Lloyd Evans

Lloyd Evans

Lloyd Evans is The Spectator's sketch-writer and theatre critic

The insincere NHS tributes at PMQs

The birthday of our sacred NHS was celebrated at PMQs. Appropriately enough there was a lengthy waiting-list of MPs ready to pay insincere tribute to the medics who care for the sick once they’ve finished painting rainbows on their faces and rehearsing dance-moves in the corridors. Rishi Sunak ducked the session altogether. He was at

PMQs: Rishi whirs like a supercomputer

‘Hold your nerve.’ Rishi’s ill-judged advice to voters last Sunday was perhaps his worst blunder yet. At PMQs it came up half a dozen times. Sir Keir Starmer made the first attempt but he was too verbose to inflict real damage. ‘Rather than lecturing others on holding their nerve why not locate his?’ He exposed

Keir Starmer falls flat at PMQs

Sir Keir Starmer had two goals at PMQs. He wanted to convince us that life is dreadful and it’s all Rishi Sunak’s fault. And he showcased a new phrase that he’d like us to spout whenever interest rates are mentioned: ‘Tory mortgage penalty.’ He used it several times which suggests that he authored it himself.

Rishi’s PMQs victory counts for nothing

Honours dominated the exchanges at PMQs. Sir Keir asked why the Tories have spent an entire week bickering about which Conservative deserves ennoblement. Rishi claimed that he followed ‘established convention’ in approving Boris’s lavender-list. A bit of a whopper. He clearly didn’t support the candidacy of Nadine Dorries who complained in frothing prose about the ‘sinister

PMQs: A scrappy battle of the deputies

Throwing money away. That was the big topic at PMQs today. Rishi Sunak has flown to Washington for talks with Joe Biden, (which is probably the President’s only scheduled appointment this month.) The deputies slugged it out in the Commons. Angela Rayner brought up an admission by the Public Accounts Committee that a fortune in

Is Sadiq Khan really taking air pollution seriously?

London is killing us. That’s the conclusion of Sadiq Khan’s alarming new book, Breathe: Tackling the Climate Emergency, which he publicised last night at a 90-minute event held in the Royal Festival Hall.   The sales pitch for Khan’s book was disturbed by hecklers and protestors who blew whistles and shouted constant abuse at the mayor.

What’s this? A good joke from Sir Keir?

Strange tactics by Sir Keir at PMQs. He raised the issue of broken promises on immigration, which gave Rishi Sunak a chance to sound tougher than Labour. ‘How many work visas were issued to foreign nationals last year?’ asked Sir Keir. Rishi dodged the question and blamed the unexpectedly large influx on the Ukraine war.

Lloyd Evans

Ugly and humdrum: Brokeback Mountain, at @sohoplace, reviewed

Brokeback Mountain, a play with music, opens in a scruffy bedroom where a snowy-haired tramp finds a lumberjack’s shirt and places it over his nose. Then he inhales. Who is this elderly vagrant? And why is he absorbing the scent of an abandoned garment? Two hours later, at the play’s close, we finally learn that

PMQs was a battle of the understudies

The party leaders were absent today so the understudies stepped in. Angela Rayner filled the vacuum that is Sir Keir Starmer, while Oliver Dowden performed for Rishi Sunak. Rayner had prepared for the encounter by spending the entire morning in hair and make-up. Result, a sharp off-white jacket and matching slacks. And her famous ginger

Lloyd Evans

Sad, blinkered and incoherent: Arcola’s The Misandrist reviewed

A new play, The Misandrist, looks at modern dating habits. Rachel is a smart, self-confident woman whose partner is a timid desperado named Nick. Both accept that Rachel must make all the important decisions in their lives and she orders Nick to submit to ‘pegging’. After some perfunctory resistance, Nick obeys. ‘Lube me up,’ he

Top marks for Keir Starmer’s joke writers at PMQs

Sir Keir’s gag-writers were on good form at PMQs. Last week, the Tories lowered expectations by predicting a loss of 1,000 seats at the local election. And this worst-case scenario came true. ‘At last,’ crowed Sir Keir, ‘a Tory promise they haven’t actually broken.’ He also took aim at Rishi’s democratic illegitimacy. In last year’s

Keir Starmer’s gutter politics is working

Powerful stuff from Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs. He tackled Rishi Sunak on his favourite battleground – statistics. He began by pinning the PM down on a very specific question. How many mortgage-holders have to pay more each month because the Tories ‘crashed the economy last autumn’? Rishi didn’t know. Sir Keir gave him the