The former Sunday Times Political Editor is best known for breaking the speeding points story that spelled the end for Chris Huhne’s ministerial career. She then co-wrote (with Lord Ashcroft) a controversial unauthorised biography of David Cameron. In speeches she might reveal what Lynton Crosby really thinks of his paymasters, and who’s plotting to overthrow whom at any given time.
Isabel Oakeshott was the Political Editor of the Sunday Times and is a regular panellist on the BBC1’s Sunday Politics show. She has won Political Journalist of the Year at the UK Press Awards and is a regular commentator for Sky TV and Radio 4, including the flagship Today programme.
Like many journalists, Isabel’s career began in regional newspapers. Starting out in the less-than-illustrious newsroom of the East Lothian Courier, Isabel moved to the Edinburgh Evening News, then on to the Daily Record. At the Record and then at the Sunday Mirror, Isabel found herself dispatched to Glasgow’s toughest areas to seek out unsavoury characters and shocking stories. Good preparation for her assignment to cover Madonna's wedding at Skibo Castle where she found herself at Liam Gallagher’s private party.
In the early days of the Scottish Parliament, Isabel was sent by the Daily Mail to cover events at Holyrood. She then covered health for the Evening Standard in London before returning to politics as a lobby correspondent and then joining the Sunday Times, becoming the paper’s first ever female Political Editor. She has become perhaps best known for breaking the Chris Huhne speeding points scandal.
Isabel ghost wrote the best-selling Inside Out, an explosive insider account of Gordon Brown’s period in office based on the experiences of Peter Watt, former General Secretary of the Labour Party. Watt spilled the beans on cash for honours, Brown’s failure to call an election, and the precarious state of the party’s finances. Isabel’s next book was Farmageddon, an exposé of the practices and shortcomings of commercial, industrial farming. Most recently was Call Me Dave, a controversial unauthorised biography of David Cameron co-written with former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft.
Isabel is a respected commentator on Westminster and UK politics with a unique insight into the workings of politics in all areas. In speeches she analyses the state of the parties, the futures of the leaders, the implications of policy decisions as well as the gossip and indiscretions of parliamentarians.
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As a former Times Political Editor, Isabel has a true insider's perspective on the policies and personalities that shape our politics. At the event I attended her candour really set her apart from other speakers, winning everyone over with nuanced and persuasive answers. She'd clearly worked out how to relate her expertise to the concerns of the audience. JLA Agent Hannah Rogers
JLA Speakers Breakfast