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Trying to ban legal highs? Expect a bad trip

27 May 2015 14:48
(Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Keep an eye on the government’s ban on legal highs. The Conservative ­manifesto pledged to outlaw all the horrible chemicals kids smoke and snort for fun these days, on account… Continue reading

43 Comments

Yvette Cooper snaps up six more MP supporters for her leadership campaign

27 May 2015 13:43
Final Day Of The Labour Party Conference

Six more Labour MPs have endorsed Yvette Cooper as leader: Coffee House has the names exclusively. Emily Thornberry Ian Austin Jim Cunningham Karen Buck Lyn Brown Steve McCabe They’re an… Continue reading

16 Comments

Fifa’s fantasy kingdom is finally starting to collapse

27 May 2015 12:48
Fifa President Sepp Blatter announces in 2010 that Qatar will host the World Cup in 2022 (Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Fifa via Getty)

Can it be that the great fantasy kingdom of Fifa has finally collapsed? Is this the fall of Oz? Is it possible that this vast sporting organisation – one that… Continue reading

71 Comments

2015 Queen’s Speech: the new bills announced

27 May 2015 11:47
Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech to the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster during the State Opening of Parliament on May 27, 2015 in London, England.

Her Majesty has just delivered the first Conservative Queen’s Speech in 19 years — or as David Cameron described it, a ‘One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government’.… Continue reading

47 Comments

Pope Francis is right to avoid television. It’s the dumbest medium known to man

27 May 2015 11:05
(Photo:  Franco Origlia/Getty)

Unlike Pope Francis I can’t actually remember when I consciously gave up television and I have in fact watched it occasionally in other people’s houses on various occasions. But it was probably… Continue reading

16 Comments

Cameron will struggle to get human rights reform past parliament at any stage

27 May 2015 10:37
cover_230515_landscape

David Cameron has decided to stall on human rights reform for now, partly because the Tories couldn’t quite work out how to get the reforms they wanted, and partly because… Continue reading

42 Comments

Equine squatters: the topic that united the Countryside Alliance and the RSPCA

27 May 2015 10:26
Image: PA

In September last year I wrote about horses being illegally grazed and abandoned, and the inability of landowners to do anything about it. Back then, the government were poised to… Continue reading

11 Comments

Will Nick Clegg’s response to the Queen’s Speech mean anything at all?

27 May 2015 9:17
BRITAIN-VOTE-CLEGG

Could there be a sadder sight today than Nick Clegg, intervening on behalf of his now tiny ‘minor party’ in the Queen’s Speech debate? The Lib Dem leader is responding… Continue reading

21 Comments

What to expect in today’s Queen’s Speech

27 May 2015 7:54
June 2014: Queen Elizabeth II Attends The State Opening Of Parliament

The new parliament officially begins with the grand State Opening of Parliament ceremony today. The Queen will deliver the first Conservative Queen’s Speech in 19 years this morning, outlining the topics… Continue reading

28 Comments

Cameron tries to bring the campaign into government

26 May 2015 19:36
Image: Getty

Tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech will be almost cut and pasted from the Tory manifesto. Partly, this is because Number 10 believes that the Salisbury convention dictates that the House of Lords… Continue reading

19 Comments

Chris Bryant interview: Labour has to speak to voters ‘at the end of the line’

26 May 2015 17:57
Chris Bryant

Chris Bryant is haunted by Labour’s general election defeat. He has taken his former colleague Douglas Alexander’s office, and Commons staff have been appearing to collect the former Shadow Foreign… Continue reading

29 Comments

Michael Gove: Tories will not be forgiven for ‘fudging’ the EU referendum

26 May 2015 16:35
Michael Gove and Daniel Hannan speaking to members of the AECR at Winchester Guildhall on 26 May 2015. Photo: AECR

Michael Gove’s gusto has returned after his elevation back to top level of the Cabinet. On Friday evening, the Justice Secretary spoke to Hampshire Conservative activists and members of the… Continue reading

49 Comments

Thankfully for Cameron, EU treaty change isn’t a black and white issue

26 May 2015 15:21
President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shake hands in Berlin (Photo: Tobias Schwarz/Getty)

It seems every week now there is a story about France and/or Germany ruling out EU treaty change and thereby putting pay to David Cameron’s EU reform push before it… Continue reading

49 Comments

Why David Cameron should take his time with the EU referendum

26 May 2015 13:23
Jean Claude Juncker and David Cameron at Chequers. (Image: Getty).

Exhilarating, isn’t it? A referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union is at hand. For the first time in a generation, there’s a real possibility that Britain might… Continue reading

98 Comments

The real Yvette Cooper is standing up

26 May 2015 13:01
(Photo: Rob Stothard/Getty)

In many ways, Yvette Cooper has a perfect CV for Labour leader: a wealth of experience in government, not factional, respected by colleagues (except those who had a habit of… Continue reading

140 Comments

The right-to-buy scheme is already causing problems for the government

26 May 2015 12:43
(Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty)

New communities secretary Greg Clark has the least enviable job in the cabinet: justifying the policy of extending the right-to-buy to housing association tenants. The policy, hastily put together in… Continue reading

45 Comments

David Miliband doesn’t rule out running in future Labour leadership contest

26 May 2015 12:07
Former foreign secretary David Miliband listens to a speech on the second day of the Labour party conference at Manchester Central on September 27, 2010 in Manchester, England.

Is David Miliband Labour’s prince across the water? The elder Miliband brother appears to be watching the leadership contest closely avidly from afar, without backing any particular candidate. Speaking to… Continue reading

24 Comments

Cameron’s EU charm offensive must seem genuine

26 May 2015 11:36
David Cameron and Jean-Claude Juncker meet at Chequers (Photo: Suzanne Plunkett/Getty)

There is so little detail on David Cameron’s talks with Jean-Claude Juncker that it is almost outweighed by the briefing on what the pair ate while at Chequers (a spring… Continue reading

34 Comments

Chuka Umunna endorses Liz Kendall for Labour leader

26 May 2015 10:39
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Announces His Party's Education Manifesto

After pulling out of the Labour leadership contest himself, Chuka Umunna has given his star-studded endorsement to Liz Kendall, along with his leadership team of Emma Reynolds, Stephen Twigg and… Continue reading

21 Comments

Malcom Bruce defends Alistair Carmichael: ‘lots of people have told lies’

26 May 2015 9:10
Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael prepares to make his first speech of the year setting out his case for Scotland remaining part of the UK at Stirling University..

Alistair Carmichael’s battle to remain an MP is turning into a debate about whether it’s acceptable to lie in public office. The SNP are keen to talk the up the notion… Continue reading

65 Comments

David Cameron is trying to manage the referendum – and his party – properly

25 May 2015 10:29
Prime Minister David Cameron Makes Speech On The UK's Position In Europe

The government’s announcement that EU migrants will not be able to vote in the EU referendum tells us a number of things about the way David Cameron is approaching this… Continue reading

153 Comments

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

319 Comments

Ireland’s gay marriage vote was never an equal contest

24 May 2015 0:20
IRELAND-GAY-MARRIAGE-VOTE

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

463 Comments

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

600 Comments

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

2 Comments