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.

Is Boris in denial about the looming economic crisis?

The priority for the UK and other rich democracies is to protect the people of Ukraine from the depredations of Putin’s forces. A close second should be protecting the poorest people in our countries and vital public services from the cancerous impact of soaring inflation, made much worse by the West’s economic warfare against Putin’s Russia.

The invasion of Ukraine and the death of globalisation

Putin’s savage invasion of Ukraine, and the West’s collective response, is the moment that the slow death of financial and trade globalisation has been accelerated and made irreversible. Globalisation has been rolled back since the banking crisis of 2008, first by the banking regulation that followed, then by Trumpian and Brexit nationalism and mercantilism, then

Expelling Russia from Swift would be a massive economic shock

If Russia is expelled from the Swift banking messaging system, that would be serious economic warfare against Putin. Because Thursday’s decision by the US Treasury to make it almost impossible for Russia’s two biggest banks, VTB and Sperbank, to do any business with US institutions or use US infrastructure to process dollar payments will potentially

Will Ukraine become Putin’s Afghanistan?

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace may be right that Russian troops have not succeeded in all their immediate objectives, that they are demoralised and have been incompetent, and have suffered heavy losses. But the idea Putin is failing miserably – as Wallace claims – won’t be compelling to those who spent the night in Kiev’s metro

How should Boris respond to ‘crazy’ Putin?

Putin’s invasion has begun, and its scale is worse than even the gloomy fears of British intelligence sources and the public warnings of America’s president Joe Biden. Putin made an implicit threat that he will use nukes against any nation that directly interferes with his plans Former Nato Secretary General Anders Rasmussen told me on my

What is Boris’s partygate defence?

The presumption of many MPs — and maybe many of you — is that the Met is bound to issue a fixed penalty notice to the Prime Minister for attending parties in Downing Street, because the half dozen ‘events’ he attended look, swim and quack like a party, and therefore must have been a breach

The Ukraine crisis has united the West

There has been a subtle change of tone from Joe Biden and Boris Johnson about the likelihood of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. It has gone from ‘highly likely’ to ‘there may be a diplomatic solution’ — or from ‘almost all hope lost’ to ‘chink of hope’. So from where does that hope emanate? Largely, I am

Has Rishi Sunak blocked Boris’s NHS recovery plan?

The Treasury on Saturday prevented an announcement pencilled in for tomorrow of the so-called ‘elective recovery plan’, the multi-billion pound initiative to reduce the NHS’s record backlog of treatments. Treasury sources insist the plan wasn’t ready and this was a joint decision with the NHS. ‘The NHS wanted to pause too,’ said one. But this

Rishi Sunak’s cost of living gamble

The Chancellor is lending £200 this year to anyone who pays an energy bill in their own name. That’s 28 million people at an upfront cost to the government of £5.5 billion. The £5.5 billion will go directly to the companies this year, and will be knocked off bills from October. It will count as

Boris Johnson’s future is now in the hands of the police

The power of Sue Gray’s ‘update’ of her investigation into parties at 10 Downing Street and the Cabinet Office is as much in what it doesn’t say, as what it does. She identifies a staggering 12 gatherings – alleged rule-breaking parties – that took place over 11 months between May 2020 and April 2021 that may

Can the Tories afford to grant Boris Johnson a reprieve?

This was supposed to be the week of judgement for Boris Johnson and assorted Downing Street officials about whether they had breached Covid rules by holding parties. But they have won a temporary reprieve, because Sue Gray – the senior civil servant investigating the alleged rule-breaking parties – will delay publication of her report until

An omen of oblivion for Boris from a Tory MP

The Prime Minister revealed on Tuesday, during an interview with broadcasters, his testimony to Sue Gray, who he gave the mandate to investigate potentially unlawful parties held during lockdown at 10 Downing Street. ‘This is what I said to the inquiry,’ he confirmed. So what is his ‘this’? His main claim – which his own MPs

Boris Johnson’s bid to save his own skin could easily backfire

Militarising the border with France and abolishing the BBC licence fee may seem an extreme way to win back estranged backbench MPs, but the Prime Minister is in dire straits.  The heaviest burden is therefore on Sue Gray, the second permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office. She has been given the unenviable task of providing an

Could this legal loophole save Boris Johnson?

The life-or-death question for the Prime Minister is not whether Downing Street and Cabinet Office parties were illegal and should result in criminal prosecutions. Nor is it whether all or indeed any of the parties were actually organised by him. No. What will determine his survival is whether he has the faintest chance of persuading

How will Boris punish himself if his No. 10 party did break the rules?

The final arbiter of whether Boris Johnson should be punished or sanctioned for allegedly breaking lockdown rules by attending that bring-your-own-booze Downing Street party is not the second permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office Sue Gray, even though she has been given the delicate task of investigating what happened. Under the British system, the ultimate

Boris and Keir have the energy crisis all wrong

Because of soaring gas and oil prices, and the regulations that determine the energy price cap, it is almost inevitable most of us will face a rise in energy bills of between 40 per cent and 50 per cent from April. For a typical household, that’s an increase in bills of around £600 a year

Boris’s plan to test key workers daily

The Prime Minister is attempting to lessen the threat posed by Omicron to essential services by requiring around 100,000 workers in specified industries to take daily Covid tests. In order to keep the lights on, maintain the supply of food and keep aeroplanes flying, these workers will have to test five days a week —  so that

Is Boris feeling lucky?

The political and economic new year is all about surging Covid and a surging cost of living. The list of what families in particular will contend with in the coming weeks is enough to induce tears of exasperation. Take schools for starters. Staff absences, largely caused by coronavirus, were 8 per cent at the end