Hannah Tomes

Hannah Tomes

Hannah Tomes is Newsletter Editor for The Spectator

My old friend went viral for all the wrong reasons

Last week, an old acquaintance went viral. Charles Withers had, according to his pregnant wife, disappeared around a year ago, leaving her to bring up one young child alone with another on the way. The pretty Massachusetts blonde posted a plea for information on Facebook. It was, she wrote, surprisingly difficult to divorce someone who refused to return

Devastating: Almeida Theatre’s King Lear reviewed

Yaël Farber’s production of King Lear at the Almeida Theatre is imbued with an undercurrent of tension that feels as if it’s constantly on the edge of exploding into violence. It’s not her first crack at Shakespeare – in 2001 she adapted Julius Caesar, and she directed Hamlet at the Gate in Dublin in 2018

The Scottish government’s bizarre egg donor drive

A bright pink box fills my screen; soon it’s filled with blue cartoon sperm swimming towards a large, wobbling egg, where they congregate to spell the word ‘joy’. Alongside it is a message, which reads: ‘By becoming an egg or sperm donor, you could give the joy of starting a family to more than 200

What the UN court’s genocide verdict means for Israel

The International Court of Justice has handed down a preliminary ruling instructing Israel to prevent a genocide from happening in Gaza. Judge Donoghue, speaking at the court in The Hague, said the country must take ‘all measures within its power’ to prevent acts that breach the genocide convention and must ensure ‘with immediate effect’ that

Comedy of the blackest kind: Boy Parts, at Soho Theatre, reviewed

There’s something mesmerising about watching a good mimic. And Aimée Kelly, who plays fetish photographer Irina Sturges in Soho Theatre’s Boy Parts, is a very good mimic. Across the 80 minutes of this one-woman performance, she inhabits the bodies of dozens of characters, each a carbon copy of the worst kind of person: oleaginous city

Teenage boy arrested after teacher stabbed

A teenage boy is being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder after a male teacher was stabbed at a Gloucestershire secondary school this morning. The teacher was attacked in a corridor and suffered a single wound, Gloucestershire Police assistant chief constable Richard Ocone said at a press conference this afternoon. The teacher is in a

Britain ‘ready to assist’ in search for missing submarine

Britain is ‘ready to provide assistance’ to the rescuers searching for Titan, the submarine which lost contact while on an exploratory visit to the Titanic, a spokesman for Rishi Sunak said this afternoon. The rescuers are facing a race against time as the craft runs out of oxygen. The expedition left for the site of the

Rishi Sunak is pulling the rug out from under renters

Rishi Sunak is having a busy week. After announcing his crackdown on anti-social behaviour over the weekend, he set out a slew of new promises yesterday to ban laughing gas, increase fines for littering and give police powers to ‘move on’ what he deems ‘nuisance’ beggars.  Among them was a proposal that would allow landlords

Cindy Yu, Leah McLaren and Hannah Tomes

15 min listen

This week: Cindy Yu discusses Britain’s invisible East Asians (00:51), Leah McLaren discloses the truth about single motherhood (06:02), and Hannah Tomes reads her notes on dining alone (12:08).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

The art of eating alone

To some, the phrase ‘table for one, please’ is among the saddest in the English language. Perhaps this isn’t a surprise; the concept of social dining for pleasure dates back to Ancient Greece. There, meals would be served at all-male gatherings on low tables so the guests could recline while eating (a recipe for heartburn,

How to delete your WhatsApps

Whoever it was that said a picture is worth a thousand words clearly hasn’t read the Daily Telegraph’s ‘Lockdown Files’. After journalist Isabel Oakeshott gave the newspaper access to 2.3 million words worth of WhatsApp messages sent by Matt Hancock during the pandemic, the revelations dominated the news agenda for much of yesterday – with more

Hannah Tomes

Is Putin winning?

37 min listen

This week: Is Putin winning? In his cover piece for the magazine, historian and author Peter Frankopan says that Russia is reshaping the world in its favour by cultivating an anti-Western alliance of nations. He is joined by Ukrainian journalist – and author of The Spectator’s Ukraine In Focus newsletter – Svitlana Morenets, to discuss whether this

Who’s afraid of Keir Starmer?

41 min listen

This week: Who’s afraid of Keir Starmer? In his cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator’s Editor Fraser Nelson says that without a Labour demon to point at the Tories stand little chance in the next election. He joins the podcast alongside journalist Paul Mason, to discuss why Keir Starmer is so hard to vilify (01:10).  Also

Steve Barclay’s ambulance blame game isn’t working

Thousands of ambulance staff across England and Wales have walked out today in a dispute largely concerning pay rises. Members of the Unison, Unite and GMB unions will not be responding to emergency callouts unless they’re of the highest ‘category one’ calls, which cover immediately life-threatening conditions such as cardiac arrest. In most areas, ambulance

Keeping no-fault evictions betrays private renters

How many U-turns can a government perform before it starts spinning out of control? Liz Truss is reportedly considering yet another change of heart over existing policy: this time over plans to end no-fault evictions. In the month or so Truss has been Prime Minister, she’s U-turned on a key Treasury appointment and scrapping the 45p