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The Spectator

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

  • 15 minutes 26 seconds
    Can Labour solve our prisons crisis?
    Justice secretary Shabana Mahmood has acknowledged that ‘our prisons are on the point of collapse’. She has announced that, from September, most prisoners serving sentences of less than four years will be released 40 per cent of the way through their sentences instead of the halfway point, which is currently the case.

    The policy will ease pressure on prisons, but the question remains; could this backfire? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Professor Ian Acheson, former prison governor and former Director of Community Safety at the Home Office.

    You can listen to Shabana Mahmood on Women With Balls here
    12 July 2024, 3:26 pm
  • 17 minutes 25 seconds
    Has Nato been a success for Starmer?
    Keir Starmer is on his first big diplomatic trip to Washington, attending the Nato summit. He has called on member countries to increase defence spending, had a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, and enjoyed a dinner with Joe Biden - all in his first week of the job. How is the trip going, are there any tensions arising, and has it been a success for the new PM? 

    Oscar Edmondson discusses with James Heale and Sophia Gaston, head of foreign policy at Policy Exchange. 
    11 July 2024, 3:21 pm
  • 13 minutes 3 seconds
    Who will lead the Tories in opposition?
    It's been a big 24 hours in Tory-world as the party tries to pick itself up after last week's defeat. We have had the first shadow cabinet meeting and the 1922 committee chairman election. Where do they go from here? And who could lead them? 

    James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson. 

    Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 
    10 July 2024, 12:15 pm
  • 13 minutes 46 seconds
    Can Wes Streeting end the NHS strikes?
    Health Secretary Wes Streeting declared the NHS 'broken' over the weekend. With a creaking in-tray of issues, he opened up negotiations with the BMA today to try and solve one: the pay dispute with junior doctors. With ambitious reforms planned, and a workforce with low morale, how successful will Labour be? 

    Isabel Hardman and James Heale join Cindy Yu to discuss. 

    Produced by Patrick Gibbons and Cindy Yu. 
    9 July 2024, 3:21 pm
  • 12 minutes 26 seconds
    Can Labour deliver economic growth?
    This morning, Rachel Reeves made her first speech as chancellor. She announced mandatory housing targets, promising 1.5 million homes over the next five years, as well as an end to the onshore wind ban. What else does she have in store, and can Labour deliver the growth the country needs?

    James Heale discusses with Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.
    8 July 2024, 4:01 pm
  • 12 minutes 37 seconds
    Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 07/07/2024
    Isabel Hardman presents highlights from Sunday morning's politics shows.

    Labour win with a landslide, but their relatively small share of the vote makes this a significantly distorted election. Newly appointed Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds defends his party's performance, and says smaller parties don't receive enough scrutiny. The Tory inquest begins, while Lib Dems say they will be constructive opposition, and Reform claim they are the 'real' opposition.

    Produced by Joe Bedell-Brill. 
    7 July 2024, 6:51 pm
  • 14 minutes 57 seconds
    The surprises in Starmer's cabinet
    In his first 24 hours as Prime Minister, Keir Starmer has appointed his cabinet and held a cabinet meeting. Most of his frontbench have carried over their shadow briefs, but there were a few surprise appointments too. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Times columnist Patrick Maguire.

    Produced by Cindy Yu.
    6 July 2024, 12:53 pm
  • 14 minutes 41 seconds
    Labour wins by a landslide
    Where to start with an historic election night. Keir Starmer has got his 1997 moment, winning an enormous majority.

    Elsewhere, eleven cabinet ministers have lost their seats, including: Grant Shapps, Gillian Keegan and Penny Mordaunt. Former prime minister Liz Truss has lost her seat, as have senior Tories Jacob Rees-Mogg and Miriam Cates. The Lib Dems have made massive gains, the SNP were decimated in Scotland and Nigel Farage is the MP for Clacton. 

    But it's not a clean sweep for Labour. Two Labour frontbenchers have lost their seats and Starmer will enter government on a vote share of 35 per cent, the lowest of any postwar governing party. Will this hinder him in government? And is this landslide down to the Farage effect? 

    James Heale speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls. 

    Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 
    5 July 2024, 7:00 am
  • 11 minutes 28 seconds
    Exit poll predicts Labour landslide
    The polls have closed and the exit poll is in. The BBC exit poll projects that Labour will win a landslide of 410 MPs and the Conservatives will be left with 131 seats. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats will win 61 seats, the SNP ten seats and Reform 13 seats. This would mean a Labour majority of 170 – and would be the Tories’ worst ever result.

    Megan McElroy speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews. 
    4 July 2024, 10:26 pm
  • 13 minutes 57 seconds
    Will there be an election upset on Thursday?
    Tomorrow, voters will head to the polling booth to cast their vote in the 2024 general election. Will there be any surprises in store? So far, there has been little movement when it comes to the gap in vote share between Labour and the Tories. However, there's still plenty of uncertainty across the parties as to what the exit poll will say at 10 p.m. on Thursday night. 
    James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and James Kanagasooriam, chief research officer at Focaldata.
    3 July 2024, 10:25 am
  • 13 minutes 12 seconds
    Has Reform peaked too soon?
    The election campaign was going well for Nigel Farage's Reform... until it wasn't. A series of controversies have been difficult for the party to shake off. Will the distractions cost them votes and MPs? How will it affect their momentum - and who's to blame? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Heale.
    2 July 2024, 5:34 pm
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