Natalie elphicke

The whips’ office and their woes

18 min listen

There have been two recent defections from the Conservatives to Labour. There’s lots of chatter in parliament about a potential third defector. In this Saturday edition of Coffee House Shots, Katy Balls and James Heale hear from Gyles Brandreth, former MP and broadcaster. He takes us back to what it was like working in the whips’ office in the 1990s, and ask if he thinks there are more defections to come.  You can read Gyles’ diary here. Produced by Megan McElroy.

Johnny Mercer and the Tory loyalty problem

Following his re-election as Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady would be well advised to start banging a few heads together. Because the Conservative parliamentary party has turned into a thoroughgoing disgrace. We’ve all read about the ‘transactional’ relationship between most Tory MPs and Boris Johnson – i.e. they will only continue to back him if he keeps winning. But what the past few days has highlighted is the transactional relationship Tory MPs have with each other. There is almost no semblance of basic team loyalty, let alone that higher level of solidarity known as esprit de corps. Currently this is not a band of brothers and sisters