With David Cameron pushing for more sanctions on Russia in the wake of the MH17 disaster, pressure is building on the Tories to hand back a £160,000 donation — after Scrapbook pointed out that it came from the family of ‘Putin protoge’ Vladimir Chernukhin. Accompanied by her husband at the Tories’ summer ball, Chernukhin’s wife Lubov bid […]

Has the UKIP bubble popped? Newark by-election poll (Lord A): CON – 42% UKIP – 27% LAB – 20% LDEM – 6% — Britain Elects (@britainelects) June 2, 2014 Grant Shapps was so worried that he even threatened wannabe MPs — telling them they’ll be thrown off the approved candidates list unless they turn up for the campaign.

Scrapbook notes this characteristically loaded question from Lord Ashcroft with interest: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations to the BBC regarding the neutrality of its news coverage.[HL93] Lord Gardiner of Kimble: There have been no representations or recent discussions with the BBC concerning the neutrality of its news output. The BBC […]

Despite their  lacklustre attendance and poor voting records, peers with financial interests in the health industry are turning up in record numbers to help the Tories push through their fiercely contested Health and Social Care Bill. Known within Westminster as “backwoodsmen”, these Conservatives have close links to private healthcare, meaning they stand to benefit financially from reforms set […]

With his long standing interest in exotic islands (manifest recently in a bizarre series of parliamentary questions) Lord Ashcroft may have seemed a natural fit as the government’s senior adviser to a review of Britain’s military presence in Cyprus. But it seems the Liberal Democrats still require some persuasion. The quotable Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay […]

There’s nothing like a glass of champers to kindle the flame of bipartisanship.  By all accounts many were consumed at the Spectator Awards yesterday evening, where winners included Caroline Lucas (“newcomer”), Tom Watson (“inquisitor”) and Gisela Stuart (“Survivor of the Year”). Here “Parliamentarian of the Year” Ed Balls receives congratulations from across the aisle: With their past […]

Anyone wanting a semi-regular dose of the bizarre in their inbox should sign up for a Lord Ashcroft email alert. When not tabling brazen questions on tax the Tories’ former deputy chairman will focus on issues affecting British ocean territories, such as whether or not one can visit the Chagos Islands by sea or when St. Helena’s new […]