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#John Rentoul

Will Andy Burnham help win back the red wall seats for Labour? | John Rentoul

Will Andy Burnham help win back the red wall seats for Labour? | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson won a slew of longstanding Labour seats in the north of England last year: John Rentoul asks if he can hold on to them against a tide of anti-Wes [...]

Read full article: Will Andy Burnham help win back the red ...→
Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved for a rainy day

Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved for a rainy day

John Rentoul on questions of style and usage in last week’s Independent

Read full article: Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved...→
  • #John Rentoul
Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Johnson’s coronavirus policy | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Johnson’s coronavirus policy | John Rentoul

A government of national unity would be a terrible idea: the best way to make policy is by testing it in vigorous public debate, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Jo...→
What is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, and why is it a problem for Keir Starmer?

What is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, and why is it a problem for Keir Starmer?

Boris Johnson seems to be trying to tempt Labour into opposing laws that the government says are needed for national security, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: What is the Covert Human Intelligence So...→
Does British public opinion really support net-zero carbon by 2050?

Does British public opinion really support net-zero carbon by 2050?

Research by a Conservative think tank sheds new light on the credibility of the mid-century target for climate action, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Does British public opinion really suppo...→
  • #John Rentoul
John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing the unworkable fantasy of sending asylum seekers ‘somewhere else’

John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing the unworkable fantasy of sending asylum seekers ‘somewhere else’

The idea that we can simply ship people away while their claims are assessed is absurd, writes John Rentoul. It is no substitute for an efficient and fair syst [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing...→
The government is playing politics with our armed forces – and is looking to embarrass Labour | John Rentoul

The government is playing politics with our armed forces – and is looking to embarrass Labour | John Rentoul

A bill to curb ‘vexatious’ court cases against soldiers is being used to paint Keir Starmer as unpatriotic– and it succeeded in forcing three MPs to resign, wr [...]

Read full article: The government is playing politics with ...→
Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What he said – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What he said – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Our chief political commentator guesses what was going through the chancellor’s mind as he delivered his statement

Read full article: Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What...→
Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour put it back together again?

Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour put it back together again?

Even under new management, Labour faces a tough battle to win back the heartlands and bridge the Brexit values divide, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour pu...→
  • #John Rentoul
John Rentoul | How worried should Boris Johnson be about his Brexit bill being defeated in parliament?

John Rentoul | How worried should Boris Johnson be about his Brexit bill being defeated in parliament?

The prime minister easily survived the first vote on his treaty-breaking UK Internal Market Bill, but it faces stiffer tests to come, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul | How worried should Boris ...→
Boris Johnson is right about one thing over Brexit – and one thing only | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson is right about one thing over Brexit – and one thing only | John Rentoul

The prime minister has got himself into an international legal hole entirely of his own making – but he is not wholly in the wrong, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Boris Johnson is right about one thing o...→
John Rentoul: Identity cards are now back in vogue – you can’t keep a good idea down

John Rentoul: Identity cards are now back in vogue – you can’t keep a good idea down

Boris Johnson once opposed the idea, arguing they would give the state too much power, but now it's different, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul: Identity cards are now bac...→
Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holding on to his voters | John Rentoul

Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holding on to his voters | John Rentoul

The opinion polls seem to be turning against the prime minister – but perhaps the government's frequent decision changes haven't had much effect on underlying [...]

Read full article: Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holdin...→
John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the next problem that Johnson should have seen coming

John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the next problem that Johnson should have seen coming

Callous and cynical Conservatives could say that high unemployment never did them any harm electorally, but that is not a risk they should take

Read full article: John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the n...→
Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to abolish child poverty by this year?

Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to abolish child poverty by this year?

In 1999 Tony Blair promised to end child poverty by this year – so what happened, asks John Rentoul

Read full article: Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to...→
Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-free future realistic?

Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-free future realistic?

The prime minister’s striking target for net zero carbon by the middle of the century marks a return to good old crude politics. But, asks John Rentoul, is it [...]

Read full article: Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-fre...→
Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching himself – his internal opponents are purging themselves

Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching himself – his internal opponents are purging themselves

The Labour leader suffered a big rebellion of his own MPs last night, but he has emerged stronger, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching h...→
How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as king of the north?

How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as king of the north?

