Women With Balls

Women With Balls

By The Spectator

Katy Balls speaks to women at the top of their respective games, about their passions, their battles, and what makes them tick. Katy Balls is Deputy Political Editor of The Spectator.


The Justine Greening Edition

Justine Greening was born in Rotherham, the daughter of a steel worker and first in her family to go to university. Campaigning for the Conservatives, she won back a Tory stronghold from Labour in the 2005 general election becoming MP for Putney. She began politics in opposition, but became a Cabinet Secretary in David Cameron’s government, and remained there for Theresa May’s premiership as Education Secretary. Now having left Parliament, Justine is never far from politics – she founded the Social Mobility Pledge and now even runs her own podcast.
16/02/24·33m 12s

The Gina Miller Edition

Gina Miller was born in Guyana to a political family, but was sent to England for her education. Fleeing dictatorship, she couldn’t receive financial support from her family, and so began finding work in hotels and handing out flyers. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Gina set up her first company in 1987 – a property photographic company. Since then, her CV boasts a myriad of achievements, degrees, the Vanity Fair Challenger Award and financial services. But she is most well known as the woman who set up the first legal challenge to the government’s attempts to trigger article 50 in 2016. Since then, my guest has worked on many anti-Brexit campaigns and in 2021 she launched The True and Fair Party.
02/02/24·33m 47s

The Theo Clarke Edition

Theo Clarke is Conservative MP for Stafford. She is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kenya and sits on the International Development Select Committee. Before being elected she set up and sold her business and then went on to be Chief Executive of an international development charity backed by Bill Gates. Theo got involved in politics after the election expenses scandal and stood in Bristol East in 2015 and 2017. She currently Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Birth Trauma and recently launched a national inquiry into this issue.
19/01/24·28m 8s

The Susan Hall Edition

Susan Hall is a born and bred Londoner running for one of the most important jobs in the city. After leaving school at 18 she had dreams of being a mechanic and struggled to get into technical college. She was later a business owner, running a beauty salon and hairdressing business.    Susan has been involved in politics for almost twenty years. Starting out first as a Councillor in Harrow, she later ran the Conservative group before leading the Council itself. In 2017 she joined the General London Assembly replacing Kemi Badenoch. Within two years she was running the Conservative group there too. Her rise in Conservative politics continues, as this year she was selected to be the Conservative candidate for the 2024 London Mayoral election. 
22/12/23·31m 43s

The Jacqui Smith Edition

Jacqui Smith was born in Malvern, where she joined the Labour party aged 16. After graduating from Oxford, Jacqui moved to London and worked briefly as a parliamentary researcher but trained to be a teacher and became head of economics. The temptation to electoral politics eventually pulled her back. Having failed the first time, Jacqui became the MP for Redditch in 1997 – labeled one of ‘Blair’s babes’.  Within two years, Jacqui joined the government, and under Gordon Brown, she became the first female Home Secretary, a post she later described as a ’poisoned chalice’ to her successor. She resigned over a dispute related to parliamentary expenses, spending a few years as backbench MP. Since leaving politics Jacqui has served as Chair on several public and private posts. Now she co-hosts the LBC weekly show with Iain Dale and chairs two NHS trusts.
08/12/23·33m 55s

The Alison McGovern Edition

Alison McGovern sits on Labour’s front bench as the shadow minister for work and pensions but was first elected as an MP in 2010. Growing up in Merseyside, her grandfather was a folk singer who wrote ‘My Liverpool Home’. Her father was a railwayman that campaigned for better working conditions, but it was her mother that sparked her interest in politics. Following a successful career as Labour councillor she went onto win her seat for Wirral South. Alison has led several senior posts for Labour, which began as Gordon Brown’s parliamentary secretary, then Opposition Whip, Shadow Minister for international development, Shadow Education, Shadow Treasury Minister and Shadow DCMS Minister.
24/11/23·27m 28s

The Arlene Phillips Edition

Arlene Phillips was born in Lancashire, but moved to London to pursue her love for dance. She started age 3 and by the age of 20 she became a dance teacher. From here she formed the dance troupe Hot Gossip and made regular appearances on the Kenny Everett show, catapulting her into the public eye. She went on to be involved with some of the biggest productions on West End – including Grease, Guys and Dolls and the Sound of Music. She’s also choreographed films such as 1982’s Annie and has worked with some of the stars like Freddie Mercury and Tina Turner. In 2004 Arlene was on the original judging panel for Strictly Come Dancing – now one of the nation’s favourite shows. Arlene has no shortage of awards and most recently received royal praise, being awarded a Damehood in the 2021 Birthday Honours.
10/11/23·33m 31s

Is Britain's housing system broken?

The UK is facing a housing crisis hitting both buyers, renters and those who aren’t in a position to live in a stable home. Factors such as rising mortgage rates and inflation mean that people are increasingly struggling to meet their housing costs, especially those on low incomes – and women disproportionately fall into that bracket.  There are a number of reasons for this: of all jobs that pay less than the living wage – 60 per cent are held by women. Over the course of a woman’s lifetime her income can be seriously affected by taking time out to care for children or elderly relatives. Even in higher paid jobs, women still earn less than their male counterparts. Katy Balls speaks to a specialist panel of guests to discuss housing crisis from a female perspective: Rachel Maclean – Minister of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; Esther Dijkstra – the Managing Director of Intermediaries at Lloyds Banking Group; and Clare Miller – the Group Chief Executive for Clarion Housing Group. This podcast is kindly sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group. 
27/10/23·29m 46s

The Kate Mosse Edition

Kate Mosse is an international best-selling author who’s sold millions of books, translated into 38 different languages. She describes herself as a feminist and has worked hard to champion other female authors by creating the Women’s Prize for Fiction and non fiction - now the UK’s most prestigious annual book award. Kate isn’t afraid to use her platform to address issues she feels strongly about. In 2013, she was awarded an OBE for services to women and literature. Born in West Sussex, my guest still lives there now, alongside her childhood sweetheart and they have two children.
20/10/23·35m 15s

The Rosie Duffield Edition

Rosie Duffield is the Labour MP for Canterbury and one of the most well-known faces in British politics. She first became an MP in 2017, a historic win which overturned 99 years of Tory rule. Since becoming an MP, Rosie has spoken out against issues such as Brexit, the two-child policy and most famously for her views on self-ID. On the podcast she talks how she never expected to win her seat; the isolation she has faced from inside her party as a gender-critical feminist and why she thinks that the Labour Party is slowly moving back towards her. 
06/10/23·40m 33s

The Lucy Frazer Edition

Lucy Frazer is the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Prior to this role in government, Lucy held several ministerial positions from the Department Transport to the Ministry of Justice. On the podcast, Lucy tells Katy about her background working as a barrister which paved the way for a political career; her vision for how the Conservatives could still win the next election; and how she will choose the next chairman of the BBC.  Produced by Natasha Feroze. 
28/07/23·28m 31s

The Cleo Watson Edition

Cleo Watson is a former No.10 advisor to Boris Johnson and now author or the recently published book Whips, a novel set in SW1 filled with sex, politics and scandals. On the podcast, Cleo talks about her life growing up in a big family; her career into politics which began in America on Obama's campaign and led to her advising the likes of Theresa May and Boris Johnson; and her recent departure from politics which gave her the chance to finish the book. 
14/07/23·29m 20s

