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Coffee House Shots

400 EpisodesProduced by The SpectatorWebsite

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

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What will make young people get vaccinated?

July 26th, 2021

13:20

University students could need to be double-vaccinated if they want to attend lectures or stay in halls, according to reports today. Young people …

Was the government right to delay 'freedom day'?

July 24th, 2021

22:10

It's our first 'freedom' weekend, but it was only a few weeks ago when our own Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews clashed heads over the most sensible …

Could cases have peaked?

July 23rd, 2021

12:36

Daily cases have fallen again today, leading to cautious optimism that - perhaps - cases in this exit wave have peaked. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.

Can No. 10 stem the 'pingdemic'?

July 22nd, 2021

13:00

Today the CBI gave a stern warning that the test and trace app is 'closing down the economy'. Despite this, the government's key workers list - …

Why isn't Starmer properly scrutinising the government?

July 21st, 2021

12:50

On the 80th anniversary of Prime Minister's Questions, viewers were treated to a distinctly lacklustre performance today. James Forsyth argues that Starmer's questions are still too long; and proper scrutiny is not …

How much vaccine coercion will Boris use?

July 20th, 2021

10:47

It's the day after 'freedom' day and it's not entirely clear just how free we are, with the prime minister last night say that from September nightclub goers will have to prove their vaccination status or provide a …

Does it feel like Freedom Day?

July 19th, 2021

12:38

Yesterday in what was the quickest public turnaround in government history. The prime minister and the chancellor are now in isolation after getting …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 18/07/21

July 18th, 2021

13:02

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's interview shows, with Robert Jenrick, Jonathan Ashworth and Professor Neil Ferguson. 

When will restrictions end for good?

July 17th, 2021

20:58

 In our last Coffee House Shots before the so called 'Freedom Day' on Monday, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson share their thoughts on just how free …

What is the point of Starmer's listening tour?

July 16th, 2021

14:19

After a year and a half of Zoom speeches held in empty rooms, opposition leader Keir Starmer is heading out on a listening tour to connect with voters. That may be all well and good, but is anyone listening to him? And …

Is it up to the state to tackle obesity?

July 15th, 2021

20:32

The government has been advised by Henry Dimbleby, founder of LEON food chain, to introduce a new tax on sugary and salty foods. While the Prime Minister has distanced himself away from the proposal, it has caused a …

Have Conservatives lost the culture wars?

July 14th, 2021

12:08

The Prime Minister looked visibly uncomfortable at Prime Minister's Questions today, as Keir Starmer accused him of 'giving racism the green light' with the Conservative party's stance on footballers taking the knee. It …

What does the foreign aid win mean for the government?

July 13th, 2021

11:23

Boris Johnson and his government won the vote today to cut foreign aid spending, but there were rebels and some very prominent ones, including former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former Prime Minister Theresa May. …

Can social media stamp out racist comments?

July 12th, 2021

13:26
The new Health Secretary Sajid Javid addresses the Commons this afternoon ahead of Boris Johnson's 5pm remarks about the lifting of restrictions on …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 11/07/21

July 11th, 2021

12:09

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best bits from Sunday's interview shows. Highlights today come from Nadhim Zadhawi, Kate Green, Professor David Spiegelhalter, General Sir Nick Carter and Raffaella Trombetta. 

What does the NHS look like post pandemic?

July 10th, 2021

16:29
James Forsyth talks to award winning journalist Isabel Hardman about her brand new Spectator podcast Building Back. In it first episode, out now, she looks at current state of the NHS and its ever expanding waiting …

Will masks ever go?

July 9th, 2021

12:34

Polling released yesterday revealed that a surprisingly large minority of the British public support not only just a permanent mask mandate but also …

Will Sunak scrap the pensions triple lock?

July 8th, 2021

11:15

State pensions may rise by 8pc this year due to the Conservative policy of the pensions triple lock. But can the government keep to it, given the …

Boris warned as Tory MPs re-elect Brady

July 7th, 2021

12:42

Tory MPs today re-elected Graham Brady as chair of the 1922 Committee - the group that represents backbench Conservatives to the government. Brady, who has voted against the government's coronavirus laws, was standing …

Javid's lockdown balancing act

July 6th, 2021

11:49

Sajid Javid today said there could be 100,000 Covid cases a day in summer. He said the government would be focusing on hospitalisation and death …

How free will July 19th feel?

July 5th, 2021

12:18

In a bonus Coffee House Shots, James Forsyth and Katy Balls breakdown the announcement from the Prime Minister this evening about the end of Covid …

What to expect from the big bang reopening

July 5th, 2021

13:14

Boris Johnson will announce details of the 19 July reopening later today. According to reports over the weekend, masks will be ditched, social …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 04/07/21

July 4th, 2021

13:22

Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's political shows, which today featured Robert Jenrick, Rachel Reeves and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. 

What comes after 19 July?

July 3rd, 2021

17:16

Life might feel normal when nightclubs reopen and masks are tossed aside, but worries about unemployment and inflation will persist. What will happen …

What should Keir Starmer do with the Batley and Spen win?

July 2nd, 2021

12:12

In an extremely close race Labour candidate and sister to the late Jo Cox Kim Leadbeater has won her by-election with a majority of just 323. What will the opposition do with this narrow but note worthy win? And is it …

What happens if Starmer loses Batley and Spen?

July 1st, 2021

12:16

Reports emerged overnight that Angela Rayner's allies are ready to mount a leadership challenge if Keir Starmer loses Batley and Spen tomorrow. What will happen if the Tories win another Labour heartland seat? James …

Was that Starmer's best PMQ's so far?

June 30th, 2021

10:42

Katy Balls and James Forsyth dissect the back and forth from today's session in the House of Commons. Does Boris really think he can sell his 'I fired Matt Hancock' story? 

What's happening in Batley and Spen?

June 29th, 2021

17:26

A bizarre flourish of tactics are on display in the run up to the Batley and Spen by-election. And are we already feeling the new Health Secretary's influence? To discuss, Fraser Nelson is joined by James Forsyth and …

Will Javid handle Covid differently?

June 28th, 2021

10:49

It's Sajid Javid's first day in the office as health secretary. The former chancellor's comments last year that he would 'run the economy hot' have …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 27/06/21

June 27th, 2021

11:51

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best from Sunday's political shows. Highlights come from Brandon Lewis, Lucy Powell, Sadiq Khan and Dr Chaand Nagpaul. 

Hancock out, Javid in

June 26th, 2021

13:49

Matt Hancock has resigned as health secretary this evening following this week's scandal and his replacement has already been appointed: former …

Westminster sex scandals: Why do we care?

June 26th, 2021

23:57

Cindy Yu talks to Fraser Nelson and Guido Fawkes blogger Paul Staines about the Matt Hancock revelations and how reporting on sex scandals has …

Is Hancock's position under threat?

June 25th, 2021

14:02

The Sun broke the news this morning that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has seemingly been up to some extra-marital exploits with his aide Gina …

Will Brits be welcomed abroad this summer?

June 24th, 2021

10:24
Daily new cases are just under 17,000 today, and Angela Merkel has advised other EU leaders to make British tourists quarantine upon entry to the bloc. So even if the British government allows a more liberal green list, …

Five years later will we ever truly move on from Brexit?

June 23rd, 2021

13:28

It's the five year anniversary of when the UK decided to leave the European Union and while the opposition are looking to try and put the referendum behind them, the government still seems keen to put any UK success …

Who's being hurt by 'white privilege'?

June 22nd, 2021

14:07

While Labour are shuffling people round yet again and the DUP are getting ready to welcome in their third leader in less than a month, a new report seems to show that in education, the group seemingly most negatively …

What's the plan for planning reform?

June 21st, 2021

12:48

With the Conservatives still taking stock after their loss in the recent by-election, it seems the governments ambitions for planning reform are now …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 20/06/21

June 20th, 2021

11:55

Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's interview shows. Today's guests included John Bercow, Robert Buckland, Andy Burnham, Sir Ed Davey and Steve Reed. 

Will Boris Johnson face more southern rebels?

June 19th, 2021

18:09
The surprise result of Friday's Chesham and Amersham by-election has led to questions over why the Conservative lost just so badly - and why no one …

How do you explain the Lib Dems' stunning victory?

June 18th, 2021

11:35

In a political upset the Liberal Democrats have won the by-election in 
Chesham and Amersham in a massive poll swing from the Tories. And in other …

How much trouble is the DUP in?

June 17th, 2021

12:41

New DUP leader Edwin Poots faces his first challenge today as he tries to push through a controversial candidate for First Minister. How much trouble is the party in, just weeks after the ousting of Arlene Foster? …

Is Matt Hancock Hopeless?

June 16th, 2021

13:12

Another day another Dom Bomb. In Cummings latest release, a number of WhatsApp messages reveal communications between himself and the Prime Minister, with the latter describing the health secretary Matt Hancock's …

Will the Australia trade deal really make a difference?

June 15th, 2021

16:57

The government has agreed its first post-Brexit bespoke trade deal. But the agreement with Australia has already caused consternation among Conservative MPs about the potential competition from Australian farmers. Are …

How long will political and public patience last?

June 14th, 2021

10:43

It seems Freedom Day is no longer June 21st. The writing was clearly on the wall this morning, but now the Prime Minister has officially told the …

How can Boris justify delay?

June 14th, 2021

17:56

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a delay to reopening later today. How will the Prime Minister make his case, and will his backbenchers support him? Separately, world leaders bumped elbows over the weekend at the …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 13/06/21

June 13th, 2021

9:22

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political shows. Featured today are Dominic Raab, Gordon Brown, Emily Thornberry, Micheál Martin …

Should we delay 21 June?

June 12th, 2021

30:14

On Monday, the Prime Minister will announce whether the 21 June unlocking is to go ahead. Because of the increased transmissibility of the Indian Covid variant, cases in the UK are continuing to rise. Does it make sense …

Can the G7 beat Russia and China's vaccine diplomacy?

June 11th, 2021

10:22

As the G7 rolls on and the world leaders learn where their peers stand on certain issues post Covid, the wealthy western nations need to decide how …

Could Brexit scupper the G7?

June 10th, 2021

13:38

The long-anticipated G7 meeting in Cornwall has got off to a rocky start today, as it transpired that the US had lodged a 'demarché' - a diplomatic …

Are Brexit talks back to the bad old days?

