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Government could still face defeat on EU purdah row

Will ministers really avoid a defeat on the question of purdah in the EU referendum bill on Monday? They hope… Continue reading

The Times on Pope Francis and abortion: the worst piece of religious reporting ever?

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The headline on page 33 of today’s Times reads: ‘Repent and we will forgive abortions, Pope tells women’. It’s a… Continue reading

Another joker votes for Jeremy Corbyn

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After a number of pranksters attempted to infiltrate Labour’s voting system, the party had to take extreme steps in order to weed out… Continue reading

The Great British Bake Off becomes latest victim of ‘clean eating’ cult

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In a world in which wholesome recipes by the likes of Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith are being spurned in favour of lean alternatives from green… Continue reading

Rebekah Brooks returns to News UK to head up Rupert Murdoch’s empire

Former Chief Executive Of News International Rebekah Brooks Gives Evidence To The Leveson Inquiry

It’s all change at News UK today after it was confirmed that Rebekah Brooks will be making a triumphant return to… Continue reading

The Tories are playing a risky game with their ‘hostile environment’ policy on migration

A protester holds a flag reading 'welcome' during a rally against ill-treatment of migrants after the bodies of 71 refugees were found in an abandoned truck last week in Vienna on August 31, 2015 (Photo: Patrick Domingo/Getty)

It comes to something when the rather bizarre Labour leadership contest forces David Cameron to defend his government’s approach to… Continue reading

Labour’s centrists have held up the white flag of surrender

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Announces His Party's Education Manifesto

Smart political operators are often the stupidest people. In conventional Westminster terms, it was smart of Labour’s Chuka Umunna to… Continue reading

The Free Schools revolution marches on — if Cameron holds his nerve

General View Of The West London Free School Co-founded By Toby Young

David Cameron has vowed he will ‘not waver’ in his commitment to free schools and has announced another 500 will open over… Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents are finally starting to show political nous

The Labour Party Conference Continues

Chuka Umunna’s call for Labourites to unite around their new leader and show ‘solidarity’ does show a growing acceptance that… Continue reading

Accuracy concerns grow over Anthony Seldon’s biography of David Cameron

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Anthony Seldon and Peter Snowdon’s biography of David Cameron has not even been released yet but already it has managed… Continue reading

Here’s the answer to your migrant crisis, Mr Cameron

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For all its difficulties, Europe is prosperous and safe: one of the best places on Earth. Many other societies have… Continue reading

When will the EU referendum be held? Here are three possible dates

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David Cameron has promised to hold an EU referendum before 2017 is over, but there have been no more details… Continue reading

Government tries to head off EU purdah defeat

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Ministers will publish amendments to the EU referendum bill later today that they hope will stave off a defeat in… Continue reading

WATCH: Why Steve Backshall is one of the best presenters on British television

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At a time when so much of television is read from autocue, it’s a joy to come across complete professionals whose love… Continue reading

Why don’t we launch a Kindertransport scheme for Syrians?

11 January 1939: a camp leader ringing the dinner bell at a camp for young Jewish 'Kindertransport', refugees from Germany and Austria, at Dovercourt Bay near Harwich (Photo by Reg Speller/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

I never knew my paternal grandfather, who was apparently a bitter, angry right-wing journalist who thought the world was going… Continue reading

Andy and Yvette — a tale of two ‘Anyone But Corbyn’ strategies

Labour leadership candidates Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham on stage at the Labour leadership hustings in Citywest hotel on June 9, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.

Who has the best chance of beating Jeremy Corbyn: Andy Burnham or Yvette Cooper? The Burnham and Cooper camps are… Continue reading

Ukip wars: Party’s London MEP blasts ‘undemocratic’ Mayoral and GLA selections

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Ukip’s selection procedure for its London Assembly and Mayoral candidates is ‘undemocratic’, the party’s own MEP for London has told Coffee House.… Continue reading

Pope Francis drops a bombshell: Catholics can receive absolution from dissident SSPX priests

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Pope Francis, unpredictable as ever, has just announced that during the forthcoming ‘Year of Mercy’, Catholics can receive absolution from… Continue reading

Protesters to serve up anti-Tory cake at party conference

Protest Takes Place Over Immigration Rights

The Great British Bake Off has been praised for getting the nation cooking. Now, it seems the fever has become… Continue reading

The paedophile panic has more than a hint of homophobia to it

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Harvey Proctor has done us all a favour. His press conference last week about the hysterical allegations being made against him… Continue reading

‘Remain’ or ‘leave’ — the new EU referendum wording

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.

