Coffee House Shots

Coffee House Shots

By The Spectator

Instant political analysis from the Spectator's top team of writers, including Fraser Nelson, Isabel Hardman, Katy Balls, James Heale and many others.

Episodes

Is there finally good news for the government?

The IMF has upgraded the 2024 economic forecast for the UK. What does this mean for the Government and could more good news follow this week? And, with speeches on tax, benefit crackdowns and tackling anti-semitism, what should we make of all this political activity? Will we see the return of 'the hot lectern guy'? Kate Andrews and James Heale join Katy Balls to discuss. Produced by Patrick Gibbons
21/05/2411m 14s

Infected blood scandal was ‘no accident’, says report

The Infected Blood Inquiry has finally concluded after a five-year investigation. This lunchtime, the inquiry’s chair Sir Brian Langstaff said thousands of deaths could have been prevented and the ‘worst ever’ NHS scandal, which saw thousands of Britons between 1970 and 1998 become infected by contaminated blood, could ‘largely, though not entirely, have been avoided’. Will the NHS change after change after this latest scandal?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. 
20/05/2416m 33s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 19/05/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Grant Shapps talks about defence spending and the infected blood scandal. Wes Streeting is asked about Starmer's new pledges. And Piers Morgan denies knowing anything about phone hacking. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
19/05/2417m 14s

The whips' office and their woes

There have been two recent defections from the Conservatives to Labour. There's lots of chatter in parliament about a potential third defector. In this Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots, Katy Balls and James Heale hear from Gyles Brandreth, former MP and broadcaster. He takes us back to what it was like working in the whips' office in the 1990s, and ask if he thinks there are more defections to come.  You can read Gyles' diary in The Spectator here: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-day-keir-starmer-cried-on-me-about-his-childhood/  Produced by Megan McElroy.
18/05/2417m 31s

Can Hunt answer the Reagan question?

Ronald Reagan famously asked voters: 'are you better off than you were four years ago?' At the next election, the Tories face a public thinking over the last fourteen years. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt gave a speech today defending the UK's record tax levels and attacking Labour's economic plans. But who should we trust more on tax? Fraser Nelson and James Heale join Katy Balls to discuss. Produced by Megan McElroy and Patrick Gibbons.
17/05/2411m 7s

Has Starmer scaled down his pledges?

Keir Starmer has unveiled his six election pledges. In a nod to Tony Blair's 1997 election card, the Labour leader has announced key promises to the public should they win the election. How are the commitments being received, and what will the impact of his speech be?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush, Associate Editor at the Financial Times. 
16/05/2413m 13s

Starmer fluffs his lines at PMQs

There were no defections today at Prime Minister’s Questions, which probably put Keir Starmer in a slightly stronger position, ironically, given the fuss about Natalie Elphicke crossing the floor last week. The focus was on justice and both the PM and Starmer came up with some new attack lines, but the delivery was – in parts – decidedly lacking. Who came out on top?  Cindy Yu speaks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
15/05/2411m 2s

Is Natalie Elphicke an unlikely hero?

Lucy Dunn speaks to Katy Balls and former Blair advisor John McTernan about the one vote that won plans to exclude MPs from parliament arrested on suspicion of serious sexual offence. After Keir Starmer faced criticism for allowing her into the party, could some of her greatest critics now see the perks? Also is Labour about the water down the plans for workers' rights?
14/05/2415m 17s

Will Sunak's fighting talk work?

Rishi Sunak delivered a pre-election speech this morning setting out the dividing lines at the next election: security with the Tories or risk with Labour. Will it be enough to shift the dial? And is the Natalie Elphicke defection still haunting Keir Starmer? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. 
13/05/2412m 9s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 12/05/24

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Natalie Elphicke's defection to Labour is another blow to the Tories, but could she prove more trouble than she's worth for Starmer? David Cameron says the UK will continue to provide arms to Israel, but Labour disagrees. And as Russian attacks gather pace in Ukraine, Cameron says Ukraine's allies will prevail if they work together. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
12/05/2413m 44s

Can John Swinney turn it around for the SNP?

John Swinney, newly inaugurated First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the SNP, has been in the job for a week. What have we learnt since he took up the job, and can he turn things around for the party in time for a general election?  James Heale speaks to Lucy Dunn and Fergus Mutch, former SNP adviser. Produced by Megan McElroy.
11/05/2414m 11s

The UK leaves recession – but is it too late for the Tories?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed this morning that the UK confined its technical recession to 2023. The economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the first three months of the year, thanks in large part to stronger-than-expected growth in March, which reached 0.4 per cent. But is the plan really working?  Also on the podcast, Keir Starmer gave a speech in Dover this morning on Labour's plans to stop the boats. He also took the opportunity to unveil new Labour MP Natalie Elphicke. Is there any clear blue water between Labour and the Tories when it comes to migration?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Kate Andrews and James Heale.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
10/05/2410m 13s

Can Lammy charm Trump?

This week, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy is stateside, meeting with senior advisors to Donald Trump and hoping to charm them. Meanwhile, David Cameron gives his first set-piece policy speech. Who is the more credible statesman? Cindy Yu talks to James Heale and Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform. Produced by Cindy Yu.
09/05/2414m 44s

Why does Labour want Natalie Elphicke?

The MP for Dover, Natalie Elphicke, has shocked MPs and pundits across the political spectrum by defecting to the Labour party today. In her resignation letter, she accused the Conservative party for having 'abandoned' the 'centre ground'. But for someone who has vocally criticised Labour in the past, how helpful is Elphicke's defection? Oscar Edmondson talks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Cindy Yu.
08/05/2412m 11s

Will there really be a hung parliament?

It's the first day back after the local elections. Following Thursday's results, some polling suggests that if the votes were replicated in a general election, there might be a hung parliament. Could this be a reality?  The Spectator's James Heale and Katy Balls are joined by Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta.  Produced by Megan McElroy. 
07/05/2413m 35s

What does Andy Street's defeat mean for Rishi Sunak?

The local elections results are in, and the Conservatives have lost more than 450 council seats. After a full recount, Labour’s Richard Parker beat Andy Street to become West Midlands mayor, with only around 1500 votes in it. What does his loss mean for Rishi Sunak, and where do the overall results leave him? Katy Balls and James Heale speak to Megan McElroy. Produced by Megan McElroy. 
05/05/2410m 55s

Have the Tories avoided a local election catastrophe?

Rishi Sunak can breathe a (small) sigh of relief. Ben Houchen, the so-called ‘patron saint of the red wall’, has won a third term as Tees Valley mayor. Houchen secured 53.6 per cent of the vote with Labour in second place with 41.3 per cent, despite some polls in advance suggesting it was neck-and-neck between the Tories and Labour. The Conservatives have undeniably had one of their worst nights for a generation, but are there some silver linings?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
03/05/249m 56s

Labour triumphs in Blackpool as Tories suffer heavy losses

It's looking like the worst night for the Conservatives in 40 years. The prediction – that the Tories will lose about half of the council seats they are defending – looks on track so far. Labour comfortably won the Blackpool South by-election with a 26 per cent swing and it has also taken several key councils, including Rushmoor which has been Tory-run for the last 24 years. A Gaza backlash has seen Labour lose Oldham while the Conservatives have suffered a string of council losses, coming within 120 votes being beaten by Reform in Blackpool. Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
03/05/2414m 20s

Can Ben Houchen save Rishi Sunak?

Tomorrow, voters go to the polls for the last set of local elections in this parliament, alongside 11 mayoral elections in England, 37 police and crime commissioner elections in England and Wales plus the London Assembly elections. Could Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, help turn Rishi Sunak's fortunes around? You can read James Heale's assessment of the key battlegrounds here.  Also on the podcast, a look at rumours that Labour are in talks to water down their employment policies.  Lucy Dunn speaks to James Heale and John McTernan, former adviser to Tony Blair. 
01/05/2412m 17s

Will the Tories' mental health focus backfire?

As figures now show there are 2.8 million people claiming out-of-work benefits, Rishi Sunak gave a speech looking at welfare reform. But with more and more people off work for mental health related issues, could the Tories’ focus backfire if the public think they’re trivialising mental health? Also on the podcast, a look ahead to the mayoral elections.  James Heale discusses with Isabel Hardman and Luke Tryl, UK Director at More in Common.   Produced by Patrick Gibbons.
30/04/2417m 0s

Humza Yousaf quits – what next?

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf has just announced his intention to resign. Lucy Dunn speaks to Katy Balls and Spectator contributor Iain Macwhirter about how the past few weeks have led to this point and what to expect from an SNP leadership contest.
29/04/2415m 20s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 28/04/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. The prime minister is in a frustrated mood as he bats away questions about the general election. Dan Poulter has defected to Labour, and Wes Streeting says more disaffected Tories are welcome. Humza Yousaf is walking a tightrope as he faces two votes of no-confidence. And Streeting defends Labour's decision to keep the pensions triple lock. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
28/04/2415m 17s

Can Starmer do patriotism?

It was St George's Day this week, and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he has 'no time' for those who 'flinch' at the St George's flag. But how authentic is his patriotism? Katy Balls speaks to Tom Baldwin, former Labour Party adviser and author of new book England: Seven Myths That Changed a Country – and How to Set Them Straight. Produced by Megan McElroy. 
27/04/2412m 48s

Can Humza Yousaf hang on?

Humza Yousaf faces the biggest crisis of his leadership to date – with his fate in the hands of former SNP leadership rival Ash Regan. Will Humza step down before he is pushed? Or is there a narrow gap through which the First Minister can fight on? Lucy Dunn speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls. 
26/04/2411m 19s

Is this the beginning of the end for Humza Yousaf?

After two and a half years in government together, Humza Yousaf has terminated the SNP’s governing pact with the Scottish Greens. The decision was rubber stamped at a hastily arranged meeting of the Scottish cabinet on Thursday morning. It preempts a vote by rank-and-file Green members on whether to walk away from Yousaf’s government after he ditched a key climate target. In response, The Scottish Conservatives have tabled a vote of no confidence vote. And the Yousaf might very well lose it, now the Greens are out of the government. What will this mean for the first minister? Katy Balls speaks to Lucy Dunn, Iain Macwhirter and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
25/04/2414m 37s

Has Angela Rayner redeemed herself?

With Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer away, Oliver Dowden and Angela Rayner stepped in for PMQs today. Questions quickly turned to the long running row about Rayner's tax affairs. Did she redeem herself?    Also, the prime minister has announced further UK military spending, confirming it will rise to 2.5% of national income by 2030. Does the move cause problems for Keir Starmer?  Katy Balls speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Megan McElroy.
24/04/249m 28s

Sunak’s Rwanda Bill finally passes parliament

After eight hours of debate on the Rwanda Bill, peers finally threw in the towel shortly after midnight. And with that, the Rwanda Bill became law, pending Royal Assent from the King. The two chambers have been engaged in a mammoth game of ping-pong for the past week, culminating in yesterday’s showdown on two final amendments. What comes next?  Kate Andrews speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
23/04/2412m 46s

Will there be a summer election?

This morning Rishi Sunak delivered a press conference making the case that the Rwanda Bill should become law today – and the government is ready for when it does. James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson about what could be an all-night parliamentary showdown on the Rwanda vote, and whether an early summer election is on the cards. Produced by Natasha Feroze. 
22/04/2411m 58s

Can things get worse for the SNP?

It's been quite the week for the SNP. Questions remain over the future of the Sandyford gender clinic, 'the tartan Tavistock'; the Scottish government ditched its flagship climate change target; and former party chief executive, and husband of Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell was rearrested on embezzlement charges.  What does this all mean for the SNP? Lucy Dunn speaks to Iain Macwhirter, columnist at The Times, and Shona Craven, columnist at The National. Produced by Natasha Feroze and Patrick Gibbons
20/04/2415m 38s

Sunak declares a crackdown on Britain’s ‘sick note culture’

Rishi Sunak has returned to one of his pet bugbears: getting the unemployed back into work. His speech to the Centre for Social Justice this morning was peppered with his favourite facts about the post-pandemic welfare crisis embroiling Britain. Lucy Dunn speaks to James Heale and Michael Simmons.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
19/04/249m 14s

Is it smart to ban phones for teens?

Sunak's top team is considering another ban: smartphones for teens. A consultation is due to begin this month that will question whether children need a smartphone, and if social media should require age verification. Could the debate bring the party together?  Also, there's another suspension in Westminster. Mark Menzies has been suspended after claims he made a late night call to ask for money to pay off 'bad people'. He strongly disputes the claims.  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.  Produced by Megan McElroy. 
18/04/2410m 56s

Sunak's Truss problem

The day after her book was published, Rishi Sunak faced down questions from Keir Starmer and Labour members at PMQs about Liz Truss. While he had his replies at the ready, the questions underscored the main issue for Sunak: how should he deal with his predecessor?  Also on the podcast, there is more inflation news for the Government, and how will Starmer deal with internal party discipline? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
17/04/2411m 10s

How many MPs will reject Sunak’s smoking ban?

It’s not just Britain that has a growth problem. Today’s release of the IMF’s April 2024 World Economic Outlook report argues that the global economy is following the lacklustre trend. Within this bleak picture, how does the UK look compared to its counterparts? Also on the podcast, MPs are set to vote this evening on the government's generational smoking ban. Is Rishi Sunak a 'finger wagging control freak' as Liz Truss claims? How many could rebel?  James Heale speaks Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Patrick Gibbons and Oscar Edmondson. 
16/04/2414m 25s

Liz Truss returns - again

It's 18 months since Liz Truss left Downing Street and her new memoir, Ten Years to Save the West, is out. She gave her first interview to Fraser Nelson on Spectator TV, covering why she wants to abolish the Supreme Court, Donald Trump, her husband's warning that her leadership bid would end in tears, and so much more.   You can listen to the full interview on Spectator TV – don't forget to subscribe: https://youtu.be/fPwqsrI0L8Y?si=pguuktDZ5UB7zFCD We also cover Iran's missile attack on Israel, and what might come next.  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Megan McElroy. 
15/04/2413m 30s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 14/04/24

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. After Iran’s first direct attack on Israel, conflict in the Middle East has reached a dangerous new phase. Health Secretary Victoria Atkins confirms British military planes are in action in the region. Yvette Cooper says the focus must be on de-escalation. Green co-leader Carla Denyer says the Israeli strike against an Iranian consulate in Damascus broke international law, but Israeli government spokesperson Avi Hyman claims that the consulate was actually being used by Iranian military. And Atkins defends her party’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill, which will ban smoking for anyone born after 2009 if it goes through this week. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
14/04/247m 53s

Harold Wilson's secret Downing Street affair

On this special Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots we discuss Patrick Maguire's scoop this week about former Labour leader Harold Wilson's secret affair with his deputy press secretary. Where does this rank in the history of parliamentary affairs? And – on a more serious note – are there any lessons that Keir Starmer can learn from Harold Wilson?  Katy Balls speaks to Patrick Maguire and James Heale. 
13/04/249m 40s

Is Angela Rayner unsackable?

The row over Angela Rayner's tax affairs has deepened today. This morning, Greater Manchester police have announced that – following a reassessment of the case – they will open a formal investigation into Angela Rayner. What does this mean for Keir Starmer? And why would it be so difficult for him to sack her?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
12/04/2413m 28s

Has Rishi Sunak failed on the NHS?

One of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's five promises is to cut NHS waiting lists. However, even he's admitted progress is slow, with new data showing key targets on waiting lists have been missed. Can Sunak ever solve the NHS problem?  Elsewhere, Lee Anderson has been telling us about the price of friendship, revealing he won't be campaigning in certain constituencies where his old Conservative pals are running...  Katy Balls speaks to Isabel Hardman and Kate Andrews. Produced by Megan McElroy. 
11/04/2412m 34s

What are the conclusions of the Cass Review?

Today we have had the Cass Review, a landmark report into gender services for children in England, authored by paediatrician Hilary Cass. She concludes that medical interventions were being made on the basis of 'remarkably weak' evidence and that there is a lack of a holistic approach to those questioning their gender. How big of an issue will gender politics be at the next election? Also on the podcast, after William Wragg gave up the whip last night will his decision to voluntarily resign call into question Rishi Sunak's authority?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
10/04/2411m 36s

Will David Cameron win over Republicans?

David Cameron is stateside meeting Republicans and Democrats as the Foreign Secretary tries to muster up support for the US to send aid to Ukraine. Before that he stopped by Mar-a-Lago to meet Donald Trump – the two haven't seen eye-to-eye in the past. Will the Republicans warm to Cameron? Katy Balls speaks to Freddy Gray and Lucy Fisher, Whitehall editor at the Financial Times.
09/04/2411m 50s

How much trouble is Angela Rayner in?

Angela Rayner has faced fresh allegations related to her taxes. Keir Starmer and other MPs in the shadow cabinet have come to her defence. Could these accusations jeopardise her position as shadow deputy Prime Minister? Also on the podcast, what are Richard Tice's plans for Reform? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale. 
08/04/249m 30s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 07/04/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. Israel is under increasing pressure to stop its military action, after an IDF strike hit an aid convoy, killing seven aid workers. Oliver Dowden and David Lammy are asked whether the UK should suspend arms sales to Israel. Meanwhile, multiple MPs are attacked by ‘honeytrap’ stings on dating apps, David Lammy says Angela Rayner has done nothing wrong over her tax affairs, and NATO chief Stoltenberg says we are in an era of global conflict and instability. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
07/04/2416m 21s

J.K. Rowling vs Scotland's hate monster

J.K. Rowling has been at the centre of a Twitter backlash against Scotland's new hate crime laws which came into effect on April 1st. How has the first week of this controversial legislation gone for First Minister Humza Yousaf? And is political support for the policy dwindling? Natasha Feroze speaks to Lucy Dunn and Isabel Hardman.
06/04/2415m 24s

Is William Wragg a victim?

On Thursday night, Conservative MP William Wragg admitted that he handed over the phone numbers of MPs, aides and a journalist to a man he met on a dating app. William Wragg will retain the whip after apologising for his actions. Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak is eager to talk about the National Insurance cut that comes into place tomorrow – has this given him political credibility? Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale. 
05/04/249m 21s

Should Britain end arms sales to Israel?

The row over arms sales to Israel continues today, as over 600 high profile figures in the legal profession, including former Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Sumption, sign a petition arguing they believe Israel has breached international law, and more Conservative politicians say, on the record, that they believe the UK must respond with an arms sale ban. Cindy Yu talks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman about where this row could go next. Produced by Megan McElroy and Cindy Yu.
04/04/2413m 57s

Has Israel lost British support?