The Tulip Siddiq Edition

Tulip Siddiq is the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn and shadow economic secretary to the treasury. She was born into to a prestigious Bangladeshi family. Her grandfather was the founding father of Bangladesh, and her aunt is the current Prime Minister. After joining the Labour Party at 16, she studied first at UCL followed by completing a masters at Kings College London.  During her time as an MP, Tulip was prominent in campaigning for the return of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, as well as opposing Brexit. She gained national media attention when she delayed the birth of her son for a critical parliamentary vote. On the podcast Tulip talks about growing up in a Bangladeshi household, learning to read, speak and write in Bengali; the challenges she faced when going public about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's imprisonment; and how she retained the most marginal seat in the country. Produced by Natasha Feroze.
30/06/23·36m 36s

The Isabel Oakeshott Edition

Isabel Oakeshott is a journalist and author of numerous political biographies, formerly the political editor for the Sunday Times. She's known for a number of scoops over the years, including Chris Huhne's speeding ticket and revealing Matt Hancock's lockdown WhatsApps. On the episode, she talks to Katy about why toughness was a quality her parents particularly emphasised in her upbringing; what it was like to break into the lobby as a female journalist; and why she decided to break her confidentiality agreement to expose the cache of messages that Matt Hancock had given her. Produced by Natasha Feroze, Saby Reyes-Kulkarni and Oscar Edmondson.
16/06/23·46m 9s

The Penny Junor Edition

Penny Junor is a journalist, biographer and author of several books. She began writing at the Evening Standard. Soon into her career, Penny was given an opportunity to write a book about Princess Diana which led to several more books about the Royals – The Firm: The Troubled House of Windsor and Charles: Victim or Villain? Aside from that, Penny has penned books on key political figures including John Major and Margaret Thatcher. On the podcast, Penny talks about her decision to leave university in second year to get married and become a journalist, she shares how her perspective on the Royal family changed throughout her career and she talks about some writing plans for the future. 
02/06/23·32m 33s

The Dambisa Moyo Edition

Dambisa Moyo is an economist, life peer and author of five books: from Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa to her most recent, How Boards Work: And How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World. Born in Zambia, Dambisa grew up in a house where discussing politics was a regular occurrence at the family table. Dambisa has a large portfolio of academic qualifications from all over the world and has consulted both public and private sector banks. Having sat on numerous boards, Dambisa received a life peerage this year. On the podcast, Dambisa talks about growing up in Zambia, six years after independence; her first job aged 23 at the World Bank, and her new role sat in the House of Lords.  Produced by Natasha Feroze.
19/05/23·25m 54s

The Sam McAlister Edition

Sam McAlister is a producer and author of Scoops: The BBC's Most Shocking Interviews from Prince Andrew to Steven Seagal. When she worked for Newsnight, she was the producer who secured the infamous interview with Prince Andrew, conducted by Emily Maitlis. This interview eventually led to Prince Andrew being suspended from public duties and stepping back from all of his patronages. McAlister is now being portrayed by the actress Billie Piper in a coming Netflix adaptation of the Prince Andrew interview. On the episode, she tells Katy about coming from a 'grafting, entrepreneurial' family and how that informed her competitiveness; her brief career in law; and the behind-the-scenes story of how she secured the interview. Produced by Natasha Feroze and Cindy Yu.
05/05/23·35m 50s

The Martha Lane Fox Edition

Baroness Martha Lane Fox is a dotcom pioneer having started lastminute.com in 1997. She sits on the board of some of the country's most prominent brands, including Marks & Spencer and Channel 4, and has made significant contributions to the government's digital agenda. On the podcast, Martha talks about the early years of the dotcom bubble; the car crash which led to her spending two years in hospital; and some of the campaigning work she has done to promote more accessibility for women in tech. Produced by Natasha Feroze.
14/04/23·33m 7s

The Penny Mordaunt Edition

Penny Mordaunt is the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North and one of the most recognisable women in British politics. She has served in several ministerial roles from International Development to Defence and she is currently Leader of the House. On the podcast, Penny talks about the last two tumultuous years in parliament; some of her proudest moment in politics – increasing armed forces pay and leading a Lords reform rebellion and adding some humour to business questions in parliament. 
31/03/23·26m 48s

The Ash Regan Edition

Ash Regan is the MSP for East Edinburgh who has served as minister for community safety. Since Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation, she has put herself forward to be the next First Minister for Scotland. Born in Biggar, Ash moved to England as a child and grew up in Devon. She surprised her family during the referendum for Scottish Independence, deciding she would vote to leave.  Ash began her foray into politics as a campaigner before running for elected office. She was little known outside of the Holyrood bubble until she quit as community safety minister over plans to allow people to self-identify their gender. On the podcast, Ash talks about life before politics; the challenges of the campaign trail; her plans for an independent Scotland, and why she voted against the Gender Recognition Act. 
17/03/23·33m 9s

What next for women in tech?

Women make up half of the workforce in the UK. Yet when it comes to high-skilled, high-income jobs in tech, just 26 per cent of the workforce are women and 77 per cent of tech leaders are men. Jobs in tech filter into almost every sector and women from all walks of life are discovering they don’t need a maths or tech background to retrain and reinvent themselves. Over the last five years the UK’s tech sector has seen massive proliferation and investment, but given this level of growth, where are all the women? The government’s approach to bridging the gap has focused on teaching in schools. While evidently, the issue starts from a young age, should more emphasis be placed on encouraging women of all ages to learn new skills and explore opportunities that could offer a higher salary and career progression? On the podcast, Katy Balls is joined by Sharon Doherty who is the Chief People and Places Officer and Lloyds Banking Group. Nusrat Ghani, Conservative MP for Wealden and East Sussex and Minister for both Business and Trade and the Cabinet Office. Finally, Anneliese Dodds, Labour MP for Oxford East and Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities.   This podcast is kindly sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
03/03/23·29m 36s

The Victoria Prentis and Vika Edition

For this special episode of Women With Balls, the government’s Attorney General, Victoria Prentis joins Katy along with Vika … a young Ukrainian woman who came over to the UK under the Homes For Ukraine scheme after the war began.  On the podcast, Victoria talks about how life has changed since Vika joined the family and as part of her role in government, working with the Ukrainian prosecutor general who will conduct war crimes tribunals. Vika tells Katy about the steps taken to escape Kyiv at the start of the war; her new life in Oxfordshire having been taken in by the community and what she misses about her home in Ukraine.
17/02/23·25m 30s

The Miriam Cates Edition

Miriam Cates is the Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge. Before becoming a Member of Parliament, Miriam worked as a science teacher and business owner and spent some years raising her three children at home.  On the podcast, Miriam talks about her entry into politics through village life as the local Parish Councillor; how her life as a mother has shaped her views on gender and online harm; and how the 2019 caucus operates.  Produced by Natasha Feroze.
03/02/23·26m 35s

The Nimco Ali Edition

Nimco Ali is an activist, government advisor, author and FGM survivor. Born in Somaliland, Nimco moved to the UK as a child fleeing civil war. On holiday in Djibouti aged 7, she was subjected to female genital mutilation, a traumatising moment in her life that led her to become one of the world’s leading anti-FGM activists today. She went on to set up Daughters of Eve, a survivor-led organisation that has helped transform approaches to ending FGM, as well as the Five Foundation, a global coalition for the same cause. Now, Nimco travels the world to lobby governments to ban FGM and recognise the practice as a human rights issue. She is the author of What We Are Told Not To Talk About - containing 42 stories from 152 interviews and in 2019 was awarded an OBE for her groundbreaking activism. 
20/01/23·32m 58s

Do women still face barriers in the workplace?

