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A double strength headache for Miliband

25 October 2014 8:35
Image: Getty.

Johann Lamont and Tony Blair don’t have much in common. But they are both causing Ed Miliband trouble this morning.   I suspect that those close to Miliband are relieved… Continue reading

177 Comments

NHS ambulance trouble is more complex than miserly Tories and NHS privatisation

23 October 2014 16:52
An ambulance man in Hampshire on January 6, 2010.  (Photo: AFP/Getty)

English NHS ambulance services are spending twice as much on private ambulances than they were in 2012, according to Labour, while response-times have lengthened and ambulance staff appear increasingly disgruntled. So… Continue reading

16 Comments

PMQs sketch: Cameron and Miliband squabble over the NHS, while saying nothing

22 October 2014 16:51
David Cameron and Ed Miliband in March 2013 (Photo: WPA Pool/Getty)

It didn’t work. But it was a good idea. David Cameron prepared an ambush for Ed Miliband at PMQs today. The trouble was he attacked the Labour leader for a… Continue reading

25 Comments

Nick Clegg stakes the middle – again – but is it the sweet spot for Lib Dems?

22 October 2014 13:37
(Photo: Getty)

Speaking at a south London primary school this morning, Nick Clegg firmly reiterated the Lib Dems’ equidistance between the two other major parties. Before an assortment of public-sector workers, Clegg… Continue reading

38 Comments

An NHS stale-mate and squirms for John Bercow, in today’s PMQs

22 October 2014 13:11
David Cameron  (Photo: WPA Poole/Getty)

Today’s PMQs was an NHS stale-mate. David Cameron went after Labour on the NHS in Wales, demanding that Labour agree to an OECD inquiry into the NHS there, while Ed… Continue reading

6 Comments

Ed Miliband’s windfall tax on tobacco to fund the NHS is economically illiterate

20 October 2014 13:13
Tax collectors at the Exchecquer in Westminster, circa 1150 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

The ‘windfall tax’, a concept introduced in the UK by the Blair government, is by definition a one-off seizure of revenue from a profitable industry, to fund an invariably unprofitable… Continue reading

84 Comments

Labour’s NHS strategy – tax tobacco, save the cancer patients

18 October 2014 13:22
Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband Visits The Univerity College London Hospital

Labour wants the next election to be about the NHS, one of their strongest issues. Party strategists have been struck by how it has been rising up voters’ list of… Continue reading

63 Comments

Where did the BBC find last night's Question Time audience? They were so sensible

17 October 2014 18:09
Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 18.09.18

When I first learned about Athenian democracy as a teenager I was baffled that they could have decided government positions by lottery; what was to stop someone totally unsuitable and useless from… Continue reading

206 Comments

Labour’s football policy reveals what the party really thinks about business

17 October 2014 17:02
BRITAIN-POLITICS-LABOUR-CONFERENCE

One of the few things that brought real joy at the Lib Dem conference last week was the party passing a football policy that included a lament about the sport’s… Continue reading

20 Comments

Labour has a better-than-expected week, but the party remains shaky

17 October 2014 8:58
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Gives His Keynote Speech At the Annual Party Conference

This week has gone much better for Labour than many of its MPs thought it would. They started the week in very poor form indeed, grumpy after a bad conference,… Continue reading

217 Comments

Three reasons why Ukip would benefit from a Labour win in 2015

16 October 2014 16:27
Campaign poster from November 1922  (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

What result at the next election would most suit Ukip? There is little doubt that the party would most benefit from a Labour victory in 2015, which I discussed in… Continue reading

222 Comments

Lord Freud was right and Miliband shameful

15 October 2014 16:27
Former city banker David Freud speaks at

Markets are amoral. If a severely disabled person cannot produce more than the minimum wage’s worth of work, no employer will be able to profitably employ them. Some generous ones… Continue reading

126 Comments

How the Greens are spooking Labour and the Lib Dems

15 October 2014 8:00
Green party leader Natalie Bennett. Picture: PA

Being excluded from the TV debates has been the best thing that could possibly happen to the Greens, it seems. Already over 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for… Continue reading

105 Comments

Add to Miliband’s worries: Can Ukip go after Labour in Scotland?

