John Connolly

John Connolly

John Connolly is News Editor of The Spectator

Exclusive: How many XL Bullies live in your area?

In the past few years, you may have noticed a terrifyingly large breed of dog stalking the streets of Britain: the infamous XL Bully.  An offshoot of the American Pit Bull Terrier, it’s hard to miss an XL Bully when you pass one in the street. Often weighing more than nine stone (or 57 kg) and

The remarkable example of the JCB Academy

If you’re into diggers, the JCB world headquarters must look a bit like paradise. The factory sits in the rolling green hills of the Staffordshire countryside, bordered by three lakes and its own golf course. As you drive there you pass a giant spider-like sculpture made entirely out of digger claws, and inside the building,

Israel and Hamas strike hostage deal: what we know so far

After weeks of negotiations, a hostage deal has been struck between Israel and Hamas. Under the terms of the deal, Hamas will release 50 of the women and children it kidnapped on 7th October in exchange for a four-day ceasefire. In return, Israel will release 150 Palestinians from its prisons. Substantial amounts of humanitarian aid,

Rishi Sunak’s conference speech gamble

17 min listen

After spending most of his conference refusing to say much at all, Rishi Sunak used his speech to make three big policy announcements on HS2, smoking and A-levels. Will these gambles pay off?  Fraser Nelson speaks to Katy Balls, Isabel Hardman, Kate Andrews and John Connolly.

John Connolly

Red Wall Tories hit out at cost of net zero

One of the government’s flagship priorities this parliament has been its pledge for Britain to reach ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050, with the commitment taking on increasing importance ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this month. But while the policy has wide support across the party, a far more controversial question is how

West Midlands mayor rebels over HS2

Well, it didn’t take long for Rishi Sunak’s conference to be derailed by the fate of the HS2 rail link. Today reports began to emerge that Rishi Sunak would officially announce at conference that the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the route would be scrapped – ending over a week of speculation about his plans for

John Connolly

James Cleverly defends his China policy

How should Britain handle its relationship with China? That’s an increasingly fraught question inside the Tory party lately, with several China hawks in government and on the backbenches keen to limit engagement while classifying the country as a security threat. Earlier this year, James Cleverly faced criticism after becoming the first UK Foreign Secretary to

Why are the Troubles being glorified now?

As world leaders gathered to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, is violence glorified when it comes to remembering the Troubles? John Connolly speaks to Spectator columnist Douglas Murray and former DUP leader Arlene Foster. This episode can be watched in full on Spectator TV’s Week in 60 Minutes. 

Jeremy Hunt defends his Autumn Statement

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has woken up to a harsh set of front pages this morning following his Autumn Statement, with the Mail accusing the Tories of ‘soaking the strivers’ and the Telegraph lead headline quoting an economist who says the Chancellor has combined ‘the rhetoric of George Osborne and the policies of Gordon Brown’.

Kwasi Kwarteng’s £45 billion tax cuts

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has just announced a surprise 5p cut to the top rate of income tax and a 1p cut to the basic rate of tax. Together with stamp duty cuts and others, it will reduce tax by £45 billion by 2026-27 according to the Treasury’s analysis. The IFS says this is the biggest

Is the violence in Leicester spreading?

After a weekend of violent clashes between Muslim and Hindu men, things seemed to have calmed down in Leicester. A total of 47 arrests have been made since the trouble started at the end of August, according to Leicestershire Police. One man has been sentenced to ten months in jail for his part in the

Why is violence breaking out in Leicester?

Just what is going on in Leicester? Last night violence broke out in the city after hundreds of young men in Covid masks and balaclavas took to the streets as part of an ‘unplanned protest’. The police attempted to contain the protestors but soon lost control of the situation. Videos posted online show officers struggling

Svitlana Morenets, Cindy Yu and John Connolly

18 min listen

This week on Spectator Out Loud, Svitlana Morenets discusses the changes to the syllabus in Ukraine and the difficult decisions parents are having to make over whether to send their children back to school (00:59). Cindy Yu argues that she would be the perfect communist shill (07:45), and John Connolly tells us why cow attacks

Cow attacks are no laughing matter

One of the worst things about being attacked by a cow is that no one takes it very seriously afterwards. My partner Claire and I found that out the hard way after a walk in Devon. We were making our way through a large field on a public footpath, heading towards a herd of cows

Is Boris Johnson’s Chris Pincher story falling apart?

What did Boris Johnson know about Chris Pincher before appointing him as deputy chief whip? That question has been haunting No. 10 ever since it emerged that Pincher allegedly groped two men at the Carlton Club last week – with previous allegations about Pincher’s behaviour coming to light in recent days. So far the government

Why is a former French colony joining the Commonwealth?

When Boris Johnson flew to Rwanda with Prince Charles for a key Commonwealth summit last weekend, the trip ended up being overshadowed by a bubbling feud between the two men over Britain’s Rwanda asylum scheme, which Charles has privately opposed. For the Commonwealth the focus on the spat was a shame, as it had some

Katy Balls, John Connolly and Gus Carter

17 min listen

On this week’s episode: Katy Balls reads her article on the cadets gunning for the Tory leadership. (00:52) John Connolly reads his investigation into the new warehouse ghettos where Britain is sending migrants. (06:36) Gus Carter reads his piece on why he’s not getting invited to any dinner parties. (12:05) Presented by Angus Colwell. Produced

The danger of putting migrants in warehouse ghettos

So far the UK has managed to avoid the kind of clashes between asylum seekers and local residents that blight other European countries. Our workforce is now 19 per cent immigrant – an even higher percentage than America’s. But this relative harmony might soon be threatened. Since 2018 the processing backlog for asylum seekers has

The Manchester refugee charity representing the best of British

In October The Spectator will be heading to Manchester for Conservative party conference for the first time in two years, after last year’s event was cancelled because of the pandemic. While the return of party conferences is a welcome sign that things are finally getting back to normal, it’s also a reminder of the damage

Andy Burnham turns the tables on Nicola Sturgeon

As leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon has earned a reputation for rallying against what she argues is an arrogant Westminster elite which rides roughshod over Scots. It appears now though that the Scottish First Minister might be getting a taste of her own medicine. This week, she has ended up in a fierce war