Forget ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ or ‘In’ and ‘Out’, the EU referendum question looks set to be a choice between ‘remain’… Continue reading

Yvette Cooper attacks ‘cowardly’ government and says Britain should take 10,000 refugees

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Yvette Cooper has just given a rather fine, bold speech on the refugee crisis. Some reading will disagree with her… Continue reading

Paul Mason comes to Alex Salmond’s defence over BBC bias

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With Alex Salmond currently engaged in a war of words with Nick Robinson over the BBC’s ‘disgraceful’ coverage of the… Continue reading

Nigel Farage shows why he shouldn’t lead the ‘No’ campaign

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Nigel Farage is kickstarting Ukip’s ‘No’ campaign this week, having grown fed up with the lack of momentum from other corners. On… Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn isn’t alone in thinking that Osama bin Laden’s death was ‘a tragedy’

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The news that Jeremy Corbyn thought the death of Osama bin Laden ‘a tragedy‘ because he was never put on trial… Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn is Britain’s Donald Trump (and vice versa)

Labour Leadership Candidate Jeremy Corbyn Continues His Welsh Tour

The silly season is supposed to end tomorrow. September sidles in and normality replaces August’s frivolity. The reality of winter… Continue reading

No wonder Osborne didn’t want the EU referendum – it may derail his journey to No10

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Another disclosure from Anthony Seldon’s upcoming biography of David Cameron: he reveals that George Osborne tried to stop the referendum European Union… Continue reading

Has Jeremy Corbyn ever bothered to speak to ‘the other side’?

Labour Leadership Candidate Jeremy Corbyn speaks at a rally for supporters at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl on August 25, 2015 in Southampton, England.

I had a piece in the Sunday Times yesterday about Jeremy Corbyn and the dodgy excuse he and his spokespeople… Continue reading

If Tony Blair thought that Gaddafi wanted to cut a deal, why did no one follow up?

Blair and Gaddafi

Just a few months ago, almost everyone thought that David Cameron was a goner. That he was about to go… Continue reading

Chrissie Hynde is right – women should take responsibility for their actions

Chrissie Hynde In Concert, Koko, London, Britain - 16 Dec 2014.

The popular singer Chrissie Hynde has been reprimanded by feminist campaigners for speaking common sense. Hynde, who is somewhat more… Continue reading

Why a politician-free House of Lords is the only democratic solution

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In my business, there’s a lot of fretting about the idea of representativeness. Pollsters put questions to, say, a thousand people –… Continue reading

Sorry Owen Jones, but your moral grandstanding won’t solve the migrant crisis

Migrants crawl under a barbed fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke (Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Getty)

I’m getting tired of the self-righteousness of Owen Jones. His response to the terrible spate of deaths of people fleeing… Continue reading

Peaceful yet violent: the Thai paradox that still baffles the West

The damaged Brahma statue at the Hindu Erawan shrine (Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty)

The scene of the recent bombing at the Erawan shrine has swiftly been remodelled to make it seem as though nothing… Continue reading

When David told Boris to ‘f—ing shut up’

London Mayor Boris Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron arrive at the Advantage children's daycare nursery on April 22, 2015 in Surbiton, England.

Oh dear. Although Lord Ashcroft said he would be pleasantly surprised if Anthony Seldon’s biography of David Cameron offered anything more… Continue reading

Tony Blair has given up on Labour’s leadership election

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Appears Before The Committee Investigating The On The Runs Scheme

It’s not entirely surprising that Tony Blair fancied one last chance to plead with his party not to elect Jeremy… Continue reading

Magazine

Corbyn-Propaganda

How can Labour’s centrists survive?

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Labour’s centrist forces could take years to recover. Or forever

Forget Chilcot. Here’s the inquiry we really need

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What we really need is an inquiry into why so many of us are so eager to support ‘humanitarian’ wars

What I’ve learned helping to found a specialist free school

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Lessons from the first year of our specialist maths school

Bristol, the European capital of green nannying and bureaucracy

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Environmental nannying is wrecking my beloved Bristol

Columnists

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Charles Moore’s Notes: the Tories’ adoption of the Living Wage is entirely bogus

Was there ever a more unilluminating political idea — for voters rather than practitioners — than triangulation? For those readers so… Read more

Pig-ignorant click activists are in charge now. Jeremy Corbyn’s success proves it

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Daily they drop into my email account — alongside the more obviously useful stuff about how I might elongate my penis… Read more

Millions of us honestly don’t know what our duty is to migrants – and Christianity doesn’t help

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Proximity shouldn’t make a difference — should it? We were on a beach on the European side of the Mediterranean,… Read more

The real lesson of the Hillary Clinton emails: most secrets are boring

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‘Gefilte fish,’ emailed Hillary Clinton to a pair of aides in March 2010, ‘where are we on this?’ That was… Read more

The good economic news that we forgot in the China panic

Well not quite but it's some good news

Home from the hot Aegean, huddled by the fire as rain ruins the bank holiday weekend, I’m thinking: what gloom… Read more

