INSIDE BRIEFING with Institute for Government


Lifting lockdown 2021

Season 1, Ep. 91

Ahead of the Prime Minister producing his new ‘roadmap’, we discuss the plans, priorities and politics for lifting the lockdown. Does the government know what its objectives are? What does ‘data, not dates’ mean in practice? What still needs to be done and what should we look out for when the plan lands?


In this edition of Inside Briefing Extra, IfG Senior Fellow Dr Catherine Haddon is joined by Conservative MP and Covid Recovery Group chairman Mark Harper, the New Statesman’s political editor Stephen Bush, Christina Pagel, Director of the Clinical Operational Research Unit at UCL and Tom Sasse, Associate Director at IfG.


Audio production by Candice McKenzie

More Episodes


Afghanistan: From Great Game to Blame Game

Season 1, Ep. 124
The Western intervention in Afghanistan has petered out in ignominy. Who will carry the can for Britain’s biggest foreign policy disaster in half a century? As the Foreign Office and MoD squabble, is Dominic Raab telling the truth when he blames military intelligence for this fiasco? And what does an introverted America mean for NATO and the security of the West?We look at the fallout with special guests Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian’s Defence and Security Editor, and Lucy Fisher, Deputy Political Editor at the Daily Telegraph and former Defence Editor at the Times.“The West is completely shellshocked by America’s decision to withdraw on its own timetable… This has huge repercussions for NATO which is already hanging by a thread.” – Lucy Fisher“If Britain had decided to commit more troops as America leaves, would the British people really have gone for it?” –Dan Sabbagh“The raw intelligence was absolutely correct, that the Taliban would be fast and ruthless But as it went up the food chain it went wildly wrong.” –Lucy Fisher“There are two ways the intelligence could have got diluted. One is overt politicisation, the other is treating it as TOO authoritative.” – Alex Thomas“My jaw was on the floor when I read that Raab and his senior team had not made a single call to the Afghan or Pakistani foreign ministries in six months.” – Lucy Fisher“There’s a clear winner here – Ben Wallace and the MoD – and a clear loser, Dominic Raab and the Foreign Office.” – Dan SabbaghPresented by Bronwen Maddox with Alex Thomas. Audio production by Alex Rees. Inside Briefing is a Podmasters Production for the IfG.

Special: Summer governing, happened so fast

Season 1, Ep. 123
This edition recorded before the emergency of Afghanistan. What is it like running the country over the Summer recess in normal times? Should certain Foreign Secretaries take account of the idea that a wise Minister never, ever goes on holiday? What happens when Foot And Mouth, floods, a sudden General Election or a pandemic blows up? What did our poor political reporters do for material? And did Blair and Cameron really share a Single Transferable Shirt for the obligatory holiday photo op?The IfG’s Alex Thomas explores the sandpits and riptides of summer governing with former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, David Cameron’s former Chief of Staff Kate Fall, Sam Coates of Sky News, and Steve Richards, host of the Rock’n’Roll Politics podcast and author of The Prime Ministers: Reflections on Leadership from Wilson to May. “Is it nice when the boss is away? Depends on the boss…” –Jacqui Smith“Quite a lot of the time ministers are miserable and neurotic…August gives them presentiments of the tense September ahead.” –Steve Richards“During the summer the media team is cut in half, but you’re still expected to fill an entire newspaper…” – Sam Coates“If you’ve got any sense as a shadow minister, you save a few choice questions to hit ministers with when the news agenda is empty.” – Jacqui Smith“Decision-making requires a hyperactive Prime Minister… You need their physical presence more than a Zoom from their holiday hideaway.” –Steve RichardsPresented by Alex Thomas. Audio production by Alex Rees. Inside Briefing is a Podmasters Production for the IfG