June 9th, 2021

10:04

Today, talks between David Frost and the EU's negotiator Maroš Šefčovič ended with little agreement about how to move forward on the Northern Ireland …

Is the foreign aid row a sign of things to come?

June 8th, 2021

13:18

Though the amendment on foreign aid was not selected by the Speaker yesterday, the row over the budget cut is not over yet. Today MPs will have an …

How much trouble is the government in over foreign aid?

June 7th, 2021

12:56

After the government cut the UK's foreign aid budget a group of rebellious Tory MPs bound together to try and reverse the decision, will it come to a …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 06/06/21

June 6th, 2021

13:53

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday;s political programmes. Interviewees today include Matt Hancock, Lisa Nandy, Kate Green, Tony Blair …

What can the west do about China?

June 5th, 2021

14:20

As China changes its two child policy to a three child policy over fears of population decline, the west is also having to regularly change its …

Can Rishi Sunak get the G7 on side?

June 4th, 2021

13:08

With the G7 looming the range of subjects on the agenda is vast. One of the first items up is the proposal of a global corporate tax rate which President Joe Biden has already endorsed. But how will the first meeting of …

Could travel this summer be stricter than last?

June 3rd, 2021

9:49

It's been a stressful day for those who've booked foreign holidays, as the government updated the latest countries on its various coloured travel …

Is £1.4 billion enough for schools?

June 2nd, 2021

12:51

The government's education tsar Kevan Collins resigned this afternoon, saying that the £1.4 billion pledged by the government for schools is only a …

What difference does a wedding make?

June 1st, 2021

11:50

Now officially in June, the significance of the 21st seems even greater for the country, but with the Indian variant still on the rise how safe is the date? And a glorious weekend of weather for the Prime Minister's …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 30/05/21

May 30th, 2021

13:39

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political interviews. Guests today included Nadhim Zadhawi, Mike Padgham, Edwin Poots, Maroš …

Will the DUP lose ground under Edwin Poots?

May 29th, 2021

11:26

This week Edwin Poots was formally endorsed as the DUP's new leader, in a meeting which Arlene Foster, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (Poots's rival in the …

Will Hancock cling on?

May 28th, 2021

13:46
Matt Hancock defended his position at a Downing Street press conference yesterday. He told journalists that, by his 'recollection of events', he told …

Will Hancock hit back?

May 27th, 2021

10:36

After the hanger full of Dom bombs that were dropped in yesterday's epic seven hour hearing, health secretary Matt Hancock got a sizeable chunk of …

What we learnt from the Cummings evidence

May 26th, 2021

16:58

From accusing Matt Hancock of criminal incompetence, to lifting the lid on the true nature of his relationship with Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings's evidence was nothing short of explosive. Katy Balls talks to Isabel …

How damaging is the Tory Islamophobia report?

May 25th, 2021

10:48
Islamophobia 'remains a problem' in the Conservative party, a report has found. Professor Swaran Singh, who analysed more than a thousand complaints of misconduct for his investigation, said that some Tories needed a …

What will Dominic Cummings say?

May 24th, 2021

9:30
When Dominic Cummings appears in front of a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, the former aide is expected to attack Whitehall's institutional structure, a lack of government transparency in the pandemic, and the …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 23/05/21

May 23rd, 2021

13:04

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political shows. Featured today are Priti Patel, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Dr Jenny Harries, Andrew …

What could a reformed BBC look like?

May 22nd, 2021

13:55

Politicians have buttressed Prince William and Prince Harry's criticisms of the BBC in the wake of the Dyson report, which detailed Martin Bashir's …

Why is Boris optimistic about 21 June?

May 21st, 2021

9:29

Boris Johnson is increasingly confident that Britain will drop the majority of Covid restrictions on 21 June. But with the Indian variant forcing …

Have the Lidl free marketeers won the day?

May 20th, 2021

11:31

Despite some misgivings in Cabinet, free marketeers seem to have won the argument on the Australia trade deal, one of the first major deals to be struck after Brexit. Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman …

What does Sturgeon's new cabinet say about IndyRef2?

May 19th, 2021

10:22

Nicola Sturgeon unveiled her new Cabinet today, reshuffling familiar faces with a clutch of new ministerial appointments. Will it be a line-up that …

Should Starmer let the cameras in?

May 18th, 2021

11:13

Keir Starmer is reportedly thinking about giving access to a camera crew in order to create a fly-on-the-wall documentary about his leadership of the Labour party. Is this a good idea? Isabel Hardman talks to Katy Balls …

Could June 21 be delayed?

May 17th, 2021

12:04

As England moves into the next phase of its lockdown easing today, the Indian variant threatens to throw the final phase off schedule. Could the …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 16/05/21

May 16th, 2021

13:03

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political shows. Today's guests include Matt Hancock, Yvette Cooper, Steve Reed and Sir Mark …

Does Boris have a southern problem?

May 15th, 2021

15:46
While the local elections bore fruit for the Tories in the red wall, the party’s rebranding has had some southern shire MPs worried – does the party under Boris Johnson still speak for them and their voters? Cindy Yu …

Will the India variant delay the roadmap?

May 14th, 2021

13:17
Cases of the Indian coronavirus variant have more than doubled in the last week, and Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, this morning said that …

Where should prime ministers go after leaving Downing Street?

May 13th, 2021

13:49

David Cameron is giving evidence to MPs today over his lobbying for Greensill Capital, in the latest round of embarrassment for the former prime minister. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth …

What could surface from a Covid inquiry?

May 12th, 2021

13:00

Boris Johnson has announced that an inquiry into the government's Covid response will be launched next year. Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and …

Has Angela Rayner got the upper hand?

May 11th, 2021

16:31

Carolyn Harris, a key Starmer aide, has resigned her post as his parliamentary private secretary over allegations that she was behind some of the …

How Keir Starmer's reshuffle backfired

May 10th, 2021

12:29

After a messy and delayed reshuffle, there is more rancour in the Labour party than there was before the weekend. Has Keir Starmer taken a serious hit to his authority? Isabel Hardman speaks to James Forsyth and Katy …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 09/05/21

May 9th, 2021

11:47

Isabel Hardman takes you through the highlights from Sunday's interview shows, with clips from Michael Gove, Nicola Sturgeon, John McDonnell, Ian …

No SNP majority, now what?

May 8th, 2021

12:53

Scotland will have a pro-independence majority at Holyrood, but the SNP has fallen short of an overall majority. What does this mean for the party, …

What the Hartlepool loss means for Starmer

May 7th, 2021

14:09

The local election results are coming in over the weekend, but the  bombshell came early with Hartlepool going to the tories in a massive 16-point …

What are the Royal Navy doing in Jersey's waters?

May 6th, 2021

10:51

Once again it's all about the fish - following protests from French fisherman over their rights in the waters surrounding Jersey, Boris Johnson has …

How serious would Labour losing Hartlepool be?

May 5th, 2021

12:05

A poll last night gave the Tories a 17-point lead in Hartlepool. Tomorrow's by-election in the red wall seat is to be one of the first barometers of …

Will the G7 summit mark the end of online diplomacy?

May 4th, 2021

17:41

One of the key aspects of the imminent G7 summit will be the return of face-to-face meetings between politicians. What will be on the agenda, and can …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 02/05/21

May 2nd, 2021

10:56

Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday's political shows. Interviewees today include Douglas Ross, Dominic Raab and Lisa Nandy.

What does the DUP shakeup mean for Northern Ireland?

May 1st, 2021

20:42

Arlene Foster's departure has left the DUP in a difficult place. Unionists could become disaffected if another relative moderate takes over, but …

Why does Boris give out his phone number?

April 30th, 2021

12:01

Boris Johnson's mobile phone number has been available online for 15 years, it emerged last night. Why does the Prime Minister give it out so freely? …

Has Starmer misfired on wallpaper-gate?

April 29th, 2021

12:37

Keir Starmer was pictured shopping for wallpaper in John Lewis today, poking fun at Boris's ongoing No. 10 refurbishment troubles. But is the Labour leader really just playing to the PM's advantages? Katy Balls speaks …

What's next for the DUP?

April 28th, 2021

12:34

Arlene Foster has stepped down as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party. What's next for the party? Isabel Hardman speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls.

Will the Downing Street refurbishment cut through?

April 27th, 2021

14:20

Reports today suggest that the Conservative Party initially covered the costs of the Downing Street refurbishment. Will Conservative members, and the public at large, care? Katy Balls speaks to James Forsyth and Isabel …

Does Simon Case have all the answers?

April 26th, 2021

10:50

Simon Case dodged questions from MPs about his lockdown leak inquiry at a select committee appearance this afternoon, and refused to go into details about how Boris Johnson paid for the refurbishment of his Downing …

Where will the Downing Street psychodrama end?

April 26th, 2021

21:19

The Downing Street psychodrama continues today, with the Daily Mail reporting that Boris Johnson said he would rather see the 'bodies pile high in …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 25/04/21

April 25th, 2021

13:28

Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday's political shows. Interview clips today came from Liz Truss, Jess Phillips, Nicola Sturgeon, Anas …

What's Putin up to?

April 24th, 2021

12:14

Russian troops had been building up on the Ukrainian border for weeks now, only for Putin to announce their pullback this week. Moscow claims it was …

A new Blitz of Dom-Bombs

April 23rd, 2021

9:38

After damning accusations in the papers that Dominic Cummings leaked a series of the Prime Minister's texts, the former No 10 aide has wasted little time in hitting back. In a blog this afternoon, he attacks the Prime …

Is Dom out to get Boris?

April 23rd, 2021

16:14

Downing Street insiders have accused Dominic Cummings of being behind a series of lobbying leaks. But why is the Prime Minister's team turning on the former adviser, and will he hit back? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls …

Can Boris Johnson's green credentials win over Joe Biden?

April 22nd, 2021

12:54

Joe Biden is hosting world leaders for a virtual summit on climate change today. In attendance was Boris Johnson, who was keen to impress the President with his own green credentials. Will he succeed? Cindy Yu talks to …

What is Michael Gove up to in Israel?

April 21st, 2021

15:43

Michael Gove is on a fact-finding mission in Israel this week, studying the country's vaccine passports scheme. But are the plans not already set for the UK to adopt them? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth.

Can Boris really stop the super league?