Books

British troops go over the top on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme

The British army’s greatest catastrophe — and its most valuable lesson

Peter Parker spends 24 hours on the bloodsoaked battlefield of the Somme, scene of the British army’s greatest catastrophe

Gore Vidal, wannabe aristocrat and proud degenerate

Gore Vidal at his italian residence in Ravello on the Amalfi coast (Photo: Getty)

History for Gore Vidal was a vehicle to be ridden in triumph, perhaps as… Read more

This way to a parallel universe, via north Oxford

Author Iain Pears (Photo: Getty)

As a novelist, Iain Pears doesn’t repeat himself, and he gives with a generous… Read more

Augustus: here was a Caesar! Or at least his great-nephew

Statue of Augustus in Orange, southern France

It’s strange that tourists rarely visit the most famous site in Roman history. The… Read more

Introducing the silent narrator

Author Andrew Miller (Photo: Getty)

Andrew Miller’s seventh novel, and the first since Pure, which won the Costa Book… Read more

Bacon on the side: the great painter’s drinking partner tells all

Francis Bacon in Paris in 1984

When Michael Peppiatt met Francis Bacon in 1963 to interview him for a student… Read more

What it took to wage holy war, Medieval style

A French illuminated manuscript shows supplies being loaded onto boats before departing for the Crusades

For most of history, religion and war have been the most powerful social instincts… Read more

The facts behind France’s most potent modern myth

Members of the Maquis study the mechanism and maintenance of weapons dropped by parachute in the Haute-Loire

Patrick Marnham unravels some of the powerful, often conflicting myths surrounding the French Resistance

Ghosts of the past haunt Pat Barker’s bomb-strewn London

The devastation left behind after the Blitz (Photo: Getty)

If the early Martin Amis is instantly recognisable by way of its idiosyncratic slang… Read more

The dangerous red-headed league

‘La Ghirlandata’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

‘Gentlemen prefer blondes,’ Anita Loos pronounced, ‘but gentlemen marry brunettes.’ Quite what they do… Read more

Arts

The way we were: Dame Peggy Ashcroft as Queen Margaret, with Donald Sinden and cast members, in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Wars of the Roses’, Stratford, 1963

Shakespeare's Wars of the Roses is being staged without a single black actor. So what?

Trevor Nunn is staging Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses without a single black actor. So what, says Robert Gore-Langton

Orchestral conductors would be much better if they tried performing Renaissance music

Michael Tilson Thomas (Photo: Getty)

To be honest, my friendship with Michael Tilson Thomas hasn’t gone quite as I had hoped. It started in February… Read more

Sensory overload: Paul Neagu, Anthony Caro and Bernat Klein reviewed

Palpable painting: ‘Scandia’, 1971, Bernat Klein

‘The eye is fatigued, perverted, shallow, its culture is degenerate, degraded and obsolete.’ Welcome to the Palpable Art Manifesto of… Read more

Finally James Delingpole gets why women are so pissed off

Dr. Amanda Foreman

Finally I realise why women are so pissed off. It all goes back to the first codified laws — circa… Read more

The Magic Flute has never made more cartoonish sense - an Edinburgh Festival roundup

Magic in the air: Berlin Comic Opera’s exuberant ‘Magic Flute’ at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre

London may cry foul over Hamlet’s misplaced to-be-ing and not-to-be-ing but Edinburgh is in raptures over a Magic Flute which… Read more

Our Country’s Good prizes the concerns of the actors over the audience

Our Country's Good

Australia, 1788. A transport ship arrives in Port Jackson (later Sydney harbour) carrying hundreds of convicts and a detachment of… Read more

Late Night Woman’s Hour assumes that all women think about is dating, desire and drinking

Lauren Laverne (Photo: Getty)

Late Night Woman’s Hour has created a Twitter storm with its twice-weekly (Thursdays and Fridays) doses of ‘mischievous and unbridled… Read more

Life

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Before cruises there were crossings – the good old days!

 On board MS Queen Victoria   They remain engraved on my brain, like something out of a Greek tragedy, so… Read more

Taki's table talk and my fears about the Spectator cruise

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Last Saturday afternoon, in Venice, 31 Spectator readers, plus Martin Vander Weyer, the great Taki and I came aboard the… Read more

Hell is dealing with police bureaucracy

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‘Yes, you can report it, but it’s going to take ten minutes to go through the process,’ said the oppressively… Read more

I lived next to St Paul’s Cathedral as a baby in 1940 – it’s a miracle I am alive

St Paul's Cathedral just after the blitz (Photo: Getty)

While the Germans were raining bombs on London during the second world war, the architects’ department of London County Council… Read more

Mrs Oakley has finally seen the light about racing

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Heaven be praised for the sinner who repenteth, however long it takes. For President George Bush Senior, his occasional meetings… Read more