Baroness warsi

The Spectator’s Notes | 11 April 2019

In his famous speech to both Houses of Parliament in March 1960, General De Gaulle praised Britain: ‘Although, since 1940, you have gone through the hardest vicissitudes in your history, only four statesmen [Churchill, Attlee, Eden and Macmillan] have guided your affairs in these extraordinary years. Thus, lacking meticulously worked-out constitutional texts, but by virtue of an unchallengeable general consent, you find the means on each occasion to ensure the efficient functioning of democracy.’ De Gaulle admired us and disliked us, and concluded that we threatened France if we joined the EEC. So he blocked our entry. He was right about us, wrong about the effect of our joining. By

How Sayeeda Warsi duped The Times

Today The Times have splashed on the revelation that Baroness Warsi is defecting from Out to In as a result of the ‘hate and xenophobia’ peddled by Leave. Given that the paper have run the news on its front page, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Leave camp really are ‘in turmoil’ over the defection of a ‘leading Tory’. Only there is a small snag. Vote Leave say they were never aware she was a supporter, while Dan Hannan says Warsi declined his invitation for her to join the Leave campaign: When I invited Sayeeda Warsi to join the Leave campaign, she declined. Fair enough, obviously. But how is this a "defection"?

Tom Goodenough

Baroness Warsi defects to ‘Remain’: ‘Leave aren’t the kind of people I’d get on a night bus with’

Baroness Warsi hasn’t always been one to help out the Prime Minister when he’s in a spot of bother. But her high-profile defection from the Brexit camp to Remain will certainly have put a smile on David Cameron’s face this morning. It’s not so much that Warsi was an essential part of Vote Leave’s plans; the campaign have been keen to downplay Warsi’s importance today, saying in a tweet that ‘they weren’t aware she was ever part of the Vote Leave campaign’. Michael Fabricant, a leading Brexiteer has also questioned whether Warsi was ever involved in the first place, asking ‘Was she ever in Out?’ Whilst it’s true her involvement

Mini Election: Sajid Javid on appealing to ethnic minorities and negative campaigning

The Conservative party still doesn’t attract enough ethnic minorities. In this week’s Mini Election video, I visit Essex to speak to the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid about what the Tories have done to increase their appeal to non-white voters. He thinks Baroness Warsi is wrong and believes that the Conservatives are not ‘set to lose’ the Muslim vote in May. We discussed whether Lord Bates’ comments about immigrant mothers having too many babies were likely to turn voters away. Javid acknowledged that there are real concerns about immigration that need to be addressed but did not explicitly say he disagreed with Bates’ remarks. With the proper campaign just one week away, is Javid at all concerned that

Baroness Warsi uses her retirement to provoke British Jews

If anyone ever wondered what the over-promoted, incapable and incompetent Baroness Sayeeda Warsi was planning to do in retirement, now we know: provoke British Jews on Twitter. Today, after four Jews, one a British citizen, were butchered while praying in Israel, Sayeeda Warsi used the opportunity to taunt British Jews. Not just the Zionist Federation but a former British Jewish communal leader as well. In Sayeeda Warsi’s world you see, Jews who protest that it is wrong only for Muslims to be allowed to pray at a site in Jerusalem holy to both Muslims and Jews are morally equivalent to Palestinian Muslims who use meat cleavers to butcher rabbis while they

Spectator letters: Indian soldiers, wigs, PR and 1984

We do remember them Sir: I applaud Tazi Husain’s defence of the role played by Baroness Warsi at Westminster Abbey during the first world war and his own role in driving forward the Tempsford Memorial Trust (Letters, 23 August). But he is mistaken in believing that soldiers of the Indian army (and other Imperial forces) are not commemorated. The whole point of war memorials in the UK is to remember and honour the fallen of the town, village or institution that they came from, in that place. Few if any UK residents who fell in 1914–18 would have originated from the subcontinent. The proper place for such memorials would be their

