96: Back to School

MPs return to Westminster after a summer of intrigue and infighting, and we return to look ahead to what could be an explosive couple of months.

Brexiteer Conservatives again ponder forcing out Theresa May in pursuit of the hardest possible exit from the EU — but might she beat them to it, and announce a plan to step down?

Will Frank Field’s decision to quit the Labour whip tempt other critics of Jeremy Corbyn to join him? And will the party change its position on Brexit to back a second referendum?

And we ask the big questions about the Liberal Democrats too: Are they still going? Have they booked a big enough table at the Harvester where they’ll be holding this year’s conference?

All this, plus we ponder life in London under Mayor Nigel Farage, a nightmare prospect that might (maybe, perhaps) happen one day.

95: The Extremism Edition

With Jeremy Corbyn still failing to act on Labour’s anti-semitism crisis, now Boris Johnson creates his own chaos for the Conservatives. But did the former Foreign Secretary know what he was doing when he made his incendiary remarks about women who wear the burka?

We assess how Britain’s two main parties have ended up struggling to contain extremist rhetoric, and ask what it suggests about our national debate.

How did we end up in a world where British politicians are defending American conspiracy nut Alex Jones, and people like Steve Bannon are invited onto breakfast TV.

Plus we lighten the mood by learning about the space nation of Asgardia, whose political leader will be familiar to anyone who remembers long-lost Liberal Democrat MPs from mid-Wales with an asteroid fixation.

94: Hanging by a thread

At the end of a dreadful week for Theresa May, the Prime Minister tries — and fails — to start her summer holiday early, just to stop her own MPs plotting against her.

Meanwhile, she stumbles through a series of knife-edge votes on Brexit, triggers all-out war in her party, and endures the humiliation of a Donald Trump visit.

We assess the implications of another dramatic week at Westminster, as well as asking why the leader of the anti-Brexit Lib Dems couldn’t make it to key Brexit votes, and why the Labour Party just can’t get away from rows over anti-Semitism.

Elsewhere, we look through some of the delightfully sarcastic placards in use at the anti-Trump demos in London and Edinburgh.

93: It's the Trump-pocalypse

Donald Trump arrives in Britain after a decidedly tumultuous week, just to give Theresa May another headache. 

We catch up on the latest Brexit madness as the White Paper is published, and ask if Boris Johnson was the worst ever Foreign Secretary.

And as the tiny-handed orange terror arrives in Britain, journalist Malcolm Brown tells us what America wants from the trip, while Mohammed Ateek from the Stop Trump Coalition tells us why he’s so keen to protest against the President’s visit.

 

EXTRA: Yes, it's chaos (again)

A special extra podcast after a somewhat dramatic day at Westminster. David Davis resigns, followed 15 hours later by Boris Johnson, as the Cabinet consensus over the Chequers Brexit plan collapses.

So what happens next? How many more resignations can Theresa May withstand? And what will the Brexiteers do, given no amount of changes at the top will alter the parliamentary arithmetic?

More to come in our next full podcast, with you by the end of the week.