Nick thomas-symonds

Standards chief slaps down shadow Home Secretary

International espionage: what a glamorous life it all must seem. You join the service, hoping to match wits with Her Majesty’s foes, full of dreams of Bond-like action sequences and Le Carré-esque intrigue. And instead you end up having to write to Labour MPs, begging them to stop sending you so many irrelevant letters for their own political purposes.  For Jonathan Evans, the former Director-General of MI5, that is indeed the sad fate that has befallen him. Having held the post of Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life since 2018, Lord Evans has been bombarded in recent months with a flurry of letters from Labour shadow ministers, urging him to probe

Is the Labour party capable of being tough on crime?

One of the most contested grounds in politics at the moment is law and order. It’s not just the high-profile cases of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard, but a growing sentiment among all voters that they don’t feel as safe as they once did. The Tories know this, which is why they’ve brought forward their controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Labour opposes that legislation largely on the basis that it includes an illiberal crackdown on the right to protest, though I understand that the shadow home affairs team were concerned that the party’s opposition to the Bill would undermine Labour’s claims to be tough on crime. Today Nick

Sunday shows round-up: This week is ‘moment of reckoning’ for EU trade deal

Dominic Raab – This week is ‘the moment of reckoning’ for EU deal The Sunday interview shows return this week to general fanfare across the nation… The first government guest to join Sophy Ridge was the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was asked about the prospect of the UK reaching a satisfactory trade deal with the EU by the end of the year. James Forsyth has written this week about how Downing Street puts the likelihood of a deal down to 30 to 40 per cent, but Raab professed a greater optimism that an agreement could be reached, citing the thorny subject of fisheries as one of the few remaining