Ken Clarke


What should Jeremy Hunt do next to the NHS?

19 May 2015 11:19

The Tories barely talked about the NHS during the election campaign. It was an area of Labour strength, and one Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham were keen to talk about… Continue reading


PMQs: Was Ken Clarke snoozing? If so, he missed nothing

18 March 2015 12:33

The PMQs before the Budget is always pretty pointless, and David Cameron turned up clearly determined to trivialise his exchanges with Ed Miliband as much as possible. He came armed… Continue reading

Conservative Party Conference 2012

Tory MP accepts donation from banker who used same tax avoidance scheme as Jimmy Carr

16 February 2015 13:19

With the Tories currently getting flak for holding a ball for the party’s super rich donors in the same week queries were raised about their tax habits, Ken Clarke appeared on the Sunday… Continue reading

Celebrations And Flag Flying On St George's Day

Tory MPs split over how far to push English votes for English laws

21 January 2015 19:10

Tory backbenchers have just finished a long meeting about English Votes for English Laws. The 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers have just spent the last hour and a bit debating… Continue reading

Vince Cable And Kenneth Clarke Give Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry

David Cameron and Ken Clarke clash over Ukip and immigration

19 October 2014 11:15

Ken Clarke is one of the biggest beasts left in the Tory jungle. He had been a fixture in every Tory government since Ted Heaths time until Cameron retired him… Continue reading

Prime Minster British Prime Minister David Cameron Attends A Rally Before European And Local Elections

David Cameron hints at tax cuts for Middle England

30 July 2014 11:47

The Telegraph’s Christopher Hope tweets the news that David Cameron is open to raising the threshold for the 40p rate: NEWS! PM: “I would love to raise the 40p tax… Continue reading

A celebration of the NHS during the Olympic Opening Ceremony in 2012. Image: Getty

Stephen Dorrell: The NHS still has plenty to learn

21 July 2014 15:11

If anyone thought Stephen Dorrell would take a break from talking about health after standing down as chairman of the House of Commons health select committee, they were quite wrong. The… Continue reading

Ken Clarke

Farewell Ken Clarke, last of the Tory Big Beasts

14 July 2014 19:24

But for Europe, eh? It is a mark of how thoroughly the European issue has poisoned Tory waters that many party activists – and MPs – will be celebrating the… Continue reading


Ken Clarke’s yellow badge of honour

2 June 2014 13:52

Despite trying to fend off Ukip in the Newark by-election, the Tories have thought it a good idea to put neighbouring MP, and devout Europhile, Ken Clarke on their candidate’s… Continue reading

Ken Clarke: a Liberal Democrat in all but name.

Ken Clarke is now a Liberal Democrat in all but name

19 May 2014 17:29

Nick Clegg used to joke that he should include Ken Clarke in any list of senior Liberal Democrats. But Mr Steerpike hears things have moved way beyond that. Ken, who… Continue reading

Michael-Gove-illustration copy

Michael Gove’s campaigning job

23 April 2014 18:22

Who will go where in the forthcoming reshuffle? Guido suggests that Michael Gove could be in for a move to party chairman, given all his major reforms have either been… Continue reading

Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke: We don’t need treaty change to reform Europe, and my eurosceptic colleagues are eccentric

17 March 2014 16:44

Tory europhiles don’t often come out in the daylight: they normally give the impression they’re frightened that their associations will get grumpy, or that their fellow MPs will try to… Continue reading


Chris Grayling gets a relatively easy ride over reoffending rates

10 November 2013 12:19

Theresa May accepted her Spectator Politician of the Year award with the quip: ‘It used to be a joke that I lock them up and Ken Clarke lets them out,… Continue reading

Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke reignites What Would Thatcher Do? to argue for an ‘In’ referendum vote

18 June 2013 8:59

Those cracking jokes about bears visiting the woods following Ken Clarke’s latest warning about the dangers of Britain leaving the EU miss the point. The former Chancellor and Minister without… Continue reading

Michael Meacher probes Ken Clarke on the Bilderberg meeting as David Blunkett chuckles in the background.

Ken Clarke keeps Bilderberg secrets close to his (reptilian) chest

10 June 2013 17:51

What an afternoon it has been for conspiracy lovers. First the Speaker summoned Ken Clarke to the Commons to answer an urgent question from arch theorist Michael Meacher about the… Continue reading

Image: PA

Can you really give back your pensioner perks?

29 April 2013 16:30

This weekend, Iain Duncan Smith sparked a furore when a Sunday Telegraph interview quoted him as saying he would ‘encourage everybody who reads the Telegraph and doesn’t need [their winter… Continue reading

Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke: decent chap, but wrong about everything

29 April 2013 13:29

Kenneth Clarke has always seemed, to me, a decent sort. By far the most likeable and least lordly and arrogant of those Euro-wanking wets who plagued Thatcher and, later, Major.… Continue reading

Not as close as they seem... David Cameron and Angela Merkel look set to collide over the EU budget. Image: Getty.

David Cameron pulled every which way on Europe

19 November 2012 13:26

Another day, another set of newspapers full to bursting with pieces about Britain’s fractious relationship with the European Union – all of which, in their way, will unnerve David Cameron.… Continue reading

Ken Clarke

Ken ‘clarity’ Clarke says EU budget veto would be ‘absurd’

2 November 2012 14:35

Wise gamblers could do worse than to place a hefty bet every time Ken Clarke expresses an opinion that he’ll have to clarify it shortly afterwards. The minister without portfolio… Continue reading

Ken Clarke told the Telegraph that he hopes the Tories will be able to tell voters in 2015 that they were a strong hand on the tiller of the economy. Picture: Getty

Ken Clarke’s 2015 campaign slogan

27 October 2012 16:34

It was not a huge surprise when Ken Clarke rowed back this afternoon on his comments to the Telegraph about tax breaks for married couples. The minister without portfolio was… Continue reading

Ken Clarke has drawn a line in the Europe debate between those who are interested in the possible and those who aren't. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Ken Clarke: A Political Giant Mistreated by his Youngers and Lessers - Spectator Blogs

5 September 2012 0:22

Say this for David Cameron’s autumn reshuffle: it hasn’t unravelled as quickly or spectacularly as George Osborne’s last budget. Hurray for that. But nor has it been deemed a grand… Continue reading


I Think Paul Krugman is Mistaken - Spectator Blogs

4 September 2012 18:03

The great sage – once described to me by someone who attended a (highly) derivative speech he made on the Scottish economy as Woody Allen with statistics and no jokes… Continue reading

Croupiers Hone Their Skills At Casino School

Morning of the Blunt Knives - Spectator Blogs

4 September 2012 13:40

Provided you remember a few simple rules the Expectations Game should be the easiest test to pass in politics. It is not complicated: under-promise and over-deliver. Or, more succinctly, never… Continue reading

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Photo: Getty Images.

George Galloway’s fifty shades of rape

21 August 2012 10:15

The supporters of that exhibitionist monkey Julian Assange are becoming ever more bizarre. George Galloway MP, for example, has been sounding like a High Court judge in 1973: those women… Continue reading

David Cameron outside the door of Downing Street, Getty Images

The secret seven

22 July 2012 13:38

David Cameron’s decision to convene an inner Cabinet of seven Tories to advise him is a sensible move. As I say in the Mail on Sunday, calling this group together… Continue reading