Since the pandemic, the nature of working has changed, and in some cases, revealed the weaknesses in the experience of work for women. With some companies eager to get back to business as usual, women are now demanding more from work, and they are leaving jobs in unprecedented numbers to get it. Women could benefit from the flexibility that comes with a hybrid office policy. At the same time, it could present challenges for those with caring responsibilities or disabilities who may wish to stay home when other employees would happily go into the office. How can businesses create a working environment that supports women in work? And with that, offer opportunities for women to expand their career potential. To discuss this Katy Balls is joined by Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton who also chairs the Women and Equalities Committee; Fiona Cannon, who is the Group Sustainable Business Director for Lloyds Banking Group; and Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn who is the Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Shadow Minister for Cities. This podcast is kindly sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group. 
30/12/22·28m 19s

The Dame Rachel de Souza Edition

Dame Rachel de Souza is the Children’s Commissioner for England. Having spent more than 30 years in education, she grew a reputation for her unconventional but effective ways of turning poor-performing schools around and increasing pupil attendance. She was selected as Children’s Commissioner in December 2020, weeks before the Covid 19 pandemic. Since this time, she has been tracking down absent children, working on the Online Harms Bill in Westminster, and is conducting a nationwide study of the impacts of the pandemic on young people. On the podcast, Rachel tells Katy about growing up in Scunthorpe where she came from an Irish Catholic/Ukrainian background. Being educated by the nuns in a local comprehensive school, Rachel remembers her career advice; that she ‘couldn’t wash up and would never get a husband.
23/12/22·25m 3s

Coping with financial worries

Many are already feeling the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis. Choices between ‘heating and eating’ have become routine for some households, as bills and food costs rise. With money at the forefront of everyone’s minds, feelings of stress, shame, and embarrassment are causing a decline in mental health. Research has shown that the cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact on people’s mental health, disproportionately affecting women and those from low-income households. Combatting mental health can come from peer support, professional help and public policy, but is the issue ever taken seriously enough? What can be done to address the shame and guilt linked to money worries?   For this episode, Katy Balls is joined by Maria Caulfield, who is the Minister for Mental Health where her department also oversees Women's Health. Catherine Rutter, the Director for Customer Inclusion at Lloyds Banking Group. And Kim Leadbeater, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, who received an MBE for her services to social cohesion and combatting loneliness.    This podcast is kindly sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
16/12/22·28m 52s

The Kezia Dugdale Edition

Kezia Dugdale was the leader of the Scottish Labour party from 2015 to 2017, taking on the job at a tough time following a near-wipeout defeat at Westminster. She served as an MSP for the Lothian region until 2019, and now runs the John Smith Centre for Public Service at the University of Glasgow. On the podcast, Kezia talks about her rapid rise through the ranks, the impact of the independence referendum on Scottish Labour; her own stint on 'I'm a Celebrity...'; whether she is ‘SNP curious’ and what can be done to stop young people leaving politics.
02/12/22·35m 17s

The Emma Sayle Edition

Emma Sayle is the founder and CEO of Killing Kittens, a sexually liberated social network where women come first. She grew up in a military family, and when not in boarding school, Emma would visit her parents all over the world.  On the podcast, Emma talks to Katy about her 'outsider's mindset' – never truly feeling like she could fit in; becoming an entrepreneur in the sex tech industry and where the name Killing Kittens came from.  Produced by Natasha Feroze.
18/11/22·29m 7s

The Alicia Kearns Edition

Alicia Kearns is the Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton, and the first female chair of the foreign affairs select committee. Alicia built a reputation as a foreign policy powerhouse working in communications and counter-terrorism for the civil service. After leaving, some time was spent in the private sector before Alicia decided to become an MP. In 2019 she was elected in the Conservative safe seat, Rutland and Melton where she now lives with her family.  On the podcast, Alicia talks about why she left the civil service and the time she ‘came out’ as a Conservative. She also shares her love for her Rutland and Melton, describing her constituents as ‘her people’. But makes no bones about how hard she finds the job: ‘I love being able to campaign and change policy. But I can’t say I enjoy the job’. Now, as the chair of the foreign affairs select committee in Parliament, Alicia wants to improve the UK’s resilience in diplomacy and ensure Rishi Sunak won’t back away from Britain’s international responsibilities.  Produced by Natasha Feroze 
28/10/22·35m 18s

The Fiona Hill Edition

Fiona Hill is a seasoned political advisor, consultant and strategist. Born in Glasgow, she began her career as the first-ever female football reporter in Scotland. Then after moving into politics, she later became the first female chief of staff in No.10 under Theresa May.  In her first interview since leaving Downing Street five years ago, Fiona Hill speaks to Katy Balls about how difficult she found it being attacked in the press after the Tories’ election disappointment in 2017. ‘Luckily I’m a strong person. But if I’d been a lesser person I may have thrown myself in the Thames.’ She also reveals that in the month after the election, Hill came face to face with someone who had broken into her flat. Produced by Natasha Feroze.
13/10/22·39m 23s

The Justine Roberts Edition

Justine Roberts is the CEO and founder of Mumsnet. A website that makes parents’ lives easier by pooling knowledge, advice and support on everything from baby names, and household tips, to who they’re voting for in the next election.  On the podcast, Justine talks about being a young girl from Surrey, mad about Liverpool football club and spending her years at Oxford University on the sports field. She worked as an investment banker and journalist before having a light-bulb moment on holiday with her one-year-old, which inspired the inception of Mumsnet.  Produced by Matt Taylor and Natasha Feroze. 
07/10/22·25m 52s

The Louise Perry Edition

Louise Perry is a journalist, campaigner and author of The Case Against the Sexual Revolution. It offers a new guide to sex in the 21st century – rather than herald sex positivity as a good thing for women, she argues it has had negative consequences. Her work has been published in multiple news outlets including The Spectator, Daily Mail and the New Statesman. As a campaigner, Louise began her career working in a rape crisis centre and most recently, co-founded the think tank, The Other Half, a non-partisan organisation that champions the voices of women and families not heard in Westminster. On the podcast, Louise talks to Katy about her upbringing in a London-based Guardian read-y household; how working in a rape crisis centre solidified her views on the importance of women-only spaces; and why progressives are wrong about the sexual revolution. Produced by Natasha Feroze.
23/09/22·29m 55s

From the archives: Liz Truss

Before the new Women With Balls series arrives in Autumn, we have prepared a special episode from our archives. Katy Balls interviewed Liz Truss four years ago when she was chief secretary to the Treasury. Back then she was a straight talker who was gaining a reputation for her speeches that would often turn into memes, she was a politician that was starting to find her own voice and speak her mind. Now Liz Truss is vying to be the next Prime Minister and the odds-on favourite to enter 10 Downing Street. But what has changed since 2018?     Katy Balls and Kate Andrews discuss the pathway of Liz Truss's career that has led her to where she is now.     Produced by Natasha Feroze. 
26/08/22·34m 6s

Anatomy of a downfall: with Victoria Atkins

Until July 6, Victoria Atkins was the Minister of State for Refugees and Minister of State for Prisons and Probation. But as dozens of her colleagues quit in the wake of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid's resignations (which themselves followed No. 10's messy handling of the Chris Pincher affair), Atkins resigned too, writing that 'values such as integrity, decency, respect and professionalism' have ‘fractured’ under Boris Johnson's leadership. On this episode of Women With Balls, Katy Balls hits the rewind button with Atkins, taking us through the turbulent events of those few days. They discuss what it's like to resign from government while on a school run; unforced errors from No. 10 itself; and whether the Conservative party can properly heal after this divisive time. Produced by Cindy Yu.
22/07/22·25m 9s

