Andrew Marr recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke

The presenter is "responding to treatment" after being taken ill on Tuesday, says the BBC.

The BBC announced earlier this evening that Andrew Marr is recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke. In a statement, it said:

Andrew Marr was taken ill yesterday and taken to hospital. The hospital confirmed he has had a stroke. His doctors say he is responding to treatment. His family have asked for their privacy to be respected as he recovers.

We will continue to broadcast The Andrew Marr Show and Radio 4’s Start The Week with guest presenters in his absence. His colleagues and the whole BBC wish him a speedy recovery.”

Acting Director-General, Tim Davie, said: “I am very sorry to hear the news about Andrew. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back at the BBC soon.

Figures from the world of politics and the media have taken to Twitter to wish the presenter well. Ed Miliband, who is due to appear on The Andrew Marr Show this Sunday, wrote: "My thoughts are with Andrew and his family. Hope he gets well soon."

The New Statesman wishes Andrew a swift and full recovery.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Grant Shapps on the campaign trail. Photo: Getty
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Grant Shapps resigns over Tory youth wing bullying scandal

The minister, formerly party chairman, has resigned over allegations of bullying and blackmail made against a Tory activist. 

Grant Shapps, who was a key figure in the Tory general election campaign, has resigned following allegations about a bullying scandal among Conservative activists.

Shapps was formerly party chairman, but was demoted to international development minister after May. His formal statement is expected shortly.

The resignation follows lurid claims about bullying and blackmail among Tory activists. One, Mark Clarke, has been accused of putting pressure on a fellow activist who complained about his behaviour to withdraw the allegation. The complainant, Elliot Johnson, later killed himself.

The junior Treasury minister Robert Halfon also revealed that he had an affair with a young activist after being warned that Clarke planned to blackmail him over the relationship. Former Tory chair Sayeedi Warsi says that she was targeted by Clarke on Twitter, where he tried to portray her as an anti-semite. 

Shapps appointed Mark Clarke to run RoadTrip 2015, where young Tory activists toured key marginals on a bus before the general election. 

Today, the Guardian published an emotional interview with the parents of 21-year-old Elliot Johnson, the activist who killed himself, in which they called for Shapps to consider his position. Ray Johnson also spoke to BBC's Newsnight:


The Johnson family claimed that Shapps and co-chair Andrew Feldman had failed to act on complaints made against Clarke. Feldman says he did not hear of the bullying claims until August. 

Asked about the case at a conference in Malta, David Cameron pointedly refused to offer Shapps his full backing, saying a statement would be released. “I think it is important that on the tragic case that took place that the coroner’s inquiry is allowed to proceed properly," he added. “I feel deeply for his parents, It is an appalling loss to suffer and that is why it is so important there is a proper coroner’s inquiry. In terms of what the Conservative party should do, there should be and there is a proper inquiry that asks all the questions as people come forward. That will take place. It is a tragic loss of a talented young life and it is not something any parent should go through and I feel for them deeply.” 

Mark Clarke denies any wrongdoing.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.