The killings of three British aid workers in Gaza has caused fury across the board in Westminster, with Rishi Sunak conducting a candid phone call with Benyamin Netanyahu last night. Today, the question is over whether the UK should ban arms sales to Israel in a bid to influence Jerusalem's hardline approach to Gaza. Has Israel lost the support of the UK, and western countries more widely? James Heale talks to Isabel Hardman and Sophia Gaston, head of foreign policy at the think tank, Policy Exchange. Produced by Cindy Yu.
03/04/2413m 18s

Could Scotland's new Hate Crime Act overwhelm the police?

The SNP's new Hate Crime Act came into effect yesterday, but already it has been met with backlash. On the episode, James Heale talks to Isabel Hardman and Lucy Dunn on why Humza Yousaf insisted on this law and whether it could overwhelm the police. Produced by Cindy Yu.
02/04/2410m 29s

Will Sue Gray be running Keir Starmer’s government?

There is anxiety in parts of Starmer’s circle about Sue Gray appointing jobs in a Starmer-led Downing Street. When she’s in No.10 she’ll ‘be in her natural territory and running rings around everyone’, a former colleague told Katy Balls in her profile of 'the Gray lady' for The Spectator this week. How is Sue Gray shaking things up as Keir Starmer’s chief of staff?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Jill Rutter, former senior civil servant.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
29/03/2416m 17s

Labour's pledge to 'take back control'

Labour kicked off their local elections campaign today with a joint op-ed from Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner in the Times promising to empower localities and put an end to the regional divide. This is all encompassed in their Take Back Control Act … where have we heard that before? Rather than a seamless launch, the Labour leader has been met with difficult questions over Angela Rayner's tax affairs and the suggestion that the shadow education secretary could scrap the £4 billion expansion of free childcare.  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
28/03/249m 43s

Could Jonathan Gullis be another Lee Anderson?

After the resignations of two ministers last night, No. 10 carried out a mini reshuffle, which included some controversial decisions. In particular, the appointment of the outspoken Red Wall MP Jonathan Gullis had some questioning whether Rishi Sunak was making another Lee Anderson-style mistake. James Heale talks to Katy Balls and former editor of Conservative Home, Paul Goodman. Produced by Cindy Yu and Patrick Gibbons.
27/03/2411m 19s

What happened at Sunak’s Liaison Committee meeting?

Rishi Sunak appeared in front of the House of Commons Liaison Committee today. What happened? Katy Balls speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman.
26/03/2412m 15s

Scott Benton triggers another by-election

Former Conservative MP Scott Benton has resigned, triggering a by-election in Blackpool South. The outgoing MP had the Tory whip removed after suggesting to undercover reporters that he would be willing to break lobbying rules for money. Oscar Edmondson speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls about the likelihood of another Tory election defeat in Blackpool South, plus whether the Conservatives are pivoting on their China stance following an alleged cybersecurity threat. 
25/03/2410m 2s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 24/03/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows.  Chancellor Jeremy Hunt does the rounds this week, saying the Russian government is creating a smokescreen of propaganda out of the Moscow terrorist attack. Hunt also guarantees the continuation of the pension 'triple lock', but not compensation for the WASPI women. Labour Party Chair Anneliese Dodds is asked about Labour's approach to zero hour contracts, and the former communications secretary to Prince William says last week's social media storm was the worst he's seen. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
24/03/2410m 40s

What is Labour’s economic plan?

In her Mais lecture in the City of London this week, Rachel Reeves set out her plan for Britain’s economy: securonomics. What does securonomics mean? Can it deliver wealth? Will it work in a high-immigration economy? Freddy Gray speaks to Kate Andrews and the author and journalist Paul Mason.
23/03/2429m 36s

Should the 'Waspi women' be compensated?

The Parliamentary Ombudsman's report on raising women's state pension age in line with men's has been published. It details that women born in the 1950s hit by the state pension age change are owed compensation and has advised that the government should 'do the right thing'. Will the 'Waspi women' end up disappointed?  Michael Simmons speaks to Isabel Hardman and Louise Perry, host of the Maiden Mother Matriarch podcast. 
22/03/2413m 24s

Will Fine Gael call an election?

Leo Varadkar resigned as Ireland’s Taoiseach this week, and as Fine Gael leader. ‘Personal and political reasons’ informed his decision, he said. Will his party now call an election? Katy Balls speaks to Ben Scallen, from Dublin’s Gript Media. 
22/03/2413m 45s

Will Reform overtake the Tories?

A new YouGov poll has Reform just four points behind the Conservatives. Richard Tice’s party is on 15 per cent, and Rishi Sunak’s party is on 19 per cent. What is driving the Tory decline? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and to James Johnson of JL Partners.
21/03/2412m 6s

Did Jeremy Hunt reduce inflation?

Inflation has fallen to 3.4 per cent, it was announced this morning. Jeremy Hunt said it was a sign that the government’s economic plan is working. Is he right? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
20/03/2412m 22s

What should Labour do about the Rwanda bill?

All ten of the amendments to the Rwanda bill, put in by the House of Lords, were rejected by the House of Commons last night. The bill will head back to the Lords tomorrow, where they will decide whether to continue the process of 'ping pong' (putting more amendments in and sending the bill back to the Commons). Should Labour peers worry about being portrayed as foiling the Rwanda asylum plan? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Spectator contributor Patrick O'Flynn. Produced by Cindy Yu.
19/03/2413m 51s

Will Penny Mordaunt be the next prime minister?

Over the weekend, speculation about a plot to oust Rishi Sunak and replace him with Penny Mordaunt circulated the papers. It came after one of the worst weeks of the Prime Minister’s premiership and the looming May elections. This morning, key Cabinet ministers including Kemi Badenoch and Ben Wallace have come out in support of ’sticking to the plan’. Can Rishi Sunak keep the party calm ahead of a gruelling month? And what's the strategy behind opting for an autumn election? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. 
18/03/2413m 49s

Nigel Farage on Reform, the Red Wall and 14 years of Tory failure

On this special edition of Coffee House Shots, Kate Andrews interviews broadcaster, and honorary president of the Reform Party, Nigel Farage. They discuss Lee Anderson's defection to the Reform party, how Nigel won the Red Wall for Boris Johnson, and whether he will return to front line politics. This was taken from The Week in 60 minutes on SpectatorTV. For the full episode, and more, click here.
16/03/2430m 2s

Rishi Sunak rules out general election in May

Rishi Sunak has finally confirmed what most MPs already knew: there won’t be a May general election. Speaking to ITV News West Country on Thursday night, the Prime Minister was asked if there would be a general election at the same time as the local elections on 2 May. He replied: ‘There won’t be a general election on that day but when there is a general election, what matters is the choice.’ So, when will it be?  Also on the podcast, after James Heappey became the latest MP to announce he will step down at the next election, can the Tories stop the exodus?  Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson.
15/03/249m 5s

Will Gove’s extremism definition worsen Tory divides?

Michael Gove has unveiled the government’s new legal definition of extremism, which will decide whether organisations can receive government money. Conservative MPs, and three former Conservative home secretaries, have said doing would be a mistake. Is Gove doing more harm than good? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman, former editor of Conservative Home.
14/03/2411m 5s

Will the Tories return Hester’s £10 million?

At Prime Minister’s Questions today Rishi Sunak refused to commit to returning the £10 million donor Frank Hester gave to the Conservative party. Hester allegedly said that Diane Abbott made him ‘hate all black women.’ Sunak now says that Hester’s  alleged comments were ‘racist’ and ‘wrong’, after a spokesperson initially only described them as ‘unacceptable’. Will the Tory position change again? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and the Financial Times’s Stephen Bush.
13/03/2411m 5s

What does Boris want?

Newspapers today reported that Boris Johnson is going to campaign for the Conservatives in Red Wall seats. Responding, Nadine Dorries wrote on Twitter: ‘There’s no thawing of relations, no plans to campaign. Sunak not spoken to Johnson for over a year.’ So are the stories true? What does Boris want? Max Jeffery speaks to Kate Andrews and Isabel Hardman.
12/03/2411m 4s

Lee Anderson defects: what next?

Lee Anderson has defected from the Tory party to Reform. In a press conference this morning, Anderson said ‘I want my country back’ and said that his parents had urged him to change party allegiance. How much of a headache is Anderson’s defection for Rishi Sunak, and will more Tory MPs quit the party? Max Jeffery speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.
11/03/2412m 50s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 10/03/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows.  Rachel Reeves says everything in Labour's manifesto will be properly funded, but it isn't clear where that money will come from. The health secretary defends the government's new definition of extremism, and says the NHS needs to be more efficient. But chef Fearnley-Whittingstall says the government is doing nothing to tackle the NHS's biggest problem: obesity. And the director of the IFS says big cuts to public services are coming, no matter who is elected. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
10/03/2415m 19s

Does Britain need new laws to tackle extremism?

Michael Gove is expected to announce a tougher definition of extremism in response to a rise in radical ideology, since the Israel-Gaza war. Are new laws really needed? Or could the current laws, if enforced properly, be the best way to tackle a decline in social cohesion? Natasha Feroze speaks to David Shipley, a film producer and writer and Professor Jonathan Githens-Mazer from the University of Exeter who specialises in counter-terrorism and extremism. 
09/03/2420m 37s

Why is Theresa May standing down?

Theresa May has announced that she will not seek re-election this year. The former prime minister said that launching her global commission on modern slavery and human trafficking meant she would not be able to spend as much time as she would like on constituency matters. James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman about the news.
08/03/2412m 40s

Are Scottish Tories causing trouble for Rishi Sunak?

Lucy Dunn speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls about the slightly muted reaction to the budget. Labour has compared the announcements to Liz Truss's unfunded tax cuts and Scottish Tories have criticised the chancellor’s decision to extend the windfall tax on the profits of North Sea oil. But is this really the pre-election budget?  
07/03/2410m 28s

Jeremy Hunt’s low-key Budget

Jeremy Hunt said the government would cut National Insurance by 2 per cent, would abolish the non-dom tax status and would raise the threshold for child benefits in his Budget today. To discuss the new measures, Katy Balls speaks to Kate Andrews and David Miles, from the Office for Budget Responsibility.
06/03/2422m 13s

What tax cut will Hunt deliver tomorrow?

Kate Andrews speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman as the speculation grows over what taxes Jeremy Hunt will cut in tomorrow's budget. National Insurance is looking most likely – it's a giveaway but does it go far enough?
05/03/2413m 32s

Sunak and Hunt face a Budget dilemma

Budget day is approaching and the government has hinted that their plans for tax cutting 'giveaways' are now less likely. James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews about what to and what not to expect for Wednesday's Spring Budget.
04/03/2414m 7s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 03/03/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows.  The Budget announcement is imminent, and Jeremy Hunt says there will be no 'gimmicks'. He might be stealing Labour's non-dom tax policy though. The government's free childcare programme might be in trouble, do Labour have any better ideas? George Galloway wins the Rochdale by-election, and Rishi Sunak warns against the threat of extremism. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
03/03/2414m 48s

Is the Home Office broken?

In this special Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots, Cindy Yu is joined by The Spectator's political correspondent, James Heale, and Director of Kraken Strategy Ltd, and former Special Adviser, Salma Shah, to discuss the state of the Home Office.  At the end of a tricky week of headlines for the department we ask: is the Home Office broken?  Produced by Patrick Gibbons and Cindy Yu.
02/03/2417m 28s

Labour nightmare as George Galloway wins Rochdale by-election

George Galloway has won a resounding victory in Rochdale, after a chaotic and messy by-election in which Labour was forced to disown its own candidate after he claimed Israel had allowed Hamas to attack on October 7th. Former Labour MP Galloway – standing for the Workers Party of Britain – won on a single issue campaign, criticising the Israel-Gaza war and in particular the response of Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak to the conflict. How bad is the result for Labour? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
01/03/2414m 35s

Why wasn't Wayne Couzens stopped?

Today, the long-awaited Home Office-commissioned Angiolini Inquiry into Wayne Couzens has been published. Couzens had kidnapped, raped and murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard three years ago. The findings were chilling, revealing that numerous opportunities to stop Couzens throughout his policing career were missed. Katy Balls talks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman about where politicians failed Sarah Everard. Produced by Cindy Yu.
29/02/2410m 4s

We need to talk about Truss

Liz Truss continues to haunt Rishi Sunak. Labour leader Keir Starmer took aim at her recent exploits at CPAC in the US during prime minister's questions today. Starmer called on the prime minister to remove the whip after Truss claimed that her premiership was sabotaged by the 'deep state'. What's Truss up to this time?  Also on the podcast, chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver his budget next week. We expect that he will have made his final decision on the March 6th budget by the end of the week. What do we know so far?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
28/02/2414m 43s

David Neal vs the Home Office

Until recently the government's independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, David Neal has been in front of the Home Affairs select committee today to hit out at his erstwhile employers. Cindy Yu talks to Isabel Hardman and Katy Balls on the episode about Neal's abrupt sacking and just how 'independent' an independent inspector can be. Produced by Cindy Yu.
27/02/2412m 26s

Have the Tories got 'Islamophobic tendencies'?

Conservatives are divided over Lee Anderson's suspension, with some believing that if he apologises for comments made about Sadiq Khan, he should be allowed to return. This has sparked new concerns about the Tory party having a problem with islamophobia, worsened by Liz Truss appearing at an event with Steve Bannon who has also been accused of making Islamophobic comments. How can Rishi Sunak squash these accusations? Should Truss also lose the whip? Cindy Yu speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls. 
26/02/2410m 42s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 25/02/24

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows.  Oliver Dowden is asked to comment on provocative remarks made by multiple Tory MPs about 'Islamists'. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says the Tory Party is ambivalent about Islamophobia. Lisa Nandy claims no-one from Labour threatened Speaker Lindsay Hoyle over Gaza ceasefire vote. Ed Davey says he has high hopes for Lib Dem chances in the next election. And Estonia's PM is 'honoured' to be on Putin's most wanted list.  Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
25/02/2414m 26s

Lee Anderson suspended: what now?

Lee Anderson has been suspended from the Conservative party this afternoon after saying on GB News that Islamists controlled Sadiq Khan. Will Rishi Sunak miss having the Ashfield MP in his party? Will Anderson join reform? Max Jeffery speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.
24/02/2411m 9s

Tom Baldwin: 'There is no such thing as Starmerism'

In this special Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots, Katy Balls is joined by Tom Baldwin, author of a new authorised biography of Labour leader Keir Starmer. Tom tells Katy why Starmer is such a complex character, his struggle to get the leader of the opposition to open up – particularly about his relationship with his father – and why he is not a politician, in the usual sense.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
24/02/2417m 3s

Commons chaos revealed the threat to MPs’ safety

As MPs return to their constituencies, the drama from Wednesday's parliamentary debate is still fresh in Westminster. James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Isabel Hardman about whether MPs' safety concerns are influencing democracy, and why the outcome of the debate could mean lessons are learned for the future. 
23/02/2412m 47s

What happened in the Commons chaos last night?

The Commons descended into farce and chaos last night. The SNP were not able to vote on their own motion on their own Opposition Day debate; the Conservatives walked out of the chamber in protest; and Lindsay Hoyle seemed tearful as he seemed to apologise for how the Gaza debate went down. On the episode, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Chris Ward, director at Hanbury Strategy and former deputy chief of staff to Keir Starmer. Produced by Cindy Yu.
22/02/2416m 6s

Has Lindsay Hoyle overstepped?

Sir Keir Starmer can breathe a sigh of relief this afternoon, thanks to Lindsay Hoyle. The Speaker has selected Labour’s amendment on a Gaza ceasefire, which means that a likely mass rebellion from Labour MPs will be averted. SNP and Tory MPs are furious at Hoyle, and say that he has tried to rewrite the rules. What's going on? Katy Balls speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Cindy Yu.
21/02/2411m 47s

Starmer moves to quell ceasefire rebellion

Today Keir Starmer has moved his party’s position on a ceasefire in Gaza as he seeks to quell what could the biggest rebellion of his leadership. MPs will vote on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza with Labour set to add its own amendment to the SNP motion tomorrow. For the first time, Labour is calling for an ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’, but is this really such a big change in Labour's position?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
20/02/249m 49s

Are citizens' assemblies the future?

In the Times today is the latest instalment of Tom Baldwin's authorised biography of Keir Starmer. It includes reports that Labour chief of staff Sue Gray has been drawing up plans for so-called citizens' assemblies. Are citizens' juries the future of democracy? Or is this simply a way for Starmer to avoid making policy decisions?  Elsewhere there is some interesting polling out from the think tank Labour Together, warning that Labour should not get complacent despite their huge poll lead and recent by-election success. This is due to the large 'don't know' vote share and the possibility that the Reform vote could be squeezed at a general election. What would happen if the Reform vote collapses? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
19/02/2412m 43s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 18/02/24

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Alexei Navalny is dead, and our government says Putin is responsible. The Tories lose again in by-elections, and Michael Tomlinson says a vote for Reform is a vote for Labour. Meanwhile, Labour themselves are split again, with Scottish Labour backing a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
18/02/2414m 53s

Do accents still matter in politics?

The new MP for Kingswood has been under fire for apparently changing his accent over the course of his political career. Does this matter? And if so, what does this tell us about British politics today? Cindy Yu talks to James Heale and author and former cabinet minister, Nadine Dorries. Produced by Cindy Yu and Patrick Gibbons.
17/02/2414m 14s

Labour triumphs in by-election brace

Labour has the won two by-elections in Wellingborough and Kingswood, overturning big Conservative majorities in the process. Party chairman Richard Holden has brushed the results off as typical midterm by-elections where voters what to give the government a kicking. Does this argument stack up? And what can Reform take from the results? Isabel Hardman speaks to James Heale and pollster John Curtice.
16/02/2412m 2s

UK tips into recession – what's left of Sunak's priorities?

This morning's figures show that the UK went into a technical recession last year. Forecasts suggest it will be a short and shallow recession, but how badly does this reflect on the government's priorities to increase growth and lower inflation? Also, will this make Rishi Sunak think again about his plan to meet as many rattled voters as possible on the campaign trail? Natasha Feroze speaks to Kate Andrews and James Heale.
15/02/2411m 16s

Have the Tories given up on Wellingborough & Kingswood?

Inflation figures released this morning have remained at 4 per cent – a worry for Rishi Sunak's five pledges. There are several hurdles are still to come for the Prime Minister this week, including growth figures tomorrow and two by-elections on Friday. Why are the Tories keeping things low-key on the campaign trail? James Heale is joined by Kate Andrews and Lucy Fisher, Whitehall editor of the Financial Times. 
14/02/2410m 15s

Can Labour learn from its mistakes?

