James Forsyth

James Forsyth

James Forsyth is former political editor of The Spectator.

Is the Tory party undemocratic?

10 min listen

Rishi Sunak has now served as prime minister longer than his predecessor Liz Truss, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all plane sailing. Former Home Secretary Priti Patel has backed a campaign to ‘restore democracy’ in the Conservative party. Should the government be worried?  Also on the podcast, as Rishi prepares to set out his

James Forsyth

A year is a long time in politics

The year of the three emperors in Prussia changed world history. In 1888, Wilhelm I died and was succeeded by his more liberal son, Friedrich III. However, Friedrich’s reign was cut short by cancer. He died after just 99 days. He was followed by his 29-year-old son Wilhelm II – better known in this country

Why Japan and Britain are teaming up to build a fighter jet

The UK will partner with Italy and Japan to develop a new generation of fighter aircraft with the aim of having them flying by 2035. Britain and Italy were already working together through the future combat air system, but the announcement of Japan joining them is striking.  For decades, Japan has had an informal cap

Are Harry and Meghan bad for Global Britain?

11 min listen

A number of measures are under discussion as Christmas looks like it will be dominated by strike action. What measures will the government put in place to limit the disruption? Also on the podcast, after the first episodes of Netflix’s new series Harry and Meghan were released, could the documentary be bad for Global Britain?  Katy Balls

Is Rishi Sunak a blancmange Prime Minister?

12 min listen

Shots were fired at PMQs today as Keir Starmer referred to Rishi Sunak as a ‘blancmange Prime Minister’. The line came after Rishi Sunak conceded on the Tory rebellion over mandatory housing targets. Katy James and Fraser mull over this attack. Also on the podcast, with Stephen Fry elected as the SNP’s new Westminster leader,

James Forsyth

Rishi Sunak is about to feel winter’s sting

During the Tory leadership contest this summer, it was frequently said that whoever won would face the most politically difficult winter in a generation. In the end, despite winning the contest, Liz Truss didn’t make it that far. But winter is about to sting her successor.    After the collapse of the Truss premiership, Rishi Sunak

Can Sunak grip the Tory coalition?

8 min listen

The government has backed down in the face of the planning rebellion, watering down their targets for housebuilding. At the same time, another revolt is brewing over permissions to build onshore wind. Is Rishi Sunak facing a more unruly Tory coalition than his predecessors, and does he have a grip on the party? Katy Balls

Why is Labour so keen to reform the House of Lords?

12 min listen

Today former prime minister Gordon Brown has released a review which includes recommendations to overhaul the constitution and replace the House of Lords. Could Labour push through reform? Also on the podcast, after Kier Starmer said that he doesn’t see Jeremy Corbyn standing at the next election, has Starmer finally silenced the far left faction

James Forsyth

Three reasons Labour wants to talk about Lords reform

There are reasons why Labour wants to talk about constitutional reform despite all the other challenges facing the country. First, there is no financial cost to it. At the moment, Labour is severely hemmed in by the fact that it doesn’t want to make new spending commitments as it knows the Tories will immediately ask

Are the Tories in terminal decline?

14 min listen

Sajid Javid has announced that he won’t be standing for re-election, while also today, the Chester by-election saw the Conservative party suffered the worst loss in seat since 1832. Is the party in terminal decline? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Who could replace Ian Blackford?

9 min listen

Ian Blackford will stand down as SNP leader. After five years in the role, it is time for ‘fresh leadership’, Blackford says. But who will take over? Cindy Yu speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls.

How effective is Labour’s class war?

13 min listen

In today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Keir Starmer went in on Rishi Sunak’s privileged background. Starmer detailed the various facilities available at Winchester College, where Sunak was educated, from an art gallery to a shooting range. Is this an effective line of attack, or do voters simply not care? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and

James Forsyth

Why Tories are taking early retirement

Conservative party strategists face nervous days ahead as they wait to see how many Tory MPs will announce they are standing down at the next election. The last two general elections – 2017 and 2019 – were called unexpectedly in the middle of parliament, meaning MPs had next to no time to decide whether or

Does Sunak see China as a threat?

12 min listen

Rishi Sunak has signalled the end of the ‘golden era’ of relations between Britain and China, warning of Xi Jinping’s creeping authoritarianism. In his first foreign policy set piece, was it enough to get the China hawks onside? Also on the podcast, James Forsyth and Katy Balls look at the latest amendments to the Online

Can Sunak get a grip on his party?

14 min listen

As MPs mull over whether they would like to stand in the next general election, the cracks in the party widen. Notable MPs like Chloe Smith and Dehenna Davison have already declared they will not stand but there are likely to be more over the coming days. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has two rebellions to

Sunak should keep calm and carry on over Sturgeon’s referendum

In many ways, the biggest political development of this week was the Supreme Court ruling that a referendum bill would be outside the competence of the Scottish parliament. This unanimous decision – and the fact that the UK government isn’t budging on a Section 30 order which would allow another referendum – means Nicola Sturgeon

James Forsyth

How will the NHS cope this winter?

10 min listen

Today the nurses’ union have announced that they will strike this winter as they seek a pay rise of 5 per cent above inflation. How do the government navigate these strikes? Where do Labour stand?  Also on the podcast, with the government trying to fill the 1 million vacancies in the job market, how do

Can the government get a grip on immigration?

10 min listen

New migration numbers out today show that, for the first time ever, net migration have exceeded 500,000 a year. Is this a problem for the government, or is this the kind of immigration that they actually quite like to see? Katy Balls talks to James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Cindy Yu.

What does the Supreme Court ruling mean for the SNP?

14 min listen

Starmer and Sunak have today come up against each other at PMQs for the first time since the Autumn Statement. It was an occasion dominated by questions from the Scottish Nationalists on the decision handed down by the Supreme Court ruling against a new independence referendum.  James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman discuss.  Produced by Oscar