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Instant political analysis from the Spectator's top team of writers, including Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth, Isabel Hardman, Katy Balls, Alex Massie and many others.

The Spectator


    • Nov 29, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • daily NEW EPISODES
    • 13m AVG DURATION
    • 1,307 EPISODES

    4.4 from 113 ratings Listeners of Coffee House Shots that love the show mention: british politics, spectator, isabel, brexit, fraser, lara, cindy, katy, humour, uk, best political, 15 minutes, magazine, katie, journalists, james, objective, balanced, updates, delivered.



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    Latest episodes from Coffee House Shots

    Does Sunak see China as a threat?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 12:01


    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 Harms Bill.  Produced by Natasha Feroze

    Can Sunak get a grip on his party?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 14:18


    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 take on this week. One led by Theresa Villiers over mandatory housing targets; the other by Simon Clarke railing against the ban on offshore wind farms. On the podcast, Katy, James and Fraser discuss what kind of uphill struggle this week might bring. Can the cracks in the party be patched over ahead of the general election?  Produced by Natasha Feroze.

    Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 27/11/22

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 27, 2022 10:35


    Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday's political shows. Today's interviewees include Mark Harper, Lisa Nandy, Jake Berry and Theresa Villiers. 

    Is the SNP juggernaut slowing down?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2022 14:53


    Katy Balls, Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth discuss the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on the SNP and the union. 

    How will the NHS cope this winter?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2022 10:01


    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 they get people back into work?  Cindy speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 

    Can the government get a grip on immigration?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2022 9:37


    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?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2022 13:38


    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 Edmondson. 

    Can Rishi weather his first Tory rebellion?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 13:38


    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 Hardman.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 

    Is the government trying to soften Brexit?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2022 12:43


    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 briefing. So what really happened? Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Produced by Cindy Yu.

    Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 20/11/22

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 20, 2022 13:20


    Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday morning's politics shows. Featured today are Steve Barclay, Gary Smith, Kwajo Tweneboa and Chloe Morgan.

    Austerity 2.0: is all the pain really necessary?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2022 34:25


    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 out their respective views. Produced by Cindy Yu and Matt Taylor.

    Will Hunt's budget survive scrutiny?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 9:09


    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 Balls. Produced by Cindy Yu.

    Will the Autumn Statement break the Tory truce?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 12:26


    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 spot of cornering Labour without splitting their own party? Isabel Hardman talks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls. Produced by Cindy Yu.

    What do we know about the Polish missile tragedy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 11:47


    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. What are the latest developments in the bullying row?  Cindy Yu speaks with James Forsyth and Katy Balls.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson.

    Why is the workforce shrinking?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 10:31


    Figures released today show that the number of people in employment has dropped by 50,000 since September, despite a national worker shortage of 1.25 million. Does this shed some light on the recession? Are these shortages simply because of disputes over pay or could the NHS waiting list be to blame?  Also on the podcast, as public sector pay stagnates, how many will be lost to the private sector?  Cindy Yu speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth.  Produced by Cindy Yu and Oscar Edmondson. 

    What can we expect from the G20 summit?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 11:12


    The G20 summit kicked off as world leaders arrived in Bali overnight. Ahead of the summit, Biden and Xi met to discuss tensions over trade, tech and human rights. The two claim they are ready for candid exchanges as China-US relations are at their lowest in decades.  Rishi Sunak also flew to his first G20 summit. The Prime Minister is expected to hold multiple bilateral meetings as he tries to make his mark on the world stage. Meanwhile, can he keep a grip on domestic issues ahead of the Autumn Statement this Thursday? Isabel Hardman speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth.

    Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 13/11/22

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 13, 2022 9:39


    Isabel Hardman presents the highlights from Sunday morning's political shows. Featured today are Jeremy Hunt, Rachel Reeves, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin and Simon Clarke. 

    Was Lord Wolfson right?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2022 25:47


    Natasha Feroze hosts as Fraser Nelson and Kate Andrews debate Lord Wolfson's recent BBC interview in which he called for the UK to import more low skilled workers in order to fill the country's job vacancies. 

