Latest from Coffee House

Latest from Coffee House

All the latest analysis of the day's news and stories

Isabel Hardman

Starmer skewers Sunak on Rwanda at PMQs

It was another clear win for Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions today. The Labour leader decided to take a mocking tilt at the latest iteration of the Rwanda policy. He asked Rishi Sunak how successful it had been: ‘If the purpose of the Rwanda gimmick was to solve a political headache of the Tories’


Key moments: Boris faces the music at the Covid inquiry

Today’s the day. The start of one of the most highly anticipated evidence sessions at the Covid Inquiry sees former Prime Minister Boris Johnson take the hot seat. Here are the key points from his evidence so far: Baroness Hallett reprimands those leaking Covid evidence Baroness Hallett told Johnson that his statement is supposed to

Has Sunak done enough to fix the Rwanda plan?

When the Supreme Court found against the government on the Home Office’s Rwanda policy in November, the plan appeared to be dead in the water. The court made clear that there were substantial grounds to think that asylum claims would not be properly determined by the Rwandan authorities. As a result, it concluded that asylum

Is this the fall of Nicolas Maduro? 

Venezuela’s dictator Nicholas Maduro has been embarrassed. In a transparent bid to rally political support, he asked voters to demand that their government annex two-thirds of Guyana through a hastily called plebiscite. Venezuelans did overwhelmingly support the plainly one-sided poll, but turnout was small and noticeably lacking in enthusiasm. It was not the result the regime

Ross Clark

Expectations are low for Boris Johnson at the Covid inquiry

Boris Johnson will be led into the Covid inquiry this morning like a condemned man. We have all seen enough of this inquiry to know the line of questioning he will receive: one that will try to portray him as a bumbling fool who rejected scientific advice to lock down, killing many thousands of people in


Omid Scobie’s royal tell-all flops

For a couple supposedly desperate for privacy, Meghan and Harry have an interesting definition of what it means to escape the spotlight. This time, however, they don’t have themselves entirely to thank. Journalist and royal-obsessive Omid Scobie has reopened the wounds of the regal family scandal after releasing his new biography Endgame, risking the wrath

Did Maori MPs mean to insult King Charles?

The co-leaders of New Zealand’s Māori party, Te Pāti Māori, have defended their actions at the swearing-in ceremony at parliament in Wellington on Tuesday. The party’s MPs all broke with protocol by standing and giving a whaikorero (formal address) when it was their turn to be sworn in. In their remarks, members of the party swore allegiance to

The war in Gaza is at a tipping point

The conflict in Gaza could be about to reach a defining moment. After weeks of air strikes, artillery bombardments and drone attacks, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) appear to have the Hamas leadership and those remaining fighters still loyal to the group’s murderous ideals trapped in ever-shrinking pockets of land. Intense street fighting is now

A review of Britain’s airport slots is long overdue

When passing through an airport, the average traveller is unlikely to give much thought to the invisible economic forces that run the place. But the way take-off and landing slots are allocated at an airport affects a range of things, not least ticket prices and the range of destinations you can reach. This week, the government has launched a consultation on overhauling the system

Matthew Lynn

There’s a reason the market is rejecting electric cars

They are cheap to run. They rarely break down. And perhaps most of all they are far better for the environment. For the last decade we have been endlessly lectured about how electric cars are so completely superior to the petrol variety that they would quickly dominate the market. But hold on. Now that some


Penny Mordaunt takes a dig at the Old Etonians

It’s Christmas party season in Westminster and tonight it was the turn of the Adam Smith Institute to do the honours. The free market think tank turned to Penny Mordaunt for her now-traditional turn on the seasonal circuit. Steerpike’s sources tell him that the Leader of the House writes most of the gags that she

Ross Clark

Why are fewer people buying electric cars?

The rebellion of 26 Conservative MPs against the government’s zero electric vehicle (ZEV) mandate couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Prime Minister. The ZEV will compel manufacturers to ensure that, from 1 January,  at least 22 per cent of their car sales are pure electric. Yet simultaneously comes news of a collapse


Remainers proven wrong about Brexit security risks

Another day, another Remoaner myth destroyed. Today’s report on International Partnerships by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee finds that ‘Brexit has not had a negative impact on intelligence co-operation between the UK and EU member states’. How very curious – not least because of the incessant warnings spouted by Brexit pessimists of the very opposite

Is Nicolas Maduro planning to annex part of Guyana?

Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro seems to be in something of a political pickle. On Sunday, he held a referendum on whether or not Venezuela should annex Essequibo, a dense jungle region which makes up two-thirds of neighbouring Guyana. In the end, 95 per cent voted to support Venezuela’s claim to the land (Maduro hailed this as an


Scottish Labour splits with Starmer on Thatcher

Labour might be making headway in the polls, but the party’s rifts haven’t gone away. Today, Anas Sarwar, the leader of Scottish Labour, has hit out at the late Margaret Thatcher – only days after Sir Keir Starmer praised her ‘natural entrepreneurialism’ in his Sunday Telegraph op-Ed. Speaking to reporters, Sarwar said: Margaret Thatcher destroyed

The reason Xi and Putin liked Henry Kissinger

On Henry Kissinger’s passing, Xi Jinping published a letter, extolling this ‘old friend of China’ as a man of ‘outstanding strategic vision’, whose exploits not just benefited the relationship between China and the United States, but also ‘changed the world’. Xi’s tribute reads like an indictment of the current lamentable state of Sino-American relations (clearly by


Tory right want migration crackdown to go further

Uh oh. Less than a day has passed since James Cleverly announced his new five-point immigration plan and already there are noises from the Tory right suggesting they want more. Recently-ousted home secretary Suella Braverman said last night the government ‘can go further’ and that the ‘package is too late’. It followed comments made last

Nella Rose
Gareth Roberts

Why Nella Rose was booted from I’m a Celeb

Farewell Nella Rose, second to be voted out of the jungle on the 2023 series of I’m A Celebrity…  As always, it’s hard (at least for a soft-hearted chump like me) not to melt and mellow when an evicted campmate returns to the real world via the recivilising medium of an Ant and Dec exit interview.

If France can ignore the ECHR, why can’t we?

A couple of weeks ago, according to a story broken last Friday in Le Monde, the French government did the unthinkable. ‘MA’, as he has been dubbed by the French press, is an Uzbek exile and alleged radical Islamist who has long been a thorn in France’s side. Allegedly linked to the Islamist party Hizb-ut-Tahrir (which he

Patrick O'Flynn

Why didn’t Sunak listen to Braverman’s migration warning?

Conventional wisdom about politics isn’t quite always wrong: it is merely shown by the passage of events to have been in error in the vast majority of cases. Consider the unhappy relationship between Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman over immigration policy. The Westminster Village – media and political practitioners alike – generally accepted that Sunak

James Heale

Cleverly to sign fresh Rwanda deal

Fresh from his big statement in the Commons, James Cleverly has landed this morning in Kigali. The Home Secretary’s focus yesterday was on legal migration and bringing down the net total down by 300,000; today it’s on illegal migration and fixing the Rwanda scheme. Three weeks ago, the Supreme Court ruled it unlawful on the

What fiction can teach us about terrorism

The first decade of this century, following Al Qaeda’s attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in September 2001, was something of a golden age for films about terrorism, a spate of them following in quick succession. In the light of Hamas’s 7 October mass-killing of innocent Israelis, it’s interesting and informative to watch


Gove promises ‘Dawn will be coming’

He has served under four of the last five Tory premiers. So who better to address revellers at the ConservativeHome Christmas shindig than Michael Gove? This evening the Levelling Up Secretary took to the stage to deliver the canapé equivalent of a state of the nation address. And, in true Gove style, he began by

Isabel Hardman

Sunak loses Commons vote for first time as PM

The government has just been defeated in the Commons for the first time since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister. It wasn’t on one of the issues Sunak and his camp fret most about: it was on compensation for victims of the contaminated blood scandal. It was close: the government lost by just four votes on

Kate Andrews

The Tories’ migration crackdown will have many victims

The UK’s immigration system must be ‘fair, consistent, legal and sustainable’, proclaimed the new Home Secretary as he presented his ‘five-point plan’ to reduce legal migration in parliament. James Cleverly billed these changes as ‘more robust action than any government’ has taken before to reduce the headline net migration figure.  They involve increasing the skilled