cover art for Angela Rayner can’t let the unions down now

The New Statesman Podcast: UK general election news and analysis

Angela Rayner can’t let the unions down now

The deputy labour leader and “trade union favourite” delivered a speech full of promises at the TUC. Now she has to deliver.

Reaffirming Labour’s commitment to the New Deal for Working people, Rayner shored up support among the unions as Labour approaches the next election. 

But, as Rachel Wearmouth tells Anoosh Chakelian and Freddie Hayward, Rayner’s “one of us” status could spell problems for a future Labour government if they fall short.

Submit a question for You Ask Us:

Download the app:



Subscribe to the New Statesman from £1 per week:

Sign up to our daily politics email:

More episodes

View all episodes

  • Election season has begun!

    After a day of increasing speculation, Rishi Sunak called the next general election which will take place on the 4th of July. Sadly, for him, he was almost drowned by the pouring rain, and drowned out by the pounding of D:Ream's ‘Things Can Only Get Better', the song widely known as Labour's 1997 anthem.To kick of the New Statesman's general election coverage, the team review yesterday's events, the prime minister's potential motives, and the kickstarting of campaigns.Hannah Barnes, associate editor, is joined by Freddie Hayward, Rachel Cunliffe, and George Eaton.Have you got a question about the election? Get in touch here
  • "Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty | sponsored

    Fuel poverty is on the rise with millions of households in England having to choose whether to “heat or eat”.Last year, the Government estimated almost 9 million households could be classed as “fuel poor”. This means that, after housing costs, more than 10 per cent of their household income would be spent on heating.Covid supply disruptions and the war in Ukraine have contributed to the problem alongside the UK’s economic crisis. In this episode host Zoë Grünewald is joined by British Gas Energy Trust Chief Executive Jessica Taplin, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Rhondda Cynon Taff, Ashley Comley and Chief Executive Officer of Bromley by Bow Centre, Ellen De Decker. They explore reasons for the sharp rise in fuel poverty, what’s being done to support those in need and what needs to change to ensure Government funding gets through to those who need it most.This New Statesman podcast episode is sponsored by The British Gas Energy Trust, an independent charitable trust funded solely by British Gas. The Trust offers financial support for vulnerable households and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
  • The Great Stink: how England came to swim in sewage

    The sea is no longer safe to swim in, tomatoes are growing on beaches from seeds in undigested human faeces, and rivers are awash with pig’s blood. When did everything start to go wrong, and who bears the brunt of this grotesque responsibility? The Great Stink by Will Dunn is this week’s cover story and you can find it here
  • Are there any Tory MPs Labour wouldn't welcome?

    It's a defection listener questions special.We’ve had lots of questions come in this week about defection, prompted by the surprise and somewhat contentious defection of the once Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, Natalie Elphicke, to Labour last week.To help guide us through Hannah Barnes, associate editor, is joined in the studio by Rachel Cunliffe, associate political editor at the New Statesman, and down the line by David Gauke, former Conservative MP for South West Hertfordshire and New Statesman columnist.Read: Do Tory defections to Labour herald a realignment?
  • Will Starmer stick to his pledges?

    This morning Keir Starmer has laid out six key pledges for a Labour government, should they win power this election year.So what is the Labour leader promising, and will those promises be kept?Hannah Barnes, associate editor, is joined on the New Statesman podcast by Freddie Hayward, political correspondent, and George Eaton, senior editor.
  • Hilary Cass: "Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not"

    Just over a month ago Dr Hilary Cass published her landmark review of gender identity services for children and young people.In her last UK media interview before her team wrap up, she spoke to the New Statesman about the four years it took to compile and complete the review, as well as the reflections she’s had since it was published and criticisms that have been leveled against both her findings and her own professionalism.You can read the accompanying article to this interview here: Hilary Cass: “Do I regret doing it? Absolutely not”
  • Who would want Rishi Sunak's job now?

    Are any Tories desperate enough to take over as Prime Minister?In our listener questions episode, You Ask Us, Rachel Cunliffe, George Eaton and Freddie Hayward answer your questions on whether any Conservative MPs would really want to take over as PM before the next election, and how on earth they will explain Britain's failing economy during the election campaign.To submit a question, visit to the New Statesman at up to receive Freddie's daily politics email, Morning Call:
  • Defeat and defection: Tories are down bad

    The longer the Conservatives hang on, the worse it gets. Last week Rishi Sunak lost 474 councillors, the constituency of Blackpool south, and Andy Street’s West Midlands mayoral. And yesterday things went from bad to worse for Sunak with a surprise defection to Labour from Natalie Elphicke MP for Dover and Deal.The Conservatives can’t seem to escape this endless decline in support and popularity. So when did it all start to go wrong, and can they stop the train before it completely derails?Freddie Hayward, political correspondent, is joined in the studio by Rachel Cunliffe, associate political editor, and George Eaton, senior editor.Read: The Tory doomscroll
  • How can life sciences investment make the UK healthier? | Sponsored

    The UK is on course for a huge rise in preventable illness. The Health Foundation charity predicts that by 2040, one in five adults will be living with a serious condition, such as cancer, dementia or heart disease. Meanwhile, economic activity is stagnating, with roughly 2.8 million people currently out of work due to ill health, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.Our world-leading life sciences sector has the capacity to help reverse this trend. In 2021 alone, it contributed £43.3bn to the UK economy, and supported 646,000 jobs. With the right investment, it could add an additional £68bn to GDP over the next 30 years, create 85,000 more jobs and result in a 40 per cent decrease in disease burden across the UK.This episode, in partnership with professional services firm PwC, explores how greater investment into vital disease areas such as cancer, obesity and immunology could make British society physically and financially healthier.Emma Haslett is joined by Chi Onwurah, the shadow minister for science, research and innovation; Dr Dan Mahony, chair of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and the government’s life sciences investment envoy; and Stephen Aherne, pharmaceutical and life sciences leader at PwC UK.If you enjoyed this podcast you can find more of Spotlight's policy reporting in our standalone Spotlight podcast feed, or at