The Anne-Marie Trevelyan Edition

Anne-Marie Trevelyan is the Secretary of State for International Trade and the MP for Berwick-Upon-Tweed. In the episode, she tells Katy about what it was like to join the City in the 90s, what she calls 'the mysterious management by the civil service of its ministers' and what she makes of the rumours that she could be sacked in an upcoming reshuffle.
01/07/22·32m 33s

Time to break the menopause taboo

Women of menopausal age make up a tenth of the UK workforce (and a quarter of all working women). The symptoms of menopause can make work much harder, they include both physical and mental, from hot flushes and brain fog to insomnia. But at a time when many may be reaching the peak of their career, these symptoms can halt years of career progression. What’s more, the condition is stigmatised and little discussed. Steps are being made to break this stigma. This year MPs introduced the first private member's bill on menopause and the government established a menopause task force. Employers are becoming ever more aware of things they could do to help these millions of women. What are the next steps? To discuss this, Katy Balls is joined by Conservative MP Maria Caulfield, who’s also the minister for women’s health and co-chairs the government’s menopause taskforce; Jacqui Smith, a broadcaster and Home Secretary under Gordon Brown. She is also currently the chair of two NHS trusts. Finally, Michelle Blayney, chief culture and talent officer at Lloyds Banking Group. This podcast is kindly sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
17/06/22·31m 55s

The Julie Bindel Edition

Julie Bindel is a radical feminist, journalist and activist. Leaving home at 15, she moved to Leeds in search of – in her own words - 'scary-sounding feminists'. Quickly she found her passions lay in fighting against prostitution, pornography and violence against women. She founded Justice for Women, a feminist campaigning organisation that supports, and advocates on behalf of, women who have fought back against or killed violent men. On the podcast, Julie speaks about growing up in the North-East of England, her fight in the gender ideology debate and shares her thoughts on Pretty Woman. To read more on Julie Bindel visit her Substack page here.
10/06/22·31m 56s

The Frances Haugen Edition

Frances Haugen is an American data scientist, most well known for her whistleblowing of Facebook's failures at controlling misinformation. Her insider knowledge allowed the Wall Street Journal to publish a series of exposés about the social media platform, which became known as 'The Facebook Files'. She has testified before the US Congress, the European Parliament and the British Parliament on online safety and Silicon Valley. On this episode, she talks to Katy about first experiencing sexism in tech when she joined Google at her first job; the shocking reality of how Facebook's algorithm worsens civil strife across the world; and what she wants to see changed from the British government's Online Safety Bill, which Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries recently joined the series to talk about. Produced by Natasha Feroze and Cindy Yu.
27/05/22·39m 18s

The Kemi Badenoch Edition

Kemi Badenoch is the MP for Saffron Walden and a minister in Michael Gove’s Levelling Up department. On entering parliament in 2017, Kemi was quickly pegged as one of the Conservative Party’s rising stars and an example of what she calls the “British Dream”, going from immigrant to parliamentarian in the space of one generation. After a career as a software engineer, she made her move into politics as a Conservative member of the London Assembly. Then beat Theresa May’s own special advisor to the ballot of Saffron Walden.  On the podcast, Kemi talks about her childhood in Nigeria and the golden ticket that was her UK passport, hacking Harriet Harman and how her conservative views were formed.
13/05/22·38m 45s

The Nadine Dorries Edition

Nadine Dorries is the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sports and MP for Mid Bedfordshire. After leaving school at 16, Dorries went on to become a nurse and an entrepreneur before entering politics at the age of 49. She was a minister in the Department of Health during the pandemic, and in her current role is leading five bills at DCMS through Parliament, including the controversial Online Safety Bill.  On the podcast, she talks to Katy Balls about her plans for the BBC and Channel 4, why she believes much of the criticism against her comes from those unable to accept her background, and where her red line would be in sticking up for Boris Johnson, as one of his most loyal allies.
28/04/22·45m 54s

Generation spent: can renters be better protected?

The cost of living is rising, as is the cost of renting. Zoopla estimates that rents are rising at the fastest rate in 14 years, which means that the average rent in the UK is now over £1000 a month. This is partly a pandemic effect, especially in London as people return to offices. But Covid has also shaken people’s financial security - the Citizens Advice Bureau found that more than one in three renters felt insecure about their ability to stay in their tenancy during the pandemic. And women were disproportionately impacted - during the pandemic, mothers were more likely to be put on furlough or even lose their jobs. Rising prices are not the only problem with the UK’s private rentals market - slow or unethical landlords, unsafe properties or short term tenancies are all problems faced by renters. What more can be done for the almost five million private renters in the UK?  Katy Balls, The Spectator's deputy political editor is joined by Nickie Aiken, the Conservative MP for Cities of London and Westminster; Karen Buck, the Labour MP for Westminster North, who is also the vice-chair for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the private rental sector; and Esther Dijkstra, managing director of Intermediaries at Lloyds Banking Group, who are kindly sponsoring this podcast.
22/04/22·34m 9s

The Arlene Foster Edition

Arlene Foster is the former first minister of Northern Ireland and was leader of the Democratic Unionist Party from 2015 to 2021. She was the first woman to hold either position. Arlene moved into politics after joining the Ulster Unionist Party as a Law student at Queen’s University Belfast.  Having grown up in conflict during the Troubles, she remembers an attempted murder of her father by the IRA. During her long career in politics, Arlene has consistently fought for the Union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. She resigned from her positions in politics to become a broadcaster and campaigner where she host a weekly show on GB News. During the podcast, Arelene reflects on her long career in politics, the Brexit negotiations as part of Theresa May's coalition government and Article 16.
08/04/22·35m 44s

The Anji Hunter Edition

Anji Hunter is the former gatekeeper to Tony Blair's Labour government. She was once described as the most influential non-elected person in Downing Street and became one of Blair's closest confidantes. Acting as an alliance broker, Anji worked across businesses and the media, including Murdoch's empire. After decades by Blair's side, Anji moved to the private sector to take up various roles across industries from BP to the Royal College of Engineering. As Boris Johnson welcomes the new Anji Hunter of 10 Downing Street, Samatha Cohen, Anji reflects on what it takes to do her former job – you've got to have balls.
25/03/22·48m 21s

The Suella Braverman Edition

Suella Braverman is the Conservative MP for Fareham and became the first female elected Attorney General in 2020. Formerly known as one of the Brext Spartans, she talks on the podcast, about growing up surrounded by politics where she first lay the foundations for a career as a Conservative politician.  As a young woman, she studied law in Cambridge, the US and in Europe where she could excel as a linguist. Since taking her role as Attorney General, she made history by rewriting the law to become the first female Cabinet Minister to take maternity leave - named Gabriella's Law after her daughter who is now one year old.
11/03/22·37m 13s

Online fraud: how best to fight back?