14 October 2014 15:32
Scot

Scottish Ukip MEP David Coburn has been shouting off, as his way, about his party’s prospects north of the border in 2015. Mr Coburn is a curious character – and… Continue reading

57 Comments

Recognising a Palestinian ‘state’ in Parliament is not only pointless, it’s dangerous

13 October 2014 17:36
Ramallah, August 2014 (Photo: Abbas Momani, AFP)

Today in Parliament, MPs are voting on a backbench motion (supported by a one-line whip from the Labour party) proposing that Britain recognises Palestine as a state. The motion attempts push a… Continue reading

497 Comments

Cameron annoyed by TV debate proposals that include Ukip but not the Greens

13 October 2014 13:52
(Photo: David Jones/PA/Getty)

The broadcasters’ proposals for the TV debates have not gone down particularly well in many quarters of Westminster. David Cameron, who has been trying to avoid the issue for as… Continue reading

121 Comments

To Nigel Farage in the wake of Heywood and Middleton: an apology

13 October 2014 8:58
Nigel Farage (Photo: Oli Scarff, Getty)

Nigel Farage – an apology. My suspicion had been that Ukip would not frighten the horses terribly in Heywood and Middleton. It is not great territory for them, after all.… Continue reading

264 Comments

A Lab-Con coalition? It’s not as crazy as you think

12 October 2014 13:11
David Cameron and Ed Miliband, April 2013 (Photo: WPA Pool/Getty)

In the few days since Conservative defector Douglas Carswell gave Ukip its first Westminster MP and John Bickley scared the pants off Ed Miliband by almost snatching Heywood and Middleton… Continue reading

186 Comments

Clacton to Ukip, Britain’s anti-politics were long in the making

11 October 2014 16:30
Clacton-on-Sea, June 1922 (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Talking to people in Clacton-on-Sea this week, there was a sense that, as much as they thought there were too many people in Britain, they felt politicians had it too easy.… Continue reading

74 Comments

Ukip means mainstream parties should stop seeing voters as ‘theirs’

10 October 2014 13:51
Image: Getty

How are the two parties reacting to their bruising night in the two by-elections? David Cameron – after telling us, helpfully, that ‘there were two by-elections last night’ – went on to… Continue reading

146 Comments

Ukip’s breakthrough night

10 October 2014 3:08
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell Visit Clacton On Sea

Ukip has won its first by-election: Douglas Carswell is the party’s first elected MP. In a stunning night for the party, it also ran Labour mighty close in Heywood and… Continue reading

77 Comments

Danny Alexander indicates that the Lib Dems wants £5 billion in tax rises

6 October 2014 20:37
Danny Alexander's call for the abolition of higher-rate relief on pension contributions has received the backing of the Centre for Policy Studies. Picture: Getty

In a sign of his enhanced status in the party, Danny Alexander has been one of the main attractions on the conference fringe this year. This evening, it was standing… Continue reading

90 Comments

Vince Cable accuses George Osborne of lying about tax rises

6 October 2014 13:58
(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Vince Cable’s speech today was loyal and funny. Cable was, unlike in some previous years, very much on message. He lavished praise on Clegg for having turned the Liberal Democrats… Continue reading

50 Comments

Clegg attacks ‘economically extreme’ Tories

5 October 2014 10:35
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Speech On International Development

The Lib Dem message in Glasgow this week in simple, you can’t trust either Labour or the Tories to run the country on their own. On Marr this morning, Nick… Continue reading

81 Comments

Chris Grayling is an advertisement for a Labour government

3 October 2014 13:39
BRITAIN-POLITICS-CONSERVATIVES

Thank heavens for Ed Miliband, eh? The leader of the opposition remains the single most compelling reason to hope the Conservatives remain in power next May. A shame, then, that… Continue reading

169 Comments