The Coronation offers a rare opportunity to re-set the national narrative

  • 27 Mar 2023

“There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today,” said Vice Admiral David Beatty as his ships exploded around him at the height of the Battle of Jutland in May 1916. We are not yet at the stage where banks are going down like dominoes but there is enough spume f...

Justin Welby – Ten Years On

  • 22 Mar 2023

Ten years ago this week Justin Welby was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. Ten turbulent years for the Church of England over which he presides, and ten turbulent years for the Archbishop personally. During this decade we have learnt a...

It’s going to be a long week at Westminster

  • 20 Mar 2023

The Budget came and went last week almost quietly. This is what the Prime Minister and the Chancellor wanted, indeed needed. It has come to something when a Conservative government’s chief ambition for a budget is not to cause a stock-market crash, but that is what it has come...

Budgets, banks, the BBC and the danger of insularity

  • 13 Mar 2023

A quiet budget. A soothing budget. A smooth problem-free budget. This is what we are told is Jeremy Hunt’s ambition. A tinker here, a tweak there, with the odd nod in the direction of childcare or an elegant bending of the knee to the need to reform pensions to encourage peopl...

The future of Conservatism is going to require a change in thinking as well as policy

  • 6 Mar 2023

In the space of a week predictions about the number of seats the Conservative Party will win at the next General Election have moved from 84 to 69. Such projections at this stage have to be taken with a very considerable degree of caution, but nevertheless should serve to focu...

Rishi’s great gamble

  • 27 Feb 2023

British politics over the last 13 years has been a rollercoaster of change to accepted wisdom and settled opinion. A coalition government, five successive Conservative prime ministers, Brexit, the collapse of market confidence forcing a change in prime minister and chancellor,...

The Primate and the Premier are both facing a tough week

  • 6 Feb 2023

This week will see not one but two embattled leaders trying to push their agendas forward, see off rebellions, and push their respective organisations forward. Both leaders preside over internal debates that are increasingly fraught. Both are facing serious rebellions. Both kn...

Royal soap opera is bad news for Sunak and Starmer

  • 11 Jan 2023

Over Christmas and the New Year I was writing a chapter on King Edward III for the broadcaster and publisher Iain Dale’s upcoming book on the Kings and Queens of England. Edward had to seize control of the throne from the grasp of his mother and her lover who had led the succe...

Our finest hour is yet to come

  • 19 Dec 2022

Rarely, in recent times, has the refrain in the bleak midwinter resonated more. My grandparents used to recall the long freezing winter of 1947, when food rationing was still in force and wartime deprivation remained a grim reality as the worst they experienced. I can, just, r...

Former Prime Ministers should be seen but not heard

  • 13 Dec 2022

Britain now has seven living former prime ministers. Two of them still Members of Parliament. Since Mrs Thatcher took the traditional peerage, none of her successors have become members of the House of Lords. Winston Churchill famously remained in the Commons turning down the ...