Handing power to directly elected mayors has created trouble for central government – but that is the point of devolution, says John Rentoul

Read full article: How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as...→
Keir Starmer has to decide where he stands before asking questions

Keir Starmer has to decide where he stands before asking questions

The leader of the opposition will seem to be playing politics with the serious business of controlling Covid-19 if he doesn’t decide what Labour’s stance is on [...]

Read full article: Keir Starmer has to decide where he stan...→
Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to MP rule-breaking shows why she is more popular than Boris Johnson

Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to MP rule-breaking shows why she is more popular than Boris Johnson

The first minister of Scotland’s response to Margaret Ferrier travelling across the country, while infected with coronavirus, is why she gets more credit, writ [...]

Read full article: Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to M...→
Why should we believe opinion polls about attitudes to coronavirus?

Why should we believe opinion polls about attitudes to coronavirus?

The opinion polls suggest that people are three times as likely to think the new coronavirus restrictions don’t go far enough than that they go too far – but c [...]

Read full article: Why should we believe opinion polls abou...→
  • #John Rentoul

John Rentoul: What Sunak said – and what he really meant

Sorry – we can't find that page... The address could have been entered incorrectly, or the page could have gone missing.

Read full article: John Rentoul: What Sunak said – and what...→
Opinion: Ending furlough may break the cross-party consensus

Opinion: Ending furlough may break the cross-party consensus

It’s only a matter of time before Labour calls for higher public spending to support jobs, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Opinion: Ending furlough may break the c...→
  • #John Rentoul
What are the civil liberties implications of coronavirus laws?

What are the civil liberties implications of coronavirus laws?

Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights has warned Boris Johnson of the dangers of Covid-19 measures. John Rentoul takes a look at the group’s main concer [...]

Read full article: What are the civil liberties implication...→
John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-breaking, the outlines of a Brexit trade deal are visible

John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-breaking, the outlines of a Brexit trade deal are visible

Despite the bluster, it’s possible that Boris Johnson could be on the brink of a Brexit deal, says John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-...→
John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition has got ahead of itself again

John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition has got ahead of itself again

The health secretary’s performance in the House of Commons was a disastrous combination of concern and boasting about how nearly impressive the testing system [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition ha...→
Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit crisis – now he’s got one

Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit crisis – now he’s got one

The prime minister has sent out his proxies to cause legal mayhem – safe in the knowledge that Leave voters will back him, says John Rentoul

Read full article: Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit...→

John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief political commentator, having worked for

John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief political commentator, having worked for the title since 1995. He is also visiting professor at King’s College, London, [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief ...→
Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look like a chancer playing at politics during PMQs | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look like a chancer playing at politics during PMQs | John Rentoul

At their first clash since the summer recess, the Labour leader managed to make the prime minister appear as if he were trying to score cheap points, writes Jo [...]

Read full article: Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look lik...→
John Rentoul: We may not want to but most of us will go back to the office

John Rentoul: We may not want to but most of us will go back to the office

Public opinion is resistant to Boris Johnson’s exhortations to go back to our desks but he’ll win out because of the hidden hand of the laws of economics, writ [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: We may not want to but mos...→
What are the sticking points in EU trade talks and can they be resolved?

What are the sticking points in EU trade talks and can they be resolved?

A guide from John Rentoul to the problems that have to be overcome if there is to be a post-Brexit trade deal

Read full article: What are the sticking points in EU trade...→
  • #John Rentoul
Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely to secure a Brexit deal – but a bad one | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely to secure a Brexit deal – but a bad one | John Rentoul

As David Frost, the British negotiator, and Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, are locked in talks this weekend, John Rentoul assesses the chances of a deal, [...]

Read full article: Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely...→
John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday, Boris Johnson united his party – now it’s split again

John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday, Boris Johnson united his party – now it’s split again

Conservative MPs cheered Johnson on as he defended the nation from the spectre of a three-week lockdown. But they are now furious with him again, writes John R [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday...→
John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson off yet – resilience is one of his strengths

John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson off yet – resilience is one of his strengths

The prime minister is misunderstood as a jocular optimist. It might be more accurate to describe him as a jocular pessimist

Read full article: John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson ...→
What Boris Johnson said in his conference speech – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

What Boris Johnson said in his conference speech – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Our chief political commentator takes a look at what might have been running through the prime minister’s head 

Read full article: What Boris Johnson said in his conferenc...→
John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really the best person to reassure us about coronavirus?