April 20th, 2021

17:13

Fans, players, managers and politicians have spoken out against the proposals by 12 of Europe's top football teams to form a breakaway league. Boris …

What does Boris's India cancellation mean for vaccines?

April 19th, 2021

10:27

Boris Johnson's trip to India was today cancelled as the country battles a new coronavirus variant. The PM was expecting to push Modi to release AstraZeneca vaccines to Britain, but that now looks unlikely. What does …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 18/04/21

April 18th, 2021

14:15

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with George Eustice, Nicola Sturgeon, Andrei Kelin and Rachel Reeves.

What is Keir Starmer doing wrong?

April 17th, 2021

14:49

A new YouGov poll shows that the Conservative party is 14 points ahead of the Labour party. What is Keir Starmer doing wrong? Cindy Yu talks to Katy …

Can the UK and EU fix the Protocol?

April 16th, 2021

8:40

The UK and EU are holding talks over how to fix the Northern Ireland Protocol and stop the continuing violence on the island. Cindy Yu speaks to Katy …

Could the South Africa variant stunt the vaccine rollout?

April 15th, 2021

11:14

A number of cases of the South African variant have been detected around parts of London, leading to surge testing of those neighbourhoods this week. …

Will the Greensill scandal hurt Boris?

April 14th, 2021

13:01

A civil servant advised Greensill Capital while still working in government, it emerged yesterday evening. Is the scandal hurting Boris Johnson, or …

Why is Boris talking down vaccines?

April 13th, 2021

10:18

Boris Johnson today said that the fall in coronavirus hospitalisations and deaths 'has not been achieved by the vaccination programme'. After pubs, restaurants and shops reopened yesterday, why is the PM talking down …

What's next in the David Cameron scandal?

April 12th, 2021

11:13

David Cameron finally issued a statement over the weekend on the ongoing Greensill scandal. Gordon Brown also waded in this morning, telling the …

Have we almost achieved herd immunity?

April 10th, 2021

14:00

The government's vaccination plan is clearly to achieve herd immunity. So why won't anyone say that? Katy Balls talks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth about the disparity between the strategy and the messaging on the …

Could Cameron's Greensill lobbying damage Rishi Sunak?

April 9th, 2021

13:11

The Treasury has released text messages that the Chancellor sent to David Cameron, in response to the latter's repeated lobbying. While Labour is …

The complicated background to the Belfast unrest

April 8th, 2021

14:44

Last night violence in Belfast escalated - petrol bombs were thrown, a bus was hijacked and children as young as 13 were reportedly getting involved. …

Will AstraZeneca slow down the UK's reopening?

April 7th, 2021

11:18

Under-30s should be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, the UK's vaccine regulator said this afternoon. What does this mean for the …

Is Boris being 'honest' on vaccine passports?

April 6th, 2021

11:48

The government needs to be 'honest' about vaccine passports, Labour's shadow health minister Jonathan Ashworth said today. Boris Johnson yesterday …

Is the exit roadmap still what it seemed?

April 5th, 2021

11:30

The next stage of lockdown easing is going as planned, but some caveats around international travel and vaccine passports are being floated for further down the line. What did the government's announcements today clear …

Does vaccinated Britain really need mass testing?

April 5th, 2021

13:03

Brits will be offered two lateral flow tests a week, it was announced last night. The expansion of testing, the government say, will allow those who haven't been vaccinated to continue life as normal. But is it really …

Does Sadiq Khan deserve a second term?

April 2nd, 2021

10:44

Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about London's upcoming mayoral election. 

Is Starmer really against vaccine passports?

April 1st, 2021

16:30

Keir Starmer said that needing a vaccine passport to go to the pub would go against 'British instinct', in an interview today. But is he really …

Does 'BAME' still make sense?

March 31st, 2021

15:59

Today's report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has made waves for its rejection of the existence of 'structural racism' in the UK, and recommendation to stop using the label 'BAME' when it comes to …

Did police 'act appropriately' at the vigil?

March 30th, 2021

11:18

A report on the Met Police's handling of Sarah Everard's vigil has concluded that the force 'acted appropriately'. Was the conclusion a surprise, and …

Will Salmond's new party help independence?

March 29th, 2021

14:56

Alex Salmond has been building his new Alba Party over the weekend. Two SNP MPs have defected to the former party leader's side - is he helping further the cause of Scottish independence? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls …

Katy Balls' Sunday Roundup - 28/03/21

March 28th, 2021

14:03

Katy Balls rounds up the highlights from Sunday's political programmes. Highlights today come from Oliver Dowden, Mark Drakeford, Nick …

Is Britain turning into a 'bio-security state'?

March 27th, 2021

29:39

After ruling out vaccine passports for most of this year, the government seems to be moving the goalposts with little discussion. Fraser Nelson …

What should the government do about China's sanctions?

March 26th, 2021

12:49

China has sanctioned nine Brits and four British entities in retaliation to sanctions imposed by the West earlier this week. What should the …

Will Covid restrictions really end in June?

March 25th, 2021

14:04

Today Matt Hancock refused to rule out not bringing the government's Covid emergency powers back for another renewal vote in September, while the …

Are summer holidays abroad off the table?

March 24th, 2021

13:44

What's the point of vaccinating the population, if fear of new strains will prevent a return to normality when it comes to air travel? That's the …

Can Anas Sarwar stop the SNP?

March 23rd, 2021

17:46

Nicola Sturgeon today survived a confidence vote brought forward by the Scottish Conservatives. Newly elected Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said …

How will Boris respond to the EU's vaccine threats?

March 22nd, 2021

9:58

Overnight the European Commission's rhetoric on vaccine export bans hotted up. In the run up to Thursday's meeting between European leaders to discuss its vaccines options, what will the UK government do? Cindy Yu talks …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 21/03/21

March 21st, 2021

12:09

Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's interview shows, with clips from Steve Baker, Ben Wallace, Mairead McGuinness, Lisa Nandy and Jonathan Ashworth. 

Should Britain engage in vaccine diplomacy?

March 20th, 2021

23:27

America has belatedly joined the vaccine diplomacy arena, the progress of which by Russia and China has been covered by The Spectator. On this episode of Saturday's Coffee House Shots, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls, …

What's next for Sturgeon?

March 19th, 2021

13:47

Nicola Sturgeon misled the Scottish Parliament, a special Holyrood committee concluded yesterday. In a defiant response, the First Minister said that …

Will the EU go through with its threat of blocking vaccines?

March 18th, 2021

11:33

The European Medicines Agency has announced that the Oxford-Astrazeneca jab is safe after all. In light of this, will the European Commission go through with its threat of banning vaccines from leaving the bloc? Cindy …

What’s behind the EU’s vaccine flip flop?

March 17th, 2021

13:55

Ursula von der Leyen today said that the EU could block vaccine shipments to the UK if it doesn't export AstraZeneca jabs to the bloc. The …

Is Boris being too soft on China?

March 16th, 2021

10:40

Starting 'a new Cold War on China' would be 'a mistake', Boris Johnson said today as he set out the government's integrated defence review. The …

Will Tories kickback on new police powers?

March 15th, 2021

12:12

Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick is facing calls to resign after women were forcibly removed from Saturday's vigil for Sarah Everard. …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 14/03/21

March 14th, 2021

10:53

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with Victoria Atkins, Jess Phillips, Diane Abbott and Sir Ian Diamond. 

Life as a Lobby journalist

March 13th, 2021

29:41

The Lobby refers to the group of political journalists with access to the Palace of Westminster. On this episode, three former Lobby hacks - Fraser …

What’s behind the UK’s EU export slump?

March 12th, 2021

15:34

Britain's exports to the EU fell by 40 per cent in January 2021, new figures from the ONS show. Are the numbers a real reflection of post-Brexit …

Why Scottish independence is not inevitable

March 11th, 2021

13:29

A number of polls in recent days have shown a majority support for Scotland staying in the UK. Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about …

Was that Keir Starmer's best PMQs?

March 10th, 2021

10:02

Keir Starmer pushed the PM on the 1 per cent pay rise for nurses at PMQS today. Did shorter, snappier questions bring results for the Labour leader? …

Sunak's NHS pay rise headache

March 9th, 2021

14:25

NHS chief Simon Stevens today confirmed that the health service budgeted for a 2.1 per cent pay rise this year (rather than the 1 per cent being recommended by the government), putting pressure on the Treasury to stump …

Will the government respond to Harry and Meghan interview?

March 8th, 2021

13:17

The government has so far kept quiet about Harry and Meghan's shocking interview with Oprah, in which - among other revelations - the couple claimed that a member of the royal family made racist comments about their son …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 07/03/21

March 7th, 2021

13:23

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best bits from Sunday's interview shows, with Gavin Williamson, Jonathan Ashworth, Lisa Nandy and Dr Susan Hopkins.  

Is an early election on the cards?

March 6th, 2021

13:50

With economic growth of over seven percent forecast for 2022, could 2023 be an election year? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth …

Is a one per cent pay rise fair?

March 5th, 2021

13:19

Unions are threatening strike action after the government recommended a one per cent pay increase for nurses in England. Will the backlash force a U-turn, and what will the public make of it? Katy Balls talks to James …

Budget Day Two: Has Rishi survived the scrutiny?

March 4th, 2021

13:51

Day Two is sometimes when the budgets come unravelled. But Rishi Sunak's Budget seems to have survived the scrutiny of the polls, pundits and papers. …

Will Rishi Sunak's budget give Britain a boost?

March 3rd, 2021

14:01

Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged a further £65bn in today's budget, bringing the government's total spending during coronavirus to more than £400bn. But aside from splurges on extending furlough and the Universal Credit …

Will Brand Rishi take a hit?

March 2nd, 2021

12:34

Rishi Sunak has been a popular Chancellor, mainly because he's responsible for pandemic giveaway after giveaway. But with tomorrow's Budget, the tone …

Can the government contain the Brazilian variant?

March 1st, 2021

9:46

Contact tracers are trying to find a person infected with the Brazilian variant of coronavirus, after they incorrectly returned their testing form. …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 28/02/21

February 28th, 2021

12:27

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best bits from Sunday's interviews shows, with highlights coming from Rishi Sunak, Anneliese Dodds and Anas Sarwar. 

What did we learn from Alex Salmond's evidence?

