Prime Minister David Cameron Reacts To The Scottish Referendum Decision

Once upon a time David Cameron had a story to tell; he needs to remember it and tell it again

It is easy to inflate the importance of speeches made at party conferences. Particularly when those speeches are the last… Continue reading

Tory nerves over Osborne welfare gamble

Image: Getty

Will George Osborne get away with his conference gamble that hits working families? The Chancellor’s speech would have received a… Continue reading

Without Michael Gove the Tories have no moral mission on education

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan addresses delegates on day three of the Conservative Party conference. Image: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Why is Nicky Morgan the Education Secretary? She’s long been billed as a rising star in the government and has… Continue reading

TM4PM: It’s on

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Most Secretaries of State tend to lay low the night before their big conference speech, redrafting and practising. Not so… Continue reading

Why is Theresa May pretending that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’?

(Photo: Getty)

In advance of the Home Secretary’s speech today the Conservative party issued an advance briefing of its ‘new strategy for… Continue reading

Has Cameron actually considered the realities of his seven-day GP access scheme?


David Cameron’s seven-day opening scheme for GPs sounds like an excellent idea for patients, but I’m not convinced it is.… Continue reading

Leaked lines to take for Tory MPs show party nerves about Ukip

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Tory conference has been much more upbeat than last week’s gloomy offer from Labour. But just in case the party… Continue reading

Theresa May was a tough act for Boris Johnson to follow

Boris Johnson and Theresa May. Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Boris Johnson and Theresa May both fancy a pop at the Tory leadership and both gave speeches today that showed… Continue reading

Theresa May’s speech on terrorism and extremism – full text and audio

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Our values will prevail in the fight against terrorism and extremism Thank you, Alexander, for that thoughtful and inspiring speech.… Continue reading

Oops! The ONS admits the UK economy is far stronger than it had thought

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Why do economists use decimal points? To show that they have a sense of humour. Never was this old gag… Continue reading

Is London’s Richard Barnes the final Ukip defector?

Richard Barnes (Photo: Getty)

The gossip here in Birmingham is that there is a third defector from the Tories to Ukip, that David Cameron knows… Continue reading

The Spectator at war: The ‘butcher’s bill’

Over the top -- British soldiers in the trenches. Image: Getty

From The Spectator, 3 October 1914: There has been a good deal of speculation of late as to the total… Continue reading

If David Cameron wants seven-day GP clinics, he’ll need market reform

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Today, David Cameron will pledge that if he’s re-elected he’ll give everyone access to a family doctor seven days a… Continue reading

Chris Kelly distressed by Ukip rumours and has denied them to closest family

Eric Pickles and Chris Kelly. Image: Flickr/DCLG

Like all MPs suspected as potential Ukip defectors, Chris Kelly is being hounded by colleagues, whips and journalists all desperate… Continue reading

Loyal Boris rallies the troops

Boris Johnson Stand For Selection As An MP

Boris Johnson was on loyal form tonight at the Conservative Home rally. He told the audience that the Tory advantage… Continue reading

Turncoats, ‘dickheads’ – what the Tories think of Ukip

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The Tories are bracing themselves for another defection to Ukip which may or may not come today or in the… Continue reading

Podcast: George Osborne’s conference speech

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Isabel Hardman and James Forsyth were both at George Osborne’s speech this afternoon. Here’s a special podcast, with analysis of the… Continue reading

Eric Pickles: The Conservatives are building houses – and bringing power to the people

David Cameron with two first-time buyers. Image: Getty

A great country is built on strong communities. And strong communities are built on the shoulders of individuals – ordinary… Continue reading

Dan Hannan boycotts Tory conference (but promises he won’t defect to Ukip)


No Mark Reckless, no Brooks Newmark and now no Bow Group.  The oldest conservative think-thank has announced that they are… Continue reading

Why I love this feminist who hit nuns and shot Andy Warhol


Just as I was feeling frustrated about the lack of robust books on feminism I spot a real corker: Valerie… Continue reading

Osborne’s speech gambled on voters accepting more austerity

Choose a blue future (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

George Osborne’s speech to Conservative conference was politically brave. He is gambling that the voting public will applaud his candour… Continue reading

The Tory MP who thinks Vince Cable is ‘obsolete’

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Out on the party scene, Mr S enjoyed BIS minister Matt Hancock’s description of his job to the Institute of Directors… Continue reading

Angry Dave’s jibe at ‘fat arse’ Reckless

Mr Angry (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

While last week’s Labour conference felt like a wake, the mood is a little better here in Birmingham for Tory party conference.… Continue reading

Did Osborne’s speech just finish with an ode to Trainspotting?

