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As political scandals go, Ukip’s latest offering is hardly a knee-trembler

9 December 2014 10:04
Main Political Parties Take Heavy Losses In UK Euro Vote

The Natasha Bolter story is a little peculiar, no? Ms Bolter, formerly of the Labour Party and more latterly a rising star in Ukip, has been telling the press how… Continue reading

335 Comments

Ukip’s Roger Bird suspended over sexual misconduct allegations

9 December 2014 9:50
Natasha Bolter, the former Ukip PPC who has made allegations about Roger Bird.

The reason behind Roger Bird’s mysterious suspension as Ukip general secretary has been revealed. The splash of today’s Times makes several allegations (£) about Bird and Natasha Bolter, a Labour defector to… Continue reading

28 Comments

The Tory voters who are still vulnerable to Ukip

9 December 2014 8:53
Ukip

Today’s conclusion from the British Election Study that Ukip will hurt the Tories far more than it will damage Labour at the General Election is unsurprising, but still important as… Continue reading

104 Comments

Ukip general secretary Roger Bird suspended over ‘impropriety’ allegations

8 December 2014 18:26
Ukip's General Secretary Roger Bird.

To the delight of its enemies, Ukip has just announced its general secretary has been suspended over ‘impropriety allegations’. According to a statement released by the party, claims have come to… Continue reading

252 Comments

Spectator competition: rapping poets laureate (plus: give a villain a makeover)

8 December 2014 18:00
John Betjeman. Image: Getty

The latest competition invited you to follow in the footsteps of Andrew Motion, who as poet laureate wrote a ‘rap’ to mark Prince William’s 21st birthday. It was bad enough… Continue reading

0 Comments

Jeremy Hunt and Andy Burnham’s NHS battle heats up

8 December 2014 17:49
Burnham-Hunt-mario-game

Two politicians unashamedly and eternally at one another’s throats are Jeremy Hunt and Andy Burnham, scrapping over who cares more about ‘Our NHS’. Today Hunt has written to Burnham complaining… Continue reading

16 Comments

Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage are pursuing the same electoral strategy

8 December 2014 17:15
Can we expect Nigel vs Nick against in 2015? Photo: Getty Images.

What is the reasoning behind Nigel Farage’s recent spate of apparent gaffes? Following his breastfeeding comments last week, the Ukip leader blamed his lateness to an event in Wales on… Continue reading

71 Comments

The last days of the Cameron administration: Part 1 The Gove Delusion

8 December 2014 17:06
Michael Gove and his former advisor Dominic Cummings. Photo: Getty.

Faintly stunned Liberal Democrats report that Michael Gove is an absentee chief whip. He is simultaneously there at the coalition whips’ meetings but not there: a ghostly presence; a bored,… Continue reading

32 Comments

We have a choice between competence and chaos, according to the Tories

8 December 2014 17:05
george osborne

Competence versus chaos—that’s what the Tory leadership want to frame the next election as a choice between. Hence George Osborne’s repetition of this phrase five times in one brief interview… Continue reading

37 Comments

Rachel Reeves goes for tribal politics over hard questioning on food banks

8 December 2014 17:03
Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves delivers her keynote speech to the Labour Party conference in Manchester

Most people went into Work and Pensions Questions expecting Iain Duncan Smith to be in a tetchy fame of mind following this morning’s report on food banks. As a matter… Continue reading

16 Comments

Listen: Roger Helmer reveals Ukip’s approach to candidate selection

8 December 2014 15:45
(Photo: Andrew Yates/Getty)

Ralph Atkinson ranted this weekend that Ukip have ‘standards of democracy lower than the unelected European Commission’ after he was allegedly ousted as the Ukip candidate for Hastings and Rye in… Continue reading

50 Comments

How long will the fragile consensus on food banks last?

8 December 2014 14:25
Image: Getty

Frank Field just about managed to hold together a cross-party consensus on the need to tackle hunger in this country at the launch of the ‘Feeding Britain’ report. At the… Continue reading

51 Comments

The Kremlin thinks Russell Brand is good news. Does that not worry him?

