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Alistair Carmichael could be the first test of recall

24 May 2015 13:41
Alistair Carmichael, Secretary of State for Scotland visits the Engine Shed on October 10, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Pressure is growing on Alistair Carmichael, the former Scotland Secretary and only Lib Dem north of the border, to resign his seat after an official investigation proved he lied about… Continue reading


Ireland’s gay marriage vote was never an equal contest

24 May 2015 0:20

In more ways than one it’s impossible to be heard above the din right now in the wake of the Yes vote in Ireland on gay marriage. There’s a special… Continue reading


Gay marriage will split the Catholic Church

23 May 2015 23:49
Image: Getty

Ireland, for so long the most overtly Catholic state in Western Europe, has voted for gay marriage by a stupendous margin – 62 per cent. Never before has a country legalised the… Continue reading


Spectator competition: An update on Belloc’s kiddie delinquents (plus: write a poem celebrating a modern-day blot on the landscape)

23 May 2015 9:30
Image: Getty

The call for an update on one of the children in Cautionary Tales who lived to tell the tale attracted a large and excellent entry. Belloc’s gallery of kiddie delinquents… Continue reading


Cameron confident about renegotiation result: but will it please voters?

22 May 2015 18:17

David Cameron was in an extremely confident mood when he addressed the press at the end of today’s EU summit in Riga. He continually joked about journalists needing to write… Continue reading


A sugar tax is simply a tax on the poor

22 May 2015 16:41

Why is it that whenever anyone proposes a tax on the wealthy all hell breaks lose, but when someone proposes a tax on the poor there is no more than… Continue reading


Europe cannot allow an ungoverned space to exist on its doorstep

22 May 2015 16:11
A Libyan coastguard boat carrying around 500 mostly African migrants arrive at the port in the city of Misrata on May 3, 2015, after the coastguard intercepted five boats carrying people trying to reach Europe (Photo: Mahmud Turkia/Getty)

Last month, 700 migrants attempting to sneak into Europe drowned when their rickety vessel capsized in the Mediterranean. This week, the European Union announced a naval initiative to crack down on… Continue reading


Alistair Carmichael responsible for Nicola Sturgeon leak

22 May 2015 15:33
Alistair Carmichael attends a Cabinet Committee  meeting in September 2014 (Photo: Getty)

During the election campaign the Telegraph reported that Nicola Sturgeon wanted David Cameron to remain Prime Minister, after a memo was leaked to them which included an account of a private conversation between Sturgeon and the… Continue reading


Will Theresa May allow Muhammad Salah to enter the UK?

22 May 2015 15:05

Unencumbered by the regressive Liberal Democrats, the new government has already managed to start taking extremism seriously.  The counter-extremism legislation which the Lib Dems managed to stall will be included in… Continue reading


Never marry a lounger, a pleasure-seeker, or a fribble

22 May 2015 13:15

It’s good to see that an actual anthropologist is studying the behaviour of some of America’s weirdest women. Wednesday Martin’s book The Primates of Park Avenue describes the exhausting lives… Continue reading


BBC announces Labour leadership hustings from constituency symbolising party’s failure

22 May 2015 12:17
Ed Miliband speaking in Nuneaton during the general election. The seat, which failed to go red on 7 May, will host the first Labour leadership hustings. Picture: PA

After Harriet Harman announced that Labour would ‘let the public in’ to its leadership contest, the BBC has announced that it will broadcast a hustings with the candidates on 17… Continue reading


Kezia Dugdale running for leader of Scottish Labour

22 May 2015 11:06
Jim Murphy, stands with Kezia Dugdale after being announced as the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party on December 13, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Kezia Dugdale, the deputy leader of the Scottish Labour party, has announced that she’s running for the leadership of the Scottish party following Jim Murphy’s resignation. With Murphy not being… Continue reading


Mr Cameron goes to Latvia

22 May 2015 9:04
Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech on immigration at the Home Office, on May 21, 2015 in London, England.

