Patrick O’Flynn

Patrick O’Flynn

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

Is migration really about to halve?

Could our current record levels of immigration be a flash in the pan, a statistical spike brought about by the confluence of several exceptional factors? After the figure for the twelve months to June 2022 came in at 606,000 net and more than one million gross, that would be a comforting notion for those who

The winners and losers of this year’s conference season

Conference season 2023 is done and dusted, with punchy Wes Streeting having performed the final significant act yesterday via his speech depicting Labour as the great engine of NHS reform. How has it gone? Who has done best? Has it changed the political weather overall? Those who have attended all of it will have their

Could Nigel Farage unlock victory for Keir Starmer?

What is Labour’s offer for Nigel Farage? Yes, you read that right. Of course, Keir Starmer’s party detests almost everything the former Ukip leader stands for, including Brexit and immigration control. That almost goes without saying. But we are well into the phase of the political cycle when grubbing for votes is far more crucial

Suella Braverman is a force to be reckoned with

After Suella Braverman announced her candidacy for the Tory leadership on ITV’s Peston show in the summer of 2022 the liberal left laughed at the very idea. Someone even asked Robert Peston online: ‘How did you keep a straight face when Suella B said she’d stand for Prime Minister?’ Well, as Bob Monkhouse once observed

Is Suella after the Tory leadership?

11 min listen

Suella Braverman is in Washington today, giving a speech to a think tank on illegal migration in which she will argue that seeking asylum and seeking better economic prospects are two different things. It’s a punchy line she’s taking, should Rishi be taking note? Or is this a thinly veiled bid for the Conservative leadership? 

Patrick O'Flynn

Rishi Sunak has much to learn from Suella Braverman

Amid all the heat and not much light thrown up by the ongoing debate on the illegal migration crisis, it is easy to pick out the voice of Home Secretary Suella Braverman. She is the Conservative who isn’t bluffing when the idea is raised of the UK withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights

Tory MPs can dare to dream about the next election

Were you a centre-right leader seeking the perfect person to condemn you for implementing a mildly populist measure then a harrumphing Al Gore would surely be about as good as it gets. To have this cold fish, liberal left American jet-setter – known for excusing his own giant carbon footprint on grounds that he purchases

Starmer’s migrant plan is even worse than the Tories’

Labour’s long-awaited approach to stopping the Channel boats is so pusillanimous that it ought to be a political gamechanger for the Conservatives. But it probably won’t be. As Sir Keir Starmer outlines in various newspapers today, an administration led by him will abandon the Rwanda removals plan and get rid of the Illegal Migration Act

Kemi Badenoch’s growing popularity makes her vulnerable

The news is grim for supporters of Kemi Badenoch: our heroine has climbed to the top of the Conservative Home website’s monthly cabinet popularity table. This further cements her rating with the bookies as favourite to take over as Tory leader when Rishi Sunak’s race is run – and let’s be honest, that race does

Might a Tory defeat in 2024 be something to celebrate?

When a party’s own natural supporters decide they have good reason to turn against it then the writing is normally on the wall. Things, though, are rather worse than that for Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives: Tory-leaning voters would now seem to have not one but two good arguments for hoping the party loses next year’s general

Ulez could mark the end of the road for Sadiq Khan

The metropolitan bohemian Withnail, played by Richard E Grant in the film Withnail & I, is so appalled by life away from inner London that he declares: ‘We’ve gone on holiday by mistake.’ Among the metropolitan bohemians who run the Tory party in the capital, the selection of Susan Hall as mayoral candidate was regarded

Is the Home Office working against the Tories?

It has long been suggested by senior politicians from both main parties that civil servants in the Home Office pick and choose which government policies to implement and which to ignore or undermine. On the Labour side, David Blunkett once complained of his reforms being ‘swamped by the history and practices of the Home Office’

After Sunak, who?

Nothing happens, and nothing happens, and then everything happens, the author Fay Weldon once declared.  This observation about life’s tendency to deliver sudden squalls between periods of apparent calm could certainly be applied to the leadership of the Conservative party.  It is only a year ago that Kemi Badenoch rather brilliantly used the leadership contest

The UK’s immigration impotence

We will never know precisely who Channel migrant number 100,000 was, but we do know he was one of around 700 arrivals brought into Dover on Thursday. And we can be fairly confident that number 100,000 was indeed a ‘he’, as 85 per cent of the small boat migrants are male compared, for instance, to

Suella Braverman’s Turkey deal won’t stop the boats

It hardly takes a genius to work out that whoever is in charge of the government’s media grid over the summer parliamentary recess has designated this as ‘illegals week’. Not only has Home Office floated the eye-catching idea of building a holding centre on Ascension Island, but the Bibby Stockholm has finally seen its first