James Heale

Who will lead the Tories next?

Rishi Sunak performed a mea culpa when his shadow cabinet convened on Monday, taking full responsibility for the election loss. There were, he said, lots of lessons to be learned. He tried rallying his team, reminding them it was time to knuckle down and prepare for the King’s Speech. When those around the table began

The great bee-smuggling scandal

The principal concerns of the electors vary rather more widely than the pollsters and pundits would suggest. One man in Guisborough – probably middle-aged, short of teeth, a little unkempt – suggested to me that the government needed to clamp down on foreigners importing bees into the country. This was being done covertly, he said.

The new dark age

We have entered a new dark age. I’m not just referring to the situation in Britain since last week. Though if I were, that too would seem irrefutable. I mean in a far broader sense – that the world has entered a new dark age. The first dark age was characterised by a lack of information.

Why was Jeremy Hunt SHOUTING AT ME?

Robert Jenrick, once immigration minister and still, just, MP for Newark, said on Sunday that the Tories lost not because ‘they had this slogan or that slogan… but because they failed to deliver’. Yes, absolutely, they failed to deliver, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that the slogans were diabolical too. In fact it

The Spectator's Notes

What the Tories got wrong on housing

Sir Keir Starmer may be our first atheist prime minister, but his manner in parliament resembles that of what, in House of Lords terminology, is called a ‘Most Reverend prelate’. There is a lot of sonority about serving others, disagreeing well etc. These are good sentiments but, when trying to be good, ‘show, not tell’

Any other business

How safe do you feel boarding a Boeing?

‘They knocked down our old house in three hours,’ says a friend who has embarked on what he says is a conventional rebuild, nothing Grand Designs about it, on the south coast. ‘But it’s taking forever to get planning permission for the new one. They want reports on everything, from bats to highway impacts: you’d