Keir Starmer has rolled back on his support for the Rochdale by-election candidate, Azhar Ali over further comments made about on Israel-Palestine. John McTernan and James Heale speak to Natasha Feroze about the lessons Labour can learn, and whether antisemitism could topple Starmer. Also on the podcast, Rishi Sunak has been taking advantage of Labour's U-turns, and Michael Gove has laid out his new house building plan. 
13/02/2414m 24s

Can Starmer stamp out Labour's antisemitism?

Labour faces another antisemitism battle as their candidate for the Rochdale by-election said that Israel allowed the October 7th attacks as a pretext to invade Gaza. Azhar Ali has since apologised for his comments and Labour has allowed him remain the candidate for Rochdale. Natasha Feroze speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman about Keir Starmer's challenge to stamp out antisemitism and take a look ahead at another challenging week for Rishi Sunak. 
12/02/249m 58s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 11/02/24

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Michael Gove thinks problems with the housing market could drive young people away from democracy. Who caused these problems? Gove is also questioned over the PM's transphobic joke, and Israel's imminent Rafah offensive. Meanwhile Labour have officially U-turned on their green pledge. And Joe Biden is defending his memory, with little success. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
11/02/2413m 32s

Is the Labour party already fractured?

Having ditched the green investment pledge, Keir Starmer faces questions over what the Labour party actually stands for. And without a clear vision, how can the Labour leader hold together a divided party? Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and former Labour advisor Ayesha Hazarika.
10/02/2425m 35s

Boris Johnson accused of sabotaging Ukraine peace talks

Tucker Carlson released his highly anticipated interview with Russia's leader Vladimir Putin last night. The two-hour long discussion was dominated by Putin who gave history lessons, blamed the Nord Stream 2 explosion on the CIA, and accused Boris Johnson of sabotaging the peace talks 18 months ago. Natasha Feroze speaks to James Heale and Freddy Gray about the highlights of the interview, and whether Boris Johnson's role in the talks was as influential as Putin suggests. 
09/02/249m 58s

Is Starmer right to ditch his £28 billion green pledge?

Later today Keir Starmer is expected to officially kill off Labour's £28 billion green investment pledge. With the centrepiece of their public policy now scrapped, what will Labour's promise be at the next election?  James Heale speaks to Kate Andrews and John McTernan, former No. 10 political secretary.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
08/02/2415m 25s

Is the prime minister gaffe-prone?

It has been a gaffe-filled week for Rishi Sunak. At PMQs today the prime minister was chastised by his opposite number for an ill-judged comment about transgender people with the mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey in parliament. This comes after being pictured embracing Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill and then making a wager with Piers Morgan over his pledge to stop the boats. Is this a prime minister ready to fight a general election?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush, associate editor of the Financial Times.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
07/02/2414m 9s

What Liz Truss's PopCon launch was really about

Liz Truss is back! This time with a conference called 'Popular Conservatism', bringing together voices in the Conservative party and aiming to 'deliver popular conservative policies'. But what does the event really tells us about the state of right wing political thought in the UK today, and why were some of Truss's key allies not there? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Cindy Yu.
06/02/2411m 24s

Rishi Sunak admits to failing on NHS waitlists

Rishi Sunak is in Belfast to mark the return of Stormont after a two-year deadlock. With Sinn Fein now the leading party, can the government pitch this as a win? Also on the podcast, the Prime Minister admitted he's failed to meet the NHS waitlist targets from his five pledges last year. James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  
05/02/2410m 58s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 04/02/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows.  Michelle O'Neill becomes the first nationalist first minister of Northern Ireland. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is questioned over her childcare pledges and the government's record on protecting children from online harms. Chris Bryant defends Labour against more accusations of changing their minds. And when does UK military action end if the Houthis remain undeterred? Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
04/02/2413m 11s

Arlene Foster: 'a united Ireland is not around the corner'

This week in Westminster has been dominated by the news that we can expect to see power sharing restored at Stormont in the near future. James Heale gets the reaction of former DUP first minister Baroness Arlene Foster.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
03/02/2413m 15s

Should ex-MPs stop shilling for foreign rulers?

In his Telegraph column, Fraser Nelson makes the case that it's time to ban former politicians accepting jobs from foreign rulers. The likes of Tony Blair, George Osborne and David Cameron have all made money from government's abroad. But is this becoming more of a problem? And are their critics simply a product of their success? Natasha Feroze speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale. 
02/02/2412m 20s

Is Labour the party of business?

At the 'Labour Business Conference 2024', shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves wooed business with a pledge that Labour would not raise corporation tax in their first term. Instead, she told the audience of FTSE 100 chief execs that a Labour government would keep the current cap at 25 per cent. How convincing is Reeves' big pitch to business? Also on the podcast, the big news this week has been the Northern Ireland negotiations. What's happened in parliament today? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
01/02/2411m 8s

Sturgeon paints herself as perfect at Covid Inquiry

Nicola Sturgeon was emotional whilst giving evidence at the Covid inquiry today – a highly anticipated part of the inquiry given the issue of deleted Whatsapp messages. How did the former first minister come across today? And what else can the evidence tell us about how the Scottish government operated? Katy Balls speaks to Isabel Hardman and Michael Simmons. 
31/01/2410m 42s

What could still scupper Northern Ireland's power-sharing plan?

After hours of late night negotiations, power sharing looks like it's back on in Stormont – or is it? James Heale talks to Katy Balls and TalkTV's Peter Cardwell about the latest political developments in Northern Ireland. Produced by Cindy Yu.
30/01/249m 36s

Why Sunak wants to ban vapes

Rishi Sunak has outlined plans to ban disposable vapes, and is hoping to change vape packaging to make it less appealing to children. Why? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews. 
29/01/2411m 13s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 28/01/24

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows.  Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch says she wants no part in Tory plotting. UN aid workers are accused of participating in Hamas attacks. The Post Office fallout continues. Jonathan Reynolds says Labour don’t want to make false promises. And the US Navy chief says Donald Trump is a danger to the world. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
28/01/2411m 26s

Would Trump and Starmer get on?

Donald Trump seems to have the Republican primaries wrapped up. He’ll almost certainly be up against Joe Biden on 5 November in the general election. If Trump wins, and in Britain’s own elections in the second half of 2024, Starmer wins, the two will make an odd pair. Will they get on? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Freddy Gray, The Spectator’s deputy editor and host of the Americano podcast.
27/01/2411m 48s

Fraser Nelson: governments should never own our press

NHS consultants have (narrowly) rejected another pay increase offered to them by the government. They will not immediately go back on strike, and will instead negotiate further with the government. Kate Andrews takes us through the details. Also on the podcast, Fraser Nelson responds to Spectator chairman Andrew Neil's comments on BBC's Newsnight last night, on the potential sale of our magazine to UAE-backed RedBird IMI.  Produced and presented by Max Jeffery. 
26/01/2416m 13s

The Plot: part II

Rishi Sunak seems to be facing his own 'plot'. But unlike in Nadine Dorries' now infamous book, it's not a secret cabal orchestrated by Dougie Smith hoping to depose him, but a mysterious rebel group, backed by Tory donors, who have been funding the polling we've seen in the Telegraph recently. The news today is that they have added Will Dry – Rishi Sunak's former pollster – to their ranks. Is this plot a serious and organised threat to Rishi's premiership? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
25/01/2413m 51s

Does Simon Clarke’s intervention matter?

Tory MP Simon Clarke called for Rishi Sunak to resign last night. In a piece in the Telegraph, he wrote that the Prime Minister was ‘uninspiring’ and ‘does not get what Britain needs.’ Will other Conservative MPs also demand Sunak resign, or will they unify around their leader? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.
24/01/2412m 1s

Are the Houthi strikes working?

The UK launched a new set of strikes on eight Houthi targets last night. Typoon jets dropped £30,000 Paveway bombs on an underground storage site and surveillance and missile capabilities controlled by the Yemeni rebel group. But are the strikes working? The Houthis have continued to attack ships in the Red Sea, and a row has also started about whether government properly briefed Keir Starmer and Sir Lindsay Hoyle. Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.
23/01/2412m 16s

How far will Hunt cut taxes?

Jeremy Hunt said he would look to cut taxes in the March budget. In the Mail on Sunday, he said he would look to emulate the late Nigel Lawson, who as Margaret Thatcher’s chancellor slashed rates. But Hunt has been promising tax cuts, and hardly delivering, for a while. Will this time be any different? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
22/01/2413m 37s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 21/01/24

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday's political shows.  Grant Shapps calls Netanyahu's rejection of a two-state solution  'disappointing', and talks UK defence spending. Yvette Cooper is vague on immigration policy. Humza Yousaf accuses politicians of lacking moral courage. And John Bolton thinks the West should attack Iran directly. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
21/01/2413m 27s

How is Cameron's comeback coming along?

As problems in the Middle East and war on the continent dominate the headlines, David Cameron has been front and centre in his new role as foreign secretary. Is his experience coming in handy? Is he Rishi's 'prime minister abroad'?  Katy Balls speaks to Craig Oliver, director of communications at No. 10 during the Cameron era, and Sophia Gaston, head of foreign policy at Policy Exchange.  Produced by Max Jeffery and Oscar Edmondson. 
20/01/2413m 20s

Why won't the Tories back Birbalsingh?

Katharine Birbalsingh, headteacher at the Michaela community school in Brent, is being challenged in the High Court over a policy which allegedly bans students from praying. Ms Birbalsingh has defended the policy, arguing that it is vital to 'maintain a successful learning environment where children of all races and religion can thrive.' Should the Tories step in? Max Jeffery speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale.  Produced by Max Jeffery and Oscar Edmondson.
19/01/2416m 16s

Is the ERG a spent force?

After much back and forth, the Rwanda Bill passed last night with only 11 votes against while other critics, such as Lee Anderson who resigned his party role, abstained. Rishi Sunak can celebrate a small victory as it appears that the Brexit 'Spartans' of yesteryear are something of a spent force today. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Cindy Yu.
18/01/2411m 58s

Why Lee Anderson's exit is a problem

Last night Rishi Sunak faced the largest rebellion of his premiership over amendments to the Rwanda bill. There were also three resignations – deputy chairs Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke-Smith as well as PPS to Kemi Badenoch, Jane Stevenson. How much damage could do to his already divided party? Today, MPs will debate for a second time on the government's flagship immigration policy. It is likely the bill will pass through Parliament but that won't mean the Prime Minister is out of the woods yet. How could today play out? Natasha Feroze speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
17/01/249m 54s

Isaac Levido’s warning to the Tory party

With the Tories reeling from yesterday's poll in the Telegraph, it is interesting that the party’s official election strategist Isaac Levido was already scheduled to address Tory MPs last night. Levido ran the 2019 election campaign and holds clout with Conservative MPs. What did he have to say? Is the Tory strategy evolving? Also on the podcast, Rallings & Thrasher have put out polling today which demonstrates how difficult it will be for Labour to achieve a majority considering the new boundaries. They will need a national swing of 12.7 per cent – higher than in 1997 and 1945. Are voters enthusiastic enough about Labour to provide such a huge swing? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Oscar Edmondson. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
16/01/2411m 15s

Is there a plot to oust Sunak?

Polling published in the Telegraph has ruffled more than a few feathers in Westminster today. The YouGov survey shows that the Tories are on course to lose half of their MPs – including eleven members of the cabinet – at the next election. Are the Tories heading for another 1997 moment? What should we read into the timing of the poll? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home. Produced by Oscar Edmondson. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
15/01/2414m 34s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 14/01/2024

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday’s political shows.  Conflict in the Middle East is escalating, as the UK and US launch retaliatory strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. David Cameron says the lights are flashing red on the global dashboard, but South Africa’s genocide case against Israel is ‘nonsense’. Starmer supports the government’s military action, but is again proving tricky to pin down on his own policies. And as more migrants die crossing the channel, Cameron says it reinforces the need for the government’s Rwanda plan.  Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill
14/01/2416m 24s

Why few voters like Sunak

New polling from JL Partners shows how Rishi Sunak has changed, in the eyes of the public. They found that while Sunak was initially seen as a direct ‘breath of fresh air’, he is now frequently described as ‘out of touch’, ‘spineless’ and ‘false’. To discuss what went wrong for the PM, James Heale and Katy Balls are joined by James Johnson, the co-founder of JL Partners.
13/01/2414m 3s

Britain and US launch airstrikes against Houthis

Last night the US and the UK launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen whose continued attacks are disrupting trade in the Red Sea. The decision to sanction military action has been broadly welcomed in Westminster, but some have urged the PM to hold a retrospective vote on airstrikes amid fears that the UK risks being sucked into a tinder-box region. Will these airstrikes increase tensions in the Middle East? What impact will they have on the economy?   Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak is in Kyiv where he has announced a landmark new package of support for Ukraine totalling £2.5 billion.  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Simon Mayall, former British Army officer and Middle East advisor at the MoD.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Max Jeffery. 
12/01/2414m 22s

Can the economy win Tory votes?

James Heale speaks to Kate Andrews and Katy Balls about Rishi Sunak's new strategy to focus more on the economy as the election year kicks off. Can Rishi Sunak convince the public that he is the best man for the job? And how much control does the government really have when it comes tackling the economy?
11/01/2411m 32s

Post Office scandal: government to exonerate victims

At PMQs today Rishi Sunak took the opportunity to announce that the government will be introducing legislation to 'swiftly' exonerate the victims of the Post Office scandal. Keir Starmer chose not to probe, instead grilling Rishi on his commitment to curbing migration. With the Safety of Rwanda Bill returning to the Commons next week, will the prime minister be able to juggle demands from the left and the right of his party and avoid a rebellion? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Oscar Edmondson. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
10/01/2414m 24s

Paula Vennells hands back her CBE

Paula Vennells, the former head of the Post Office, has handed back her CBE. Will her decision put more pressure on politicians like Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader who has so far refused to resign? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.
09/01/2410m 17s

The problem with Chris Skidmore's resignation

Chris Skidmore has formally announced his resignation today, triggering another by-election in the process. His departure from the Commons is in protest against the government's bill on new oil and gas licenses, which is set to be debated later this evening. What's the reaction been in Westminster? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Oscar Edmondson. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
08/01/2411m 27s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 07/01/2024

The election year is here, and Sunak is still under pressure. Do leaked documents suggest he doubts the efficacy of the Rwanda scheme? Starmer wants 'hope and change', but what does that look like? The Post Office scandal is back in the news, and Sunak says the government is doing everything it can, but hundreds of victims are yet to receive compensation. Mike Pence hopes for fresh leadership in the American elections. And Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson says irresponsible parents are to blame for persistent absenteeism in schools. 
07/01/2414m 32s

How will Sunak and Starmer run their election campaigns?

Rishi Sunak has all but confirmed that this year’s general election will take place in autumn. How will the Prime Minister, and Keir Starmer, run their campaigns? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katie Perrior, former director of communications for Theresa May, and now a director at iNHouse Communications.
06/01/2415m 26s

Why aren't the Lib Dems doing better?

The Liberal Democrats began their 2024 campaigning this week by unveiling a huge poster branding them as ‘Ed Davey’s Tory Removal Service’, but they will have to be more than just the 'none of the above party' if they hope to make a difference come the election. What do the Lib Dems stand for? And can they turn by-election success into election success?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to James Heale and Nick Tyrone, author of the This Week in Brexitland substack. Produced by Oscar Edmondson. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
05/01/2416m 29s

Did Sunak steal Starmer's thunder?

Keir Starmer delivered his new year's speech, promising 'Project Hope' ahead of the general election. Critics claimed the speech was rhetoric heavy, low on policy. Having attacked the Prime Minister for dithering over the May general election, Rishi Sunak later announced it was his 'working assumption' to hold the general election in autumn 2024. Was this a communications win for No.10? And can Starmer still garner support by playing it safe? Natasha Feroze speaks to James Heale and former Labour advisor John McTernan. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
04/01/2418m 14s

Would strike talks be different under Labour?

As junior doctors begin the longest strike in history, Lucy Dunn speaks to Isabel Hardman and Kate Andrews about whether public support for industrial action is starting to wane, and how talks might be different under Labour.  The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
03/01/2415m 19s

Is Rishi fishy on the asylum backlog?

Rishi Sunak has claimed that the Conservatives have cleared the 92,000 asylum claims, despite figures showing the backlog still stands at tens of thousands of applicants, with several thousand missing. Natasha Feroze speaks to James Heale and Fraser Nelson about the figures, and whether blags like these are a gift to The Reform party. The Spectator is hiring! We are looking for a new producer to join our broadcast team working across our suite of podcasts – including this one – as well as our YouTube channel Spectator TV. Follow the link to read the full job listing: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/wanted-a-broadcast-producer-for-the-spectator-2/
02/01/2412m 6s

2023: The year in review

How well did Rishi Sunak do on his five pledges? Are we any clearer on what Keir Starmer stands for? Is the SNP done for in Scotland? On this episode, Cindy Yu, Katy Balls, James Heale and Coffee House Shots regular Stephen Bush look back on the past year in British politics. Produced by Cindy Yu and Joe Bedell-Brill.
21/12/2326m 49s

Sunak gets tetchy during Rwanda and Israel grilling

Rishi Sunak appeared in front of the Liaison Committee this afternoon. In an interview with The Spectator last week, the PM said that he was enjoying the job. So why did he seem so agitated at the grilling today? Max Jeffery speaks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale.
19/12/2312m 46s

Is British support for Israel wavering?

Foreign Secretary David Cameron and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps have signalled a shift in the British position towards the Israel-Gaza conflict, suggesting that British support for Israel's actions may be time-limited. James Heale talks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush. Produced by Cindy Yu.
18/12/2310m 8s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 17/12/2023

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday’s political shows.  Baroness Michelle Mone admits she lied about her involvement in PPE deal but also claims she and her husband have done nothing wrong. Oliver Dowden rejects accusations of cronyism in government, but Wes Streeting says Labour would investigate pandemic corruption. Streeting also says the NHS needs reform not more money. And Rishi Sunak thinks Rwanda legislation is the ‘best thing we can get’.  Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
17/12/2314m 23s

Will we avoid recession in 2024?

