Coffee House Shots

Coffee House Shots Podcast

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

Is there still hope for Unionism?
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 Sturgeon has not sustained damage - so is there still any hope for Unionism? Katy Balls talks to Fraser Nelson and Stephen Daisley, with a cameo appearance from James Forsyth....

How much does Margaret Ferrier's Covid breach threaten the SNP?
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 strictest rules on lockdown, has this threatened the party's reputation? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth....

Are local authorities fighting back against Covid restrictions?
Middlesborough's mayor, Andy Preston, today refused to accept the government's decision to place households in the town under a local lockdown. Accusing Westminster decision-makers of 'ignorance', the mayor said the new measures would 'kill viable jobs' and 'damage mental health'. Is this the start of regional authorities fighting back? Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....


Is the whack-a-mole lockdown strategy working?
Keir Starmer attacked Boris Johnson in PMQs today over the effectiveness of local lockdowns, saying in some areas 'things are getting worse not better'. After the PM himself got the rules mixed up yesterday, is the government's strategy working, or is a change of strategy needed? Katy Balls speaks to James Forsyth....

Live at Alternative Conference
The Prime Minister was forced to apologise this afternoon after misstating new lockdown rules brought into force overnight in the North East. Is government incompetence costing it support? In a live episode of Coffee House Shots for The Spectator's Alternative Conference, Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and James Johnson, co-founder of polling company JL Partners....

Can the government avoid a showdown with Tory backbenchers?
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 MPs a say, can they avoid a showdown with Tory backbenchers? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....


Is Rishi Sunak on the path to No. 10?
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 pitfalls Rishi Sunak could face in the months ahead? Cindy Yu talks to Katy and James Johnson, former pollster at No 10 and co-founder of J.L. Partners....

Why even moderate Tories are voting against No. 10
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 amendment, including moderate Tories like Damian Green and Iain Duncan Smith. But why have they chosen to move against No. 10? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....


Rishi Sunak slowly turns the taps off
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 government would pay up to 22 per cent of workers' wages. The package may be generous, but is it a sign that the government is winding down the scale of its economic interventions? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews....

Should the government admit its mistakes?
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 government right to blame the public for a rise in Covid cases, or should they adopt a more contrite tone and admit to mistakes in areas like testing? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....

Can the lockdown hawks stave off further restrictions?
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 and pledged to crack down on rule-breakers. The package of new restrictions were not as sweeping as many Tory MPs had feared, but with the Prime Minister saying that his government could yet 'deploy greater firepower', is this just the beginning? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....


Why won't Vallance and Whitty answer any questions?
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 unnecessary links between households' and warned that the UK could see 50,000 new coronavirus infections a day by mid-October. But why didn't Vallance and Whitty answer questions from journalists? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....

What does Europe teach the UK about a Covid second wave?
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 tackle it. But from Sweden to Belgium, which European country should we follow, and is anyone in government listening? Kate Andrews talks to Fraser Nelson and Swedish economist Fredrik Erixon....


What's the point of a two-week lockdown?
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 inevitable? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....

The impossibility of Moonshot without fixing test and trace
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 continued restrictions. But with mounting reports about the failing test and trace system, is Operation Moonshot impossible? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....

Has the government's Brexit plot backfired?
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 anytime soon, and provides the government leverage for a deal in that Council. So was this a ploy to get a better deal all along, or is the plan backfiring?...


Can the government fix the testing meltdown?
Amid reports of local testing shortages, Matt Hancock told MPs today that the system is facing an 'enormous challenge' after a 'sharp rise' in demand. While the government has pledged to deliver 500,000 tests a day by the end of October, just 220,000 are currently being processed. Can the government fix the problem? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....

Can Boris stave off a Tory Brexit rebellion?
Former attorney general Geoffrey Cox has today warned that the Internal Markets Bill could cause 'unconscionable' damage to the UK's international standing. With a vote on the legislation due later today, could a rebellion overcome the government's majority? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....


Will Ireland stump a Brexit deal?
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 Bill. But how will Ireland, one of the countries most affected by the government's decision, react? Katy Balls speaks to Peter Foster, public policy editor of the Financial Times, Pat Leahy, political editor of the Irish times, and James Forsyth....

