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David Cameron must ally himself with moderate Muslims

20 July 2015 17:38

Those who have been involved in counter-extremism in recent years would be forgiven for thinking that there is little new in the Prime Minister’s speech today. However, we need to… Continue reading


Nigel Farage overruled by Ukip NEC on Short money

20 July 2015 17:26
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, speaks to the MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell (right) before the launch of a new publication "The Truth About Trade Beyond The EU" on June 17, 2015 in London, England.

The row in Ukip over parliamentary Short money has finally been resolved. Guido reports that Douglas Carswell, the party’s sole MP, has been advertising for a £60k per annum speechwriter, funded out… Continue reading


Tory MPs congratulate Lynton Crosby on his election success

20 July 2015 17:09
Lynton Crosby

Tory MPs are currently hearing from Lynton Crosby at a special meeting of the 1922 Committee on his election victory. Many of them are wryly amused that they are having to… Continue reading


Alistair Darling: why I changed my mind on tax credits

20 July 2015 16:44
Me interviewing Darling for my Ch4 Dispatches film "How the rich get richer"

Last autumn, I presented a Ch4 documentary on inequality. I could have made three hours’ worth of that show – or written a book – but it was distilled down… Continue reading


The benefit cut that isn’t quite as it seems

20 July 2015 16:30
Berlin UKB Hospital Is Among Germany's Most Modern

MPs are voting on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill this afternoon, with the big story being about Labour turmoil over the second reading. Harriet Harman’s amendment looks rather forlorn… Continue reading


Has Liz Kendall’s campaign run out of momentum?

20 July 2015 16:27
Liz Kendall visits Brixton Solar in south London where she saw how solar energy is being produced on the Roupell Park Estate with the cooperation of the residents. Monday July 20, 2015

Liz Kendall’s chances of winning the Labour leadership contest appear to be slipping away. On several measures, she has fallen into fourth place. Kendall has just 12 nominations from constituency… Continue reading


Here’s what Tim Farron should have said to John Humphrys and Cathy Newman

20 July 2015 16:10

Three interesting bits of theology in the media last week, two of them thanks to Tim Farron. Interviewing Farron, John Humphrys noted that he has said that he seeks ‘guidance… Continue reading


ICM poll shows public support for a second referendum on the EU

20 July 2015 14:56
Protestors take part in a demonstration calling for a referendum on the European Union (EU) Lisbon Treaty, outside the Houses of Parliament in central London, on February 27, 2008. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

A fortnight ago I wrote a blog on the issue of exit plans and a possible second referendum. According to various media reports, Boris liked the idea and has told… Continue reading


The crusade against FGM is out of control

20 July 2015 14:47

Imagine if a Ukip politician wrote about being on an aeroplane that was ‘heaving’ with black people. Imagine if he described becoming suspicious of them, and assuming, on the basis of… Continue reading


Tim Farron is a reminder of what it actually means to be liberal

20 July 2015 13:30

The media complain about ‘career politicians’. Yet when politicians come along who aren’t Oxford PPEists, who have progressed via think tanks and spadships to safe seats without their feet touching… Continue reading


Why is the Royal family so bothered by its own archives?

20 July 2015 12:00
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor meet with Adolf Hitler in 1937. (Photo: Getty)

I should declare an interest – because I work for the Sun. But even so, I cannot quite see what the Royal family’s objections are. It does no harm to… Continue reading


Theresa May on tackling extremism: ‘we’re not talking about curbing free speech’

20 July 2015 9:26
David Cameron and Theresa May during a ceremonial welcome for the President of Singapore Tony Tan, and his wife, at Horse Guards Parade in London.