The big economic news of the week was that the Bank of England has held interest rates at 5.25 per cent for the third consecutive time. This was the expected outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee’s latest vote, but it wasn’t unanimous. There were six MPC votes to hold rates but three to raise it to 5.5 per cent. Should we expect a rate cut any time soon?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
15/12/239m 48s

Another by-election looms for Rishi

The big political news today is the Standards Committee recommendation against Scott Benton, meaning a likely by-election in Blackpool South. He was the MP caught on camera by the Times in April, allegedly boasting about lobbying ministers for cash to a gambling firm. When will Rishi catch a break?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home.
14/12/2310m 3s

Who are the ‘five families’ of Tory rebels?

The Tories are reeling from a week of painful infighting over Rwanda. Who are the ‘five families’ of Conservative dissenters? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
13/12/2312m 50s

Sunak wins the Rwanda vote – but the battle is far from over

The government has won this evening’s vote on the ‘safety of Rwanda’ bill comfortably at 313 votes to 269 against. This means Rishi Sunak has managed to pass his bill at second reading after a day of negotiations with the various Tory tribes. Not a single Tory MP voted against the bill but 38 conservative MPs abstained. Katy Balls and James Heale discuss what comes next. 
12/12/237m 30s

What if Rishi Sunak loses his crunch Rwanda vote?

Rishi Sunak faces the first major test of his premiership today over the second reading of the Rwanda bill. How could the day play out? And what will happen if the Prime Minister loses the vote? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale
12/12/2311m 31s

What Sunak really said about lockdown

It was Rishi Sunak's turn at the Covid Inquiry today. The Prime Minister faced questions on Eat Out to Help Out, his relationship with No.10, tiers and PPE procurement. How did the former Chancellor come across? And how has his tone changed because he is now Prime Minister? Natasha Feroze speaks to Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews. 
11/12/2313m 41s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 10/12/2023

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday's political shows.  On Wednesday Robert Jenrick resigned over the government's Rwanda legislation, so the focus this morning was on immigration. Jenrick says Sunak's bill is weak, Michael Gove says it's robust, and Liz Kendall says Labour have a better plan to cut legal immigration. Plus, Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska makes a plea for continued support. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
10/12/2312m 35s

Do the Tories have a death wish?

Nick Robinson asked Suella Braverman on the Today programme this week whether the Tories had a death wish. She said no. But why is the party, when it's doing so badly in the polls, fighting among itself? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls ands Craig Oliver, former director of communications in No. 10.
09/12/2312m 44s

Is Rishi's Rwanda Bill doomed?

Rishi Sunak is stuck in a migration quagmire and will be spending the weekend drumming up support from MPs ahead of the vote on his amended Rwanda bill on Tuesday. He will be hoping for a Christmas miracle in the form of support from both One Nation MPs and those on the right of the party. Will Tuesday's vote be a de facto confidence vote in the prime minister?  Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale. 
08/12/239m 49s

What Jenrick’s resignation means for Sunak’s premiership

Kate Andrews speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls about Robert Jenrick's resignation last night and whether this is another sign of Tory party implosion. 
07/12/2316m 48s

Boris faces the music at the Covid inquiry

It was a big day in the Covid inquiry as Boris Johnson gave evidence for the first time. Just as Johnson launched into an apology during his opening statement, protestors off-camera made their presence known. There were also revelations concerning the attention he paid to Sage minutes and Cobra meetings and the former prime minister defended his decision not to lock down sooner. What else did we learn? Was this a turning point in the perception of the inquiry?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to James Heale and Michael Simmons. 
06/12/2312m 2s

Are the Tories too little to late on migration?

As James Cleverly meets leaders in Rwanda to sign a new asylum treaty, the government has laid out a series of plans to bring down legal migration. Some Tories on the right would like the measures to go further, but are these policies too little too late? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Spectator writer, Patrick O'Flynn. 
05/12/2313m 46s

Was Starmer right to praise Thatcher?

This weekend Keir Starmer's team took the opportunity to discuss Margaret Thatcher in an op-ed for the Sunday Telegraph. Whilst Starmer also praised other former prime ministers – such as Tony Blair and Clement Attlee – his admission that ‘Margaret Thatcher sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism', has ruffled a few feathers in the Labour party. Could this be a genius piece of politics to reach out to those on the right? Or is it a misfire?  Also on the podcast, Rishi Sunak has started the week with the news that he has recorded his lowest rating ever in the latest ConservativeHome league table, racking up a dire -25.4 among card-carrying Conservatives. Can he turn it around?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
04/12/2310m 36s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 03/12/2023

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from today's political shows.  Winter means incoming trouble for the NHS. The health secretary blames industrial action for long hospital waiting lists, despite waiting times rising continually since 2010. Meanwhile, Starmer is praising Margaret Thatcher, Ndileka Mandela talks about 'climate apartheid', and the truce ends in Gaza as Mark Regev defends the IDF's actions in the face of rising civilian fatalities.  Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
03/12/2312m 27s

The memory and legacy of Alistair Darling

Former chancellor Alistair Darling passed away this week, aged 70. To discuss his career, life and legacy, Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Catherine MacLeod, former political editor of the Herald, and later a special adviser to Darling.
02/12/2314m 12s

Will Boris surprise at the Covid inquiry?

As Matt Hancock appears before the Covid inquiry for a second day, we take a look at the revelations from the former health secretary, including the allegation that involving the Prime Minister and former prime minister, Boris Johnson. Both are due to be up at the Covid inquiry in the coming weeks. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Heale. Produced by Cindy Yu.
01/12/2312m 50s

Is Labour being ‘fundamentally dishonest’?

Jeremy Hunt said last night that Labour’s economic plans are ‘fundamentally dishonest’. Is he right, and are the Tories really just as bad?  Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and the FT’s Stephen Bush.
30/11/2311m 6s

Has Robert Jenrick gone rogue?

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, long thought of as one of Rishi Sunak's closest allies in Parliament, hinted yesterday at a row with the Prime Minister. He had a plan to reduce immigration ready ‘last Christmas’, he said. Why didn’t Sunak take it anywhere? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman.
29/11/2312m 27s

Has No.10 lost its marbles?

An extraordinary row has broken out between the British and Greek governments over the future of the Parthenon Marbles. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due to meet Rishi Sunak in London today, but No. 10 cancelled the meeting at the last minute over comments that Mitsotakis made on the Laura Kuenssberg show. Is this whole row all part of a high-culture war, to win back the Red Wall? Or has No.10 lost its marbles?  Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
28/11/2311m 40s

Sunak under pressure to curb legal migration

Rishi Sunak is on the defensive over legal migration. After figures late last week revealed net migration hit a record 750,000 in the year to December 2022, the Prime Minister is under pressure from his own side to act. This afternoon James Cleverly will address the House and is expected to lay out a series of proposals the government is considering. Can they shift the dial?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
27/11/2310m 43s

Should Sunak reduce immigration?

Figures out this week put net migration at 672,000 in the year to June 2023. Should the government cut the number of work visas, to immediately reduce this figure, or should it accept that high levels of immigration are needed to sustain the economy? Natasha Feroze speaks to Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews.
25/11/2323m 28s

What happened in Dublin?

There were riots in Dublin last night. Looters smashed shops, and burnt police cars in a night of unrest in the capital of Ireland. What provoked the angry crowd, and should the police have done a better job at stopping them? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Pat Leahy, political editor of the Irish Times.
24/11/2311m 20s

Have we seen peak migration?

After much Whitehall spin, the official figures are now in. Net migration in the year to June hit 672,000, down from 745,000 in 2022. A total of 1.2 million people arrived to live in the UK, whilst 508,000 moved overseas. The ONS says it's too early to call this a downward trend, but has migration to the UK peaked?  Katy Balls speaks to James Heale and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
23/11/2311m 45s

The truth about Hunt’s ‘tax cutting’ Autumn Statement

The Chancellor today delivered his fiscal update, branding it as an ‘Autumn Statement for Growth’. In it, he announced a series of tax cuts for both businesses and workers including the decision to make 'full expensing' permanent and a surprise announcement on National Insurance, which has been cut by two percentage points for workers and simplified for the self-employed. Fraser Nelson, Kate Andrews and Katy Balls unpack the details of Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement. 
22/11/2317m 22s

Did Covid expose a 'failure of imagination'?

This week it is the scientists’ turn to appear before the Covid Inquiry with Sir Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer and Sir Patrick Vallance. James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and The Spectator's data editor, Michael Simmons to discuss the findings this week. 
21/11/2310m 41s

Why has Rishi Sunak made five more pledges?

James Heale, Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson look ahead to the Autumn Statement this week. Will Rishi Sunak commit to cutting taxes? And with barely a year to go before the election, would implementing any policies now be felt in time?
20/11/2311m 12s

Katy Balls' Sunday Roundup - 19/11/2023

Katy Balls presents highlights from this week's political shows.  It's an economy special, as Jeremy Hunt prepares to deliver his autumn statement next week. With tax at an all time high, which tax cuts will the government make, if any? Changes to benefits may see many lose out if they don't find jobs. Labour's Rachel Reeves says fixing the NHS is the way to get people back to work, and isn't impressed with potential inheritance tax cuts. And the government is desperate to make their Rwanda plan work - will it be possible? Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
19/11/2312m 38s

What will fix Britain’s prisons?

HMP Bedford was issued with an urgent notification yesterday, meaning it must immediately make reforms to improve. It’s the fifth prison to receive such a notification this year. What’s going wrong in Britain’s prisons, and what will fix them? Max Jeffery speaks to former prison governor Ian Acheson and former prisoner David Shipley.
18/11/2319m 5s

Can Sunak shift the dial?

The chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver his autumn statement next week and Rishi Sunak will be hoping to stamp his authority onto a fracturing party after a difficult few days. There are lots of rumours swirling around about what might be included, such as cuts to inheritance tax and to taxes for small businesses. What should we expect?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
17/11/2313m 1s

Should Starmer worry about the ceasefire rebellion?

Fifty-six Labour MPs rebelled last night and voted for an SNP amendment calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. Keir Starmer had ordered his party to abstain on the vote, and said afterwards that Israel had suffered ‘its worst terrorist attack in a single day’ on 7 October, and that ‘no government would allow the capability and intent to repeat such an attack to go unchallenged’. Is Starmer’s authority now under threat? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
16/11/2312m 31s

Supreme Court rules Rwanda scheme unlawful

The Supreme Court has ruled that the government scheme to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda is unlawful. Why? And how will Rishi Sunak respond? Will he try to take Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
15/11/2311m 10s

Suella tells Rishi: 'You have repeatedly failed to deliver'

When Suella Braverman was sacked on Monday she warned that she would have more to say in due course, and has just released her resignation letter. It is predictably punchy, accusing the prime minister of backtracking on policy promises he made her and especially on his commitment to stop the boats. Will Sunak come to regret casting Suella Braverman aside? Is this the start of a leadership bid? Cindy You speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
14/11/2314m 55s

Will the Tory right be happy with Sunak's reshuffle?

Rishi Sunak has spent today selecting new people for his Cabinet. With MP's to the right such as Suella Braverman removed from office, has Rishi Sunak's bold reshuffle made deeper divides in his party?
13/11/2314m 47s

Sunak’s reshuffle: refresh or rewind?

It’s reshuffle day in Westminster. Suella Braverman is out as Home Secretary, replaced by James Cleverly, with former prime minister David Cameron making a shock return to parliament in the vacant Foreign Secretary slot. It’s the first time since 1974 that a former PM has been appointed to the cabinet. Can Rishi Sunak really still claim to be the candidate to end the ‘thirty year status quo’? Will he regret bringing Cameron back? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
13/11/2314m 34s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 12/11/2023

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from this week's political shows.  The Palestine march on Saturday was accompanied by violence after far-right groups converged on the Cenotaph. Did the Home Secretary's controversial Times article undermine the police and inflame tensions? Grant Shapps won't criticise Suella Braverman, but Yvette Cooper certainly does. Labour division continues with an upcoming vote on a motion calling for immediate ceasefire. And President Isaac Herzog claims Israel have been going out of their way to protect civilians in Gaza. 
12/11/2316m 37s

Has Nadine Dorries lost the plot?

This week Nadine Dorries’s new book The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson has been published, and it has ruffled some feathers in Westminster. In it, she claims there was a plot orchestrated by a secret cabal of back room advisors, politicians and individuals in the media to overthrow Boris Johnson. Just what is ‘the movement’? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Christopher Howse, assistant editor at the Telegraph.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
11/11/2314m 10s

Is Suella Braverman safe for now?

Despite mounting pressure from Conservative MPs to remove Suella Braverman, no announcement has been made yet. How much pressure is Rishi Sunak facing over the Home Secretary's stand-off with the Met Police? Also on the podcast, Natasha Feroze speaks to James Heale and Isabel Harman about the Conservative Home Cabinet league table ahead of a possible reshuffle. 
10/11/2312m 30s

What is Suella Braverman up to?

Suella Braverman has again dominated conversation with her controversial rhetoric, this time comparing the pro-Palestinian marches to the Orange Marches of Northern Ireland in a punchy op-ed for the Times. Has she finally gone too far for this government? Max Jeffery talks to Katy Balls and James Heale. Produced by Max Jeffery and Cindy Yu.
09/11/239m 59s

Will Mark Rowley ban the pro-Palestine protests?

Rishi Sunak met with Met Commissioner Mark Rowley today to discuss the pro-Palestine protests planned for the Remembrance weekend. Sunak has called the marches ‘disrespectful’, and said he would hold Rowley ‘accountable’ for not banning them. Will the Commissioner change his mind? Isabel Hardman speaks to Katy Balls and Danny Shaw, former home affairs correspondent for the BBC. 
08/11/2313m 12s

What did King Charles say?

It was the King’s speech today. King Charles announced that the government would introduce new laws to, among other things, force criminals to attend their sentencing hearings, scrap most jail sentences of less than a year, and sell all new houses as freehold properties. Is it enough for the Tories to turn around their deficit in the polls? Katy Balls speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman.
07/11/2311m 52s

Is Suella Braverman in trouble over rough sleepers?

The Home Secretary sparked fury over the weekend for her comments on homelessness, suggesting that rough sleepers using tents is a 'lifestyle choice'. Senior cabinet members including the Rishi Sunak didn't jump to her defence from the comments. What was behind her decision to take such a firm line? Also on the podcast, Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Isabel Hardman about the serial rapist cover-up allegations levelled at the Tory party. 
06/11/2313m 32s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 05/11/2023

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from this week's political shows.  The Israel-Palestine conflict is creating division in the UK, with pro-Palestine rallies being labelled as 'hate marches' by Suella Braverman, and Keir Starmer continuing to reject calls for a ceasefire from members of his party. Hossam Zaki warns that a political solution is the only way forward. Plus, Oliver Dowden reacts to explosive testimony in the Covid inquiry this week, and Succession star Sarah Snook talks about the dangerous potential of deepfakes in the entertainment industry. 
05/11/2311m 49s

Has WhatsApp ruined government?

WhatsApps between officials in Boris Johnson’s government have been centre-stage at the Covid inquiry this week. Is the app encouraging on-the-hoof policymaking and nasty briefing?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Guido Fawkes chief Paul Staines.
04/11/2313m 17s

Was Rishi Sunak's AI summit a success?

This week the prime minister hosted his landmark AI summit at Bletchley Park which wrapped up with an interview with Elon Musk, who warned that AI will one day render all jobs obsolete. The who's who of AI were in attendance over the two days as well the likes of Kamala Harris and Ursula von der Leyen, but what was actually achieved? Oscar Edmondson speaks to James Heale and Madhumita Murgia, AI editor at the Financial Times. 
03/11/2314m 19s

Has the Bank of England done enough to stave off recession?

The Bank of England has once again taken the decision to hold interest rates at their 15-year high. There is growing market consensus that this second pause is a sign that interest rates have peaked, or nearly reached their peak. Will the Bank be able to tread the thin line between tackling inflation but also keeping the country out of recession? Will Rishi Sunak hit his target to 'halve inflation'?  Natasha Feroze speaks to Kate Andrews and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
02/11/2313m 38s

Did Boris's No. 10 have a women problem?

Today the Covid inquiry heard from Helen McNamara, former deputy cabinet secretary (who infamously supplied a karaoke machine for one of the government's lockdown parties). Her evidence suggested that the government's pandemic response had a women problem – from not properly understanding lockdown's impact on domestic abuse to not considering that PPE is designed for male bodies, not female. Is that fair? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Cindy Yu.
01/11/2311m 12s

Did anything new come from the Covid inquiry?

Fraser Nelson speaks to Michael Simmons about the second phase of the Covid inquiry, looking at political governance. Attending the inquiry today was former No.10 aids Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain. 
31/10/2311m 43s

What’s the point of the Covid inquiry?

The Covid inquiry enters its most dramatic week, questioning Martin Reynolds (a.k.a. 'Party Marty'), as well as former No. 10 advisors Lee Cain and Dominic Cummings. But it seems that the inquiry has gone down more the route of interpersonal drama rather than lessons learnt for government decisionmaking. So what's the point of it? Katy Balls talks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale. Produced by Cindy Yu.
30/10/2313m 50s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 29/10/23

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows.  Israel's ground invasion has begun. We hear the latest response from the government and Labour, as calls grow for a humanitarian pause to the offensive. MP Layla Moran speaks of the desperation of her family, who are unable to move from the north of Gaza. And the head of the tech company Palantir says patient data will be safe, as his company attempt to get a massive deal with the NHS over the line.  Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill
29/10/2313m 6s

Can Conservatism fix its pathway of decline?

As the government faces a general election defeat, is there a home for traditionally conservative thinkers? An international branch of new right Conservatives will join together on Monday for the Alliance of Responsible Citizenships (ARC) designed to share ideas and debate policy. But why won't many call themselves 'Conservatives'? And can ARC bring anything to the future of the party?
28/10/2319m 30s

Will Starmer cave in to calls for a Gaza ceasefire?

Keir Starmer is under mounting pressure from his party to back a call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The week began with the Labour leader correcting comments he made on LBC that Israel had a right to defend itself. But now, politicians to the left of his party are campaigning for a ceasefire. Is this something Starmer can support? Also on the podcast, James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson about more 'pestminster' scandals and Liz Truss on AI and China. 
27/10/2312m 38s

Can Starmer change the subject?