The growing Tory unease over lockdown
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 government to try harder to make a case for its approach?...

Are the Brexit talks about to break down?
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 government. With negotiations in a more acrimonious stage than they have been for a long time, are the talks about to break down? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....


Is Britain facing a second Covid crackdown?
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 restrictions come after a spike in coronavirus cases, and were brought in alongside threats to fine those who break the rules. But is there more to come? John Connolly speaks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth....

How will Tory MPs react to No. 10's Brexit law breach?
As Michel Barnier arrives in London for another round of trade talks, Brandon Lewis today said that government plans to reinterpret the Brexit withdrawal treaty could break international law. Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about what the No. 10 proposals could mean, and whether Tory backbenchers can stomach the move....

Will the hardline Brexit approach work?
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 Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth about the government's hardline approach....


Will state aid sink a Brexit deal?
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 state aid - which makes up just 0.34 per cent of the UK's GDP - scupper an agreement with the EU? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....

Will the Tories accept tax rises?
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 Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....


Is mass testing the answer?
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 social distancing. Does it really offer a way out? John Connolly speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....

The latest No. 10 U-turn
Bolton and Trafford were returned to Manchester's local lockdown this morning after yet another U-turn by the government. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer went head to head for their first PMQs of the new parliamentary term. Finally, Rishi Sunak and the PM met members of the 2019 Tory intake in an attempt to shore up the government's backbench support. John Connolly speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls....

Can Simon Case reform the civil service?
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 Balls about the country's most powerful official....


Is this the next cladding scandal?
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 rules have left some tower block tenants unable to sell their properties, and they could be forced to pay tens of thousands to replace dangerous classing. Why? Fraser Nelson speaks to Emma Byrne, assistant editor of the Spectator, alongside the Telegraph's Liam Halligan....

Can Boris get people back in the office?
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 hardline approach, telling readers that they could lose their jobs unless they returned to work. Is this really the government's approach, and why are offices important? John Connolly speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....

Can self-isolation payments improve test and trace?
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 trace system? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Kate Andrews....


Will the next U-turn be on face masks at work?
The government reversed its position on masks in schools late yesterday evening, announcing that secondary school pupils in local lockdown areas would be mandated to wear face coverings in communal areas. Could masks in offices be next? John Connolly speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth about why the government keeps changing its mind....

Will the next U-turn be on face masks at work?
The government reversed its position on masks in schools late yesterday evening, announcing that secondary school pupils in local lockdown areas would be mandated to wear face coverings in communal areas. Could face masks in offices be next? John Connolly speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth about why the government keeps changing its mind....

Is Boris being too defensive on the culture wars?
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 because of the songs' associations with slavery and colonialism. Boris Johnson hit back at the broadcaster today, however, calling for an end to 'this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness'. But was the Prime Minister's response strong enough? Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....


Can Gavin Williamson reopen England's schools?
Boris Johnson has returned from his holiday to embark on a media campaign promoting September's schools reopening. With Scottish pupils already back - and the initial signs of their return looking positive - can Gavin Williamson stage a successful reopening, or will the beleaguered education secretary face another fiasco? John Connolly speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth....

Why is Starmer's support surging?
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, what is Keir Starmer doing right, and should we expect further gains? Cindy Yu speaks to the Spectator's deputy political editor Katy Balls and Stephen Bush, political editor at the New Statesman....

Britain's £2 trillion debt problem
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 Boris Johnson plan to keep on spending? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews....


Where will the next local lockdown be?
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 the UK's second largest city? Cindy Yu speaks to Kate Andrews and Katy Balls about the contenders for Britain's next local lockdown, and also asks whether there are alternatives to the 14-day quarantine for returning holidaymakers....

How Nicola Sturgeon outsmarts Westminster
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 Fraser Nelson about why - in particular, how does Nicola Sturgeon continue to exceed Westminster's expectations?...

How Nicola Sturgeon outsmarts Westminster
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 Fraser Nelson about why - in particular, how does Nicola Sturgeon continue to exceed Westminster's expectations?...


Why has the government scrapped Public Health England?
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 scheme. John Connolly speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews about why....

What's behind the government's dramatic U-turn?
Gavin Williamson announced this afternoon that pupils receiving A-level and GCSE results this year would be awarded teacher-predicted marks. Why has the government finally changed its mind, and will Gavin Williamson stay in the Cabinet? Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls....

