Leader

  • Nadhim Zahawi
    News

    PM stumbles in Zahawi zone

    2023-01-27T00:00:00Z

    If any of us wondered what kind of leadership the UK might get from prime minister Rishi Sunak, we now have a clear indicator courtesy of the tax troubles of Conservative party chair Nadhim Zahawi. The leadership we are getting is not what we need.

  • Council housing
    Insight

    What lies ahead for housing?

    2023-01-20T00:00:00Z

    This week has served up plenty of food for thought on housebuilding, and a dog’s breakfast of industry reactions that run from bleak pessimism to blithe optimism.

  • Open-plan office
    Insight

    Back to the office?

    2023-01-13T00:00:00Z

    On 19 January last year, the government withdrew its Covid guidance suggesting people in England should work from home. The pace and scale of the resulting return to work naturally became a topic of great interest and no little anxiety throughout the subsequent 12 months.

  • 2022
    Insight

    Tales of the unexpected

    2022-12-16T00:00:00Z

    Five housing ministers, four chancellors of the exchequer, three prime ministers, two different monarchs and a partridge in a pear tree. Season’s greetings at the end of a very difficult year.

  • Construction development
    Insight

    Small details, big gains

    2022-12-09T00:00:00Z

    A couple of weeks ago I visited Brent Cross Town, a 180-acre, £7bn new neighbourhood for north-west London being co-developed by Related Argent and Barnet Council. Plans are advanced but work is still at an early stage.

  • shares
    Insight

    You win some, you lose some

    2022-12-02T00:00:00Z

    This week started with relief that the nation hadn’t gone entirely crazy and voted rogue MP and former health secretary Matt Hancock winner of ITV show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Instead, Lioness Jill Scott picked up the crown. 

  • Electric vehicle charging shutterstock_754400164 Smile Fight PW240622
    Insight

    EV revolution lights the way

    2022-11-25T00:00:00Z

    Electric vehicles (EVs) have come a long way in the space of a few short years. Once ridiculed for their short ranges and odd looks, electric cars, scooters and vans are now a familiar sight on our roads as EV technology has improved and owners and business have bought into ...

  • Planning and dev
    News

    Postmodern planning reform

    2022-11-24T00:00:00Z

    This week we hear from Hashi Mohamed, who is one of those remarkable people who runs the risk of making almost everyone else feel like a lazy failure. He is not only an accomplished barrister, broadcaster and author but also a former refugee, underscoring the extent to which he has ...

  • Economic crisis
    Online

    Unhelpful history lessons

    2022-11-17T00:00:00Z

    As is widely recognised, history repeats itself. Unhelpfully, it does so in a jumbled kaleidoscope of random repetition that makes it hard to apply the lessons learned.

  • Bank of england
    Insight

    Don’t bury your head in the sand

    2022-11-11T00:00:00Z

    The Bank of England last week warned that the UK was facing its longest recession in 100 years as it raised interest rates to 3%. Coming off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, the UK political merry-go-round, supply chain costs rapidly increasing and the cost-of-living crisis, this ...

  • London offices
    Insight

    Office of the future? On your bike

    2022-11-04T00:00:00Z

    Last month I toured the almost complete JJ Mack Building in Farringdon, guided by Gerald Kaye, chief executive of its developer, Helical. 

  • Gove-shutterstock_1350365798-(1)-Ian-Davidson-Photography-PW220422
    News

    The regeneration game

    2022-10-27T00:00:00Z

    This week saw the dramatic return of a face we thought we’d seen the last of. Alas I am not talking about the nostalgic return of David Tennant to the role of Doctor Who, after a gap of more than 12 years. 

  • Business rates
    News

    Burning questions on rates

    2022-10-20T00:00:00Z

    The response from shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, after new chancellor Jeremy Hunt gave his “economic update” to the Commons on Monday, perfectly captured the calamity created by September’s mini-Budget.

  • Signing document
    News

    The dicey business of pricing

    2022-10-14T00:00:00Z

    Arriving at a fair value for an asset is a tricky business at the best of times, doubly so in a period of high inflation, rising interest rates and exchange-rate volatility. Agreeing a transaction or indeed estimating what’s required to turn a profit has become markedly more challenging than at ...

  • Throwing dice
    Insight

    Best to gather data before gambling

    2022-10-07T00:00:00Z

    In 2018 I heard a keynote speech by Ian Robertson, former board member of automotive giant BMW Group. He made a point that has stayed with me ever since. 

  • Liz Truss Downing Street speech shutterstock_2198583263 Fred Duval PW230922
    Insight

    What a week it has been

    2022-09-29T00:00:00Z

    During the economic crisis of 1964, prime minister Harold Wilson memorably remarked that a week is a long time in politics. In the economic crisis of 2022, we could perhaps update the saying – a weekend is plenty long enough to machine-gun yourself in the foot. 

  • Houses of Parliament
    Insight

    The winter’s tale

    2022-09-23T00:00:00Z

    As I write, the government’s emergency “fiscal event” to get the nation through the winter has not yet been formally announced, but the details have been leaking out via the newspapers as readily as heat seeps out of an EPC ‘G’-rated property. 

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
    Insight

    An example to us all

    2022-09-16T00:00:00Z

    A frequent observation of the past week has been that the Queen’s death came as a shock. Despite her advanced age and obvious frailty when appointing Liz Truss as PM, none of us expected a gentle handshake in Balmoral to be her last official act. 

  • Greg Clark
    Insight

    Clark versus Clarke

    2022-09-09T00:00:00Z

    It will take a while for the dust to settle, now that we have a new prime minister in Liz Truss, a new chancellor in Kwasi Kwarteng and a new levelling-up and housing secretary in Simon Clarke. 

  • Whitehall
    Insight

    Thumb-twiddling time

    2022-09-02T00:00:00Z

    While Rome burned, Emperor Nero fiddled, or so the legend goes. We are seeing the modern equivalent from our government, it seems.