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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.

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Rod Liddle vs Mary Beard – the re-match. Tune in tonight to Any Questions

1 August 2014 13:02

Last year, Rod Liddle waded into the Mary Beard ‘misogyny’ row. You may recall that Beard appeared on Question Time, and then complained about the ‘misogynistic’ abuse she received on… Continue reading

15 Comments
The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Fifty shades of Grayling

31 July 2014 13:29

With the delicacy of an Israeli F-16, the Tories entered the summer campaign today with an achingly dull speech in Westminster. Something about Labour and the unions. Mud flew everywhere.… Continue reading

9 Comments
Image: Getty

Lunchtime lobbying from Tristram Hunt

30 July 2014 12:29

The search for a new Chairman of the BBC Trust is in utter chaos. After Mr Steerpike revealed that the job description had been altered to insert the ‘Seb Coe… Continue reading

19 Comments
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Speech At The Science Museum

Ed Miliband’s ‘new politics’ update

29 July 2014 15:31

Derision met Labour when news emerged that more than half of its prospective parliamentary candidates are former special advisers, party workers, researchers, lobbyists or ex-MPs. Ed Miliband (PPE, Corpus Christi… Continue reading

34 Comments
David Ruffley at a reception for MPs and MEPs at Buckingham Palace. Image: Steve Parsons/AFP/Getty Images

The mysterious case of David Ruffley’s letter

29 July 2014 12:02

There is much hullaballoo this morning about how slow the Tories were to act over David Ruffley, the disgraced MP who announced last night that he will not stand for… Continue reading

9 Comments
Politicians In Westminster

Tory ‘Old Guard’ does pastoral care

28 July 2014 13:33

One of the last duties Sir George Young undertook as Chief Whip before stepping down during the reshuffle was to call ministers who were in line for the chop to… Continue reading

7 Comments
willetts

Someone rid us of these ridiculous trousers!

28 July 2014 12:39

I think that we have reached the peak of the red trouser craze. A well-heeled reader sends this snap (above) from Ascot this weekend. Mr S passes it on without comment…

27 Comments
Ed Miliband says of politicians ‘you could find people who look less like Wallace’. Cartoon: Peter Brooks

Boris Johnson minces Ed ‘Image’ Miliband

28 July 2014 9:00

Mr S can only commend Boris Johnson’s column in the Telegraph today. It eviscerates Ed Miliband for his hypocrisy over ‘image’ and ‘substance’. As Boris puts it: ‘Ed Miliband is… Continue reading

25 Comments
pmqs

What would you ask the prime minister?

27 July 2014 14:22

Ed Miliband has suggested that there be a public version of Prime Minister’s Questions. This courageous idea makes Mr S want Miliband to be prime minister. What would you ask… Continue reading

93 Comments
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

70 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

46 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

156 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

36 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