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.

Image: Getty

TM4PM: It’s on

30 September 2014 18:40

Most Secretaries of State tend to lay low the night before their big conference speech, redrafting and practising. Not so Theresa May. The glammed-up Home Secretary was working the party… Continue reading


Dan Hannan boycotts Tory conference (but promises he won’t defect to Ukip)

29 September 2014 15:49

No Mark Reckless, no Brooks Newmark and now no Bow Group.  The oldest conservative think-thank has announced that they are boycotting this year’s Tory conference. It seems, for Dave at least,… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

The Tory MP who thinks Vince Cable is ‘obsolete’

29 September 2014 13:58

Out on the party scene, Mr S enjoyed BIS minister Matt Hancock’s description of his job to the Institute of Directors bash: ‘Working at BIS is a lot a like sending… Continue reading

Mr Angry (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

Angry Dave’s jibe at ‘fat arse’ Reckless

29 September 2014 13:42

While last week’s Labour conference felt like a wake, the mood is a little better here in Birmingham for Tory party conference. There is a certain amount of gallows humour in the… Continue reading

(Picture: Carla Millar)

Did Osborne’s speech just finish with an ode to Trainspotting?

29 September 2014 13:20

George Osborne has just finished delivering his speech at the Tory party conference. More analysis to come, but Mr Steerpike couldn’t help noticing a distinct flavour to it. Edinburgh. Drugs. Irvine… Continue reading


Tory conference: Bitter jokes at the Tax & Spend Inn

28 September 2014 13:51

The Conservative conference pub is back again this year, with its usual bitter jokes about Labour. Mr Steerpike had an exclusive peek at the posters they’re using to poke fun… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Mumsnet risk wrath of ‘Mrs Clegg’

26 September 2014 19:03

First we had Mrs Miliband redefining her role from elusive lawyer to political campaigning wife; now we have another once shy ‘leader’s wife’ tweaking their public profile. The Liberal Democrats… Continue reading

Bill de Blasio and Ed Miliband each making a food-based gaffe.

Anything Bill can do, Ed can do too

24 September 2014 20:28

The hall may have been half empty during his speech, but New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said lots of nice things about Ed Miliband during the closing session of Labour… Continue reading


Gareth, Ed, Hampstead Heath. What are you trying to tell us Newsnight?

24 September 2014 14:23

Yesterday ‘Gareth’ was just the bloke from a software company, but Ed Miliband helped transform him into an internet sensation and telly star in a matter of hours after mentioning… Continue reading

Edinburgh International Book Festival Portraits 2007

Paxo to Channel 4

24 September 2014 11:28

Poor Jon Snow. The veteran presenter has some serious competition from the latest BBC defection to Channel 4; it’s the big one. After months of speculation about his future, and… Continue reading

(Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty)

Justine Thornton becomes Justine Miliband for Labour campaign

23 September 2014 10:53

Having spent four years sticking to a wave at the end of conference and the odd photograph together with her husband, Justine Thornton has burst onto centre stage at Labour’s… Continue reading


Shadow ministerial munchies

23 September 2014 10:07

Fancy a cheeky chew on Chuka, a bite of Balls or a munch on Miliband? At last night’s Sky party at Labour conference, the Shadow Cabinet were out in force… Continue reading


Esther McVey dodges White Dee debate

22 September 2014 15:00

Upon leaving the Celebrity Big Brother house, Benefits Street star and Spectator contributor White Dee – also known as Deirdre Kelly – threatened to give ‘David Cameron a run for… Continue reading

Day One - The Labour Party Holds Its Annual Party Conference

Coffee Shots: Ed Balls wounds journalist at bloody football match

21 September 2014 17:46

Ed Balls playing football each year at Labour conference is almost as big as Ed Balls Day. The Shadow Chancellor always participates enthusiastically in the annual hacks vs MPs match.… Continue reading


Miliband’s carnival of constitutional tinkering

19 September 2014 18:01

There is a certain irony in the fact that Miliband is protecting his party’s Scottish advantage by accusing the Prime Minister of allowing ‘this moment to be used for narrow… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Celebrities react badly to the referendum result

19 September 2014 14:27

As the Saltires are put away and the fireworks dismantled, some celebrities waking up to the Scottish referendum result took it rather badly, the poor lambs. Russell Brand was in his… Continue reading

Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Muphry’s Law in action

17 September 2014 15:47

‘Ineptocracy: Noun – A government characterised by incompetent leaders.’ A gloriously incompetent attack on incompetence, and the greatest example of Muphry’s Law that Mr S has seen in a long… Continue reading


David Beckham’s corporate interest in the Union

15 September 2014 15:36

It’s certainly an interesting strategy for endearing wavering Scots. Former England football captain David Beckham has been unveiled as the latest celeb supporter of the Let’s Stay Together campaign. Nothing like football… Continue reading

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Former Newsnight hack slams Beeb’s referendum ‘propaganda’

12 September 2014 18:02

Former Newsnight correspondent Paul Mason seems rather happy to be free of Auntie, especially since the Scottish independence referendum campaign sent the establishment to panic stations: ‘Not since Iraq have I… Continue reading

Have you seen this man? You might have done – in Westminster. Image: Getty

Missing: One Secretary of State for Scotland

10 September 2014 14:30

Don’t they know there’s a war on? Given that the government has finally woken up to the very real threat of a ‘yes’ victory, Mr S was rather surprised to… Continue reading

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Labour learn a valuable market lesson

9 September 2014 16:16

A wincing Douglas Alexander told Newsnight last night that the tightening of the referendum polls ‘saw more £2 billion worth of value wiped off the stocks of Scottish companies.’ His… Continue reading

Dr Mark Hayes

The Labour candidate happy to cook his own goose

8 September 2014 17:16

Labour like to campaign with the slogan ‘our NHS’, but are they taking their claim of owning the health service a little bit too far? Dr Mark Hayes is standing for… Continue reading


Labour seem to enjoy standing against Tory Speakers

8 September 2014 13:06

‘A secret plot to boot John Bercow out of the Commons is being drawn up by senior Tory MPs,’ reported yesterday’s Mail on Sunday. Apparently a plan is afoot to… Continue reading


Russell Brand and Johann Hari – the revolutionary dream team

5 September 2014 11:11

‘I don’t think Russell Brand has read much Orwell’, says the Catholic Herald, responding to the multi-millionaire revolutionary’s YouTube claim that IS are less of a threat than David Cameron:… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Exclusive: David Cameron mocks Bercow to Tory MPs

3 September 2014 15:46

It was widely noted that the Prime Minister remained grinning in his seat after PMQs to hear a Point of Order directed to the Speaker from Tory MP Simon Burns.… Continue reading