Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Tory MP Stuart Andrew finds himself an unlikely hero of the left

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.

By Kevin Maguire

Ending a tumultuous year as an unexpected, if likely temporary, poster boy for Labour MPs is the Tory Stuart Andrew. The UK sports minister scored a winner by defying James “flex” Cleverly, Fifa and the Qatari regime by wearing not only a banned OneLove armband but a rainbow tie and lanyard too at a World Cup match. Swansea East’s motherly Carolyn Harris cooed, “I couldn’t love Stuart Andrew any more than I do tonight,” after the publicly gay minister’s statement. Admiring Labourites mutter sorrowfully that Andrew outshone Mark Drakeford. Their party’s Welsh First Minister talked a good game in Qatar yet no stadium pictures of him were beamed around the world sporting the armband.

[See also: In Qatar’s paranoid parallel universe, the World Cup is just a prop in a theatre of war]

Approaching 2023 with big poll leads, Keir Starmer has vowed to ban MPs’ second-jobbing. This could prove expensive for a few of his own, including David Lammy. The shadow foreign secretary has declared more than £94,000 since January 2021 for presenting LBC radio shows, giving speeches, and a book deal. One comrade surviving on an £84,000 Westminster salary murmured that David Miliband returning would be a double blow.

[See also: “You don’t trash your neighbours”: David Lammy on global Britain under Labour]

Unperturbed that his constituency was discovered in the census to be the land’s most ungodly patch, Caerphilly’s Wayne David chuckled “they worship their local MP instead” to a colleague. It wasn’t the first time this south Wales hotbed of atheism has topped a national table. David once welcomed a survey that crowned Caerphilly the country’s top “dogging” area, until staff explained the practice wasn’t taking Fido for a walk.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Serving as health secretary at the start of the Cameron-Clegg coalition, Andrew Lansley was forced to pause notorious legislation injecting competition into the NHS. Fast forward to 2022 and a now ermined Lord Lansley gave Rishi Sunak a bloody nose by inserting, with the backing of opposition peers, a delaying “social value” clause into a procurement bill. Lansley’s turned into a rebel with a pause.

Content from our partners
Are we there yet with electric cars? The EV story – with Wejo
Sherif Tawfik: The Middle East and Africa are ready to lead on the climate
How deception can become your friend

[See also: Andy Burnham burnishes his brand on Labour’s left]

Pledging to abolish the House of Lords isn’t stopping Starmer from appointing fresh Labour peers. Heading for the burgundy benches from the Trades Union Congress, Frances O’Grady asked for donations to strike funds rather than leaving gifts.

The Commons deputy speaker, Nigel Evans, sent parliament’s best or worst Christmas card, depending on your taste. The festive jumper, hat and jokey appeal for a cabinet post were topped by persuading fellow Tory MP Bob Stewart to dress as Santa in a series of “comedy” shots. Colonel Bob’s speaking slots, at 9.17pm on wet Tuesdays, are assured in the new year.

Topics in this article : , , ,

This article appears in the 07 Dec 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas Special