Stephen Bush

Political Editor at the New Statesman

Will the Tories return Hester’s £10 million?

11 min listen

At Prime Minister’s Questions today Rishi Sunak refused to commit to returning the £10 million donor Frank Hester gave to the Conservative party. Hester allegedly said that Diane Abbott made him ‘hate all black women.’ Sunak now says that Hester’s  alleged comments were ‘racist’ and ‘wrong’, after a spokesperson initially only described them as ‘unacceptable’.

Inside the plot to take down Rishi Sunak

42 min listen

Welcome to a slightly new format for the Edition podcast! Each week will be talking about the magazine – as per usual – but trying to give a little more insight into the process behind putting The Spectator to bed each week.  On the podcast: The Spectator’s political editor Katy Balls writes our cover story this week about ‘the

Is the prime minister gaffe-prone?

14 min listen

It has been a gaffe-filled week for Rishi Sunak. At PMQs today the prime minister was chastised by his opposite number for an ill-judged comment about transgender people with the mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey in parliament. This comes after being pictured embracing Sinn Fein leader Michelle O’Neill and then making a wager with Piers

2023: The year in review

27 min listen

How well did Rishi Sunak do on his five pledges? Are we any clearer on what Keir Starmer stands for? Is the SNP done for in Scotland? On this episode, Cindy Yu, Katy Balls, James Heale and Coffee House Shots regular Stephen Bush look back on the past year in British politics. Produced by Cindy

Labour’s foreign policy problem

14 min listen

Natasha Feroze speaks to Stephen Bush and Katy Balls about some of the geopolitical problems that lie ahead for Labour. Will David Lammy have to roll back on his views on Trump? Will Keir Starmer appeal to his muslim voter base whilst taking the standard Biden line on Israel/ Palestine? What about the Indian general

Is it time to take the Lib Dems seriously again?

20 min listen

Conference season has kicked off this weekend with the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth. Buoyed by their success in the recent by-elections, could the Lib Dems be the kingmakers at the next election? Oscar Edmondson speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush, associate editor at the Financial Times.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 

Illegal Migration Bill survives mammoth voting session

12 min listen

Tory whips will be smiling today after a mammoth three and a half hour voting session on amendments to the Illegal Migration Bill last night. All the amendments put down by the House of Lords were defeated by the government across 18 divisions. Are Rishi’s hopes of stopping the boats still alive? Where do Labour

Is Starmer worried about Sunak?

23 min listen

Fraser Nelson speaks to Katy Balls and Stephen Bush from the Financial Times about the two party leaders as Britain starts to think about the next year’s general election. As Labour’s lead in the polls narrows, is their campaigning strategy working? And how is a fractious Conservative party responding to having Rishi Sunak as their

Is Labour saying anything new on childcare?

17 min listen

The shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson is giving a speech to centre-right think tank Onward today, all about childcare. But is the party actually saying anything new on the issue? Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and the FT‘s Stephen Bush. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Does Zahawi have to resign?

14 min listen

This morning government minister Chris Philp gave a less than convincing defence of former chancellor Nadhim Zahawi as the row over his tax affairs continue to cast a cloud over Rishi Sunak’s government. Does he have to go? Also on the podcast, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy will lay out Labour’s foreign policy plans today

Starmer distances himself from Rayner

10 min listen

Angela Rayner said the government were ‘homophobic, racist, misogynistic… scum’ at a Labour party conference event this weekend. Responding to the remarks on the Andrew Marr Show, Keir Starmer said he and Angela ‘take different approaches’, and that it is ‘not language that I would use’. How serious is the fracture in Labour’s leadership? Katy

Will the Greensill scandal hurt Boris?

13 min listen

A civil servant advised Greensill Capital while still working in government, it emerged yesterday evening. Is the scandal hurting Boris Johnson, or just damaging an old rival? Cindy Yu speaks to Katy Balls and the New Statesman‘s political editor Stephen Bush.

Why is Starmer’s support surging?

11 min listen

Following the exam results fiasco, the Tories’ lead in the polls has dropped to just two points in the latest YouGov survey. With Labour on the up, what is Keir Starmer doing right, and should we expect further gains? Cindy Yu speaks to the Spectator’s deputy political editor Katy Balls and Stephen Bush, political editor at

Why is Labour struggling to attack Boris Johnson?

16 min listen

Gavin Williamson last night announced that A-level students getting their results tomorrow could appeal using mock exam grades. Meanwhile, today, new figures showed that the UK economy contracted by over 20 per cent between April and June. Among all this, why has Labour failed to show how they could govern the country better? Fraser Nelson speaks

Has Keir Starmer upset Labour’s fragile unity?

13 min listen

Throughout the leadership contest, Keir Starmer was careful not to upset the delicate balance between the hard left and the moderates in the party. But with the sacking of Rebecca Long Bailey, he has risked the wrath of the Corbynites and unambiguously moved the party on from the era of Corbyn. Has he triggered a