Keir Starmer has had a difficult week, trying to keep his party on message over the war in Israel and Gaza. The official position is that Israel has a right to respond to Hamas’s attacks on 7 October, but a number of Labour MPs are now calling for a ceasefire. Could Starmer have better handled the situation?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and John McTernan. 
26/10/2314m 35s

Keir Starmer’s Israel problem is growing

Today, Keir Starmer held a long meeting with some Muslim Labour MPs over their concern on his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, first ignited by comments he made on LBC which seemed to justify Israel's electricity and water blockade of Gaza. The Labour leader has made huge progress to move his party on from the reputation of anti-Semitism forged during the Corbyn era – but can he find a middle way to please all wings of his party on this deeply emotive issue? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Cindy Yu.
25/10/2313m 22s

Labour's foreign policy problem

Natasha Feroze speaks to Stephen Bush and Katy Balls about some of the geopolitical problems that lie ahead for Labour. Will David Lammy have to roll back on his views on Trump? Will Keir Starmer appeal to his muslim voter base whilst taking the standard Biden line on Israel/ Palestine? What about the Indian general election in November?
24/10/2313m 46s

One year on: does Sunak have anything to celebrate?

This week marks one year since Rishi Sunak entered No.10. Faced with the weekend's double by-election defeat, Labour's lead in the polls and another by-election coming soon, what can Rishi Sunak still do to turn things around? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.
23/10/2311m 37s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday roundup - 22/10/2023

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from this week's political shows.  Some aid has been allowed into Gaza, but the situation is still dire. We hear from immigration minister Robert Jenrick on what the UK is doing to help. Naftali Bennett says Israel are not responsible for Gaza, Hanan Ashrawi gives us the Palestinian point of view, and Labour clarifies their own position. Plus the Tory slide continues as they lose another two seats in the by-elections. 
23/10/2315m 15s

What can we hope to learn from the Covid inquiry?

This week there have been some interesting developments in the public Covid-19 inquiry where scientists and mathematical modellers have been giving testimony on how prepared the government was to tackle the pandemic and how they used expert advise.  Within the sessions, WhatsApp messages revealed that Dame Angela McLean – who at the time was chief scientific advisor to Ministry of Defence – sent a secret message referring to Rishi Sunak as 'Dr Death the chancellor' in reference to the public health impacts of the 'eat out to help out' scheme. What were some of the other revelations? Did we get any clarity on how these mathematical models were produced and implemented? And what can we hope to learn from what promises to be a long and protracted inquiry?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Kate Andrews and Michael Simmons.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
21/10/2315m 56s

Are the Tories facing a 97’ style defeat?

Labour has overturned the Tamworth and and Mid Bedfordshire by-election results, overturning the biggest majority in by-election history. Is there anymore road for Rishi Sunak? Isabel Hardman speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale. 
20/10/2312m 36s

Sunak tells Israel: ‘We want you to win’

Today Rishi Sunak joined Benjamin Netanyahu for a joint press conference in which he pledged support to Israel. Netanyahu thanked him for his, ‘strong statement of support’ and grounded Israel’s fight in the context of Britain’s own history. ‘You fought the Nazis 80 years ago,’ he said, ‘Hamas are the new Nazis'. Also on the podcast, the polls have opened for by elections in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire. What should we expect? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale. Produced by Oscar Edmondson. Photo credit: Simon Walker/No. 10 Downing Street
19/10/2313m 52s

Has inflation stuck?

September's inflation data was released today, and showed that it was at the same level as August. Is inflation getting stuck a problem? Cindy Yu talks to Kate Andrews and Katy Balls. Also on the podcast: Labour's Israel headaches and a look ahead to tomorrow's by-elections. Produced by Cindy Yu.
18/10/2312m 22s

Has Humza Yousaf turned things around?

At his first speech as SNP leader at the party's conference, Humza Yousaf gave a policy-filled address. He hasn't had an easy start to his leadership, but can he turn things around? Katy Balls talks to Lucy Dunn and Iain Macwhirter. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Cindy Yu.
17/10/2314m 42s

How long can the cross-party consensus on Israel hold?

So far, both major parties in the UK have aligned on their approach to the Israel-Gaza conflict, but can the Labour party really hold their position, considering how much of the party's grassroots support come from Muslim backgrounds? James Heale talks to Katy Balls and Conservative Home's editor, Paul Goodman. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Cindy Yu.
17/10/2311m 32s

What does the government mean by 'Texas-style justice'?

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has been talking about bringing 'Texas-style justice' to the UK in his latest proposals for reform of the prisons system. What does it really mean? James Heale talks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Cindy Yu.
16/10/2312m 44s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 15/10/23

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from today's political shows. This week it's all about the Israel-Palestine conflict. An Israeli government adviser says Israel is following international law, but the Head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK refutes this, and describes horror and carnage in Gaza. James Cleverly says the UK stands with Israel, but both he and his Labour counterpart urge restraint. And the First Minister of Scotland fears for family members trapped in Gaza. 
15/10/2312m 27s

What is Israel's army capable of?

James Heale speaks to foreign policy expert Sophia Gaston and defence correspondent Sean Rayment about what could be Israel's next steps, the strength of their military and how much political backing they have worldwide. 
14/10/2316m 41s

The winners and losers of this year’s conference season

Conference season is over, so we thought that we’d run through this year’s winners and losers. Did Rishi Sunak manage to present himself as the Action Man who can end the ‘thirty year consensus’ in British politics? Did Keir Starmer finally answer the question: if not them, why us? Did anyone surprise us? Or was it all for nothing, as new YouGov polling might suggest. Oscar Edmondson speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
13/10/2313m 59s

Why did Lisa Cameron defect to the Tories?

Lisa Cameron MP has quit the SNP to join the Conservative party, just days before the SNP holds its party conference in Aberdeen. What does this say about the state of the Scottish National Party under Humza Yousaf? James Heale talks to Isabel Hardman and Lucy Dunn. Produced by Max Jeffery and Cindy Yu.
12/10/2311m 18s

Can Labour really overhaul the NHS?

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, said in a speech today that this NHS must ‘modernise or die’. But will a Labour government under Keir Starmer have the cash to really reform? Max Jeffery speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman.
11/10/2315m 54s

If not the Tories, why Labour?

Keir Starmer's leadership speech today in Liverpool didn't get off to the best start after a protestor ran onto the stage and dumped glitter all over him. But after dusting himself down and rolling up his sleeves, the leader of the opposition set about addressing the question that many prospective voters have wanted answering: If not them, why us? He made big promises on the NHS and pledged to 'bulldoze through' the obstacles to growth caused by the planning system, including with a new generation of new towns. It was one of his best speeches yet, but can they deliver?  Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman discuss. 
10/10/2313m 27s

Rachel Reeves goes for growth

It was Rachel Reeves's moment on day two of Labour party conference. Addressing the hall she detailed her ambitious plans for growth and vowed to stick to 'iron-clad fiscal rules' if in power. She also received a surprise endorsement from former governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Once branded 'boring snoring' by a BBC editor, Reeves doesn't look boring anymore. Will she be the first female chancellor of the exchequer?  Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. 
09/10/2312m 19s

How's the mood at Labour conference?

It's the first day of Labour party conference and whilst the mood is buoyant the story that has dominated the weekend is of course the Hamas attack on Israel. Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to condemn the attack, will he be a thorn in Keir Starmer's side this week? And will Starmer finally be able to answer the question: If not the Tories, why us?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale. 
08/10/2312m 40s

Is Rishi Sunak right about Rwanda?

Cindy Yu is joined by immigration minister Robert Jenrick, Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews to discuss the Rwanda plan and whether it can truly stop the boats. 
08/10/231h 11m

Has Brexit Failed?

Seven years after the Brexit vote, Katy Balls is joined for a fringe panel from the Conservative Party Conference to discuss if voting to leave the EU was worth it, where the wins are and if opportunities are being missed.  Katy Balls in conversation with John Redwood MP, Theresa Villiers MP, Camilla Cavendish, Charles Grant and Vote Leave founder Matthew Elliott.
07/10/231h 3m

Scottish Labour moves right – and wins

Labour has secured a resounding win against the SNP in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election with a swing of 20.4%. Fraser Nelson speaks to Katy Balls and Iain Macwhirter about whether this the end of the Scotland hegemony of the SNP, and if Labour have drifted closer to the right. 
06/10/2318m 35s

What's behind the PM's plan to axe A-levels?

One of the announcements made in Rishi Sunak's conference speech was to scrap A-levels in favour of a qualification which includes compulsory English and Maths. With several problems in the education system, and years of disruption for students, what was behind the PM's decision to radically overhaul the system? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and David Laws, former education minister who now chairs the Education Policy Institute. 
05/10/2315m 32s

Rishi Sunak's conference speech gamble

After spending most of his conference refusing to say much at all, Rishi Sunak used his speech to make three big policy announcements on HS2, smoking and A-levels. Will these gambles pay off?  Fraser Nelson speaks to Katy Balls, Isabel Hardman, Kate Andrews and John Connolly.
04/10/2317m 18s

What's going on with HS2?

It's day three at Tory conference and the story that won't go away is HS2. Rishi Sunak insisted in his media round this morning that a decision has not been made, meanwhile Downing Street sources are reporting that a decision has been made. Standing outside the Midland hotel, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street urged the prime minister not to abandon HS2. Can we expect an announcement in Rishi's speech tomorrow?  Katy Balls speaks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale. 
03/10/2313m 22s

Are the Tories preparing for opposition?

Isabel Hardman and James Heale discuss day two of the Conservative party Conference. From Jeremy Hunt's speech, to Mark Harper's Hs2 dodge and a swelling support for Kemi Badenoch. 
02/10/2312m 47s

Coffee House Shots Live: Who would vote Tory?

The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson, Katy Balls and Kate Andrews are joined by special guest Frank Luntz for a live recording of Coffee House Shots from Tory party conference. It was at this event two years ago that Frank first declared Liz Truss to be the next Tory leader. Who might succeed Rishi Sunak? And is a Labour 2024 victory certain? 
02/10/2347m 39s

How's the mood at Tory conference?

It's day two at Tory conference and the mood seems muted and lacking in energy. This is in direct contrast to Rishi Sunak who appeared to have fire in his belly in a tetchy interview over the weekend with Laura Kuenssberg. He will be hoping to use this conference as his reset moment, but will he be undermined by those in the cabinet with an eye on the leadership? In Manchester, Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman discuss. 
02/10/238m 55s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 01/10/23

Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's political shows.  Rishi Sunak is in the limelight as the Conservative party conference begins. The polls don't look good for him, but he comes out fighting, claiming he's 'going to do things differently'. The public associate him with personal wealth, does he think that makes him look out of touch? Sunak claims his values are clear, and contrasts himself with the 'hiding' Starmer. Meanwhile, Gove wants tax cuts before the next election, unlike the chancellor and prime minister. Priti Patel isn't impressed with the Home Secretary's comments on multicultralism. And Wes Streeting defends Labour's shifting policies. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill
01/10/2312m 14s

When conferences go wrong

The Conservative party conference begins in Manchester this weekend. Where have conferences gone wrong for previous Tory party leaders, and what will Rishi Sunak want to get out of this one?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Craig Oliver, dormer director of communications in No. 10 under David Cameron.
30/09/2313m 8s

Is the UK doomed to be a high tax country?

Tax levels in the UK are at their highest since records began 70 years ago and are unlikely to come down, or so says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in their report today. How has the tax burden increased over the four years of this parliament? What's driving up taxes? Also on the podcast, there are reports today that Rishi Sunak will stop councils imposing 20 mph zones, is Rishi on the side of motorists? Katy Balls speaks to James Heale and Fraser Nelson. Keep up to date with The Spectator's data hub: https://data.spectator.co.uk/ Produced by Max Jeffery and Oscar Edmondson.
29/09/239m 40s

What’s behind Labour’s private school U-turn?

Another day, another U-turn. But this time it's Labour, who have changed tack on their plans to end charitable status for private schools. Labour leader Keir Starmer previously declared that the charitable status for private schools could not be justified, so what’s behind the move?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and John McTernan, former political secretary to Tony Blair. 
28/09/2313m 29s

Would Labour grant more oil licences?

The UK's largest untapped oil and gas field has been given the green light in a move that has been criticised by Labour, although Keir Starmer has said he will honour the Tories' approval of the controversial Rosebank site should Labour enter government next year. Has the language changed around net zero?  Also on the podcast, new polling suggests that Sadiq Khan holds only a slender lead ahead of Susan Hall in the London mayoral race, should he be worried?  Max Jeffery speaks to James Heale and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Max Jeffery and Oscar Edmondson. 
27/09/2312m 27s

Is Suella after the Tory leadership?

Suella Braverman is in Washington today, giving a speech to a think tank on illegal migration in which she will argue that seeking asylum and seeking better economic prospects are two different things. It's a punchy line she's taking, should Rishi be taking note? Or is this a thinly veiled bid for the Conservative leadership?  Also on the podcast, as Ed Davey wraps up this year's Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth, is there optimism in Lib Dem HQ as we look towards the next election?  Cindy Yu speaks to Patrick O'Flynn and James Heale.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
26/09/2311m 21s

Is Sunak helping Starmer on HS2?

Rishi Sunak is on his tour of hard truths, saying the unsayable on areas of policy where he believes his predecessors didn't want to be honest with the public. First we had the net zero pivot – scaling back the government's environmental commitments – and over the weekend there has been speculation that HS2 could be the next victim of tough talking Rishi Sunak. What's the latest? Is Rishi gifting Starmer an easy ride by clearing the weeds on this controversial project?  Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
25/09/2314m 9s

Is it time to take the Lib Dems seriously again?

Conference season has kicked off this weekend with the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth. Buoyed by their success in the recent by-elections, could the Lib Dems be the kingmakers at the next election? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush, associate editor at the Financial Times.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
24/09/2320m 3s

What’s next for the Murdoch empire?

Rupert Murdoch stepped down as chairman of News Corp and Fox News this week. But is this really the end of Murdoch’s career? ‘I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas’, he wrote in a statement. And what will the media tycoon’s legacy be? James Heale speaks to Andrew Neil, chairman of The Spectator, and former editor of the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times.
23/09/2318m 32s

Why can’t Hunt cut taxes?

Jeremy Hunt said yesterday that it would be ‘virtually impossible’ to cut taxes in 2023. James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews about why the government has decided to spent more, rather than cut levies, and about whether Hunt and Sunak’s economic plan will come under criticism from Tory MPs at the Conservative party conference in a few weeks. 
22/09/2311m 23s

What is Sunakism?

Rishi Sunak is being attacked by Conservative and Labour politicians for choosing to delay some of Britain’s climate commitments. But is his new approach to policy really a welcome one?  Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Rupert Darwall, a senior fellow at RealClearFoundation.
21/09/2311m 9s

Why Sunak wants to dilute net zero

Rishi Sunak is set to give a speech this week outlining changes to the government's environmental policies. The plans to phase out new petrol and diesel cars, and gas boilers, will likely be delayed. What does the Prime Minister stand to gain? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.
20/09/2313m 4s

Will Starmer soften Brexit?

Keir Starmer is in Paris today. It's a bid to 'look statesman-like', Katy Balls says, but also underlines where a Labour government would take British relations with the EU. Oscar Edmondson talks to Katy and Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Cindy Yu.
19/09/2312m 53s

What Liz Truss’s big speech was really about

Liz Truss took the stage this morning for her first major intervention on the economy since leaving No. 10. Her speech at the Institute for Government comes almost a year to the day since her mini-Budget saw the markets panic and her premiership come to an abrupt end not long after. What did she have to say?   Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson, Kate Andrews and James Heale.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
18/09/2314m 7s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 17/09/23

Isabel Hardman hosts highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Electoral campaigns are soon to begin in earnest, and Labour is talking tough on immigration. But this week policy is overshadowed by criminal allegations against Russell Brand, devastating floods in Libya, and the researcher accused of being a Chinese spy. Ian Russell also talks about the dangers of the internet and the importance of the Online Safety Bill.
17/09/2314m 28s

How America’s 2024 election will affect Britain’s

For the first time since 1992 the US and the UK will have elections in the same year, and – for the first time since 1964 – there is a real chance that those campaigns could overlap. How will they impact each other?  Kate Andrews speaks to Katy Balls and Freddy Gray. 
16/09/2312m 53s

Is it right to cut back HS2?

The government is reportedly looking into whether it should cut the second phase of HS2. But with so much money having already been pumped into the project, should they just see it through to the end? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews.
15/09/2311m 43s

What is Starmer’s small boats plan?

Keir Starmer today unveiled Labour’s plan to stop illegal migration. Trying to deport migrants to Rwanda is a waste of money, he said – the millions would be better spent on a ‘new security agreement’ with Europe. But what does that mean? Max Jeffery speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.
14/09/2313m 30s

Is Labour the party of the pensioner?

At PMQs, neither Labour nor the Tories wanted to commit to keeping the state pension triple lock. Have the two parties, awkwardly and unofficially, reached a consensus on dropping the promise? Max Jeffery speaks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale.
13/09/2311m 54s

Will Rishi axe the pensions triple lock?

Rishi Sunak has refused to commit to keeping the pensions triple lock in the next Conservative manifesto. What’s behind his equivocation? And, if the triple lock is ditched, will Labour follow suit?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
12/09/2310m 57s

'Chinese spy' arrest – what we know so far

Over the weekend, it was reported that a parliamentary researcher was arrested on suspicion of spying for China. The accused has released a statement this morning claiming he is 'completely innocent'. Katy Balls speaks to Cindy Yu and James Heale about the arrest and what this could mean for Britain's relationship with China. 
11/09/239m 46s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 10/09/23

Isabel Hardman hosts highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. After Daniel Khalife's escape from HMP Wandsworth this week, the focus is on prisons. Did overcrowding and staff shortages contribute to the escape? What can the government do about rising prisoner numbers? Would Labour increase funding? There's also talk about the parliamentary researcher accused of spying for China, and military chiefs comment on the situation in Ukraine. Produced Joe Bedell-Brill.
10/09/2313m 4s

Is Humza Yousaf a people-pleaser?

James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Lucy Dunn for the latest update on Scottish politics. Humza Yousaf has been on a 'reset'. But critics claim the Scottish First Minister is simply rehashing Nicola Stugeon's policies. Also on the podcast, will Labour take the Scotland by-election from the SNP? And what happened at the Holyrood Magazine awards?
09/09/237m 57s

India trade deal: is this what Brexit was for?

Rishi Sunak has landed in Delhi ahead of the G20 summit this weekend. He will be hoping to smooth the way for a new free trade deal with India. What does a good result look like for the prime minister? Will the new deal result in increased immigration? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson.
08/09/2311m 15s

Tories face ninth by-election – are they ruined?

The Conservative MP Chris Pincher has resigned following the Commons decision to refuse his suspension appeal. Follow Nadine Dorries's most recent resignation, this means the government faces their 9th by-election since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister – can they come back from this? Also on the podcast, Oscar Edmondson speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman about Rishi Sunak's move to rejoin the EU Horizon Project and the latest on the UK-India trade deal. 
07/09/2312m 15s

Was Truss doomed to fail?