Is the government about to U-turn on exams?
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 results out later this week and Ofqual's algorithm revealing significant inequalities, is this position sustainable? John Connolly talks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson....


Kaya's story: why the government's exams triple lock doesn't help
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 set of grades high enough to meet her offer to study Medicine at UCL. But the government's exams algorithm this week downgraded her results down to AABB, which means she not only misses the UCL offer but also her back-up at Cardiff. On the podcast, Kaya and Fraser go through her options to conclude that the government's so-called 'triple lock' does very little ...

Should France have been kicked off the greenlist?
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? Cindy Yu talks to Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews about this decision. Also on the podcast, further lockdown easing and, are schools actually returning?...

Levelling down: the results day fiasco
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 downgraded. For some schools and colleges, more than half of their students have been affected. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to Fraser Nelson and Mary Curnock Cook, former head of Ucas about the government's approach, educational inequality, and why a new cap on university places may have made the situation a whole lot worse....


Why is Labour struggling to attack Boris Johnson?
Gavin Williamson last night announced that A-level students getting their results tomorrow could appeal using mock exam grades. Meanwhile, today, new figures showed that the UK economy contracted by over 20 per cent between April and June. Amidst all this, why has Labour failed to show how they could govern the country better? Fraser Nelson speaks to Kate Andrews, the Spectator's economics correspondent, and Stephen Bush, political editor at the New Statesman. Subscribe to The Spectator's first podcast new...

Will England have to follow Scotland's exams U-turn?
After a week of feet dragging, the Scottish government has today dramatically U-turned on downgrading exam results for 76,000 students. Those who received lower marks will now revert to the original predicted grades given by their teachers. Meanwhile, we are two days away from the English A-Level results being out, so will Gavin Williamson also reconsider the way results are moderated in England? Cindy Yu talks to Alex Massie and Kate Andrews. Also on the podcast: the latest ONS jobs figures. Subscribe to ...

Is the Preston lockdown justified?
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 based on the right metrics. Subscribe to The Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....


Are the Lib Dems finished?
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 to Katy Balls and Nick Tyrone, author of Politics is Murder, about how a new leader could pull the Lib Dems back from the brink of extinction. Subscribe to The Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in ...

Are the Lib Dems finished?
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 to Katy Balls and Nick Tyrone, author of Politics is Murder, about how a new leader could pull the Lib Dems back from the brink of extinction. Subscribe to The Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in ...

Will France be quarantined next?
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, also seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, will they be next? Gus Carter speaks to Katy Balls – who is on holiday in Paris – and James Forsyth about air bridges, exam results and the lack of candidates to become the next cabinet secretary. Subscribe to The Spectator's first podcast newsletter ...


Will Boris's planning reforms backfire?
The government has announced the most ambitious planning reforms of a generation – but could they backfire? Meanwhile, as the contacting tracing regime continues to lag, health officials launch a new coronavirus app that will tell people if they may be at risk from the virus. Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Kate Andrews.  Subscribe to The Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Can Douglas Ross take on the SNP?
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 accused of rape. Finally, a new report by a cross-party group of MPs suggests the failure to impose quarantine on travellers at the height of the pandemic could have worsened the coronavirus crisis. Gus Carter talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to The Spectator's first podcast...

Are we heading for mass unemployment?
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, should we expect more mass redundancies when the government support is cut? Gus Carter speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews about the UK's economic outlook, and also asks whether the UK's track and trace system is ready for children returning to school next month. Subscribe to the Spectator's podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlight...


Can 'Eat Out to Help Out' save the restaurant industry?
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, as well as the possibility of more local lockdowns. Subscribe to the Spectator's podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

What's behind the excess deaths statistics?
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 Oxford University about what's behind the numbers.  Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

What's behind the excess deaths statistics?
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 Oxford University about what's behind the numbers.  Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....


Boris Johnson pauses lockdown easing
Overnight, the government announced a return of stricter social distancing measures in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, with multiple households no longer allowed to meet indoors or in pubs and restaurants. Then, in a press conference today, the Prime Minister also called off the reopening of bowling alleys, casinos and indoor concert venues. What prompted the sudden change, and are we entering a second lockdown? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spect...

