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

The New Statesman used a photo for their cover rather than a cartoon by Art Spiegelman (Credit: Art Spiegelman)

Did the New Statesman censor its censorship issue?

29 May 2015 17:02

This week’s New Statesman, guest-edited by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, is titled ‘Saying the unsayable’. It promises to ‘address the ideas of censorship, taboos, offence and free speech’. The magazine has Stephen… Continue reading

SNP spring conference 2015

Alex Salmond knows all about the art of politics

29 May 2015 14:54

‘The art of politics is not to lie,’ claimed Alex Salmond on last night’s This Week. “The art of politics is not to lie” @AlexSalmond tells @afneil about Carmichael comments… Continue reading


Coffee Shots: Suzanne Evans, Ukip leader 8th – 11th May 2015

29 May 2015 14:26

After Nigel Farage resigned as the leader of Ukip following his South Thanet defeat, he appointed Suzanne Evans as the party’s temporary leader. However, this appointment turned out to be… Continue reading


Ben Harris-Quinney suspended from Conservative party

29 May 2015 12:44

Earlier this month Ben Harris-Quinney stepped down as the chairman of the Bow Group, following internal frictions over the Conservative think tank’s partial Ukip endorsement ahead of the election. Now Harris-Quinney, who was… Continue reading

The Guardian Tea Party

The Guardian dumps British tea

28 May 2015 12:48

So now we know just how serious the Guardian is about breaking America: the newspaper has dumped British tea. Not content with the declaration of war on HP Sauce last year, the… Continue reading

Don't you know who I am? (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

Peter Mandelson’s ‘but I am a celebrity’ moment

28 May 2015 12:13

When GQ editor Dylan Jones hired Peter Mandelson as a columnist for the men’s magazine in 2001, he was accused of trying to head off criticism that the publication, which… Continue reading

Tikka chance on me

Alex Salmond insists on Nats dining separately from hacks

28 May 2015 11:34

The Kennington Tandoori is a favourite late-night eatery for MPs of all persuasions. Last night was no exception, with Tom Watson spotted planning his bid for deputy leader of Labour over… Continue reading

Mary Portas Attends The Select Committee About Her Regeneration Of The  Highstreet

Mary Portas’ awkward train encounter with Ed Balls

28 May 2015 9:56

When the Conservatives won a surprise majority in the election, many businesses breathed a collective sigh of relief that the two Eds would not have a chance to implement their… Continue reading

Is it Simon Burns or Robert Redford?

Coffee Shots: Simon Burns or Robert Redford?

27 May 2015 16:14

Harriet Harman was on fighting form in Parliament today when she responded to the Queen’s Speech. Between telling David Cameron to watch his back for Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson and… Continue reading

(Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

Queen’s Speech Tory slogan bingo

27 May 2015 12:30

Anyone would think that those drafting the Queen’s Speech might have had a bet on to see how many Tory soundbites they could shoehorn in. Apparently the Queen’s government will… Continue reading


Will Dennis Skinner take a pop at the SNP?

27 May 2015 11:13

He may be a national treasure, but it’s safe to say that Dennis Skinner’s annual crack during the Queen’s Speech have been a bit lame of late. The veteran MP always… Continue reading

London black cab drivers take part in a protest against Transport for London (Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

Ian Austin sees red over black cab protest

26 May 2015 17:30

Ian Austin has come under fire this afternoon for tweeting his rage about today’s black cab strike, which saw cabbies obstruct roads as they called for tougher rules on minicabs: Taken 2.5… Continue reading

Peter Florence, Caroline Michel, Alan Yentob and Rosie Boycott at the GQ party

Alan Yentob admits he inspired W1A bicycle plotline

26 May 2015 13:26

With the BBC’s self satire W1A proving to be one of the corporation’s most popular shows, much has been made of whether the comedy is too close for comfort given that… Continue reading


Sandi Toksvig makes Hitler jibe about Nigel Farage

26 May 2015 8:29

Sandi Toksvig disclosed last month that she has given up her role on Radio 4′s The News Quiz in order to focus on launching the Women’s Equality Party. Appearing at the… Continue reading


Peter Hitchens lets his election thoughts be known

25 May 2015 14:41

Given that Peter Hitchens’ weekly column was absent from the Mail on Sunday the week before the general election, Mr S was glad to have the opportunity to hear his thoughts… Continue reading


Revealed: Stephen Fry’s brush with the law over James Rhodes injunction

24 May 2015 13:20

Last week James Rhodes won a legal battle to publish his memoir Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music. This judgement came after his ex-wife took out an injunction through… Continue reading

Lynton Crosby

George Osborne kissed Lynton Crosby after election promise backfired

24 May 2015 12:48

It isn’t the type of kiss-and-tell story Mr S is used to reading in the Sunday papers, but Lynton Crosby has today spoken about an election smooch he shared with the Chancellor of… Continue reading


Is Matthew Richardson set to ‘unresign’ from Ukip?

23 May 2015 11:30

After Nigel Farage resigned as the leader of Ukip following his defeat in South Thanet, he hastily ‘unresigned’ days later. Not everyone was pleased by the quick turnaround, with Ukip MEP Patrick… Continue reading


Ed Balls won’t rule out an appearance on Strictly

22 May 2015 17:22

Former Labour MP Ed Balls has appeared on BBC news today in his first interview since he was ousted from his seat by the Tories. While he discussed Ed Miliband and the… Continue reading


Dennis Skinner wins Westminster turf war against the SNP

21 May 2015 19:00

Of all the MPs to pick a fight with, Dennis Skinner is not high on Mr S’s list. Still, that hasn’t stopped the new SNP intake from spending their first… Continue reading


Which London mayoral hopeful has a ‘plethora of erotic art’?

21 May 2015 16:27

With Ivan Massow currently vying to be the next Mayor of London, the businessman released a campaign video this week explaining who he is and why he is running. In… Continue reading

Police Around The Houses Of Parliament

Revealed: Taxpayer foots £4,820 bill for doorkeepers’ new overcoats

21 May 2015 10:50

With the government planning £30 billion of further cuts in a bid to clear the deficit, even Parliament has had to reduce its spending in recent years. However, while a… Continue reading

John 'Flashy' Whittingdale Photo: PA.

Introducing David ‘London’ Lammy and John ‘Flashy’ Whittingdale

20 May 2015 13:50

Given that a horde of new MPs have recently descended on Parliament, it’s understandable that staff may have some difficulty remembering everyone’s name. Still, Mr S would have thought that any confusion… Continue reading


Steve Hilton talks Cameron, Crosby and Vincecablefreude at book launch

20 May 2015 8:13

David Cameron’s former director of strategy Steve Hilton is in town this week to promote his new book More Human. Mr S was a guest at the book launch in East… Continue reading

Labour leader Ed Miliband and Jeremy Paxman chat during the filming of  'Cameron & Miliband ; The Battle For Number 10' on March 26, 2015 in London, England.

Jeremy Paxman: BBC licence fee can’t last

19 May 2015 17:51

Although Jeremy Paxman spent several decades working for the BBC, the presenter took an opportunity at a Royal Television Society talk today to cast doubt over its future. With the BBC’s charter renewal… Continue reading