David Cameron will outline the ‘struggle of our generation’ today: tackling Islamist extremism. The Prime Minister is set to deliver a significant speech in Birmingham, where he will say ‘the root cause… Continue reading


Five things we learnt from the Sunday Politics Labour leadership hustings

19 July 2015 14:14
The candidates for Labour leader on the Sunday Politics. Photo: BBC.

The four Labour leadership contenders took part in another televised hustings today, this time chaired by Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics. With just over 50 days left of this contest,… Continue reading


Labour leadership bingo: your guide to the leadership debate

19 July 2015 10:42
Labours candidates for Leader and Deputy Leader Liz Kendall,Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper  and Jeremy Corbyn take part in a hustings in The Old Fruitmarket, Candleriggs on July 10, 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Yes, it’s a sunny Sunday – but for Tories, it will be a lot sunnier after watching the Labour Party leadership debate. With some helpful suggestions from Twitter, here’s my guide… Continue reading


Brave Cardinal Pell challenges Pope Francis’s dogma on climate change

18 July 2015 22:53

‘The Church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters.’ In that one sentence, Cardinal Pell puts his finger on what is wrong with Laudato Si‘,… Continue reading


The photo of the young Queen playing Nazi is an important historical document. It should shock us

18 July 2015 19:12
Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 19.13.34

What can a image from 1933 ever really tell us? In July 1933, Der Stürmer, the Nazi newspaper, published a cover image of a gaping Jewish mouth, the picture of avarice, swallowing kings, admirals,… Continue reading


The Queen won’t have been the only British girl messing about with Nazi salutes in 1933

18 July 2015 11:51
Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 11.47.40

Reassuringly, not even anti-monarchists are making mischief out of today’s pictures of an eight-year-old Queen being shown by her uncle how to make a Nazi salute. It’s a striking picture,… Continue reading


Spectator competition: a lecherous poet gets his come-uppance (plus: Gove’s rules)

18 July 2015 9:47
August 1966:  A member of the International Society of Girl Watchers uses the ploy of wiping his shoulder in order to leer unnoticed at a passing woman. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Given the kerfuffle caused by the recent publication of Craig Raine’s ‘Gatwick’ in the London Review of Books, I thought it might be interesting to invite competitors to compose their… Continue reading


Government takes the trash out with barrage of sneaky announcements

17 July 2015 17:22
141st Open Championship - Round Two

Quiet Fridays are the best sorts of days to bury bad news: or at least so the Whitehall wisdom goes. That doesn’t seem to have worked today, given that ministers’… Continue reading


The focus on terror has distorted the debate on encryption

17 July 2015 16:05

Surveillance has hit the headlines again. This morning, the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act, or DRIPA, which passed last year after just 24 hours debate, was ruled illegal by… Continue reading


Yes, we should be suspicious of Tim Farron’s Christian worldview

17 July 2015 14:15
Tim Farron

It was inevitable that as soon as Tim Farron got elected Lib Dem leader, he would be asked the Praying Question. The one that Tony Blair was asked, and the… Continue reading


Cold meats, beer, excitement and a fainting activist — how the Lib Dems celebrated Tim Farron’s victory

17 July 2015 9:16
Tim Farron's victory rally: (clockwise): Islington Assembly Hall, Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes discussing old times, a fainting activist and cold meat platters.

Tim Farron’s election as leader of the Liberal Democrats is the first piece of positive news for the party since its disastrous election result on May 7. The MP for… Continue reading


Were ‘Lazy Labour’ voters, not ‘Shy Tories’, responsible for the election result?

16 July 2015 17:23
Ed Miliband, leader of the U.K. opposition Labour Party, gestures following his resignation speech following the results of the 2015 general election in London, U.K., on Friday, May 8, 2015.

The British Election Study is continuing to dig into why the pollsters called the general election incorrectly. Its latest batch of research suggests that the theories of a late swing to the Tories,… Continue reading


Tim Farron elected leader of the Liberal Democrats

16 July 2015 17:03
"For The Love Of" Climate Coalition Rally Takes Place In Westminster

Tim Farron has been duly announced as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. The party revealed that 56.5 per cent voted for Farron to succeed Nick Clegg, compared to 43.5… Continue reading


Britain has a productivity problem. Could email be to blame?

16 July 2015 15:03
ThinkstockPhotos-469846564 (1)

It is an oddity that while the UK economy surges ahead as the fastest growing in Europe, its productivity has sagged to an inauspicious 6th in the G7: below that of… Continue reading