Our man in Westminster
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Wednesday 30 March 2011
Though keen to work my way through all 424 pages of Kay "Hurly" Burley's debut novel First Ladies, I must confess to having been waylaid by its acknowledgements section: a revealing roll call of the company Ms Burley keeps when she's not on Sky News encouraging celebrity divorcees to blub. The erstwhile ice dancer's first two thank-yous go to fellow chick-lit authors Tasmina Perry and Kathy Lette, who obligingly provided First Ladies with pre-publication puff quotes. Lord Mandelson, too, merits Ms Burley's gratitude, and claims on the cover that she "uses her unrivalled knowledge of the worlds of politics, media and celebrity to racy effect". (Yes, Peter, but is it any good?) Also thanked profusely are former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who left office under a cloud of (alleged) dubious financial dealings; Damian McBride, who left Gordon Brown's employ when he was caught discussing whether to spread scandalous tales about the private lives of Tories; and Lord Archer, who was jailed for perjury. If you need help creating a work of fiction, I suppose there are worse people to ask.
Friday 04 March 2011
David Cameron has been officially reprimanded by the head of the civil service over the "unacceptable" behaviour of some of his special advisers.
Wednesday 26 January 2011
Now that the shadow Leader and shadow Chancellor are set in place for the rest of the parliament, one thing we know.
Saturday 18 December 2010
Wednesday 24 November 2010
You must have noticed Ed Balls working at his reinvention. It's "new balls please" in the shadow Home Office. For years he was the sorcerer's apprentice, the imp who mixed the phials of poison for his boss Brown. He handled Damian McBride, he stoked the loathing for Tony Blair. And he could win almost any fight because there were two of him.
Thursday 18 November 2010
With Edwina Miliband at home on new-baby duties, we expected a battle of the deputies for PMQs. But after last week's gruelling encounter on tuition fees, Nick Clegg was stood down to recuperate and the Prime Minister faced up to Harriet himself.
Monday 11 October 2010
Neatly timed for the publication of the 127th book about the first instalment (Jonathan Powell's), the Labour Civil War Mark II began at the weekend. Leading the neo-Blairite cavaliers was Peter Hyman, the Mr Tony adviser turned inner-city Mr Chips and Newsnight sage, who deflected any suspicions about his friend David Miliband's sense of entitlement by accusing Little Ed of "stealing his brother's crown". Ed's victory was a "catastrophe" for Labour, says Peter.
Friday 17 September 2010
Thursday 09 September 2010
It's been an interim Parliament so far, and with Cameron away with his family we had an intermission to the interlude. No doubt there is a frenzy going on in corners, crevices and committee rooms but in the chamber it's dreamy.
Sunday 29 August 2010
Are the Telegraph's political scoops good journalism – or just a case of friends in high places?
Thursday 15 July 2010
When Andy Coulson, the Tory communications chief, entered Downing Street in the full knowledge that the coalition Government would have to embark on a programme of savage public-sector job cuts he was no doubt equally aware that some civil servants might do all they could to make his job a nightmare.
Monday 12 July 2010
Tuesday 11 May 2010
Friday 07 May 2010
Labour appeared to have averted electoral meltdown last night, but the stark reality is that the party has achieved its worst electoral performance for nearly two decades.
Wednesday 28 April 2010
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision