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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.

Two quiet men

Meet the NFL player who admires Iain Duncan Smith

21 October 2014 16:02

Connections between Iain Duncan Smith and NFL players may be few and far between. But Mr S is pleased to have discovered one. Colin Kaepernick, an American football quarterback for the… Continue reading

6 Comments
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Robert Peston falls for the Spirit Level theory of equality

20 October 2014 17:41

Robert Peston was recently at Lincoln’s Inn for the launch of schools charity Primary Futures, which all sounds very worthy. He started off apologising for looking scruffy, then spoke at some… Continue reading

70 Comments
Madeleine Gurdon, Rocco Forte and Andrew Lloyd-Webber (Photo: Getty)

Champagne Tories, and a ring of truth from Bell

17 October 2014 12:56

It was Eighties night at Mark’s Club on Thursday evening for the launch of Tory PR guru Lord Bell’s memoirs. Some refreshing honesty from the spin man, who admitted ‘I… Continue reading

14 Comments
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Watch: James Delingpole finds Michael Gove lurking in his garden

16 October 2014 15:24

Mr Steerpike is not really sure what is going on here, but he felt it deserved a wider audience. So the Government Chief Whip had a ramble through James Delingpole’s… Continue reading

60 Comments
(Photo from BBC News)

What’s the opposite of a champagne socialist? Phillip Blond

14 October 2014 11:44

Phillip Blond, sporting tinted specs for this morning’s devolution debate, is famed in the wonkier side of Westminster for his unique style. The self-styled ‘Red Tory’, who split with the Cameroons… Continue reading

4 Comments
Neil and Christine Hamilton  (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty)

Mrs Neil Hamilton for Ukip MP?

14 October 2014 10:32

Like a bad smell, Neil Hamilton continues to linger around Westminster. The disgraced MP, who came to embody Tory sleaze by the time he lost his seat in 1997, has… Continue reading

137 Comments
(Photo: Justin Tallis/Getty)

Nigel Farage takes inspiration from Al Gore

10 October 2014 15:38

Al Gore is an unlikely source of inspiration for Ukip – in fact the party once pledged to ban the former Vice President’s controversial climate change documentary from schools, calling… Continue reading

39 Comments
You might get more answers from the Conservatives' Miliband merchandise than from the man himself. (Photo:  Carl Court, AFP/Getty Images)

Ed Miliband does not want to talk about Heywood and Middleton

10 October 2014 14:19

listen to ‘Podcast: Ukip's Clacton victory’ on audioBoom Labour are doing their absolute best to put a positive spin on their result in the Heywood and Middleton by-election, despite coming… Continue reading

113 Comments
Douglas Carswell poses outside a polling station in Clacton-on-Sea (Photo: Ben Stansall, AFP)

New party, same old politics for Douglas Carswell

9 October 2014 16:49

Douglas Carswell is not like normal politicians; he’s authentic, genuine and in touch with real people. Or so the spin goes. So what was today’s by-election-day stunt at a polling… Continue reading

17 Comments
(Photo: Topical Press Agency, Hulton Archive)

A new low for NHS doublespeak

8 October 2014 13:20

Orwell had it that political writing is ‘defence of the indefensible,’ and that ‘political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.’ For the latest example,… Continue reading

18 Comments
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Gleeful end to Lib Dem conference

8 October 2014 11:03

listen to ‘Podcast: Nick Clegg's speech’ on audioBoom Nick Clegg put in an appearance at Glee Club last night – albeit only in 2-dimensional form as a cardboard cutout –… Continue reading

10 Comments
(Image: Illustration from 'Where's Boris?' by Wan at Monkey Feet, Orion Books)

The Mayor of London is a wally: official

7 October 2014 15:51

Far from it being Mr Steerpike’s prerogative to call a former editor of the Spectator a wally, he was rather amused by Boris’s latest escapade. Now we can all relive those classic… Continue reading

8 Comments
Nick Clegg at the Lib Dem conference (Photo: Getty)

Nick Clegg takes a page from David Cameron's style guide

6 October 2014 17:30

What exactly is going on with Nick Clegg’s conference get-up in Glasgow? As of this writing, the Deputy Prime Minister is wearing his third outfit of the day – casual jeans and a… Continue reading

6 Comments
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MC Dave and post-modern politics

3 October 2014 17:32

After David Cameron’s conference speech, Mr S noticed a YouTube video of the Prime Minister all over Facebook and Twitter. For a moment it looked like a great coup for… Continue reading

19 Comments
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Salmond cancels first south of border appearance

3 October 2014 16:31

Alex Salmond is licking his wounds up north in the wake of his defeat in the Scottish referendum. After describing being booed by golf fans at the Ryder Cup as… Continue reading

131 Comments
Michael Dugher

Michael Dugher names Tory rival as greatest living Yorkshireman

3 October 2014 9:15

Professional Yorkshireman and Labour attack dog Michael Dugher was quick to jump on the Prime Minister’s claim that William Hague was the greatest living Yorkshireman. Telling the BBC yesterday that… Continue reading

4 Comments
Image: Getty

Tory faithful send the PM a clear message on Gove

1 October 2014 17:01

Many Tories had begun to wonder where Michael Gove had got to. The Chief Whip’s move from the Department for Education was heralded with a briefing that he would be… Continue reading

29 Comments
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

46 Comments
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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

95 Comments
(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

3 Comments
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

57 Comments
(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

11 Comments
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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

27 Comments
(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

18 Comments
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

21 Comments