Pod Save the UK

Pod Save the UK

Pod Save the UK is your weekly fix of political news, big ideas and a shot of inspiration. Each week hosts, comedian Nish Kumar and journalist Coco Khan are joined by politicians, experts, and famous friends to unpick the latest news, look for solutions, and inspire action. From Crooked Media – the creators of Pod Save America – in partnership with Reduced Listening, tune in to new episodes of Pod Save the UK every Thursday wherever you pod.


September 28, 2023 55 mins

The Conservative Party heads to Manchester for its Conference as rumours swirl that Rishi Sunak is going to axe the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the HS2 high speed rail line that was supposed to unlock the potential of The North - a bit awkward then! Coco and her special guest Grace Blakeley discuss why it’s all gone wrong and what it says about us as a country that we can’t seem to deliver big infrastructure projects on budget,...

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In the wake of the allegations of rape and sexual assault against Russell Brand, Nish says his behaviour was an open secret, and Brand’s TV work dried up as people refused to work with him. Nish also reveals that there are others still working in the industry about whom production staff will say “oh we don’t send young women into their dressing rooms”. Coco highlights the wider cultural issues that lead to women feeling unsafe in t...

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Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy reveals what it was like in Westminster when the news broke that a parliamentary researcher, with close links to leading Tory politicians, had been arrested on suspicion of spying for China. Mr Lammy tells Nish and Coco that the atmosphere at Westminster is “febrile”, with MPs having to think carefully about who they rely on for advice and research. He also sets out Labour’s position on...

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Nish and Coco reflect on a scandal they think is a perfect metaphor for Tory-led Britain. Schools have had to close because they’ve been built using cheap and unstable concrete (called RAAC), while there are also concerns over hospitals and other public buildings. So as the country crumbles around us, who’s to blame?

Labour leader Keir Starmer has reshuffled his top team ahead of next year’s expected general election. Coco welcomes ...

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More 16 to 17-year-old boys recognise Andrew Tate than Rishi Sunak - have we been guilty of underestimating the influence of Tate’s brand of toxic masculinity? Nish and Coco speak to journalist Matt Shea, who has spent years investigating the notorious misogynist. His new documentary uncovers the truth behind Tate’s ‘War Room’ club, and investigates claims members are taught how to groom women into online sex work. We also learn ab...

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August 24, 2023 51 mins

With the headlines dominated by Lucy Letby, the most prolific child killer in modern British history, Nish and Coco reflect on the proper role for politicians in cases like this. While we crave reassurance from figures in authority, should they resist the urge to wade in with an easy soundbite? Plus we also reflect on the other big story of the week, the women’s World Cup final, and ask why it’s always men in suits who have to spoi...

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Returning from their summer holidays, Nish and Coco reflect on the failure of the Government’s ‘small boats week’. It was supposed to showcase progress but, instead it ended in the tragic deaths of a number of people trying to cross the Channel. An interesting time then for Tory HQ to step up their war on so-called ‘lefty lawyers’. We hear from immigration lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie, who was the target of a Conservative smear campa...

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In a politics increasingly dominated by ‘wedge issues’ and the ‘woke’ divide, Nish and Coco explore whether it’s possible to have constructive conversations on social issues with people with whom you disagree. The activist and author Gina Martin reveals the lessons she’s learnt from her career as an activist, which started when she was a victim of upskirting. Her campaign ended up changing the law to make upskirting a specific sexu...

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Is a combination of a progressive alliance, tactical voting and proportional representation the way to save the UK from Tory rule? Neal Lawson, founder of the pressure group Compass, argues that there would have been no Boris Johnson or Liz Truss if left-leaning parties had been able to work together. Neal, who’s been a Labour member for 44 years, also explains why he’s facing possible expulsion from the Labour Party for tweeting i...

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Nish and Coco can’t resist popping up for a special bonus mini-episode to discuss the Super Thursday by-election results. A revolt against Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Ulez low emissions policy hands the Tories a lifeline to hang on to their seat in Uxbridge and Ruislip - Coco hopes that doesn’t encourage Labour HQ to sideline their green agenda.

Better news for Labour in Selby and Ainsty where Kier the Younger - Labour candidate Keir ...