February 27th, 2021

16:12

Katy Balls, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson discuss Alex Salmond's appearance before the Holyrood inquiry into how the Scottish government handled …

Tory nerves grow over Sunak's budget

February 26th, 2021

13:44

The Chancellor is expected to announce tax hikes in next week's budget as he looks to bolster the public purse and reassure markets. With capital …

Will teacher assessed grades work?

February 25th, 2021

17:24

Teachers will assess pupil's grades next year, the Education Secretary said today. Has the decision come too late, and will it disadvantage students? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls.

Will Gove greenlight immunity passports?

February 24th, 2021

18:59

Michael Gove will lead a government review into immunity passports. Does his appointment make IDs a foregone conclusion, what will they look like, …

Sturgeon versus Salmond

February 23rd, 2021

20:23

Alex Salmond has pulled out from his appearance in front of the harassment complaints committee, where he was expected to give evidence about an …

The lockdown roadmap explained

February 22nd, 2021

12:04

Boris Johnson has finally set out his roadmap for easing lockdown. On the episode, Katy Balls talks to Isabel Hardman and James Forsyth about what to expect over the next few months.

Has Carrie divided No. 10?

February 22nd, 2021

15:06

Yet more personnel changes have happened in Downing Street, with Oliver Lewis the latest to depart. The weekend papers were full of briefings that …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 21/02/21

February 21st, 2021

11:29

Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's interview shows. Featured today are Matt Hancock, Sir Keir Starmer, John McDonnell, The Most Reverend Justin Welby and Jo Whiley.

Boris's climate conundrum

February 20th, 2021

13:16

While coronavirus has dominated the last year in politics, domestic issues are creeping back onto the agenda. Near the top of the list is reaching …

Has Macron stolen Boris's G7 thunder?

February 19th, 2021

9:59

Emmanuel Macron has said wealthy nations should begin donating up to five per cent of their vaccines to Africa. It comes as Boris Johnson hosts a …

Why Starmer is no modern day Beveridge

February 18th, 2021

14:34

Today's speech from the Labour leader was billed to be 'Beveridge-style'. On the podcast, Kate Andrews tells Katy Balls and James Forsyth why it was …

Why is the government banking on lateral flow tests?

February 17th, 2021

17:19

It's not the Forsyth Spit Bucket, but it may help us ease lockdown. Cindy Yu talks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls about why the government is banking so much on rapid tests, given that vaccination was meant to be the …

Will rapid testing bring back nightclubs?

February 16th, 2021

9:13

Nadhim Zahawi this morning said that scientists are working on rapid Covid tests to reopen large events. The vaccine deployment minister said that …

What does Boris’s ‘cautious’ approach mean for lockdown easing?

February 15th, 2021

18:27

Despite the UK hitting its target of giving 15 million people their first vaccine dose by 15 February, Boris Johnson said the path to reopening will be 'cautious but irreversible'. What does this approach mean for the …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 14/02/21

February 14th, 2021

12:50

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political programmes. Today's interviews featured Dominic Raab, Professor John Watson, Mark …

Is the government doing enough to fix the cladding crisis?

February 13th, 2021

17:09

With the government facing a backbench revolt over how to fix the pressing issue of unsafe cladding on high rise buildings, Katy Balls asks …

Will the economy bounce back after lockdown?

February 12th, 2021

18:28

Despite the GDP figures from the ONS today, the Bank of England's chief economist Andy Haldane has written an optimistic commentary today, arguing why he thinks the British economy will bounce back after Covid …

Are Tory lockdown-sceptics returning in force?

February 11th, 2021

18:12

After a brief winter hibernation, it seems that the lockdown-sceptic wing of the Conservative party is returning in force. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth about the increasing clamour to reopen society …

Boris Johnson sets out the new normal on vaccines

February 10th, 2021

10:03

At PMQs today, Boris Johnson said the public would need to 'get used to the idea of vaccinating and then revaccinating in the autumn, as we come to …

China hawks suffer a setback

February 9th, 2021

15:12

The government has managed to delay a backbench rebellion on the so-called 'genocide amendment' today, using what Iain Duncan Smith called 'arcane …

Should the government be more concerned about the South African variant?

February 8th, 2021

13:01

Latest research from the University of Oxford shows that their vaccine has 'minimal protection' against the South African variant of the coronavirus. …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 07/02/21

February 7th, 2021

12:26

Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's political programmes. Today's contributions come from Nadhim Zadhawi, Ed Miliband, Andy Burnham …

Will Boris Johnson's Northern Ireland gamble pay off?

February 6th, 2021

13:54

Sensing an opportunity after the EU triggered Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the British government is in talks with the EU over …

Should schools return in February?

February 5th, 2021

13:25

Some Sage scientists have broken rank to suggest that the falling infection rates mean that schools in England should go back at the end of this …

What's the hold up in bringing in a quarantine system?

February 4th, 2021

10:59

It's been weeks since the idea of a quarantine system was floated, yet nothing has been forthcoming on that front. Isabel Hardman asks James Forsyth …

Boris's easy ride at PMQs

February 3rd, 2021

13:06

At PMQs today, Keir Starmer denied Boris Johnson's claims that he wanted the UK to remain in the EU's vaccine procurement scheme. Could a successful …

How the EU's vaccine rhetoric could backfire

February 2nd, 2021

11:33

Another day, another dig from across the channel on the UK's vaccine reliability. Isabel Hardman talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about how this …

Will Joanna Cherry's sacking strengthen Sturgeon?

February 1st, 2021

13:03

Joanna Cherry was sacked from the SNP's Westminster frontbench today. The former justice spokesperson, who is an ally of Alex Salmond, was dropped as the party continues to row over transgender rights. Has the move …

Where the vaccine debate goes next

February 1st, 2021

10:13

The EU's row with AstraZeneca came to a head on Friday, with the bloc publishing its contract with the pharmaceutical giant and introducing vaccine …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 31/01/21

January 31st, 2021

10:40

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best of Sunday's political shows, with today's podcast featuring and Liz Truss, Micheál Martin, Rachel Reeves and Tony …

How well is Keir Starmer doing?

January 30th, 2021

19:58

Katy Balls and the New Statesman's Stephen Bush discuss how much of a splash Keir Starmer has made over the past 9 months. Hosted by Cindy Yu.  

Should Britain give away its vaccines?

January 29th, 2021

13:00

Novavax's vaccine has shown 89 per cent efficacy in UK trials. The government has bought 60 million doses of the jab, and it's expected that …

Why shouldn't the Prime Minister visit Scotland?

January 28th, 2021

13:56

Boris Johnson visits Scotland today. To nobody's surprise, Nicola Sturgeon has criticised the visit coming at this moment in the pandemic; while Keir …

Will Tory MPs accept a March return of schools?

January 27th, 2021

15:31

In his statement to the Commons today, Boris Johnson suggested March 8 as a date for schools to return. This is earlier than some predictions but …

Could the EU's vaccines spat impact the UK's supply?

January 26th, 2021

10:14

In the last 24 hours, the EU has threatened to place export controls on vaccines manufactured in the EU; while a German paper has been corrected by …

Why are ministers worried about borders now?

January 25th, 2021

12:28

The government's Covid-O group will be making a decision on the UK's border restrictions imminently. On the podcast, Isabel Hardman talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about what is being considered and why now.

Cindy Yu's Sunday Roundup

January 24th, 2021

13:28

Cindy Yu presents the highlights from Sunday's interview shows. With clips from Nicola Sturgeon, Matt Hancock, Nick Thomas-Symonds and Arlene Foster.

How will history remember Brexit?

January 23rd, 2021

24:42

In his upcoming book, the historian Robert Tombs writes that Brexit may not be the historically significant event we think it is. On the podcast, Katy Balls speaks to him and James Forsyth about just how history will …

Is the Cabinet divide on Covid back?

January 22nd, 2021

10:33

The Guardian reported today that the Department of Health is considering offering a £500 isolation fee to encourage more people with symptoms to get …

Will the English lockdown last past Easter?

January 21st, 2021

12:20

No 10 refused to rule out the possibility today, and the Health Secretary has also refused to be drawn on whether or not the vaccinating the most …

Will Theresa May's intervention be the first of many?

January 20th, 2021

17:29

Timed with the inauguration of Joe Biden, Theresa May has written an op-ed in the Daily Mail criticising her successor for his 'abandon of our global moral leadership'. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson …

Are Tory sinosceptics the real opposition?

January 19th, 2021

14:05

Today the Commons debates the 'genocide amendment' to the Trade Bill, which would allow judges to restrict the government's ability to sign trade …

Why are the Tories split on universal credit?

January 18th, 2021

11:47

The Commons will today see a debate over extending the universal credit uplift. While Thérèse Coffey, the work and pensions secretary, wants the weekly increase to remain, Rishi Sunak wants to replace it with a one-off …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 17/01/21

January 17th, 2021

12:58

Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from the Sunday interview shows. Today's podcast features Dominic Raab, Sir Simon Stevens, James Comey, …

Has the government reached a truce with the BBC?

January 16th, 2021

12:21

The new chairman of the BBC has been announced. It's not Charles Moore, or Paul Dacre, but a low-profile former banker called Richard Sharp. On the …

Is the government underpromising on the vaccine rollout?

January 15th, 2021

14:59

A leaked Scottish government document suggested that all over-50s could be vaccinated by the end of March, and that UK has capacity to deliver 3.8 …

Is Boris's leadership really under threat?

January 14th, 2021

12:10

Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the backbench Covid Recovery Group, has warned that Boris Johnson's leadership will be 'on the table' unless he gives a path out of lockdown. But is the PM really under threat? Cindy Yu …

Is Marcus Rashford a more effective opposition leader than Starmer?

January 13th, 2021

12:40

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, has said today that a national voucher scheme for free school meals would return on Monday, after pictures …

Do Covid rules need to be clearer?

January 12th, 2021

11:16

Boris Johnson has been criticised for taking a bike ride in the Olympic Park, seven miles away from Downing Street. Should the government make the …

Has lockdown fatigue set in?

January 11th, 2021

13:29

Chris Whitty said that hospitals will face 'the worst weeks of this pandemic' in a broadcast round this morning, as he implored Brits to keep social …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 10/01/21

January 10th, 2021

13:34

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best of Sunday's interviews with highlights from Sir Keir Starmer, Matt Hancock, Tracy Nicholls and Peter Horby.

