Katy Balls

Katy Balls

Katy Balls is The Spectator’s political editor.

Are the Tories too little to late on migration?

14 min listen

As James Cleverly meets leaders in Rwanda to sign a new asylum treaty, the government has laid out a series of plans to bring down legal migration. Some Tories on the right would like the measures to go further, but are these policies too little too late? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Spectator writer, Patrick

Was Starmer right to praise Thatcher?

11 min listen

This weekend Keir Starmer’s team took the opportunity to discuss Margaret Thatcher in an op-ed for the Sunday Telegraph. Whilst Starmer also praised other former prime ministers – such as Tony Blair and Clement Attlee – his admission that ‘Margaret Thatcher sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism’, has

Katy Balls

The memory and legacy of Alistair Darling

14 min listen

Former chancellor Alistair Darling passed away this week, aged 70. To discuss his career, life and legacy, Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and Catherine MacLeod, former political editor of the Herald, and later a special adviser to Darling.

Will Boris surprise at the Covid inquiry?

13 min listen

As Matt Hancock appears before the Covid inquiry for a second day, we take a look at the revelations from the former health secretary, including the allegation that involving the Prime Minister and former prime minister, Boris Johnson. Both are due to be up at the Covid inquiry in the coming weeks. Cindy Yu talks

Has Robert Jenrick gone rogue?

12 min listen

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, long thought of as one of Rishi Sunak’s closest allies in Parliament, hinted yesterday at a row with the Prime Minister. He had a plan to reduce immigration ready ‘last Christmas’, he said. Why didn’t Sunak take it anywhere? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Paul Goodman.

Has No.10 lost its marbles?

12 min listen

An extraordinary row has broken out between the British and Greek governments over the future of the Parthenon Marbles. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due to meet Rishi Sunak in London today, but No. 10 cancelled the meeting at the last minute over comments that Mitsotakis made on the Laura Kuenssberg show. Is this whole

Sunak under pressure to curb legal migration

11 min listen

Rishi Sunak is on the defensive over legal migration. After figures late last week revealed net migration hit a record 750,000 in the year to December 2022, the Prime Minister is under pressure from his own side to act. This afternoon James Cleverly will address the House and is expected to lay out a series

What happened in Dublin?

11 min listen

There were riots in Dublin last night. Looters smashed shops, and burnt police cars in a night of unrest in the capital of Ireland. What provoked the angry crowd, and should the police have done a better job at stopping them? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and Pat Leahy, political editor of the Irish Times.

Katy Balls

The Alison McGovern Edition

27 min listen

Alison McGovern sits on Labour’s front bench as the shadow minister for work and pensions but was first elected as an MP in 2010. Growing up in Merseyside, her grandfather was a folk singer who wrote ‘My Liverpool Home’. Her father was a railwayman that campaigned for better working conditions, but it was her mother that

Have we seen peak migration?

12 min listen

After much Whitehall spin, the official figures are now in. Net migration in the year to June hit 672,000, down from 745,000 in 2022. A total of 1.2 million people arrived to live in the UK, whilst 508,000 moved overseas. The ONS says it’s too early to call this a downward trend, but has migration

The truth about Hunt’s ‘tax cutting’ Autumn Statement

18 min listen

The Chancellor today delivered his fiscal update, branding it as an ‘Autumn Statement for Growth’. In it, he announced a series of tax cuts for both businesses and workers including the decision to make ‘full expensing’ permanent and a surprise announcement on National Insurance, which has been cut by two percentage points for workers and

Why has Rishi Sunak made five more pledges?

11 min listen

James Heale, Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson look ahead to the Autumn Statement this week. Will Rishi Sunak commit to cutting taxes? And with barely a year to go before the election, would implementing any policies now be felt in time?

Back to the future: Sunak’s big gamble

45 min listen

On the podcast: It’s been a busy week in Westminster. On Monday, Rishi Sunak’s first major reshuffle saw Suella Braverman sacked and David Cameron make a surprise return to politics.  Then two days later, the Supreme Court’s Rwanda ruling left the government’s pledge to ‘stop the boats’ in tatters. It was meant to be the

Katy Balls

Should Starmer worry about the ceasefire rebellion?

13 min listen

Fifty-six Labour MPs rebelled last night and voted for an SNP amendment calling for a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. Keir Starmer had ordered his party to abstain on the vote, and said afterwards that Israel had suffered ‘its worst terrorist attack in a single day’ on 7 October, and that ‘no government would allow

Supreme Court rules Rwanda scheme unlawful

11 min listen

The Supreme Court has ruled that the government scheme to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda is unlawful. Why? And how will Rishi Sunak respond? Will he try to take Britain out of the European Convention on Human Rights? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Kate Andrews.

Suella tells Rishi: ‘You have repeatedly failed to deliver’

15 min listen

When Suella Braverman was sacked on Monday she warned that she would have more to say in due course, and she has just released her resignation letter. It is predictably punchy, accusing the prime minister of backtracking on policy promises he made to her and especially on his commitment to stop the boats. Will Sunak