Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Covid Inquiry stenographer still working from home

It’s another day of exciting testimony at the Covid Inquiry. Thus far, every viral-infected cough and spit has been poured over in endless detail by the assembled hacks, with the latest witnesses no exception. This week’s line-up has been full of familiar faces from the not-so-distant past, with Sir Patrick Vallance the star-turn at yesterday’s

SNP MP dismisses the ferries scandal

If you can’t fix a problem, pretend it never existed. That seems to be the logic of SNP MP Alyn Smith at least. Speaking at ‘The Breakup of Britain’ conference this weekend, the Stirling MP appeared to suggest to his audience that Scotland’s ferries scandal is, er, not actually a priority for the people of


Met police swell their social media army

Scarcely a week seems to go by without an incident involving one of the Metropolitan Police’s social media accounts. Recent controversies on Twitter/X including ruling on whether the term ‘jihad’ constitutes hate speech, getting fact-checked by community notes and making demands for further powers in a post explaining their inability to prosecute those who clamber

Will Sunak publish Braverman’s ‘ransom note’?

Another week of Tory wars looms in SW1. Ministers are desperately trying to find a fix to the Supreme Court’s legal kiboshing of the Rwanda scheme. But one person they certainly can’t rely on for any favours is Suella Braverman, the recently-axed Home Secretary. On Tuesday, she published a stinging three-page assessment of Rishi Sunak’s


Cameron squirms over China links

Welcome back to Westminster, David Cameron. The return of the former PM to frontline politics has prompted a deluge of stories, mostly concerning the business links he built up in his post-premiership career. One theme that keeps cropping up is China – hardly surprising, given that Cameron is now charged with running British foreign policy.

Arise, Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton

It turns out that theme of this week’s Rishuffle really was ‘Back to the Future’. For David Cameron, now returned from political exile, has opted for his title a place that recalls old scandals past. The former Tory leader will be introduced on Monday in the House of Lords as ‘Baron Cameron of Chipping Norton’,


Braverman takes aim at Sunak with ‘five-point plan’

Ding ding! Suella Braverman is back for another pop at the Prime Minister over his failure to get the Rwanda deportation plan up and running. The former Home Secretary delivers her damning verdict in today’s Telegraph, warning that he will fail to send any migrants to the African nation before the next election.  Sunak, she says, is guilty of ‘magical thinking’: ‘tinkering with a failed plan’ will not be enough

SNP minister squirms over £11,000 iPad bill

Another day, another tech-related scandal for the SNP. Health secretary Michael Matheson has come under fire for running up a whopping £11,000 bill on his iPad in roaming charges — and initially being prepared to let the taxpayer pick up the bill. Today he gave a lengthy speech explaining himself to the Scottish parliament. He


Guardian forced to delete viral Bin Laden letter

Oh dear. It seems that the world’s wokest newspaper has blundered, again. The Guardian has today been forced to remove a letter by, er, Osama Bin Laden after it went viral on TikTok. The letter had proudly been up on the Graun’s website since 2002, explaining how the terror chief launched his war against the


Watch: James Cleverly denies slating Rishi’s Rwanda plan

The Tory party is still reeling from the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Rwanda migrant plan. Following Suella Braverman’s departure, it now falls to the new Home Secretary James Cleverly to help Rishi Sunak find a way through the mess and pacify the party’s grumblings. But it seems that Cleverly may be, er, starting on


Lee Anderson defends Sunak

There’s a lot of grumbling right now about Rishi Sunak on the right. So it must have been to the Prime Minister’s relief that there’s at least one no-nonsense Tory he can always depend on. Step forward Lee Anderson, the party’s deputy chairman and stalwart member of the Common Sense Group. Just a few hours

Michael Howard savages Suella Braverman

Blue-on-blue hits different when it comes from an older vintage. It seems at least one Tory grandee didn’t think much of Suella Braverman’s incendiary departure letter to Rishi Sunak yesterday. Michael Howard, who famously served in the Home Office from 1993 to 1997, today hits out at his successor, writing an article for today’s Daily

The SNP’s ludicrous by-election bill

Another day, another financial catastrophe for the SNP. This time it concerns the recent Rutherglen by-election, which saw the nationalists lose the Westminster seat to Labour in a humiliating defeat. But the by-election wasn’t the only embarrassing loss facing the Nats: their party bank balance took a hit too. It transpires that the SNP spent


Watch: Piers Morgan clashes with Corbyn

The Gaza conflict is a crisis that requires the upmost tact and diplomatic skill. So it was perhaps inevitable that Jeremy Corbyn would be reduced to angrily yelling at Piers Morgan about his past words about Hamas. Appearing on TalkTV last night, the man who led the Labour party three years ago failed 15 times


Watch: Corbyn refuses 15 times to call Hamas a ‘terror group’

Should Hamas stay in power following the 7 October atrocity on Israel? Should the group’s fighters be called terrorists? Two questions that are simple to answer but not, it seems, for Jeremy Corbyn. The former Labour leader refused 15 times to label Hamas a ‘terror group’ in a testy interview last night with Piers Morgan.

Will Sunak face more no confidence letters?

And so the backlash begins. On Monday evening Andrea Jenkyns MP submitted a letter of no confidence in her ‘Machiavellian’ Prime Minister. It comes at the end of Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle, which saw then-Home Secretary Suella Braverman sacked and, startlingly, former Prime Minister David Cameron return to government. Will the drama never end? Jenkyns’s letter


Scottish nationalists hail Cameron’s return

Out with the old and in with the even older. With Lord Cameron today making his return to government as Foreign Secretary, Mr S was intrigued to glean the reaction north of the border. It mustn’t be forgotten, after all, that Cameron is the only UK Prime Minister to have allowed the Nats their hallowed


Is Lord Cameron a ‘useful idiot’ for the CCP?

Let the great kow-tow begin – again. David Cameron, the new Foreign Secretary, is well-known for his attempt to create a ‘golden era’ in Anglo-China relations when prime minister. This essentially meant turning a blind eye to Chinese misdeeds and espionage on the condition that Beijing kept pumping money into the British economy.  But it’s his


Six questions David Cameron can now answer

David Cameron left 10 Downing Street with indecent haste. Britain had voted for Brexit and we were about to discover a scandal: he had instructed the civil service not to do any preparatory work in the event of a Yes vote. This led to a crushed timetable that destabilised his successors as he ran for