Is Nigel Farage's new party about to make waves?

January 9th, 2021

16:57

 Brexit is done, but Nigel Farage may well remain an influential force in British politics. With his rebranding of the Brexit Party to 'Reform UK' …

Could an overwhelmed NHS stall the vaccine rollout?

January 8th, 2021

12:28

Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said yesterday that 800 new patients are admitted to London hospitals with Covid-19 every day. Could pressure on …

How should the government handle Trump?

January 7th, 2021

12:52

Last night's events in Washington DC has sent shockwaves around the world. Trump's obvious disregard for democracy was on show, leading to a normally diplomatic British government to condemn the President in strong …

How many vaccinations are needed to end lockdown?

January 6th, 2021

11:59

The government has announced that 23 per cent of over 80s in England have now received their first dose of the Covid vaccine. With Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock aiming to give 13.5 million people the jab before the …

Why are the UK's borders still open?

January 5th, 2021

11:01

Following the announcement of a third lockdown, a testing regime for arrivals could be put in place. It comes as Michael Gove said there would be …

Lockdown returns: what the new rules mean

January 4th, 2021

11:19

This evening the Prime Minister announced a return to the lockdown system for England, coming after Nicola Sturgeon announced similar measures …

How far will Boris tighten Covid restrictions?

January 4th, 2021

16:05

Boris Johnson today said there was 'no question' that the government would announce tighter coronavirus restrictions, as case numbers continue to …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 03/01/21

January 3rd, 2021

13:04

Isabel Hardman rounds up Sunday's political interview highlights, with clips coming from Boris Johnson, Sir Mark Walport, Arlene Foster, Tony Blair …

With Brexit done, what are the government's next challenges?

December 30th, 2020

18:29

After four and a half years, Brexit has finally happened with a free trade deal passed. But with Scottish independence hotting up and the pandemic not yet finished, the government faces more challenges in the very short …

At last: we have a Brexit deal

December 24th, 2020

16:04

A Brexit deal has been reached. Negotiations over fisheries continued into the early hours of Christmas Eve, and Boris Johnson finalised the …

Will normality really return by Easter?

December 23rd, 2020

9:37

Another day, another press conference. In today's, Matt Hancock announced more regions to enter Tier 4 restrictions come Boxing Day, as well as another new, highly transmissible, strain of the virus. Cindy Yu talks to …

Will Boris be blamed for Kent's queues?

December 22nd, 2020

12:38

At yesterday's press conference, Boris Johnson said there were just 170 lorries queuing in Kent to cross the Channel. Today, there are expected to be around 1,500. The government is continuing discussions with France to …

Will the Covid variant derail an Easter easing?

December 21st, 2020

12:42

Speaking alongside Patrick Vallance and Grant Shapps, Boris Johnson said we could expect 'a very, very different world for this country from Easter …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 20/12/20

December 20th, 2020

10:29

Isabel Hardman hosts the last Sunday Roundup of the year, with highlights coming from Matt Hancock, Sir Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Sadiq Khan.

Was the change in Christmas rules inevitable?

December 19th, 2020

11:55

Christmas has been cancelled, after all. In London and parts of the South East, new Tier 4 restrictions mean that households will not be able to mix …

What does Truss's speech say about the future of conservatism?

December 19th, 2020

12:52

This week Liz Truss promised to shake up the equalities brief, opting for 'facts not fashion' in the fight against inequality that looks at regions and class, not just gender and race. What can we learn about the …

Will fish sink a Brexit deal?

December 18th, 2020

14:07

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen spoke last night in another attempt to push the Brexit discussions forward. Statements released after call …

Has the government reached a Christmas truce with Tory rebels?

December 17th, 2020

10:18
As parliament breaks up for recess, the government likely dodged a Tory rebellion by allowing Christmas to go ahead. Katy Balls and James Forsyth chew over what's next for MPs on Brexit and Covid.

Go to

Is Boris now braced for a Brexit deal?

December 16th, 2020

12:33

While the government wrangles with Christmas coronavirus rules, negotiations in Brussels are continuing. Boris Johnson seemed more upbeat about the …

Could Christmas still be cancelled?

December 15th, 2020

13:13

The government is coming under pressure to reverse the Christmas relaxation of Covid rules, with two of the country's leading health journals - the

London heading for at least Tier 3

December 14th, 2020

10:50

London is set to enter the highest set of coronavirus restrictions. Normally this would see restaurants, pubs and indoor entertainment venues forced …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 13/12/20

December 13th, 2020

9:50

Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with clips from Dominic Raab, Ursula von der Leyen, Ed Miliband and Arancha …

Are we any closer to a Brexit deal?

December 13th, 2020

11:42

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen have decided to continue Brexit negotiations, it was announced today. A deal between the two sides seemed …

Boris Johnson: A year in review

December 12th, 2020

20:42

Katy Balls, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson look back on Boris Johnson's first year of leading a majority government. 

Are we heading for a tier clampdown?

December 11th, 2020

13:31

While Brexit negotiations rumble on, important decisions about Covid still have to be made. Next week, the government will review the tier system and decide whether the localised restrictions need to be eased or …

Is no-deal now the default?

December 10th, 2020

12:36

A Brexit breakthrough seemed possible when Boris Johnson met European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for dinner last night. This evening, …

Will the von der Leyen dinner see a Brexit breakthrough?

December 9th, 2020

10:37

Boris Johnson is today visiting Brussels to meet EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for dinner, in the hope that the two can agree a path …

Has Matt Hancock been vindicated?

December 8th, 2020

13:57

The world's first doses of an authorised Covid vaccine were administered today, with ninety-year-old Briton Margaret Keenan first in line for the …

Is the chance of a Brexit deal diminishing?

December 7th, 2020

11:41

It looks like Brexit talks could finally be coming to a head. After Boris Johnson and Ursula Von Der Leyen decided that efforts to reach an agreement …

Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 06/12/20

December 6th, 2020

11:57

Katy Balls hosts this weeks' roundup of Sunday's political shows, with highlights coming from George Eustice, Rachel Reeves, Gordon Brown, Alexandre …

Can things return to normal by the summer?

December 5th, 2020

23:45

After promising news about the coronavirus vaccines, Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, a former adviser to Matt Hancock, about what this will mean for experiencing life as we knew it. 

Will the French really veto a Brexit deal?

December 4th, 2020

15:11

In the last days of the negotiations, the pressure is ramping up as reports began to surface on Thursday evening that the talks were not going as well as hoped. This morning, allies of Emmanuel Macron have warned that …

Is a Brexit deal imminent?

December 3rd, 2020

9:35

The promising sign of late night negotiation pizza has caused some optimism in Westminster that a Brexit deal may be just around the corner. On the podcast, James Forsyth and Katy Balls discuss what to look out for in …

Will the vaccine rollout end Tory division?

December 2nd, 2020

13:40

The UK is the first western country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine, it was announced today. The first doses of Pfizer's jab will be distributed from next week, and the news has renewed hopes that …

Has Boris Johnson's optimism backfired?

December 1st, 2020

10:34

The government looks set to win today's Commons vote on the return of the tiers system for England, but tens of Tory backbenchers are unhappy. For them, the Prime Minister's reassurances have lost credibility, so on …

Is a no-deal Brexit underpriced?

November 30th, 2020

19:10

Brexit negotiations are continuing this week, with fisheries and the level playing field remaining key sticking points. But with the deadline for an agreement edging closer, is no-deal more likely than anticipated? Katy …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 29/11/20

November 29th, 2020

13:39

Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's interview shows. With Dominic Raab, Nicola Sturgeon, Lisa Nandy, Jim McMahon and Hugh Osmond.  

Are the Lib Dems too soggy?

November 28th, 2020

16:34

In this week's Spectator, Matthew Parris asks why the Lib Dems have lost their ideological backbone. On the podcast, he discusses this …

Can the government appease disgruntled Tory MPs?

November 27th, 2020

14:03

The return to the tier system will be voted on in the Commons next week, but from the grumblings in the Conservative party, it sounds like the government may need Opposition votes in order to get the legislation …

Will Tory MPs rebel over the Tier system?

November 26th, 2020

14:56

England's tier system returns today. With some areas in a stricter tier than they were before the lockdown, as well as a general mistrust amongst Tory lockdown sceptics for the government, many MPs are not happy. But is …

Why is Rishi Sunak going back on a manifesto pledge?

November 25th, 2020

19:30

Pandemic finances are different to normal finances, as seen by today's new figures from the OBR which show that the UK's economy will not be back to pre-pandemic levels until 2022. In today's spending review, the …

Will there be a Tory revolt over Tier 3 restrictions?

November 24th, 2020

12:50

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that the nationwide lockdown would come to an end on December 2. In the updated tier system, pubs and …

Will Oxford's vaccine bring back normality?

November 23rd, 2020

13:20

Oxford University's vaccine could be up to 90 per cent effective, data from phase III trials shows today. With the UK government ordering 100 million …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 22/11/20

November 22nd, 2020

12:50

Isabel Hardman takes you through the highlights from Sunday's political programmes. With Rishi Sunak, Anneliese Dodds, Lucy Powell and Professor …

Is there a case for Scottish independence?

November 21st, 2020

32:14

Polls consistently show a majority of Scots are in favour of independence - do they have a case? Fraser Nelson speaks to Andrew Wilson, former MSP …

Why Priti Patel is staying put

November 20th, 2020

12:40

Sir Alex Allen, a top civil servant in charge of the report into allegations of bullying at the Home Office, has resigned, but the Home Secretary …

Will new defence money solve the MoD's spending blackhole?

November 19th, 2020

11:06

The government has announced a £16.5 billion increase in defence spending, far more generous than previously expected. Will this new budget signal an …

What's behind Boris's green agenda?

November 18th, 2020

18:43

Boris Johnson has today announced a raft of new environmental policies, following the departure of Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain last week. Will it …

Has devolution been a disaster?

November 17th, 2020

12:55

Boris Johnson told northern MPs last night that he thought Scottish devolution had been a 'disaster', a comment that was immediately disowned by the …

Can a self-isolating Boris reset his premiership?

November 16th, 2020

14:56

Boris Johnson has been told to self-isolate by contact tracers after meeting with a Covid positive MP last week. It comes just as the PM was expected …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 15/11/20

November 15th, 2020

13:08

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's interview shows. Highlights today come from Simon Coveney, George Eustice, Professor Ugur Sahin, Jo Stevens and Gordon Brown.