John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really the best person to reassure us about coronavirus?

Andy Haldane’s ‘Chicken Licken’ speech comes at an important time, when the resurgence of the virus is causing widespread anxiety, says John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really th...→
Johnson and Sunak are the latest combatants in the long history of tension between Nos 10 and 11

Johnson and Sunak are the latest combatants in the long history of tension between Nos 10 and 11

The prime minister failed to turn up for the chancellor’s economic statement this week, sparking rumours of a rift. But, as John Rentoul points out, disharmony [...]

Read full article: Johnson and Sunak are the latest combata...→
How can this government criticise Labour’s ‘illegal wars’ when it’s breaking international law itself? | John Rentoul

How can this government criticise Labour’s ‘illegal wars’ when it’s breaking international law itself? | John Rentoul

A cabinet minister suggested the Iraq war was contrary to international law, but his own government has admitted it is prepared to break the EU treaty, writes [...]

Read full article: How can this government criticise Labour...→
  • #John Rentoul
Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively with Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy – by not mentioning him

Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively with Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy – by not mentioning him

The Labour leader has moved on from his predecessor with surprising stealth and speed, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively w...→
The Conservatives could steal a march on Labour over green policy | John Rentoul

The Conservatives could steal a march on Labour over green policy | John Rentoul

The government and opposition are locked into a competition to outdo each other in promising a zero-carbon future, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: The Conservatives could steal a march on...→
  • #John Rentoul
What options does the EU have if the UK breaks international law?

What options does the EU have if the UK breaks international law?

Maros Sefcovic, European Commission vice president, has threatened the UK with legal action if it breaks international law: John Rentoul explains the EU’s opti [...]

Read full article: What options does the EU have if the UK ...→
Keir Starmer was right to avoid the question of the government breaking the law | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer was right to avoid the question of the government breaking the law | John Rentoul

I’m beginning to think that there is a bigger problem with the Brexit-voting northern working class: for them, a London lawyer is not a good thing to be, says [...]

Read full article: Keir Starmer was right to avoid the ques...→
Why headlines are full of speculation about what Sunak will do next

Why headlines are full of speculation about what Sunak will do next

The chancellor is reported to be considering tax rises – though most economists agree that’s a bad idea at this time, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Why headlines are full of speculation ab...→
Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on the agenda?

Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on the agenda?

John Rentoul on what we can expect as MPs resume their activity in Westminster after six weeks working hard in their constituencies

Read full article: Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on...→
  • #John Rentoul
Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was sincere – and he failed for the same reason | John Rentoul

Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was sincere – and he failed for the same reason | John Rentoul

How did the Labour leader and shadow chancellor get to ‘walking past each other in the corridor and blanking each other’ level of ‘not talking’? Asks John Rent [...]

Read full article: Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was s...→
Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely to secure a Brexit deal – but a bad one | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely to secure a Brexit deal – but a bad one | John Rentoul

As David Frost, the British negotiator, and Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, are locked in talks this weekend, John Rentoul assesses the chances of a deal, [...]

Read full article: Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely...→
Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-free future realistic?

Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-free future realistic?

The prime minister’s striking target for net zero carbon by the middle of the century marks a return to good old crude politics. But, asks John Rentoul, is it [...]

Read full article: Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-fre...→
Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved for a rainy day

Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved for a rainy day

John Rentoul on questions of style and usage in last week’s Independent

Read full article: Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved...→
  • #John Rentoul
John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday, Boris Johnson united his party – now it’s split again

John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday, Boris Johnson united his party – now it’s split again

Conservative MPs cheered Johnson on as he defended the nation from the spectre of a three-week lockdown. But they are now furious with him again, writes John R [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday...→
How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as king of the north?

How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as king of the north?

Handing power to directly elected mayors has created trouble for central government – but that is the point of devolution, says John Rentoul

Read full article: How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as...→
What is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, and why is it a problem for Keir Starmer?

What is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, and why is it a problem for Keir Starmer?

