The cast of the West Wing reunites

"This is a disaster, it’s a catastrophe, it’s a cataclysmic event unrivalled by the likes of any calamity since the dawn of history."

It's the moment that fans of the West Wing have been waiting for ever since the show's seventh and final season ended in 2006.

The cast of Aaron Sorkin's hit political drama have reunited to make a campaign ad for Bridget Mary McCormack, who’s running on the nonpartisan ticket for Michigan’s Supreme Court. It's also aimed at raising awareness of non-partisan candidates in general, which appear on a different and often-overlooked section of the ballot.

Josh, CJ, Toby, Will, Kate, Donna, President Bartlet - they're all there, as are classic West Wing moments like the "walk and talk", Josh losing his shit a bit, CJ being the reasonable grown up one, and Martin Sheen doing that over-the-head flip thing with his jacket.

True, the "Oval Office" does look quite a lot like a random conference centre room with "The White House" stuck up on the wall, but don't let that get in the way of your enjoyment of it.

As it happens, Bridget Mary McCormack is the sister of Mary McCormack, who played Kate Harper in the show.

Hat tip to Mashable.

Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman.

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Why relations between Theresa May and Philip Hammond became tense so quickly

The political imperative of controlling immigration is clashing with the economic imperative of maintaining growth. 

There is no relationship in government more important than that between the prime minister and the chancellor. When Theresa May entered No.10, she chose Philip Hammond, a dependable technocrat and long-standing ally who she had known since Oxford University. 

But relations between the pair have proved far tenser than anticipated. On Wednesday, Hammond suggested that students could be excluded from the net migration target. "We are having conversations within government about the most appropriate way to record and address net migration," he told the Treasury select committee. The Chancellor, in common with many others, has long regarded the inclusion of students as an obstacle to growth. 

The following day Hammond was publicly rebuked by No.10. "Our position on who is included in the figures has not changed, and we are categorically not reviewing whether or not students are included," a spokesman said (as I reported in advance, May believes that the public would see this move as "a fix"). 

This is not the only clash in May's first 100 days. Hammond was aggrieved by the Prime Minister's criticisms of loose monetary policy (which forced No.10 to state that it "respects the independence of the Bank of England") and is resisting tougher controls on foreign takeovers. The Chancellor has also struck a more sceptical tone on the UK's economic prospects. "It is clear to me that the British people did not vote on June 23 to become poorer," he declared in his conference speech, a signal that national prosperity must come before control of immigration. 

May and Hammond's relationship was never going to match the remarkable bond between David Cameron and George Osborne. But should relations worsen it risks becoming closer to that beween Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. Like Hammond, Darling entered the Treasury as a calm technocrat and an ally of the PM. But the extraordinary circumstances of the financial crisis transformed him into a far more assertive figure.

In times of turmoil, there is an inevitable clash between political and economic priorities. As prime minister, Brown resisted talk of cuts for fear of the electoral consequences. But as chancellor, Darling was more concerned with the bottom line (backing a rise in VAT). By analogy, May is focused on the political imperative of controlling immigration, while Hammond is focused on the economic imperative of maintaining growth. If their relationship is to endure far tougher times they will soon need to find a middle way. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.