Baroness Warsi’s parting shot contains a serious warning for the Tories

Baroness Warsi’s interview with the Sunday Times and Independent on Sunday is, unsurprisingly, not just about her discomfort with the government’s policy in the Middle East. The Independent on Sunday uses her jibe at public school Tories as its top line, while the Sunday Times splashes on the peer’s warning that the Tories have left it a ‘little too late’ to attract more votes from ethnic minorities. Her criticisms, aimed as a parting shot at her colleagues, may be discounted for being just that: nothing more than a sour parting shot from someone who found that a number of people who worked with her were only too pleased to see

Podcast: Boris is back, Baroness Warsi’s resignation and the demise of the ‘nice girl’

Here comes Boris! After he announced yesterday that he will stand as an MP in 2015, the next Tory leadership fight has just begun. Now that Boris is back in the fray, and making Eurosceptic noises, he has an excellent chance of making it to No. 10 – to assume what he believes is his rightful destiny — the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Freddy Gray presents this week’s podcast, and talks to Harry Mount about how Boris’s parliamentary campaign might play out. Isabel Hardman also examines the possible constituencies he might pick. The other major political story this week was Baroness Warsi’s shock resignation. But was it

Charles Moore

How long before self-publicising Baroness Warsi pops up in another party?

At the impressive Westminster Abbey vigil to mark the centenary of the first world war on Monday night, there was one big candle for each quarter of the Abbey, and one dignitary assigned to each candle. At different points in the service, each dignitary would extinguish his or her candle. Then the rest of us in the relevant area, all equipped with candles, would follow suit. The lamps went out, as it were, all over Europe. One thing niggled. I was in the South Transept, and our big-candle snuffer was Lady Warsi, Minister of State at the Foreign Office. I complained to friends that her prominence fell below the level

Post-Warsi reshuffle kills off ‘senior minister of state’

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Douglas Murray and Tim Stanley discuss Baroness Warsi’s resignation” startat=462] Listen [/audioplayer]Baroness Warsi’s shoes have now been filled. Her ministerial roles have been divvied up, with Baroness Anelay appointed Minister of State at the Foreign Office, attending Cabinet, Lord Bates working as Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Home Office, and Eric Pickles taking on the faith brief. Lord Taylor of Holbeach is now chief whip in the House of Lords. But no-one has gained the title of ‘Senior Minister of State’, which was invented just to compensate Warsi for being moved from Tory chairman in 2012.

Warsi resignation: David Cameron replies

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Douglas Murray and Tim Stanley discuss Baroness Warsi’s resignation” startat=462] Listen [/audioplayer]Dear Sayeeda, Thank you for your letter today, in which you set out your reasons for resigning from the Government. I was sorry to receive this. I realise that this must not have been an easy decision for you to make and very much regret that we were not able to speak about your decision beforehand. I understand your strength of feeling on the current crisis in the Middle East – the situation in Gaza is intolerable. Our policy has always been consistently clear: we support a negotiated two state solution as the only way to resolve

Isabel Hardman

Tory minister: Govt ‘failure’ on Gaza is sowing seeds of General Election defeat

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Douglas Murray and Tim Stanley discuss Baroness Warsi’s resignation” startat=462] Listen [/audioplayer]One of the risks of Sayeeda Warsi’s resignation was that it would encourage other ministers uneasy about the government’s response to the situation in Gaza to break ranks. She is certainly trying to encourage that by alleging that other Foreign Office ministers have been uneasy with the decisions being taken recently. But I’ve just spoken to another Tory minister who is unhappy, and worried particularly about the effects that this will have on the Conservatives’ chances next year. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the minister tells me: ‘Warsi knows that our failure in Gaza will damage

Isabel Hardman

Baroness Warsi’s resignation letter: the key points

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Douglas Murray and Tim Stanley discuss Baroness Warsi’s resignation” startat=462] Listen [/audioplayer]Now that Baroness Warsi has revealed her letter to the Prime Minister in which she resigns over Gaza, here are the key criticisms that she levels at the government. They are notably not just about Operation Protective Edge and the British government’s response to it. She doesn’t resign until the penultimate paragraph, after a long letter that is clearly designed to cause maximum damage. 1. British policy in the Middle East generally is ‘morally indefensible’. Warsi includes the current conflict in that, and warns that it could wreak long-term on Britain’s international reputation: ‘My view has been that

