Latest from Coffee House

Latest from Coffee House

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

Isabel Hardman

If only Starmer had answered his own questions at PMQs

Is Rishi Sunak going to announce the election date later today? Speculation was – once again – so rife that the Prime Minister might be about to make some kind of announcement that the question came up at Prime Minister’s Questions. And he didn’t answer it. When SNP Westminster group leader Stephen Flynn asked him,

Gavin Mortimer

Men in tights: football’s next problem?

It was 21° celsius in London on Sunday so it was curious to see Everton’s Idrissa Gueye wearing tights underneath his shorts as his team lost at Arsenal on the last day of the Premier League season. Tights appear to be a relatively new look for the 34-year-old Gueye, who started the early part of

The SNP vows to make poverty history – again

There is a weary inevitability about Scotland’s First Minister, John Swinney, promising to ‘eradicate child poverty’ as his ‘single most important objective’. We’ve been here before. Both Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon promised to do exactly the same. Indeed, those of us with long memories recall the Scottish Labour minister, Wendy Alexander, vowing in 1999 at the dawn

Patrick O'Flynn

Voters want safe streets, not small changes to inflation

For Rishi Sunak, today amounts to another instalment of the fantastic success story of his premiership: that ‘the plan is working’. A new key statistic about the rate of inflation shows that consumer prices are rising much less quickly. Taming inflation is the singular success among the five key targets he set out at the

Katy Balls

Is Rishi Sunak about to call an election?

Will Rishi Sunak call an election today? That is the rumour ripping through Westminster. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions this lunchtime, Sunak did little to quell the speculation. When asked by the SNP’s Stephen Flynn whether the rumours were right that a July election announcement was imminent, Sunak replied ‘spoiler alert’, before repeating his usual

Steerpike

Watch: ‘Bionic MP’ welcomed back to parliament

It’s a momentous day for Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay. Today the Tory politician returned to the Commons following a prolonged battle with sepsis after being admitted to hospital with the life-threatening condition last September. After becoming suddenly unwell overnight, the politician was rushed to A&E where he developed disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). In a bid

Steerpike

Wallace turns his guns on the Foreign Office

Uh oh. This time, it seems, mandarins at the Foreign Office have finally gone too far. In a scathing piece penned for the Telegraph, former defence secretary Ben Wallace has opened fire on civil servants after the Foreign Office drew up a statement on the death of Iran’s president. Ministers have refused to use wording

The ICC arrest warrant request for Netanyahu is repulsive

On Monday, Karim Khan KC, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced that he had applied for warrants for the arrest of three leaders of Hamas as well as the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and defence minister, Yoav Gallant. If Khan thought that applying for arrest warrants for both Israeli and Hamas leaders would show how fair he is, he was gravely mistaken If Khan thought that applying for arrest warrants

Cindy Yu

China will struggle to resist Biden’s trade war

Attending a business summit in Shanghai earlier this year, I was struck by how downbeat the mood was. China’s stagnant economy, in particular the slow-motion meltdown of the property market, had clipped investor confidence across a number of industries. One Italian businessman told me the event had many fewer international attendees than previous years. But

Judges are empowering Just Stop Oil

It has been argued that the preparedness of the courts to declare governmental action unlawful is vital to the rule of law. Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. Yesterday’s High Court decision which annulled new police powers to control protests shows that there might be two sides to this, especially when you find yourself on the school run behind a deliberately

James Heale

Visa figures fall again – but is it enough?

It’s a big day for stats in British politics. Following the news that inflation has dropped to 2.3 per cent, the Home Office has this morning published its latest figures for visa applications. They reveal a 25 per cent fall across all visa routes in the first four months of 2024, following the package of

Sainsbury’s self-checkouts are just the start

Sainsbury’s has long had a special place in my heart. The weekly shop at the Orange Store offered excitement to a child and a comforting familiarity that my adult self has found hard to shake off. But roll on the decades and I’m standing, dismayed, in my local Sainsbury’s. The boss of Sainsbury’s has claimed

Zelensky’s time as president is up, but he’s right to stay put

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky’s five-year term is up, but he’s staying put. Unsurprisingly, some of Zelensky’s critics – and the Kremlin – have questioned his legitimacy. But Zelensky, who marked five years in office on 20 May, is right not to step down. The idea that, as a result, there has been some unprecedented outrage

Steerpike

Prince Harry loses bid to name Murdoch in phone-hacking trial

As much as Prince Harry claims to hate the media, he never manages to stay out of the spotlight for long. Now it transpires that the renegade royal has been reprimanded by a High Court judge for trying to bag ‘trophy targets’ — and has been told that he cannot take phone-hacking allegations against Rupert

Stephen Daisley

How Israel should fight back against the ICC’s lawfare

The application for arrest warrants against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defence minister Yoav Gallant is an act of lawfare. In seeking the detention of Israel’s political and military leadership during its war against Hamas, Karim Ahmad Khan, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), is inviting that body to intervene in the conflict.

Gareth Southgate has finally shown some bottle

The provisional England squad for the Euros unveiled by manager Gareth Southgate contains one notable omission: Jordan Henderson. That’s a big surprise, not because the midfielder deserves to be on the plane to Germany this summer, but for what it says about the thinking of the normally ultra-loyal Southgate, who is often accused of picking

Kate Andrews

UK growth is creeping up – but tough decisions still lie ahead

Today the International Monetary Fund has upgraded its growth forecasts for the UK: from 0.5 per cent this year to 0.7 per cent, followed by a 1.5 per cent rise in 2025 (unchanged from its previous update). These forecasts still sit slightly below the Office for Budget Responsibility’s most recent predictions – but only just.

James Heale

Gove sounds the alarm on anti-Semitism

Multiple ministers are out giving speeches today but none will be as hard-hitting as that made by Michael Gove this morning. Britain, he warned, risks ‘descending into the darkness’ if it fails to tackle growing anti-Semitism in the wake of the 7 October attacks. Much of the Community Secretary’s ire was directed at the recent pro-Palestine campus

Gavin Mortimer

The far right isn’t the only threat ahead of the European elections

In France, Holland, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Hungary and Austria parties described by their foes as ‘far-right’ are on course for significant gains at next month’s European elections. To the chagrin of progressive politicians, Giorgia Meloni, Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders are popular with many voters. But centrist groups in the European Parliament are determined

Steerpike

Europe’s leaders hail Rwanda scheme

Well, well, well. Rishi Sunak’s immigration plans have been met with a fairly underwhelming response in Britain – only a quarter of people believe the Rwanda scheme will work, while the PM has faced some rather public dissent from within his own ranks over his record on small boats. But the Rwanda policy does in

How did the EU get Raisi’s death so wrong?

Most of the world will not mourn the president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash near Varzaqan in Iran, this week. Dubbed the ‘Butcher of Tehran’, Raisi was responsible for the deaths of thousands in a purge of political dissent in the 1980s. Since becoming president he has overseen the brutal