Boris Johnson pauses lockdown easing
Overnight, the government announced a return of stricter social distancing measures in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, with multiple households no longer allowed to meet indoors or in pubs and restaurants. Then, in a press conference today, the Prime Minister also called off the reopening of bowling alleys, casinos and indoor concert venues. What prompted the sudden change, and are we entering a second lockdown? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spect...

Why are England's excess deaths so high?
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 second spike? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....


Why are England's excess deaths so high?
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 second spike? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Could the government be over-correcting on a second wave?
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 Forsyth and Katy Balls over the difficult task the government has to balance the lessons learnt from the first wave of the pandemic, to the economic concerns prompting the lockdown. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Could the government be over-correcting on a second wave?
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 Forsyth and Katy Balls over the difficult task the government has to balance the lessons learnt from the first wave of the pandemic, to the economic concerns prompting the lockdown. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....


Is a second wave imminent?
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, and could the UK cope with another lockdown? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Kate Andrews. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Was there a different way to handle the Spanish quarantine?
Within a few hours, the government enacted a quarantine policy for those returning from Spain (including the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, and almost including our own Economics Correspondent Kate Andrews). There's been confusion and unhappiness over the speed with which this was put in place, but did the government have any choice? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each wee...

Was there a different way to handle the Spanish quarantine?
Within a few hours, the government enacted a quarantine policy for those returning from Spain (including the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, and almost including our own Economics Correspondent Kate Andrews). There's been confusion and unhappiness over the speed with which this was put in place, but did the government have any choice? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each wee...


Prime Minister Johnson's turbulent first year
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 shown in a TV show fans would complain about too much being squeezed into one season. On the podcast, Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and former MP and director of Political Insight, Stewart Jackson, about this turbulent last year. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter her...

Will Boris's war on obesity succeed?
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 meet opposition within his own party? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Also on the podcast: when is normality going to return, and are anti-vaxxers 'nuts'? Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each we...


Could Boris's Scotland charm offensive backfire?
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 and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Starmer vs Corbyn
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 and the Russia report. Will this cut through to the voters? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Is there anything new in the Russia report?
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 Political Editor, Stephen Bush. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....


Is TikTok the next Huawei?
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 arrives in the UK today to meet with Conservative backbenchers and the government to discuss China further. Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about what to expect from the government on China next. Also on the episode: the race to buy up vaccines and Cabinet's return to normality. Sub...

Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 19/07/20
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?
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 north of the border. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and our Scotland Editor Alex Massie about what the Tories can do about this. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights i...


Does the government's plan really approach 'significant normality'?
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 timeline too optimistic? John Connolly talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Why the government moved against Julian Lewis
Chris Grayling failed to win the chairmanship of the Intelligence and Security Committee on Wednesday evening. In his stead, Julian Lewis clinched the position, and No 10 withdrew the whip from Lewis. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth about why this happened and whether it's better to rule by fear or love. Also on the episode: Shamima Begum and Patrick Vallance's comments on working from home. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co....

Who should be worried about the independent Covid inquiry?
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 find and who should be worried. Watch the Spectator's own inquiry into the government's handling of the pandemic on Thursday evening at 6pm with Andrew Neil, Katy Balls, James Forsyth, and Kate Andrews. Tickets here (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/covid-19-lessons-learned-tickets-112979384380)...


Why Boris u-turned on Huawei
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 would wish. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson about the UK's China policy in the years to come. Also on the episode: masks and the Union. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

Does anyone know the truth about face masks?
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. Scotland has already made it compulsory. But it wasn't long ago when the government was saying that face masks may even harm efforts to control the virus. So does anyone know the truth about face masks? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlight...


Dominic Cummings's plans for defence reform
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 and defence capabilities? Katy Balls finds out from James Forsyth and the Times's Defence Editor Lucy Fisher. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your inbox every Tuesday....

The government's inconsistent messaging on lockdown easing
New lockdown easing measures have been announced, so later this month swimming pools, gyms, and outdoor theatres will be reopening in England. At the same time, the government advice on offices is still to work from home and do not travel by public transport. So are offices and trains really much less safe than beauty salons and pools? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each...