Boris Johnson seems to be trying to tempt Labour into opposing laws that the government says are needed for national security, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: What is the Covert Human Intelligence So...→
What Boris Johnson said in his conference speech – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

What Boris Johnson said in his conference speech – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Our chief political commentator takes a look at what might have been running through the prime minister’s head 

Read full article: What Boris Johnson said in his conferenc...→
Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to MP rule-breaking shows why she is more popular than Boris Johnson

Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to MP rule-breaking shows why she is more popular than Boris Johnson

The first minister of Scotland’s response to Margaret Ferrier travelling across the country, while infected with coronavirus, is why she gets more credit, writ [...]

Read full article: Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to M...→
John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing the unworkable fantasy of sending asylum seekers ‘somewhere else’

John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing the unworkable fantasy of sending asylum seekers ‘somewhere else’

The idea that we can simply ship people away while their claims are assessed is absurd, writes John Rentoul. It is no substitute for an efficient and fair syst [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing...→
Johnson and Sunak are the latest combatants in the long history of tension between Nos 10 and 11

Johnson and Sunak are the latest combatants in the long history of tension between Nos 10 and 11

The prime minister failed to turn up for the chancellor’s economic statement this week, sparking rumours of a rift. But, as John Rentoul points out, disharmony [...]

Read full article: Johnson and Sunak are the latest combata...→

John Rentoul: What Sunak said – and what he really meant

Sorry – we can't find that page... The address could have been entered incorrectly, or the page could have gone missing.

Read full article: John Rentoul: What Sunak said – and what...→
Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What he said – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What he said – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Our chief political commentator guesses what was going through the chancellor’s mind as he delivered his statement

Read full article: Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What...→
Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively with Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy – by not mentioning him

Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively with Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy – by not mentioning him

The Labour leader has moved on from his predecessor with surprising stealth and speed, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively w...→
What are the civil liberties implications of coronavirus laws?

What are the civil liberties implications of coronavirus laws?

Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights has warned Boris Johnson of the dangers of Covid-19 measures. John Rentoul takes a look at the group’s main concer [...]

Read full article: What are the civil liberties implication...→
Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour put it back together again?

Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour put it back together again?

Even under new management, Labour faces a tough battle to win back the heartlands and bridge the Brexit values divide, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour pu...→
  • #John Rentoul
John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition has got ahead of itself again

John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition has got ahead of itself again

The health secretary’s performance in the House of Commons was a disastrous combination of concern and boasting about how nearly impressive the testing system [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition ha...→
Boris Johnson is right about one thing over Brexit – and one thing only | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson is right about one thing over Brexit – and one thing only | John Rentoul

The prime minister has got himself into an international legal hole entirely of his own making – but he is not wholly in the wrong, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Boris Johnson is right about one thing o...→
Keir Starmer was right to avoid the question of the government breaking the law | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer was right to avoid the question of the government breaking the law | John Rentoul

I’m beginning to think that there is a bigger problem with the Brexit-voting northern working class: for them, a London lawyer is not a good thing to be, says [...]

Read full article: Keir Starmer was right to avoid the ques...→

John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief political commentator, having worked for

John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief political commentator, having worked for the title since 1995. He is also visiting professor at King’s College, London, [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief ...→
John Rentoul: Identity cards are now back in vogue – you can’t keep a good idea down

John Rentoul: Identity cards are now back in vogue – you can’t keep a good idea down

Boris Johnson once opposed the idea, arguing they would give the state too much power, but now it's different, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul: Identity cards are now bac...→
Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on the agenda?

Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on the agenda?

John Rentoul on what we can expect as MPs resume their activity in Westminster after six weeks working hard in their constituencies

Read full article: Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on...→
  • #John Rentoul
John Rentoul: We may not want to but most of us will go back to the office

John Rentoul: We may not want to but most of us will go back to the office

Public opinion is resistant to Boris Johnson’s exhortations to go back to our desks but he’ll win out because of the hidden hand of the laws of economics, writ [...]

Read full article: John Rentoul: We may not want to but mos...→
John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the next problem that Johnson should have seen coming

John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the next problem that Johnson should have seen coming

Callous and cynical Conservatives could say that high unemployment never did them any harm electorally, but that is not a risk they should take

Read full article: John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the n...→
Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to abolish child poverty by this year?

Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to abolish child poverty by this year?

In 1999 Tony Blair promised to end child poverty by this year – so what happened, asks John Rentoul

Read full article: Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to...→
Will Andy Burnham help win back the red wall seats for Labour? | John Rentoul

Will Andy Burnham help win back the red wall seats for Labour? | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson won a slew of longstanding Labour seats in the north of England last year: John Rentoul asks if he can hold on to them against a tide of anti-Wes [...]

Read full article: Will Andy Burnham help win back the red ...→
Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching himself – his internal opponents are purging themselves

Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching himself – his internal opponents are purging themselves

The Labour leader suffered a big rebellion of his own MPs last night, but he has emerged stronger, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching h...→
Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Johnson’s coronavirus policy | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Johnson’s coronavirus policy | John Rentoul

A government of national unity would be a terrible idea: the best way to make policy is by testing it in vigorous public debate, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Jo...→
John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson off yet – resilience is one of his strengths

John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson off yet – resilience is one of his strengths

The prime minister is misunderstood as a jocular optimist. It might be more accurate to describe him as a jocular pessimist

Read full article: John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson ...→
Keir Starmer has to decide where he stands before asking questions

Keir Starmer has to decide where he stands before asking questions

The leader of the opposition will seem to be playing politics with the serious business of controlling Covid-19 if he doesn’t decide what Labour’s stance is on [...]

Read full article: Keir Starmer has to decide where he stan...→
Does British public opinion really support net-zero carbon by 2050?

Does British public opinion really support net-zero carbon by 2050?

Research by a Conservative think tank sheds new light on the credibility of the mid-century target for climate action, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Does British public opinion really suppo...→
  • #John Rentoul
John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really the best person to reassure us about coronavirus?

John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really the best person to reassure us about coronavirus?

Andy Haldane’s ‘Chicken Licken’ speech comes at an important time, when the resurgence of the virus is causing widespread anxiety, says John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really th...→
Why should we believe opinion polls about attitudes to coronavirus?

Why should we believe opinion polls about attitudes to coronavirus?

The opinion polls suggest that people are three times as likely to think the new coronavirus restrictions don’t go far enough than that they go too far – but c [...]

Read full article: Why should we believe opinion polls abou...→
  • #John Rentoul
The government is playing politics with our armed forces – and is looking to embarrass Labour | John Rentoul

The government is playing politics with our armed forces – and is looking to embarrass Labour | John Rentoul

A bill to curb ‘vexatious’ court cases against soldiers is being used to paint Keir Starmer as unpatriotic– and it succeeded in forcing three MPs to resign, wr [...]

Read full article: The government is playing politics with ...→
How can this government criticise Labour’s ‘illegal wars’ when it’s breaking international law itself? | John Rentoul

How can this government criticise Labour’s ‘illegal wars’ when it’s breaking international law itself? | John Rentoul

A cabinet minister suggested the Iraq war was contrary to international law, but his own government has admitted it is prepared to break the EU treaty, writes [...]

Read full article: How can this government criticise Labour...→
  • #John Rentoul
Opinion: Ending furlough may break the cross-party consensus

Opinion: Ending furlough may break the cross-party consensus

It’s only a matter of time before Labour calls for higher public spending to support jobs, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Opinion: Ending furlough may break the c...→
  • #John Rentoul
The Conservatives could steal a march on Labour over green policy | John Rentoul

The Conservatives could steal a march on Labour over green policy | John Rentoul

The government and opposition are locked into a competition to outdo each other in promising a zero-carbon future, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: The Conservatives could steal a march on...→
  • #John Rentoul
John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-breaking, the outlines of a Brexit trade deal are visible

John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-breaking, the outlines of a Brexit trade deal are visible

Despite the bluster, it’s possible that Boris Johnson could be on the brink of a Brexit deal, says John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-...→
John Rentoul | How worried should Boris Johnson be about his Brexit bill being defeated in parliament?

John Rentoul | How worried should Boris Johnson be about his Brexit bill being defeated in parliament?

The prime minister easily survived the first vote on his treaty-breaking UK Internal Market Bill, but it faces stiffer tests to come, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: John Rentoul | How worried should Boris ...→
What options does the EU have if the UK breaks international law?