It was the first PMQs since the summer recess today and Labour were on the attack, comparing the Tory government to 'cowboy builders' over the ongoing school concrete debate. Rishi Sunak replied by calling out the leader of the opposition as 'captain hindsight'. Who came out on top?  Also on the podcast, it's a year since Liz Truss's doomed premiership. How should we reflect on her time as PM?  Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale. 
06/09/239m 43s

Who’s to blame for the concrete crisis?

The government is struggling to change the story. After Gillian Keegan yesterday said, about the concrete crisis, that ‘everyone else has sat on their arse and done nothing’, the story has continued to dominate the news. How can the government recover? Who should take the blame? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Conservative Home’s Paul Goodman.
05/09/2313m 28s

Who's in and who's out as Keir reshuffles his shadow cabinet?

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has reshuffled his shadow cabinet but just who has made it in and who has been moved aside? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and John McTernan. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Linden Kemkaran.
04/09/2314m 11s

How did the Tories not see the school concrete crisis coming?

Parliament is back from recess and the row which will be dominating MPs inboxes is the school concrete crisis, which has disrupted the start of term for over 100 schools. Why didn't the government act sooner?     James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.     Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
04/09/2312m 26s

What does Theresa May want?

Theresa May's new book, Abuse of Power, will not be a gossip-fuelled account of her time in No. 10. Instead, it'll be an account of how powerful people make mistakes, and how institutions corrupt. What's the point of the book, and has the former Prime Minister landed on a real, punishing problem in British politics? Kate Andrews speaks to Fraser Nelson and Gavin Barwell, Theresa May's former chief of staff.
02/09/2325m 34s

Who is Claire Coutinho?

Rishi Sunak may have shelved his plan for a big reshuffle but we have had some cabinet changes today. Grant Shapps has taken his fifth cabinet position in one year, replacing Ben Wallace as Defence Secretary, and Sunak loyalist Claire Coutinho will take over as Energy Secretary. What does Coutinho’s appointment reveal?  James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
31/08/2312m 21s

Can Cleverly handle China?

James Cleverly is in Beijing, a decision which he has been pushed to defend in a clip given to the BBC. Much has changed in the five years since a British foreign secretary last visited China. What's the purpose of the trip? How has it been received in Westminster?  Katy Balls speaks to Cindy Yu.  Listen to Cindy's fortnightly podcast on Chinese politics, society and culture here: https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcasts/chinese-whispers/
30/08/2310m 13s

Who will take Nadine Dorries’s seat?

Nadine Dorries’s seat in Mid Bedfordshire has a majority of 25,000. With the Boris Johnson ally now leaving Parliament, the seat is set to be a three-way race between the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Who stands the best chance of challenging the Conservatives? Also on the podcast: Suella Braverman has instructed police to ‘investigate every crime’. Will it improve the public’s faith in the force? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.
29/08/2315m 22s

Does Nadine Dorries have a point?

Nadine Dorries resigned from Parliament over the weekend, writing in a letter to Rishi Sunak that the Conservatives have been ‘corrupted’, and accusing the Prime Minister of ‘opening the gates to whip up a public frenzy against one of his own MPs’. Is Dorries, at least in part, right? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews.
28/08/2316m 17s

The problem with the Tories’ ‘local heroes’

Are the Tories right to pick local candidates, over Westminster favourites, to be their next generation of MPs? Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale.
26/08/2319m 34s

Why is Rishi delaying his reshuffle?

Rishi Sunak is reportedly going to delay a planned major reshuffle. A Cabinet switch-up was expected next month, but it now seems that only ministers like Ben Wallace, who has already indicated that he wants to step down, will be moved from their posts. What changed the Prime Minister's mind? Max Jeffery speaks to James Heale and Craig Oliver, former director of communications in No. 10. Produced by Max Jeffery.
24/08/2311m 39s

Would Starmer’s government have any cash to spend?

If Labour wins the next election, will Keir Starmer have any money to spend on his programme of government? In a piece for the Times yesterday, journalist Philip Collins says it won't, and he thinks Labour is suffering because of this constraint. How can Labour be intellectually interesting if the government purse strings are so tight? Fraser Nelson disagrees. He says that, thanks to the Tories taking tax levels to record highs, Starmer will have plenty of cash to work with. Kate Andrews speaks to Philip and Fraser. Produced by Natasha Feroze and Max Jeffery.
22/08/2316m 9s

Should Rishi host MBS?

Downing Street has extended an invite to Mohammed bin Salman to visit the UK in Autumn. Five years after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, is it time to let Saudi Arabia in from the cold? Fraser Nelson speaks to Simon Mayall, a former Middle East adviser in the Ministry of Defence, and to Jawad Iqbal, a Spectator contributor.
19/08/2321m 35s

Results day: is the worst of the pandemic over for students?

As A-level students receive their exam results, Cindy Yu speaks to Isabel Hardman and Mary Curnock Cook who is the former chief executive of UCAS. In a bid to curb recent grade inflation, fewer of the top results have been handed out to students who were the first year group to sit through pandemic style examinations. Can the government return to 2019 levels this summer? Produced by Cindy Yu and Natasha Feroze. 
17/08/2312m 12s

Will Rishi hit his inflation target?

Today we had the – seemingly – good news that the headline rate of inflation for July has come down to 6.8%. This is in line with Bank of England targets which suggest that Rishi could be set to meet his pledge to halve inflation. Is this cause for celebration in Number 10? Or should we be wary? Cindy Yu speaks to Michael Simmons, The Spectator's data editor. Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. Check out The Spectator's data hub: https://data.spectator.co.uk/
16/08/235m 2s

Public sector pay pushes wage growth to record high

Natasha Feroze speaks to Fraser Nelson and Isabel Hardman about today's wage growth figures which have reached a 22-year high due to public sector pay. Are these an accurate reflection of the economy? Also on the podcast, Isabel Hardman takes a look at NHS week – each day the government has announced new measures to improve the National Health Service. Is a 'quit smoking' campaign really want the system needs?
15/08/2313m 32s

Blair is back

It’s been 16 years since Tony Blair walked away from frontline politics, but rather than retiring to Fife to write his books – like another Labour leader – he has managed to build his Tony Blair Institute for Global Change into one of the most sophisticated and influential think tanks in modern politics. What role could he play under a Starmer government?  Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and John McTernan, former political advisor to Tony Blair.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
12/08/2321m 16s

What is the point of Lee Anderson?

Katy Balls and editor of Conservative Home Paul Goodman join Natasha Feroze to discuss the troublemaker Lee Anderson. This week, his inflammatory comments on small boats dominated the news – is this good or bad for the Conservatives? And what role does Rishi Sunak have in mind for the former miner and deputy Chairman of the party? Produced by Natasha Feroze. 
11/08/2314m 11s

Tories split over stopping the boats

This morning the UK’s electoral watchdog The Electoral Commission said that it had been the victim of a 'complex cyber attack' by 'hostile actors'. What do we know about the attack? The cyberattack has been a distraction from what was meant to be the government's small boats week. We've had migrants refusing to board the Bibby Stockholm barge, Lee Anderson's comments splitting the party, the Home Office floating the idea of a holding centre on the Ascension Island and a new deal with Turkey. What's the latest on Rishi's plan to stop the boats? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Matt Dathan, Home Affairs Editor at the Times.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
09/08/2312m 16s

Should Team Truss accept resignation honours?

Bibby Stockholm, the government's first migrant barge opened this morning. Intended to house up to 500 migrants, will this plan to cut the costs of putting migrants up in hotels work? Also on the podcast, Natasha Feroze speaks to Isabel Hardman and Katy Balls about the Liz Truss honours list – who are the contenders? And who may politely decline a new title...
07/08/2312m 29s

Do chess players make for better politicians?

Rishi Sunak is apparently looking to expand the teaching of chess in schools, and to install chess sets in public parks, and will unveil the policy alongside a giant chessboard in the No. 10 garden. What is the Prime Minister thinking? And what does it say about Sunak’s idea of education?  Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, a former special adviser and Westminster chess hustler.
05/08/2311m 27s

If Rishi halves inflation, will you feel richer?

Rishi Sunak is likely to hit his target of halving inflation by the end of the year, according to the latest Bank of England forecasts. But is that enough to make people feel better off, and will the Tories reap any political benefits for doing it? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Michael Simmons. Produced by Cindy Yu and Max Jeffery.
04/08/2313m 35s

Can Labour take back Rutherglen and Hamilton West?

A by-election is on the cards for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, after former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier was recalled by her constituents. She'd flouted lockdown rules in 2020, taking a train from London to Scotland despite testing positive for Covid. Given that Labour will need to make gains in Scotland in order to win the next election, this by-election has become a bellwether for the party. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Lucy Dunn about what to expect. Produced by Cindy Yu.
02/08/2312m 37s

What’s behind the Tory selections?

As the Conservative candidate selections are underway, how will the associations balance the need for a local champion to win back constituency support vs Tory stars, such as Nick Timothy, getting selected? Paul Goodman from Conservative Home and Katy Balls speak to Natasha Feroze. 
01/08/2316m 31s

Should the Tories abandon green politics?

Since the Tories retained Uxbridge in the by-election a fortnight ago by campaigning against Ulez, some Conservative MPs have been questioning whether the party should ditch their climate commitments. Was Uxbridge a one-off? What do British people want? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Scarlett Maguire, director at polling firm JL Partners.
29/07/2312m 21s

Sadiq’s Ulez expansion gets the green light

The High Court has ruled that Sadiq Khan can expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone, after five Tory councils challenged the proposed policy. Will Keir Starmer be happy that a Labour mayor has won the day? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
28/07/239m 1s

NatWest boss Alison Rose resigns. Why now?

Natasha Feroze speaks to Kate Andrews and Fraser Nelson about the sudden decision for the NatWest boss Alison Rose to hand in her resignation. Prompted by the Nigel Farage Coutts bank account scandal, the bank's CEO faced mounting pressure to resign after late last night No.10 said they had serious concerns over the bank's actions. But why does the government play a role in this decision? And will there be more resignations to come?
26/07/2312m 24s

Is Labour disunity a problem for Starmer?

Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson speak to James Heale about Labour rows over issues such as ULEZ and the child benefits cap. Whilst not in government yet, is this something Keir Starmer will need to get a grip on in order to become the next Prime Minister? Produced by Natasha Feroze.
24/07/2313m 16s

What can we learn from the Uxbridge by-election result?

The dust has settled after yesterday's by-election results. Having narrowly avoided a triple by-election defeat there seems to be little sign of Conservative party in-fighting, despite their poor showing. There is however a war of words brewing between the London Labour Party and Kier Starmer who blames Sadiq Khan's Ulez plan for the failure to snatch Uxbridge and South Ruislip. What lessons will each party take from the by-elections into next year's general election?    James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and pollster James Johnson, co-founder of JL Partners. 
22/07/2313m 20s

Sunak narrowly avoids triple by-election defeat

There was something for everyone in the by-elections with each of the three big parties getting a seat. The Tories lost Somerton and Frome to the Lib Dems and Selby and Ainsty to Labour but did narrowly cling on in Boris Johnson’s former seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, albeit with a reduced majority of just 495 votes. James Heale unpacks the results with Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
21/07/2311m 49s

Who is Susan Hall?

Katy Balls speaks to Kate Andrews and James Heale about today's inflation figures and the latest news about the Conservative Mayoral candidate for London – Susan Hall.
19/07/2310m 49s

Has Starmer become the villain?

Katy Balls speaks to Isabel Hardman and former Labour advisor John McTernan to discuss the ongoing Labour row over the child benefits limit. Reactions were muted during today's shadow cabinet meeting, but is this a reflection of a looming reshuffle?  Produced by Natasha Feroze. 
18/07/2314m 37s

Labour row brews over two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer has said that Labour will not be reversing the two-child benefits cap, after Angela Rayner said it was ‘obscene and inhumane’. But will he continue to back the policy, which allegedly saves the Treasury £1.3 billion, or change his mind in the face of pressure from his shadow front bench?  James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls. Produced by Max Jeffery. 
17/07/2317m 6s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 16/07/23

Keir Starmer sets out his vision and is grilled on specifics. He claims Labour's green plans have not been delayed. Business Secretary and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch talks about the new trans-pacific trade deal, and forthcoming guidance on trans pupils in schools. And Tony Blair says technology is the answer to the country's problems in healthcare and the economy.
16/07/2312m 24s

How do we fix Britain's stagnant economy?

Advanced economies are not seeing the economic growth that they once did, and none more so than the UK where there has been little productivity or real wage growth since 2008. What factors have contributed to this? Which industries will be at the forefront as we chart a path towards a high-growth British future? Kate Andrews speaks to American economist Tyler Cowen, at Civic Future's Great Stagnation Summit in Cambridge.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
15/07/2321m 29s

Will Sunak lose three by-elections in a day?

The Tories are defending three seats next week, and could lose them all. Boris Johnson's old seat, Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Nigel Adams's old seat, Selby and Ainsty, and David Warburton's old seat, Somerton and Frome, are all being contested. How are the Tories trying to win back voters? And is it wise of Rishi Sunak to, as is rumoured he's going to, do a reshuffle straight after the results come in? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Max Jeffery. 
14/07/2313m 41s

Is the public sector pay offer all it seems?

It looks like the summer could be about to get a whole lot easier after the government announced that millions of public sector workers will get a pay rise between 5 and 7 per cent. In a press conference this afternoon, Rishi said this was the governments 'final offer' and the result of consultation independent pay review bodies. So far, the four teachers unions have announced that they will put the offer to their members, but will the junior doctors follow suit? How are the government planning to pay for this?  Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
13/07/2312m 33s

Illegal Migration Bill survives mammoth voting session

Tory whips will be smiling today after a mammoth three and a half hour voting session on amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill last night. All the amendments put down by the House of Lords were defeated by the government across 18 divisions. Are Rishi's hopes of stopping the boats still alive? Where do Labour stand on the bill?  James Heale speaks to Stephen Bush and Katy Balls.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson.
12/07/2312m 11s

What does Starmer's Labour stand for?

It has been a mixed start to the week for Labour. Rachel Reeves has been criticised for 'following the same tram lines' as the Tories on spending. Meanwhile, Starmer has been boosted by the decision taken by Unite – one of the UK’s biggest unions – to retain close ties with the Labour Party. Do they have a raft of transformative policies that will deliver change? Is the relationship between Labour and the unions as rosy as the Unite vote suggests?    Also today, the Nato summit in Vilnius is underway and the mood seems optimistic after Erdogan agreed to support Sweden's membership bid. What can we expect from the summit?   Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and John McTernan, former political secretary to Tony Blair.     Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
11/07/2315m 39s

Are Biden and Sunak really 'rock solid'?

Joe Biden was in London today to meet with Rishi Sunak. The pair had discussions in No. 10, and Biden described US-UK relations as ‘rock solid’. But the pair have recently had disagreements about who the next Nato secretary general should be, and about whether the West should send cluster munitions to Ukraine – so is the relationship really so rosy? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Freddy Gray. Produced by Max Jeffery.
10/07/239m 32s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 09/07/23

Allegations involving the sexual misconduct of a BBC presenter. The US agrees to supply cluster bombs to Ukraine. The Conservative view on UK debt and tax cuts. Labour's plans for housing. And John Kerry speaks about the need for cooperation on climate policy. 
09/07/2317m 54s

Humza Yousaf's first 100 days

James Heale speaks to John Ferry and Iain Macwhirter about Humza Yousaf's first 100 days in Holyrood. Plagued by Sturgeon's arrest, does the Scottish First Minister's future look bright?
08/07/2319m 51s

Was booting Boris a mistake?

It is one year since Boris Johnson announced his resignation as prime minister. That day, Labour held an 11 point lead in the polls but new YouGov polling today indicates that gap has widened to 25 points. Is there any hope the Tories can turn it around? What if Boris had stayed? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
07/07/2314m 30s

Chris Pincher’s suspension spells more trouble for Rishi Sunak

A year on from allegations that Chris Pincher groped two young men at the Carlton Club (allegations that ultimately triggered the downfall of Boris Johnson), Parliament's standards watchdog has now found that Pincher brought the House into disrepute and recommended an eight-week suspension. On the podcast, Isabel Hardman says that this makes a by-election in his constituency of Tamworth a question of when, not if. But even worse for the Conservative party, their newly-selected candidate in that constituency is the current MP of another constituency. Cindy Yu talks to Isabel and Katy Balls about the mess that CCHQ finds itself in now. Produced by Cindy Yu.
06/07/2313m 42s

Did the NHS need a service at Westminster Abbey?

The NHS marks its 75th anniversary today, and in Westminster, both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer attended a service at Westminster Abbey in honour of the organisation. James Heale talks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews about why there was a church service for the NHS and whether Rishi Sunak's time would have been better spent at Prime Minister's Questions. Produced by Cindy Yu.
05/07/2314m 6s

Rishi Sunak’s Tory approval ratings turn negative

Rishi Sunak’s personal approval rating among Tory members has turned negative for the first time in his premiership. Why is the Prime Minister becoming more unpopular in his party? Should he be worried about internal dissent?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews. Produced by Max Jeffery.
04/07/2311m 41s

Who are the New Conservatives?

A group of 25 Tory MPs, calling themselves the New Conservatives, have launched a plan that they say will cut net migration from 606,000, last year's figure, to 226,000, the figure in 2019. Temporary visa schemes for care workers should be shut, the 'skilled work' salary threshold raised, and the number of refugees accepted into the UK capped. Who is in the group, and what do they want?  James Heale speaks to Isabel Hardman and Katy Balls. Produced by Max Jeffery.
03/07/2310m 15s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 02/07/23

The government unveils its plans for the future of the NHS. But its progress on the healthcare problems of today is called into question. Can the NHS withstand the pressure that today's society places on it? How would Labour deal with teacher union negotiations? And do public sector pay rises cause inflation? Plus, an interview with the first woman to be sent on a mission around the moon.
02/07/2313m 22s

Why is the NHS in such a bad way?

Next week is the NHS's 75th birthday. Why is the health service in such a poor state? Are the Tories selling it off? And is there any hope for its future? Max Jeffery speaks to Kate Andrews and Isabel Hardman.
01/07/2327m 12s

Does Zac Goldsmith's resignation matter?

