Theresa May

134: Boris Johnson: Extraordinary Achievements in Winning

Let’s pause in honour of Boris Johnson’s extraordinary achievements in winning. He’s winning the race to be the least successful Prime Minister in history — winning the battle to lose more Commons votes than any of his predecessors, winning the battle to reduce his party to previously unknown numbers in Parliament, and winning the battle to be hauled in front of as many different courts as possible.

Another torrid week for the Prime Minister ends with him having to deny lying to the Queen, his secret no-deal risk assessments made public, his hopes of a snap election in tatters.

But it’s not going well for Labour either — the party now appears to have three directly contradictory Brexit policies, which is definitely two more than any party needs.

Plus we say bye bye to short-tempered John Bercow, as the Speaker confirms he’ll step down.

And Theresa May hands out rewards for failure among her advisers, which is bound to take ages.

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.

122: A Howl of Outrage

Just days after news of Theresa May’s resignation comes the biggest electoral kicking the Conservatives have ever faced. The utter humiliation of coming fifth in the European Elections, with fewer than 1-in-10 votes.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party grinds the government into the ground — but what happens next? Can his movement move on? Or will the Tories just embrace a no-deal Brexit under a new leader?

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats punish Labour for its ambiguity on Brexit, but there’s little immediate sign Jeremy Corbyn will pay any attention.

We work through the results of the EU vote, as well as making an early assessment of the rival candidates going for the Tory leadership.


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?


120: The Ultimate Protest Vote

Staring into the abyss, the Prime Minister decides to have another go at getting Brexit through the Commons. At the same time as leading the Conservatives to what's likely to be their worst-ever election performance. Might this, finally, be the thing that ends Theresa May's time in Downing Street?

We assess the latest attempts to resolve the Brexit impasse, and look ahead to the European Election that are likely to be the angriest vote in years. Is this a temporary blip? Or has Brexit permanently broken Britain's political system?

Plus, 25 years after his premature death, we imagine what the world might have looked like had John Smith not died in 1994, and instead led Labour into government.