Is Rishi Sunak really hinting at tax rises?
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 Governor of the Bank of England is still planning to address the 1922 committee, John Lewis's troubles, and Mark Sedwill's severance pay. Subscribe to the Spectator's first podcast newsletter here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast-highlights) and get each week's podcast highlights in your...


Can Rishi Sunak’s jobs pledge keep unemployment down?
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 reduction, he has announced measures designed to keep down unemployment. But the government is clearly braced for a wave of unemployment when furlough ends, so are his pledges enough? Katy Balls talks to Kate Andrews and James Forsyth. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £...

Is social care reform now inevitable?
Boris Johnson has rowed back on comments suggesting that care homes suffered from the pandemic because they did not follow procedure, after a widespread backlash. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about whether or not social care reform is inevitable, as well as why Andrew Bailey planned to address the Tory 1922 committee and the Magnitsky Act. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £20 Am...

Why the government's arts bailout was so generous
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 discuss Pret's troubles and the coming Huawei u-turn. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £20 Amazon gift voucher....


Will No 10's press briefing shake-up really deliver more transparency?
Downing St has announced that it will be televising its afternoon lobby press briefing, come October. Inspired by the daily coronavirus briefings, it's a shake-up that supporters say could improve transparency. On the podcast, Katy Balls speaks to former No 10 comms chief Craig Oliver, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. They also take a punt at which experienced broadcaster may be brought in to deliver the briefing. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of t...

Will Super Saturday prove a washout?
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 of Brits will go back to the pubs. Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson about what this would mean for post-pandemic recovery. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £20 Amazon gift voucher....


How schools will look after the pandemic
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 Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about the new world of schooling. Also on the podcast: why the Frost-Barnier meeting broke up a day early and Scotland's lockdown easing. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £20 Amazon gift voucher....

Should the government go further on Hong Kong?
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 been arrested under its new wide-ranging powers. Dominic Raab has pledged to speed up the process to offer British residency for Hong Kong's BNO passport holders and their dependents. Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about whether or not the government should go further. Also on the podcast: the local lockdown in Leicester and Keir Starmer's new s...

What's so new in Boris's 'New Deal'?
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 Kate Andrews joins the podcast today, and tells James Forsyth and Katy Balls why she thinks today's announcement was little more than rehashing of the Conservatives' pre-coronavirus manifesto. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Specta...


Will the 'whack-a-mole' approach of local lockdowns work?
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 that will inevitably arise in the coming months. All eyes are on Leicester's experience now as it signals whether or not the national lockdown is a thing of the past. Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Also on the podcast: the government's schools funding and socially distanced weddings. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=...

What Sedwill's departure means for No 10's civil service reform
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 wide-ranging speech on reform of the civil service. The government looks to be gearing up its Whitehall reform, and on the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about how these events are all linked. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try ...


Has Keir Starmer upset Labour's fragile unity?
Throughout the leadership contest, Keir Starmer was careful not to upset the delicate balance between the hard left and the moderates in the party. But with the sacking of Rebecca Long Bailey, he has risked the wrath of the Corbynites and unambiguously moved the party on from the era of Corbyn. Has he triggered a new Labour civil war? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and the New Statesman's Stephen Bush. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Specta...

The government's dilemma on reopening
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 without triggering a second wave of infections? John Connolly speaks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A521B&pkgcode=03) to try 12 weeks of the Spectator for £12 and get a free £20 Amazon gift voucher....

Will Long Bailey's sacking trigger a Corbynite backlash?
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 James Forsyth and Katy Balls about whether or not this will trigger a Corbynite backlash. The Spectator is looking for the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards, sponsored by private bank Julius Baer. If you run a business that brings radical positive change...


Can Keir Starmer get under Boris's skin?
With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. The Spectator is looking for the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards, sponsored by private bank Julius Baer. If you run a business that brings radical positive change and is capable of achieving national or international impact, we want to hear from you. Apply by 1 July at http://www.spectator.co.uk/innovator....

The new common sense phase of lockdown
Boris Johnson has announced further measures to ease the lockdown, and from the 4th July, more venues will be open than not, including restaurants, pubs, and galleries. It also marks a new phase in the lockdown, when social distancing will be guidelines, not law. But does the public actually want the lockdown to be eased? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. The Spectator is looking for the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards, sponsored by private bank...

