House of Lords Podcast

  • 11. Lord Speaker's Corner: Baroness Benjamin

    Hear from broadcaster and campaigner, Floella Benjamin, in the latest episode of Lord Speaker's Corner.In this episode, Baroness Benjamin explains that it was while presenting TV’s Play School in the 1970s and 1980s that she first realised that 'children didn't have a voice… People didn't take what's going to happen to children into consideration enough.' She has gone on to play a significant role advocating for children's rights.In this extensive interview, Baroness Benjamin also shares how she overcame discrimination in many forms, from name-calling in the playground to being told there were certain roles non-white actors could not portray on screen. She later discusses the importance of the official commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush Generation.Baroness Benjamin also reflects on being recognised by Queen Elizabeth II in her final honours list and being asked to carry the Sceptre with Dove in the coronation of King Charles III earlier this year.Find out more about the Lord Speaker's Corner series and see other episodes
  • 10. Lord Heseltine: Lord Speaker's Corner

    Hear from former Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine, as he speaks to the Lord Speaker about an extensive political career spanning almost 60 years in Westminster.'Liverpool changed me. There's no doubt in my mind.'Talking about his career in Parliament, Lord Heseltine said he hoped his involvement in the regeneration of Merseyside after the 1981 riots would stand as his political legacy. He told Lord McFall that one of the most moving moments of his life came when he was offered the freedom of the City of Liverpool.In this wide-ranging interview, Lord Heseltine also discusses further devolution in England, the UK's relationship with Europe and calls for a 'Marshall Plan for the developing world' in order to tackle migration. Find out more about the Lord Speaker's Corner series and see other episodes
  • 9. Baroness Butler-Sloss | Lord Speaker's Corner

    Baroness Butler-Sloss, the highest-ranking female judge in England and Wales as President of the High Court’s Family Division from 1999-2005, speaks to Lord McFall of Alcluith about her career and warns of moving away from parliamentary scrutiny in draft laws before the House.‘There’s been a creep, a distinct creep, in the last 10 - and possibly mainly the last five - years to move away from parliamentary scrutiny. It’s not just the Lords, it’s parliamentary scrutiny. I remember talking to a Conservative MP and saying: “Are you noticing the extent to which you are not now being asked to make the decisions?”’Baroness Butler-Sloss also speaks about her long legal career, her success in breaking through the ‘glass ceiling’ holding back women lawyers, her report on the Cleveland child abuse scandal and representation of different faith groups in the Lords.Find out more about the series, including a video version of the episode
  • 8. Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws: Lord Speaker's Corner

    Watch leading human rights lawyer, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, discuss human rights, social media and access to justice with Lord McFall of Alcluith in the latest episode of Lord Speaker's Corner.  'I was challenging the state, and often taking on the state, because of abuses by arms of the state, by police, by immigration authorities… And that is the purpose of law. That is what the rule of law is all about.'  In this new episode, campaigning barrister Helena Kennedy KC talks about her early career, plus work on international cases of human rights abuses, such as the mistreatment of Uighurs, Russia’s kidnap of Ukrainian children and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. She also explains her work in the House of Lords to contribute to and improve the law.  Find out more about the series, including a longer podcast version of the interview
  • 7. AI weapons, the future of food production, and tackling homelessness

    This month we speak to chairs of two new Lords committees looking into the use of artificial intelligence in weapons systems and the future of the horticultural sector. Plus, Lord Bird discusses his upbringing and how he campaigns in the House of Lords for a new way to deal with the problem of poverty.‘There are things that we wish we'd never invented like nuclear weapons, like landmines, but they've been invented... autonomous weapons systems are potentially threatening, but also a big challenge in terms of international agreement and regulation.’First up, we speak to Lord Lisvane, Chair of the AI in Weapons Systems Committee, about the effect of digital technologies on defence and the ethics of using automated weapons systems.'It’s hundreds of thousands of jobs, it’s billions in turnover. It’s a really important sector but the problem of course as a sector is because it's so wide, there's no one overarching body that says this is important.’Then we speak to Lord Redesdale, Chair of the Horticultural Sector Committee, about the future of food production and the impact of climate change on the industry.‘I came into the House of Lords to dismantle poverty.’We also hear from crossbench member, Lord Bird, about his work to tackle homelessness and bring about social change. 
  • 6. Baroness Kidron: Lord Speaker's Corner

    From making movies for Stephen Spielberg to ground-breaking protections for young people online, Beeban Kidron - Baroness Kidron - talks to Lord McFall of Alcluith about her wide-ranging work as a filmmaker and campaigner.In this new interview, Baroness Kidron reveals what inspired her to become a filmmaker and her experiences making television and films including Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar.'When the data bill came into the Lords, I put forward an amendment that created a data protection regime for children… And when it came into force, we saw the biggest changes in social media that we've seen in two decades, since it's been a thing in our lives… We are currently working in seven different countries and I believe that by the end of the legislative season, there will be five more states who have passed age-appropriate design codes in their own system. And that is one code introduced in the UK, in the House of Lords.’Baroness Kidron also discusses the Online Safety Bill and what she thinks should come next for protecting young people.
  • 5. Lord Speaker's Corner: Baroness Morgan of Cotes

    Nicky Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Cotes, has been a member of the government in both Houses of Parliament as well as serving as a backbencher, has chaired the Lords Fraud Act 2006 and Digital Fraud Committee and most recently led the external UK Commission on Covid Commemoration. In this wide-ranging interview, Baroness Morgan explains what inspired her to get into politics, who asks the hardest questions to ministers, and explains her current focus, including on convincing government to make changes to legislation.'I put an amendment down through the Domestic Violence Bill, which was about intimate image abuse. And that was passed with the support of, we work with ministers and the support of the House, that was important. Now I'm working on the Online Safety Bill to put down various amendments including one in relation to violence against women and girls. We want the regulator Ofcom to have a specific code of practice on that. And I'm also working with fellow peers from the fraud inquiry that I chaired last year on an amendment to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, which we're also debating at the moment.'Find out more and see videos from the Lord Speaker's Corner series.
  • 4. Improving secondary education and integrating care

    How should the curriculum for 11-16 year olds be reformed and should GCSEs remain? How can health services and community care be work better together?Hear from members on these topics and more in the latest episode of the House of Lords Podcast. First up we speak to the Senior Deputy Speaker, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, about how committees function in the House of Lords and his experiences as both a minister and in his current role.Next we speak to Baroness Pitkeathley, Chair of the new Lords committee investigating the integration of primary and community care. She explains what the challenge is, why the committee is looking into it now and what they hope to find out.Then we speak to Lord Baker of Dorking. Lord Baker introduced the National Curriculum in 1989 when he was Secretary of State for Education. More recently he helped proposed a new Lords committee to look into the curriculum now and how it should be changed for 11-16 year olds.Find out more about the Education for 11–16 Year Olds CommitteeFind out more about the Integration of Primary and Community Care Committee
  • 3. Lord Speaker's Corner: Lord Norton of Louth

    ‘In the House of Commons there's a culture of assertion. Government knows it'll normally get its way. In the House of Lords, it's a culture of justification. So government's got to persuade the rest of the House that what it wants to achieve it is desirable. So ministers have to engage. They can't simply rely on their own side to get a measure through.’In this third episode of Lord Speaker's Corner, Lord McFall of Alcluith speaks to constitutional expert and Professor of Government at the University of Hull, Lord Norton of Louth. They discuss the importance of good lawmaking, why everyone should care about secondary legislation and the complementary roles of the House of Lords and House of Commons.Find out more about the series, including a transcript of the interview