The would-be, could-be, should-be(?) Prime Minister: Kwasi Kwarteng

By Tim Le Couilliard The third Business Secretary in 12 months, Kwasi Kwarteng assumed the role as his predecessor Alok Sharma moved to focus fully on the COP26 Presidency, ahead of the important summit in November.  A somewhat notable appointment, Kwarteng is and has been for a while, seen as a rising star in the…

Latest lockdown measures and exam grades debated in House of Commons

By Gareth Jones MPs were recalled to Parliament today as part of an emergency debate and vote on the latest lockdown restrictions which came into effect yesterday in England (along with similar restrictions imposed in other parts of the UK). The Prime Minister opened the emergency debate and told MPs that he hoped to be…

The Prime Minister may be in a better place than many think

By Simon Gentry On Sunday morning the Prime Minister appears on television and tells the nation that the schools must stay open, that the damage to children caused by closing them is too great.  On Monday evening, less than 36 hours later, he addresses the country and announces that schools must close. Over the weekend…

Open… but careful: Scrutiny of inward investment ramps up

By Simon Gentry Last month the Government announced a comprehensive and wide-ranging package of changes to its powers to scrutinise investment int the UK from abroad. The National Security and Investment Bill very significantly changes the Government’s enforcement powers.  It will introduce a CFIUS-style foreign investment regime for the first time in the UK. CFIUS is the…

Lockdown for London?

By Tim Le Couilliard A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on the “great unlocking of the lockdown,” but caveated that it was not quite the mass national liberation that we’d all hoped for. Three weeks on, I am quite glad put in that caveat: it appears that we are likely to see the…

V-day has arrived

By Simon Gentry Margaret Keenan was up early this morning to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 outside of a research setting.  Thousands and then millions of us will follow in the next few months.   The event caused the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock MP, to break down in…

The Spending Review: Sobering economic news and ‘tough choices’

By Gareth Jones  Today, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, set out the government’s spending review amid some stark and sobering figures on the state of the economy and public finances from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). Declaring that “Our health emergency is not yet over and our economic emergency has only just begun”, Sunak stated…

Groundhog lockdown

By Simon Gentry The good news is that we will be released in a semi-free sort of way to spend time with at least part of our families over the Christmas break.  The bad news is that the restrictions many are living under are going to remain tight before the festive break and will tighten…

Number 10 comms… ‘under new management’

By Ian Silvera Everything but the erection of a big plastic banner – restaurant-style – has been done to spell-out that Number 10 is ‘under new management’.  For those not familiar with the noisy handover, Team Carrie (Symonds) has prevailed over Team Dom (Cummings) in Downing Street, with Boris Johnson’s partner earning herself a new…