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

Could this 'meatball' be deceiving you? Image: Getty

When is a meatball not a meatball?

28 January 2015 16:05

Q: When is a meatball not a meatball? A: When it’s vegan. Nothing is sacred to the killjoys over at Peta, not even the honest Ikea meatball. Just about the… Continue reading

Ian Liddell-Grainger and David Cameron survey flooding damage in Somerset

Vote of no confidence for ‘offensive’ Ian Liddell-Grainger

28 January 2015 12:22

Ian Liddell-Grainger has been branded unfit for purpose by local Tories. The Conservative MP is facing calls to be deselected as a Tory candidate for the general election, with Conservative councillors… Continue reading

Robert Harris is unimpressed by the BBC's lack of books coverage

Robert Harris: BBC’s books coverage is a ‘disgrace’

28 January 2015 9:41

Lord Hall will be glad that he didn’t attend last night’s Costa Book Awards. Robert Harris, who chaired this year’s judges, took the opportunity to criticise the corporation’s book coverage when announcing… Continue reading

David Attenborough had intimate relations with a rat in India

Have you heard the one about David Attenborough, a case of diarrhoea and a rat?

28 January 2015 8:00

To London Zoo, where Mr S caught up with Sir David Attenborough at the launch of his new UKTV series Natural Curiosities. The 88-year-old broadcaster gave party goers pause for thought when… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Mike Tindall: Why in any way am I lucky with my in-laws?

27 January 2015 16:12

The Duke of York attended the World Economic Forum last week in what was his first public appearance since he was accused of abusing an under-age ‘sex slave’. While Prince Andrew… Continue reading


Cameron reckons Gove prefers a ‘chillax playlist’ to ‘hip-hoppy’ Beyoncé tunes

27 January 2015 12:31

After Sarah Vine revealed that her husband Michael Gove’s ringtone that infamously disrupted a cabinet meeting was the latest Beyoncé hit, David Cameron has thrown doubt on this version of events.… Continue reading


Another day, another Tory Ukip defection

27 January 2015 10:40

Sloppy seconds are on the menu for both Ukip and the Conservative party this week. Many questions remain for the Tories after Ukip MEP Amjad Bashir defected to them following a Ukip party investigation. Now, Nigel… Continue reading

56th BFI London Film Festival: Midnight's Children - Official Screening

A medieval war of words: Salman Rushdie vs Times Literary Supplement

27 January 2015 8:47

Pencils are being sharpened on both sides of the Atlantic as a tiff between the Times Literary Supplement and Salman Rushdie reaches full swing. The author of The Satanic Verses has threatened… Continue reading

(Photo: Leon Neal/Getty)

Ladbrokes’ election guru should stick to politics (and avoid football)

26 January 2015 18:42

Politics nerds are obsessing over every single nugget of information about the election. Ladbrokes seems to be offering a rich bounty, set by Matthew Shaddick, the company’s in-house ‘Head of Political… Continue reading

British Media Await Lord Justice Leveson's Report

How will the Guardian and the BBC cover the Trinity Mirror phone hacking?

26 January 2015 16:51

Trinity Mirror have admitted that they published 71 stories which were enabled by phone-hacking. Now eight cases are due to come before Mr Justice Mann at the beginning of March, with a… Continue reading

Spot the difference?

Ed Sheeran unimpressed by Boris Johnson comparison

26 January 2015 15:08

While Boris Johnson may be pleased to learn that Ed Sheeran has been mistaken for him, the 23-year-old singer was dismayed when a member of the public mistook him for the… Continue reading


Should the Guardian apologise to David Cameron over orgasm blunder?

26 January 2015 13:19

Readers of the Guardian had cause to splutter into their tea this morning after one bright spark seemingly put the wrong photo on an article advising a reader who has difficulty… Continue reading

Dave enjoying a walk.