During the pandemic, we spent more time online than ever before and this has seen a boom in online fraud. It's estimated that scam adverts have tricked 1 in 10 people on the biggest online platforms into paying for fake products. In 2020, almost 150,000 fraud cases were recorded with losses reported of up to £500 million. For the scammers, they will do anything to convince you to key in your card details and this problem has shown no sign of slowing down. The online safety bill is expected to pass Parliament in March 2022. As things stand, the government hasn't included online fraud as a type of harm when it comes to certain adverts. So could the online safety bill be an effective solution?  To discuss this, Katy Balls is joined by Nicky Morgan, former Culture Secretary and chair of the Treasury Select Committee. Now a member of the House of Lords, Nicky is chairing a new inquiry into digital fraud. Also on the podcast is Lucy Powell, the Shadow Culture Secretary for Labour and Liz Ziegler who is the retail bank fraud and financial crime director at Lloyds Banking Group.  This podcast is kindy sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
08/03/22·27m 32s

The Fiona Hill Edition

Fiona Hill is the former director for European and Russian Affairs on the United States National Security Council. She has advised presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George Bush. In November 2019, she testified at Trump's first impeachment hearing. On the podcast, she tells Katy about growing up in the North East and moving the America, meeting Vladimir Putin, working in Trump's White House, and why getting a perm was such a bad idea.
25/02/22·43m 56s

The Carolyn Harris Edition

Carolyn Harris is a Welsh Labour Party politician serving as the Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour since 2018, and has been the Member of Parliament for Swansea East since 2015. On the podcast she talks to Katy about her three successful campaigns, menopause, and the time she accidentally turned on the No.10 Christmas lights. 
11/02/22·26m 8s

The Emma Gormley Edition

Emma Gormley is managing director of daytime at ITV studios, where she controls flagship shows on the channel such as Good Morning Britain, Lorraine, This Morning and Loose Women. On the episode, she talks to Katy about what got her into broadcast journalism, the pressures of looking after some of the most popular shows on TV ('Having those four shows, which are juggernauts and are always in the press scrutiny, have A-lister talent... The role is everything'), and what it was like to work with Piers Morgan ('My ambition isn't to make vanilla television'). 
28/01/22·29m 34s

The Michelle Donelan Edition

Michelle Donelan was elected in 2015 as a Conservative MP for Chippenham. Since then, she has been re-elected twice and has risen in her political roles. Starting as a member of the education select committee and becoming a whip, to then being appointed a minister, first of children and families, and then in the latest cabinet reshuffle, becoming minister of state for higher and further education. On the episode, Michelle talks about how she had decided on a career in politics at the age of six, working for World Wrestling Entertainment, and what surprised her when she first entered politics.
14/01/22·23m 42s

The Camilla Tominey Edition

Camilla Tominey is known on both sides of the pond as one of the world's go-to Royal correspondents. She began her career in journalism at the Hemel Hempstead Gazette before moving to cover the Royals for the Daily Express and is now the associate editor at the Telegraph. On the episode, she talks to Katy about how studying law ended up inspiring her to get into journalism, the differences between coving politics and the Royal family and the perils of engaging on social media. 'I've been accused on the same day of being a far-right extremist and a socialist.'
31/12/21·35m 51s

The Tzipi Hotovely Edition

Tzipi Hotovely is the current Israeli Ambassador to the UK. She was formerly a politician in Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, having climbed the ranks to become deputy foreign minister. On the episode, she talks to Katy about her 2,500 strong wedding reception, campaigning for mother's rights in Israel and what modern-day anti-Semitism look like. They also discuss the time when she had to be escorted out of the LSE for her own safety, in the face of an aggressive student protest. She reflects:  'Think about it. Does it make sense? I’m the only foreign ambassador that needs to have such heavy protection when I go on campus. Aren’t campuses all about freedom of speech?'
17/12/21·29m 45s

The Bridget Phillipson Edition

Bridget Phillipson is the shadow education secretary and MP for Houghton and Sunderland South. On this episode, recorded just before Labour's last reshuffle where Bridget was promoted, she talks to Katy about what it was like to go to Oxford from a humble upbringing, how Labour can win the next election, and why she didn't take career advice from school telling her to be a fence-builder.
03/12/21·27m 28s

The Sarah Vine Edition

Sarah Vine is a columnist for the Daily Mail and formerly wife of Cabinet minister Michael Gove. On the podcast, Sarah talks to Katy about growing up in Italy, working her way up tabloid journalism (including what it was like to work for Paul Dacre), and her reflections on being a columnist with a politician (ex-)husband.
19/11/21·34m 22s

The Ruth Davidson Edition

Ruth Davidson is the former leader of the Scottish Conservatives and now sits in the House of Lords as the Baroness of Lundin Links. On the episode, she speaks to Katy about her happy upbringing as an active tomboy despite a near-death car accident at the age of five; her mother's reaction when she left the BBC to join the Scottish Tories ('she was appalled'); and gave a punchy defence of Theresa May ('I absolutely think the Party did her wrong').
05/11/21·35m 57s

The Nikki da Costa Edition

Nikki da Costa is the former director of legislative affairs at No 10 Downing Street. She served under Theresa May and Boris Johnson and was pivotal in the government's wrangles with Parliament over Brexit. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about why she and David Davis didn't quite get on; why she quit May's government and rejoined under Johnson; and what it was like to carry through her brainchild - the prorogation of Parliament - under scrutiny from the entire country and, eventually, the Supreme Court.
22/10/21·43m 5s

The Dehenna Davison Edition

Dehenna Davison is the MP for Bishop Auckland, and a rising star in Boris Johnson's 2019 'red wall' intake. On this episode, recorded just after Conservative party conference, Dehenna tells Katy about what it was like to lose her father to a pub brawl so young, getting her work marked in Latin by Jacob Rees-Mogg and her plans to go to a Taylor Swift concert with the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
08/10/21·30m 34s

The Sarah Rainsford Edition

Sarah Rainsford was a BBC foreign correspondent stationed in Moscow for 20 years until August when the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) declared Rainsford a national security threat. They expelled her from Russia and gave her only three weeks to pack up her things, bring home her husband and their dog. On the podcast, Sarah goes back to her youth to share how she fell into learning Russian and the adventures she got up to as a Cambridge student during her year abroad in St Petersburg during the fall of the Soviet Union. 
24/09/21·35m 37s

The Joanna Scanlan Edition

Joanna Scanlan, an actress best known for her role of Terri in the The Thick of It, had a long and winding road before becoming a star of stage and screen. Born in Cheshire and moved to Wales aged three, she went to two convent schools before an Anglican school where she broke every possible rule she could. On the podcast she talks about her dreams of becoming an actor, working first at the arts council and as a lecturer whilst pursuing her love of acting. In her new film After Love, she plays a woman uncovering the secret life of her late husband, which is out now.
30/07/21·38m 13s

The Trudy Harrison Edition

Trudy Harrison is the Conservative MP for Copeland and currently works as the Prime Minster's Parliamentary Private Secretary. On the podcast, she talks about how when she was younger she always thought she'd be a nanny and how that maternal nature developed into her own childcare business, then local politics and finally the House of Commons. Trudy also bought in a bunch of her own home grown flowers for the podcast team, making her one of our favourite guests ever. 
09/07/21·37m 35s

The Katie Perrior Edition

Katie Perrior is a public relations expert who co-founded inHouse Communications. She's worked for two prime ministers and several senior Tory MPs, and today her clients include the spiritsmaker Diageo and the football Super League. On the podcast, she talks about leaning into Boris Johnson's rambunctious style on the London mayoralty campaign; coming into blows with Theresa May's chief advisors Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill; and, reflecting on the Super League disaster, how there are more liars in football than even in politics.
25/06/21·35m 22s

