Whitehall Sources

Whitehall Sources

Top advisers to our significant political leaders analyse the successes and failures of today's politics, sharing their experiences of working in Whitehall. Kirsty Buchanan worked with Theresa May as PM, and Liz Truss when she was Secretary of State. Frankie Leach advised Jeremy Corbyn when he was Labour Leader. Journalist and broadcaster Calum Macdonald manages their in-tray of talking points, U-turns and crises. From parties in Westminster to the tactics of SpAds, this is your exclusive insight into how politics is done and how politicians work. Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsources. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

April 18, 2024 56 mins

We're joined by James Price.

The conversation covers various topics including the investigation into Conservative MP Mark Menzies, standards in public life, and the ongoing debate over the Rwanda deportation bill. The hosts and guests discuss the lack of action by the Conservative Party in response to the allegations against Menzies and the need for better crisis management. They also explore the challenges of maintaining standards...

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Kirsty and Calum discuss the messaging around sending weapons to Israel after several aid workers - including three British people - were killed by the Israel Defence Forces. Plus, as Sir Keir Starmer rides high in the polls, what else should we remember on his fourth anniversary of becoming Labour leader?

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsources.



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Calum and Kirsty discuss various topics including water companies and privatisation, Angela Rayner and housing questions, and Rishi Sunak's recent interview with William Hague. They also explore the challenges and optimism faced by being Prime Minister, the expectations placed on them, and the reality of being in that position.

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsources.



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March 20, 2024 39 mins
Conservative psychodrama: qu'est ce que? Can the Rwanda Bill make it out of Parliament? Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves gives another pragmatism-first speech: but has she wowed us yet? And is the mounting number of potholes in roads the perfect example of broken Britain? Calum and Kirsty pick apart the biggest political stories from SW1 and beyond.

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsourc...

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March 13, 2024 45 mins

The centre of government has failed successive prime ministers. That's according to the Institute for Government think tank, which outlines 7 recommendations for "radical reform" to make our government function better. Programme Director Alex Thomas joins Calum and Kirsty to discuss why the Cabinet Office needs to dissolve, and why Number 10 should look next door, to the Treasury, for inspiration.


Another racism row engulfs the ...

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March 7, 2024 41 mins

Calum Macdonald, Kirsty Buchanan and Chris Ward discuss the budget.

Kirsty was a Special Adviser to Theresa May and Chris was an adviser to Sir Keir Starmer, working on several budgets with the Labour leader.

The conversation discusses the recent budget and its implications. It explores the lack of impact and ill feeling within the Conservative Party. The topic of national insurance contributions is also examined, along with the publ...

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February 28, 2024 33 mins

We're joined by Director of the Project on Center-Left Renewal at the Progressive Policy Institute Claire Ainsley, who was policy director to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, to debrief on a chaotic week in Westminster and look ahead to what might come next. Did the last seven days descend into a worst case scenario for the Labour Party, or will they be feeling it could have gone worse? How might the upcoming by-election in Rochdale...

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This conversation covers the Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch's denial that the former Chairman of the Post Office had been instructed to stall payments in order to allow the government to "limp" into the next General Election, the potential for tax cuts being announced at the budget in March and what they mean for us. MPs are also debating a motion in Parliament put forward by the Scottish National Party (SNP) calling for an immed...

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February 19, 2024 36 mins
The conversation covers the Scottish Labour Party Conference, the performance of Scottish Labour, the recent by-election results, Labour's Green Prosperity Plan, Labour's relationship with business, Labour's economic challenges, the recession and the Conservative government, Reform UK and the Conservative strategy, and Labour's presidential election strategy. We're joined by Catherine MacLeod, former Special Adviser to Chancellor A...

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In this episode, Calum Macdonald and Kirsty Buchanan discuss various political topics, including Rishi Sunak's interview with Piers Morgan, his admission of the government's failure on NHS waiting lists, Wes Streeting's vision for NHS reform, and Liz Truss's PopCon event. They also explore the potential for a split in the Conservative Party and the rise of populist conservatives.


  • Rishi Sunak's interview with Piers Morgan sp...
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January 24, 2024 49 mins

Divisions within the Conservative Party and the shifting position of the Labour Party on green investment. The conversation highlights the importance of party unity and the impact of party divisions on electoral success.


We also analyze Donald Trump's victory in the New Hampshire primary and his attack on Nikki Haley. The conversation explores the appeal of populist leaders and the reasons behind their support. It emphasizes th...

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January 18, 2024 42 mins
Kirsty and Calum speak to Anne Milton who was a Conservative MP - and a former whip and Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships… she left parliament as an independent MP in 2019 having lost the Conservative whip. The episode focuses on Rishi Sunak's week and the challenges faced by the Conservative Party. The lack of party discipline and the existential crisis within the party are discussed. Anne Milton provides insight in...

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Hundreds wrongly convicted in the Post Office scandal could have their names cleared this year, as emergency laws were announced to "swiftly exonerate and compensate victims". Postal affairs minister Kevin Hollinrake said that hundreds fell victim to a "brutal and arbitrary exercise of power". Kirsty and Calum are joined by Kevan Jones MP (Lab) who has been campaigning for justice for the victims for years.

Support the podcast by b...

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January 3, 2024 95 mins
A chance to hear an extended, audience-led conversation with Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf first recorded and published in August 2023 on the Holyrood Sources podcast.

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsources.



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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December 20, 2023 45 mins
The conversation covers various topics, including the timing of the general election, negative campaigning, struggles to unite the Conservative Party, standout moments for Keir Starmer, and Rishi Sunak's challenges. Calum and Kirsty express their gratitude to the listeners and discuss the importance of policy discussions and focusing on security in the upcoming general election.

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://...

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December 14, 2023 37 mins
Kirsty Buchanan and Calum Macdonald discuss Rishi Sunak's difficult week and the challenges he faces as Prime Minister. They explore the lack of vision and direction in the Conservative Party and the jockeying for position within the party. They also discuss the missed opportunities and the need for bold actions. Additionally, they touch on COP 28 and the climate deal, highlighting the compromises and lack of progress.

Support the...

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The conversation discusses Boris Johnson's emotional response during the COVID inquiry and the context in which it was given. It highlights the lack of empathy for bereaved relatives and the lack of self-doubt and introspection from Johnson and other key players. The conversation also explores Rishi Sunak's troubles and the Tory rebellions, as well as the culture war and divisions within the Conservative Party. It concludes with th...

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November 30, 2023 36 mins
Calum and Kirsty discuss Alistair Darling. Both have personal memories of him and stories about him. And Calum was reporting from the Covid Inquiry today as Matt Hancock gave evidence. So we discuss him too.

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsources.



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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November 23, 2023 58 mins
Former Treasury adviser Ian Mulheirn joins to discuss the autumn statement. Plus, the latest migration figures and trouble coming for Rishi Sunak at the Covid Inquiry.

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsources.



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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November 15, 2023 24 mins
Calum and Kirsty digest Suella Braverman's departure letter, inflation falling and Rishi Sunak hitting a target, the Rwanda policy ruled unlawful, and the House of Commons ceasefire vote that's resulted in sackings from Labour.

Support the podcast by becoming a member at: https://plus.acast.com/s/whitehallsources.



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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