What options does the EU have if the UK breaks international law?

Maros Sefcovic, European Commission vice president, has threatened the UK with legal action if it breaks international law: John Rentoul explains the EU’s opti [...]

Read full article: What options does the EU have if the UK ...→
Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit crisis – now he’s got one

Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit crisis – now he’s got one

The prime minister has sent out his proxies to cause legal mayhem – safe in the knowledge that Leave voters will back him, says John Rentoul

Read full article: Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit...→
Why headlines are full of speculation about what Sunak will do next

Why headlines are full of speculation about what Sunak will do next

The chancellor is reported to be considering tax rises – though most economists agree that’s a bad idea at this time, writes John Rentoul

Read full article: Why headlines are full of speculation ab...→
Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look like a chancer playing at politics during PMQs | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look like a chancer playing at politics during PMQs | John Rentoul

At their first clash since the summer recess, the Labour leader managed to make the prime minister appear as if he were trying to score cheap points, writes Jo [...]

Read full article: Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look lik...→
Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holding on to his voters | John Rentoul

Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holding on to his voters | John Rentoul

The opinion polls seem to be turning against the prime minister – but perhaps the government's frequent decision changes haven't had much effect on underlying [...]

Read full article: Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holdin...→
Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was sincere – and he failed for the same reason | John Rentoul

Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was sincere – and he failed for the same reason | John Rentoul

How did the Labour leader and shadow chancellor get to ‘walking past each other in the corridor and blanking each other’ level of ‘not talking’? Asks John Rent [...]

Read full article: Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was s...→
What are the sticking points in EU trade talks and can they be resolved?

What are the sticking points in EU trade talks and can they be resolved?

A guide from John Rentoul to the problems that have to be overcome if there is to be a post-Brexit trade deal

Read full article: What are the sticking points in EU trade...→
  • #John Rentoul
Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to abolish child poverty by this year?

Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to abolish child poverty by this year?

In 1999 Tony Blair promised to end child poverty by this year – so what happened, asks John Rentoul

Read full article: Whatever happened to Labour’s promise to...→
Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely to secure a Brexit deal – but a bad one | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson’s ‘chaos theory’ is likely to secure a Brexit deal – but a bad one | John Rentoul

As David Frost, the British negotiator, and Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, are locked in talks this weekend, John Rentoul assesses the chances of a deal, [...]

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Will Andy Burnham help win back the red wall seats for Labour? | John Rentoul

Will Andy Burnham help win back the red wall seats for Labour? | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson won a slew of longstanding Labour seats in the north of England last year: John Rentoul asks if he can hold on to them against a tide of anti-Wes [...]

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Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-free future realistic?

Is Boris Johnson’s dream of a carbon-free future realistic?

The prime minister’s striking target for net zero carbon by the middle of the century marks a return to good old crude politics. But, asks John Rentoul, is it [...]

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Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved for a rainy day

Mea Culpa: a monster comparison we saved for a rainy day

John Rentoul on questions of style and usage in last week’s Independent

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Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching himself – his internal opponents are purging themselves

Opinion: Keir Starmer must be pinching himself – his internal opponents are purging themselves

The Labour leader suffered a big rebellion of his own MPs last night, but he has emerged stronger, writes John Rentoul

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John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday, Boris Johnson united his party – now it’s split again

John Rentoul: For half an hour yesterday, Boris Johnson united his party – now it’s split again

Conservative MPs cheered Johnson on as he defended the nation from the spectre of a three-week lockdown. But they are now furious with him again, writes John R [...]

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Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Johnson’s coronavirus policy | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer is right to oppose Boris Johnson’s coronavirus policy | John Rentoul

A government of national unity would be a terrible idea: the best way to make policy is by testing it in vigorous public debate, writes John Rentoul

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How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as king of the north?

How did Andy Burnham reinvent himself as king of the north?

Handing power to directly elected mayors has created trouble for central government – but that is the point of devolution, says John Rentoul

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John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson off yet – resilience is one of his strengths

John Rentoul: Don’t write Boris Johnson off yet – resilience is one of his strengths

The prime minister is misunderstood as a jocular optimist. It might be more accurate to describe him as a jocular pessimist

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What is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, and why is it a problem for Keir Starmer?

What is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, and why is it a problem for Keir Starmer?

