All articles by Steve Norris

  • PW220722_Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson_cred Number 10

    Will party voters pick the right PM?


    It was Harold Wilson who coined the immortal line that a week is a long time in politics, but even he would have been shocked by the speed of events since Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid resigned from the government and between them precipitated a tsunami of resignations that even ...

  • PW240622_Michael Gove_shutterstock_1851192037_cred I T S

    No one can call Michael Gove idle


    Say what you like about the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, but Michael Gove certainly hasn’t been idle.

  • Elizabeth Line train

    City megaprojects hit last stop


    It was kind of Mark Wild, the Elizabeth line chief executive, to finally open it this week on my birthday. It’s a project first conceived over half a century ago and that I promoted as a minister, but was nearly killed by the Treasury in 1994. 

  • PW290422_Michael-Gove_Flickr_cred-UK-Government

    Gove is a serious change agent


    In my next life, I want to come back as a government sign writer. Politicians (and yes, I confess, I was one) appear to believe that changing the name somehow of itself solves perennial challenges.

  • Boris Johnson March 2022

    Crunch time looms for Johnson


    I’ve never been Boris Johnson’s greatest fan, but you do have to cut the guy some slack. 

  • Ukraine tank

    We’re living in dangerous times


    I doubt that many of us could have conceived that as we entered 2022 it would not be the virus that filled our media but the very real threat that an increasingly paranoid dictator in Russia could have seriously raised the threat of nuclear war.

  • Boris Johnson

    Boris is a party pooper for the Tories


    “I get it and I will fix it” was the prime minister’s response to Sue Gray’s damning report asserting “failures of leadership and judgement” over the antics of No 10 and the PM himself in what we now refer to as Partygate. The question, of course, is whether that is ...

  • Boris Johnson Christmas 2021

    Boris Johnson may yet survive


    And so we bid a none-too-fond farewell to a year of frustration and disappointment for millions across the country. 

  • Michael Gove

    Gove must avoid levelling down


    Just when we thought the worst of Covid was behind us, along comes Omicron. It may or may not be massively serious but meanwhile travel restrictions are tightened, supply chains disrupted and life in general is just a tad more miserable.

  • COP26 sign

    We must make sensible changes


    The media have been gorging themselves on COP26 all this week despite the obvious, which is that as ever with conferences of this kind, there will be lots of hot air and promises and very little action will follow.

  • Michael Gove

    Gove is the right man to fix housing


    Given that we’ve had 12 housing ministers in as many years, it is really very good news that while Chris Pincher, the housing minister in what was MHCLG, has retained his job, his boss is now the one man whose record in three departments – education, justice and DEFRA – ...

  • London Docklands

    Predicting the legacy of Covid


    We may not be entirely out of the Covid woods yet, but at least we can assume the worst is behind us.

  • Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds

    Boris failed to show leadership


    I know nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but in my time in parliament I served two prime ministers who I looked up to. 

  • Boris Johnson

    The glory may be fading for Boris


    Last Thursday’s by-election result in Chesham and Amersham where the seat that was last held with a Tory majority of 16,000 turned into a Lib Dem majority of 8,000 has shocked Westminster to the core.

  • Robert Jenrick

    Why the planning bill won’t pass


    I am clearly not the only commentator who takes the much-trumpeted commitment in the Queen’s Speech to reform of the planning system with a large pinch of salt.

  • Jermyn St

    Negotiation with tenants is vital


    For some time now I’ve enjoyed following my old friend David Cooper’s epic battle on behalf of a quite unique business in London’s Jermyn Street that sells incredibly expensive carpets.

  • Moving house

    Why the Right to Buy is a good policy


    Readers of this column will be bored rigid by my frequent denunciations of Help to Buy. My developer friends may well have taken me off their Christmas card lists but the fact remains that if you increase demand and supply remains constant, prices rise. It really is Rule 1.01 of ...

  • Period apartments Kensington

    New leasehold reforms are unfair


    Nobody said it better than the late great Kenneth Williams: “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me”. But that phrase must have also passed the lips of a few landlords over the past months.

  • High street shut shops

    Normality is still a long way off


    All the good news about vaccines has led to most of us looking at the rest of this year and wondering how long the lockdown can last and when life can get back to some semblance of normality.

  • City Hall, London

    Tories need to fight for London


    One of the intriguing aspects of the 2019 general election was the Conservatives winning seats they hadn’t won for nigh on a century.