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Dominic Cummings has promised that a “hard rain” is about to fall on the civil service in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. But what exactly does Number 10 have planned for Whitehall? PolHome’s Matt Honeycombe-Foster speaks to three people who know their stuff: Cath Haddon of the Institute for Government, Richard Johnstone of Civil Service World and Dave Penman, boss of the FDA trade union. Find out what all the fuss is about as Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill calls it quits — and what the appointment of Brexit negotiator David Frost to a top national security job really means.
Boris Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings finds himself at the centre of another political storm - and our reporter John Johnston is on hand for snap analysis of his emotional Rose Garden statement on that controversial lockdown journey to Durham with his family. Then Matt talks to Labour shadow minister Wes Streeting, Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey - and conservative commentator Tim Montgomerie to weigh up the political impact of Johnson’s decision to stand by his man.
On this week’s PolHome podcast, chief reporter Alain Tolhurst gives us his snap verdict on Boris Johnson’s big lockdown speech; Georgina Bailey of the House magazine chats to Baroness Angela Smith about the new virtual upper chamber and Keir Starmer’s performance in the top job; PLUS PolHome acting editor Matt Honeycombe-Foster talks to Ben Page, chief executive of IPSOS to find out what the public really thinks about the Government’s handling of the crisis. If you’ve got a question for our next episode, you can send us a voicemail at this link: https://anchor.fm/polhome/message
There were signs this week that Britain may have passed the coronavirus peak, Boris Johnson himself continues to recover at Chequers and PMQs, it turns out, works quite quite well via videolink.
Matt talks to The House magazine’s Georgina Bailey about the massive operation to get a virtual Commons up and running in record time, before Matt Lesh of the Adam Smith Institute and Ian Mulheirn of the Institute for Global Change fill us on the big dilemma facing ministers over the continued coronavirus shutdown.
THEN: PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield fields his final round of listeners' questions before heading for pastures new - and a star-studded line-up of PolHome veterans, lobby hacks and more look back on his 25 years at the top.
In the first full PoliticsHome podcast under the coronavirus lockdown, Matt Honeycombe-Foster speaks to a range of guests about the impact of the sweeping crisis on UK politics, the economy and families.
PolHome editor Kevin Schofield has the latest on the big row over testing, protective equipment and ventilators as the government faces
mounting criticism of the speed of the rollout of crucial interventions.
Then we chat to Conservative MP Rob Halfon about growing calls for a virtual Parliament to keep democracy running in a time of crisis, before the Resolution Foundation's Mike Brewer, Clare McNeil from the IPPR and Labour MP Alison McGovern from the Treasury select committee talk us through the likely economic toll of the Covid-19 shutdown and explain who needs more help.
If that wasn't enough, Kevin and Alison give their take on the Labour leadership contest, which has finally come to an end. Can the new Keir, err person, in charge rise to the challenge?
We are living in extraordinary times, and the coronavirus outbreak has dramatically changed the lives of most people in this country in a very short space of time. We’ve decided to start using the podcast to try to help you, our listeners, make sense of what’s going on - as well as shining a light on some of the other big stories that risk getting lost.
So, starting from our next week, we want to open up our contacts books to you and ask experts, policy makers, MPs YOUR questions about the response. Get them in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re also on Twitter as @PolHomeEditor and @matt_hfoster
This week’s special episode, though, focuses on a big story that might get swamped by the unfolding coronavirus crisis.
The long-awaited independent report into the Windrush scandal, which dominated the headlines in 2018 and continues to define the Home Office, has been published this week - and its findings are damning. Join us as we dig into this landmark report’s findings and recommendations with Labour MP David Lammy and long-standing Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon.
The coronavirus outbreak is now officially a global pandemic, with markets crashing, cases mounting, and even a health minister being struck down with the respiratory disease. The virus’s spread of course couldn’t help but over-shadow what was expected to be the big UK news story of the week, Rishi Sunak’s first Budget as chancellor. We’ll be digging into the detail of the Government’s response, asking why the UK is going down a different route to some other countries and asking whether it’s really viable for Parliament to stay open. Then: we’ll chew over the rest of the big spending Budget as the Tories tossed all talk of austerity to one side and tried to make good on the election vow to level up Britain.