Zac Goldsmith has resigned as a minister, and says he quit because Rishi Sunak is 'simply uninterested' in the environment. It comes a day after Goldsmith was named by the Privileges Committee as one of 10 Tories who organised a campaign to undermine the Partygate inquiry. How much will Goldsmith’s resignation hurt the government?  James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.  Produced by Max Jeffery.
30/06/2311m 15s

Is Rishi's Rwanda plan dead?

It never rains but it pours for Rishi Sunak, as the Court of Appeal has today ruled against his Rwanda plan, raising concerns about the safety of asylum seekers. It now looks as though Rishi could be set to fail in all five of his pledges. Is the prime minister heading for embarrassment?  Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
29/06/2311m 47s

Korski drops out after groping claims. Now what?

Daniel Korski, the former David Cameron aide who was standing to be the Conservative candidate for London mayor, has dropped out of the race after a woman claimed he groped her in a meeting in 2013. Korski had won the support of a number of high-profile Tory MPs, and was seen as the likely candidate to face Sadiq Khan in next year's mayoral election. With only two people left in the race, will the Conservatives reopen nominations? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Max Jeffery.
28/06/2310m 54s

What happened at Hancock’s Covid grilling?

Matt Hancock gave evidence at the Covid inquiry today. The former health secretary said that ‘the doctrine was wrong’, care home preparation was ‘terrible’ and improper planning was an ‘absolute tragedy’. But why was it accepted that harsher lockdowns would’ve helped?  Max Jeffery speaks to Isabel Oakeshott and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Max Jeffery.
27/06/2317m 15s

Is the economy wearing Rishi Sunak down?

As mortgage rates surge and a new Opinium poll finds Labour’s lead has jumped to 18 points, Rishi Sunak appeared on Laura Kuenssberg’s BBC show to insist that his plan is the right one. But was his slightly cranky reaction to some of the questions a reflection of how the party is really feeling about its future? Katy Balls speaks to Isabel Hardman and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Natasha Feroze.
26/06/2310m 5s

The Wagner coup: what we know so far

Fraser Nelson is joined by Svitlana Morenets and Mark Galeotti as Vladimir Putin faces an armed insurrection from the Wagner mercenary group – what could happen next?
24/06/2313m 32s

The case for capitalism

Kate Andrews is joined by Fraser Nelson and Johan Norberg, author of The Capitalist Manifesto: why the global free market will save the world. On the podcast Johan talks about its why lockdown societies never worked; whether he finds the word capitalism useful and his endless optimism for a better future. 
24/06/2327m 22s

Do Brits regret Brexit?

Today is the seven years' anniversary of the Brexit referendum, and new polls find that a majority of Brits would prefer a closer relationship with the EU, or rejoining the European Union altogether. Can Labour capitalise on this? Cindy Yu talks to James Heale and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Cindy Yu.
23/06/2311m 14s

Shock as interest rates hiked to 5 per cent

James Heale speaks to Isabel Hardman and Kate Andrews as the Bank of England announced it has hiked interest rates to 5 per cent. Faced with inflation, a looming mortgage crisis and personal debt, Rishi Sunak said today he is '100 per cent on it'. But can he turn things around? Produced by Natasha Feroze. 
22/06/2311m 32s

Could Britain turn into a stagflation nation?

Natasha Feroze speaks to Kate Andrews and Katy Balls about today's inflation figures, stuck at 8.7 per cent despite predictions it would fall. As a flagship policy of Rishi Sunak's to half inflation, what options does the Prime Minister have?
21/06/2310m 26s

Parliament votes to ban Boris

In last night's vote on the Privileges Committee's report into whether Boris Johnson misled parliament, just six MPs backed the former prime minister. What's the reaction in Westminster today?  Also on the podcast, after shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves rowed back on Labour's £28bn green projects pledge, why are both parties in such a mess on energy? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
20/06/239m 11s

How bad is the mortgage time bomb?

Katy Balls speaks to Kate Andrews and Fraser Nelson about the developments in the mortgage markets and how Tory MPs are expected to vote on Partygate.
19/06/2311m 15s

Will Ulez be the undoing of Sadiq Khan?

In his politics column for The Spectator this week James Heale profiles the three candidates that the Tories have shortlisted for London mayor. With the seventh London mayoral election coming up, can the Tories capitalise on Sadiq Khan's declining popularity recently, and offer some answers in the ongoing Ulez debate? Cindy Yu speaks to James Heale and Dave Hill the former Guardian London commentator who now runs the website On London.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson.
17/06/2314m 28s

How will MPs vote on the Partygate report?

The release of The Privileges Committee's report into whether Boris Johnson knowingly misled parliament has caused a war of words in the press. Several MPs have announced that they will vote against the report when it comes to House of Commons on Monday. What's the latest?  Also on the podcast, Boris Johnson is expected to be announced as the Mail's 'erudite' new columnist in tomorrow's edition. Does Johnson need a political office in order to cause trouble?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
16/06/2310m 12s

How damning is the Privileges Committee's report?

We have finally got the results of the Privileges Committee's report into whether Boris Johnson deliberately misled parliament, and it doesn't make for comfortable reading for the former prime minister. The 30,000-word document finds that he committed multiple contempts of parliament, including deliberately misleading the house, deliberately misleading the committee, breaching confidence, impugning the committee and the democratic process of the house and ‘being complicit in the campaign of abuse and attempted intimidation of the committee’. What will these findings mean for Boris? And what has the reaction been in parliament?    Katy Balls speaks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale.     Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson.
15/06/2310m 42s

Nadine's revenge

Having said she'll step down, Nadine Dorries has now said that she won't formally resign as an MP until later this year... It's hard to see this as anything other than revenge taken on Rishi Sunak, so as to prolong the by-election pain, Katy Balls says. Cindy Yu also talks to Kate Andrews about the economic pain in the country at the moment – from lacklustre GDP growth to rising mortgage rates. Produced by Cindy Yu.
14/06/2312m 34s

Are 'sinister forces' conspiring against Nadine Dorries?

Nadine Dorries has hit out on various platforms saying that 'sinister forces' stopped her from receiving her peerage, as promised to her by former prime minister Boris Johnson. This has been met by a strong rebuke from Number 10, but do Boris and Dorries have grounds to feel aggrieved? Also on the podcast, tomorrow we will learn the Privileges Committee's findings on whether Boris Johnson knowingly misled the House. What should we expect?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
13/06/2312m 31s

Sunak comes out fighting over Boris honours row

This morning Rishi Sunak has delivered a direct rebuke of Boris Johnson over the resignation honours row, during an interview at London Tech Week. Is this the Prime Minister going into fighting mode? Do his comments go some way towards heading off a Johnson-led rebellion?  Also on the podcast, Nicola Sturgeon was released from custody yesterday evening after seven hours of questioning. What's the latest? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson.
12/06/2311m 25s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup

Boris Johnson's resignation provokes contrasting reactions. The honours system is called into question. Nigel Farage claims an insurgency could be on the cards. And Humza Yousaf says he will achieve Scottish independence.
11/06/239m 44s

Nicola Sturgeon arrested in SNP finance investigation

Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested in connection with the probe into SNP finances. A spokesperson for Nicola Sturgeon confirmed: ‘Nicola Sturgeon has today, Sunday 11th June, by arrangement with Police Scotland, attended an interview where she was to be arrested and questioned in relation to Operation Branchform. Nicola has consistently said she would co-operate with the investigation if asked and continues to do so.’ Katy Balls, Fraser Nelson and Iain Macwhirter discuss.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
11/06/2313m 54s

What's behind Labour's green U-turn?

Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and former Labour advisor John McTernan about Labour's announcement that they are watering down their green investment pledge. Is Labour in trouble over this U-turn? And could this be seen as a change in strategy for the party? Produced by Natasha Feroze 
10/06/2314m 10s

Is this the end of Boris Johnson?

Kate Andrews, Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson react to the news that Boris Johnson has decided to stand down as an MP. Will the former Prime Minister go quietly? Produced by Natasha Feroze.
10/06/2319m 22s

Is Boris's honours list a lesson in cronyism?

Boris Johnson has published his resignation honours list, proposing a number of supporters, long time loyalists and even young staffers to be given peerages and honours. But is this an abuse of a system which should, instead, be about rewarding people for their public service? Cindy Yu talks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls. Produced by Cindy Yu.
09/06/2311m 6s

How far can the Green Party go without Caroline Lucas?

The Green Party's first and only MP, Caroline Lucas, has announced today that she'll be stepping down at the next election. On the episode, Katy Balls talks with Isabel Hardman and Fraser Nelson about Lucas's achievements and what it's like to be the sole MP of your party in a parliamentary system like ours. Produced by Cindy Yu.
08/06/2312m 21s

Should Rishi be worried about Covid inquiry messages?

It was prime ministers questions today and while Rishi Sunak is away in the US Oliver Dowden stood in. The Covid inquiry was a hot topic of debate. Rishi Sunak says he is not worried about being embarrassed by messages seen by the inquiry, but is he right to be so calm?  Also on the podcast, the OECD has forecasted that the UK will narrowly avoid recession. But with growth at only 0.3 per cent for 2023, can we consider this a good outcome? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
07/06/2312m 20s

Can Sunak and Biden crack AI regulation?

The Prime Minister will be flying stateside tonight to visit Joe Biden. Top of the agenda will be AI regulation (they may also talk about Ben Wallace's bid to become the next Secretary General of Nato). It's a tricky issue and famously fast moving, so can the two leaders crack it? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Heale. Produced by Cindy Yu.
06/06/2312m 2s

Is Andy Burnham a problem for Starmer?

James Heale is joined by Isabel Hardman and Katy Balls to discuss Rishi Sunak's visit to Dover in a bid to tackle small boats. Also, following a clash between Keir Starmer and members on the left of the party, how much of a problem has Andy Burnham become for the Labour leader?
05/06/2310m 45s

Who will be on the candidates list?

James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Lord Stewart Jackson, regional chairman of the Conservative Democratic Organisation. On the podcast they discuss Labour and the Conservative's candidates selection process and the politics behind it. 
03/06/2313m 49s

Is the government heading for a court defeat?

The Cabinet Office has officially triggered a judicial review against the Covid Inquiry – but is this a misstep, if eventually they will lose their legal case against it? On the episode, James Heale talks to Katy Balls and the Institute for Government's Catherine Haddon. Produced by Cindy Yu.
02/06/2314m 0s

When will Pestminster end?

Natasha Feroze speaks to Isabel Hardman and James Heale about Geraint Davies, a Labour MP who has been suspended from the party amid allegations of sexual harassment. Another Pestminster scandal to add to the list, how many more could be out there? Also on the podcast, as Rishi Sunak meets European leaders in Moldova to discuss illegal migration, how has it been received back home with his own party? 
01/06/2310m 34s

Do the Tories really hate 'the Blob'?

Boris Johnson's team today suggested that they would be happy to hand over his WhatsApp messages from during the pandemic to help the Covid enquiry. Why has the civil service got itself in such a muddle over this, and why have the Tories failed to reform Whitehall?  Max Jeffery speaks to James Heale and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Max Jeffery.
31/05/238m 8s

Should Rishi Sunak ban vapes?

Natasha Feroze is joined by James Heale and Fraser Nelson to discuss the Covid inquiry's requested release of Boris Johnson's unredacted Whatsapp messages and diary entries. Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak has spent the day in Kent looking at ways to clamp down unsafe vaping. But he won't go as far as other countries who intend to ban them. 
30/05/2313m 43s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup

The Russian Ambassador has his own opinions about the war in Ukraine. Kuenssberg questions the Health Secretary over the government's pledge to build 40 new hospitals. Debate continues over junior doctors' pay demands. Jonathan Ashworth gives Labour's pitch for creating more jobs for British people. And Andrea Jenkyns comments on the recent Conservative WhatsApp messages leak.
28/05/2313m 38s

What's wrong with lots of immigration?

This week's net migration figures were lower than expected, but still far higher than the 'tens of thousands' first promised by David Cameron. What's gone so wrong, and what's the downside of using immigration to boost economic growth? Fraser Nelson speaks to Damian Green, the Conservative MP and former immigration minister, and James Kirkup, a Spectator regular who runs the Social Market Foundation. 
27/05/2317m 45s

Why are borrowing costs surging?

James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews about the news that borrowing costs are back to being the highest since last Autumn. Are markets responding to another interest rate hike? What could this mean for the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt?
26/05/2312m 46s

What's behind the latest migration figures?

James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Robert Colvile from the Centre for Policy Studies about today's migration figures, which hit a record high yet still came in lower than expected.
25/05/2315m 13s

Are the Tories addicted to psychodrama?

Isabel Hardman speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews about the ongoing case of Suella Braverman's speeding saga.  And now Boris Johnson has returned to the spotlight over reports he broke more lockdown rules. Does the energy around these stories say something about the culture of Westminster? Also on the podcast, Kate Andrews takes a look at  today's inflation figures. Produced by Natasha Feroze.
24/05/2312m 41s

Is the ministerial code fit for purpose?

Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home joins Katy Balls and James Heale to discuss the most recent victims accused of breaching the ministerial code. The code covers things like telling the truth in Parliament, keeping cabinet discussions secret and not allowing conflicts to arise between public duties and private interests. But is it fit for purpose? Produced by Natasha Feroze.
23/05/2315m 24s

How much trouble is Suella Braverman in?

James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman about how Suella Braverman's speeding scandal might unravel; and what to expect from Keir Starmer's vision to build and NHS fit for the future.
22/05/2314m 13s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Round-up

Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday morning's shows. Suella Braverman is under fire again, with allegations she may have broken the ministerial code. Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey talks about water pollution and energy bills. Liz Kendall outlines Labour's plans for the NHS. And Arnold Schwarzenegger tells governments to get moving on climate policy. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill
21/05/239m 55s

Is Rishi retreating from net zero?

Immigration and the economy are priorities for Rishi Sunak's government. But under Boris Johnson and Theresa May, net zero was also a major policy focus for Conservative governments. Is Sunak as keen on it as his predecessors were?  James Heale speaks to Fraser and Isabel Hardman.
20/05/2310m 54s

What does Rishi want from the G7 in Hiroshima?

Rishi Sunak is in Hiroshima for the G7 summit. President Zelensky has said he'll be making a surprise appearance, and Sunak will be meeting with President Modi on the sidelines. What does Sunak want from the trip?  Max Jeffery speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman.
19/05/2310m 28s

Is Brexit safe under Keir Starmer?

James Heale speaks to Isabel Hardman and Fraser Nelson about Rishi Sunak's response to the impending migration figures and whether Keir Starmer could be the man to 'make Brexit work'.
18/05/238m 54s

Would Starmer really build more houses?

Keir Starmer promised in an interview with the Times today that as prime minister he would back the 'builders not the blockers'. But is it all bluster?  Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.
17/05/2312m 33s

Rishi's ECHR battle at the Council of Europe

The Prime Minister has gone to Iceland today to see the Council of Europe, where he has been talking about immigration and the ECHR with other European leaders. On the episode, Katy Balls explains his mission to get other leaders on board with the UK's hardline approach to immigration. Cindy Yu also talks to James Heale about the second day of the National Conservatism Conference and Michael Gove's recommendation for conservatives. Produced by Cindy Yu.
16/05/2310m 37s

Why did Braverman's immigration speech ruffle feathers?

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said that there is no good reason the UK can't train its own lorry drivers and fruit pickers in order to bring immigration rates down. Katy Balls speaks to James Heale and Isabel Hardman about why this has rubbed some up the wrong way and Keir Starmer's speech over the weekend, outlining Labour's vision for the future. 
15/05/2314m 29s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Round-up

As the Conservative party continues to reel from the local elections results, on the Sunday shows this week Energy Secretary Grant Shapps defended Rishi Sunak's record as party leader, while even Boris Johnson ally Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted that the Conservatives cannot change leaders again. On The Laura Kuenssberg Show, Labour's Jonathan Reynolds hit back at claims that Keir Starmer is a changeable character, while AI engineer Emad Mostaque told the show that the technology could be an existential threat to humanity. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill and Cindy Yu.
14/05/239m 42s

Coffee House Shots Live: Coronation special

The coronation will commemorate the start of a new era, but what will this mean for the United Kingdom? How will Charles III secure his place in history – and what kind of monarch will he be? From pageantry to the polls: will the coronation distract voters from the Tories’ predicted heavy losses in the local elections? And will Rishi Sunak be able to turn his party’s fortunes around for the general election? Fraser Nelson speaks to Katy Balls and special guests Camilla Tominey and Matthew Goodwin for a special edition of Coffee House Shots Live.
13/05/231h 11m

What will boost growth?

The UK economy grew by 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of this year. Jeremy Hunt said that the government needed to 'stay focused on competitive taxes, labour supply and productivity.' Is that enough to improve growth? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
12/05/2311m 0s

Can Kemi brush off the Brexiteers on EU law?

Will Kemi Badenoch, the business and trade secretary, lose her supporters in the ERG, after the government confirmed that it would be going back on its pledge to remove all EU legislation from UK law by the end of 2023? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
11/05/2311m 27s

Can Welby stop the Illegal Migration Bill?

James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush about the Lord's debate on the Illegal Migration Bill. Now in its third reading, will the government face substantive amendments to the legislation?
10/05/2313m 9s

What's the fallout from the local election?

James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman about the fallout from the local elections, some of the arrests made during the Coronation and Rishi Sunak’s plans to give powers to the pharmacies. 
09/05/2315m 11s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Round-up

On today's Sunday shows, the fallout from the local elections dominated. Lucy Frazer defended the Conservative record while Wes Streeting argued that the results didn't rule out a Labour majority in a national election. Isabel Hardman brings you the round-up. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
07/05/2311m 20s

Why is Britain so reliant on immigration?

Is the government using mass immigration to mask failures in the welfare system? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Matthew Goodwin, author of Values, Voice and Virtue.
06/05/2318m 19s

The local elections: are we heading for a 1997 moment?

The local election results so far paint a fairly grim picture for the Conservatives, whilst Labour and the Liberal Democrats have made big gains in key areas. With Starmer in the advantage position ahead of the next general election, how will No. 10 respond? Is there a path for the Tories in 2024?  Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and pollster James Johnson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
05/05/2314m 24s

The local elections: what’s happening?

Early results from the local elections are coming in. The Conservatives were expected to perform badly, and Labour to make gains, and that's certainly happened. But, if Labour were to replicate these results in a general election, would they win? And are the Liberal Democrats the ones really doing well?  Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Max Jeffery.
05/05/2315m 3s

Did the Tories 'kill the dream of homeownership'?

