The PoliticsHome Podcast
Our informal look back on the week in politics, including the key developments, some insightful analysis to help work out what it all means, and the odd bad joke. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Episode 88 (15 February) Valentine's Day Massacre - As sure as day follows night, Theresa May suffered a Brexit defeat in the House of Commons this week. But will the latest Brexiteer rebellion make any difference? As rumours of a Labour split swirl around Westminster, we also mull the prospects of a centrist breakaway and answer the big question of the day: is Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell a hero or a villain over Winston Churchill-gate? PLUS: We hear what Remain-backing Business Minister Richard Harrington *really* thinks about his Brexiteer Tory colleagues - and get the lowdown on whether you should eat mould.
Episode 87 (7 February) A Special Place In Hell - Westminster was this week left wondering who might be in line for the best spot in hell, while a few unicorns wandered about and Chris Grayling was banned from entering France. Meanwhile, Brexit is so far from being in the bag that Theresa May made a desperate dash to Northern Ireland and Brussels, and Jeremy Corbyn felt so sorry for her that he offered a helping hand. Featuring special guest and PoliticsHome alumnus Liz Bates.
Episode 86 (1 February) Backstop's Back (Alright) - Theresa May could have been forgiven for feeling a bit smug this week as MPs failed in their bid to seize control of the Brexit process. But she's still got plenty on her plate, not least of all convincing her restless Eurosceptic backbenchers that she really did mean it when she promised to push Brussels into tearing up the hated Northern Ireland backstop. Jeremy Corbyn meanwhile swallowed his pride and sat down for talks with the PM - but it wasn't exactly peace in our time as his own MPs went to war with each other over an audacious Number 10 bid to buy their favour. PLUS: hear exclusive extracts from the House magazine's interview with top Brexiteer Dominic Raab.
Episode 85 (24 January) Make Do and Amend - Politics entered a holding pattern this week as MPs mulled how they could get their favourite Brexit or stop it completely. Theresa May pretended to listen to them, Jeremy Corbyn tried his best to be present but not involved and Jacob Rees Mogg got his white flag at the ready. We discuss all this and more, and we ask co-editor of Civil Service World magazine Jess Bowie: Is Whitehall really trying to thwart Brexit? She spoke to Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill to find out.
Episode 84 (17 January) Cross Parties Unity It's been another mad one in Westminster as hacks and politicos digested a whopping great defeat for Theresa May's Brexit deal, a Labour push for a general election - and the start of a bold new era of cross-party harmony on Brexit(just kidding). Join PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield, news editor Matt Foster and the New Statesman's Anoosh Chakelian as they mull over all things Brexit and cast their verdict on whether Britain is really ready for the outcome everyone fears: a paintball war with Spain.
Episode 83 (10 January) Speaker Cornered It might be a new year but Theresa May is facing the same old problems, as she kicked off 2019 still fighting to save her battered Brexit deal. Her Commons minority was exposed as MPs' attempts to block a no deal scenario won support from colleagues, inflicting two embarrassing defeats on the government in as many days. But just when it seemed like parliamentarians were getting serious about shaping Brexit, the House got into an undignified scrap about process prompted by some freelancing by the Speaker, John Bercow. We discuss all this and more and we reveal our weirdest stories of the week.
Episode 82 (20 December) Christmas Fear
This week Westminster was filled with Christmas fear as the government ramped up its terrifying no deal Brexit preparations ahead of the holidays. And Jeremy Corbyn joined in the festive fun with a bonus end of year gaffe that sparked chaos in the House of Commons. We discuss all this and round up the tumultuous year of news that was 2018 with a nail-biting quiz.
Episode 81 (13 December) Breaking: The Government
This week Westminster descended into fresh chaos as Theresa May fought and won a challenge against her leadership. And Brexit stalled once again as the government cancelled its meaningful vote in the face of almost certain defeat. We talk through all the twists and turns and hear what went down inside Committee Room 14 room when it was revealed that the PM had clung onto her job.
