Donald Macintyre

Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt. As Political Editor and then Chief Political Commentator, he previously covered the John Major and early Tony Blair era. He has written for the Daily Express, Sunday Times, Times and Sunday Telegraph, and Sunday Correspondent. He is the author of Mandelson and the Making of New Labour (2000).

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Culture Minister Sajid Javid

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Wind fails to fill Sajid Javid's sails as official 'waxes lyrical' about energy policy

Energy policy has nothing to do with the Department of Media Culture and Sport - which is where Sajid Javid actually works

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Chuka Umunna's walk-out was not quite in John Nott territory, but wasn't bad

As “walking out” of a television interview goes, Chuka Umunna’s departure from a Sky News studio today was, sadly, not in the big league. This wasn’t Defence Secretary John Nott’s magnificently enraged 1982 wrenching of the microphone from his tie and disappearing off-camera, while chuntering “I’m fed up with this interview...” after Robin Day had suggested he was a “here today and, if I may say so, gone tomorrow, politician”.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Answer to US obesity epidemic? Haggis

Lamenting that “not everyone fully understands the haggis,” Lord Purvis of Tweed today cited the story of a Burns supper which took place in Germany. The deathless description “Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race,” he explained, was “translated into German and then retranslated back as ‘Mighty führer of the sausage people’.”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The PM is not 'frit', he just doesn't need the TV debates

For students of game theory, today’s raucous exchanges about TV election debates between Ed Miliband and David Cameron were unexpectedly intriguing. Miliband won, oddly since Cameron had on the face of it the better case, and made it just as robustly. As the Greens’ sole MP Caroline Lucas smilingly nodded her approval – not a frequent sight – Cameron pointed out that in the last European elections, “Ukip and the Greens both beat the Liberal Democrats, I am afraid.” (Not a great day for Clegg to break his recent habit by turning up. His open-mouthed, outstretched arms response could have meant anything from “It’s a fair cop” to “Moi? I’m Deputy Prime Minister, you know.”) Cameron added: “It is very simple. You either have both of them, or you have none of them.”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: 'I am the Prime Minister,' Tony Blair told Select Committee - and he acted as if he was

It’s hard to know why Tony Blair resisted coming to the Northern Ireland Select Committee. A politician (and lawyer) who had proved a past master at defending the indefensible was hardly going to implode when he actually had a strong case.

Alex Rukin yesterday became the youngest person to petition a committee of MPs

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Now nine-year-old has Cub Scout badge for bamboozling MPs

Youngest person ever to petition the House of Commons appears before HS2 Committee

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Ed Miliband gets all gladiatorial at 'People's Questions'

Before Ed Miliband’s first “People’s Question Time”, in the Nottinghamshire village of Hucknall, the local Labour candidate, Leonie Mathers, urged his audience not to “hold back”, adding: “The tougher the questions, the better!”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Red Bull cans and KFC handwipes - insights into Britain's litter grip MPs

Whether David Sedaris’s call for litter louts to be systematically reduced to a state of “abject paranoia” will feature in the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee report on the subject, is doubtful. But it was improbably cool of the MPs to invite him as a witness. 

The Tory party's “Cost Analysis of Labour Party Policy” took place at SW1's Altitude event space

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Don’t vote Labour, they’ll put street lights back on!

Sketch: When it was pointed out that the 'special event' resembled a leadership hustings, Theresa May shook her head with an oddly knowing smile

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: It’s not easy being green if you’re Ed Davey

When Labour’s Kevin Brennan asked Ed Davey his “position” on fracking after New York State’s ban on it, the Energy Secretary said portentously he was sure the MP “would like every government to follow everything that New York State does, but we are an independent country and we make our own decisions”.

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