Yvette cooper

Chris Mullin’s eye for the absurd remains as keen as ever

Journalists seldom get to the top in politics. They find it hard to trot out the dreary virtue-signalling that political communication often requires. Chris Mullin, I suspect, finds it almost impossible. He was a Bennite, but the Bennites quickly discovered he was unreliable. The Blairites might have welcomed him had they not suspected, rightly, that he would get the line wrong sooner rather than later.  There’s an endearing vanity in the way Mullin reports every kind remark made about his previous published diaries The only journalist to have made the top job in politics is Boris Johnson, and he crashed and burned. My friend Denis MacShane, who has ability and

Yvette Cooper’s refugee record

As the Ukraine crisis rages, Labour has chosen to focus on the issue of visas for fleeing Ukrainian refugees. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper went for her opposite number Priti Patel on it in Parliament yesterday, demanding ‘clear answers’ for those ‘urgently seeking sanctuary or to rejoin relatives.’  It looks like Patel will now be forced to give a ministerial statement today, updating the government’s position on the issue: a win for Cooper and those demanding more action. Still Mr S couldn’t help but think back to Cooper’s own record when it comes to refugees. In 2015, she was one of a number of politicians and celebrities who volunteered to

The sex work divide in British politics

They seem like completely unrelated questions: ‘Is sex work real work?, and ‘Who will replace Yvette Cooper as chair of the Commons Home Affairs Committee?’ Yet the two are deeply linked. Sex work first. If you’re not familiar with the phrase ‘sex work is work’, get used to it, because you’re going to be hearing it a lot more in public debate in the next few years. The phrase has been around since at least the 1970s, but is now being used with growing frequency and energy by people on the self-appointed ‘progressive’ side of politics. As a result, ‘sex work is work’ is looking like being a new dividing

One vote in it as Yvette Cooper’s bill passes

Yvette Cooper’s bill, requiring the Prime Minister to seek an Article 50 extension to avoid no deal, has passed by 1 vote—going through all its Common stages in a single evening.  The passage of this bill at such speed even though Theresa May has said she’ll ask for an extension, is another demonstration of how committed the anti no-deal majority in parliament is. But before these anti no-deal MPs pat themselves on the back, they should realise the limits to their action. Parliament is sovereign, but it isn’t sovereign over the EU27; and it is they who’ll decide whether to grant the UK an extension to the Article 50 process.

MPs get cold feet about the Cooper no deal amendment

Is a no-deal Brexit about to be taken off the table? This is the expectation in Westminster after Yvette Cooper tabled an amendment to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal. The amendment paves the way for legislation that would mean ministers had to extend Article 50 if a no-deal Brexit looked likely. The Labour leadership are considering backing it – though there is some debate about whether Article 50 ought to be extended in three month batches rather than than the nine month period currently specified in Cooper’s bill. Brexiteers are so worried the amendment will pass that some – including Jacob Rees-Mogg – have gone so

High life | 28 September 2017

I think this week marks my 40th anniversary as a Spectator columnist, but I’m not 100 per cent certain. All I know is that I was 39 or 40 years old when the column began, and that I’ve just had my 81st birthday. Keeping a record is not my strong point, and it’s also a double-edged sword. I once planned to publish my diary, but then I stopped keeping one. I’d found passages in it that were dishonest, written in the heat of the moment, most likely under the influence, and the result was a bum-clenching embarrassment. Now I don’t use any social media, certainly not Twitter, Facebook or Instagram,

Mother Theresa

Tory activists last week were heard to refer to Mrs May as ‘Mummy’. No Corbynista calls their hero ‘Dad’. The human race is guided by myth as much as by logic, and mythology explains people to themselves more vividly than economics. The agony expressed in the liberal intelligent press is understandable. The sensible people who all voted Remain direct much of their fury against the Corbynistas who have taken over the Labour party. Fair enough. Interestingly, however, they attend so closely to what Tony Benn liked to call ‘the ish-oos’ that they ignore the bigger mythological picture. Last summer the country voted — very unwisely according to the sensible 48