Isabel Hardman

Baroness Warsi resigns

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Douglas Murray and Tim Stanley discuss Baroness Warsi’s resignation” startat=462] Listen [/audioplayer]After disagreeing with the Prime Minister on a great deal for a great while, Baroness Warsi has this morning resigned from the government, citing its position on Gaza. She tweeted a few minutes ago: With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza — Sayeeda Warsi (@SayeedaWarsi) August 5, 2014 There had been a concerted campaign in the Conservative party from senior figures with a great deal of influence to get Warsi moved. They felt she was being deeply unhelpful to

There aren’t enough normal people in Cabinet – male or female

Well, it’s looking good for Esther, Liz and Priti, isn’t it? The one handle most of us have by now got on the reshuffle is that it’s one for the girls, an opportunity for the PM to remedy his woman deficit. Out with fatty Pickles, grand Sir George and genial Ken Clarke; in with go-ahead Liz Truss and the photogenic Esther McVey and the feisty Priti Patel. I suppose this swings and roundabouts business is fair enough, though as the Daily Mail rather wearily put it in its editorial yesterday, ‘ministers should be chosen for their talent, not their gender.’ Boring but obvious but true. So let’s pause now to

‘Hopeless’ Warsi ‘resisting’ David Cameron’s fight against extremism

The government has failed to produce an adequate strategy to tackle non-violent extremism because the minister in charge of it is said to disagree with the Prime Minister’s approach, sources have told Coffee House. Baroness Warsi is alleged by multiple sources in and out of government to have consistently resisted calls to develop a proper strategy on integration and tackling extremism at its roots, even though this is the Prime Minister’s policy and part of her job at the Communities and Local Government department. One source says: ‘Sayeeda made clear when she got the job at CLG that she didn’t agree with the Prime Minister and that she simply wasn’t

Why does Britain’s fight for religious freedom stop at Dover?

‘We don’t do God,’ was Alastair Campbell’s put-down when his charge, Tony Blair, was tempted to raise the issue of his faith. Unfortunately, it seems to have become the motto of David Cameron’s government. It is a month now since 276 girls were kidnapped from a school near the town of Chibok in northern Nigeria, and still the Foreign Office’s statements on the crisis read like a deliberate exercise in missing the point. ‘Continuing murders and abductions of schoolchildren, particularly girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram, are a stark reminder of the threat faced by women and girls in conflict-prone areas,’ Mark Simmonds, minister for Africa, said this week. ‘Young

David Cameron’s mile-high fight

How does a Prime Minister get a recalcitrant minister to agree to something? Well, if it’s not going to make any difference to whether some legislation passes and the minister isn’t directly responsible for the policy, then he can always let them avoid a vote, as he seems to be doing on HS2 today. But what if the minister is the one who needs to sign off on a policy change? I hear that David Cameron found himself in this situation late last year when trying to make some changes to the government’s counter-extremism strategy. Baroness Warsi (not his favourite minister) was refusing to accept the changes, which the Prime

Knives out for Warsi in reshuffle

After a few weeks of Boris vs George, Conservatives are now starting to gossip about something a little more immediate: a post-European elections reshuffle. I understand that the Prime Minister is currently experiencing concerted lobbying from many ministers and backbenchers to remove Baroness Warsi from her post as ‘senior minister of state’ after her decision to wave about a front page on the ‘Eton Mess’ in Number 10 on ITV’s The Agenda a few weeks ago. There was fury at a senior level in the Conservative party about Warsi’s behaviour: she was punching her party’s bruise on class. One minister says: ‘She should be dropped down a hole and a

After Woolwich, what will change?

The decapitation of a British soldier on a street in London is the latest disgusting new low in this country’s experience of Islamist terror. But everything else in the aftermath of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby is hideously familiar. What the country has gone through since last Wednesday is the same endless turning over of clichés about terror which we have now heard for years. But one thing is clear. Nothing will be done. This country simply will not deal with the extremists. Not just because part of our political leadership does not want us to, but because those who do want to do something cannot. As on each