The Guardian UK: Politics Weekly | The Guardian
The Guardian's political editor Heather Stewart and political correspondent Jessica Elgot are joined every week by commentators, experts and politicians to unpack the biggest stories in politics.
All aboard the Boris Express - Politics Weekly podcastJun 13, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Isabel Hardman, Jonathan Lis and Richard Partington to discuss the week’s key political events
Boris Johnson came out of hiding on Wednesday to finally launch his bid to be the next prime minister.
As the field of candidates narrows, and polls show him way out in front, can anything derail the Boris Express?Continue reading...
Tory leadership battle hots up, and all change at Change UK – Politics Weekly podcastJun 6, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Rafael Behr and Katy Balls to discuss the week’s key political events
Boris Johnson began his leadership campaign in earnest this week, telling party members he was best placed to beat Labour and “put Nigel Farage back in his box”.
Meanwhile his leadership rivals queued up for an audience with Donald Trump, as the US president blew into town for his photo opportunity with the Queen.Continue reading...
Tory and Lib Dem leadership bids and Trump's visit – Politics Weekly podcastMay 30, 2019
May's withdrawal bill turmoil, British Steel and European elections – Politics Weekly podcastMay 23, 2019
Return of the withdrawal agreement bill and European elections – Politics Weekly podcastMay 16, 2019
Local elections, Brexit deadlock and online abuse towards Jess Phillips - Politics Weekly podcastMay 9, 2019
Rowena Mason is joined by Anushka Asthana, Lewis Baston, Flora Coleman and Sonia Sodha to discuss the fallout of the local elections and their potential impact on the upcoming European elections. Plus, Carl Benjamin’s comments about Jess Phillips, and last week’s Brexit optimism gives way to further uncertainty
This week, the fallout from the local elections, where the big losers were the two main parties. With widespread dissatisfaction about the Brexit deadlock, voters cast their ballots elsewhere. The Green party and independents benefited, but the biggest winners were the Liberal Democrats. Following the vote, the party’s leader, Vince Cable, announced: ‘We are credible.’
Also in this episode, the panel discuss a climate of misogyny and extreme rhetoric in the same week in which police announced they were investigating the Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin’s comments about Jess Phillips.Continue reading...
Huawei leak, Williamson's sacking and more Brexit deadlock – Politics Weekly podcastMay 2, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Dan Sabbagh, Jonathan Freedland, Stephanie Lloyd and Henry Newman to discuss the fallout of the Huawei leak, including Gavin Williamson’s sacking. Also: whether a customs union could be the key to finding an agreement on Brexit
Following the leak of a National Security Council decision to approve, in principle, Huawei’s supply of “non-core” 5G technology, Gavin Williamson was sacked as defence secretary. But he still denies having anything to do with it.
As one despairing official remarked recently: “This government is a sieve.” We’ll be looking at how a culture of leaking seeped into Theresa May’s bitterly divided government.Continue reading...
Local elections, Scottish independence and breaking the Brexit deadlock - Politics Weekly podcastApr 25, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Polly Toynbee, Rafael Behr and Ryan Shorthouse to discuss next week’s local council elections, Nicola Sturgeon’s Indyref2 announcement and what obstacles lie ahead on the long road to Brexit
Next week 8,425 seats will be contested at local council elections across the country.
And the biggest losers could well be the Tories, with fears they could lose as many as 1,000 councillors as punishment for the Brexit deadlock.Continue reading...
New politics and the far right – Politics Weekly podcastApr 18, 2019
Rowena Mason is joined by Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Katy Balls and Matthew Goodwin to discuss the Brexit party, Change UK and the European elections. Plus: how politics shifted to the right
With the traditional two-party system in deadlock over Brexit, new political forces are emerging to challenge the status quo.
The first battleground looks likely to be the European elections next month, where the Independent Group and Nigel Farage’s Brexit party will be slugging it out alongside the usual suspects.Continue reading...