Yvette Cooper fails to practise what she preaches

Yvette Cooper was the surprise star of PMQs today after she made the Prime Minister squirm with a stinging question about Theresa May’s election U-turn: ‘The Prime Minister yesterday said she was calling a general election because Parliament was blocking Brexit. But three quarters of MPs and two thirds of the Lords voted for Article 50 – so that’s not true, is it. A month ago she told her official spokesman to rule out an early general election, and that wasn’t true either, was it. She wants us to believe she is a woman of her word. Isn’t the truth that we cannot believe a single word she says?’ While

Katy Balls

Yvette Cooper provides the real opposition at PMQs

After Theresa May performed an election U-turn on Monday and called for a snap election, today’s PMQs saw competing parties draw out their battle lines for the weeks ahead. The SNP’s Angus Robertson criticised May for dodging the TV debates and she in turn told the SNP to get on with the day job. Nigel Evans jumped on speculation over how ‘liberal’ Tim Farron’s Christian beliefs are. The Conservative MP asked the leader of the Liberal Democrats if he thought homosexuality was a sin — something Farron went on to deny. While Conservatives were supportive of the Prime Minister’s decision to call a snap election, opposition MPs repeatedly accused May of being someone the public can


Did Zac Goldsmith pick up some tips on tackling extremism from Yvette Cooper?

During last night’s BBC mayoral debate, Zac Goldsmith was asked whether he had run a racist campaign against Sadiq Khan — following negative press surrounding the Labour candidate’s links to extremists. After Khan found himself under fire for sharing platforms with characters like Suliman Gani, as well as for his work for Louis Farrakhan — the man who claimed Hitler was a ‘very great man’ — Labour’s Yvette Cooper complained that the Tories’ mayoral campaign amounts to racism: ‘It’s time to call it out for what it really is before it gets worse. What started as a subtle dog-whistle is becoming a full-blown racist scream.’ However, Cooper hasn’t always appeared to hold such strong views when it comes

Will Yvette Cooper put her money where her mouth is on refugee accommodation?

As the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Yvette Cooper is in the news today with a call for a major overhaul of the system for housing asylum seekers in Britain. After hearing evidence of some families living in homes with pest infestations, Cooper branded ‘the state of accommodation for some asylum seekers and refugees in this country’ a disgrace. While Cooper has called for an overhaul of the system so that local authorities in more affluent areas do more, Mr S wonders if the Labour MP can lead by example. After all, back in 2015, Cooper was one of a number of politicians and celebrities who volunteered to take refugees

Amber Rudd gets a rough ride at the despatch box – thanks to Boris

Over the weekend, Boris Johnson managed to plunge himself into another Cabinet row by announcing on Peston on Sunday that he thinks students should be excluded from the net migration numbers — because they are ‘of massive benefit to this country’. As is becoming a pattern, No 10 were quick to slap him down — with the Prime Minister’s spokesman insisting at lobby that ‘students will continue to be part of the figures’. Not that this stopped MPs having some fun with the comments today at Home Office questions. Andrew Tyrie kicked proceedings off by asking — in a convoluted manner — whether Rudd agreed that students should be removed from the tens of

Labour moderates return to the frontline

Although Jeremy Corbyn has managed to tempt some MPs who resigned from his shadow cabinet back to the frontbench, there are still many with ministerial experience who are too proud, principled or outspoken to return. So, with that in mind, today’s select committee elections offered a way for moderates to make their mark without having to compromise their values. After Keith Vaz was forced to resign from his coveted role as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, several former Labour ‘heavyweights’ entered into the race to succeed him. Although Chuka Umunna had widely been tipped as the favourite, it was a case of Chuka can’t. In a sign of his limited popularity in the House

It’s been a year, Nicola Sturgeon. Where are your refugees?

