Boris Johnson

127: Boris Bangers leave a bad taste

Boris Johnson blunders into a major diplomatic row between the UK and US — and sides with Donald Trump. He’s not even Prime Minister yet, but he’s already demonstrated exactly where his loyalties lie.

It’s the kind of thing that would derail any normal candidacy — but Johnson remains Teflon-coated. We explore the week that saw the only debate of the entire campaign, and highlighted the many shortcomings of the man almost certain to be in Downing Street by the end of the month.

We hear from Washington reporter Simon Marks (twitter.com/simonmarksfsn) on the worrying implications for all the diplomats Donald Trump hasn’t thrown a tantrum at. Yet.

Meanwhile, Labour faces public condemnation over its failure to tackle anti-semitism inside the party — and instead of doing anything about hate speech, it goes on the attack against whistleblowers and journalists.

Plus, how a sausage-themed PR stunt didn’t go quite according to plan.

126: Looking for Leadership

At our moment of greatest political crisis, a leadership vacuum opens up. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt trade undeliverable promises, on Brexit and bribes for voters. But how many of the people choosing between them are really Conservatives?

Labour again fails to confront anti-semitism in the party — suspending, re-admitting and then suspending Chris Williamson. So what does someone actually have to do to be thrown out of the Labour Party? And are the civil service really plotting to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street.

We look too at the Liberal Democrats’ leadership campaign, which could be a lot more significant than you might think.

And the Brexit Party turn up in Strasbourg, and make idiots of themselves. Obviously.

124: It's a Knockout

The first round of the Tory Leadership contest eliminates three also-rans, but seven potential Prime Ministers remain. Boris Johnson, and six other people likely to lose to Boris Johnson. Unless, that is, anyone can defeat the overwhelming favourite.

We compare the fortunes of the charisma-free Jeremy Hunt, the seemingly anti-democratic Dominic Raab and the near-silent Sajid Javid. Plus we question the lines Michael Gove has been taking.

We ask how far Rory Stewart can take his insurgent campaign.

Plus, what could be the last attempt to stop a no-deal Brexit in Parliament — and the potential for a full-on constitutional crisis as the Brexit deadline draws nearer.


123: The Rubbish Apprentice

Theresa May resigns as Conservative leader, after hosting tiny-handed orange nightmare Donald Trump. Already she is yesterday’s woman, as the Tory leadership contest steps up.

Yet it appears to resemble a particularly poor episode of The Apprentice, as people you’ve never heard of keep telling you how brilliant they are.

We look at the rule changes designed to speed up the contest, and ask whether they might not be that good an idea.

Plus the politics of the Trump visit. Who was right? The critics who arguably risked relations with the US, or the supporters who bent their knee for a demagogue?

And we explore the seeming collapse of Change UK, as more than half their MPs defect.

121: The End of May

An emergency podcast on the day Theresa May finally admits defeat, tearfully confirming she’ll resign in just two weeks. We explain why it’s hard to have sympathy for a politician who’s very much the architect of her own downfall.

Now it’s for the 100-thousand or so grassroots Tories to decide who the next Prime Minister will be. From the archive, Professor Tim Bale explains what his research has told him about the people who’ll make that choice.

But what chance does that next PM really have? Given Parliament remains deadlocked and the clock is ticking?