Brexit trick or treat? – Politics Weekly podcastApr 11, 2019
Sonia Sodha is joined by Owen Jones, Polly Toynbee and Will Tanner to discuss what Brexit horrors await. Plus: why people under 50 aren’t voting for the Tories
To no one’s great surprise, Theresa May’s request for a short Brexit delay was torn up by the EU27 last night, with the offer instead of extending Britain’s membership of the EU until Halloween.
In the early hours of the morning, Donald Tusk held a press conference to warn the UK: “Please do not waste this time” – but a solution looks as elusive as ever.Continue reading...
All eyes on Jeremy Corbyn – Politics Weekly podcastApr 4, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Lisa O’Carroll, Zoe Williams and Henry Newman to assess the chances of Corbyn and May burying the hatchet to reach a cross-party consensus on Brexit. Plus: we meet one of the environmental protesters who invaded parliament this week. And is Brexit bad for our mental health?
After three years of turmoil, billions of pounds spent, and three failed attempts at getting her deal through parliament, Theresa May stopped trying to exit the EU with Tory and DUP votes and turned instead to Jeremy Corbyn.
But have two political leaders ever been more ill-suited to finding a cross-party consensus?Continue reading...
Exit Theresa May? – Politics Weekly podcastMar 28, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Dan Sabbagh and Aarti Shankar to discuss the PM’s possible departure, and contenders for the top job. Plus: the Labour MP Rachel Reeves tells us about the forgotten women of Westminster
Theresa May played her final hand at the Tory party’s 1922 Committee on Wednesday night, promising to sacrifice her premiership if they back her twice-rejected deal.
Brexiters suddenly realised the Irish backstop was not the big problem they had thought it was just hours earlier and got behind her deal, and for a few minutes at least it looked as though Brexit was sorted.Continue reading...
The Brexit blame game – Politics Weekly podcastMar 21, 2019
Sonia Sodha is joined by Jonathan Freedland, Ellie Mae O’Hagan and Katy Balls to discuss next week’s looming Brexitgeddon. Plus: with another People’s Vote march happening this weekend, we talk second referendums
As the Brexit drama approached its climax, it was a week of sudden plot twists. First, John Bercow ruled that Theresa May couldn’t bring the same Brexit deal back to the Commons for a third time. Then Donald Tusk upped the ante by announcing that MPs must pass May’s deal next week for the UK to get an extension to article 50.
May then upset MPs by telling the nation that none of this was her fault, but that of MPs. So with just days to go until Britain leaves the EU, parliament is all set for a final deal vs no deal clash next week. And all bets are off.Continue reading...
Parliamentary pandemonium - Politics Weekly podcastMar 14, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Rafael Behr, Grace Blakeley and Henry Newman to discuss the fallout from this week’s calamitous Brexit vote. Plus: Tony Blair – hero or villain?
Theresa May tried everything. She announced £1.6bn for poorer towns to win over Labour MPs, made new promises on workers’ rights and made a last-minute dash to Strasbourg for negotiations on the Irish backstop.
But none of it worked. May’s deal was defeated, parliament went into meltdown and now May is, incredibly, talking about bringing back her deal for a third time.
Brexit crunch time again? – Politics Weekly podcastMar 7, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Jonathan Freedland, Stephanie Lloyd and Rachel Wolf to discuss next week’s Brexit vote. Plus: Jess Phillips on school cuts, and the runners and riders to be the next Conservative leader
It’s crunch time. Again.
With Brexit negotiations at a standstill, and the vote on Theresa May’s deal due next week, what are its chances? And what on earth happens if it doesn’t get through?Continue reading...
May's Brexit delay and Corbyn's second referendum - Politics Weekly podcastFeb 28, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Rafael Behr and Will Tanner to discuss an article 50 extension and Labour support for a people’s vote. Plus: can we trust the Independent Group’s poll ratings?
Theresa May suggested for the first time this week that article 50 could be extended, while Jeremy Corbyn finally seemed to be shifting the Labour leadership’s position in favour of a second referendum.
But with May’s proposed extension lasting for just three months, and a people’s vote still unlikely to command a majority in parliament, what’s changed?Continue reading...
