INSIDE BRIEFING with Institute for Government

Institute for Government

Political analysis and big thinking for more effective government.

  • 47 minutes 36 seconds
    Election 2024: Poll positions

    There are less than two weeks to go until the general election and the polls are showing no signs of shifting. But what do they really tell us about what voters are thinking about Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer? Which Labour or Conservative policies and promises are cutting through? What are the polls to look out for? Deltapoll’s Joe Twyman joins the podcast team to explain all.

    Plus: What exactly is a supermajority? We break down the Conservative party’s warnings about what a big Labour election win would mean in Parliament. 

    Presented by Hannah White with Alice Lilly. Produced by Candice McKenzie.

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    21 June 2024, 10:29 am
  • 37 minutes 1 second
    Election 2024: This Charming Manifesto?

    Manifesto week of the general election campaign has seen lots of promises, plenty of policies and even more polling – but whose plans for government actually add up? Kitty Donaldson, chief political commentator of the i paper, is this week’s podcast guest as Inside Briefing weighs up what we learned from the manifesto launches – and what they mean for Rishi Sunak and for Keir Starmer.

    Hannah White presents, with Alex Thomas. Produced by Milo Hynes

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    14 June 2024, 5:05 pm
  • 51 minutes 19 seconds
    Question Time Special: What does the election mean for civil servants?

    We were swamped with loads of fantastic questions at our recent IfG webinar and didn’t have time to get to all of them – so, by special request, Jill Rutter, Cath Haddon and Alex Thomas have reunited in the IfG podcast studio to record this special Question Time episode of Inside Briefing. So as Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer hit the general election campaign trail, what does this frenzied time in British politics mean for the nation’s civil servants?

    What happens to special advisers during general election campaigns? What should private offices be getting ready for? Why don’t we talk about purdah anymore?  And why is it important that everyone reads the IfG’s brilliant Ministers Reflect series of interviews? Produced by Candice McKenzie

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    7 June 2024, 11:30 am
  • 35 minutes 32 seconds
    Sunak vs. Starmer: Tax Attacks

    The IfG rebuttal unit kicked into gear this week after our very own Nick Davies found himself dragged into the Conservative party’s tax attack on Labour. So where did that number really come from – and what can Labour do about it? Full Fact’s Chris Morris joins the IfG podcast to look back on a very noisy TV debate between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.

    We’re into the manifesto countdown – but will either Labour or the Conservatives say anything about the problems piling up for whoever forms the next government? A new IfG paper, The Precarious State of the State, sets out the scale and severity of the challenges likely to dominate the next parliament.

    Plus: The state of GPs’ surgeries. Another new IfG report – out on Saturday – says GPs’ surgeries are old, cramped and crumbling. So, what can be done about it?

    Hannah White presents, with Nick Davies and Ben Paxton. Produced by Candice McKenzie.

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    7 June 2024, 8:59 am
  • 38 minutes 28 seconds
    Rishi Sunak’s Titanic challenge

    Was Rishi Sunak’s rain-soaked speech on the steps of No10 really only a week ago? We’ve had policy announcements, MPs stepping down, a spectacular fall from a paddle board, more MPs stepping down, Keir Starmer colliding with the Labour left, Rishi Sunak clashing with some of his ministers, Nigel Farage deciding not to stand for parliament - again. An awful lot has happened.

    The Inside Briefing team examine the big policy announcements on national service and pensions, reflect on some big name MPs – most notably Michael Gove – quitting parliament, and look back on a week of awkward gaffes and bust-ups for both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.

    Hannah White presents. With Alex Thomas and Jill Rutter.

    Produced by Candice McKenzie.

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    31 May 2024, 7:17 pm
  • 13 minutes 25 seconds
    Extra: General Election question time special

    Rishi Sunak has braved the weather and called a general election. So, what happens now? The IfG has been bombarded with questions about what this all means for government, for parliament, for the civil service, for legislation, for candidates, for conferences, and more. And these really are the type of questions that get the IfG’s collective pulse racing. 

