Press freedom

How the Tories gave up on liberty

43 min listen

On the podcast: have the Tories given up on liberty? Kate Andrews writes the cover story for The Spectator this week. She argues that after the government announced plans to ban disposable vapes and smoking for those born after 2009, the Tories can no longer call themselves the party of freedom. Kate is joined by conservative peer and former health minister Lord Bethell, to discuss whether the smoking ban is a wise precedent for the government to set. (01:22) Also this week: can the UAE be trusted on press freedom? At The Spectator that’s a question close to our hearts at the moment as we face possibly being sold off to an Abu Dhabi

It’s time to pick a side in Boris Johnson’s war on the media

Boris Johnson is the first party leader of the media age. Winston Churchill and Michael Foot wrote extensively. But Johnson is a journalist. Before he went into politics, producing Tory commentary and editing this magazine were the achievements that defined him. And yet no modern prime minister has shown a greater determination to limit media scrutiny. Whether it is banning ministers from appearing on the Today programme and Good Morning Britain, or banning them and their special advisers from talking to journalists, Johnson is revealing himself to be a brooding suspicious politician, wholly at odds with his cheeky chappie persona. Even when a terrorist attacked civilians on a London street,