What's behind the brewing Sunday trading Tory rebellion?
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 Fraser Nelson about whether there might be more to this rebellion than initially meets the eye. The Spectator is partnering with private bank Julius Baer to find the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards. If you run a business that brings radical positive c...


Is the Foreign Office DfiD merger a mistake?
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 idea, and claims that Boris Johnson promised to his face that this would not happen. Andrew joins Katy Balls and Jame Forsyth on the podcast, together with David Lidington, former Cabinet minister and previously at the Foreign Office, who thinks that it's actually a good idea. Click here (ht...

What the new alert level means for lockdown easing
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 about this and the discovery of the magic money tree, as debt is now worth more than British GDP. The Spectator is partnering with private bank Julius Baer to find the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards. If you run a business that brings radical positi...


Why did the government persist with its doomed app?
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 long to admit defeat? The Spectator is partnering with private bank Julius Baer to find the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards. If you run a business that brings radical positive change and is capable of achieving national or international impact, we wa...

Is Boris Johnson's week starting to look up?
At Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson cornered Keir Starmer on the Labour party's ambivalent position on schools reopening. After a bumpy start to the week, is the Prime Minister's luck turning? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson about this, the 1922 committee meeting, and Westminster reopening. The Spectator is partnering with private bank Julius Baer to find the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards. If you run a business that brings radical po...

Was the government's free meals U-turn inevitable?
After the highly publicised campaign by the footballer Marcus Rashford, the government has U-turned on the question of free school meals in the summer. Was it inevitable, and what does this move mean for public spending? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Kate Andrews about this as well as the Foreign Office merger and the Oxford drug breakthrough. The Spectator is partnering with private bank Julius Baer to find the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards. If you run ...


Will the government's lockdown easing work?
As the government tries to encourage more spending with the opening of non-essential shops today, is the public still too cautious about Covid? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. The Spectator is partnering with private bank Julius Baer to find the UK's brightest entrepreneurs for our Economic Innovator of the Year Awards. If you run a business that brings radical positive change and is capable of achieving national or international impact, we want to hear from you. Apply by 1 July at htt...

Is toppling a statue an act of performance art?
Has the statue of Churchill been improved by being enclosed in a protective casing? Was Colston's toppling one of the greatest acts of performance art? Or is this all a sad indictment of the state of British politics? Fraser Nelson talks to The Spectator's arts editor Igor Toronyi-Lalic and Coffee House contributor and writer Claire Fox....


The Tory fightback against identity politics
Late last night, the statue of Winston Churchill on Parliament Square was boarded up over fears the monument could again be targeted by Black Lives Matter protestors. This morning, Boris Johnson intervened saying that it is 'shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack'. Katy Balls talks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth about the looming Tory fightback against identity politics.  Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free here (ht...

How long can the two-metre rule last?
Tory MPs are increasingly concerned about the impact of the two-metre rule, with No. 10 facing pressure to relax the policy to help save businesses. Gus Carter talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A571G&pkgcode=03) ....


Why aren't schools reopening?
The government has shelved its aim of reopening primary schools before the end of term amid growing pressure from parents and unions. But how will that affect the poorest students? Katy Balls talks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A571G&pkgcode=03) ....

The politics of toppling a statue
Thousands of protesters took to the streets this weekend as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. In Bristol, a statue of the slaver Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the city's docks. But are we now seeing a change in the government's response? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth.  Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A571G&pkgcode=03) ....


How the government is preparing for the inevitable Covid inquiry
Some decision-makers have already made timelines of their actions since the start of the pandemic, James Forsyth reveals (https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/whitehall-on-trial-how-the-government-is-preparing-for-the-covid-inquiry) in his political column for this week's Spectator. How does the knowledge that an inquiry is coming change the way the pandemic is dealt with? John Connolly talks to James and Katy Balls. Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free...

Is it time for the government to admit its mistakes?
With an NHS tracing app not fully up and running until autumn, contact tracing seems like the latest in a series of events where the government has over-promised and under-delivered. Is it time for the government to admit the mistakes it has made in dealing with the pandemic? Katy Balls speaks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A571G&pkgcode=03) ....

