One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell



Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Niall McCrae

Niall McCrae

Dr Niall McCrae is a lecturer in mental health.
All posts by Niall McCrae

Niall McCrae: Meet rent-a-doc. The all purpose, right-on agitator (with placards)

Hi! I’m Pippa and this is Raj. We’re junior doctors just back from a fab picket outside the Royal Infirmary. It was like being in Billy Elliott! Yeah, we hate Thatcher. Didn’t she ban breastfeeding? You can see us on YouTube, with all our placards. They’re hand-crafted – I did mine before ward round yesterday. […]


Niall McCrae: Older wise women will swing it for Brexit

Who will determine the result of the EU referendum? Whether it’s immigrants, students or women, The Guardian never lets an election pass without a sweeping statement about the emerging strength of a segment of the electorate. I have always doubted this rhetoric: first because it suggests one person’s vote counts more than someone else’s; and second, […]


Niall McCrae: Schools teach our young to loathe Britain’s imperial past

The new puritanism of safe spaces, trigger warnings and absurdly censorial attitudes in younger people has perturbed people of my generation. How did we get here, from the libertarian momentum of the 1960s onwards? In a Sunday Times article, headteacher Jenny Brown offered as explanation the obsession with ‘health and safety’, producing a cosseted, risk-averse […]


Niall McCrae: The loo is the new battleground for identity politics

Loos – no, not the Belgian town where thousands of soldiers were slaughtered in the First World War, but that vital commodity of our public spaces. This is the scene of the latest ideological conflict in our restless society. Traditional dual facilities have been troubling young people enlightened to a world beyond what they perceive […]


Niall McCrae: Men are also the victims of domestic violence

By all accounts David Edwards was a kind man, who doted on his wife despite warnings from friends that she was damaging him. He had stood at the aisle with bruises from her punches on the eve of their wedding. An ashtray and a coffee table were among the missiles fired at him over their […]