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

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,

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

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

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

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

Can Rishi weather his first Tory rebellion?

14 min listen

Rishi Sunak is facing his first Tory Commons rebellion on the issue of UK house building targets. Could this be game over?  Also on the podcast, after Chloe Smith announced that she will be leaving politics at the next election, could more follow her out of parliament? Katy Balls speaks to James Forsyth and Isabel

Is the government trying to soften Brexit?

13 min listen

Over the weekend, government briefings that they will be looking towards a Swiss-style arrangement with the EU reignited the Brexit rows. Dormant Brexiteers like Nigel Farage and the European Research Group resurfaced, making it clear that they would not accept a so-called ‘Chequers 2.0’. On the record, the government has been keen to reject this

Austerity 2.0: is all the pain really necessary?

34 min listen

It’s no doubt a depressing time for the British economy, but how much that is the fault of the government, either for getting us to this stage and/or for not setting out a more optimistic exit route? On this episode, Cindy Yu moderates a debate between Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and Kate Andrews who battle

Will Hunt’s budget survive scrutiny?

9 min listen

The front pages are almost universally bad today, but the government is more concerned with the reaction from the markets, which, so far, have not turned against yesterday’s budget. Could this high tax low spend fiscal statement yet pass scrutiny, given the torrid economic climate at large? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Katy

Will the Autumn Statement break the Tory truce?

12 min listen

The Conservative party is still digesting Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement, a far cry from the last fiscal statement from this party. Have the Prime Minister and the Chancellor managed to deliver a budget that hits the political sweet point of cornering Labour without splitting their own party? Isabel Hardman talks to James

What do we know about the Polish missile tragedy?

12 min listen

Last night there were fears of a direct attack from Russia on a NATO country, after a missile struck two Polish nationals on the border with Ukraine. An investigation is now underway, but who is responsible for these deaths? Also on the podcast, Dominic Raab took PMQs today despite bullying allegations against him gathering pace.