Paul Goodman

The Plot: part II

14 min listen

Rishi Sunak seems to be facing his own ‘plot’. But unlike in Nadine Dorries’ now infamous book, it’s not a secret cabal orchestrated by Dougie Smith hoping to depose him, but a mysterious rebel group, backed by Tory donors, who have been funding the polling we’ve seen in the Telegraph recently. The news today is that they

Is there a plot to oust Sunak?

15 min listen

Polling published in the Telegraph has ruffled more than a few feathers in Westminster today. The YouGov survey shows that the Tories are on course to lose half of their MPs – including eleven members of the cabinet – at the next election. Are the Tories heading for another 1997 moment? What should we read into the

Another by-election looms for Rishi

10 min listen

The big political news today is the Standards Committee recommendation against Scott Benton, meaning a likely by-election in Blackpool South. He was the MP caught on camera by the Times in April, allegedly boasting about lobbying ministers for cash to a gambling firm. When will Rishi catch a break?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Paul

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.

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

How long can the cross-party consensus on Israel hold?

12 min listen

So far, both major parties in the UK have aligned on their approach to the Israel-Gaza conflict, but can the Labour party really hold their position, considering how much of the party’s grassroots support come from Muslim backgrounds? James Heale talks to Katy Balls and Conservative Home’s editor, Paul Goodman. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and

Who’s to blame for the concrete crisis?

13 min listen

The government is struggling to change the story. After Gillian Keegan yesterday said, about the concrete crisis, that ‘everyone else has sat on their arse and done nothing’, the story has continued to dominate the news. How can the government recover? Who should take the blame? James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Conservative Home’s

What is the point of Lee Anderson?

14 min listen

Katy Balls and editor of Conservative Home Paul Goodman join Natasha Feroze to discuss the troublemaker, Lee Anderson. This week his inflammatory comments on small boats dominated the news – is this good or bad for the Conservatives? And what role does Rishi Sunak have in mind for the former miner and deputy Chairman of

What’s behind the Tory selections?

17 min listen

As the Conservative candidate selections are underway, how will the associations balance the need for a local champion to win back constituency support vs Tory stars, such as Nick Timothy, getting selected? Paul Goodman from Conservative Home and Katy Balls speak to Natasha Feroze. 

Are ‘sinister forces’ conspiring against Nadine Dorries?

12 min listen

Nadine Dorries has hit out on various platforms saying that ‘sinister forces’ stopped her from receiving her peerage, as promised to her by former prime minister Boris Johnson. This has been met by a strong rebuke from Number 10, but do Boris and Dorries have grounds to feel aggrieved? Also on the podcast, tomorrow we

Is the ministerial code fit for purpose?

15 min listen

Paul Goodman, editor of Conservative Home joins Katy Balls and James Heale to discuss the most recent victims accused of breaching the ministerial code. The code covers things like telling the truth in Parliament, keeping cabinet discussions secret and not allowing conflicts to arise between public duties and private interests. But is it fit for

How much does the investigation into Sunak matter?

14 min listen

The investigation into Rishi Sunak leads several papers today, but how much does it really matter? On the episode, James Heale talks to Katy Balls and Conservative Home editor Paul Goodman about why the episode is unlikely to hurt Sunak in the long run. They also discuss the coming report on Dominic Raab’s alleged workplace

The arrest of Peter Murrell

16 min listen

Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, Peter Murrell, has been arrested today in connection with an investigation into the SNP’s finances. James Heale talks to Fraser Nelson and Conservative Home editor Paul Goodman on the episode. They also discuss Trump’s arrest and ask whether Suella Braverman might need a new seat. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Who wants Boris back?

18 min listen

Boris Johnson has today made his defence of partygate, before he is questioned by the Privileges Committee tomorrow. He accepts that he misled the House of Commons, but insists he made his statements ‘in good faith’ and that he ‘would never have dreamed’ of doing so intentionally. But who’s going to support him now? Katy

Is Sunak making a mistake on the NI protocol?

18 min listen

James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Conservative Home editor Paul Goodman about the union. Both in terms of Nicola Sturgeon’s sudden decision to resign this morning and the possibility of an imminent agreement on the Northern Ireland protocol. 

Have Tory MPs turned on Rishi?

13 min listen

Rishi Sunak has referred himself to Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser to investigate whether he followed the rules on ministers’ interests. After the row over his wife’s tax status has built up, how much has the past week weakened his position as a possible contender for the Tory leadership?‘The two top players in the Tory party

Will Boris Johnson face more southern rebels?

18 min listen

The surprise result of Friday’s Chesham and Amersham by-election has led to questions over why the Conservative lost just so badly – and why no one saw it coming. On today’s Coffee House Shots, Conservative Home’s Paul Goodman warns against over-reading the situation: ‘When it comes to by-elections, the golden rule should be, why not presume that

The next president: what would a Joe Biden premiership look like?

38 min listen

Americans look like they’re going to put Joe Biden in the White House – so what would his premiership look like? (00:45) Plus, Boris Johnson’s impossible bind on coronavirus (13:55) and how should you sign off an email? (28:35) With editor of the Spectator’s American edition Freddy Gray; Biden biographer Evan Osnos; political editor James

What is Russia’s plan to unleash chaos?

39 min listen

As the long-awaited Russia report is released this week, we discuss Russia’s plan to unleash chaos (00:45). Plus, does Boris Johnson have a management problem with his new MPs? (14:30) And last, the pains of dating during lockdown (28:30). With Russia journalists Owen Matthews and Mary Dejevsky; the Spectator’s deputy political editor Katy Balls; Conservative

Escaping the dragon: rethinking our approach to China

42 min listen

It’s not just coronavirus, but the government is keen to have a new approach to China. We discuss what this entails and whether or not it’s a good idea (00:50). Plus, what will be the lasting impact of the Cummings affair on the government? (17:16) And last, the way to deal with noisy neighbours now