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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Peter Tapsell

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Tapsell 're-arms' the debate on defence

The venerable Tory Peter Tapsell yesterday congratulated David Cameron – with just a hint of irony – for his “robust” G20 exchange with Vladimir Putin on Ukraine, before asking whether the Russian leader might not be more inclined to listen if Britain “re-armed.”

Donald Macintyre's Remembrance Day Sketch: Private faces at public tribute reveal true human cost

“Private faces in public places,” Auden writes, “are wiser and nicer than public faces in private places.” Such a public place was the Cenotaph at 11am on Armistice Day in this Great War centenary year. The focus of Sunday’s ceremony had been on the wreath-laying monarch, prime ministers past and present, ambassadors and generals.

Michael Gove

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Skulduggery or stupidity? Even Michael Gove doesn’t know

To describe the Government as having a rough ride in the Commons on Monday would be a heroic understatement. “A travesty… tainted with chicanery”, said Bill Cash. “Legislative legerdemain… tyranny… an outrageous abuse of parliamentary procedure”, added Jacob Rees-Mogg. And this was just the Tories! 

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: An easy ride in Runcorn - just what David Cameron needed

Normally when the Prime Minister descends on a workplace, production grinds to a halt. O2, whose huge call centre outside Runcorn was the venue for today’s “Cameron Direct”, is made of sterner stuff.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: No Douglas Carswell – but Ukip’s presence in the Commons is still felt

Expected, as Ukip’s first ever elected MP, to inject an electric new current of excitement through the Commons, Douglas Carswell has been a crashing disappointment. Today, for PMQs, he didn’t even show up.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Two nations divided by some uncommon language

As ententes go this was not madly cordiale. True, the Home Affairs committee chairman, Keith Vaz, did his best to make the Mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, feel at home by thanking her in excruciatingly accented French for coming along to “discuter ce sujet tres important”. In the event, Ms Bouchart must have wondered whether it wasn’t bad enough to have an asylum seeker crisis in your town without crossing the Channel to be told by a bunch of British MPs it was all your fault.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Rural Britain transported by ire over rail cuts

Nothing better illustrates the late Congressional Speaker Tip O’Neill’s mantra that “all politics is local” than Transport Questions. To sit through it is to be exposed to a living gazetteer of little-known villages inadequately or unsafely served by rail and road links. “What progress [has the Secretary of State] made...” ran a typical question from the Tory Laurence Robertson, “... in improvements to the A417 and A419 at Nettleton Bottom and Crickley Hill; and [will he] make a statement?

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Marbles and David Cameron putting the boot into John Bercow help to relieve the tedium

There was a genuinely startling moment during Prime Minister’s Questions today. And no, it wasn’t the man being bundled out after seemingly flinging marbles at the screen protecting MPs from the public – though goodness knows that helped to relieve the tedium. It was when David Cameron suddenly – if metaphorically – decided to plant his boot on the neck of the Speaker, John Bercow.

Man arrested for allegedly throwing marbles during PMQs

Mps were protected by screen erected in 2004

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Fiona Woolf keen to establish one thing... five dinners does not an association make

The thing about Fiona Woolf is that she’s just an ordinary, common or garden, little old Lord Mayor of London.

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