A splitting headache for May and Corbyn – Politics Weekly podcastFeb 21, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Andrew Rawnsley, Katy Balls and Matt Zarb-Cousin to discuss the biggest split in politics since 1981. Plus: as May heads back to Brussels, is a Brexit deal any nearer?
On Monday the “gang of seven” – Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Mike Gapes, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith – split from Labour, citing Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit stance and failure to tackle antisemitism.
But then there were eight, then eleven, as Labour’s Joan Ryan joined their ranks, followed by Tories Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen, blaming the Conservative party’s lurch to the right and – yes, Brexit.Continue reading...
'More excuses and more delays' – Politics Weekly podcastFeb 14, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Sonia Sodha, Peter Walker and Ryan Shorthouse to discuss the latest Brexit progress, or lack of it. Plus: we weigh up the contenders in the US Democratic presidential race, and wonder what to do about Tory obstructionist Christopher Chope
Theresa May appealed to MPs for more time for her Brexit deal this week, with negotiations over the Irish backstop apparently at a crucial stage. It was just “more excuses and more delays”, said Jeremy Corbyn.
This seemed to be confirmed hours later by the government’s chief Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins, when he accidentally let slip Theresa May’s top-secret Brexit plan in a hotel bar in Brussels.Continue reading...
Brexit hell breaks loose – Politics Weekly podcastFeb 7, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Jonathan Freedland, Dawn Foster and Patrick Wintour to discuss the threat of a no-deal Brexit. Plus: we hear about a new campaign to end dodgy working practices, and ponder the wisdom of a planned new statue of Margaret Thatcher
Donald Tusk ruffled feathers this week when he declared there was ‘a special place in hell’ for those who sold Brexit without a ‘plan of how to carry it out safely’.
And a proper plan still proved elusive as May arrived back in Brussels to argue for changes to the Irish backstop, despite the EU having already told her there will be no movement on the issue.
The Brexit delusion: May to demand the impossible? – Politics Weekly podcastJan 31, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Polly Toynbee, Martin Kettle and Aarti Shankar to discuss the latest round of fantasy Brexit. Plus: a short history of Brexit, and why MPs should pay their speeding fines
The Tory party has finally decided what sort of Brexit it wants. The Brady amendment, which was passed on Tuesday, demands the replacement of the Northern Irish backstop with “alternative arrangements”.
But just six minutes after the vote was counted, Brussels reminded everyone that “the withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation”. Undaunted, Theresa May is set to head to Brussels to demand what looks impossible.
No deal, no problem? - Politics Weekly podcastJan 24, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Dan Sabbagh, Michael Savage and Katy Balls to discuss the UK’s growing appetite for a no-deal Brexit . Also the view from Britain with John Harris and the view from Europe with Jennifer Rankin. Also up for discussion is parliament, proxy voting and pregnant MPs
Despite desperate entreaties from business and MPs, Theresa May is steadfastly refusing to take the possibility of a no-deal Brexit off the table, and the UK looks perilously close to crashing out of Europe on WTO terms.
But there seems to be a sense of growing support for a no-deal Brexit: in a poll last week, the most popular option for what happens next was no deal, backed by 28% of voters.Continue reading...
Back to the Brexit drawing board – Politics Weekly podcastJan 17, 2019
Jessica Elgot is joined by Rafael Behr, Owen Jones and Henry Newman to discuss what happens after this week’s tumultuous Brexit vote. Plus: is Brexit a disaster for public services?
Theresa May suffered a crushing defeat on Tuesday, as her EU withdrawal agreement was rejected by a margin of 230 votes, prompting a motion of no confidence from Jeremy Corbyn.
May promised to consult with MPs with “the widest possible range of views,” but showed no sign of budging on her red lines. Corbyn then refused to be consulted anyway, and also offered little hope to his own supporters who wanted a change of direction towards a second referendum.Continue reading...
