British Politics’ Outsider’s Insiders: 10 Twitter accounts you should follow to understand the inner-workings of Westminster in 2023
Posted on 20th January 2023 at 20:13
By Sebastian Grace
Who knows how long Twitter will be around, but however long it does remain, one thing will stay constant: its use as a resource for politicos of all description to discuss, analyze and more likely argue about political goings-on. In an increasingly easy-to-satirize time, British politics remains an interesting spectacle worth tuning into, whether you’re a constituent or from further afield. Here’s ten accounts of opinion commentators who drive the conversation I’d recommend following to help you get up to speed on British politics and keep you abreast of a fast-moving, often overwhelming and regularly frankly unbelievable news cycle.
James Forsyth, Political Editor of the Spectator and weekly columnist for The Times, @JGForsyth: Forsyth writes regularly about the issues in the wider orbit of British politics and is personally linked right to the heart of the Conservative party (his wife was briefly former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Communications Director and he was best man to current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at his wedding).
Robert Colvile, Director of @CPSThinkTank, Editor-in-Chief of @CapX and weekly columnist for the Sunday Times, @rcolvile: Colville contributes much to the policy debate in Conservative party circles on controversial issues such as house building and the environment.
Sam Freedman, politics and policy commentator on Substack, @Samfr: Freedman is a widely referenced center-left commentator and voracious tweeter, regularly making points that predictably end up being made by others, elsewhere, as if by magic.
Stephen Bush, Associate Editor and columnist for the Financial Times, @stephenkb: Bush is a respected voice in the intricacies of the policy commentary space and a rare good sport when it comes to detailed debates on the platform.
Patrick Maguire, Red Box political newsletter Editor for The Times, @patrickkmaguire: Maguire writes a brilliant daily newsletter on the political issues of the day often with helpful charts and an enjoyable British political history quiz. The best of Politico Playbook, without the now ridiculously lengthy inside-the-village inanity.
Esther Webber, Senior UK Correspondent for Politico Europe and regular author of Politico London Playbook, @estwebber: Webber’s Playbook and regular tweets are useful time stamps for parliamentary going on’s and day to day news breaking from the House of Commons, and are well sourced, pretty timely and more often than not amusing.
Tim Shipman, Chief Political Commentator at the Sunday Times, @ShippersUnbound: Tim Shipman is impeccably sourced and one of the most well respected operators in the space by his peers, which tells you a lot. Not as prolific on Twitter, he is still worth following, if only as a reminder to read his regular long form commentary in the newspaper. Everyone seems to tell him, well, everything? One of his latest pieces is included in my "What you should read" section on this website.
Sebastian Payne, Director of the @ukonward think tank, author of political books 'Broken Heartlands' and 'The Fall of Boris Johnson' and former political columnist for the Financial Times, @SebastianEPayne: Payne has written extensively on the defining political issues and trends of the last few years in two popular and insightful books and regular columns, and has now moved on to the thought leader space. Always worth keeping an eye on.
Marina Hyde, Author and columnist for The Guardian, @MarinaHyde: Marina Hyde is regularly brilliant on the issues of the day. She is genuinely hilarious, but not purely in a sketch writer way. Her opinion commentary is serious and rooted in interesting insight on the news of the week, conveyed brilliantly through humor. Though seemingly a more light-hearted entry on this list, the issues Hyde touches on are rarely laughing matters, and she is a broader cultural must read.
Pippa Crerar, Political Editor of The Guardian, @PippaCrerar: Crerar is an award winning journalist and sent shockwaves through the country with her coverage of the now infamous hypocrisy and corruption in Boris Johnson’s premiership during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a big money move to The Guardian under her belt since then, Crerar is a story breaking machine. Strap in.
And finally, simply for your amusement, @PoliticsMoments, is a must follow! Happy Twittering, if that's possible anymore.
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