments
Does blood run thicker than water? Not in the Goldsmith family... (Image: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Wrath of Khan

14 July 2014 9:56

Taking sides in the Middle East causes rows over many a Sunday lunch table; but one imagines that things are even tenser when you’re a member of one of the… Continue reading

76 Comments
Words that come to mind when thinking of Boris Johnson. Picture: Lord Ashcroft Polling.

Uxbridge set to be destination Boris?

11 July 2014 14:28

Mr S likes a flutter. His eyes were drawn to the latest speculation about Boris’s return to the Commons. Ladbrokes are offering 3-1 that the Blond Bombshell will be selected… Continue reading

13 Comments
Image: Getty

Ed Miliband’s road to nowhere

11 July 2014 12:20

Ed Miliband’s negotiations with the White House to meet his hero Barack Obama aren’t going well, Nick Robinson reported on the Today programme this morning: ‘Ed Miliband’s team are desperate… Continue reading

29 Comments
Michael Caine pictured in 1968.

Three cheers for all those who avoid the UK’s huge taxes

10 July 2014 17:59

‘Hypocrisy of the stars who shielded cash from taxman’, cries a headline in today’s Daily Mail. But are we sure that it’s really hypocrisy? Among those ‘outed’ as hypocrites is… Continue reading

153 Comments
e2

Who is Robert Peston’s ‘senior government source’?

10 July 2014 13:55

Earlier this year, a ‘government source’ floated the idea that Sebastian Coe could well be appointed the next chairman of the BBC Trust. It’s no secret that George Osborne and… Continue reading

22 Comments
Molly

We are all numbers in Labour’s computer now

9 July 2014 14:56

In 1975 Margaret Thatcher said in her ‘Free Society’ speech to the Conservative Party Conference: ‘Some Socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a state computer. We… Continue reading

43 Comments
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg’s self-pitying guide to parenting

8 July 2014 17:08

‘I’m like any parent,’ says Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister, privy councillor and universally derided leader of the Liberal Democrats). Speaking to the Radio Times, as any old parent might do, Average Dad… Continue reading

18 Comments