PoliticsHome's Kevin Schofield and Matt Honeycombe-Foster are joined this week by the New Statesman's Britain editor Anoosh Chakelian.
Britain has been gripped by the coronavirus crisis this week, as the Government unveiled its big action plan to try and curb the global threat and Boris Johnson pushes back at claims he’s a part-time prime minister. Amid a problem that only seems to be getting worse, we’ll look at what the Government’s been doing; how bad things might get; and whether the PM is any good in a crisis.
If that wasn’t enough, Home Secretary Priti Patel is under immense pressure this week amid a string of bullying allegations and the resignation of her most senior official, Sir Philip Rutnam. Civil Service World reporter Beckie Smith joins us to unpack the row and discuss whether blazing rows with civil servants is just the new normal.
PLUS: Kevin is grilled on the future of his Twitter account as we take your questions.
Boris Johnson has published the long-awaited opening gambit for talks on Britain’s future relationship with the EU - and Number 10 are trying to make it clear they can take it or leave it on that big ambitious trade deal.
But is the PM really serious about walking away from the talks if there’s no progress by June - even if it means a big upheaval for business? Has he gone back on his promises to Brussels or does the thumping election majority since it was signed change the game? Is there any room for manoeuvre - or is Britain heading back into what we once called no-deal territory in the long-forgotten days of 2019?
PolHome’s Kevin Schofield and Matt Honeycombe-Foster are joined once again by top Brexit expert Laura Hutchinson of Dods Monitoring as we map the battle lines in this latest trade war.
PLUS: We get stuck into the latest developments in the very, very long Labour leadership race - and Kevin claims he has to go a ‘lobby briefing’ to avoid revealing his karaoke faves.
We’d been led to believe this week’s reshuffle would be a rather scaled-back affair. But we were back in chaos-land on Thursday lunchtime as the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, dramatically resigned amid a bitter row with Number 10. Why did Javid really quit? Is this a coup for the Prime Minister’s top aide Dominic Cummings? And just who is Rishi Sunak, the man stepping into Javid’s shoes at the Treasury?
Then: We succumb to the drive for clickbait and give our listeners what they want: chat about a Labour leadership data row. We’ll be asking what it means for the party - and chewing over the week’s developments as local party and union nominations close.
PolHome's Kevin Schofield and Matt Honeycombe-Foster are joined this week by Nicola Bartlett, political correspondent for the Daily Mirror.
If you thought politics had started to slip back into a fairly placid place after the drama of the past two years, think again.This week alone we’ve had Number 10 beefing with reporters over access to briefings, a sacked climate adviser accusing Boris Johnson of not understanding what global warming is - and an end to a full two days of non-Brexit chat as the UK and EU set out their battle lines for the tough talks ahead. If that wasn’t enough, former Commons Speaker John Bercow has caused yet another stir as he fends off bullying allegations and makes the case for a place in the House of Lords.
PolHome editor Kevin Schofield and reporter Eleanor Langford join Matt Honeycombe-Foster to get stuck into the week's developments before Seb Whale, author of 'Call To Order', THE John Bercow biography, sits down to talk about the latest drama.
You can read Ellie's story on the government missing its own targets on cutting short-haul flights here: https://bit.ly/2vd8m0u
And Seb's book is available for pre-order from Biteback here: https://bit.ly/2utrozB
It sometimes felt like it would never happen but Britain is finally leaving the EU - just 1317 days, two elections and three prime ministers since the UK voted to quit the bloc. But there's still the small issue of our future relationship with Brussels to sort - not to mention the rest of the world, and a whole host of massive decisions still to be made on immigration, fishing, customs and more.
PolHome's Matt Honeycombe-Foster and Anahita Hossein-Pour are joined by Adam Payne, senior political reporter at BusinessInsider to find out what comes next and share our fond Brexit memories. They'll also get stuck into a couple of Tory skirmishes over Huawei and HS2 and ask whether Boris Johnson can keep party grumbling in check.
THEN we turn our gaze to the Labour leadership race as Andy Frain from Dods Monitoring joins us to assess the uphill struggle the party
faces to rebuild in Scotland. And we read your emotive comments.
READING LIST: You can keep up with Adam's journalism here: https://www.businessinsider.com/author/adam-payne?r=US&IR=T
And check out Andy's incisive blog on Scottish Labour here: https://email@example.com_33958/1c36f3e8112c