(Picture: Carla Millar)

George Osborne has just finished delivering his speech at the Tory party conference. More analysis to come, but Mr Steerpike… Continue reading

George Osborne’s speech in six graphs

(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

George Osborne normally shines at Tory conferences. A historian by training, Osborne knows the power of narrative and he had… Continue reading

How to sleep better: 5 tips for getting a good night’s sleep


Most people have trouble sleeping at one time or another; for some it’s a chronic problem. But making sure the… Continue reading

White Dee: I might back Ukip instead of Labour

White Dee speaking at a Policy Exchange fringe meeting (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

Back in February, Benefits Street star ‘White Dee’ promised to give David Cameron a ‘run for his money’. In her… Continue reading

Conservative conference: Liz Truss and Sajid Javid hit Labour


Two of the brightest rising stars in the Conservative party, Sajid Javid and Liz Truss, addressed the Tory conference. After… Continue reading



Cameron is, deep down, a Tory radical cutting back the state. It’s time he admitted it

The PM signals left while turning right. But now it’s time for clarity

How an Oxford degree – PPE – created a robotic governing class

British Treasury Secretary Danny Alexand

Britain is now run by Oxford PPE graduates. The consequences have been disastrous

Vaclav Klaus: the West’s lies about Russia are monstrous


Václav Klaus, the former Czech president, on David Cameron, the EU, Russia — and the end of free speech

Do adults really need to be taught about the moment of ‘consent’ in sex?


Universities are forcing undergraduates to attend sex education classes. Poor students

Michael Fallon: after Iraq, we need to think about bombing Syria.


The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is an eager interventionist


The Conservative Party Annual Conference Starts

Cameron must reunite the Tories or lose the next election

No one goes to Birmingham to revive a marriage. But that is what David Cameron and the Conservative party must… Read more

The greatest joy of playing Grand Theft Auto V? It lets you give the finger to the PC brigade


The last — and only — time I had sex with a whore she was so impressed by my performance… Read more

Is the US using bank fines to bring allies into line against Russia?


Here’s one for all you conspiracy nuts out there, prompted by readers’ comments on my recent item about whether BP… Read more

If we won’t talk to John Cantlie’s captors, then why not have Qataris to do it for us?


It is a horrible thing to say, but I suspect that sooner or later we will begin to get irritated… Read more


Julius Shulman: Case Study House #22, 1959 (architect: Pierre Koenig)

The Camera Always Lies

Stephen Bayley explores how the camera shapes our relationship with architecture

Tate Britain’s Turner show reveals an old master - though the Spectator didn’t think so at the time

‘Rain, Steam and Speed — The Great Western Railway’, 1844, by J.M.W. Turner

Juvenilia is the work produced during an artist’s youth. It would seem logical to think, therefore, that an artist’s output… Read more

Is John Hoyland the new Turner?

‘14.11.65’ by John Hoyland

What happens to an artist’s reputation when he dies? Traditionally, there was a period of cooling off when the reputation,… Read more

Robo-Tell hits Welsh National Opera

Quiet nobility: David Kempster as William Tell

Is there a fundamental, insuperable problem with staging Rossini’s Guillaume Tell on a budget, without the resources to conjure up… Read more

Outnumbered: The Movie (But Crap)

Rosamund Pike and family (L-R) Harriet Turnbull, Emilia Jones and Bobby Smalldridge

What We Did On Our Holiday is written and directed by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, the pair who created… Read more

‘Likes’, lacquered cherry pies and Anselm Kiefer: the weird world of post-internet art

‘Modern Family’, 2014, byEd Fornieles,at Chisenhale Gallery

In the mid-1990s the art world got excited about internet art (or ‘net.art’, as those involved styled it). This new… Read more

Why everyone loves Rembrandt

Portrait of a couple as Isaac and Rebecca, known as ‘The Jewish Bride’, c.1665, by Rembrandt

Talking of Rembrandt’s ‘The Jewish Bride’ to a friend, Vincent van Gogh went — characteristically — over the top. ‘I… Read more

Charles III is made for numbskulls by numbskulls

Doctor Scroggy’s War (Photo: Mark Douet)

Suppose Charles were to reign as a meddlesome, self-pitying, indecisive plonker. It’s a thought. It’s now a play, too, by… Read more

Marriage and foreplay Sharia-style


Needless to say, it’s not uncommon to hear single British women in their thirties and forties saying that all the… Read more


A civilian victim of the Great Famine in Athens, 1942. Photo: Evans/Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

My ghosts of Athens; a shooting and a royal wedding

Athens This grimy semi-Levantine ancient city has its beauty spots, with childhood memories indelibly attached. There is a turn-of-the-century apartment building across the street from my house where in 1942… Read more

Melissa Kite: a crazy woman is living inside my head.

This makes Melissa Kite angry. You wouldn't like her when she's angry. Photo: AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT

A crazy woman is living inside my head. It’s not just the normal crazy woman who camps out there from time to time and argues about parking tickets. It’s a… Read more

A visit to a drugs den above a fishmongers with Miss South America

Miss Brazil 2012. Not pictured: fishmonger. Image: Getty

‘Stand outside the fishmongers in 20 minutes and call this number,’ she said, ‘and I can arrange it.’ On Saturday evening I was scrubbed up for a big night out.… Read more

Winslow Hall shows you don’t need fancy sets to make opera enjoyable

A couple share a bottle of champagne at Glyndebourne. Can Christopher Gilmour's Winslow Hall become the fourth ‘G’ of England's country-house opera scene? Photo: Getty

Winslow Hall is a large and handsome country house in Buckinghamshire, built in 1700 by Sir Christopher Wren, which Tony Blair nearly bought in 2007 when he was looking for… Read more

From Burma — or maybe Saigon — to Manchester via Calcutta

England   We dropped off our daughter Eve at her new school in the Midlands and started the long journey home to Africa. On the train we sat down and… Read more