Robert Peston

Robert Peston

Robert Peston is Political Editor of ITV News and host of the weekly political discussion show Peston. His articles originally appeared on his ITV News blog.

Jeremy Hunt thought he was being pranked

When Jeremy Hunt received a message early yesterday morning from a ‘Liz Truss’ wanting to talk to him, he assumed he was being pranked. He later found out it was indeed the prime minister and she wanted to make him Chancellor. He has totally reset her economic policy this morning, so maybe the prank is

The Bank of England has no good options

How will and how should the Bank of England, and the Treasury, react to this morning’s continued fall in the value of the pound? I’ve been talking to former Bank of England executives and ex-Treasury officials, who make clear that the stakes are incredibly high and that reassuring markets will not be easy. This further

Can Starmer convince voters to back his vision of Labour?

Here in Liverpool, at the start of Labour conference, politics feels more familiar than it has for many years, and also quite confusing and not wholly predictable. And the cause, mostly, is Friday’s budget, which very deliberately delivered the bulk of additional income from tax cuts to those on highest earnings. This feels in many

Truss’s energy bailout is eye-watering

The government will announce tomorrow that it will cover the costs of more than £1 in every £3 of gas consumed by businesses and households over the next six months. There has been no subsidy of a market price on this scale in British history. Estimates of the final bill for taxpayers range from £100 billion

Kwasi Kwarteng is a politician from a different age

Liz Truss doesn’t waste energy on unnecessary emotion. At the announcement of her victory at the QE2 Centre, she ditched the convention of hugging your partner and shaking hands with the runner-up. Instead she grabbed her notes from her husband Hugh O’Leary and marched past Rishi Sunak without a second glance. No time for sentimentality!

Will the Bank of England say sorry?

Months ago I said the Bank of England would face a barrage of criticism and a challenge to its independence for failing to raise interest rates enough last year during the post-Covid economic rebound and then for putting them up big time now as we head into recession. So it has proved. And by the

What Liz Truss learned from the Brexit referendum

Liz Truss may have been a Remainer but she has learned the political lesson of the EU referendum in the way that her genuine Brexiter opponent has seemingly failed to do.  The point is that in today’s milieu, and especially with an electorate of 160,000 largely Brexit-supporting Tory members, power is with the insurgent. In

Liz Truss presents a serious challenge to Rishi Sunak

After all that, Sunak entered the final members’ round to be Tory leader and UK PM with a comfortable 24 vote margin of advantage over the runner-up Liz Truss. But her 113 votes are enough of a mandate from MPs to present Sunak with a serious challenge during the summer contest. What is striking is

Labour won the Tory leadership debate

That was quite a debate. I’ve never seen senior Tory ministers and MPs lay into each other so publicly.  Rishi Sunak accused Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt of being socialists – not a compliment in the Tory lexicon – for being reckless with the public finances. Truss attacked Sunak for raising taxes to record levels. Kemi Badenoch

Why did Liz Truss change her mind on Brexit?

Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt were both committed Brexiters in the 2016 referendum campaign – and both took career risks to support leaving the EU, against the wishes of the then-Prime Minister David Cameron. By contrast Liz Truss campaigned enthusiastically to stay in the EU (see for example the below forceful speech to the 2016

Will Tugendhat and Badenoch fight on?

Tom Tugendhat and Kemi Badenoch have both fought impressive campaigns. They were both relatively unknown before the contest and they’ve significantly enhanced their reputations. But they are both so far behind it would take a miracle for either of them to reach the magic 120 votes needed to enter the final run-off where members pick

Robert Peston

The Conservative party is in a terrible state

There was only one lesson to be drawn from last night’s Peston show: the Conservative party is in a right old state. On it we had four senior Tory MPs who support four different candidates to be leader: the Treasury minister Lucy Frazer who backs Rishi Sunak, the friend of Boris Johnson Jake Berry for

Does Sunak want to face Mordaunt or Truss?

To use a sporting cliche, Penny Mordaunt has brought the Tory leadership election alive. The little known former Defence Secretary placed second in today’s first round, with 67 votes – which is 17 more than third placed Liz Truss, and 21 behind the leader Sunak’s 88. And given that the MP contest is all about

Will Sunak’s polished campaign harm his chances?

Rishi Sunak has launched a slick, well organised leadership campaign very early. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that he has been preparing his leadership pitch quietly for weeks and months. Will this hurt or harm him? There may be some Boris Johnson loyalists who will accuse him of disloyalty – although Johnson did

Could Boris Johnson cling on until November?

The prime minister is resigning today, and staying on as caretaker till the autumn, but that leaves very big decisions to be taken not only about who succeeds him but about the process for replacing him. I am told Boris Johnson rang Sir Graham Brady – chair of the 1922 backbench committee and de facto

The meeting tonight that will decide Boris Johnson’s fate

The 1922 Committee – the organising body for Conservative MPs – faces a momentous decision on Wednesday night. If its members believe the mood of their colleagues is that the Prime Minister must face an immediate further test of his popularity, following the Chris Pincher debacle and the serial resignations from government, they could allow

Is Starmer trying to have his Brexit cake and eat it?

There are three big questions about Sir Keir Starmer’s ‘five point plan to make Brexit work’. First is whether it makes sense economically: will it help return the UK to growth? Second, will it impress the EU, and is there any chance that what Starmer wants will be agreed by EU leaders? Finally, does it

Nicola Sturgeon has put Boris Johnson in a tight corner

Nicola Sturgeon’s claim that she will not contemplate breaching the rule of law by holding an independence referendum was pretty blatant trolling of Boris Johnson, given the multiple allegations he faces of being less than scrupulous in following domestic and international law. But Sturgeon also put Johnson and the Tory party in a tight corner by