Andrew Neil

Andrew Neil

Chairman @Spectator, @spectatorUSA, @Spectator Australia, @Apollo_Magazine, BBC presenter #politicslive @bbcthisweek Tweets reflect my analysis and mine alone.

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I was right to be suspicious. Turns out the exact number of new ventilators we can expect this weekend is 30. That’s right 30. Not 3,000 or even 300. But 30. Mr Gove’s exact words Tuesday were “the first of thousands of new ventilator devices will roll off the production line”.

It was a circumlocution — rarely has ‘of’ carried so much weight — which masked fact it was not 1000s. But 30. Of course more will come in the weeks ahead. But with only 8,000 ventilators in the NHS and now 10,000 hospitalised with the virus, we are clearly running out of time.

Media should not be smart-arse, with sneering questions implying we could do much better. We couldn’t. Leave the sneers to twitter. Tone is as important as substance. Experts should be treated with respect but not treated as if always right. They often disagree. They can be wrong

In return we have a right to expect clarity and honesty from government. Especially in this time of crisis in uncharted territory. Which is all I’m asking for when it comes to ventilators and testing.

Democratic National Committee postpones its presidential convention in Milwaukee from July 13 to to August 17, the week before the Republican Party's convention.

As The Spectator approaches its world record 10,000th edition: 1. It was founded in 1828 to promote the widening of the franchise (1832 Reform Act). 2. It was the only major British publication to support the North against the slave-owning South in the American Civil War

3. It supported decriminalisation of homosexuality long before that was fashionable -- or popular.


Scores of celebrities and the rich have arrived in Sicily for a Google conference. They came in 114 private jets and a flotilla of super yachts. The conference is on global warming.

I suspect many folks, when they see this, will be adding Britannia Hotels to the list of businesses they will not be frequenting when this crisis is over.

Sad story from Germany: finance minister of the German state of Hesse, Thomas Schäfer, committed suicide because he had become “deeply worried” over how to cope with the economic fallout. We should not forget or lightly dismiss the huge strain on those currently governing us.

Clear this morning that UK government has two major problems on its hands: 1. Failure to ramp up testing, especially of NHS and social care staff. Unless ministers get a grip this will become THE scandal of the crisis. 2. Failure to distribute enough PPE to NHS/social care staff

This is anti-British drivel of a high order. Was any of the licence fee used to produce something purely designed to demean us?

President Trump and the coronavirus. A terrifying tale of how NOT to handle a pandemic in one short video. Watch and weep.

If any of this is true it should be revealed by the PM in an address to the nation, not spun out in an off the record briefing by an anonymous government source.

Alastair Stewart — very smart, kindly, professional, impartial, knowledgeable, fun, trained by the best (Alastair Burnet). Now the only person to be fired for quoting Shakespeare accurately. The only explanation can be the ITN suits wanted him out — and seized their chance.

I do wish British journalists — esp Brussels-based — would stop repeating the false mantra that the EU holds all the cards in upcoming negotiations. It holds many, perhaps more than UK. But if UK left on WTO rules it would have total regulatory freedom. EU’s worst nightmare.