Lee anderson

London theatre needs Kevin Spacey

Lee Anderson, deputy chairman of the Conservative party, popped a few monocles by saying asylum seekers reluctant to stay on a Home Office barge could ‘fuck off back to France’. Wash your very mouth out! Where did Anderson think he was performing? At the Royal Court theatre? The Guardian, which long teased Mary Whitehouse for being a prude, clutched its pearls at the ‘nasty’ remark. Westminster journalists, few of whom can complete a sentence without an F-word, wrote about Anderson’s ‘shock’ remark. Radio 4’s Nick Robinson (so one gathers, not having been a Radio 4 listener for seven years) was so aghast that he had to be given camomile tea and

What is the point of Lee Anderson?

Who is the most divisive figure in politics? Last year the Daily Mirror claimed Lee Anderson was ‘the worst man in Britain’. This week the Conservative MP is managing to cause a headache both for Labour and his own party. Anderson is a grassroots favourite who even before he was made deputy chairman of the party was near top of the list when it came to the MPs local associations wanted to speak at their events. When No. 10 gave him the role back in February, the idea was that he would help Rishi Sunak in his appeal to the 2019 coalition – with Anderson a straight-talking red wall MP.

Is Lee Anderson No. 10’s secret weapon?

10 min listen

The chatter in Westminster has been dominated by comments the new deputy chairman of the Conservative Party gave to James Heale, The Spectator’s diary editor, in an interview published today. When asked if he was in support of the death penalty, Lee Anderson said: ‘Yes. Nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed. You know that, don’t you? 100 per cent success rate.’ On the podcast, Isabel Hardman talks to James and Katy Balls about whether No. 10 anticipated that the Conservative Party’s new deputy chairman would be making quite so many headlines, so soon into his promotion. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Why is Lee Anderson boosting Laurence Fox’s Reclaim?

Tory MP Lee Anderson has been having quite a week. It began with his declaration in the Commons that there was no ‘massive use for food banks in this country’ and that the problem was ‘generation after generation who cannot cook properly’ and who ‘cannot budget’. This earned him a few front pages and a ministerial disavowal on Sky News, plus a scathing response from food writer and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe. Then, on Friday, Anderson popped up on Lozza’s Lock-in, a podcast co-hosted by Laurence Fox, the actor turned scourge of wokery who founded and leads the right-wing Reclaim party. Monroe’s criticisms were put to Anderson who responded with

Watch: Tory MP savages ‘rotten’ BBC

It has been a bruising afternoon for the BBC in the House of Commons. An urgent question was granted on the findings of the Dyson report into the Martin Bashir affair and the subsequent cover up of how Panorama obtained its Princess Diana interview in 1995. Tory MP after Tory MP has queued up to lambast the Beeb for its failings. Memorable moments included John Redwood asking, ‘How can someone who supports Brexit, believes in the Union and loves England be persuaded that the BBC’s views of public service broadcasting in future be fair to their views?’ and Iain Duncan Smith calling for BBC bosses and Bashir to be referred to the