Rebecca long-bailey

Keir Starmer’s quiet revolution

For the first time in 13 years, the public, when polled, think a Labour leader would make the best prime minister. To be fair, Sir Keir Starmer has been helped in this regard by the Conservatives, who haven’t done wonders for their reputation as the party of competence in recent weeks. But the opposition leader has had a decent start. Yes, Starmer is right when he says his party has a ‘mountain to climb’ to win power following Jeremy Corbyn’s historic defeat, but the Tories are on their fourth term and no party has ever won five times in a row. When Iain Duncan Smith was elected leader of the

Portrait of the week: Boris does press-ups, pubs reopen and Leicester locks down

Home Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, said he was ‘as fit as a butcher’s dog’ and did press-ups to prove it, as he announced infrastructure initiatives to counter the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak. With a slogan ‘Build, build, build’, he made a speech in Dudley promising £1.5 billion for hospital improvements and planning changes to make loft extensions easier. Pubs were allowed to open from 4 July, after a fashion, with table service, as were restaurants. Churches could hold services without singing and newlyweds were told to wash their hands after exchanging rings. The government was poised to announce that from 6 July British travellers to

Why Rebecca Long-Bailey had to go

Do you remember where you were when the BBC showed a rerun of Bowie’s Glastonbury set? When we ask each other that in future, the answer is always going to be: ‘At home, recovering from a day of Zoom calls.’ It’s 100 days since lockdown and as we slowly emerge it’s hard to keep a sense of proportion about the events in between. I remember pricking my finger for a trial antibody test; I remember my delight at discovering that an old-time cockney butcher still exists on a nearby council estate; I remember the absolute stillness of the air as a sparrowhawk circled over south London. Best to fix these