    Is the UK on the brink of recession?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 11:05


    The ONS forecasts reveal that UK output fell by 0.2 per cent between July-September. Whilst not a recession yet, it is increasingly likely the next quarter will see another dip following a surge in interest rates. Will the government's messaging change ahead of the Autumn Statement next week? Also on the podcast, Kate and James discuss Kwasi Kwarteng's interview in The Times as he reflects on his short time as Chancellor.  Isabel Hardman is joined by Kate Andrews and James Forsyth. Produced by Natasha Feroze

    Nurses on strike: how can the NHS cope?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 17:32


    For the first time in history, nurses have voted to go on strike. As the NHS grapples with record wait lists and excess deaths, how will it cope this winter? Also on the podcast, James and Isabel discuss the ongoing situation in Northern Ireland. And how will Matt Hancock fare in the jungle? Natasha Feroze is joined by Isabel Hardman and James Forysth. Produced by Natasha Feroze

    How much has the Williamson row damaged Rishi Sunak?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 10:57


    Though Gavin Williamson has now resigned, Rishi Sunak still had to fend off a number of questions on the disgraced minister at today's Prime Minister's Questions. How much damage has the row done to the Prime Minister? Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman. Produced by Cindy Yu.

    Will Hunt protect the pensions triple lock?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2022 11:53


    Ahead of the Autumn Statement next week, questions remain over whether the government intends to protect the pensions triple lock. With pensioners being such an important part of the Conservative party's demographic, will Jeremy Hunt risk the inevitable backlash? Also on the podcast, what will Rishi Sunak do about Gavin Williamson as the bullying claims grow? Cindy Yu is joined by Isabel Hardman and James Forsyth. Produced by Cindy Yu and Natasha Feroze. 

    Does Westminster have a whipping problem?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 11:38


    Gavin Williamson is in trouble, again. This time the reveal of some expletive-laden texts he sent to then-chief whip Wendy Morton has raised questions for the government over why Williamson was brought back into frontline politics. On the podcast, Cindy Yu talks to James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman about whether the dual role of government whips (as discipline enforcers and pastoral carers) is confused and out of date. Produced by Cindy Yu.

    Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup – 06/11/22

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 6, 2022 12:43


    Isabel Hardman rounds up the highlights from Sunday's interview shows. Today's guests include Oliver Dowden, Ed Miliband and Paul Blomfield.

    What will Rishi Sunak be able to achieve in two years?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2022 18:45


    Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and opinion pollster James Johnson, about how the Conservatives can carve a path back to electoral relevance in the face of a gloomy economic picture. 

    Why have the RMT cancelled the strikes?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 14:04


    Today the planned rail strikes have been cancelled at the 11th hour. Is this an indication that a deal may be soon reached to end the months of disruption?  Also on the podcast, after it was announced that Arts Council England would cut its funding, it looks like the English National Opera will be forced out of London. Is this 'levelling up'?  Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.

    Are we heading for a recession?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2022 11:19


    Alongside an interest rate hike of 3 per cent, the Bank of England have today warned the economy will 'be in recession for a long period'. How much of the blame can we place on Truss's economic policy? What will this recession look like?  Also on the podcast, Rishi Sunak plans to remove the 'legal but harmful' censorship clause from the Online Harms Bill, what will this mean for online safety? Katy Balls speaks with Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and Kate Andrews.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson.

    Why is Rishi now going to Cop?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 12:52


    Rishi Sunak has said that he will now attend the Cop 27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, which begins on Sunday. What's behind the U-turn, and should we expect more policy reversals from the new PM?  Katy Balls speaks to Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth. Produced by Oscar Edmondson and Max Jeffery.

    What is Matt Hancock up to?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 17:01


    Matt Hancock has signed up to be a contestant on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! What's behind the former health secretary's move into reality television? Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, took to television studios this morning to defend how the government has handled overcrowding at the Manston processing centre for asylum seekers. Is there a rift growing between him and the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman? Max Jeffery speaks to Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.  Produced by Max Jeffery.