The Polly Morgan Edition

Polly Morgan is an artist whose trade is taxidermy. She recently won the First Plinth Award, and in her time has sold to celebrity clients including Kate Moss and Courtney Love. On the podcast, she tells Katy about her unusual childhood growing up on a farm with ostriches, goats and llamas; why she got fired by Prue Leith; and the ins and outs of taxidermy.
11/06/21·34m 14s

Saving for a rainy day: building financial resilience

The past year has served as a reminder how quickly one's personal circumstances can change. In uncertain times such as these, financial resilience is more important than ever. But whilst savings for some Brits have surged in the pandemic, it's not been the case for everyone. 41pc of UK households could not last more than three months without their main source of income. If you are in a bad place, what are the best steps? Katy Balls is joined by Tracey Crouch, Conservative MP and former minister for sports, civil society and loneliness, who's also been a leading campaigner on gambling reform; Bridget Phillipson, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury; and Nicola Bannister, Lloyds Banking Group's Collections Effectiveness Director for Retail. Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
28/05/21·37m 40s

The Katy Searle Edition

Katy Searle is the Executive Editor of Politics at BBC News. She is known for overseeing numerous blockbuster political moments, including the infamous kitchen interviews with Ed Miliband and David Cameron, where the Labour leader showed off his two kitchens. On the podcast, she talks to Katy Balls about leaving school at 16, working with Rod Liddle on the Today programme and what it's like to produce interviews with prime ministers.
14/05/21·30m 17s

What's the solution to unaffordable housing?

Over the last year of intermittent lockdowns, most of us have spent more time staring at the four walls of our living room than we ever thought possible. One of the biggest factors affecting someone's pandemic experience is the type of accommodation they're in, and 8.4 million people in England are living in unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable homes.   There are, however, attempts being made to help fix the problem, with promises to build new homes, a stamp duty holiday, and a new mortgage guarantee system.   To discuss the problem of unaffordable homes, and the potential solutions, Katy Balls is joined on this sponsored podcast by Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow secretary of state for housing; Natalie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover and chair of the New Homes Quality Board; and Esther Dijkstra, the managing director of intermediaries at Lloyds Banking Group. Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
30/04/21·28m 23s

The Nus Ghani Edition

Nusrat Ghani is the Conservative MP for Wealden, having previously served as a transport minister under the May then Johnson governments. On the podcast, she tells Katy Balls about her upbringing under a father who was a headteacher; how she narrowly escaped arranged marriage through university; and how it feels to be one of nine Brits to be sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party.
16/04/21·36m 51s

Can apprenticeships solve the Covid jobs crisis?

The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives but one of the biggest is the way we work– with 46% of people working from home last year. Perhaps no group has been more impacted by this than the young - from unemployment to the mental health pressures of working from small homes and a tough jobs market, this generation has been dubbed 'the Covid generation'.   But at the same time there are also opportunities – could apprenticeships be part of the solution?    On this sponsored podcast, Katy Balls talks to a panel of strong women about the challenges and opportunities facing young people in professional life. She's joined by Gillian Keegan, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills; Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC; and Michelle Blayney, Chief Culture and Talent Officer at Lloyds Banking Group. Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
02/04/21·36m 39s

The Elif Shafak Edition

Elif Shafak is an award-winning Turkish-British novellist, essayist and activist. On the episode, she talks to Katy about what it was like to grow up in conservative Ankara under the strong women in her family; her prosecution by the Turkish government; and why she thinks too much information is not necessarily a virtue.
19/03/21·39m 11s

The Rachel Reeves Edition

Rachel Reeves is the Labour MP for Leeds West and the shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about being a teen chess champion (pictured playing), going to a school where her mum worked and what Labour needs to do to turn its losing streak.
05/03/21·40m 15s

The Suzanne Moore Edition

Suzanne Moore is a journalist. On the podcast, she tells Katy about interviewing to work for Marxism Today, feeling out of place at The Guardian, and standing to be an independent MP.
19/02/21·44m 10s

The Mims Davies Edition

Mims Davies is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Employment and the MP for Mid Sussex. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about how her family became lifelong carers when her dad was attacked at work, about why she didn't come out as a Tory in her student days at Swansea University and why her change of seat in the 2019 election was not all that it seems.
05/02/21·36m 19s

The Claire Williams Edition

Claire Williams OBE is the former Deputy Team Principal of Williams, family-run the Formula One racing team set up by her father, Frank Williams. On the podcast, she talks about what it was like to be seen as 'Frank's daughter', the struggles of trying to turn around an ailing F1 team and how none of her family actually passed their driving test, first time.
22/01/21·37m 18s

The Christina Lamb Edition

Christina Lamb is an award-winning journalist who has reported on conflicts and politics across the world for more than three decades. Her latest book is Our Bodies, Their Battlefields, highlighting especially the treatment of women in war.
08/01/21·54m 48s

The Barbara Amiel Edition

Barbara Amiel, Baroness Black, is a journalist, writer and socialite. She's been married four times - her fourth to the newspaper proprietor Conrad Black. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her difficult childhood (which she describes as 'slightly unorthodox'), establishing her journalistic career in Toronto and London, comparing bathrooms with Ghislaine Maxwell, her glamorous marriage to Black and their fall from grace when he was jailed for fraud. Her new book, Friends and Enemies: A Memoir, is and out now. Presented by Katy Balls.
11/12/20·58m 56s

The Gillian Keegan Edition

Gillian Keegan is the minister for apprenticeships and skills, and Conservative MP for Chichester. She previously worked at Natwest, Mastercard, Travelport and Amadeus.
27/11/20·41m 54s

The Alice Bunn Edition

Dr Alice Bunn is a scientist and international director at the UK Space Agency. She tells Katy about falling in love with the stars, finding the right career and the threat of space debris. 
13/11/20·28m 32s

The Anneliese Dodds Edition

Anneliese Dodds is the shadow chancellor. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about protesting tuition fees in a university exams hall, life before politics, forcing Rishi Sunak into the Commons on his birthday, and whether the Conservatives are spending too much money.
30/10/20·39m 37s

The Rachel Johnson Edition

Rachel Johnson is a journalist, author and broadcaster. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about what it was like to go to a boys' boarding school, why university had been so eye-opening after her childhood, her brief foray into politics for Change UK, and the worst pieces of advice she's ever got (both from her mother).
16/10/20·37m 12s

The Louise Haigh Edition

Louise Haigh is the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland. On the podcast, she talks to Katy Balls about her family's political roots; quitting university after not fitting in; her reflections on nominating Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Party leader; and being offered a job with a spider on her shoulder.  Presented by Katy Balls 
02/10/20·31m 37s

The Emily Sheffield Edition

Emily Sheffield is the editor of the Evening Standard. She was formerly deputy editor at Vogue, and has started her own journalistic venture at This Much I Know. She also happens to be sister of Samantha Cameron. On the podcast, she talks about the real story behind why she was kicked out of Marlborough as a teenager (spoiler: it was unrequited love gone wrong); battling sexism on her first day at the Guardian; and her two pennies on Sasha Swire's diary. Presented by Katy Balls.
25/09/20·39m 51s

The Sarah Sands Edition

Sarah Sands is the former editor of the Today programme. On the podcast, she talks to Katy Balls about her departure from the Sunday Telegraph after just nine months as Editor; giving John Humphreys a pay cut; and what it was like to find out on election night that the Boris Johnson government intended to boycott Today. Presented by Katy Balls.
11/09/20·37m 20s

Women in finance: can technology help bridge the gap?

