21 episodes

How can we make government work more effectively? What are Brexit and the current political tumult doing to our institutions? Is Britain's Constitution able to withstand the strains of 21st Century social, political and technical change? What needs to change in our system of government – and how can we change it?
Find out in the weekly podcast from Britain’s leading governmental think tank, where we analyse the latest events in politics and explain what they mean. Every week on INSIDE BRIEFING, IfG Director Bronwen Maddox welcomes experts, analysts and special guests for a free-ranging conversation on what makes government work – and how to fix it when it doesn’t.

INSIDE BRIEFING with Institute for Government Institute for Government

    • Government

How can we make government work more effectively? What are Brexit and the current political tumult doing to our institutions? Is Britain's Constitution able to withstand the strains of 21st Century social, political and technical change? What needs to change in our system of government – and how can we change it?
Find out in the weekly podcast from Britain’s leading governmental think tank, where we analyse the latest events in politics and explain what they mean. Every week on INSIDE BRIEFING, IfG Director Bronwen Maddox welcomes experts, analysts and special guests for a free-ranging conversation on what makes government work – and how to fix it when it doesn’t.

    “The Department of No”: Inside the Number Ten-Treasury rivalry

    “The Department of No”: Inside the Number Ten-Treasury rivalry

    This week on the podcast that ventures into the engine room of government, the Treasury vs Number Ten. War without end or grudging partnership of equals? Special guest TIM PITT was a SPAD at the Cabinet Office and senior Treasury advisor. As the Javid fallout settles, Tim tells us where the power really lies. 
     
    Plus the Bank of England’s Chief Economist ANDY HALDANE on why our economy needs new metrics of success. And this year’s COP26 conference: Why remedying climate change is the ultimate 4-dimensional chess challenge for government. Will fixing the summit’s wobbles win Britain its first global leadership moment? And how to ace a job interview with Liz Truss.

    “Net Zero by 2050 is an easy commitment to make. The politicians making it are highly unlikely to be around by then. The challenge is to do those things now that will make net zero achievable then.” – Tim Pitt
     
    Hosted by Bronwen Maddox with Emma Norris, Gemma Tetlow and Gavin Freeguard. Audio production by Alex Rees. 

    • 39 min
    Reading the runes of Reshuffle Day with Gavin Barwell

    Reading the runes of Reshuffle Day with Gavin Barwell

    When Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor it served up an unexpected vintage Reshuffle Day. But do big ministerial resignations really come as a surprise to the people moving the chesspieces? Special guest GAVIN BARWELL, former Chief of Staff to Theresa May, tells us how tense it gets in Westminster when Cabinet job are reassigned, and offers some insider advice for new ministers. 
    Plus we talk to SARAH WOLLASTON about her time as a select committee chair – and her concerns about this government’s attempt to dodge scrutiny. And there’s one last chance to hear the expertise and mellifluous tones of outgoing Attorney General GEOFFREY COX before he rides into the sunset. 
    “If you want fresh blood you’ve got to be prepared to wield the axe sometimes.” – Gavin Barwell
    Hosted by Bronwen Maddox with Cath Haddon and Raphael Hogarth. Audio production by Alex Rees. 

    • 40 min
    BONUS: Gina Miller – “Parliamentary sovereignty is much more important than Brexit”

    BONUS: Gina Miller – “Parliamentary sovereignty is much more important than Brexit”

    An extended version of our interview with high-profile Remainer turned constitution campaigner GINA MILLER. She explains how she’s staying in the constitutional fight, why she thinks “Remain and Rejoin” are done for now, why she’s encouraged by how backbenchers have handled HS2 and Huawei, and why the hardest part of Brexit is yet to come. 
    “Some of the government’s language would not be out of place in Orbán’s government,” she says. “Both of the cases we brought were about the fundamentals of democracy. The parliamentary slogans you heard during the referendum were exactly what we were defending.”
    Interview by Sam Macrory. Audio production by Alex Rees. 

    • 14 min
    Getting Away With It? How to scrutinise an all-powerful Government

    Getting Away With It? How to scrutinise an all-powerful Government

    Where has all the scrutiny gone, long time passing…? As the Government wields its apparently unassailable majority, who will be the thorn on the Government’s otherwise impenetrable hide this year? Plus special guest PAUL HARRISON – Theresa May’s former press spokesman – explains what this week’s spat between lobby journalists and government advisors really means. And can the Government pull off its proposed more stringent sentencing guidelines in the wake of the Streatham attacks?  
    GINA MILLER explains why she’s staying in the fight to reform the British constitution. (Watch your feed for the full-length unedited interview). And Paul tells us what it’s like to lose your government job at an hour’s notice. “Most of us went straight to the pub,” he reveals.
    “Big restrictions on the lobby are a terrible look for the government... most journalists are as public spirited as the politicians they cover.” – PAUL HARRISON
    “Politicians often agree with the way Tom Stoppard put it: ‘I’m with you on the free press. It’s the newspapers I can’t stand’.” – PAUL HARRISON
    Hosted by Bronwen Maddox with Cath Haddon and Hannah White. Audio production by Alex Rees. 

    • 42 min
    BONUS: Gisela Stuart – “I didn’t realise how deep the grievance of Remain voters was.”

    BONUS: Gisela Stuart – “I didn’t realise how deep the grievance of Remain voters was.”

    In an extended version of her interview on this week’s podcast, leading light of Leave GISELA STUART tells Cath Haddon what it was really like inside the campaign to exit the EU.
    Listen for fascinating detail on the atmosphere inside the Brexit victory, why she “really likes” Dominic Cummings, why the “old, playful Boris Johnson” has disappeared… and why she worries that we could be in for a crisis in the Union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that nobody wants. 
    “We as politicians had become quite lazy. We hadn’t talked about fisheries, agriculture, workers’ rights… those I felt had to come back to the UK parliament.” 
    Interview by Cath Haddon. Audio production by Alex Rees. 

    • 16 min
    Home and Huawei: Will Boris pass his first post-Brexit test?

    Home and Huawei: Will Boris pass his first post-Brexit test?

    As Britain finally leaves the EU, the vastness of the Brexit task ahead becomes clearer. Special guest PETER FOSTER, Europe Editor of the Telegraph (and soon Policy Editor at the FT), joins us to talk about our future relationship with the EU and who will hold the Government to account at home.
    Meanwhile, was Boris Johnson’s first big independent decision – on allowing Huawei into the UK’s 5G plans – a wise one? Old China hand Peter thinks not. Plus we talk to leading light of Leave GISELA STUART on the inside story of the campaign, her thoughts on Remain, and what Dominic Cummings is really like. Watch your feed for the full-length unedited version too.
    “The Chinese have driven a wedge between the United Kingdom and the United States. From their point of view, job done.” – PETER FOSTER
    “Membership of the EU has depoliticised a lot of trade issues in the past… It’s going to be striking on how politics intrude on these big decisions. And ministers are going to be exposed.” – ALEX THOMAS
    “Remaking our relationship with the EU is very much not going to be on the same exasperated but friendly terms of the past.” PETER FOSTER
    Hosted by Bronwen Maddox with Maddy Thimont-Jack and Alex Thomas. Audio production by Alex Rees. 

    • 47 min

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