The Insider

Insider cartoon February 2016

Haters gonna hate

The Insider  |  2 February 2016

It has been a fun few weeks for the Labour party, hasn’t it? Let’s briefly recap. Before Christmas this column identified Tom Watson, Angela Eagle and Hilary Benn as the three most direct threats to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Entirely unrelatedly, over Christmas the leadership of the party chose to undermine Benn and Maria Eagle, for the …

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John McDonnell polaroid

Truth or dare

The Insider  |  14 December 2015

Despairing, mutinous, disgusted, shell-shocked, aghast, angry. The adjectives journalists use to describe the mood of Labour members of parliament when it comes to their leader are growing in variety and ferocity. They do not understate the discontent. Two months into the Corbyn era and the mood in the parliamentary Labour party is growing ever bleaker, at …

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Insider 1115

Will the real JC please stand up?

The Insider  |  5 November 2015

Another dispatch from inside the Westminster village The parliamentary Labour party has good reason to feel disoriented. Their party has overwhelmingly given them a leader who has the support of about as many Labour members of parliament are there are Ulster Unionist ones. Even many of our leader’s most vocal parliamentary supporters privately doubt he has …

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Cartoon October 2015

Insider out

The Insider  |  27 September 2015

Another dispatch from inside the Westminster village As we are in a new world, perhaps we should rename this column. The insider is now firmly outside, cold and shivering. Sometimes courtiers discover larger forces at work. So it is today. There has been a peasants’ revolt against New Labour’s nobility. Fair play to them. Last month Jeremy Corbyn …

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The Insider cartoon Sep 2015

Who’s got their party back?

The Insider  |  25 August 2015

Well, that escalated quickly. When he entered the Labour leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn was best known to historians of British parliamentary rebellions. While he has long been a doughty campaigner for the British left, they had not seen him as being at the very front rank of their depleted ranks. In past elections, John McDonnell, Diane …

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The Insider July 2015

Big tent or sideshow?

The Insider  |  3 July 2015

Another dispatch from inside the Westminster village Cast your mind back a decade. As a Labour supporter, perhaps you were happy that Labour had won a majority, but were also uncomfortably aware of the dangerous territory ahead. The prime minister had announced this was his last election. Leadership speculation was growing. There were significant splits in the party over foreign …

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Insider June 2015

The Insider

The Insider  |  9 June 2015

Another dispatch from inside the Westminster village Consider the ruins of Ed Miliband’s political project. For four years the Labour party built up a vast edifice of policy and strategy. Commissions were commissioned, reviews reviewed, union executives entreated, business executives soothed. For four years this project had enormous stature. Some were impressed, and claimed it …

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Ed’s poker face

The Insider  |  9 March 2015

The election draws remorselessly nearer, but the doubly close nature of the polls gives little clarity over what follows election day. In Brewer’s Green a group of Labour staffers work busily on transition plans, but their isolation from the day-to-day campaign seems as much a metaphor as a management decision, with even senior figures briefing …

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The Insider February 2015

Mini-fistpumps all round

The Insider  |  3 February 2015

Ed Miliband’s route to Downing Street runs through Scotland. Without the 41 Labour seats that Scottish voters granted Gordon Brown’s party five years ago it will be almost impossible for Labour to reach a majority. With no majority, a smiling Alex Salmond would be all too willing to promise to temporarily back a Labour prime …

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The Insider December 2014. Naushabah Khan

A mayor for all reasons

The Insider  |  5 December 2014

With Boris Johnson heading back to Westminster and no obvious Tory candidates having his metropolitan appeal, the Labour candidacy for the London mayoralty is a great prize. Sadiq Khan has secured for himself a significant number of early advantages. The shadow minister for London has used this position to promote both his strengths as a …

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