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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
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.
Andrea Leadsom has vowed to declare a climate emergency and use Britain’s foreign aid budget to cut carbon emissions around the world if she becomes Prime Minister.
After the chastening experience of her first leadership contest, Andrea Leadsom believes she is in a good place to run to be Prime Minister for a second time. With a plan that she insists will see Brexit delivered by 31 October, and a strong message on tackling climate change, the former Leader of the House is trying to get the word out there. She speaks to Sebastian Whale
Theresa May’s true legacy is that her successor will now be dealt an even worse hand than she was, writes Sebastian Whale
An 18-year veteran of the House of Commons, Pete Wishart is the longest-serving SNP MP. The former musician turned politician is eyeing up a new gig as Speaker of the House of Commons. But can he win over his audience? He talks to Sebastian Whale
Lindsay Hoyle has spent his entire political career fighting marginal seats in tight elections. As thoughts turn to who could replace John Bercow in the Chair, the deputy speaker is keen not to jump the gun. But is the Labour MP mulling a bid for one of the highest-profile jobs in British politics? He talks to Sebastian Whale
Sir Edward Leigh will start as an outsider in the race to succeed John Bercow as Speaker. The unapologetic Thatcherite has enjoyed a varied 36-year career in the Commons. Standing on a platform to take the Speakership back to its traditional roots, does he have a shot at entering the Chair? He talks to Sebastian Whale
A former government chief whip has said he understands why some Conservatives will not vote for the party at the European elections.
As Tory MPs put themselves forward to replace Theresa May, some expected candidates are biding their time. Mark Harper insists such “self-indulgent” speculation about the party leadership should not be the priority with the European elections looming large. But is the former chief whip mulling a crack at the top job? He speaks to Sebastian Whale
People react to conflict in different ways. Some actively seek it out, others actively avoid it. For Michael Bates, politics has become an almost inhospitable environment. To find the common ground, the Conservative peer and former minister has embarked on a walk from Belfast to Brussels. Nearly 200 miles into his journey, Sebastian Whale joins him in west Yorkshire
The Government should invest billions of pounds on repairing the “damage” done by Brexit once the negotiations move to the next phase, a former government minister has said.
“Dinosaur” MPs are putting parliamentary staff at risk by resisting much-needed restoration and renewal work to the Palace of Westminster, a senior union official has claimed.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb believes politics has become far too negative. He tells Sebastian Whale that he’s determined to cut through the Brexit noise and make the positive case for the government’s education plans
Heidi Allen has hit out at the “top end vetting company” which approved MEP candidates for Change UK who were later found to have posted offensive comments on social media.
Ever since she railed against George Osborne’s welfare cuts, Heidi Allen’s relationship with the Conservatives looked fragile. After months of feeling disillusioned with her adopted party, she helped to form The Independent Group. Now interim leader of the rebranded Change UK, the South Cambridgeshire MP is hopeful for success at the European elections – but says Brexit cannot be everything that her party’s about. She talks to Sebastian Whale
Like his political hero, Nye Bevan, Nick Thomas-Symonds hails from the South Wales Valleys. From excelling at school to a successful career as a barrister, his trajectory has always been upwards. Now shadow solicitor general, does the 38-year-old have higher ambitions? He talks to Sebastian Whale
Chris Bryant has vowed not to “belittle, diminish or lecture” MPs if he is elected the next Speaker of the Commons, as the battle to replace John Bercow kicks into gear.
Newly independent MP Nick Boles has suggested he will not stand at the next general election, saying he is on his “way out” of frontline politics.