Boris Johnson seems to be trying to tempt Labour into opposing laws that the government says are needed for national security, writes John Rentoul

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Keir Starmer has to decide where he stands before asking questions

Keir Starmer has to decide where he stands before asking questions

The leader of the opposition will seem to be playing politics with the serious business of controlling Covid-19 if he doesn’t decide what Labour’s stance is on [...]

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What Boris Johnson said in his conference speech – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

What Boris Johnson said in his conference speech – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Our chief political commentator takes a look at what might have been running through the prime minister’s head 

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Does British public opinion really support net-zero carbon by 2050?

Does British public opinion really support net-zero carbon by 2050?

Research by a Conservative think tank sheds new light on the credibility of the mid-century target for climate action, writes John Rentoul

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Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to MP rule-breaking shows why she is more popular than Boris Johnson

Opinion: Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to MP rule-breaking shows why she is more popular than Boris Johnson

The first minister of Scotland’s response to Margaret Ferrier travelling across the country, while infected with coronavirus, is why she gets more credit, writ [...]

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John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really the best person to reassure us about coronavirus?

John Rentoul: Is jokey Johnson really the best person to reassure us about coronavirus?

Andy Haldane’s ‘Chicken Licken’ speech comes at an important time, when the resurgence of the virus is causing widespread anxiety, says John Rentoul

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John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing the unworkable fantasy of sending asylum seekers ‘somewhere else’

John Rentoul: Why Priti Patel is pushing the unworkable fantasy of sending asylum seekers ‘somewhere else’

The idea that we can simply ship people away while their claims are assessed is absurd, writes John Rentoul. It is no substitute for an efficient and fair syst [...]

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Why should we believe opinion polls about attitudes to coronavirus?

Why should we believe opinion polls about attitudes to coronavirus?

The opinion polls suggest that people are three times as likely to think the new coronavirus restrictions don’t go far enough than that they go too far – but c [...]

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Johnson and Sunak are the latest combatants in the long history of tension between Nos 10 and 11

Johnson and Sunak are the latest combatants in the long history of tension between Nos 10 and 11

The prime minister failed to turn up for the chancellor’s economic statement this week, sparking rumours of a rift. But, as John Rentoul points out, disharmony [...]

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The government is playing politics with our armed forces – and is looking to embarrass Labour | John Rentoul

The government is playing politics with our armed forces – and is looking to embarrass Labour | John Rentoul

A bill to curb ‘vexatious’ court cases against soldiers is being used to paint Keir Starmer as unpatriotic– and it succeeded in forcing three MPs to resign, wr [...]

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John Rentoul: What Sunak said – and what he really meant

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How can this government criticise Labour’s ‘illegal wars’ when it’s breaking international law itself? | John Rentoul

How can this government criticise Labour’s ‘illegal wars’ when it’s breaking international law itself? | John Rentoul

A cabinet minister suggested the Iraq war was contrary to international law, but his own government has admitted it is prepared to break the EU treaty, writes [...]

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Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What he said – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan: What he said – and what he really meant | John Rentoul

Our chief political commentator guesses what was going through the chancellor’s mind as he delivered his statement

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Opinion: Ending furlough may break the cross-party consensus

Opinion: Ending furlough may break the cross-party consensus

It’s only a matter of time before Labour calls for higher public spending to support jobs, writes John Rentoul

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Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively with Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy – by not mentioning him

Opinion: Keir Starmer broke decisively with Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy – by not mentioning him

The Labour leader has moved on from his predecessor with surprising stealth and speed, writes John Rentoul

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What are the civil liberties implications of coronavirus laws?

What are the civil liberties implications of coronavirus laws?

Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights has warned Boris Johnson of the dangers of Covid-19 measures. John Rentoul takes a look at the group’s main concer [...]

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The Conservatives could steal a march on Labour over green policy | John Rentoul

The Conservatives could steal a march on Labour over green policy | John Rentoul

The government and opposition are locked into a competition to outdo each other in promising a zero-carbon future, writes John Rentoul

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Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour put it back together again?

Brexit broke the Red Wall. Can Labour put it back together again?