What do special advisers actually do?

November 14th, 2020

24:14

Dominic Cummings walked out of No. 10 Downing Street last night – but what did he actually do in there? Katy Balls is joined by Fraser Nelson and Peter Cardwell, a former SpAd and author of The Secret Life of Special …

Who will replace Dominic Cummings?

November 13th, 2020

15:02

Boris Johnson's chief aide has said that he'll be gone by Christmas – so what does that mean for Downing Street operations? Katy Balls is joined by Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. 

Has Vote Leave lost control?

November 12th, 2020

13:55

Downing Street has seen a day of backstabbing and counter-briefings after Dominic Cummings ally Lee Cain resigned as Boris Johnson's director of …

Could the vaccine trigger another Tory divide?

November 11th, 2020

11:23

Backbench Tory MPs are questioning the government's plan for rolling out the vaccine. Meanwhile, rumours over a new Downing Street chief of staff …

Why is No. 10 so cautious about a Covid vaccine?

November 10th, 2020

14:48

The Pfizer vaccine is being lauded by many as the silver bullet that could end the Covid crisis. Meanwhile, the UK has seen a record number of …

Are we on the brink of a Covid vaccine?

November 9th, 2020

14:18

The drugs firm Pfizer has announced that its vaccine — currently in stage three trials — is 90% effective. Meanwhile, Britain and the EU are entering the final stage of trade negotiations. Finally, No. 10 is ramping up …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 08/11/20

November 8th, 2020

12:14

Isabel Hardman presents the best bits from Sunday's political programmes. Today's highlights come from Dominic Raab, General Sir Nick Carter, Sajid …

Can the NHS cope with Covid?

November 7th, 2020

24:30

At Thursday's coronavirus press conference, Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, said a second wave 'is real and it's serious', as he warned that 11,000 people were already in hospital with the virus. Is the …

Was the three tier system working all along?

November 6th, 2020

13:47

As Liverpool begins it's mass testing trial, ONS figures published today show that the coronavirus infection rate was fell in the week ending October …

Has Rishi Sunak lost the argument?

November 5th, 2020

13:39
The Chancellor announced new furlough measures today, something that he has long been opposed to. Katy Balls speaks to Kate Andrews and James Forsyth about whether or not Rishi Sunak has lost the argument.

Tell us your …

Should the government take a stance on the US election?

November 4th, 2020

13:14
Dominic Raab refused to comment on Donald Trump's claims of election 'fraud' this morning, after the President said he planned to contest the result …

Is mass testing the way out of lockdown?

November 3rd, 2020

15:50
As England heads into a second lockdown, today brings a glimmer of hope. Liverpool will be the first UK city to undergo mass testing, including a …

Why a Tory lockdown rebellion should worry Boris

November 2nd, 2020

18:15

After Boris Johnson announced that England would be put into another nationwide lockdown this Thursday, backbench Tory MPs quickly made their …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 01/11/20

November 1st, 2020

11:17

Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with Michael Gove, Sir Keir Starmer, David Miliband and Dame Carolyn Fairbairn. 

Lockdown Part Two - Is England back to square one?

October 31st, 2020

16:17

Katy Balls, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson discuss the Prime Minister's latest announcement. 

Is a second national lockdown imminent?

October 31st, 2020

17:28

The whole of England could be put into lockdown again, reports this morning claim, as coronavirus cases continue to rise at a rate above the …

A glimpse of normality with Swedish historian Johan Norberg

October 31st, 2020

30:03

Kate Andrews interviews Swedish historian Johan Norberg in a Stockholm cafe about what we can and can't learn from the Swedish Covid experience and …

Will there be a Labour civil war?

October 30th, 2020

15:27

Though there are grumblings from the left of the Labour party over Corbyn's suspension, Keir Starmer has taken today to set the narrative in his …

Can the Labour left resist Keir Starmer?

October 29th, 2020

10:51
Labour is truly under new leadership as Jeremy Corbyn gets suspended from the party today. The left of the party is clearly not happy - but can they …

Can Boris Johnson resist a national lockdown?

October 28th, 2020

12:25
SAGE warned that the second wave of Covid-19 could be worse than the first, and that the whole of England could be in Tier-3 by Christmas, reports …

Is levelling up still viable in the age of Covid?

October 27th, 2020

10:05
More than 50 Tory MPs have signed a letter organised by Jake Berry's Northern Research Group, urging the government to not forget its pledge to level up the North. But does Boris Johnson need to recalibrate his …

Is a free school meals U-turn inevitable?

October 26th, 2020

12:30

Boris Johnson said the government would 'do everything in our power' to ensure children wouldn't go hungry over Christmas, after backlash over their …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 25/10/20

October 25th, 2020

13:51

Isabel Hardman brings you the best of Sunday's political shows, with Brandon Lewis, Bernard Jenkin, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Vaughan Gething and Dr …

Will there be a 'special relationship' under a Biden presidency?

October 24th, 2020

19:29

Many on this side of the pond and on the stateside believe that there is a natural affinity between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. So what will Anglo-American relations be like under a President Biden? Cindy Yu talks …

What will tier three do to the North?

October 23rd, 2020

10:12

Tier three restrictions came into force in regions across the UK, including Greater Manchester, today. Blackpool Tower even lit up with an SOS …

Has Rishi Sunak performed a U-turn?

October 22nd, 2020

10:30

The Chancellor's new economic package was much more generous than his previous plans, and when asked, Sunak insisted he was just reacting to the …

Can Starmer capitalise on Boris's lockdown woes?

October 21st, 2020

10:37

Keir Starmer seemed unable to land a definitive blow on Boris Johnson in PMQs this afternoon, after the government imposed a tier three lockdown in Manchester. Will the Labour leader be able to capitalise on their …

Will coronavirus overwhelm Manchester's hospitals?

October 20th, 2020

12:18

While the government has failed to strike a deal with Greater Manchester authorities to put the region into tier three, the Prime Minister is expected to announce an imposition of the restrictions in a press conference …

What will break the Manchester deadlock?

October 19th, 2020

13:34

The government is today expected to announce whether Greater Manchester will be placed into a tier three lockdown after negotiations with Andy Burnham continued over the weekend. Why have the talks been so protracted? …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 18/10/20

October 18th, 2020

11:06

Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with clips from Andy Burnham, Michael Gove, Rachel Reeves, Kate Green and Jeremy …

Kate Andrews: Why I switched to Biden

October 17th, 2020

17:07

The Spectator's economics correspondent Kate Andrews talks to Freddy Gray about why she is voting for the Democrats with a heavy heart.

Are we heading for no-deal again?

October 16th, 2020

11:25

Boris Johnson today told Brits to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, saying the European Union were 'not willing' to offer a Canada-style trade agreement. …

Why has Boris's Covid strategy backfired in the North?

October 15th, 2020

11:18

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, today slammed the government for attempting to put the region in the highest tier of Covid-19 …

Will Boris be dragged into a second lockdown?

October 14th, 2020

15:53

A paper to be published by Sage scientists today claims that more than 7,000 lives could be saved if the government imposes a two-week 'circuit …

Is the government no longer 'following the science'?

October 13th, 2020

15:28

New documents from Sage show minutes from late September in which scientists advised a circuit breaker lockdown. It's clear that the government …

Will the three-tier system backfire on Boris?

October 12th, 2020

12:28

A three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions is set to be announced today, but the government is still locked in negotiations with local authorities over the financial support given to areas at the highest level. …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 11/10/20

October 11th, 2020

11:58

Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with clips from Robert Jenrick, Nicola Sturgeon, Jonathan Reynolds and …

What's behind Labour's coronavirus strategy?

October 10th, 2020

18:00

John Connolly, Katy Balls and Patrick Maguire discuss Sir Keir Starmer's shift in approach to the government's Covid measures. 

Will Rishi's economic measures be enough to save businesses?

October 9th, 2020

9:23

Today the Chancellor will announce new economic packages targeted at the areas under lockdown. But will the measures go far enough to save businesses, already under strain? Katy Balls talks to Kate Andrews and James …

What will the North's new restrictions look like?

October 8th, 2020

10:33

Overnight, news broke of the three-tier system that the government has in store for the country. First to be put into the strictest tier is likely to be large parts of the North of England, from next week onwards. Cindy …

What's behind Sturgeon's coronavirus crackdown?

October 7th, 2020

11:43

Nicola Sturgeon today announced that 3.4 million Scots will be placed under increased Covid restrictions, with bars and restaurants shutting across a …

Is Boris's outlook all sunshine and no substance?

October 6th, 2020

10:25

Boris Johnson gave his headline speech to an empty hall in the virtual Tory conference today. But despite promises to 'Build Back Better', was the …

Are test and trace woes overshadowing the Covid response?

October 5th, 2020

9:47

More than 15,000 positive tests were missed in a test and trace blunder, it was revealed today. With the government announcing a new 'traffic light' local lockdown system later this week, will the new measure be …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 04/10/20

October 4th, 2020

12:11

Today's highlights come from Boris Johnson, Jonathan Ashworth, Douglas Ross, Sir Christopher Meyer and Nigel Farage. 

Is there still hope for Unionism?

October 3rd, 2020

20:36

The SNP has had a torrid week as the inquiry into Alex Salmond's trial came to a head, topped off with MP Margaret Ferrier's Covid breach. But Nicola …

How much does Margaret Ferrier's Covid breach threaten the SNP?

October 2nd, 2020

15:03

Margaret Ferrier has admitted that she travelled across the country despite having tested positive for Covid. Given that the SNP has had some of the …

Are local authorities fighting back against Covid restrictions?

October 1st, 2020

13:03

Middlesborough's mayor, Andy Preston, today refused to accept the government's decision to place households in the town under a local lockdown. …

Is the whack-a-mole lockdown strategy working?

September 30th, 2020

11:33

Keir Starmer attacked Boris Johnson in PMQs today over the effectiveness of local lockdowns, saying in some areas 'things are getting worse not …

Live at Alternative Conference

September 29th, 2020

27:37

The Prime Minister was forced to apologise this afternoon after misstating new lockdown rules brought into force overnight in the North East. Is …

Can the government avoid a showdown with Tory backbenchers?