This time last year, as images of refugees fleeing Syria dominated the news, a host of charitable figures offered to do their bit and take refugees into their home. Exasperated that David Cameron was not allowing enough refugees into Britain, Sir Bob Geldof, Yvette Cooper and Nicola Sturgeon were among those who publicly vowed to lead by example. Since then, things appear to have hit a few stumbling blocks. For one, Yvette Cooper claimed — in an interview with Nick Ferrari — that we should listen to the Tory government as they have said that ‘they don’t want people to take them into their home’. Happily times may now be a’changing. The Local Government Association, which represents more than 370

So Yvette Cooper, where are your refugees?

Yesterday the Home Office won its appeal against a landmark ruling that allowed four Syrian refugees living in the main camp in Calais to come to the UK. While the refugees will be allowed to stay, the appeal means that it will be difficult for more refugees to come to Britain this way in the future. Following the decision Yvette Cooper labelled Theresa May ‘a disgrace’. The Labour politician says she is appalled that May pursued this appeal and called on her to do more to help Syrian refugees. However, Mr S couldn’t help but think back to Cooper’s own promises when it comes to refugees. Last year, she was one of a number

It’s been six months, Nicola Sturgeon. Where are your refugees?

This week Yvette Cooper was taken to task by Nick Ferrari on LBC over her refugee pledge. Although the former Labour MP had declared that she would be happy to house refugees in her own property, it turns out that she hasn’t actually done so: NF: Have you taken yours yet Yvette? YC: No that’s what I said, because the government has said… In the interest of fairness, Mr S thought it best to check in with another politician who had pledged to take in refugees. Step forward Nicola Sturgeon. Back in September, the SNP leader said she would be ‘more than happy’ to take in refugees into her own home. ‘Yes, I would


Listen: Nick Ferrari asks a squirming Yvette Cooper if she has taken Syrian refugees into her home

Last year a host of celebrities and politicians alike slammed the government for their handling of the refugee crisis. As part of this, several figures including Sir Bob Geldof, Stan Collymore, Nicola Sturgeon and Yvette Cooper volunteered to take refugees into their home. Alas, when Mr S checked last year both Geldof and Collymore were yet to go ahead with their pledge. So, what about Cooper? Back in September, the Labour MP said she would be happy to take a refugee in her own home: ‘If that’s what it took and that’s what was needed, then of course, I think lots of people would be.’ However, when Nick Ferrari attempted to quiz Cooper about

Today in audio: Monday 25th January

Haven’t had a chance to follow the day’s political events and interviews? Then don’t worry: here, in the first of a daily feature, we bring you the best of today’s audio clips in one place for you to listen to. Stuart Rose has been giving a series of interviews as the In campaign steps up its efforts to encourage the public to vote to stay in the EU in the upcoming referendum. On the Today programme this morning, he admitted to being a eurosceptic but said it was a ‘risk’ to leave the EU because the British public did not know what they would be getting: He had less success

Why Corbyn’s Quantitive Easing for the People would be disastrous for the economy

‘Quantitative Easing for the People’ is one of the cornerstones of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership platform. The basic idea is simple: a hypothetical Corbyn government would instruct the Bank of England to create new electronic money (the modern equivalent of printing it) to fund public investment projects. The vehicle for doing this would be the ‘National Investment Bank’, which would be charged with funding public investment. The NIB would issue bonds that the BoE would be commanded to buy. You can see what the architects inside Corbyn’s camp were thinking. They believe Labour lost the election because it was not seen to have a sound policy on the deficit. So, instead,


In a wonderfully dry manual of theology on my husband’s bookshelves, written in Latin and printed in Naples in the 1830s, there is a discussion of whether ‘rustics and idiots’ are supported in their belief by ‘motives of credibility’, such as miracles. The same question has been asked about belief in Jeremy Corbyn, except that the city stands in for the country, and the idiots are often useful ones. ‘I am the only candidate who can offer a bold but credible vision,’ Andy Burnham has said. ‘I’ll have the confidence to reject Tory myths and the credibility to demolish them,’ countered Yvette Cooper. John Curtice, the political scientist, noticed that