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July 20, 2023 63 mins

Nish and Coco ask “what’s going on with Labour?” Sir Keir Starmer caused consternation within his own ranks, by saying he wouldn’t abolish a two-child limit on claiming some benefits - a Tory policy that many of his frontbench colleagues have condemned. Nish and Coco wonder why politically tough decisions only ever seem to come at the expense of the poorest in society. 

SNP MP Mhairi Black tells Nish and Coco about dodging falling m...

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While the UK was losing its senses over a sex scandal, the BBC and a tabloid newspaper, Nish brings some sanity. His advice to journalists and politicians: if you know nothing, why not shut up? What we learn from the story is that the UK needs more facts and less speculation.

In Nish’s crosshairs is Tory MP Lee Anderson. He called the BBC a “safe haven for perverts” while his party and Westminster faces an epidemic of sexual harassm...

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Does Rishi Sunak care about the climate crisis? A former minister accuses him of apathy, and a leaked memo suggests he’s considering rolling back one of the UK’s key financial climate pledges. Just Stop Oil’s Chloe Naldrett joins Nish and Coco with a personal message for the Prime Minister. While we’re recording, Wimbledon becomes the latest sporting event to be hit by protestors, so we drag Chloe back into the studio to give us an...

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June 29, 2023 54 mins

Matt Hancock fails to win over bereaved families at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, as they turn their backs on him while another confronts him dressed as the grim reaper. Nish and Coco get to grips with ‘greedflation’ as MPs question supermarket bosses about their huge salaries. Plus Coco questions why Labour has an all-white all-male line up of candidates for the upcoming by-elections. And Nish is disheartened by a report that finds cri...

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Labour’s Andy Burnham, tells Nish and Coco why he doesn’t mind being labelled ‘The King of the North’ and why he thinks our political system needs a complete rewiring. He also gives his reaction to the demise of his old pandemic-era foe Boris Johnson, and shrugs off concerns about the city of Manchester getting into bed with Abu Dhabi - the owners who’ve brought such success to Manchester City F.C.  

We celebrate the 75th Windrush a...

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Nish and Coco are reunited in the studio following a tumultuous week in politics that saw Boris Johnson resign and Nicola Sturgeon arrested. Sky News’ Liz Bates tells us why Johnson’s demise could be good news for the strength of UK democracy, and explains why the independence movement is holding firm despite the SNP’s woes.

Given it was Johnson’s party-ing during Covid that brought him down, it’s timely that the public hearings in ...

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Can the Labour Party save the UK? Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry is challenged by Nish and Coco over her party’s attack ads, and on the Labour manifesto - which she promises will help young people, and be bullshit free. Find out why she thinks being Labour leader is the hardest job in the world, and what she got up to behind the bike sheds with David Cameron.

Plus, Mr Sunak goes to Washington, Prince Harry goes to court, and a...

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June 1, 2023 49 mins

Nish and Coco ask how we can save the UK from knife crime. It turns out we have evidence of what works - so why aren’t we doing it? 

We meet Jon Yates, who leads a charity that has been given £200 million by the Home Office to research what works and then put it into practice. He’s trialling a targeted, interventionist approach, called ‘focused deterrence’ which helped Glasgow dramatically reduce violent crime. Those lessons are now...

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May 25, 2023 58 mins

Why did Suella Braverman’s speeding ticket take up so much oxygen, and who did it serve? Nish and Coco discuss whether the leaks against the Home Secretary are symptomatic of a party that’s heading into yet another bout of self-destructive psychodrama. As if that’s not enough, Boris Johnson is back in trouble too! 

As another set of record migration figures are published, Nish and Coco reflect on the immigrant experience and how it ...

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May 18, 2023 56 mins

Never ones to shirk a challenge, Nish and Coco launch ‘Chat Shit Get Banged’, their campaign to stop politicians from lying. They get some expert help from Will Moy, from fact checkers Full Fact - he’s dedicated his life to correcting the mistakes and mistruths of the people elected to lead us…not mislead us. With a general election on the horizon next year, he tells them he’s done with “bullshit manifestos”, and reveals how AI cou...

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