The Spectator

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David Cameron back and Suella Braverman sacked: as it happened

6.07pm Steerpike: Andrea Jenkyns hasn’t taken Suella’s sacking well. The MP has submitted a letter of no confidence in the ‘Machiavellian’ Rishi Sunak to 1922 chair Sir Graham Brady, writing that ‘enough is enough’, since ‘Suella… was the only person in the cabinet with the balls to speak the truth of the appalling state of

Letters: it would be the height of stupidity to ditch the ECHR

The sanctity of the ECHR Sir: Jonathan Sumption’s criticisms of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘Ruled out’, 30 September) are as lucid and as logical as one would expect from such an admired jurist. He provides a persuasive case as to why the UK could withdraw from the ECHR while preserving all the basic

Can Sunak establish himself as a radical?

The Conservatives gather in Manchester this weekend for what may well be their last hurrah as a governing party. Bookmakers are offering odds of 7:1 to anyone bold enough to bet on Rishi Sunak winning the next general election. The Prime Minister himself is in a gambling mood and has started to make some brave

In defence of e-bikes

Identity politics Sir: Your lead article (‘On board’, 12 August) highlights numerous issues related to refugees, but does not offer much in regard to why this country is a magnet for economic migrants. You state that this is a rich country. How can this be the case when government debt is 100 per cent of

Why do the Tories force asylum seekers to live on welfare?

Over decades of service as a floating hotel, the Bibby Stockholm has accommodated all manner of people. It has housed workers for a Swedish wind farm and for the new Shetland gas plant; homeless people in Hamburg, asylum seekers in Rotterdam. It was briefly considered as a ‘high-end’ barge for students: with 222 en-suite rooms,

Rishi Sunak is right to hedge his bets on oil and gas

It is quite right that the Prime Minister has chosen to approve new licences for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea, in spite of the bitter reaction from climate activists, the Labour party – and some of his own MPs. Chris Skidmore, who just recently completed a review of net zero policies on

Letters: Biden is alienating Britain

Joe Shmoe Sir: Your piece ‘Not so special’ (Leading article, 8 July) was right. Joe Biden doesn’t like us and a brief 45 minutes with Rishi Sunak last week doesn’t change that. In Saudi Arabia last year, Biden compared Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with Britain’s past in Ireland. This was outrageous – what about the

Parents have a right to know what’s in sex education classes

Rishi Sunak tends to shy away from social issues so it has been left to a backbencher, Miriam Cates, to introduce a Bill which would oblige schools to disclose to parents the materials whichare being used in their children’s sex education classes. The Bill is necessary because the Conservative government has allowed sex education in

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The best of Low Life: Jeremy Clarke remembered

Jeremy Clarke, The Spectator’s Low Life columnist, died this morning at his home in France. He was 66. For 23 years, his column was, for many readers, the first page they turned to in the magazine. Here is a brief selection of the best of Low Life: On self-confidence  30 March 2002: ‘Two Christmases ago,

Portrait of the week: Biden, bullying and Barry Humphries

Home ‘China is carrying out the biggest military build-up in peacetime history,’ warned James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, in his Mansion House speech, but said ‘no significant global problem’ could be ‘solved without China’. The government borrowed £139.2 billion last year, £13 billion less than expected, bringing public debt to 99.6 per cent of GDP.

Who still smokes?

By George Keir Starmer was mocked for showing footage of Glasgow in a video he made to celebrate St George’s Day. But the legend of St George (who is, after all, also the patron saint of Georgia and Ethiopia) did not leave Scotland untouched.  – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Stirling all have churches dedicated

Who first floated the idea of spy balloons?

Something in the air A US fighter plane shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon which had drifted across Canada and the US. Balloons have a long history in military operations, being deployed widely in the American Civil War and in the Siege of Paris in 1870, when they were used to get messages out of