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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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.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Hmm. Sajid Javid as Chancellor? Why not?

Everyone was pretty friendly, reluctant, perhaps, to make an enemy of someone heading for the top

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