    So, we’ve scrambled together a team of IfG experts to answer all your questions. Listen to hear Hannah White, Joe Owen, Cath Haddon and Emma Norris tell you everything you need to know. Produced by Candice McKenzie

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    24 May 2024, 1:14 pm
  • 35 minutes 45 seconds
    Rishi Sunak’s General Election gamble

    The wait is over! The election has been called! The countdown to July the 4th starts now. After months of speculation, and a frenzied day of drama in Westminster, the IfG podcast team are joined by Sam Freedman to make sense of Rishi Sunak’s decision and explore what happens next. 

    Things could hardly have got wetter as the prime minister gave his podium address on the steps of Downing Street, with Sunak’s moment in the rain shared with whoever was playing - at an incredible volume - that familiar New Labour anthem by D:Ream.

    So why has the PM called a general election? What could happen between now and the July 4th polling day? What needs to happen in Parliament first? And given Labour’s seemingly unshifting poll lead, is there really a route to victory for the Conservative party or has Sunak - as his harsher critics are saying - just given up?

    Presented by Hannah White with Emma Norris and Joe Owen. Produced by Candice McKenzie.

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    24 May 2024, 1:09 pm
  • 35 minutes 22 seconds
    Starmer steps on Sunak’s toes

    Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer delivered their election pitches to the public this week – the PM with a focus on security and the Labour leader with six broader commitments from tackling NHS waiting lists to small boats.

    In parliament, the week started with a sobering report on the trauma that too many women face while giving birth. And on Monday evening MPs voted (narrowly) for members to be suspended from the estate if they are arrested for a violent or sexual offence

    And inquiries are back: Sue Gray spoke at the Covid inquiry this week, while Westminster awaits the next session of the Post Office inquiry and the long-awaited publication of the report into the infected blood scandal.

    The IfG’s Hannah White, Emma Norris and Alice Lilly are joined by special guest PoliticsHome political editor Adam Payne to discuss what it all means.

    Produced by Candice McKenzie

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    17 May 2024, 10:12 am
  • 38 minutes 15 seconds
    Dover and done with

    The defection of Dover MP Natalie Elphicke shocked both the Conservatives and, it seems, most of the Labour Party. The FT’s Lucy Fisher joined the podcast team to weigh up another a big twist in the Westminster soap opera.

    Meanwhile a massive government data breach has sent Whitehall into a panic. But how big is the problem, who is responsible and how can this type of thing be stopped?

    Also, how to complete the half-done job of English devolution? A new IfG report has a plan.

    Plus: Who really runs Whitehall? Another IfG report reveals everything you need to do know about the country’s top civil servants.

    Hannah White presents.

    With Cath Haddon, Matthew Fright and Jordan Urban.

    Produced by Candice McKenzie.

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    10 May 2024, 7:15 am
  • 40 minutes 16 seconds
    Local Elections 2024: Swings and roundabouts

    The Conservatives take a pounding in the local elections and Labour are taking councils in former Brexit heartlands. But there’s a crumb of Tory comfort in Ben Houchen’s victory in the Tees Valley mayoral election – and Labour fail to take key target Harlow. As results continue to roll in, what do the last votes before the General Election mean for Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer?

    Plus we are approaching a cliff-edge moment on departmental budgeting… good job there’s an IfG paper for that. Emma Norris, Akash Paun and Ben Paxton are joined by our special guest, political journalist Rachel Wearmouth, for this week’s pod.

    Presented by Emma Norris. Audio production by Alex Rees. A Podmasters Production for the IfG.

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    3 May 2024, 5:14 pm
  • 40 minutes 52 seconds
    The rules of Rishi’s flight club

    Rishi Sunak’s flagship Rwanda Act is finally on the statute book, and the prime minister has promised that – “no ifs, no buts” – flights will be taking off by the summer. So how much of a triumph is his for Sunak – and what legal challenges could still derail his asylum plan? Political journalist Zoe Grunewald joins the podcast team to weigh up an eventful week for the PM.

    We’re just days away from a set of crucial local elections. Who is standing and where? What are the contests we need to look out for? And what could it all mean for Sunak and Keir Starmer?

    Plus: Rising energy bills and rising raw sewage has put regulators like Ofgem and Ofwat in the spotlight, but is parliament doing enough to properly scrutinise the role that over 100 regulators play? A new IfG report has the answers.

    Hannah White presents.

    With Jill Rutter, Akash Paun and Matthew Gill

    Produced by Candice McKenzie

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    26 April 2024, 8:53 am
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