William Hague at press lunch: We don't under-estimate Miliband

William Hague at press lunch: We don't under-estimate Miliband

26 Feb 2015 16:23

William Hague was the star guest at the press gallery lunch today.

He kicked off with a brutal take-down of press gallery chairman, Bloomberg’s Rob Hutton. To guffaws among the assembled hacks and their guests, the former Tory leader picked apart the journalist’s CV:

“It says: ‘I’m the only member of the parliamentary press gallery to have built a rugby playing robot’. Could this be because no other member of the lobby is remotely interested

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Did Anna Soubry use the C word in the chamber?

Did Anna Soubry use the C word in the chamber?

25 Feb 2015 17:39

Did a Tory minister call Ed Miliband a "sanctimonious c***" during a Commons debate?

Footage of Anna Soubry yelling in the chamber was due to feature in final episode of Inside The Commons on BBC Two last night. However it was edited out at the last minute after the Daily Mail told the MP that it planned to identify her as the likely source of the insult.

Soubry issued a furious denial, telling the

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A week for Nigel Farage to forget

A week for Nigel Farage to forget

20 Feb 2015 16:55

It’s not been the best of weeks for Ukip.

First of all the party’s parliamentary candidate for Great Grimsby was widely ridiculed for a rhetorical question during a Question Time-style debate in Cleethorpes this week.

Victoria Ayling asked: “What happens when renewable energy runs out?”

Then came reports that one of the fans filmed on a Paris Métro train was a ‘vocal’ Ukip supporter who had recently posted for a pic with Nigel

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Cameron's marriage tax allowance proves controversial

20 Feb 2015 10:24

The “bedrock of our society”. This is the description David Cameron attributed to married couples as the government prepares to launch the marriage tax allowance.

Today saw the unveiling of an advertising campaign to encourage four million couples to sign up for the allowance, a Tory manifesto pledge, ahead of its April release.

Through the measure, an individual who is not using all of their personal allowance will be able to transfer £1,060 to

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When Tory lobbyists go off message

When Tory lobbyists go off message

18 Feb 2015 16:58

The Conservative election campaign has been described as “shambolic and embarrassing” by senior Tory lobbyist.

In a comment piece for Total Politics today, which can be found here, Peter Bingle complains: "The entire campaign is negative and to be frank nasty. I have yet to hear any coherent and/or positive reasons to vote Conservative on 7th May."

The former Tory councillor then advises David Cameron: “Sack the hapless Grant Shapps and replace him with a serious

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Boris' father: Tories should be greener

Boris' father: Tories should be greener

17 Feb 2015 16:39

Boris Johnson’s father has called for the Conservatives to get greener and said he is baffled by the stance on climate change taken by Tories such as Nigel Lawson.

In a soon-to-be-published interview with TP, Stanley Johnson tells us: "I don’t think it would hurt the Tories to be a bit greener in their approach, although you could say when David Cameron went off and hugged a husky that was a bit opportunistic."

On fellow

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Introducing the weekly polling review: Labour ahead.... just

Introducing the weekly polling review: Labour ahead.... just

16 Feb 2015 10:25

As part of a new, weekly, feature Total Politics will provide analysis of the most influential political polls from the past seven days.

This week finds Labour just ahead of the Conservatives on 33.9 compared to 32.8, with Ukip in third on 13.3 points. Both the Greens and the Liberal Democrats are trailing on 7.1.

One of the most notable results came from Scotland with a TNS poll putting the SNP ahead of Labour by

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Watch the NZ campaign ad that Cameron wants to copy

Watch the NZ campaign ad that Cameron wants to copy

12 Feb 2015 08:39

David Cameron is "inspired" by an ad campaign which rocked the New Zealand general election, according to our insider.

In this week's column, former Sun political editor George Pascoe-Watson reveals that the PM has been watching ads ran by the victorious National Party in last year's NZ election.

The series of ads contain footage of a boat carrying a hotchpotch of individuals pulling their oars in different directions. This is compared to a well-drilled

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Halfon and Docherty star in Commons doc part two

Halfon and Docherty star in Commons doc part two

10 Feb 2015 14:16

Michael Cockerell’s documentary Inside the Commons is set for its second instalment tonight after making its much-anticipated debut last week.

This week it focuses on the state opening of Parliament, which includes the traditional search for gunpowder. The episode also explores how MPs introduce their own Bills and their fractious relationship with the Whips.  

Tory MP Robert Halfon and Shadow Deputy House Leader Thomas Docherty will both feature; one reacting to an unexpected call from Downing Street, and

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Political Twitter Awards 2015 launches

Political Twitter Awards 2015 launches

09 Feb 2015 09:38

A new awards scheme for political tweeters is being launched with categories ranging from ‘Most Influential Tweet’ and ‘Apology of the Year’ to ‘Best Constituency Tweeter’ and ‘Parliamentary Tweeter of the Year’.

The Political Twitter Awards awards have been established by lobbying agency Westminster Public Affairs. See the full the list of who's been shortlisted at politicaltwitterawards.com.

They are being judged by a panel of political commentators including Channel 4’s Michael Crick, PoliticsHome’s David

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Javid joke shock as hacks set for Hague gig

Javid joke shock as hacks set for Hague gig

05 Feb 2015 15:57

Sajid Javid is not usually renowned for his sense of humour,  but the Culture Secretary shocked the lobby at today’s press gallery lunch.

He began his address: “I have today agreed to let my name go forward for the leadership of… Oops, wrong speech.”

Hacks loved it and the Telegraph’s Chris ‘Chopper’ Hope took to Twitter to express his astonishment. 

“Sajid Javid opens his #pressgallery speech with a joke about whether he will stand for the Tory leadership. Very funny -

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Margaret Hodge quits the mayoral race. Cui bono?

Margaret Hodge quits the mayoral race. Cui bono?

04 Feb 2015 16:58

Labour’s London mayoral race is hotting up with one of the front-runners out of the picture.

Margaret Hodge recently saw her backing from Labour supporters climb from 10 per cent to a substantial 16 per cent. But she today bowed out of the battle to become the party’s candidate to take over from Boris in 2016.

Who will she throw her weight (and potentially thousands of votes) behind now? David Singleton offers a few

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Stanley Johnson goes green

Stanley Johnson goes green

Even the patriarch of one of the country’s most ambitious and successful families must fulfil such mundane fatherly duties as dog-sitting. Stanley Johnson has recently returned from the Arctic and is planning a trip to Ascension Island, a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. But in the meantime he is looking after his daughter’s dog, Coco, in Camden, North London.

The daughter in question is Rachel Johnson, journalist and former editor of The

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