Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
PM orders inquiry into former minister’s Islamophobia allegations
Boris Johnson has ordered the Cabinet Office to investigate a claim by a Conservative MP that she was sacked as a minister, in part, because she's a Muslim. A Downing Street spokesperson said the Prime Minister took Nusrat Ghani's allegation very seriously.
This comes at the beginning of what could prove to be a pivotal week for the Prime Minister, as the government awaits the publication of a report into a series of gatherings at Number 10 during lockdown.
Today’s Justin Webb hears the analysis of the BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg.
Today’s Mishal Husain speaks to the Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim appointed to a cabinet position in the UK, before questioning the Education Minister, Nadhim Zahawi.
Blyth has begun regeneration after much neglect, say residents
Blyth Valley in Northumberland was the first Labour ‘red wall’ seat to go to the Conservatives as results came in on election night in 2019. Ian Levy overturned an 8000 Labour majority to win by 712 votes. Today's Mishal Husain visits the Blyth Valley constituency to speak to residents and business owners about what levelling up is delivering in the area and tries to gauge the chances of the Conservatives retaining the seat.
Mishal also speaks to the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng about investment in the north east and making levelling up a reality.
(Image: Blyth beach, Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)
Most Plan B restrictions to be eased in England
Yesterday the prime minister announced England's Plan B measures are to end from next Thursday, with mandatory face coverings in public places and Covid passports both dropped. Work from home guidance ended immediately as well. Boris Johnson told MPs scientists believed the Omicron wave had peaked nationally so measures could be relaxed.
Matthew Trainer, Chief Executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust speaks to Today’s Martha Kearney about the change. Also on the programme speaking to Mishal Husain was the Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
(Image Credit: Press Association)
The reality of defecting in politics
Tory MP Christian Wakeford has defected to the Labour Party and called on Boris Johnson to quit as Prime Minister. The MP for Bury South has described the defection as "the most difficult decision of my life".
Today's Martha Kearney speaks to two people who have defected about what it's like; Baroness Nicholson, former Conservative MP who defected to the Liberal Democrats in 1995, before switching back in 2016 and Shaun Woodward, former Conservative MP who defected to the Labour Party in 1999 before going on to be the Northern Ireland Secretary.
(Image credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
Cost of living hits highest level for nearly 30 years
The cost of living rose at its fastest pace in nearly 30 years in the 12 months to December, driven mainly by higher food and energy bills. The UK's Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation rose to 5.4% from 5.1% in November, the Office for National Statistics said. The BBC’s Consumer Affairs Correspondent Colletta Smith visited the Crescent Hotel in Scarborough and spoke to the owner, Sadie Shard about the rise in running costs.
Today’s Martha Kearney speaks to Richard Walker, the managing director of Iceland, and Sir Charlie Bean, the former deputy governor of the Bank of England.
(Image Credit: Press Association)
BBC DG: Fee freeze means services cuts
BBC services and shows will have to be cut as a result of a funding gap arising from the latest licence fee deal, its director general has said.
Tim Davie was speaking to Nick Robinson on Today after the licence was frozen for two years.
(Photo: Tim Davie. Credit: BBC)