Tory babies at No 10

The child born to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on 29 April prompted this letter from Alistair Lexden which was published in The Daily Telegraph on 2 May.


Why do we need change?

“Change? Why do we need change? Aren’t things bad enough as they are?”

Queen Victoria's "Greatest gift to her people"

In her superb biography of Queen Victoria, published in 1964, Elizabeth Longford wrote: “It might well be claimed that Queen Victoria’s greatest gift to her people was a refusal to accept pain in childbirth as woman’s divinely appointed destiny.”

Lloyd George and an Anglo-Irish Centenary

On 22 April, Alistair Lexden was due to speak a dinner given by the Political Committee of the Reform Club in London. The text of the address that he would have delivered follows.

Peter Viggers - beyond the duck house

Some people are remembered for just one thing after their death to the exclusion of everything else they achieved. Peter Viggers, an MP for thirty-six years, whose obituary was published in The Times on April 14, will always be associated with the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009.

Opening up independent schools

An article in The Times on April 13 about the role of independent schools argued that “this crisis provides an opportunity to rethink the place of these schools, whose independence and excellence are so important.” Opinion polls show consistently that many families would send their children to th

The first Indians at Westminster

When did people from an Indian background first become members of the Commons and Lords? Who were they? A new book, reviewed here by Alistair Lexden, provides the answers.

Will Stanley Baldwin's generous gesture be repeated?

A letter in The Times on April 4 recalled Stanley Baldwin’s donation of one fifth of his wealth to the Treasury in 1919 as “a thank-offering” for victory in the First World War, the cost of which had added enormously to the national debt.

Whig and Tory Lotharios - Charles James Fox and Boris Johnson

On March 23, The Daily Telegraph reported that lipstick marks were being left on a statue of the famous 18th century Whig leader, Charles James Fox, at the National Portrait Gallery. The staff at the Gallery are trying to stop the kissing.

Finding a new Prime Minister in an emergency

In an article in The Times on April 1, Daniel Finkelstein wrote that the current crisis “has exposed a flaw in our constitutional arrangements.” There is no provision to fill a vacancy at No 10 at very short notice.