Craig Oliver

Craig Oliver is former director of communications at No. 10. Craig also recently interviewed The Spectator’s Isabel Hardman for the latest edition of the Desperately Seeking Wisdom podcast.

How is Cameron’s comeback coming along?

13 min listen

As problems in the Middle East and war on the continent dominate the headlines, David Cameron has been front and centre in his new role as foreign secretary. Is his experience coming in handy? Is he Rishi’s ‘prime minister abroad’?  Katy Balls speaks to Craig Oliver, director of communications at No. 10 during the Cameron

Do the Tories have a death wish?

13 min listen

Nick Robinson asked Suella Braverman on the Today programme this week whether the Tories had a death wish. She said no. But why is the party, when it’s doing so badly in the polls, fighting among itself? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls ands Craig Oliver, former director of communications in No. 10.

When conferences go wrong

13 min listen

The Conservative party conference begins in Manchester this weekend. Where have conferences gone wrong for previous Tory party leaders, and what will Rishi Sunak want to get out of this one?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Craig Oliver, dormer director of communications in No. 10 under David Cameron.

Why is Rishi delaying his reshuffle?

12 min listen

Rishi Sunak is reportedly going to delay a planned major reshuffle. A Cabinet switch-up was expected next month, but it now seems that only ministers like Ben Wallace, who has already indicated that he wants to step down, will be moved from their posts. What changed the Prime Minister’s mind? Max Jeffery speaks to James

Carrie Johnson and the problem with anonymous sources

The publication of extracts from a biography of Carrie Johnson this weekend is another stark reminder that we need a serious look at the over-use of anonymous sources in journalism. I first began to worry about the problem when extracts from another Lord Ashcroft biography – this time of David Cameron – were published. When

Boris in a spin: can the PM find his way again?

36 min listen

After two of Boris Johnson’s most influential advisers left Downing Street last week, can the PM reset his relationship with the Tory party and find his way again? (00:58) Lara is joined by the Spectator’s deputy political editor, Katy Balls, and former director of communications for David Cameron, Craig Oliver. A coronavirus vaccine seems to

Will No 10’s press briefing shake-up really deliver more transparency?

13 min listen

Downing St has announced that it will be televising its afternoon lobby press briefing, come October. Inspired by the daily coronavirus briefings, it’s a shake-up that supporters say could improve transparency. On the podcast, Katy Balls speaks to former No 10 comms chief Craig Oliver, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. They also take a punt

The 10,000th

40 min listen

This week, the Spectator commemorates its 10,000th edition. On the podcast, Cindy Yu speaks to David Butterfield and Fraser Nelson about the magazine’s two centuries of history, finding out about how the publication started, discussing whether it is still the same now as it was originally intended, and hearing about what David calls its ‘industrial