September 28th, 2020

15:52

Graham Brady's amendment to give backbenchers a vote over new coronavirus restrictions looks set to pass through the Commons this week, provided it is selected by the Speaker. With the government determined not to give …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 27/09/20

September 27th, 2020

11:29

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best of Sunday's political shows, with highlights coming from Steve Baker, David Lammy, Oliver Dowden, Dame Carolyn …

Is Rishi Sunak on the path to No. 10?

September 26th, 2020

14:27

In her Telegraph column this week, Katy Balls writes about the Chancellor who everybody loves. But the road to No. 10 is not easy - what are the …

Why even moderate Tories are voting against No. 10

September 25th, 2020

15:02

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, has tabled an amendment to the government's Coronavirus Act to force a vote in Parliament on any new restrictions. A cross-party group of 40 MPs have signed the …

Rishi Sunak slowly turns the taps off

September 24th, 2020

12:39

After new restrictions were announced this week by the prime minister, Rishi Sunak today unveiled his Winter Economy Plan. Telling the Commons that he 'cannot save every business', the chancellor said that the …

Should the government admit its mistakes?

September 23rd, 2020

11:37

In a televised address to the nation last night, Boris Johnson hailed Britain as a 'freedom loving country', but said that a lack of adherence to existing coronavirus restrictions meant new measures are needed. Is the …

Can the lockdown hawks stave off further restrictions?

September 22nd, 2020

19:48

Boris Johnson today warned that Britain has 'reached a perilous turning point' in its battle with coronavirus, as he ordered pubs to close at 10pm …

Why won't Vallance and Whitty answer any questions?

September 21st, 2020

10:58

In a Downing Street statement this morning, Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance presented their take on the latest coronavirus data. Speaking without a government representative, the pair said that Brits needed to 'break …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 20/09/20

September 20th, 2020

13:42

Isabel Hardman rounds up the best of Sunday's interview shows, with clips coming from Matt Hancock, Sir Keir Starmer, Bob Woodward and Len McCluskey.

What does Europe teach the UK about a Covid second wave?

September 19th, 2020

21:28

As the UK seems to enter a second wave of coronavirus infections, Europe is again the guide on the trajectory of the virus and the best strategy to …

What's the point of a two-week lockdown?

September 18th, 2020

13:15

The government is reportedly considering the short-term reintroduction of nationwide social restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus. Will a two-week 'circuit break' make a difference, or simply delay the …

The impossibility of Moonshot without fixing test and trace

September 17th, 2020

16:15

The government has promised to deliver a nationwide mass testing programme by the beginning of next year, claiming it could offer a route out of …

Has the government's Brexit plot backfired?

September 16th, 2020

12:05

The government's Internal Market Bill won't reach the House of Lords until after the October EU Council, James Forsyth tells Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson on the podcast today. This means that the bill won't become law …

Can the government fix the testing meltdown?

September 15th, 2020

13:47

Amid reports of local testing shortages, Matt Hancock told MPs today that the system is facing an 'enormous challenge' after a 'sharp rise' in …

Can Boris stave off a Tory Brexit rebellion?

September 14th, 2020

12:36

Former attorney general Geoffrey Cox has today warned that the Internal Markets Bill could cause 'unconscionable' damage to the UK's international …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 13/09/20

September 13th, 2020

12:53

Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday's political interviews. Today's featured interviewees are Robert Buckland, Simon Coveney, Louise …

Will Ireland stump a Brexit deal?

September 12th, 2020

19:28

The EU said it could walk away from trade talks after the government announced that it planned to break international law in its Internal Markets …

The growing Tory unease over lockdown

September 11th, 2020

10:14

As England heads into stricter lockdown measures shortly, James Forsyth talks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson about the growing unease amongst backbenchers over the government's strict Covid response. Is it time for the …

Are the Brexit talks about to break down?

September 10th, 2020

10:42

The EU gave an ultimatum today that, unless the UK shelved its Internal Market Bill within three weeks, it would be taking legal action against the …

Is Britain facing a second Covid crackdown?

September 9th, 2020

11:30

Boris Johnson held a press conference this afternoon to announce that only groups of six or smaller would be able to meet from Monday. The new …

How will Tory MPs react to No. 10's Brexit law breach?

September 8th, 2020

16:41

As Michel Barnier arrives in London for another round of trade talks, Brandon Lewis today said that government plans to reinterpret the Brexit …

Will the hardline Brexit approach work?

September 7th, 2020

10:24

Boris Johnson last night issued a warning to the European Union that Brexit negotiations must be concluded by October 15 or Britain will walk away. Will this focus minds, or might it spell the end for the talks? Katy …

Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 06/09/20

September 6th, 2020

11:52

Isabel Hardman returns with the highlights from Sunday's political programmes. Today's highlights come from Dominic Raab, Diane Abbott, Leonid Volkov …

Will state aid sink a Brexit deal?

September 5th, 2020

10:04

The deadline for a Brexit deal is fast approaching, but the level of subsidies paid to companies and industries could prove a stumbling block. Will …

Will the Tories accept tax rises?

September 4th, 2020

14:26

Rishi Sunak has faced a backlash this week over proposals to increase taxes to pay for the UK's coronavirus response. Can the chancellor push the changes through, and how will the party react? Katy Balls speaks to …

Is mass testing the answer?

September 3rd, 2020

13:37

Matt Hancock today announced Operation Moonshot, a £500 million scheme to ramp up the UK's testing capacity and offer a return to normality without …

The latest No. 10 U-turn

September 2nd, 2020

13:22

Bolton and Trafford were returned to Manchester's local lockdown this morning after yet another U-turn by the government. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson …

Can Simon Case reform the civil service?

September 1st, 2020

14:26

Simon Case has been appointed the new cabinet secretary, tasked with leading the UK through its coronavirus recovery and reforming the civil service. Is he up to the job? Gus Carter speaks to James Forsyth and Katy …

Is this the next cladding scandal?

August 29th, 2020

17:28

After the Grenfell Tower fire, new fire safety legislation was introduced in an attempt to ensure the tragic incident was never repeated. But the new …

Can Boris get people back in the office?

August 28th, 2020

16:37

The government will launch a new publicity campaign to coax people back into the office, it was announced today. This morning's headlines took a …

Can self-isolation payments improve test and trace?

August 27th, 2020

11:42

The government has announced that self-isolating Britons will be paid £13 a day to stay at home. Will this help improve the beleaguered test and …

Will the next U-turn be on face masks at work?

August 26th, 2020

13:28

The government reversed its position on masks in schools late yesterday evening, announcing that secondary school pupils in local lockdown areas …

Is Boris being too defensive on the culture wars?

August 25th, 2020

14:48

Reports on Sunday suggested the BBC was going to drop 'Rule, Britannia!' and 'Land of Hope and Glory' from its Last Night of the Proms schedule …

Can Gavin Williamson reopen England's schools?

August 24th, 2020

13:44

Boris Johnson has returned from his holiday to embark on a media campaign promoting September's schools reopening. With Scottish pupils already back …

Why is Starmer's support surging?

August 22nd, 2020

10:25

Following the exam results fiasco, the Tories' lead in the polls has dropped to just two points in the latest YouGov survey. With Labour on the up, …

Britain's £2 trillion debt problem

August 21st, 2020

12:27

UK debt has hit £2 trillion, the Office for National Statistics said today - an increase of over £200 billion on last year. What does this mean for the economy, how does the UK compare to the rest of Europe, and does …

Where will the next local lockdown be?

August 20th, 2020

10:22

Birmingham and Oldham are on the brink of reentering lockdown, with cases in both rising significantly in comparison to the rest of the country. But how severe is the outbreak, and can the government risk shutting down …

How Nicola Sturgeon outsmarts Westminster

August 19th, 2020

13:40

A new poll today shows that support for Scottish independence is at a record high of 55 per cent. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and …

Why has the government scrapped Public Health England?

August 18th, 2020

12:14

Matt Hancock today confirmed that Public Health England will be scrapped and replaced by a new National Institute for Health Protection, which will be led by Baroness Dido Harding - who currently runs the Test and Trace …

What's behind the government's dramatic U-turn?

August 17th, 2020

13:21
Gavin Williamson announced this afternoon that pupils receiving A-level and GCSE results this year would be awarded teacher-predicted marks. Why has …

Is the government about to U-turn on exams?

August 17th, 2020

9:56

As the backlash to the government's exams fiasco continued over the weekend, Gavin Williamson has been steadfast in not U-turning. But with GCSE …

Kaya's story: why the government's exams triple lock doesn't help

August 15th, 2020

19:48

Kaya Ilska is a free school meals student, coming from a single mother family. She is incredibly bright - and was predicted 4 A*s by her teachers, a …

Should France have been kicked off the greenlist?

August 14th, 2020

12:27

After much speculation, France has been put on the quarantine list, along with Netherlands, Monaco, and Malta. But do the numbers really back it up? …

Levelling down: the results day fiasco

August 13th, 2020

16:35

It's A-Level results day and much as expected, a large minority of A-Level grades from across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have been …

Why is Labour struggling to attack Boris Johnson?

August 12th, 2020

16:05
Gavin Williamson last night announced that A-level students getting their results tomorrow could appeal using mock exam grades. Meanwhile, today, new …

Will England have to follow Scotland's exams U-turn?

August 11th, 2020

16:01
After a week of feet dragging, the Scottish government has today dramatically U-turned on downgrading exam results for 76,000 students. Those who …

Is the Preston lockdown justified?

August 10th, 2020

13:01
Over the weekend, the city of Preston in the north of England was partially locked down. But on what basis? Cindy Yu talks to Kate Andrews and Fraser Nelson about whether the government is implementing local lockdowns …

Are the Lib Dems finished?

August 8th, 2020

15:47
The Liberal Democrat leadership race will finally come to an end this month but, after December's crushing election defeat, is the party over too? In a special Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots, Gus Carter speaks …

Will France be quarantined next?

August 7th, 2020

11:16
Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas were added to the UK’s quarantine list yesterday evening, meaning Brits returning from those countries will be required to stay at home for two weeks. With Belgium’s neighbour, France, …

Will Boris's planning reforms backfire?

August 6th, 2020

10:19
The government has announced the most ambitious planning reforms of a generation – but could they backfire? Meanwhile, as the contacting tracing …

Can Douglas Ross take on the SNP?