Episode 80 (7 December) Winter Of This Contempt
Every story in Westminster was weird this week, with the Government found in contempt by MPs and hoping to spin a 40-strong defeat on Brexit into some kind of deranged victory. Meanwhile, the chief whip went out on a limb and allowed TV cameras into his office to capture him failing to talk hostile pro-Brexit MPs round to Theresa May's EU deal. Oh, and Ukip continued to disintegrate. PLUS: In an audio exclusive for the PolHome podcast, we hear ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis tell the House Magazine about *that* photo with Michel Barnier. We also hear an amusing after-dinner anecdote from former PM Tony Blair.
Episode 79 (23 November) Carry on Brexiting
This week it’s all about Brexit (again!) as we dissect the latest developments around Britain’s biggest political issue. UK in a Changing Europe director, Anand Menon, joins us to explain the economic implications of it all. And we hear from Justice Minister Rory Stewart on why he would be uncomfortable serving under Prime Minister Boris.
Episode 78 (23 November) A Brexit Feast: Waffle From Brussels
Theresa May finally found that last piece of her Brexit jigsaw puzzle - the future trade road-map between Britain and the EU. But the so-called political declaration does not appear to have made anyone in her party any happier. Can the Prime Minister survive the Commons vote on her deal? Will the DUP bring the Government down beforehand? Where was Jeremy Corbyn when his child poverty amendment was voted on? PLUS exclusive interviews from the House Magazine with Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer. Read those here.
Episode 77 (16 November) Mayday, Mayday
Two Cabinet resignations, calls for a vote of no confidence in Theresa May and a 585-page draft Brexit deal that's left Westminster in tailspin. Just another totally normal week in politics for PoliticsHome editor Kevin Schofield, chief reporter Emilio Casalicchio and news editor Matt Foster to chew over. Why exactly did the PM's top ministers storm out? Will she be ousted? What now for hopes of leaving the European Union? All this and more PLUS your burning questions and shocking revelations about cheese.
Episode 76 (8 November) Banks in Crisis
While Parliament was suspended for a brief recess this week, Brexit bargaining continued with time running out for Theresa May to get her deal finalised. Meanwhile, a fresh Brexit scandal was brewing as Leave.EU chief Arron Banks faced allegations of misconduct over his role in the referendum. We discuss all this and more, and we hear from former chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne about the time he spent with ex-head of the civil service Sir Jeremy Heywood, who sadly passed away over the weekend.
Episode 75 (1 November) Over Budget
This week was all about the Budget as Philip Hammond turned on the spending taps, pouring fresh cash into drought-hit departments. But he couldn’t avoid a bit of splashback, as teachers took umbrage at getting money for “little extras” and Labour accused him of breaking his end-of-austerity pledge. We unpick the implications of the biggest fiscal event of the year with Helen Thomas, a former adviser to Hammond's predecessor George Osborne.
Episode 74 (25 October): United at home
Theresa May managed to buy herself a bit more time this week as she faced down her critics at the 1922 committee meeting of Conservative MPs. Attendees pouring into the corridor afterwards declared that “unity had broken out” – if only it was that easy to win over EU negotiators. We discuss all that and more with the House Magazine’s Political Editor Seb Whale and the Yorkshire Post’s Westminster Correspondent Arj Singh. We also hear from Tory MPs Amber Rudd and Michael Fabricant, who give their post-match analysis on the Prime Minister’s 1922 performance.
Episode 66 (30 August) Podcast Special: House of Fun
Podcast listeners might not believe it but MPs are real people too. In a special episode to welcome them back to parliament, PolHome talks to five about their favourite hobbies.
You will hear: Thangam Debbonaire (Labour) talk about her love of playing the cello and give an exclusive performance of the Sarabande from Bach's 1st cello suite; Alex Sobel (Labour) discuss his favourite video games and reveal how many hours he plays per week; Victoria Prentis (Tory) explain what reeling is and how to do it yourself; Jamie Stone (Lib Dem) reliving his performance as a panto dame in Jack and the Beanstalk; and Mark Prisk (Tory) singing the praises of the parliament choir.
Episode 65 (23 August) Podcast Special: The Deaths That Don't Count
In February this year a 35-year-old man died on the doorstep of Parliament. But journalists following up on the story found that there were no official figures recording how many homeless people die on our streets. In this special episode of the PoliticsHome podcast I speak to the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Housing minister Nigel Adams about what can be done to end homelessness in Britain. And I talk to the journalists who are compiling their own estimates on the deaths of rough sleepers.