Even the room somewhere in Westminster where the historic meeting was to take place was kept secret until the last minute. Once “C”, Sir John Sawers, and his two colleagues arrived, the Intelligence and Security Committee chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind announced a time delay on the TV broadcast lest anything endangering national security should be said. Mysteriously, the man sitting immediately behind MI5’s Andrew Parker bore a passing resemblance to Nikita Khrushchev. We were, in short, all keyed up.
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Thursday 04 November 2010
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.
Monday 02 August 2010
With any potentially transformative national event, our guide is the Chinese communist who, asked about the impact the French Revolution almost two centuries later, said it was too soon to tell. So hats off to Nick Robinson, the BBC's very own Zhou Enlai, for patiently hanging on for almost three months to make his film Five Days That Changed Britain.
Monday 12 July 2010
Senior Labour figures pleaded for calm yesterday as the imminent publication of Peter Mandelson's memoirs, The Third Man, provoked a fresh round of party infighting.
Sunday 06 June 2010
Paul Dacre failed to get a peerage in Gordon Brown's dissolution honours, but might he be rewarded in this Saturday's birthday honours? Some say the Daily Mail editor could have expected to be rewarded for his personal loyalty to Brown, even if his paper did back the Tories in the election. If David Cameron had ennobled him last week, it would have echoed Margaret Thatcher's arrival in office – the first peer she created was a Lord Dacre, the late historian Hugh Trevor-Roper. But all is not lost: whispers reach me that a knighthood may not be out of the question next weekend.
Saturday 15 May 2010
Saturday 08 May 2010
Jacqui Smith was close to tears but Hazel Blears wore a quiet smile of relief. In the contrasting fates of these former ministers, the electorate's final judgement on the expenses scandal proved every bit as unpredictable as the campaign.
Thursday 06 May 2010
Thursday 06 May 2010
Saturday 01 May 2010
Former Cabinet minister Hazel Blears today confirmed that an illegal immigrant had been working as a volunteer on her election campaign.
Monday 19 April 2010
*Now it gets dirty. Well. Nick Clegg was warned he would now come under close scrutiny. Let me tell you a few things that have been mentioned recently: 1. His mother is Dutch. 2. His father is half-Russian. 3. His spin doctor is German. 4. His wife is Spanish. 5. He has lived in Hungary. 6. And Belgium. 7. His children have Spanish first names. 8. He speaks a lot of foreign languages. 9. His children are on holiday in Spain. 10. He once worked as a ski instructor in Austria. Are you getting the picture, or pintura, as he doubtless says? No? How about this exclusive: you know that in Scotland a clegg is a horsefly? I can reveal that it has the exactly the same meaning in Norwegian. Enough said?
Thursday 17 December 2009
Few vegetarians in the public eye can lay claim to fighting for the cause with the kind of vigour offered by that revered Mancunian miserablist, Morrissey.
Sunday 01 November 2009
Sunday 20 September 2009
Unemployment is at nearly 2.5 million, and the world cannot agree on a solution to global poverty, climate change and the banking system – but Gordon Brown has sought to reassure Britain he is in control with a series of "fireside chats" inspired by Franklin D Roosevelt.
Sunday 06 September 2009
Labour figures planned to "smear" the daughter of the new head of the Army because of her links to David Cameron, it was claimed last night.
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'