James Forsyth rssJames_Forsyth-80x98

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in the Mail on Sunday.

David Cameron And George Osborne Speak To Staff At Skanska

David Cameron must tackle the optimism deficit

26 April 2014

There is an optimism deficit in British politics. Politicians seem incapable of making a positive argument for anything, including the country itself. The British government’s case in the Scottish independence… Read more

(Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty)

How David Cameron does God (even when his Chancellor wishes he wouldn't)

19 April 2014

If Ed Miliband wins the next election, he’ll be Britain’s first atheist Prime Minister. It is a sign of how social attitudes have changed that Miliband feels comfortable wearing his… Read more

Jeremy Browne Photo: AFP/Getty

Could Jeremy Browne be the anti-Nigel Farage?

12 April 2014

Conviction politics is back. The two men making the political weather at the moment, Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage, both serve their politics neat. They have no interest in any… Read more

Duke Of Edinburgh's 90th Birthday

Two coming revolutions: in election tactics, and in Whitehall

5 April 2014

This is a unique moment in British politics. All three major parties have a realistic prospect of being in power after the next election, but they are all acutely aware… Read more

Ed Miliband's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference

Has Ed Miliband's luck finally run out?

29 March 2014

Ask anyone in Westminster about the obstacles to a Tory victory in next year’s election and you’ll hear a well-rehearsed answer. The constituency boundaries are so ancient that Labour can… Read more

The Chancellor George Osborne Prepares To Give His Budget To Parliament

The risks for Osborne now he's back on top

22 March 2014

The old Budget traditions are dying off. No Chancellor has observed Budget purdah, the tradition of not speaking about the economy for two months beforehand, since Norman Lamont. These days,… Read more

Education Secretary Michael Gove Speech On Education Reform

Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and the return of Tory wars

15 March 2014

From the moment he took his job, Michael Gove knew that he would make energetic and determined enemies. The teachers’ unions, local councillors and even his own department all stood… Read more


Patrick McLoughlin on HS2, rebellion and Ukip

8 March 2014

It was, perhaps, inevitable that heading to interview the Transport Secretary I would end up stuck in traffic — so by the time I reached Patrick McLoughlin’s office, I was… Read more

Main Political Parties Take Heavy Losses In UK Euro Vote

Welcome to the age of four-party politics

1 March 2014

Two things will make the next general election campaign quite unlike any previous election in this country. The first is that we now have four-party politics right across Britain. In… Read more

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L)

Only Angela Merkel can save David Cameron now

22 February 2014

British politicians still prize a visit from the President of the United States above all others. Yet no American President has been as important to a British Prime Minister, in… Read more


If David Cameron can't get the floods right, all his hopes will wash away

15 February 2014

It is all hands to the pump in Downing Street. The entire No. 10 operation from the Prime Minister down to the Policy Unit is focused on the floods. ‘We… Read more

Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband Focuses On The Economy

Ed's finally reforming Labour. So why are the unions happy?

8 February 2014

Ed Miliband has his legacy. Or, at least, what he hopes will be the first part of it. He has succeeded in scrapping the system by which he was elected… Read more


The coalition is now an open marriage

1 February 2014

Without any fanfare or formal announcement, the government has moved into a new phase. ‘We’re not in a coalition now. We’re just cohabiting,’ says one Liberal Democrat. ‘We’re a sexless… Read more

David Cameron And Jeremy Hunt Visit A Hospital To Mark The 65th Anniversary Of The NHS

What the NHS owes the Tories

25 January 2014

Pinned to the wall of Jeremy Hunt’s office in the Department of Health is an A1 piece of paper detailing that week’s ‘Never Events’. It catalogues the mistakes that have… Read more

British Prime Minister David Cameron Visits China

Cameron’s mission for 2014: stay out of third place

18 January 2014

European elections are normally an afterthought in British politics. As even David Cameron admits, most of us struggle to remember who our MEPs are. Two-thirds of us don’t even bother… Read more

(Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/GettyImages)

James Forsyth: The Lib Dems' fight to keep facing both ways

4 January 2014

This will be the coalition’s last full year, and it is remarkable how few people are talking about how it will all end. Last January, every conversation in Westminster was… Read more

Scottish Referendum 'Better Together' Campaigners On The Streets Of Glasgow

James Forsyth: Insurgents are remaking British politics

14 December 2013

Next year will decide the fate of the United Kingdom. The Scottish independence referendum on the 18th of September could destroy the Union, and when we sit down to Christmas… Read more

The Conservative Party Annual Conference Continues In Birmingham

Mandarins routinely take Fridays off and sometimes can't spell ministers' names. Why does this go on? 

7 December 2013

It’s a fact that most ministers are most scared, not of their political rivals but of their civil servants. Ministers know that if they cross civil servants, all of their… Read more

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Os

Filming Bono, fighting Balls - how George Osborne's preparing for his autumn statement

30 November 2013

James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman discuss George Osborne’s 2013 Autumn statement: Next week’s autumn statement looks at first as if it should be easy for George Osborne. For the first… Read more

An Alternative View Of The Labour Party Annual Conference

How the Blair-Brown tussle influences the top Tory and Labour partnerships

23 November 2013

Listen to James Forsyth discuss the tale of two political partnerships: Six and a half years after Gordon Brown finally badgered Tony Blair out of Downing Street, the relationship between… Read more

John Bercow (Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

John Bercow must rein it in — Parliament can't afford to depose two Speakers in a row

16 November 2013

John Bercow could go down as a great reforming Speaker of the House of Commons. It’s thanks to him, in large part, that the Commons chamber once again seems like… Read more


Aren't we already losing Scotland?

9 November 2013

Westminster has been gripped by talk of a referendum this week. But the excitement hasn’t been about the vote in ten months’ time that will decide whether Scotland remains part… Read more

Bristol Goes To The Polls To Appoint Their First Elected Mayor

The next election will break all the rules

2 November 2013

Ed Miliband’s aides used to scurry around the parliamentary estate, their shoulders hunched. A look in their eyes suggested that they feared their boss’s harshest critics were right. But times… Read more


Growth is not enough — the Tories must show they're not the party of the rich

26 October 2013

The mood was grim when David Cameron, George Osborne and their advisers convened for a crunch meeting on 4 February this year. The economy had shrunk in the final three… Read more

Prime Minister David Cameron And Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Visit Essex

What must Cameron give to Clegg for the Lib Dems to stay loyal?

19 October 2013

Ten days before polling day in 2010, it was clear that a hung parliament was the most likely result of the election. But when interviewed by The Spectator at the… Read more