As technology becomes ever more part of our daily lives, banking is no different. You might have already used some ‘fintech’ innovations like Monzo and Klarna. The flexibility of fintech can particularly help women in their day-to-day lives, but if that’s the case, why is some fintech mostly used and created by men? In this special episode of Women With Balls, Katy Balls is joined by her panel to discuss these issues and more.    With Nicky Morgan, Baroness of Cotes, a former Conservative Cabinet Minister and chair of the Treasury Select Committee; Chi Onwurah, a shadow Science minister, who was head of telecoms at Ofcom; Gill Wylie, Transformation Director at Lloyds Banking Group. Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
17/07/20·36m 59s

The Chloe Smith Edition

Chloe Smith is the Conservative MP for Norwich North and minister at the Cabinet Office. She entered parliament at the age of 27 and rose through the ranks quickly. In 2012, she was interviewed by Jeremy Paxman in what has been described as a 'car crash interview' when she was sent out to defend then-Chancellor George Osborne's U-turn on fuel duty. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about what it was like to do that interview and the aftermath, why she proposed to her husband, and what it was like to receive a fake anthrax package. Presented by Katy Balls. Click here to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £20 Amazon gift voucher.
03/07/20·27m 12s

The Joanna Trollope Edition

Joanna Trollope is an award-winning novelist, whose books have sold more than eight million copies worldwide. She's known best for her novel, The Rector's Wife, which was adapted into a TV series. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about the expectations on her as a girl growing up in the 40s, how stay at home mums can still be feminists, and how, as she gets older, she finds she gets her way more. Click here to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £20 Amazon gift voucher.
19/06/20·29m 3s

The Sunetra Gupta Edition

Sunetra Gupta is Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford. An expert in the fight against infectious diseases, she is the lead scientist behind the Oxford study that disputed Imperial College's dire coronavirus predictions. She is also a novelist and translator. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her writing and how it was inspired by her intellectual father; her dispute with the mentor of Imperial College's Neil Ferguson; and how she has found being in the public eye. Presented by Katy Balls. Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free here.
05/06/20·29m 41s

The Kate Forbes Edition

Kate Forbes is an SNP MP and the Scottish Finance Secretary. She stepped in at the last minute when her predecessor, Derek MacKay, was suspended from the party on the day of the Budget. On the podcast, she talks about her international upbringing and how that relates to her nationalism, what it was like to step in for the Budget on that day, and how she squares her faith with politics. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here. Presented by Katy Balls.
22/05/20·36m 37s

Time to start saving – how to make the best of uncertainty

The economic impact of coronavirus is already felt keenly by many people. A large chunk of the population is having to dig into its savings to cover for lost income. But what if you don't have much in the piggy bank in the first place? Often, the discipline to save gets overtaken by events. With two fifths of adults having less than £500 in savings, what can be done to encourage people to think about their lifetime savings more? With Mims Davies, Minister for Employment; Lord David Willetts, President of the Resolution Foundation; and Emma Watkins, Annuities Director at Scottish Widows. Presented by Katy Balls. This podcast is sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
08/05/20·32m 31s

The Ruby Wax Edition

Ruby Wax is an actress, comedian, and mental health campaigner, for which she received an OBE. On the podcast, she tells Katy about her difficult upbringing which put Carrie Fisher's to shame, the moment she realised she couldn't act, and her campaigning work, especially during these stressful times. Presented by Katy Balls.
24/04/20·26m 32s

Controlling lives, controlling money: how to tackle financial abuse

Domestic abuse services are braced for an avalanche of new cases as a result of social distancing. Of these cases, not all have or will be physically violent - instead, Women's Aid reports a significant proportion of cases in which access to money was used as a form of control. In the government's Domestic Abuse Bill, economic abuse will be for the first time recognised as a form of coercive control. So how can it be identified, and how can the women and men who are its victims be helped?  Katy Balls speaks to Jess Phillips, Labour MP and domestic abuse campaigner; Olivia Robey, a safeguarding and vulnerability advisor and former SpAd at the Home Office; and Fiona Cannon OBE, Responsible Business, Sustainability and Inclusion Director at Lloyds Banking Group. This podcast is sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
10/04/20·34m 27s

The Lisa Nandy Edition

Lisa Nandy is the Labour MP for Wigan and former shadow energy secretary. She is one of the remaining three contenders for Labour leader. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her childhood ambitions, cross-party friendships, and the worst advice she's ever been given. Presented by Katy Balls.
27/03/20·30m 11s

The Emily Thornberry Edition

Emily Thornberry is the shadow Foreign Secretary and former contender for the Labour leadership. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her challenging childhood, what practising law taught her about politics, and her bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. Presented by Katy Balls.
20/03/20·37m 11s

The Prue Leith Edition

Prue Leith is a restaurateur, Bake Off judge, and advisor to the government's review on hospital food. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about growing up in apartheid South Africa, how she got her first Michelin star, and having breakfast with Boris Johnson in Downing St. Prue Leith will be live in conversation with her nephew Sam Leith (the Spectator's Books Editor) and her niece Peta Leith on the 24th March. Get tickets here. Presented by Katy Balls.
06/03/20·31m 54s

The Thérèse Coffey Edition

Thérèse Coffey is the MP for Suffolk Coastal and the work and pensions secretary. On the podcast, she talks about her famous karaoke parties, the importance of her Catholic faith to her, and that picture from one Spectator party. Presented by Katy Balls.
21/02/20·28m 10s

The Ayesha Hazarika Edition

Ayesha Hazarika is a journalist and comedian, and a former Labour advisor to Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband. On the podcast, she talks about growing up in Glasgow, vetting Ed Miliband for Prime Minister's Questions, and the stand-up jokes that bombed the most. Presented by Katy Balls.
07/02/20·36m 17s

The Joanna Cherry Edition

Joanna Cherry is the SNP's Justice and Home Affairs Spokesperson and a prolific QC, known for her successful legal challenge against the government over its decision to prorogue parliament. In the end, Boris Johnson's prorogation was declared unlawful. On the podcast, she talks to Katy about her Scottish Labour days, the misogyny she identifies in the current debate over trans rights, and taking the Prime Minister to court. Presented by Katy Balls.
24/01/20·34m 41s

Election Special: who would want to be an MP?

Why would any woman want to be an MP in this general election? In recent years, parliament has been plagued by horror stories of abuse against MPs, especially female ones, with a number of them leaving the job before their time. So does parliament have a woman problem? Katy Balls speaks to a series of guests, especially a handful of the young women who are looking to join parliament this election. With Paul Goodman, Isabel Hardman, Inaya Folarin Iman, Rebecca Smith, Danielle Rowley and Claire Coutinho. Presented by Katy Balls.
02/12/19·34m 32s

The Nicky Morgan Edition

Nicky Morgan is the Secretary of State for Culture, and former Conservative MP for Loughborough. Despite her success in Boris Johnson's cabinet, she announced that she'd be standing down at this election. On the podcast, she talks about student politics in Oxford with Dan Hannan, filling in Michael Gove's shoes as Education Secretary under David Cameron, firing herself for Theresa May when the latter became Prime Minister. Presented by Katy Balls.
08/11/19·27m 17s

The Katharine Birbalsingh Edition

Katharine is the headmistress of Michaela Community School, dubbed by some as 'Britain's strictest school'. She talks to Katy about why she regrets speaking at Conservative Party Conference, her school's 'tiger teacher' philosophy, and why she would ban smartphones for everyone under the age of 18. Presented by Katy Balls.
25/10/19·26m 35s

