The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Work Programme staff were told to increase sanctions against clients, says former employee
By Philip Hegarty - 04 February 10:00

A former employee of three separate Work Programme providers describes how staff members were compelled to increase sanctions in order to hit financial targets.

Ashcroft polls show sensational surge for SNP and suggest they will win more than 50 MPs in May
By May2015 - 04 February 9:12

Lord Ashcroft’s seat-by-seat polls have confirmed the SNP are set to win more than 50 seats in May, after winning just 6 in 2010.

Ashcroft Scotland polling: Danny and Douglas Alexander could lose their seats in SNP surge
By Anoosh Chakelian - 04 February 8:43

New polling of Scottish constituencies show the shadow foreign secretary and Chief Secretary to the Treasury could lose their seats, and Labour could be left with only six seats.

Emergency duvets, sword pegs and the “Plastic Fantastic”: review of Inside the Commons
By Anoosh Chakelian - 03 February 16:48

Will the first instalment of Michael Cockerell’s documentary series given unprecedented access to parliament horrify or mollify voters?

Why is Labour planning to make LGBT-inclusive sex education compulsory?
By Gloria De Piero - 03 February 16:47

The party is building on its progressive legacy in its LGBT policy announcement this week.

Late decisions, the Ukip temptation, and NHS fears: a Labour MP's doorstep marathon
By Dan Jarvis - 03 February 14:46

Britain is undecided: we must help it decide, one conversation at a time, argues Dan Jarvis, who went doorknocking in nine regions in nine days.

Government NHS reforms adviser: Burnham's plan for patient choice is the right way
By Stephen Bubb - 03 February 13:33

A health expert who advised this government during the passage of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012 argues that Labour's plan to integrate health and social care is preferable to the coalition's approach.

Why Labour's help for "generation rent" is not a radical enough offer
By David Binder - 03 February 12:15

While Ed Miliband's plans this week are welcome, much more needs to be done to ease the increasingly hostile renting and housing conditions faced by a generation.

Students celebrate graduating. Photo: Dan Kitwood
If Labour cuts tuition fees, it won't help more disadvantaged students go to university
By Tim Wigmore - 03 February 11:38

In higher education policy, Labour can be more radical – and on the cheap.

English votes for English laws: what are the Tories proposing?
By Anoosh Chakelian - 03 February 8:35

English MPs would be given a veto over laws that apply only in England, under plans William Hague is putting forward.

If Labour is committed to mental health, why doesn't it scrap benefit sanctions?
By James Elliott - 02 February 15:44

Labour’s unwillingness to completely break with the coalition’s benefit sanctions will hurt those with mental health issues the most.

We must educate young men and women about the importance of sexual consent
By Seema Malhotra - 02 February 15:13

Labour's spokesperson for preventing violence against women and girls on the importance of backing campaigns like "yes means yes" that educate both young men and women about the importance of sexual consent.

Could women voters be the key to Labour's electoral success?
By Anoosh Chakelian - 02 February 14:38

Ed Miliband should seize the electoral potential of its advantage in the polls among women – particularly mothers.

CCTV cameras have often been at the forefront of Labour’s civil liberties problems. Photo: Getty
The civil liberties audit: how does Labour do?
By Emma Carr - 02 February 12:52

From 90-day detention to the DNA database, Labour has a mixed record on civil liberties. Big Brother Watch digs into the details.

There is concern within the party at the failure to agree a date for the crucial Clause V meeting.
Labour's manifesto: who's writing it and what happens next
By George Eaton - 02 February 11:44

There is concern within the party at the failure to agree a date for the crucial Clause V meeting. 

Alan Milburn calls on Labour to drop the "comfort blanket" of "clan politics"
By Anoosh Chakelian - 02 February 11:38

The Social Mobility Commission chair and former Health Secretary on why parties should be more aspirational, how slow politics moves on broadening access, and our "impossible" child poverty target.

Weaponising education: Tories attack schools while Labour clashes with universities
By Anoosh Chakelian - 02 February 8:52

Both parties are grappling with their approaches to education as the election campaign heats up.

The Conservatives are right to deny the toxic suggestion that they would shack up with Farage.
The Tories have ruled out a deal with Ukip - and they're right to do so
By George Eaton - 30 January 15:53

The Conservatives are right to deny the toxic suggestion that they would shack up with Farage. 

The migrant vote is driving the Conservatives' poor performance in London.
For the Conservatives, London offers a terrifying vision of the UK’s new demographics
By Tim Wigmore - 30 January 14:41

The migrant vote is driving the Conservatives' poor performance in London.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary says former New Labour ministers "would have been the very people lecturing others".
Ivan Lewis: "self-indulgent" Milburn and Hutton must remember need for unity
By George Eaton - 30 January 11:38

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary says former New Labour ministers "would have been the very people lecturing others". 

In the Frame: Alternative Debate Excuses for Cameron
By Tom Humberstone - 30 January 11:20

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

Real wages for 22-29 year olds down 9 per cent on 2008 Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty
Young workers biggest victims of the squeeze on wages, study finds
By Ashley Cowburn - 30 January 9:32

Nearly all groups have seen a decline in real wages since the financial crash of 2008 but losses have not been spread out equally. 

Sheffield's students could depose Nick Clegg – they are alert to the danger of losing their votes
By Tim Wigmore - 29 January 17:51

Because of the new system, there is a risk that students will turn up to vote on 7 May, but won't be registered.

Our MPs must not sleep walk towards abortion restrictions
By Lisa Hallgarten - 29 January 17:17

They should oppose any legislation that jeopardises women’s full and equal access to all reproductive health services.

The case of the lost Mark Duggan disc and a “faceless” civil servant
By Anoosh Chakelian - 29 January 16:19

Information concerning three of the UK’s most sensitive inquiries has been lost in the post.

Miliband will not mimic Cameron's approach to Ukip and change course.
Labour won't turn left in response to the Green threat
By George Eaton - 29 January 15:49

Miliband will not mimic Cameron's approach to Ukip and change policy direction. 

Why the Green party's wealth tax policy won't work
By Tom Papworth - 29 January 15:32

The Greens' wealth tax numbers just don’t add up.

Fitter, happier, more productive: how to make London a sporting city for all
By Tessa Jowell - 29 January 14:59

Opening up sport for everyone in the capital.

David Cameron discusses strategies to end FGM and forced marriage at the Girl Summit last summer. Photo: Oli Scarff/WPA Pool/Getty
What are the practical steps we need to take to end FGM in the UK?
By Anna Leszkiewicz - 29 January 14:07

As MPs discuss a national action plan to end FGM, campaigners explain the practical steps the country needs to take to eradicate this abuse.

Jon Cruddas’s speech on love and work: full text
By Jon Cruddas - 29 January 12:48

"Love, empathy and relationships".