Parliament takes back control – Politics Weekly podcastJan 10, 2019
Heather Stewart is joined by Jonathan Freedland, Dawn Foster and Will Tanner to discuss the turmoil in the Commons ahead of next week’s Brexit vote. Plus: we talk to Harriet Harman about MP harassment, and look at the new 10-year plan for the NHS
Battle resumed in parliament this week as MPs voted to take back control of the Brexit process from government.
First, a coalition of Labour and Conservative MPs organised an amendment to the finance bill to curb the government’s tax powers in the event of no deal. Then May was defeated again over another amendment, this one forcing her to present MPs with a new Brexit plan within three days if she loses next week’s vote.Continue reading...
Project Fear-plus-plus-plus – Politics Weekly podcastDec 20, 2018
Jessica Elgot is joined by Rafael Behr, Susanna Rustin and Katy Balls to discuss Theresa May’s doomsday preparations. Plus: should Brexit be decided by a citizens assembly instead of parliament?
Faced with the prospect of her Brexit deal being defeated in the Commons, Theresa May’s cabinet has decided to dramatically step up preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
Project Fear of the 2016 referendum looks like a walk in the park compared with the measures that have been announced: a further £2bn in “Brexit preparedness” funding, becoming the world’s leading buyer of fridges to stockpile medicines, and having 3,500 members of the armed forces on standby.Continue reading...
#Brexitshambles – Politics Weekly podcastDec 13, 2018
Jessica Elgot is joined by Jonathan Freedland, Lisa O’Carroll and Sam Lowe to review a whirlwind week in Westminster. Plus: Jon Henley on the gilets jaunes protest movement that has seized France
It was one step forward and two steps back in the Brexit hokey cokey this week. Tuesday’s long-awaited parliamentary vote was cancelled at the 11th hour, as Theresa May realised that a catastrophic defeat could be curtains for her premiership.
MPs raged, and within 24 hours Sir Graham Brady, chair of the Conservative party’s 1922 Committee, announced that the threshold of 48 letters from Tory MPs calling for a vote of no confidence had been reached. May lived to fight another day, but for how long?Continue reading...
Countdown to the Brexit vote – Politics Weekly podcastDec 6, 2018
Jessica Elgot is joined by Owen Jones, Dan Sabbagh and Allie Renison to weigh the prospects for next week’s all-important vote
With the clock ticking down to Tuesday’s vote on the Brexit deal, there’s more than a whiff of parliamentary revolution in the air. Rebellious MPs forced the government to reveal the legal advice on the deal, and a fresh amendment gave parliament control in the event of a government defeat.
If the odds of May’s deal getting through parliament looked terrible a few days ago, now they’re looking even worse.Continue reading...
The cost of Brexit – Politics Weekly podcastNov 29, 2018
Heather Stewart is joined by Larry Elliott, Aarti Shankar and Anand Menon to discuss the economic fallout from Brexit. Plus: the arcane rules for electing hereditary peers to the House of Lords
Theresa May’s campaign to sell her Brexit deal to parliament suffered a further blow this week when the chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced that in all Brexit scenarios the UK would be worse off.
The Bank of England then weighed in with even gloomier predictions, saying a no-deal Brexit would be worse than the 2008 financial crisis.Continue reading...
'A Brexit deal is within our grasp' – Politics Weekly podcastNov 22, 2018
Pippa Crerar is joined by Henry Newman, Jason Arthur and Polly Toynbee to discuss Theresa May’s negotiations
A week after Theresa May unveiled her Brexit deal, how things have changed.
After a flurry of Brexiter resignations and talk of a no-confidence vote, the 48 letters needed to trigger a vote did not materialise, business leaders and the Bank of England came out in support of the deal, and rebel Tories fell into line.Continue reading...
Judgment day for May – Politics Weekly podcastNov 15, 2018
Heather Stewart is joined by Katy Balls, Jill Rutter and Randeep Ramesh to discuss Theresa May’s Brexit deal
After two years of kicking the Brexit can down the road, judgment day has finally arrived.
Cabinet ministers were summoned to No 10 this week to give their approval to Theresa May’s long-awaited withdrawal agreement … and after a gruelling five hours, they did just that.Continue reading...