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Sebastian Whale is the Political Editor of The House. He is the author of Call to Order, a new biography of the former speaker, John Bercow
For Dawn Butler, running for the deputy leadership has exposed structural barriers that are preventing people like her from progressing. To break through, the Labour frontbencher has released a 23-page manifesto, centred on the party’s membership. She walks Sebastian Whale through her plans
Life in Westminster has got off to a whirlwind start for Pontypridd’s first woman MP. The Labour backbencher talks to Sebastian Whale about the party leadership, breastfeeding in the Commons and why a job in DCMS would be her dream role
Alicia Kearns was working in her dream job at the Foreign Office when the draw of becoming an MP grew too strong. The Conservative backbencher, a counterterrorism expert, is relishing life in the Commons. From contracting Hepatitis A to advising scores of governments on deracialising terrorists, she walks Sebastian Whale through her life so far
Rosena Allin-Khan says Labour is in a “critical condition”. The A&E doctor, a relative unknown outside of Westminster, believes she has the plan to get her party off life support. But she is facing an uphill battle in the race to succeed Tom Watson as deputy leader. Having overcome many hurdles during her career, can she surprise people once more? She speaks to Sebastian Whale.
With the UK on the way out of the European Union, you might expect Steve Baker to be feeling triumphant. Instead, the Brexiteer feels a degree of “melancholy” at the events of the past three years. Sebastian Whale talks to colleagues past and present about the Wycombe MP; the reluctant ‘Brexit hardman’ who played a crucial role in marshalling Eurosceptics in parliament. Photography by Baldo Sciacca
For Remain campaigners, the evening of 12 December proved devastating. Months if not years of work to preserve Britain’s membership of the European Union had gone up in smoke. How do they plan to pick up the pieces? Sebastian Whale reports
Steve Baker has revealed that he wants to be International Trade Secretary as Boris Johnson plans a major Cabinet reshuffle.
Controversial appointments coupled with a large influx of new peers have undermined the work done by many in the House of Lords to repair the Upper Chamber’s reputation, writes Sebastian Whale
The Culture Secretary believes a review of the licence fee should take place - but does not want to see the BBC's output suffer as a result, writes Sebastian Whale
The re-appointment of Nicky Morgan to Boris Johnson’s Cabinet raised eyebrows when it was announced in the days after the general election. Recently ennobled, the former MP still plans to “step back” from frontline politics – but insists she is not just keeping the seat warm for her successor. The Culture Secretary speaks to Sebastian Whale
The British Overseas Territories should be invited to become equal members of the United Kingdom after Brexit, according to a former Conservative minister.
The Tories are in a commanding position to address the many outstanding issues that have accumulated over the past few years. From boundary reforms to a bold offer to the Overseas Territories, former minister John Penrose has plenty of ideas for how his party can make the most of its newly acquired power. The MP talks to Sebastian Whale
Labour must do more than apologise for the "harm" and "distress" it has brought to the Jewish community in Britain, one of the party’s backbenchers has said.
Not everyone got caught up in the narrative that followed the 2017 general election. Bridget Phillipson raised concerns that her party were not learning the right lessons. With Labour suffering its worst election result in decades, the backbench MP warns the same mistakes cannot be repeated. She talks to Sebastian Whale
Political campaigns have always had a casual relationship with the truth. The 2019 general election was no different. But given the changing landscape, caused in part by the rise of social media, did political parties cross a line this time around? Sebastian Whale reports on a campaign to forget.
The Tories have become “rather blasé” about the impact of public spending cuts, according to the head of a leading economic think tank.
Champion of the backbenches, an over-reaching bully, or Remainer-in-Chief, John Bercow is far from the first Speaker to be deemed controversial. Brexit and beyond, Sebastian Whale examines the impact of his tenure in the Chair
Once hailed as a ‘diplomatic coup’ by Brussels negotiators, the backstop proved the undoing of Theresa May’s premiership – and may yet deliver the same fate to Boris Johnson’s. Sebastian Whale reports on how the question of the Northern Irish border became an impossible square to circle
John Bercow has sensationally announced he will stand down as Speaker by 31 October after more than a decade in the Chair.
By taking action against a slew of former Conservative ministers, including Ken Clarke, Boris Johnson is changing the face of the Tory party, writes Sebastian Whale
With no deal rebels facing the threat of deselection, a snap general election could lead to a dramatic change in the make-up of the parliamentary Conservative party – and the arithmatic in the House of Commons, writes Sebastian Whale
After a trio of defeats – including the biggest defeat ever suffered by a Prime Minister – Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement was presumed dead. But, Sebastian Whale writes, are some Labour MPs beginning to rethink their opposition?
For all the uncertainties of the next general election, we know one thing for sure – it will bring to the end one of the most illustrious political careers of modern times. As he prepares for his swansong, Ken Clarke walks Sebastian Whale through his life story – from being part of the Cambridge mafia to his deep regret at Britain’s decision to leave the EU. And close friends and opponents share stories of the Tory grandee’s five decades in parliament
Boris Johnson would lose a vote of no confidence in October if he has failed to make good on his pledge to secure a new Brexit deal with Brussels, a Tory backbencher has claimed.
A leading member of the Cabinet has predicted that John Bercow will help MPs to block a no-deal Brexit.
Would Conservative MPs really back a vote of no confidence in a Tory prime minister to prevent leaving the EU empty-handed, asks Sebastian Whale
A number of leading Conservatives could find themselves on the backbenches when the new prime minister enters No 10. With MPs facing deselection threats, and as their numbers diminish in the Commons, can One Nation Conservatives fight back? Sebastian Whale speaks to David Gauke and others about the future of Tory centrists
With the deadline of 31st October looming, EU officials are keeping a close eye on the race to become the next UK prime minister. While taking some of the campaign pledges with a pinch of salt, Brussels sources fear that the most likely outcome is now a no deal exit. But is there any room for manoeuvre? Sebastian Whale reports from the Belgian capital
Britain will ask to rejoin the European Union in a decade, a close ally of Angela Merkel has predicted.
Over the past three years, the BBC has faced accusations of bias from all sides of the Brexit and political debate. Does this mean the corporation is doing something right? Or is bashing the Beeb simply more politically useful now? Sebastian Whale investigates
The first woman Defence Secretary is best-placed to prevent a Boris Johnson coronation, writes Sebastian Whale
Aged just 40, Matt Hancock could soon become the youngest prime minister since William Pitt the Younger. But the Health Secretary believes he has the experience and energy to deliver Brexit – and then help his party “embrace modern Britain”. He talks to Sebastian Whale
Matt Hancock has hinted that he would prioritise improving people’s wellbeing over economic growth if he becomes the next Prime Minister.