8 December 2014 13:34
The apple of Putin's eye (Photo: Getty)

An interesting story in today’s papers: ‘Russia’s last politically independent TV station will be forced to close at the end of this month after the state-owned company that transmits its… Continue reading

122 Comments

Will Nick Clegg’s PMQs session highlight the tensions in the Coalition?

8 December 2014 12:38
(Photo: Carl Court/Getty)

After being too busy talking to ‘normal people’ in Cornwall last Wednesday and missing previous PMQs presumably to do the same, Nick Clegg will not only be attending this Wednesday’s… Continue reading

10 Comments

Top Tory rails against Osborne’s Stamp Duty reform

8 December 2014 11:43
Conservative MP Mark Field. Photo: BBC.

Tory MP Mark Field is not a happy bunny about Osborne’s Autumn Statement. Writing to members of his association, the MP for the Cities of London and Westminster has blasted… Continue reading

71 Comments

Food bank report is a chance to end the toxic political stand-off

8 December 2014 8:45
BRITAIN-POVERTY-ECONOMY

It has been quite difficult for anyone following the growth food banks over the past few years to avoid growing dispirited. The debate in Parliament runs along the lines of… Continue reading

145 Comments

Nicola Sturgeon shows how she means to go on by picking a fight with the Queen

7 December 2014 22:42
Nicola Sturgeon talks to carers during a meeting in Renfrew, Scotland. LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Downing Street, we are told, wants to ‘re-set’ the relationship between Westminster and Holyrood after the referendum. UK ministers apparently want an atmosphere of ‘co-operation; to exist between the two governments. Well,… Continue reading

502 Comments

The Tories aren’t planning to run a £23 billion surplus in 2019/20

7 December 2014 13:35
U.K. Chancellor Of The Exchequer George Osborne Delivers Autumn Budget Statement

All the talk about the ‘colossal’ cuts to come if the Tories win re-election has been predicated on the assumption that the Tories are committed to running a £23 billion… Continue reading

53 Comments

Ukip hires BBC’s Paul ‘Gobby’ Lambert as new Director of Communications

7 December 2014 13:00
Paul Lambert, Ukip's new Director of Communications. Photo: BBC.

Ukip has announced that BBC political producer Paul Lambert will be the party’s new Director of Communications. Ukip has offered the job to various prominent figures but it has not been filled… Continue reading

130 Comments

Is George Osborne being truthful when he says he has ‘halved’ the deficit?

7 December 2014 12:34
Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 11.54.42

In the Sunday Times today, George Osborne makes a statement so untrue as to violate the newspaper code of accuracy. ‘The deficit has been halved,’ he says. A bit of… Continue reading

85 Comments

Coalition wars: What are George Osborne and Nick Clegg up to?

7 December 2014 11:03
Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg Makes A Speech At The Party's Spring Conference On International Women's Day

If the Coalition started cohabiting earlier this year, it has now moved into the phase where the two parties are posting mean things about each other on Facebook and trying… Continue reading

13 Comments

The Spectator at war: The honourable spy

7 December 2014 8:30
Max Schulze in the dock at Exeter Assize Court on spying charges in 1911.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

From The Honourable Spy, The Spectator, 5 December 1914: Decency is violated by the military spy when he becomes, for instance, a naturalized subject of a foreign Power only to… Continue reading

3 Comments

In praise of Michael Clarke

6 December 2014 14:13
South Africa v Australia - 3rd Test: Day 2

The cricketing world has begun its slow trudge back to normality. Phillip Hughes has been buried and conversation has, half-heartedly, began to turn back to the game itself. Australia will… Continue reading

8 Comments

Tories attack Nigel Farage over breastfeeding remarks

6 December 2014 12:24
494849713-620x412

Ukip’s crisis is the Conservatives’ gain. Following Nigel Farage’s comments about ‘ostentatious’ breastfeeding, Conservative HQ have been promoting this graphic online, with a title noting that Farage is ‘making it up… Continue reading

261 Comments

I’m with Farage on breastfeeding – we need to take on the frenzied glorification of motherhood

6 December 2014 10:04
Lou Burns, without and with the napkin she was given while breastfeeding her baby in Claridge’s. Via: @andysrelation

Let’s get one thing straight. Women have been bringing up children perfectly happily for centuries without breastfeeding them in Claridges. The fact that we are having a row about a… Continue reading

611 Comments