Reporter. Policy Editor @BBCNewsnight. I cover politics, economics and government in the UK and beyond | DMs open- send me your stories.
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Aug 9 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Stacey one of many for whom cost of living crisis makes even essentials out of reach. She has three kids and is struggling to afford school uniform for her 12 year old son, something many will be grappling with as the new term approaches. She told @bbcradioulster this am:
“I’ve spent over £300 already and I still don’t have it all in. I’ve spent £120 on three pairs of school shoes. His blazer was £78, tie £12, school jumper £27. And then he needed three pairs of trousers and they were £17 each. He needs three different PE kits for different…”
Aug 8 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
The post Trump presidency as extraordinary and precedent defying as the presidency itself. FBI today have had a warrant to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida home.
Trump: “My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
Aug 5 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
INCYMI our piece on rise of Brothers of Italy and Georgia Meloni, who could be Italy’s first female PM, but also the first from her party, with historic links to postwar Italian fascism. This is likely a big story in September. Everything you need to know.
A Newsnight Italia Production: Produced by @caithanrahan@SteFasano camera: Jonathan Callary edited: Kasra Karimi
Aug 3 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
In the first post-Roe abolition test of public opinion, Kansas last night voted decisively against removing abortion protections from its state constitution.
Kansas is of course a heavily Republican state at presidential level and has a GOP dominated state legislature (at gubernatorial level it is more swingy), which makes this decision all the more notable.
Aug 2 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
The Truss u-turn today reminds us of 3 things (I) a contest which has taken a strongly Thatcherite turn continues to sit uneasily with the post-Brexit politics of the Conservative party, something neither candidate has confronted very much.
(II) much of Johnson’s political…
…success relied on ambiguity. Truss’ pitch is centred on providing political and ideological clarity- and clarity can have cost.
(III) this contest is a deeply artificial political environment which focussed on individuals, narrative, will and the like. The real political…
Aug 2 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
NEW: Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan- she's the most senior US politician to visit the island for 25 years. China has warned it will have an "egregious political impact."
Chinese Foreign Ministry: “We closely follow Pelosi’s itinerary. If the US insists on going its own way, China will take firm and powerful measures to safeguard China’s sovereignty and security interests.”
In today’s bit of news randomness: spent the morning in the Mayor’s office in l’Aquila
Che bello 🇮🇹
Jul 28 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tells Today the removal of Boris Johnson was a “ruthless coup, led largely by Rishi Sunak.”
She doesn’t rule out a Johnson return: “who knows what the future will hold.” She says BJ has told her she’d like the petition to get him on the ballot to stop as “it’s not right.”
Jul 25 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
unpopular take: both did well in their own terms. He knew he had to do something/come out fighting- he did. She had to hold her own against that and show some spark, she did. But net that’s a Truss win, because if polling is right, he’s the one who needs the transformative moment
Most telling things about it
1) economic gulf isn’t getting narrower. 160,000 people have more direct power over immediate economic policy in an unprecedented way.
2) On climate change issues both had little to say. Both proffered ideas to combat climate change which won’t…
Jul 25 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
NEW: UK to host Eurovision 2023. Will be the first time UK has hosted since 1998, but this time on behalf of and in support of Ukraine, this year’s winners. Bidding process for host city to begin this week.
Will be the eighth time the BBC has hosted the contest, more than any other broadcaster.
Jul 23 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
John Keefe of Eurounnel says actual service running well but: “Everyone has to realise there are now different types of border controls so the time it takes to get through the border is longer- that’s a function of the UK being a third country to the EU.” bbc.co.uk/news/uk-englan…
“This infrastructure was created for borderless travel. So when the Channel Tunnel was built [there were] no requirements for passport controls, no requirements for customs controls on goods moving backwards and forwards between the UK and France, and that’s different now."
Jul 22 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Essentially Sunak and Truss are contesting different histories of Thatcherism. What’s striking about that is in 2019 it felt as if the party had shifted to something new in political economy, but now this contest feels as if it’s looking back. My NN piece.
Produced superbly as always by @jasmin_dyer camera: Justin Mills edit: Essi Hardy
Jul 20 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Interested to hear from you if you’re in a Conservative Association and what you think of the choice before you, how you think each candidate will go down in your membership. DMs open.
All views entirely confidential.
Jul 20 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
NEW: SUNAK AND TRUSS PROCEED TO MEMBERSHIP VOTE
Mordaunt eliminated from contest.
Sunak or Truss will be Britain’s next Prime Minister.
Close. Sunak ahead but weakest front runner in terms of % of final votes for some time, because last three were so tightly together. Mordaunt had been second throughout but wasn’t able to maintain momentum.
Jul 20 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
A final PMQs which hints at dangers for Johnson’s successor and another example of Westminster being a pretty weird place for anyone watching- in 4 points
Dangers for Conservatives
1) Starmer amply demonstrated why debates are a danger. He spent half of it using quotes…
…where the candidates attacked the governments of which they’ve been apart and each other. Conservatives are good at self renewal in office but question whether they’re really capable of pulling it off again.
2) Johnson’s future is far from certain. He hinted several times…
Jul 20 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Boris Johnson leaves the Commons saying “hasta la vista, baby.”
Then receives applause only from his own side.
Viewers may recall the very side which removed the Prime Minister only a week or so ago, many of whom writing letters in the strongest possible terms against him.
The terminator reference (I’ll be back) coupled with his passing “mission accomplished, for now” will make his would be successors sweat. Just as he’s been a deeply unconventional prime minister, seems certain he’ll be a deeply unconventional former one.
Jul 20 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
.@Ianblackford_MP: “I’d like to thank the PM in his capacity as minister for the Union in pushing support for independence to new heights.”
Conservative frontbenchers shake their heads and mouth “no.”
Blackford says “I hope with all his new spare time the prime minister has time to reflect on his conduct in office and genuinely hope he finds some peace of mind.”
Jul 19 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Catching up with cross party Home Office Select Committee report into small boats crossings and Rwanda. Three points it makes on govt’s Rwanda plan:
1) says it’s not clear that it will have disincentive effect. Invites govt to set out evidential basis for their claim it will.
2) says Home Office must provide “more detailed costings” for the plan
3) says HO must set out what steps “it is taking to ensure that the mental and physical well-being of those relocated is s cited for the long term.” Says UK govt position is that UK will have no…
Jul 18 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Boris Johnson:“The Leader of the Opposition and the deep state will prevail in its plot to haul us back into alignment with the EU as a prelude to our alignment to our eventual return.”
Surely the first time a prime minister has talked about the ‘deep state’ at the dispatch box
“Some people will say that this is the end of our support for Ukraine.”
Seems unlikely in the extreme that anyone has said this, given that Britain’s support for Ukraine is beyond contestation within mainstream British politics.
Jul 17 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Sunak’s great advantage is that whatever anyone thinks about his economic policy it does have a consistency and coherence, which helps in these debates. But his great disadvantage is that it has a consistency and coherence, which doesn’t help in the contest more widely.
Fundamentally on economics this is a set of candidates who haven’t answered the central question of our immediate politics: how to ease inflationary pressures, for as many people as possible, without making inflation worse.