In today's Prime Minister's Questions, Keir Starmer accused the Prime Minister and his party of having 'killed the dream of homeownership'. With news this week that Rishi Sunak is considering reintroducing 'Help to Buy' while Michael Gove is sued for blocking a new housing development in Kent, does Starmer actually have a point? Katy Balls talks to Kate Andrews and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Cindy Yu.
03/05/2311m 14s

Could Sue Gray-gate backfire on Keir Starmer?

The Cabinet Office has published its written statement into the resignation of Sue Gray, stating that it has given a 'confidential assessment' to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) about whether she broke civil service rules in taking up a job from Keir Starmer while still a senior civil servant. On the episode, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and the UK In A Changing Europe's Jill Rutter, who is also a former civil servant, about the implications for the civil service if Gray is found to have broken the rules. Produced by Cindy Yu.
02/05/2317m 18s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Round-up – 30/04/23

Isabel Hardman hosts highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Today's shows looked ahead to next week's local elections, with both parties keen to manage expectations. The Green Party's Adrian Ramsey was questioned on the party's stance on local solar initiatives and the government's new AI advisor Matt Clifford explained what the £100 million new AI fund would be used for. Produced Joe Bedell-Brill.
30/04/2311m 23s

How bad will the local elections be for Rishi?

The Tories are preparing for a drubbing in the local elections next week. But just how bad will they be? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and John Curtice.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Max Jeffery.
29/04/2316m 19s

Sharp quits, what next?

Richard Sharp has quit as chairman of the BBC, following an investigation into whether he properly disclosed his role in enabling an £800,000 loan to Boris Johnson before his appointment. What will happen next?  Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Max Jeffery.
28/04/2311m 25s

Could nurses still back Barclay’s pay offer?

A judge has ruled that strikes by the Royal College of Nursing be cut short by a day, because the six-month mandate for strike action will have passed. Two more unions are still to vote on Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s pay offer. If they support it, could the RCN change their mind on the deal?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Max Jeffery.
27/04/2310m 30s

Will Xi really bring peace to Ukraine?

Xi Jinping said he will send diplomats to help broker peace in Ukraine after he had a phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky. But are China’s aims really as noble as they seem? Fraser Nelson speaks to Isabel Hardman, Svitlana Morenets and Cindy Yu. 
26/04/2311m 21s

How did Beattie miss a £100,000 motorhome?

Colin Beattie, the SNP’s former treasurer, said today that he ‘didn't know’ about the party’s purchase of a motorhome worth £100,000, the vehicle at the centre of an ongoing police probe into SNP finances. What’s going on? And as the military begins to evacuate British citizens from Sudan, did the Foreign Office react fast enough?  James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.
25/04/2310m 12s

Could Diane Abbott return to Labour?

Katy Balls, Fraser Nelson and Isabel Hardman discuss Diane Abbott's suspension from the Labour party. Given her hasty apology, could Keir Starmer allow such a key figure to Labour's left back into the party? Also on the podcast, what has been the fallout from Dominic Raab's resignation? And how is Rishi Sunak trying to woo business leaders? Produced by Natasha Feroze. 
24/04/2316m 41s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Round-up – 23/04/23

Isabel Hardman hosts highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Today's shows focussed heavily on Dominic Raab's resignation from Rishi Sunak's government. Whilst new deputy PM Oliver Dowden described Raab as a 'man of his word', Labour's Jonathan Ashworth was less flattering, calling him: 'Not just a bullying minister, a failing minister'. Education was also a hot topic. In the aftermath of the tragic death of headteacher Ruth Perry, questions have arisen over whether Ofsted is a positive influence on the sector.  Produced Joe Bedell-Brill.
23/04/2311m 17s

Why is the Troubles being glorified now?

As world leaders gathered to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, is violence glorified when it comes to remembering the Troubles? John Connolly speaks to Spectator columnist Douglas Murray and former DUP leader Arlene Foster. This episode can be watched in full on Spectator TV's Week in 60 Minutes. 
22/04/2319m 13s

Dominic Raab resigns over bullying report

This morning Dominic Raab has resigned from Rishi Sunak's government following the findings of an investigation into bullying claims against him. Raab has been one of Sunak's closest allies, serving as deputy PM and justice secretary. Where does this leave the prime minister?  Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson.
21/04/239m 28s

Does Raab have to go?

Today was meant to be judgement day for Dominic Raab as we learnt the outcome of Adam Tolley's investigation into historic bullying claims made against the deputy PM. His fate now rests squarely in Rishi Sunak's hands. Will he resign?  Also on the podcast, there have been a couple of amendments tabled today on the Conservative's Illegal Migration Bill, will these changes placate the rebels? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
20/04/2310m 22s

Is Keir Starmer soft on crime?

Prime Minister's Questions was a punchy affair today. Rishi Sunak fought back against accusations that the Conservatives have failed on tackling crime, calling Keir Starmer 'Sir Softy' to turn the attack back around on Starmer, for his track record as the Director of Public Prosecutions. But was it an effective attack? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews. Produced by Cindy Yu.
19/04/2314m 48s

How much does the investigation into Sunak matter?

The investigation into Rishi Sunak leads several papers today, but how much does it really matter? On the episode, James Heale talks to Katy Balls and Conservative Home editor Paul Goodman about why the episode is unlikely to hurt Sunak in the long run. They also discuss the coming report on Dominic Raab's alleged workplace bullying and the centenary of the 1922 committee. Produced by Cindy Yu.
18/04/2314m 12s

Coffee House Scots: can Humza save the SNP after treasurer's arrest?

The arrest of the SNP's treasurer Colin Beattie in relation to the probe into the party's finances has overshadowed Humza Yousaf's relaunch speech scheduled for today. Beattie has been taken into custody two weeks after Peter Murrell, the SNP's chief executive, was questioned by police regarding loans made in June 2021. Can Yousaf distance himself from the chaos in his own party? What does this mean for Scottish Labour's chances at the next election?     Michael Simmons speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Daisley.     Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
18/04/239m 27s

Does Sunak's maths plan add up?

Parliament is back from the Easter break and Rishi Sunak has taken the opportunity to reiterate his commitment to improving maths literacy in the country. Listeners will remember that the plan to make maths compulsory until 18 was first announced in Rishi's new year's speech along with his five priorities. Why is maths provision so important to him? Also on the podcast, with local elections on the horizon, how does Tory campaigning shape up against Labour's new tactics?  Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Isabel Hardman.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 
17/04/2310m 17s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup – 16/04/23

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. This morning’s shows heavily focussed on the crisis in the NHS, after the Royal College of Nursing voted against the government’s pay deal, meaning further strike action. Pat Cullen says the strikes could last as long as Christmas. Conservative Party Chair, Greg Hands disagrees and says the deal is a 'very reasonable offer'. In an interview with Wes Streeting, the Shadow Health Secretary says he is deeply worried about patient safety.
16/04/2310m 38s

What junior doctors really earn

Striking junior doctors are demanding a 35 per cent pay rise. Is that realistic? And are junior doctors really underpaid? Lucy Dunn is joined by economics editor Kate Andrews and Spectator contributor James Kirkup.
15/04/2315m 41s

Are Suella Braverman's critics right?

Home Secretary, Suella Braverman has come under fire from senior Conservatives who have accused her of 'racist rhetoric', but are these accusations fair? Also on the podcast, Katy Balls takes a look at the latest deal on strikes and Natasha Feroze asks Fraser Nelson why he's against voters bringing ID for the May local elections. 
14/04/2311m 47s

Is Starmer worried about Sunak?

Fraser Nelson speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush from the Financial Times about the two party leaders as Britain starts to think about the next year's general election. As Labour's lead in the polls narrows, is their campaigning strategy working? And how is a fractious Conservative party responding to having Rishi Sunak as their leader? Produced by Natasha Feroze.
13/04/2322m 42s

Rishi meets Biden: bi-latte or bi-lateral?

James Heale is joined by Katy Balls and Talk Radio political editor, Peter Cardwell who has been in Belfast for Biden's state visit. A symbolic time as Northern Ireland marks the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Given the President's proud Irish roots and vocal criticism of former Prime Ministers, was Rishi Sunak able to thaw the special relationship?
12/04/2314m 55s

Will public support for junior doctors wane?

On the day that junior doctors begin a four-day strike over pay and working conditions, Lucy Dunn, The Spectator's social media editor and qualified doctor speaks to Kate Andrews and Fraser Nelson. Will public support for the strikes turn if patient safety is put at risk? Also on the podcast, Kate takes a look at the latest IMF forecast for the UK. 
11/04/2317m 37s

Is Labour using Dominic Cummings's tactics?

Today Keir Starmer has doubled down on Labour Party adverts attacking the Conservative's record on crime, and which seemingly accuse Rishi Sunak of not caring about child sex abuse. But is everyone in the party willing to play hardball? Or have the adverts highlighted divisions between senior Labour MPs?  Also on the podcast, after Peter Murrell was arrested in connection with an investigation into the SNP's finances, why has a luxury motorhome now been seized by police? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Michael Simmons.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
10/04/239m 13s

Why don't Brits love Starmer?

Rishi Sunak's personal poll ratings are on the up, by why don't the public love Starmer? We talk through the latest polling. And Mark Spencer, now the farming minister, has been cleared by an investigation into whether he made Islamophobic investigations to fellow Tory MP Nus Ghani. Is the row over?  Max Jeffery is joined by James Heale and James Johnson, the co-founder of polling firm JL Partners. Produced by Max Jeffery.
06/04/2311m 3s

The arrest of Peter Murrell

Nicola Sturgeon's husband, Peter Murrell, has been arrested today in connection with an investigation into the SNP’s finances. James Heale talks to Fraser Nelson and Conservative Home editor Paul Goodman on the episode. They also discuss Trump's arrest and ask whether Suella Braverman might need a new seat. Produced by Cindy Yu.
05/04/2315m 45s

What can we learn from Nigel Lawson?

Nigel Lawson, former chancellor and Spectator editor, passed away yesterday aged 91. How did he affect conservative economic thinking? And have the lessons from his time in the Treasury been properly learnt? James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Lucy Fisher. Produced by Max Jeffery. 
04/04/2315m 55s

Channel crossings have fallen. Why?

Channel crossings were down 17 per cent in the first three months of 2023, compared with 2022. Why? And a new poll of Tory members from Conservative Home shows Rishi Sunak jump from being the sixth least popular member of the cabinet in November, to being the sixth most popular member member today. Does it matter?  Max Jeffery speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.  Produced by Max Jeffery.
03/04/2314m 20s

Sunday shows round-up: Braverman blames 'cultural sensitivities' for grooming scandal

Katy Balls hosts the highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. The Home Secretary Suella Braverman stands by her Rwanda immigration policy despite evidence refugees were shot by police there in 2018. Business representatives Minette Batters and Murray Lambell argue immigration needs to go up, not down. Braverman and Labour’s Lisa Nandy clash over who is to blame for a lack of action over child sexual exploitation. And Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn suggests AI might represent an existential threat to humanity. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill and Cindy Yu.
02/04/2311m 55s

Have US-UK relations improved with Rishi Sunak?

Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Freddy Gray about Biden's upcoming visit to the UK. Given the President's proud Irish roots, how much will he try throw his weight around on Brexit? And how worried are the Democrats about Trump's indictment?
01/04/2310m 26s

Does CPTPP make it harder to reverse Brexit?

Britain has agreed to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a £9 trillion trade bloc with 11 members. James Heale, speaks to Katy Balls and a special guest, Alexander Downer about whether this is a win for the government. And what it could mean for those looking to reverse Brexit. 
31/03/2316m 18s

Will the locals be a horror show for Rishi?

The first day of Easter recess is a chance to reflect on the last couple of months in politics and look at the challenges that lie ahead. As Keir Starmer launches his local election campaign in Swindon today, how are the parties going to position themselves for their largest reckoning this year? The polls predict a hammering for Rishi Sunak, and could this be a good result for the Lib Dems? Natasha Feroze speaks to James Heale and Katy Balls. 
30/03/2311m 34s

Was Yousaf wrong to snub Forbes?

Kate Forbes has quit the government after turning down an offer to be rural affairs minister in Humza Yousaf's cabinet. With some suggesting the new First Minister of Scotland should keep his friends close as his enemies closer – was this wise? Also on the podcast, James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson about asylum hotels, a topic that is becoming increasingly contentious as the government explores new ways to house migrants. 
29/03/2311m 14s

Will exiling Corbyn backfire on Starmer?

Labour has voted to block Jeremy Corbyn from running as a Labour candidate in the next general election. For the podcast, Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Gabriel Pogrund who is the Whitehall editor of the Sunday Times about whether this was a fight worth picking for Starmer. Also, given the former Labour leader has had ten consecutive successful campaigns for his seat in Islington North, is he likely to run again as an independent?
28/03/2312m 5s

Coffee House Scots: Humza wins – what's next?

Humza Yousaf has been announced as the new leader of the SNP after a narrow victory over second placed Kate Forbes. What will this mean for the cause of Scottish independence? Katy Balls speaks to Michael Simmons, Stephen Daisley and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
27/03/2311m 24s

How are Tories split on small boats?

Tory party divisions over the small boats policy are starting to appear. Although the bill sailed through its second reading in parliament, now Rishi Sunak is facing amendments to the legislation. Where are the dividing lines? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and James Heale. 
27/03/238m 48s

Sunday shows round-up: MPs caught in sting operation

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. Michael Gove was quizzed by Laura Kuenssberg on the sting operation by Led By Donkeys, which showed five Tory MPs asking for hefty sums on second jobs. He also defended Boris Johnson on partygate and the government's proposed ban on nitrous. Lucy Powell, shadow culture secretary, said that the government was putting the BBC under threat and agreed with the World Athletics Federation's decision to ban trans women from women's sports. Finally, the OBR's Richard Hughes gives his pessimistic take on the economy. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
26/03/2314m 16s

Is it time to stop changing the clocks?

On this special Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots, The Spectator’s James Heale, journalist Peter Hitchens and the IEA’s Christopher Snowdon argue the cases for and against daylight saving time. Are we all being needlessly robbed of an hour in bed? Or should we lighten up and embrace the longer days?  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
25/03/2314m 37s

What's going on in France?

This morning Buckingham Palace has announced that King Charles's State visit to France has been cancelled as the country struggles with nationwide strikes against the government's pension reform. The King was due to visit Paris and Bordeaux, two of the cities which have been hit by the most extreme violence. Will his trip to Germany go ahead as planned?  Also on the podcast, Rishi Sunak has been buoyed by a successful week in which he pulled off his Brexit plan. Will he be able to weather the storm next week when small boats are back on the agenda? Is there a world in which Sunak could pull off an election victory? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
24/03/2315m 32s

What's behind Starmer's trans U-turn?

Keir Starmer today seemed to change his party's stance on self-identification for transgender people. Before, Starmer said Labour would update the Gender Recognition Act so transgender people could self-identify as whatever gender they wanted. Today, he said that 'if you’re going to make reforms, you have to carry the public with you.' What's changed?  Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
23/03/2312m 44s

The trial of Boris Johnson

Today Boris Johnson sat through a grueling four-hour hearing into whether the former Prime Minister deliberately misled parliament. Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson take a look at the key moments of the meeting; and whether Rishi Sunak should be worried about the Brexit vote rebels.
22/03/2320m 21s

Who wants Boris back?

Boris Johnson has today made his defence of partygate, before he is questioned by the Privileges Committee tomorrow. He accepts that he misled the House of Commons, but insists he made his statements ‘in good faith’ and that he ‘would never have dreamed’ of doing so intentionally. But who's going to support him now? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Paul Goodman.
21/03/2317m 46s

Is the DUP's protocol verdict a blow for Sunak?

Ahead of the vote on Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP has said he will not back the key parts of the Windsor Framework. How much could this become a problem for Rishi Sunak? Also on Wednesday, what are the possible outcomes of Boris Johnson’s probe into Partygate? Natasha Feroze, Katy Balls and James Heale take a look at the week ahead. 
20/03/2311m 28s

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup – 19/03/23

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. Oliver Dowden, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, defended it taking so long for the government to come to an agreement with NHS unions over pay; Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, said the government's Rwanda deportation policy was 'unworkable'; and SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes explained how she thinks her party can regain the trust of its members.  Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
19/03/239m 30s

Coffee House Scots: should the SNP be worried about falling membership?

The SNP has confirmed that its membership has fallen to 72,000 – a loss of over 30,000 since 2021. This has prompted an open letter from leadership candidates Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, calling for transparency when it comes to membership numbers. Why are so many leaving?  Also on the podcast, Humza Yousaf has committed yet another public gaffe when he went to visit a group of female Ukrainian refugees. Is he still the firm favourite?  Katy Balls speaks to Michael Simmons, Lucy Dunn and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
18/03/2311m 12s

Will Boris vote on the NI Protocol?

A look ahead to next week where MPs will vote on parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. What would a win look like for the government? The vote has been conveniently placed on the same day Boris Johnson is already in parliament for the privileges committee hearing. The lone rebel of the protocol will have to put his money where his mouth is – which way will he vote? Natasha Feroze speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls. 
17/03/2310m 59s

Are NHS strikes about to end?

The day after Jeremy Hunt's Spring Budget has been fairly muted compared to recent Budget hangovers. What has been the overall reaction? On the global markets, Kate Andrews looks at the international reaction after Credit Suisse shares fell by more than 30 per cent yesterday. And what's behind the recent breakthrough in negotiations between NHS Unions and Ministers? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews. 
16/03/2310m 42s

Budget special: what did we learn?

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor has unveiled his spring Budget, which was accompanied by forecasts predicting that the UK will avoid recession this year and that inflation will drop to below 3 per cent by the end of the year. But do the measures go far enough? Katy Balls speaks to Kate Andrews and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
15/03/2315m 7s

Coffee House Scots: is the SNP establishment worried by Forbes?

After a tumultuous two weeks, voting is now open for the SNP leadership elections until 27 March. But are members any closer to knowing who they’ll vote for? The deputy first minister of the SNP, John Swinney has backed Humza Yousaf to be SNP leader. What could be seen as an influential endorsement by some, can also be a sign that the Yousaf campaign is worried things are tighter than hoped.  Michael Simmons speaks to Katy Balls and Alex Massie.
14/03/2314m 54s

Has small boats united the Tories?

MPs voted through the second reading of the Illegal Migration bill last night with a 62-vote majority. There was a handful of Tory MPs that abstained from voting but importantly, despite threats of a rebellion, no Conservative MPs voted against it. Seen as an election-winning issue, is this a rare sign of unity from the party? Also on the podcast, Katy Balls and James Heale take a look ahead at the Budget tomorrow. 
14/03/2310m 12s
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