Why has the government U-turned on face masks?
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that face masks will be compulsory on public transport from mid-June. Until recently, that was explicitly not the government advice. What's changed? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth. Get a subscription to The Spectator as well as a copy of Lionel Shriver's book, all for free here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A571G&pkgcode=03) ....


The end of Keir Starmer's 'constructive opposition'
The time for constructive opposition is over, as Keir Starmer picks up a new tone in his interview to the Guardian, which he continued in PMQs. Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about this strategy; and other issues of proxy voting, Scottish care homes, the BAME impact, and a new testing target. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

Does Rees-Mogg's plan for a socially distanced parliament work?
MPs are back in the House of Commons this week, and Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg wants them to vote physically, but socially distanced. This means a meandering queue through the Palace of Westminster for MPs to file through the lobbies. Will it work? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson in the Spectator's garden. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

Will MPs rebel over No. 10's quarantine plan?
From the speed of easing lockdown, to quarantine for international travellers, to the return of MPs to parliament - the government is fighting battles on many fronts. Has it made things more difficult for itself? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....


How will a socially distanced House of Commons work?
MPs are returning to parliament next week, marking an end of the hybrid model that saw most MPs Zooming into parliamentary debates. On the podcast, John Connolly talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about the challenges in a socially distanced House of Commons. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....


Is it really 'case closed' on the Cummings affair?
Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance refused to give their opinions on the Dominic Cummings affair at today's press conference; while Durham police indicated that they will not be investigating the Barnard Castle trip any further, after announcing that it might have been a minor breach. Downing Street says it's 'case closed' - is it really? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G...

What did Boris's evidence to MPs reveal?
The Prime Minister appeared for the first time in his premiership in front of the Liaison Committee today. The group, formed of select committee chairs, grilled him on a range of issues from Dominic Cummings to pandemic support, and more. John Connolly talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls about what we learnt. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

What does the slump in the polls mean for Conservatives?
The latest polling shows that even a majority of Conservative voters want Dominic Cummings out; and the Prime Minister's own standing has taken a dramatic hit. Cindy Yu speaks to pollster James Johnson and our own Katy Balls about what this means. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....


Could public opinion make Cummings's position untenable?
The latest polling shows a drastic change in the Prime Minister's popularity because of the Cummings affair. Though the government is still sticking behind the adviser, will the sheer force of public opinion change things? John Connolly speaks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

Has Cummings done enough to calm Tory MPs?
In an unprecedented press conference today, Dominic Cummings explained the circumstances in which he took his family to Durham, and the exact timeline. He struck a sincere tone, but stopped short of apologising. Has he said enough to stem the backlash? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

Boris Johnson's political gamble over Cummings
Boris Johnson gave an unambiguous defence of Dominic Cummings at today's press conference. In so doing, the government is gambling that this is a storm they can weather. On the podcast, Kate Andrews discusses their thinking with Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....


The Dominic Cummings imbroglio
The government has come out in defence of Dominic Cummings's decision to travel to Durham during lockdown. On the podcast, two Spectator writers give their opposing views on whether or not he made the right decision. With Alex Massie and Melanie McDonagh. Presented by Katy Balls. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

Has Starmer put Tories on the backfoot?
Keir Starmer is off to a good start in his first 50 days as Labour leader. But has he done enough to start bringing back former Labour voters? With Stephen Bush, the New Statesman's Political Editor, and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....


Can the government bring back the economy?
New figures from the ONS today show the extent of damage done to the economy. Is this recoverable? With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

Why the government U-turned on the NHS surcharge
Within 24 hours of refusing to scrap the NHS surcharge for migrant healthworkers, the government has U-turned. We discuss why; as well as Scotland's lockdown easing and the new civil servant at No 10, Simon Case. With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Get a month's free trial of The Spectator and a free wireless charger here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....

Can the government get contact tracing up and running by June?
Boris Johnson pledges to get track and trace up by June 1, but is it possible? Plus, how is the government handling the new Opposition Leader, Keir Starmer, and how is the UK going to implement its Northern Ireland agreement with the EU? With Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Presented by Fraser Nelson. Click here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) to try four weeks of the Spectator for free and get a free wireless charger....


Is the government blaming the scientists?
With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Try four weeks of the Spectator for free and get a free wireless charger at here (https://subscription.spectator.co.uk/?prom=A558G&pkgcode=03) ....


