Coffee House Shots
Coffee House Shots
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Instant political analysis from the Spectator's top team of writers, including Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth, Isabel Hardman, Katy Balls and many others.
This morning Buckingham Palace has announced that King Charles's State visit to France has been cancelled as the country struggles with nationwide strikes against the government's pension reform. The King was due to visit Paris and Bordeaux, two of the cities which have been hit by the most extreme violence. Will his trip to Germany go ahead as planned? Also on the podcast, Rishi Sunak has been buoyed by a successful week in which he pulled off his Brexit plan. Will he be able to weather the storm next week when small boats are back on the agenda? Is there a world in which Sunak could pull off an election victory? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
Keir Starmer today seemed to change his party's stance on self-identification for transgender people. Before, Starmer said Labour would update the Gender Recognition Act so transgender people could self-identify as whatever gender they wanted. Today, he said that 'if you’re going to make reforms, you have to carry the public with you.' What's changed? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
Today Boris Johnson sat through a grueling four-hour hearing into whether the former Prime Minister deliberately misled parliament. Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson take a look at the key moments of the meeting; and whether Rishi Sunak should be worried about the Brexit vote rebels.
Boris Johnson has today made his defence of partygate, before he is questioned by the Privileges Committee tomorrow. He accepts that he misled the House of Commons, but insists he made his statements ‘in good faith’ and that he ‘would never have dreamed’ of doing so intentionally. But who's going to support him now? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Paul Goodman.
Ahead of the vote on Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP has said he will not back the key parts of the Windsor Framework. How much could this become a problem for Rishi Sunak? Also on Wednesday, what are the possible outcomes of Boris Johnson’s probe into Partygate? Natasha Feroze, Katy Balls and James Heale take a look at the week ahead.
Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday morning’s political shows. Oliver Dowden, the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, defended it taking so long for the government to come to an agreement with NHS unions over pay; Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, said the government's Rwanda deportation policy was 'unworkable'; and SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes explained how she thinks her party can regain the trust of its members. Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill.
The SNP has confirmed that its membership has fallen to 72,000 – a loss of over 30,000 since 2021. This has prompted an open letter from leadership candidates Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, calling for transparency when it comes to membership numbers. Why are so many leaving? Also on the podcast, Humza Yousaf has committed yet another public gaffe when he went to visit a group of female Ukrainian refugees. Is he still the firm favourite? Katy Balls speaks to Michael Simmons, Lucy Dunn and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Oscar Edmondson.
A look ahead to next week where MPs will vote on parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. What would a win look like for the government? The vote has been conveniently placed on the same day Boris Johnson is already in parliament for the privileges committee hearing. The lone rebel of the protocol will have to put his money where his mouth is – which way will he vote? Natasha Feroze speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.
The day after Jeremy Hunt's Spring Budget has been fairly muted compared to recent Budget hangovers. What has been the overall reaction? On the global markets, Kate Andrews looks at the international reaction after Credit Suisse shares fell by more than 30 per cent yesterday. And what's behind the recent breakthrough in negotiations between NHS Unions and Ministers? Natasha Feroze speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor has unveiled his spring Budget, which was accompanied by forecasts predicting that the UK will avoid recession this year and that inflation will drop to below 3 per cent by the end of the year. But do the measures go far enough? Katy Balls speaks to Kate Andrews and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson.
After a tumultuous two weeks, voting is now open for the SNP leadership elections until 27 March. But are members any closer to knowing who they’ll vote for? The deputy first minister of the SNP, John Swinney has backed Humza Yousaf to be SNP leader. What could be seen as an influential endorsement by some, can also be a sign that the Yousaf campaign is worried things are tighter than hoped. Michael Simmons speaks to Katy Balls and Alex Massie.
MPs voted through the second reading of the Illegal Migration bill last night with a 62-vote majority. There was a handful of Tory MPs that abstained from voting but importantly, despite threats of a rebellion, no Conservative MPs voted against it. Seen as an election-winning issue, is this a rare sign of unity from the party? Also on the podcast, Katy Balls and James Heale take a look ahead at the Budget tomorrow.
Today Rishi Sunak's diplomacy is taking centre stage. He is currently in San Diego for talks with President Biden and the government has just released its refreshed Integrated Review, which includes strengthened language on China, the Russia-Ukraine war and science and tech. Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Sophia Gaston, head of foreign policy at the think tank Policy Exchange. Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson.
Two stories dominated the news agenda over the weekend, one concerning a household name and the other involving a bank which – before Sunday – few had heard of. What is the political significance of Gary Lineker's row with the BBC? And after the fall of Silicon Valley Bank, are we heading for a regional banking crisis? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews. Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson.
Boris Johnson is reportedly cutting the number of names on his honours list from 100 to 60 (still much higher than the average honours list for former prime ministers). This is a Tory sleaze scandal in the making, so should Rishi Sunak think about blocking it? Or could the reminder of Johnson's flaws actually help the Sunak premiership? James Heale discusses with Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Cindy Yu and Kevin Swartwood.
Rishi Sunak was in Paris today meeting with President Emmanuel Macron. The pair unveiled a new deal to stop the Channel crossings as part of the first Franco-British summit for five years. Will the new measures work? Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform.
The shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson is giving a speech to centre-right think tank Onward today, all about childcare. But is the party actually saying anything new on the issue? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and the FT's Stephen Bush. Produced by Cindy Yu.
It's been reported that more damaging messages sent by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case during the pandemic will surface in the Daily Telegraph's Lockdown Files, leading to speculation over whether he will still be in position by the time of the King's coronation. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Heale about whether the Cabinet Secretary will soon have to step down. Produced by Cindy Yu.
Suella Braverman unveiled the Illegal Migration Bill today in the Commons. The Home Secretary said that Britain had been 'taken for a ride', as she revealed the government's plan to detain asylum seekers for up to 28 days 'without bail or judicial review until they can be removed'. Will this contravene the European Convention on Human Rights? And even if it does, will it make a difference to small boats crossings? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.
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