    How much trouble is Suella in?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 14:12


    Suella Braverman is under attack for sharing confidential documents with other members of parliament, and has admitted to sending official documents to her personal email on six occasions. Could she be forced out, again?  Also on the podcast, as Rishi Sunak faces pressure on the small boats crisis as well as his decision not to attend the COP27 climate summit, what sort of leader will he be? Will he buckle under the pressure? James Heale speaks with Fraser Nelson and Katy Balls.  Produced by Natasha Feroze and Oscar Edmondson. 

    Isabel Hardman's Sunday Roundup - 30/10/22

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 30, 2022 11:03


    Isabel Hardman hosts the highlights from Sunday's political shows, with Michael Gove, Yvette Cooper, Jeffrey Donaldson and Caroline Lucas. 

    How will Starmer attack Sunak?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2022 10:28


    A poll in the i on Friday showed that Rishi Sunak is more trusted with the economy than Keir Starmer. How will Labour break down that support? Max Jeffery speaks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth.

    Will Rishi take the difficult decisions?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 11:01


    Reports today suggest the government is planning to pledge £50 billion to close the fiscal black hole. Are they laying the groundwork for a combination of spending cuts and tax rises? Also on the podcast, after Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter today, what will the repercussions be for the Online Safety Bill? Max Jeffery speaks to James Forsyth and Katy Balls.  Produced by Max Jeffery and Oscar Edmondson. 

    What will Rishi do on education?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 11:46


    Rishi Sunak has completed ministerial appointments to the Department for Education. Now led by Gillian Keegan, who left school at 16 to become an apprentice, and with old hands such as Robert Halfon and Nick Gibb returning, how ambitious will he be on education reform? Katy Balls and James Forsyth discuss on this episode. Produced by Cindy Yu.

    Did Rishi win at PMQs?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 11:53


    Rishi Sunak faced up against Keir Starmer in his first Prime Minister's Questions today, and rallied the Conservative backbenches to a more enthusiastic mood than has been seen in, perhaps, months. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and James Forsyth about the attack lines that Labour are trying out at the moment (on everything from the appointment of Suella Braverman to Rishi Sunak's comments about diverting money away from 'deprived urban areas').

    What happened in Rishi's reshuffle?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 11:59


    Rishi Sunak has spent his first day in office appointing his new Cabinet. As the Prime Minister vowed to fix the 'mistakes' of his predecessor's administration – who's in and who's out?  Katy Balls and James Forsyth discuss.  Produced by Natasha Feroze.

    Does Liz Truss have any regrets?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 13:00


    Katy Balls and James Forsyth discuss from the rooftop of Parliament the key takeaways from Liz Truss' departure speech. How does she reflect on her time in office? Produced by Natasha Feroze.

    Can Rishi steady the ship?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 13:33


    We have a new leader of the Conservative party. After Penny Mordaunt dropped out of the race just seconds before the deadline, Rishi Sunak will become the next prime minister. But he inherits a disunited party, war in Ukraine and a huge economic mountain to climb. What comes next? James Forsyth and Katy Balls discuss.  Produced by Max Jeffery and Oscar Edmondson. 

    Ready for Rishi?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 11:35


    After Boris pulled out of the leadership race last night, all eyes are on Rishi Sunak who could be Prime Minister by lunchtime. Can Rishi rescue the Conservatives? Kate Andrews speaks to Katy Balls, James Forysth and Fraser Nelson. Produced by Natasha Feroze.

    Why did Boris pull out?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2022 17:44


    Kate Andrews, James Forsyth and Katy Balls discuss the surprise withdrawal of Boris Johnson from the Conservative leadership race. 

    Katy Balls' Sunday Roundup - 23/10/22

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2022 13:28


    Katy Balls presents the highlights from Sunday's political shows. Featured today's Conservative leadership special are interviews with Steve Baker, Penny Mordaunt, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Sir Keir Starmer and George Osborne. 

    Will there be a new PM by tomorrow?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 23, 2022 14:21


    Katy Balls, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson discuss the latest party leader endorsements by MPs and the likelihood that the next Prime Minister will be in 10 Downing Street by tomorrow. 

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