Five days before the Queen’s Speech, David Cameron is taking on the first big challenge of this new Parliament: renegotiating our relationship with the EU. He’s undertaking a whistle-stop tour of… Continue reading


Nigel Farage kowtows to critics and takes a summer break

21 May 2015 18:27
UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks during a press conference in which he announced his resignation after failing to win the South Thanet constituency on May 8, 2015 in Broadstairs, England.

Nigel Farage stamped his authority on Ukip with a round of sackings, but he has also listened to his critics. In his Spectator diary, the Ukip leader admits one of his chief critics… Continue reading


Another child abuse memoir. Why can’t the past be private?

21 May 2015 17:17
James Rhodes has won the right to publish an autobiography telling of his abuse as a child (Photo: Getty)

I feel torn on pianist James Rhodes’ victory at the Supreme Court yesterday. On one hand, the lifting of the legal injunction preventing him from publishing his child-abuse memoir is… Continue reading


Kendall is a hard act to follow for Cooper and Burnham

21 May 2015 16:36

Liz Kendall is the great unknown Labour leadership candidate. She is the only one who hasn’t been in government or Shadow Cabinet, and as I blogged earlier, she needs to… Continue reading


Camilla Cavendish to head Number 10 policy unit

21 May 2015 14:00
Camilla Cavendish at The Times CEO Summit in 2011.

As British politics becomes more presidential, the structure of Number 10 matters more and more. David Cameron values continuity, collegiality and calmness in his senior team and what is striking… Continue reading


Kendall, Cooper and Burnham all have perceived weaknesses to overcome

21 May 2015 12:52
Labour MPs (L-R) Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh, Tristram Hunt and Liz Kendall address delegates at the Progress annual conference in central London on May 16, 2015.

Now that Liz Kendall has enough MPs backing her to make it on to the ballot paper for the Labour Party leadership contest, the three main candidates are all starting… Continue reading


Chuka Umunna was the victim of an old-fashioned Westminster character assassination

21 May 2015 12:44
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Announces His Party's Education Manifesto

A few months after Ed Miliband was elected Labour leader I met with one of his supporters in the shadow cabinet. Who, I asked, were ‘Ed’s People?’ He began reeling… Continue reading


The Tories try to deal with latest net migration target failure

21 May 2015 11:18
Border Force At Work At UK Ports

One of the odd decisions that the Tories made before the election was to pursue their net migration target, in spite of the fact that they cannot meet it. Today’s… Continue reading


Why can’t we have an inflation index which includes house prices?

21 May 2015 10:49
House Prices Continue To Fall As The Economy Stagnates

The cost of living, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported on Tuesday, has fallen by 0.1 per cent over the past year. Or at least it has if you… Continue reading


Podcast: Gove’s battle for justice, the perils of a small majority and the Labour leadership contest

21 May 2015 8:58
Michael Gove arrives at The Royal Courts of Justice to be sworn in as Lord Chancellor on May 19, 2015 in London, England.

Repealing the Human Rights Act is one of the most difficult tasks the government faces. On this week’s View from 22 podcast, the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan and barrister Greg… Continue reading


Labour should now define itself as in favour of both a referendum and the EU

20 May 2015 17:54
(Photo: Getty)

The three main Labour leadership candidates have now all said that they want a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU. But the party’s ‘official’ position – that is, the… Continue reading


Germans propose linking the British renegotiation to Eurozone reform

20 May 2015 17:48

Wolfgang Schäuble’s decision to link the British renegotiation to changes to the governance of the Eurozone is highly significant. In an interview the German Finance Minister told the Wall Street… Continue reading


Secularists need to prioritise their targets

20 May 2015 17:06
Earl Grey appealing to the Bench of Bishops in the House of Lords to pass the Reform Bill (Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty)

I was on the BBC on Sunday morning discussing the government’s new counter-extremism legislation. Unusually for a discussion on this area the debate seemed to me to be constructive and engaging. … Continue reading