Patrick O’Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn

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

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 First, the painted hair on the initial models was superseded by ‘realistic’ flock hair and then came an ‘eagle eyes enhancement’ that allowed the eyeballs to be moved back and forth via a lever at the back of the head.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?

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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

Sunak has no excuse for immigration being this high

Of all the essential tasks facing Rishi Sunak when he became Prime Minister, bringing down the level of legal immigration should have been by far the most straightforward. This is probably not what the electorate had in mind when voting for Brexit in order to ‘take back control’ of the borders All he had to

Don’t blame ‘lefty lawyers’ for the Rwanda debacle

There is no point in critics of our activist judiciary kicking off about today’s Supreme Court’s decision that the government’s Rwanda policy is unlawful. This isn’t a case of ‘lefty lawyers’ thwarting honest politicians, but of incompetent politicians seeking to wish away the United Kingdom’s international treaty obligations without having the bottle to withdraw from

Rishi Sunak will regret bringing back David Cameron

So farewell then to the great realignment: Suella Braverman out of a great office of state and David Cameron back into one. As electoral signals go, this one hardly needs much decoding. The alliance of social conservatives that fell into the Tory lap without them really understanding why has been spurned. The boarding school boys

Rishi Sunak is in office but not in power

Can Rishi Sunak still catch a break or has the plughole spiral of British politics now dragged him firmly into its unsparing ambit? It is just possible that he will come up for a lungful of air on Wednesday, when the Supreme Court delivers its long-awaited verdict on whether the Rwanda scheme is legal. More

Sacking Suella could sink Sunak

If prizes were dished out for saying what the unwashed and un-woke are thinking then Suella Braverman would be garlanded in medals and have a mantelpiece groaning with trophies. The Home Secretary scored bullseye of the year when she said that multiculturalism had failed. A couple of weeks later groups of people waving Palestinian flags

Rishi Sunak’s Oliver Dowden problem

Margaret Thatcher was said to have once remarked that every prime minister needed a Willie. Given that humour was not her natural domain, perhaps she didn’t even intend it as a pun. The Willie she was referring to was, of course, the vastly experienced William Whitelaw who served as her effective deputy – and most famously

Sunak has united conservatives but not how he hoped

Why are the Conservatives doing quite so badly? Smashed in two by-elections, dropping further in the polls, last days of the Roman Empire on the backbenches, morale and purpose visibly ebbing away. Partly it must be because Rishi Sunak has been unveiled as a nerd rather than an authoritative national leader. Banging on about gobbledegook

Tory voters are no longer scared of Labour

Amid all the discussion in Tory circles about whether the next election will have more in common with the narrow victory of 1992 or the landslide defeat of 1997, nobody has ever made the case for 1993. But after the Conservatives’ shattering loss of two of their nominally ‘safest’ seats to Labour in by-elections in