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

(Credit: @PadraigBelton)

Coffee Shots: Je suis Cecil

4 August 2015 10:00

Last week there was worldwide outrage as news broke that an American dentist had killed a famous lion in Zimbabwe. Rather than a routine procedure gone wrong, the medical worker had actually… Continue reading


Frances Barber blasts cybernats for insulting Cilla Black

3 August 2015 17:35

Although Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to tackle her party’s ‘cybernats’ over the online abuse of those who do not support Scottish independence, the SNP leader may need to reassess her… Continue reading

(Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The Guardian launches inquiry into Corbyn coverage: ‘worse than reporting of Vietnam war’

3 August 2015 12:51

It’s only lunchtime but the Guardian may have already reached ‘peak Guardian’ for the day. The paper has published an article penned by Chris Elliott chronicling an in-house investigation into their coverage of… Continue reading

G7 Finance Ministers Meet In Dresden

Breaking: Tory leadership contest underway

3 August 2015 10:41

Water cannons at the ready: the Tory leadership contest is officially underway. How does Mr S know this? Well, in a clear sign that George Osborne means business, he has… Continue reading


Milifandom founder backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader

1 August 2015 10:10

Although the Milifandom wasn’t enough to lead Ed Miliband to victory at the polls, the cult movement did at least bring the former Labour leader’s lagging campaign some momentum in the… Continue reading

The magazine Red Pepper have mocked up an image of Jeremy Corbyn in the style of Shepard Fairey's famous 'Hope' poster

Coffee Shots: Jeremy Corbyn, the ‘British Obama’

31 July 2015 17:04

Ahead of the election, Ed Miliband’s senior advisor David Axelrod was asked if the Labour politician had as much potential to succeed as his former client Barack Obama. His reply? ‘I think… Continue reading

David Plane

Guardian journalist enjoys wild night on David Cameron’s private jet

31 July 2015 15:28

With the newspapers frequently filled with tales of former public schoolboys misbehaving abroad, Mr S was unsurprised to hear reports that a Westminster School alumnus had enjoyed a rather lively flight from Asia to… Continue reading


Andy Burnham (finally) wins an endorsement

31 July 2015 11:29

Although Andy Burnham started out as the frontrunner in the Labour leadership race, according to the latest polls he is now struggling to even remain in second place behind Jeremy… Continue reading

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham poses for a photograph prior to delivering a State Of The Leadership Race speech at the Royal Armouries Museum on July 28, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Andy Burnham: I don’t like biscuits

30 July 2015 16:20

The Labour leadership candidates have been canvassing the yummy mummies on Mumsnet and today it was Andy Burnham’s turn. Steerpike was shocked to learn from the Q&A that he has never bought… Continue reading


Karen Danczuk comes to Lord Sewel’s aid: ‘Why are we to judge?’

30 July 2015 15:25

Yesterday Lembit Opik spoke out in defence of Lord Sewel after the Sun on Sunday published photos of the Labour peer snorting cocaine in the company of prostitutes over the weekend.… Continue reading


Coffee Shots: Nigel Farage caught in the ladies’ loos

29 July 2015 15:52

Although Ukip is said to have a ‘women problem’ thanks to low ratings from females in comparison to other parties, their leader does at least seem keen to reach out to… Continue reading

Lord Sewel in the House of Lords. From BBC Parliament recording.

Lembit Öpik comes to Lord Sewel’s defence: ‘He can help to clean up Parliament’

29 July 2015 14:09

Yesterday Lord Sewel stepped down from the Lords after the Sun on Sunday published photos of the former deputy speaker snorting cocaine through a five pound note in the company of… Continue reading


Ivan Massow: Was Section 28 the reason the Tories did not pick me for mayor?

29 July 2015 11:59

Over the weekend, CCHQ selected the four Tory candidates for London mayor who will proceed to an open primary in September. Playing it safe they opted for experience over celebrity, with… Continue reading


Labour: Derek Hatton’s membership application has been rejected

28 July 2015 17:19

Last night Derek Hatton claimed that he has successfully rejoined the Labour Party 29 years after they expelled him. Hatton — who joined Labour with the Trotskyist group Militant — boasted about… Continue reading

Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn take part in a Mumsnet chat (Credit: Mumsnet)

Jeremy Corbyn takes part in Mumsnet chat: ‘I do not have a rare skin condition’

28 July 2015 14:02

This morning Jeremy Corbyn told Radio 4′s Women’s Hour that a thread on Mumsnet in which he was described by one user as being ‘attractive in a world weary old… Continue reading

British politician George Galloway celeb

Friends reunited: how George Galloway hopes to ‘work closely’ with Jeremy Corbyn

28 July 2015 11:45

Things could start to get very strange indeed if Jeremy Corbyn is successful in his bid to be the next Labour leader. Corbyn’s old chum George Galloway has today voiced his… Continue reading

Former News of the World editor and Down

Revealed: the Andy Coulson joke that Nick Clegg cut from his conference speech

28 July 2015 10:46

Although Nick Clegg is under increasing pressure in some quarters to write a tell-all book about his time in coalition, the closest he has got to this so far is… Continue reading

People's Assembly Against Austerity Hold Demonstration And Festival

‘Prosecco socialist’ Charlotte Church backs Jeremy Corbyn

26 July 2015 9:17

As Jeremy Corbyn edges closer to victory in the Labour leadership race, his critics grow more vocal with both Tony Blair and John McTernan attempting to thwart his campaign this… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Financial Times staff live blog the sale of their paper: ‘we’ll be sent to Canary Wharf’

23 July 2015 15:38

After much speculation, the Financial Times has today been purchased by Nikkei, the Japanese media group, for £844 million. Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei is buying Financial Times from U.K. publishing group… Continue reading

(LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Tony Hall: the BBC is like James Bond

23 July 2015 13:24

As staff at the BBC face cuts and budget tightening following the Government’s plans to reform the Corporation, their director-general Tony Hall has offered his own defence of the licence fee.… Continue reading

Taking a leaf out of the SNP's book? (Photo: Getty)

Was Yvette Cooper ‘inspired’ by Mhairi Black’s maiden speech?

23 July 2015 12:13

Last week the SNP MP Mhairi Black gave her maiden speech to Parliament. The young politician inspired the nation with her story of a man in her constituency who came to her crying… Continue reading


Laura Kuenssberg is appointed as the BBC’s new political editor

22 July 2015 16:41

After weeks of speculation over who will be the BBC’s next political editor, a senior BBC employee today announced on Twitter that Laura Kuenssberg is to be Nick Robinson’s successor. However, just… Continue reading

Candidates Attend Speaker Hustings

Margaret Beckett: I’m a ‘moron’ for nominating Jeremy Corbyn

22 July 2015 14:39

Last night Tony Blair’s former adviser John McTernan said MPs who offered their nominations to Jeremy Corbyn to ‘broaden the debate’ in the Labour leadership race were ‘morons’ after a poll… Continue reading

Arqiva British Academy Television Awards

Jeremy Corbyn wins a celebrity backer

22 July 2015 13:20

Although the majority of the MPs who helped to get Jeremy Corbyn on the ballot paper have remained mysteriously silent since a poll predicted that he is on course to… Continue reading

Tim Farron said it like it is when he assessed the Lib Dems' poor performance in South Shields. Picture: Getty

Wanted: Christian Lib Dem to aid party interaction

22 July 2015 11:14

Tim Farron has come under fire this week over concerns that he is prejudiced against gay rights as a result of his evangelical Christian beliefs. His opponents have suggested that… Continue reading