Is the Roche antibody test a gamechanger?
With Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Presented by John Connolly. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....


How generous is Rishi's furlough extension?
With Kate Andrews and Katy Balls. Presented by Cindy Yu. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....



Why is the 'R' number going back up?
With James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Presented by Cindy Yu. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....

Why Neil Ferguson's position was untenable
With Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Presented by Cindy Yu. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....


Could a return to normality come before a vaccine?
With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....



Will coronavirus make politicians fix social care?
With James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Presented by Cindy Yu. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....




Will Boris disappoint the lockdown hawks in government?
With Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....


The five tests for easing the lockdown
With Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Presented by Cindy Yu. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....


How much will coronavirus cripple the British economy?
With Katy Balls and Kate Andrews. Presented by Cindy Yu. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (https://www.rathboneslookforward.com/) ....



Why the lockdown isn't over yet
With Katy Balls and James Forsyth. Presented by John Connolly. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....


Will coronavirus usher in a new Conservatism?
With Kate Andrews and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (http://rathboneslookforward.com/) ....


Who is running the government?
With James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Presented by Katy Balls. Coffee House Shots is sponsored by 'Look Forward', the podcast from Rathbones on what the future might look like. Find out more at RathbonesLookForward.com (https://www.rathboneslookforward.com/) ....





What is Sunak's stimulus for the self-employed?
With Kate Andrews and James Forsyth. Presented by Katy Balls. Find this week's The Edition podcast with William Hague here (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast/the-front-line-how-the-nhs-is-preparing-for-battle) ....



What does coronavirus mean for Britain's prisons?
With Professor Ian Acheson, former prison officer and senior advisor at the Counter Extremism Project, and Chris Atkins, filmmaker and author of A Bit of a Stretch, a memoir detailing his incarceration in HMP Wandsworth. To hear more from Chris about his prison experience, he talked to Lara Prendergast and Olivia Potts on their Table Talk podcast (https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast/revealed-the-good-and-the-bad-of-prison-food) . Presented by Katy Balls....





Mervyn King on Radical Uncertainty
Fraser Nelson talks to Mervyn King about the limits of economics, where the number crunching in 2016 went wrong, and the sort of Brexit we should have....


Podcast LIVE: Budget Special
What does Rishi Sunak’s first Budget tell us about the future of this government – and the direction of conservatism? Fraser, James, and Katy were joined by Rachel Wolf, co-author of the 2019 Conservative manifesto, to give their reactions and analysis of the Budget....









Can feminism be capitalist?
Kate Andrews speaks to economist Deirdre McCloskey about Britain's comparative advantage, liberalism's contribution to women's rights, and why equality of permission is more important than equality of opportunity....







Katy Balls' Sunday Interviews Roundup - 09/02/20
Katy Balls hosts this week's Sunday Roundup, with contributions coming from John Bercow, Dawn Butler, Robert Jenrick, Robert Buckland, Jeremy Hunt, Rosena Allin-Khan and Liu Xiaoming. Produced by Matthew Taylor....








Is Huawei dangerous?
With Tom Tugendhat MP and Robin Pagnamenta, Head of Technology at the Telegraph. Presented by Katy Balls....




Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 12/01/20
Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political interviews. Featured on today's podcast are Rebecca Long-Bailey, Clive Lewis, Brandon Lewis, Simon Coveney and Emily Thornberry. Produced by Matthew Taylor....

Is 'levelling up' easier said than done?
With James Kirkup, Director of the Social Market Foundation, and Jen Williams, Politics and Investigations Editor at the Manchester Evening News. Presented by John Connolly....



Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 05/01/20
Isabel Hardman brings you the highlights from the first Sunday interview shows of the year. Guests on today's podcast include Dominic Raab, Emily Thornberry, Sir Keir Starmer, Jess Phillips, Lisa Nandy and Lord Tony Berkeley. Produced by Matthew Taylor....




Isabel Hardman's Sunday Interviews Roundup - 15/12/19
Isabel Hardman guides you through the highlights from the Sunday interviews. Featured on today's post-election podcast are John McDonnell, Lisa Nandy, Nicola Sturgeon, Michael Gove, Caroline Flint and Sir Ed Davey. Produced by Matthew Taylor....