Even under new management, Labour faces a tough battle to win back the heartlands and bridge the Brexit values divide, writes John Rentoul

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John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-breaking, the outlines of a Brexit trade deal are visible

John Rentoul: Behind the fury about law-breaking, the outlines of a Brexit trade deal are visible

Despite the bluster, it’s possible that Boris Johnson could be on the brink of a Brexit deal, says John Rentoul

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John Rentoul | How worried should Boris Johnson be about his Brexit bill being defeated in parliament?

John Rentoul | How worried should Boris Johnson be about his Brexit bill being defeated in parliament?

The prime minister easily survived the first vote on his treaty-breaking UK Internal Market Bill, but it faces stiffer tests to come, writes John Rentoul

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John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition has got ahead of itself again

John Rentoul: Matt Hancock’s ambition has got ahead of itself again

The health secretary’s performance in the House of Commons was a disastrous combination of concern and boasting about how nearly impressive the testing system [...]

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What options does the EU have if the UK breaks international law?

What options does the EU have if the UK breaks international law?

Maros Sefcovic, European Commission vice president, has threatened the UK with legal action if it breaks international law: John Rentoul explains the EU’s opti [...]

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Boris Johnson is right about one thing over Brexit – and one thing only | John Rentoul

Boris Johnson is right about one thing over Brexit – and one thing only | John Rentoul

The prime minister has got himself into an international legal hole entirely of his own making – but he is not wholly in the wrong, writes John Rentoul

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Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit crisis – now he’s got one

Boris Johnson wanted to provoke a Brexit crisis – now he’s got one

The prime minister has sent out his proxies to cause legal mayhem – safe in the knowledge that Leave voters will back him, says John Rentoul

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Keir Starmer was right to avoid the question of the government breaking the law | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer was right to avoid the question of the government breaking the law | John Rentoul

I’m beginning to think that there is a bigger problem with the Brexit-voting northern working class: for them, a London lawyer is not a good thing to be, says [...]

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John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief political commentator, having worked for

John Rentoul is The Independent’s chief political commentator, having worked for the title since 1995. He is also visiting professor at King’s College, London, [...]

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Why headlines are full of speculation about what Sunak will do next

Why headlines are full of speculation about what Sunak will do next

The chancellor is reported to be considering tax rises – though most economists agree that’s a bad idea at this time, writes John Rentoul

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John Rentoul: Identity cards are now back in vogue – you can’t keep a good idea down

John Rentoul: Identity cards are now back in vogue – you can’t keep a good idea down

Boris Johnson once opposed the idea, arguing they would give the state too much power, but now it's different, writes John Rentoul

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Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look like a chancer playing at politics during PMQs | John Rentoul

Keir Starmer made Boris Johnson look like a chancer playing at politics during PMQs | John Rentoul

At their first clash since the summer recess, the Labour leader managed to make the prime minister appear as if he were trying to score cheap points, writes Jo [...]

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Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on the agenda?

Parliament returns tomorrow – what is on the agenda?

John Rentoul on what we can expect as MPs resume their activity in Westminster after six weeks working hard in their constituencies

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Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holding on to his voters | John Rentoul

Despite U-turns, Boris Johnson is holding on to his voters | John Rentoul

The opinion polls seem to be turning against the prime minister – but perhaps the government's frequent decision changes haven't had much effect on underlying [...]

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John Rentoul: We may not want to but most of us will go back to the office

John Rentoul: We may not want to but most of us will go back to the office

Public opinion is resistant to Boris Johnson’s exhortations to go back to our desks but he’ll win out because of the hidden hand of the laws of economics, writ [...]

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Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was sincere – and he failed for the same reason | John Rentoul

Jeremy Corbyn succeeded because he was sincere – and he failed for the same reason | John Rentoul

How did the Labour leader and shadow chancellor get to ‘walking past each other in the corridor and blanking each other’ level of ‘not talking’? Asks John Rent [...]

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John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the next problem that Johnson should have seen coming

John Rentoul: Mass unemployment is the next problem that Johnson should have seen coming

Callous and cynical Conservatives could say that high unemployment never did them any harm electorally, but that is not a risk they should take

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What are the sticking points in EU trade talks and can they be resolved?

What are the sticking points in EU trade talks and can they be resolved?

A guide from John Rentoul to the problems that have to be overcome if there is to be a post-Brexit trade deal

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