The Lynn Barber Edition

Lynn Barber is an award-winning journalist known for her incisive interviews and her best-selling books An Education and How to Improve Your Man in Bed. On this episode, she talks to Katy about her lifetime of interviewing the great and the good, from Salvador Dali to Katie Price; the death threats she received from Rafa Nadal's fans; and her favourite (and least favourite) BBC journalists. Presented by Katy Balls.
11/10/19·26m 55s

Conservative party conference special: Liz Truss II

Liz Truss is the Secretary of State for International Trade and holds the Women and Equalities brief. On the podcast, she talks about why Boris picked her for the job (having heard her speech about cheese exports), the limitation to trans rights, and how punchy language is all just a part of politics. Presented by Katy Balls.
29/09/19·26m 56s

The Margaret Hodge Edition

Margaret Hodge is the Labour MP for Barking and Dagenham, and well-known for her role as former head of the Public Accounts Committee, in which she scrutinised senior civil servants and politicians alike. She has also been one of the most vocal critics of Labour's anti-Semitism problem. On the podcast, she tells Katy about how boarding school made her rebellious, her remorse for supporting Tony Blair on Iraq, and what fighting the BNP on her own turf taught her about racism. Presented by Katy Balls.
27/09/19·34m 20s

The Amber Rudd Edition

Katy talks to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, about walking in Theresa May's shoes, No 10's SpAd jihad, and the government's whip withdrawal for the 21 Tory rebels this week. Presented by Katy Balls.
06/09/19·33m 41s

The Joan Collins Edition

Dame Joan Collins is an actress, author, and entrepreneur. Her acting career spans three quarters of a century, including 1950s Hollywood movies, to her role as Alexis Carrington in Dynasty. In this episode, she talks to Katy about breaking into acting as a young woman, what she thinks about Love Island, and why she supports both Boris Johnson and Brexit. Presented by Katy Balls.
16/08/19·20m 55s

The Karen Pierce Edition

Karen Pierce is the UK's Permanent Representative to the UN. In this episode, she talks to Katy about her career ambitions when she was young, using Lewis Carroll to combat the Russians, and what day to day life is like in the UN. Presented by Katy Balls.
02/08/19·28m 32s

Lib Dem Special: Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson is the current deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, but she's running to be leader against Ed Davey. With the Liberal Democrats' surge in the polls, Swinson's role in the coming months could be vital for Brexit. In this special edition of Women with Balls, she talks about losing her seat in 2015 after the coalition, problems with pairing in Westminster, and what she has in common with Boris Johnson. Presented by Katy Balls.
19/07/19·19m 44s

The Tracey Crouch Edition

Tracey Crouch MP has earned a reputation for being independently minded. She has rebelled on issues from press regulation to fox hunting; and served as a sports minister until last year until she resigned over the government's stance on fixed odds betting terminals. In this episode, Tracey Crouch tells Katy about being the only student Tory in Hull, swearing at Philip Hammond, and why she's never told anyone what she voted in the Brexit referendum. Presented by Katy Balls.
12/07/19·34m 29s

The Jo Coburn Edition

Broadcaster and journalist Jo Coburn tells how German got her into journalism, what it's like to work with Andrew Neil, and what happened behind the scenes of that infamous Will Self-Mark Francois death stare. Presented by Katy Balls.
28/06/19·34m 15s

The Layla Moran Edition

Layla Moran tells Katy Balls about her childhood as a diplomat's daughter, the social life of an MP, and getting arrested at Lib Dem conference. Presented by Katy Balls.
14/06/19·29m 46s

The Claire Fox Edition

Claire Fox, left libertarian thinker, director and founder of the Academy of Ideas, and panellist on the Moral Maze, was this week elected as an MEP for the Brexit Party. In this episode of Women With Balls, she talks to Katy Balls about her disagreements with Nigel Farage, the prejudice she has received in green rooms, on the streets, and on social media, and the decadent perks of her new job. Presented by Katy Balls.
31/05/19·41m 37s

Nine years in Yemen - stories from a war reporter

Iona Craig is an award-winning war correspondent who has been reporting from Yemen since 2010. On the podcast, Iona tells Katy about her near-death experiences, dealing with survivor's guilt, and why being a woman makes her job possible.
17/05/19·28m 30s

The Kate Hoey Edition

Kate Hoey is a Labour MP for Vauxhall, having been in that role for 30 years.  Hoey talks to Katy Balls about growing up in Northern Ireland, fighting to win her current seat in Vauxhall, and how she developed a reputation as a rebel in her party.
03/05/19·32m 37s

The Lionel Shriver Edition

Lionel Shriver is an American journalist, author and Spectator columnist. Her novel We Need to Talk About Kevin – about a mother and her son who goes on to carry out a high school massacre – won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2005.  Shriver talks to Katy Balls about why she changed her name age 15, the struggles new writers face in the digital age and what role the media plays in the gun violence debate.
19/04/19·25m 21s

The Victoria Atkins Edition

Victoria Atkins is a former barrister, a Conservative party MP, and a Minister at the Home Office.  She talks about her legal career and her work at the Home Office creating legislation to protect women and vulnerable people.  Hosted by Katy Balls.
05/04/19·25m 10s

The Kay Burley Edition

Kay Burley is a Sky News founding member, host of The Kay Burley Show, and holds the record for hosting more hours of live television than any other news presenter. Kay tells Katy about how she 'knocked the rough edges' off her accent, her love for Jane Fonda, and why the BBC couldn't afford her these days. Presented by Katy Balls.
21/03/19·18m 5s

The Mary Curnock Cook Edition

Mary Curnock Cook is an educationalist and former head of Ucas. On this podcast, she talks about leaving school at 16, how boys suffer from the real gender gap in education, and why it would be 'ludicrous' to abolish university tuition fees. Presented by Katy Balls.
07/03/19·27m 24s

The Andrea Leadsom Edition

Katy Balls talks to Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, about her childhood ambitions to prevent nuclear war, giving birth the night before a selection meeting, and going head to head with John Bercow in the Commons.
22/02/19·28m 35s

The Jess Phillips Edition

Join Katy Balls as she talks to MP Jess Phillips about growing in an activist home, her life path before becoming an MP and her newfound Twitter fame.  Hosted by Katy Balls.
07/02/19·29m 44s

The Sarah Baxter Edition

Sarah Baxter is Deputy Editor of the Sunday Times. Katy talks to Sarah about what it was like to be a woman in the lobby before 'Blair's Babes', the best way to tackle sexism (she says, ignore it and go 'full speed ahead'), and whether Jeremy Corbyn is quite the Labour leader she hopes for. Presented by Katy Balls.
24/01/19·28m 51s

The Helena Morrissey Edition

Join Katy Balls as she interviews Dame Helena Morrissey - a financier, a campaigner for more women in the boardrooms, and the mother to nine children. How does she balance kids and a career? Why does she think men and women are fundamentally different? And what is the most effective way to get a raise?
07/01/19·36m 57s

The Liz Truss Edition

Katy Balls talks to Liz Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, about her shameful Lib Dem past, why she loves cheese, and how The Thick Of It made her life harder.
07/01/19·27m 3s

The Emma Barnett Edition

With columnist and BBC Radio 5 Live broadcaster, Emma Barnett. Katy talks to Emma about stepping in for Andrew Marr, interviewing the Prime Minister, and how her granddad is her most loyal fan. Presented by Katy Balls.
07/01/19·29m 59s
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