Francis Elliott

Francis Elliott is former political editor of The Times and director of advocacy at Engage Britain.

How Boris Johnson survives

When the Conservative party looks in the mirror what does it see? Beyond the bruising, what face peers back from the glass? The problem for the party is that no two MPs can agree – and that just might be Boris Johnson’s best chance of survival. Contradictions shatter a unified surface that might once have

How will Boris Johnson sell his social care tax rise?

Boris Johnson is on the brink of raising taxes to fund a health and care spending package two decades after Tony Blair embarked on his own NHS tax rises. There are striking differences in their approaches though, when it comes to preparing the ground for this rare event in British politics.  It is not yet

Will masks ever go?

13 min listen

Polling released yesterday revealed that a surprisingly large minority of the British public support not only just a permanent mask mandate but also the closure of nightclubs and a 10pm curfew. To discuss these bizarre findings James Forsyth is joined by Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos MORI, the firm behind the numbers, and Francis Elliott,

Can Boris finally ‘fix’ social care?

It’s been almost a year since Boris Johnson said he would not wait to ‘fix the problem of social care that every government has flunked for the last 30 years’. With a green paper detailing the government’s plan finally due, we’ll soon learn whether the Prime Minister is as good as his word. We’ll also

Life as a Lobby journalist

30 min listen

The Lobby refers to the group of political journalists with access to the Palace of Westminster. On this episode, three former Lobby hacks – Fraser Nelson, James Kirkup (of the Social Mobility Foundation) and Francis Elliott (retiring political editor of the Times) – discuss their rehabilitation from the job, the old days of boozing lunches

The dangers of televising lobby briefings

Like a tongue searching for an absent tooth, I keep wondering if I’m missing anything from my two decades as a lobby hack. Friends, of course, and perhaps the vast, grey field of sloping slate as seen from the Times’s parliamentary office. That empty and silent space, the roof of Westminster Hall, seemed austere and