London Landmarks At Night

Parliament is weak and ineffective — it needs to change

20 March 2015 17:10

Only a third of the public think Parliament is effective in holding government to account: two thirds want improvement of our democratic institutions. We struggle to get more than two in… Continue reading


Cathy Newman cancels charity appearance following mosque incident

17 February 2015 11:41

After Cathy Newman falsely tweeted that she had been ‘ushered’ out of a mosque on an open day, she made a public apology and said that she was planning to to take a break… Continue reading

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An idiotic guide to politics

14 February 2015 13:19

What’s wrong with our politics? Now that more and people are turning to ‘anti-politics’ parties, this question is becoming steadily more fashionable and urgent. It’s now even got its own… Continue reading


Confirmed: Inside the Commons will reveal ‘rift’ between John Bercow and Robert Rogers

12 February 2015 16:24

Speculation has been rife that John Bercow’s decision to let cameras into the commons for a BBC documentary will backfire on him. Reports have claimed that the Speaker of the Commons is… Continue reading

The Residents Of New Era Estate Protest Against Their Eviction

Why Russell Brand isn’t wrong to fear entering Parliament

12 December 2014 15:31

Oh look, Russell Brand doesn’t want to stand for Parliament even though he moans about it! You can watch the clip of the man who was introduced as a ‘comedian… Continue reading

An image shared by a Facebook page this morning

The menace of memes: how pictures can paint a thousand lies

29 November 2014 12:14

It’s very fashionable these days to be despondent about the quality of our politicians. They’re all lazy liars who look only to their interests and neglect their duties to their… Continue reading

The Opening of Parliament in February 1912. Image: Getty

The Spectator at war: Standing on ceremony

6 November 2014 8:30

From The Spectator, 7 November 1914: On Wednesday next the King will open Parliament in state, the only alteration in the prescribed ceremonial being the temporary disuse of the glass… Continue reading

David Cameron  (Photo: WPA Poole/Getty)

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

22 October 2014 13:11

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


Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.

19 August 2014 16:10

Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps, as some suggest, it’s time to concede the game’s a… Continue reading

Pubs And Clubs in England and Wales Prepare For New Licensing Laws

Forget warnings and labels. Make problem drinkers pay for their excess

11 August 2014 13:26

It was news to me that there exists an All Party Commons Committee on Alcohol Misuse, but when you think about it, the notion makes complete sense; for evidence, all… Continue reading

DNA Testing

The three parent technique is genetic modification. Will parliament confront this?

29 July 2014 16:19

If I were choosing a third parent for a baby, you know, I’d be inclined to choose one of the Williams sisters — the top-notch tennis players. If you want… Continue reading

Big Ben and the The Houses of Parliament

A full separation of powers could reinvigorate parliament

26 July 2014 13:22

Last summer, parliament was recalled after President Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in Syria. David Cameron wanted the Commons to support air strikes against the Syrian regime in response. But… Continue reading

(Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

Boulton and Co

26 June 2014 15:45

Journalists do, occasionally, say something nice about politicians. It does not happen very often; but, when it does, it’s usually heartfelt. Adam Boulton hosted a party at the Savoy last… Continue reading

Image: Getty

We get few answers from the Work and Pensions grudge match

23 June 2014 17:41

Departmental questions have, by this stage of the parliament, all developed their own characters. There is the colourful combat of Treasury questions, often involving one Tory minister deploying a lengthy… Continue reading

Image: Getty

MP recall is a populist gesture that cheapens our democracy

5 June 2014 10:58

Anger is a bad counsellor. A lot of voters are angry with MPs and want to punish them. They believe that during the recent economic crisis, many MPs had only… Continue reading

Rory Stewart, the new Commons Defence Select Committee chairman. Image: Getty

Rory Stewart elected Chairman of the Defence Select Committee

14 May 2014 15:53

Rory Stewart, the colourful and interesting Tory MP, has been elected as chairman of the Defence Select Committee. Stewart is a formidable appointment. He is knowledgeable on defence and foreign… Continue reading

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When is a party not a celebration?

15 April 2014 12:12

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans stood on the steps of Preston Crown Court last week and said: ‘This isn’t a time for celebration or euphoria. Bill Roache just a few… Continue reading

Keith Vaz is all things to all men. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Keith Vaz on the smarm offensive

14 April 2014 15:52

Keith Vaz was in full oil slick mode on Friday night when he found himself as the only Labour MP at the Asian Business Awards in Waterloo. Surrounded by dozens… Continue reading


Why Maria Miller should not have resigned

10 April 2014 12:39

Maria Miller’s forced resignation is a disgrace. No iniquity was proved against her. Over her expenses, I suspect her motive was innocent: she was trying to work out childcare with… Continue reading

Angry shouty politicians — the hallmarks of Prime Minister's Questions.

PMQs needs reforming but it shouldn’t be toned down

11 February 2014 21:57

To anyone in Westminster, Prime Minister’s Questions is terrific fun and a good measurement of how the leaders are doing every week. But what does the rest of the country… Continue reading

Keith Vaz, Getty Images

Vaz and Ellis Pt. II

6 February 2014 15:03

Mr S has been keeping a beady eye on the Home Affairs Select Committee, after tensions between Chairman Vaz and Tory committeeman Michael Ellis boiled over at the end of… Continue reading

London Landmarks At Night

Parliament itself shouldn’t drag MPs down

24 January 2014 14:56

The conventional image of Parliament is of a grand, imposing building packed with ancient traditions. The reality for those who work in it isn’t quite so glamorous: mouse-infested offices, administrative… Continue reading

Photo: Getty Images.

John Bercow is his own worst enemy

14 November 2013 18:20

John Bercow has done many good things as Speaker. But he’s in danger of being the second Speaker in a row to be turfed out. Why? Because he can’t let… Continue reading

Members Of The New Coalition Cabinet Arrive For Their First Cabinet Meeting

Are Parliament’s select committees working? – I say no

5 November 2013 18:57

Our parliamentary select committees need to be taken seriously. Yet, for them to be so, we need to clarify their legal powers, use wider expertise and practice what we preach.… Continue reading

Jack Straw Is Recalled To Give Evidence At the Iraq Inquiry

Farewell Jack Straw

25 October 2013 23:14

It is a shame that we will be losing Jack Straw at the next election. He has just announced his attention to stand down from a seat he has occupied… Continue reading