Politics

98: Brexit’s going awfully well, isn’t it?

Jeremy Corbyn gets the rapturous reception you’d expect from a hall filled with Labour Party activists, but this year’s conference was dominated by Brexit — and Labour’s position seems no clearer now than it was a week ago.

This week Paul Osbourne and Robert Meakin explore how the Labour leaders who promised to listen to ordinary members decided that didn’t apply if the members were saying something they didn’t like.


Which is a similar strategy to the one Theresa May took with EU leaders. We look at how the meeting in Salzburg went so very, very badly wrong.


Plus we hear from Dr Pippa Malmgram, author of a new book on how political leaders around the world just don’t know how to connect with the people they’re meant to lead.

All this and Vince Cable’s erotic spasm, in a fun-packed 25 minutes.


97: Rolling Thunder

The Brexiteers promised a month of mounting pressure on Theresa May to abandon her Chequers plan -- then within days started talking about a leadership coup. So how do you ramp up the pressure after that?

We look at how likely a challenge really is, and whether anybody's actually come up with an alternative plan for Brexit.

Jeremy Corbyn decides to sit quietly as Labour party activists work through a list of "disloyal" MPs, threatening deselection. Guess what issue they have in common..

Meanwhile, with Mr Corbyn's constituency set to vanish in a boundary shake-up, which of his chums is likely to step aside to keep him in the Commons?

Plus the crackdown on voter ID fraud that ended up depriving hundreds of seemingly legitimate voters of their democratic rights.

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.