Katy Balls

Katy Balls

Katy Balls is The Spectator’s political editor.

Braverman’s Today interview points to trouble ahead for Sunak

Where does the Tory party sit after Robert Jenrick’s resignation over the Prime Minister’s Rwanda policy? Jenrick’s decision to quit yesterday meant Rishi Sunak’s attempts to sell his Rwanda plan fell into disarray within an hour of the policy being revealed. No further resignations have followed yet, but the bigger problem for Sunak is what

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Inside Sunak’s meeting with MPs on his Rwanda ‘Plan B’

Rishi Sunak made an impromptu appearance at the 1922 committee tonight as he sought to sell his ‘Plan B’ on Rwanda to restive Tory MPs. This evening the government published the Bill – which asserts that ministers have the power to ignore judgments from Strasbourg but stops short at ‘disapplying’ the ECHR. This means it

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Does Keir Starmer stack up?

Few Labour politicians have anything nice to say about Margaret Thatcher, so when Keir Starmer wrote an op-ed over the weekend praising her for bringing ‘meaningful change’ he was looking for a reaction. The left of the party obliged, calling her legacy destructive and chastising Starmer. Even some former Blairites stepped in to say the

Sunak to unveil new measures on legal migration

Rishi Sunak has had a bad start to the week, with the latest ConservativeHome cabinet league table placing him at the very bottom at minus 25.4, just below his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. Now, the Prime Minister is hoping to move his government onto firmer ground with a package of measures aimed at reducing legal migration.

What the Elgin Marbles row is really about 

‘The Elgin Marbles should leave this northern whisky-drinking guilt-culture, and be displayed where they belong: in a country of bright sunshine and the landscape of Achilles.’ This view – articulated by Boris Johnson in 1986 when he was studying classics at Oxford – is not shared by Rishi Sunak. On Monday, the Prime Minister caused

Sunak under pressure to curb legal migration

Rishi Sunak goes into the week on the defensive over legal migration. After figures late last week revealed net migration hit a record 750,000 in the year to December 2022, the Prime Minister is under pressure from his own side to act. This afternoon James Cleverly will address the House where he is expected to

Has Hunt opened the door to a spring election?

Rishi Sunak wakes up to the most positive front pages his government has had in months. The decision to use the autumn statement to cut personal tax as well as make the largest business tax cut in modern history has led to the press praising the government for easing the tax burden – even if

The Tories are cutting it fine with their Autumn Statement

Just a year ago, Jeremy Hunt played Scrooge at the despatch box. In an attempt to regain market credibility following Liz Truss’s mini-Budget, Rishi Sunak’s new government announced £30 billion of spending cuts (largely pencilled in for after the election) and £25 billion of tax rises. It was a far cry from the summer leadership contest,

Inside David Cameron’s meeting with Tory MPs

David Cameron addressed Tory MPs this evening at a meeting of the 1922 committee following his shock return to government last week as part of Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle. The impromptu meeting saw around 100 MPs gathered in parliament’s Boothroyd room rather than then usual committee corridor room 14. Cameron joked that he was relieved at

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Sunak changes his tune on tax cuts

Tax cuts are around the corner. That was the message from Rishi Sunak when he addressed hacks this morning in a speech on the economy. Ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, Sunak said that, after he achieved his target of halving inflation, his government is now able to enter ‘the next phase’ of its plan to

Sunak and Suella clash over Rwanda plan B

For a brief moment this morning it looked as though Rishi Sunak had finally had some good luck. Inflation figures, which came out today, show that the government has met its pledge to halve inflation this year as the rate fell to a two-year low of 4.6 per cent. But that’s about where the good

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Back to the future: Sunak’s big gamble

On Remembrance Sunday, former prime ministers are given ceremonial roles. When everyone assembled last weekend, it was a reminder of the recent mayhem within the Tory party. Labour’s 13-year era seemed neat by comparison: Tony Blair, then Gordon Brown. The Tories’ 13 years in power were represented by a more chaotic line-up: David Cameron, Theresa

‘Your plan is not working’: Suella Braverman goes on the attack

When Suella Braverman was sacked by Rishi Sunak on Monday morning, the departing Home Secretary promised to say more in ‘due course’. Well, just over 24 hours later, that time has come. This afternoon, Braverman has shared on social media a scathing resignation letter in which she suggests the Prime Minister needs to ‘change course

Where does the Suella Braverman debacle go next?

The debacle concerning Suella Braverman makes the front page of most papers today after No. 10 confirmed that the Home Secretary had failed to get sign off for a Times op-ed on police bias published earlier this week. Despite Downing Street using Thursday’s lobby briefing to say that Braverman and her team had ignored a

What is Suella Braverman up to?

Another day, another row involving Suella Braverman. The Home Secretary has penned a comment piece for the Times in which she accuses police officers of employing a ‘double standard’ on protests whereby they take a softer approach to left wing groups than they do right-wing protests. Braverman accused the Metropolitan police of ‘playing favourites’, likening

Rishi and Suella’s fates hinge on the Rwanda ruling

The first King’s Speech for more than 70 years was a festival of the expected: the royal reading of a No. 10 press release. Some dividing lines were drawn between the Tories and Labour and some loose ends tied up – but there was no real change in political direction. ‘It’s a continuance of the

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Will more Labour frontbenchers resign over Gaza?

Overnight, Keir Starmer suffered his first shadow minister resignation over his position on Gaza. Imran Hussain has quit as shadow minister for the New Deal for Working People over his desire to ‘strongly advocate for a ceasefire’ in Gaza. While Hussain used a statement to insist that he remains committed to Labour’s agenda more generally,

Starmer’s foreign policy problem is only just beginning

This could have been the week that Keir Starmer buckled under pressure from his party and called for a ceasefire in Gaza. A fifth of his MPs have publicly backed one, including 13 frontbenchers and big names such as Anas Sarwar, Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham. Starmer’s suggestion in a radio interview that Israel could

Starmer takes on his party over Gaza ceasefire demand

Keir Starmer has tried to get back on the front foot today over his party’s position on Israel and Palestine. Following growing discontent in Labour over Starmer’s refusal to call for a ceasefire, the party’s leader used an impromptu speech at Chatham House to insist that he would not bow to demands to change his