Patrick O’Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn is a former MEP and political editor of the Daily Express

What the Rochdale disaster says about Keir Starmer

Sometimes a single act changes the entire course of events for years to come. For instance, many Manchester United football fans fondly recall the moment in 1990 that a young striker called Mark Robins scored a crucial goal in an FA Cup tie that saved the job of Alex Ferguson, who had at that stage

Clarke’s bid to oust Sunak has flopped – for now

It was ‘the knife of the long knight’, joked one social media wag about the bid by the unfeasibly tall Sir Simon Clarke to oust Rishi Sunak from 10 Downing Street. So lanky was he as a youth that Clarke was nicknamed ‘stilts’ in his schooldays. Conventional wisdom at Westminster will tell you this morning

Keir Starmer says it best when he says nothing at all

There is a modern country music standard called ‘When You Say Nothing At All’. The song, taken to the top of the UK pop charts by the Irish singer Ronan Keating a quarter of a century ago, is a treatise on the power of non-verbal communication. The central ‘hook’ line involves someone telling their lover:

Will Nigel Farage team up with the Tories?

How is the idea that Nigel Farage might join the ‘broad church’ Conservative party going then? Given that he floated the notion mainly to troll the party’s high-ups and then they breathed life into it mainly to try and keep right-leaning voters on board, it’s going about as well as one might expect. Which is

The Tories’ only hope is tax cuts

In the old days, when the Conservatives were chalking up opinion poll ratings in the forties, their strategists knew they needed robust offers on four key subjects in order to secure their electoral base. These were Europe, law and order, immigration and taxation. Brexit has largely removed the need for the first, on the second

Rishi’s rule will end with a whimper, not a bang

That best-selling 1970s toy Action Man proved the power of evolution. First, the painted hair on the initial models was superseded by ‘realistic’ flock hair and then came an ‘eagle eyes enhancement’ that allowed the eyeballs to be moved back and forth via a lever at the back of the head.   One is put in

Rishi Sunak will never stop the boats

Do not let the relatively comfortable margin of victory for the Rwanda Bill’s second reading fool you: we have now moved squarely into the ‘third Brexit’ stage of British politics. The first British exit from looming European control over key policy levers came when eurosceptics beat off a plot to take the country into the

Patrick O'Flynn

Suella Braverman’s deadly warning for the PM

While it would be unfair to suggest that Tory MPs only care about holding onto their seats at the next election, equally it would be wrong to say that it isn’t a very important consideration for many. So when Suella Braverman declared in her personal statement in the Commons today that the Conservative party is

Are the Tories too little too late on migration?

14 min listen

As James Cleverly meets leaders in Rwanda to sign a new asylum treaty, the government has laid out a series of plans to bring down legal migration. Some Tories on the right would like the measures to go further, but are these policies too little too late? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Spectator writer, Patrick

Patrick O'Flynn

Why didn’t Sunak listen to Braverman’s migration warning?

Conventional wisdom about politics isn’t quite always wrong: it is merely shown by the passage of events to have been in error in the vast majority of cases. Consider the unhappy relationship between Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman over immigration policy. The Westminster Village – media and political practitioners alike – generally accepted that Sunak

Newsnight doomed itself

Whither Newsnight? Or do I mean wither, Newsnight – shortly to be reduced to a 30-minute debate show shorn of more than half its staff. As a teenage news and politics junkie, I grew up on this programme, watching it from its 1979 inception and through its 1980s heyday when that broadcasting giant Sir John

Will Farage return to haunt the Tories?

The rise of Ukip and the highway to Brexit was greatly smoothed by the widespread perception that British governments had lost control of immigration. For many years, we purists in matters of nation-state independence struggled to articulate a stand-alone ‘sovereigntist’ argument that would catch fire with the wider public. But then Tony Blair threw open