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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Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Chivalrous David Cameron puts it in the back of the net

Since last year’s Cornish holiday snaps, David Cameron’s sunburned form in a state of partial undress has exercised a powerful grip on the popular imagination. So much so that today Labour’s Pamela Nash announced that she “might have nightmares this evening about the Prime Minister modelling Speedos on his world tour”.  

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Absent Lib Dems miss Ed Davey’s frolics

While the Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey was opening the Queen’s Speech debate, the Labour MP Gisela Stuart gleefully rose to point out that the Liberal Democrat backbenches were empty. “My Honourable Friends may be in Newark,” Davey said vaguely.

Donald Macintyre's sketch: The Queen proves she’s a pro, and Lib Dems leave happy

It’s unsurprising that the Queen didn’t miss a beat when a page boy fainted during her Speech.

UKIP candidate Roger Helmer on the UKIP caravan in Market Square, Newark

Newark by-election: On the campaign trail with Roger Helmer - Ukip’s most controversial candidate

His comments on rape provoked fierce criticism - but do supporters of his party care?

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Lib Dems’ Paramount Leader survives to fight another day

Unsurprisingly perhaps – in view of the tragi-comic opera unfolding hourly at the dissident end of the Lib Dem spectrum – Nick Clegg seemed rather chipper on Wednesday for a leader who had just seen his party all but wiped out.

Nigel Farage has promised to show that Ukip isn’t “a one-man band”

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Nigel Farage makes hay while the goldfish cling to the comfort blanket... and other mixed similes

Never mind how historic an electoral breakthrough this is. Nigel Farage is way ahead in the phrase-making stakes.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Battle of the market square - how David Cameron cakewalked Boris Johnson

Just once in Newark’s Market Square today a woman said to Boris Johnson: “Can I shake your hand? You’re the only one who’s got any sense.” Johnson’s reaction – understandably, given that the Prime Minister was only a few yards away – was to mumble affably, if unconvincingly, “No, no, no,” as she accomplished her mission.

Ukip candidate Winston Mackenzie takes a call regarding the whereabouts of leader Nigel Farage in Croydon

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: You can tell it’s going badly when a candidate calls his seat ‘a dump’

It remains to be seen whether Winston McKenzie’s description of Croydon – “unsafe” and “a dump” were only part of it – will win him votes as a Ukip candidate in the council elections. In Croydon. But no doubt he needed such terms to explain the unscheduled non-appearance of Nigel Farage at what had been billed as a “carnival rally” in the precincts of the Whitgift shopping centre.

Zac Goldsmith MP introduced 10,000 juvenile eels into the River Thames as part of a conservation mission by The Sustainable Eel Group

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Humble eels provide lesson in persistence as Zac Goldsmith helps unload 10,000 eels into the Thames

“I don’t mind eels,” wrote the American poet Ogden Nash, “except as meals/and the way they feels.” The Tory MP Zac Goldsmith is made of sterner stuff.

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