August 5th, 2020

10:19
Douglas Ross has won the Scottish Conservatives leadership election – but can take on the SNP without risking a second independence referendum? Meanwhile, pressure is growing on the Tories to suspended a former minister …

Are we heading for mass unemployment?

August 4th, 2020

9:35
Pizza Express today announced that 1,100 jobs are at risk as they close 67 outlets. With the Chancellor's furlough scheme winding up in November, …

Can 'Eat Out to Help Out' save the restaurant industry?

August 3rd, 2020

13:40
Today marks the start of the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme – but can the move save Britain's restaurants without risking a second spike? Katy Balls speaks to James Forsyth and Kate Andrews about the Treasury initiative, …

What's behind the excess deaths statistics?

August 1st, 2020

22:56
Statistics released this week showed that England had the worst excess death rate in Europe during the first half of 2020. Katy Balls speaks to Kate Andrews and Carl Heneghan, professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at …

Boris Johnson pauses lockdown easing

July 31st, 2020

13:25
Overnight, the government announced a return of stricter social distancing measures in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, with …

Why are England's excess deaths so high?

July 30th, 2020

10:17
New figures show that England had the highest excess death rate across Europe in the first half of 2020. With another coronavirus wave looking imminent, can the government figure out why this happened in time for a …

Could the government be over-correcting on a second wave?

July 29th, 2020

12:08
Fears of a second wave dominate Westminster chat, but how much of it is the government trying to fight the last battle? Cindy Yu talks to James …

Is a second wave imminent?

July 28th, 2020

9:31
Boris Johnson said there are signs that a second wave of coronavirus will soon sweep through Europe. Should Brits still go on their holiday abroad, …

Was there a different way to handle the Spanish quarantine?

July 27th, 2020

15:06
Within a few hours, the government enacted a quarantine policy for those returning from Spain (including the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, and …

Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 26/07/20

July 26th, 2020

13:04

Katy Balls presents the highlights from the Sunday interviews, with Dominic Raab, Dido Harding, Jonathan Ashworth and Tony Blair. 

Prime Minister Johnson's turbulent first year

July 25th, 2020

17:49
Boris Johnson probably didn't expect his first year as Prime Minister to shake out quite the way it did. From winning a landslide majority, to leading the country during a global pandemic, it's the sort of year that, if …

Will Boris's war on obesity succeed?

July 24th, 2020

12:04
New plans are being drawn up to tackle obesity in Britain, with proposals including a ban on adverts of junk foods and calorie content shown on restaurant menus. Will Boris get his war on obesity succeed, and will it …

Could Boris's Scotland charm offensive backfire?

July 23rd, 2020

18:19
The Prime Minister visits Scotland today as parliament goes into recess. The Union is in grave danger, as a previous episode discussed. But can the government woo back the wavering Scots? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth …

Starmer vs Corbyn

July 22nd, 2020

13:33
Keir Starmer was keen to put clear blue water between himself and Corbyn's Labour party today, on both the apology to anti-Semitism whistleblowers …

Is there anything new in the Russia report?

July 21st, 2020

12:58
The long-awaited Russia report is finally out, so what are the revelations within it? Katy Balls speaks to James Forsyth and the New Statesman's …

Is TikTok the next Huawei?

July 20th, 2020

15:31
Now that Huawei is banned, China hawks in the Conservative Party are turning their attention to social media platform TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company. It comes as the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo …

Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 19/07/20

July 19th, 2020

11:35

Katy Balls hosts the highlights from Sunday's interview shows, with Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Russian ambassador Andrei Kelin and Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy.

How much danger is the Union in?

July 18th, 2020

14:57
James Forsyth writes in this week's Spectator that the Union is the biggest challenge facing this government, despite everything that is going on with the pandemic. Support for Scottish independence continues to grow …

Does the government's plan really approach 'significant normality'?

July 17th, 2020

11:45
In a press conference from Downing Street today, Boris Johnson set out the road to 'significant normality' - but not until November. It's a more cautious position than had been previously briefed, but is even this …

Why the government moved against Julian Lewis

July 16th, 2020

15:56
Chris Grayling failed to win the chairmanship of the Intelligence and Security Committee on Wednesday evening. In his stead, Julian Lewis clinched …

Who should be worried about the independent Covid inquiry?

July 15th, 2020

15:01
Boris Johnson has confirmed that there will be an inquiry into the handling of the pandemic after a possible second wave is over. On the podcast, Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson about what it will …

Why Boris u-turned on Huawei

July 14th, 2020

20:38
Much as expected, the government has u-turned on Huawei, though the new government policy doesn't go as far as some of the most hardline Tory MPs …

Does anyone know the truth about face masks?

July 13th, 2020

14:37
In recent days, more supportive noises have been made by those on the top of government about the wearing of face masks indoors, especially in shops. …

Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 12/07/20

July 12th, 2020

11:37

Katy Balls presents the highlights from Sunday's political inerviews, today featuring Michael Gove, Lucy Powell and Sir Richard Dearlove. 

Dominic Cummings's plans for defence reform

July 11th, 2020

13:21
Dominic Cummings will be touring key Ministry of Defence sites ahead of this year's defence review. So how would he like to reform the UK's military …

The government's inconsistent messaging on lockdown easing

July 10th, 2020

11:14
New lockdown easing measures have been announced, so later this month swimming pools, gyms, and outdoor theatres will be reopening in England. At the …

Is Rishi Sunak really hinting at tax rises?

July 9th, 2020

15:26
The Chancellor's statement has gone down well but the big question is how the government will pay for all this. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth about the possibility of tax rises, why the …

Can Rishi Sunak’s jobs pledge keep unemployment down?

July 8th, 2020

15:21
The Chancellor has given his mini-Budget in a statement to the Commons today, and among a raft of stimulus measures from a VAT cut to stamp duty …

Is social care reform now inevitable?

July 7th, 2020

13:29
Boris Johnson has rowed back on comments suggesting that care homes suffered from the pandemic because they did not follow procedure, after a …

Why the government's arts bailout was so generous

July 6th, 2020

12:42
Rishi Sunak has announced a £1.6 billion bailout for the arts industry, which was more generous than many were expecting. On the podcast, Katy Balls talks to Kate Andrews and James Forsyth about why this is. They also …

Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 05/07/20

July 5th, 2020

10:09

Katy Balls presents the highlights from Sunday's interview shows, with Matt Hancock, Anneliese Dodds and Sir Simon Stevens. 

Will No 10's press briefing shake-up really deliver more transparency?

July 4th, 2020

12:56
Downing St has announced that it will be televising its afternoon lobby press briefing, come October. Inspired by the daily coronavirus briefings, …

Will Super Saturday prove a washout?

July 3rd, 2020

12:04
One day to go until 'Super Saturday', when pubs and restaurants in England (except Leicester) will reopen. But polls show that only a small minority …

How schools will look after the pandemic

July 2nd, 2020

13:50
The government has set out its guidelines for how schools will look come September. Attendance will be compulsory, and even Labour is on board. Cindy …

Should the government go further on Hong Kong?

July 1st, 2020

17:00
China's new national security law has been passed in Hong Kong, and from this morning it has been implemented as handfuls of protestors have already …

What's so new in Boris's 'New Deal'?

June 30th, 2020

14:40
The country is facing a post-pandemic recession that will leave millions unemployed and businesses bankrupted, so despite all the noise, is Boris's 'New Deal' tackling the right problems? Our Economics Correspondent …

Will the 'whack-a-mole' approach of local lockdowns work?

June 29th, 2020

16:02
Leicester is set to lock down locally. It's an approach that the Prime Minister has dubbed 'whack-a-mole', referring to clampdowns on local clusters …

What Sedwill's departure means for No 10's civil service reform

June 28th, 2020

13:37
The Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill has announced that he will be stepping down in September, though his resignation letter suggests that it wasn't necessarily his decision. This move comes as Michael Gove makes a …

Cindy Yu's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 28/06/20

June 28th, 2020

12:13

Cindy Yu presents the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with Priti Patel, Jonathan Reynolds and Ed Miliband. 

Has Keir Starmer upset Labour's fragile unity?

June 27th, 2020

13:28
Throughout the leadership contest, Keir Starmer was careful not to upset the delicate balance between the hard left and the moderates in the party. …

The government's dilemma on reopening

June 26th, 2020

14:15
The government wants the country to head back out and boost the economy, but scenes at Bournemouth beach and elsewhere reflect the government's dilemma - how much reopening is enough to keep the economy afloat, but …

Will Long Bailey's sacking trigger a Corbynite backlash?

June 25th, 2020

11:24
After retweeting an interview with Maxine Peake in which the actress voiced an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, Rebecca Long Bailey has been sacked as the shadow education secretary. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to …

Can Keir Starmer get under Boris's skin?

June 24th, 2020

13:16
With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth.

Presented by Katy Balls.

The Spectator is looking for the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic …

The new common sense phase of lockdown

June 23rd, 2020

13:07
Boris Johnson has announced further measures to ease the lockdown, and from the 4th July, more venues will be open than not, including restaurants, …

What's behind the brewing Sunday trading Tory rebellion?

June 22nd, 2020

14:49
There's a rebellion brewing on the backbenches - MPs claim that there are over 50 backbenchers who oppose the government's proposal to loosen Sunday trading laws. On the podcast, Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and …

Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 21/06/20

June 21st, 2020

11:31

Katy Balls hosts the highlights from Sunday's interviews. With Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Rachel Reeves and Shaun Bailey. 

Is the Foreign Office DfiD merger a mistake?

June 20th, 2020

23:26
The plans for a merger between the two departments has united three former prime ministers in their criticism. Andrew Mitchell, Tory MP and former International Development Secretary, certainly thinks it's a disastrous …

What the new alert level means for lockdown easing

June 19th, 2020

14:08
The government has downgraded the coronavirus alert level from 4 to 3, with the support of its scientific advisers. So is it about time to ease lockdown even further? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson …

Why did the government persist with its doomed app?

June 18th, 2020

11:24
The government is today announcing a switch from its NHS-built contact tracing app in favour of one built by Apple and Google. On the podcast, Katy Balls asks James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson - why has it taken them so …

Is Boris Johnson's week starting to look up?

June 17th, 2020

20:42
At Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson cornered Keir Starmer on the Labour party's ambivalent position on schools reopening. After a bumpy …
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