Heidi allen

Why would anyone normal want to be an MP?

Heidi Allen has announced she is standing down at the election, citing the culture of abuse and intimidation in politics as one of the reasons. In a letter to her constituents, she writes: ‘I am exhausted by the invasion into my privacy and the nastiness and intimidation that has become commonplace. Nobody in any job should have to put up with threats, aggressive emails, being shouted at in the street, sworn at on social media, nor have to install panic alarms at home. Of course, public scrutiny is to be expected, but lines are all too regularly crossed and the effect is utterly dehumanising. In my very first election leaflet

Heidi Allen’s confusing political odyssey

Update: Heidi Allen has announced that she will no longer stand at the next election. This weekend, Anthony Browne wrote about her confusing political odyssey: As I pound the streets of South Cambridgeshire where I am the Conservative candidate, the most common reaction I get from voters is “How did that happen?”. (That, at least, is an edited version to keep things family-friendly for Spectator readers). It is usually accompanied by a liberal dosage of decidedly unparliamentary language and the sort of words that if I repeated would lead to me being accused of inflaming passions in politics. But the passions among the public are already inflamed and the issue

Change UK holds post mortem after EU election humiliation

Change UK has been holding post-mortem meetings about its failure to win any seats in last week’s European elections, I understand. Members of the newly-formed party met up this week to discuss what to do next after it only secured 3 per cent of the vote overall.  Critics have suggested that it’s already all over for Change UK, and even its optimistic members accept that the party is going through a very difficult phase. There is talk in some quarters of a merger with the Liberal Democrats- and it was notable that both Mike Gapes and Anna Soubry praised Jo Swinson, who is standing to lead that party. Even those

Heidi Allen’s independent approach raises questions

Since Theresa May lost her Tory majority in the snap election, few of her MPs have been more critical of the Prime Minister than Heidi Allen. The MP for South Cambridgeshire has predicted that May will be gone within six months – and said in a speech in the Commons that she could ‘barely put into words’ her anger at her party’s deal with the DUP. Is Allen now distancing herself from the party? There is no mention of the Conservative party in Allen’s Twitter bio, and now her attendance at this year’s Tory conference is up in the air. The Tory MP tells Bright Blue, the Conservative think tank, that

Watch: Tory MP slams DUP deal – ‘I can barely put into words my anger’

Oh dear. Heidi Allen is fast establishing herself as one of the most rebellious MPs in the Conservative party. The Tory MP has spoken out against her party on issues like tax credits as well making her personal grievances with both George Osborne and Theresa May public. In today’s Queen’s Speech debate, Allen added her party’s £1bn deal with the DUP to the list. Ahead of the crucial vote on the speech, she said she could barely put into words her anger at ‘the use of public funds to garner political control’: ‘I can barely put into words my anger at the deal my party has done with the DUP.

Heidi Allen crashes out of mayoral contest

When Heidi Allen announced that she would stand to be the new mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough — while continuing her work as an MP — the decision was reported to have gone down like a cup of cold sick with local Tories. The backbench rebel’s decision to seek the Tory nomination ruffled feathers, with Conservative councillors suggesting Allen was on a mission to have her cake and eat it. Alas Mr S can disclose that Allen’s hopes have now been dashed. The Tory MP has been eliminated from the Cambridgeshire Conservative Mayoral selections. After securing only four votes, Allen has failed to make it into the top three — comprised of

Nicholas Soames on IDS resignation: ‘you’d have thought there’d been a coup by a black African dictator’

With the Conservatives currently experiencing inner party turmoil following Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation over the Chancellor’s Budget, there are concerns that in-fighting may soon overshadow the party’s work. However, despite several backbenchers speaking out about their doubts in George Osborne’s ability,  not every Tory is so fussed about the growing row. In an interview with Conservative Home, Nicholas Soames has offered his take on the situation. The Tory grandee says that Duncan Smith’s resignation is simply an ‘inconvenience’ even though the media reaction suggests that there has ‘been a coup by a black African dictator’. ‘This is what my father would have called a kick in the gullet, these are inconveniences, what

Ruth Davidson rules herself out of the Tory leadership race

Ruth Davidson has been previously tipped as a front-runner in the Tory leadership race. The Scottish Conservative leader has proved popular with both the public and her own party, with the Tory MP Heidi Allen even naming Davidson as her preferred choice for leader in an interview last year. Alas, those hoping that Davidson has what it takes to stop George Osborne’s leadership ambitions becoming a reality, will need to have a strong word with the woman of the moment. Speaking on Daily Politics, Davidson ruled herself out of the race. She said that she has ‘no interest in the job’ — pointing to the fact that she isn’t even an MP: Laughing,

Heidi Allen mistaken for a Labour MP by national radio station

After Heidi Allen gave a barnstorming maiden speech last week criticising her own party over tax credit cuts, the Tory MP has found herself in the firing line within her own party. Mr S’s colleague Isabel Hardman writes in today’s Times that a number of Tory MPs are even refusing to speak to her over concerns that ‘her careless talk could cost them their majorities’. Now to make matters worse, it appears that even journalists are struggling to work out which side Allen is on. Word reaches Steerpike that a producer for a national radio station — thought to be one of the BBC’s radio stations — contacted the Labour party to ask if they would put

Heidi Allen’s criticism of the Commons upsets fellow MPs

There has been an interesting response in the Tory party to Heidi Allen’s speech in which she criticised the tax credit changes. Many MPs are themselves worried about the changes, and didn’t disagree with what she had to say. But what has really riled them is the way in which she appeared to dismiss the Chamber as largely pointless – and that she spoke against the cuts having supported them once and then went onto vote with the government again on the motion before the House last night (though to be fair, she explained that she wouldn’t vote for the Opposition Day motion because she disagreed with its wording). One

Listen: Tory MP Heidi Allen’s devastating attack on tax credit cuts

‘I’ve been trying flipping hard to avoid doing it,’ said Heidi Allen today as she started her maiden speech. She hadn’t seen the point of speeches in the Chamber, she explained, because most people in the Commons were already wedded to their side, and there wasn’t much point in her adding to those speeches as they changed no minds. But the reason she had decided to give it during the Opposition Day debate on tax credits ‘because today I can sit on my hands no longer’. She wanted to criticise the tax credit cuts. She wanted to intervene before it was ‘too late’ to stop the changes to tax credits,

Tory MP goes off message in radio interview: ‘George Osborne is too smooth’

Although Tory conference has so far been a rather dull affair with senior politicians sticking to the party line at all times, one of the new intake of Tory MPs did manage to spice things up last night. In an interview with Iain Dale on LBC, Heidi Allen gave surprisingly honest answers when asked who she would like to be the next Tory leader. Although George Osborne is the favourite to succeed David Cameron, Allen has concerns that he is ‘too smooth’ for the job: HA: I have to be honest I couldn’t really picture him as a future leader but I thought he did a really good job today actually. ID: Why not?