Dave’s chillaxed approach to keeping fit

26 January 2015 11:29

First it was George Osborne on the 5:2 diet, then the Prime Minister revealed he had ‘given up bread’ in an attempt to shed some pre-election pounds. Today, Cameron has… Continue reading

Nigel Farage reacts during a press confe

Revealed: Nigel Farage once voted for the Green Party

26 January 2015 9:13

Nigel Farage’s secret is out. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, the leader of Ukip let slip that he once voted for the Green Party. ‘I voted Green… Continue reading

Who is it for?

Who warrants a flag at half-mast? King Abdullah or Leon Brittan

23 January 2015 14:02

The Palace of Westminster’s flag is currently at half-mast, as is the flag on top of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Treasury. But who could it all be for? Treasury… Continue reading

Conservative Member of Parliament Louise

Louise Mensch blasts David Cameron for King Abdullah tribute

23 January 2015 12:14

Although Louise Mensch was once heralded as a ‘Cameron Cutie,’ the former Conservative MP’s relationship with the Prime Minister has soured after he paid tribute to the late King Abdullah. The Saudi Arabia monarch’s… Continue reading

Zanny Minton Beddoes (Photo: Getty)

The Economist beats the Guardian to appoint its first female editor

22 January 2015 18:19

With the Guardian still to name their new editor-in-chief, the Economist has thrown down the gauntlet by appointing their first female editor. Zanny Minton Beddoes will succeed John Micklethwait to be the magazine’s next editor, making her… Continue reading

Will.i.am and the Duke of York have worked together for the inspiring Digital Enterprise Award initiative

Will Will.i.am come out in support of Prince Andrew?

22 January 2015 13:48

The Duke of York is expected to host a private reception tonight at the World Economic Forum, in what will be his first public appearance since he was accused of abusing an… Continue reading

(Photo: Sebastian Payne)

Here’s why nobody has been able to verify the ‘Green Surge’ membership numbers

22 January 2015 13:39

‘The Green Surge’ has already become a fixed feature of the election campaign, but are we just reliving the giant damp squib of ‘Cleggmania’? According to Green Party officials, their… Continue reading

Is Cllr Karen Damzcuk about to defect to Ukip?

Karen Danczuk gets closer to Ukip

22 January 2015 11:20

When Simon Danczuk met Nigel Farage for a pint in December, the Labour MP was accused of plotting a defection to Ukip. While Danczuk denied this at the time, his wife… Continue reading

Lord McColl, Ranald MacDonald and Stan Phillips

Will the US Embassy’s haggis virgin be tempted to lift the offal ban?

21 January 2015 11:48

It was the culmination of an elaborate lobbying operation. The scene was set, the piper poised and the whisky flowing. As the Haggis was piped in to Boisdale on Bishopgate last… Continue reading

Michael Gove's secret is out

Revealed: Michael Gove’s ‘female ballad’ ringtone

21 January 2015 10:24

After Michael Gove’s mobile phone went off in a Cabinet meeting, everyone’s been trying to find out what the ‘jazzy’ ringtone is. As Mr S documented, even Charles Moore was thwarted in… Continue reading

Now that would be real news...

Newsnight: Has Paxman just taken a shot at Ian Katz?

20 January 2015 14:48

Since Jeremy Paxman quit Newsnight last year, he has hardly been discreet with regards to his feelings about the BBC’s flagship current affairs show, claiming it is run by 12-year-olds. Now, he tells this week’s Radio Times… Continue reading


Does Harriet Harman love or loathe Obama? It’s becoming hard to tell…

20 January 2015 13:44

‘Most people will feel that Obama does not really know what is going on in this country,’ said a snappy Harriet Harman last night. The Labour deputy leader was sent… Continue reading

Facebook officials chose the 'sceptical' room for their meeting with Ukip

Coffee Shots: Facebook HQ ‘sceptical’ of Ukip

20 January 2015 10:00

When Ukip officials arrived at Facebook HQ for a meet-and-greet, they were surprised to be led to a boardroom that went by the name of ‘sceptical’. However, far from a tense affair,… Continue reading