Lucy Dunn

Lucy Dunn

Lucy Dunn is The Spectator's diary reporter. She is a qualified doctor from Glasgow.

Inside Scotland’s Post Office scandal

For victims of the biggest miscarriage of justice in British legal history, this week is an important one. Paula Vennells, former chief executive of the Post Office, is set to face three days of tough questioning when she gives evidence to the inquiry into the scandal. Vennell’s highly anticipated appearance on Wednesday follows critical developments

Is Natalie Elphicke an unlikely hero?

15 min listen

Lucy Dunn speaks to Katy Balls and former Blair advisor John McTernan about the one vote that won plans to exclude MPs from parliament arrested on suspicion of serious sexual offence. After Keir Starmer faced criticism for allowing her into the party, could some of her greatest critics now see the perks? Also is Labour

Can John Swinney turn it around for the SNP?

John Swinney, newly inaugurated First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the SNP, has been in the job for a week. What have we learnt since he took up the job, and can he turn things around for the party in time for a general election?  James Heale speaks to Lucy Dunn and Fergus Mutch,

Can Ben Houchen save Rishi Sunak?

12 min listen

Tomorrow, voters go to the polls for the last set of local elections in this parliament, alongside 11 mayoral elections in England, 37 police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales plus the London Assembly elections. Could Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, help turn Rishi Sunak’s fortunes around? You can read James Heale’s assessment

Fergus Ewing: How Kate Forbes can save the SNP

Following Humza Yousaf’s resignation as First Minister, a fresh leadership contest could soon be on the cards. His would-be successors face an uphill task: after 17 years in government, the SNP looks discredited and divided in the face of a resurgent Labour party. In a dizzyingly short space of time, Yousaf’s party has been reduced

Humza Yousaf quits – what next?

14 min listen

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has just announced his intention to resign. Lucy Dunn speaks to Katy Balls and Spectator contributor Iain Macwhirter about how the past few weeks have led to this point and what to expect from an SNP leadership contest.

Can Humza Yousaf hang on?

11 min listen

Humza Yousaf faces the biggest crisis of his leadership to date – with his fate in the hands of former SNP leadership rival Ash Regan. Will Humza step down before he is pushed? Or is there a narrow gap through which the First Minister can fight on? Lucy Dunn speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy

Is this the beginning of the end for Humza Yousaf?

15 min listen

After two and a half years in government together, Humza Yousaf has terminated the SNP’s governing pact with the Scottish Greens. The decision was rubber stamped at a hastily arranged meeting of the Scottish cabinet on Thursday morning. It preempts a vote by rank-and-file Green members on whether to walk away from Yousaf’s government after he ditched

SNP ditch Greens as Bute House Agreement breaks down

If Humza Yousaf last week suffered his ‘worst week’ in office, then the same can be said this week for Patrick Harvie, the co-leader of the Scottish Greens. On Monday, it looked like his party had the upper hand on the future of the Scottish government. But today, just before an emergency 8.30 a.m Cabinet

Can things get worse for the SNP?

16 min listen

It’s been quite the week for the SNP. Questions remain over the future of the Sandyford gender clinic, ‘the tartan Tavistock’; the Scottish government ditched its flagship climate change target; and former party chief executive, and husband of Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell was rearrested on embezzlement charges.  What does this all mean for the SNP?

Sunak declares a crackdown on Britain’s ‘sick note culture’

10 min listen

Rishi Sunak has returned to one of his pet bugbears: getting the unemployed back into work. His speech to the Centre for Social Justice this morning was peppered with his favourite facts about the post-pandemic welfare crisis embroiling Britain. Lucy Dunn speaks to James Heale and Michael Simmons.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 

J.K. Rowling vs Scotland’s hate monster

15 min listen

J.K. Rowling has been at the centre of a Twitter backlash against Scotland’s new hate crime laws which came into effect on April 1st. How has the first week of this controversial legislation gone for First Minister Humza Yousaf? And is political support for the policy dwindling? Natasha Feroze speaks to Lucy Dunn and Isabel

Are Scottish Tories causing trouble for Rishi Sunak?

10 min listen

Lucy Dunn speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls about the slightly muted reaction to the budget. Labour has compared the announcements to Liz Truss’s unfunded tax cuts and Scottish Tories have criticised the chancellor’s decision to extend the windfall tax on the profits of North Sea oil. But is this really the pre-election budget?  

Is Rishi Sunak facing a Scottish rebellion?

The Chancellor will be anxiously preparing himself this evening for tomorrow’s papers, waiting to see how his Budget lands. He won’t need to wait quite as long to hear how his own party members have received it, however. And the verdict is already in from the Scottish Tories. It isn’t good. Jeremy Hunt’s decision to

Fraser Nelson in conversation with Karol Sikora

Professor Karol Sikora was supposed to be a guest on a Spectator panel last year when one sponsor said they would pull their funding unless he was dropped. Instead the sponsor was dropped, Sikora stayed and today he was back again, opening The Spectator’s Health Summit with our editor Fraser Nelson.  Does it matter if

Is the NHS badly run?

You don’t often hear calls for more managers to solve the crisis in the NHS. But at The Spectator’s Health Summit held in Westminster this week, a panel hosted by Isabel Hardman asking ‘Is the NHS badly run?’ came to that conclusion. Conservative MP and chair of the Health Committee Steve Brine, Labour’s shadow health minister Karin

Are Scots tiring of devolution?

As Scottish devolution celebrates its 25th anniversary, are voters losing faith in Holyrood? A quarter of the country believes devolution has been bad for Scotland, with almost half of ‘No’ voters in the independence referendum now disillusioned. New polling for the Sunday Times finds that over a fifth of voters didn’t know if devolving powers

McMafia: inside the SNP’s secret state

40 min listen

On the podcast: gangsterism or government?  The Covid Inquiry has moved to Scotland and, in his cover story for the magazine, our editor Fraser Nelson looks at the many revelations uncovered by Jamie Dawson KC. Fraser describes how civil servants were enlisted into what he calls an ‘SNP secret state’ and how SNP corruption is

The political motives behind the SNP’s Covid strategy

What motivated the Scottish government to take a more cautious approach to lockdown? Deviations from the UK government’s approach meant that those living north of the border often had to live with harsher restrictions compared to those in England, decisions that were widely assumed to be made on the basis of scientific advice. But now