Share

cover art for Sorry, Not Sorry

Politics Without The Boring Bits

Sorry, Not Sorry

Why do politicians find it so hard to say sorry? After Nadhim Zahawi declined to apologise following his sacking by the Prime Minister, Matt discusses the art of the political apology with US author Marjorie Ingall and The Times' Matthew Parris.


Plus columnists Rachel Sylvester, Libby Purves and Paul Johnson discuss the government's NHS blueprint, whether we need to change the way we think about old age, and what happens to young people after a recession.

More episodes

View all episodes

  • Inside Keir Starmer's Brain

    37:37
    Who is Morgan McSweeney and why is he so important to the Starmer team? Matt is joined by Patrick Maguire and Tom McTague discussing the role of the Labour leader's chief strategist.Plus, as Gareth Southgate reveals who makes his squad for this summer's Euros he inevitably faces a backlash for leaving out certain players. It's not an easy gig being England manager - but is it harder than being Prime Minister? Matt hears out both sides of the arguments for who has the harder job.
  • The Exit Interviews: Sir Bob Neil

    51:37
    Matt sits down with MPs leaving Parliament at the next election to find out their highs and lows, their best and worst bosses, and the lessons they've learned from politics.Conservative Sir Bob Neil reflects on the challenges of the job by saying he wouldn't recommend it to his younger self, why he feels it was good Liz Truss' time in office was so short, and his hopes for the future of the Tory party.Plus: Columnists Rachel Sylvester and Iain Martin discuss whether the neverending group of public inquiries are proving value-for-money, whether our politicians are taking defence spending seriously enough and whether Jeremy Corbyn will run against Labour in the next election.Columnists (04:02)The Exit Interviews (26:36)
  • Secrets Of The Whips Office

    50:15
    How do you maintain discipline in a government that's on the ropes after a long period in office, with a prime minister behind in the polls and beset by defections?Former Tory MP and whip Gyles Brandreth charted the downfall of the Major government in his indiscreet diaries, and joins Matt to discuss the striking similarities between then and now.Plus: Columnists India Knight and James Mariott discuss whether the nation is ready for what is shaping up to be a long election campaign, if tech bros make bad philosophers, and if TV shows work on stage.Columnists (03:04)Gyles Brandreth (24:50)
  • How To Hold The Line

    50:25
    Heading into an election campaign, politicians can be asked to explain their party's position on absolutely anything - but it's not always easy to remember exactly what that is. Matt is joined by a panel of former spin doctors to find out how MPs are given the lines to take, and what happens when they forget them.Plus: Manveen Rana and Matt Deegan discuss whether Keir Starmer's six pledges have made Labour's policy positions clear, whether the covid inquiry is worth £300k per day, and why radio's popularity is so enduring.Columnist Panel (03:59)  How To Hold The Line (24:45)
  • PMQs: Goodnight Sweetheart

    01:04:45
    Never mind prisons running out of space or rainbow lanyards - PMQs gets derailed by Nicholas Lyndhurst. Matt is joined by Patrick Maguire and Lara Spirit to unpack all the action from the Commons.Plus: Columnists Alice Thomson and Robert Crampton discuss what Rishi Sunak should do about Nigel Farage, living next door to celebrities, and whether linen clothes, the Northern Lights, and strawberry jam are overrated.The Columnists: (02:32)PMQs: (24:22)
  • Why Is Food Still So Expensive?

    35:47
    As Rishi Sunak hosts farmers at Number 10 to offer his support to British agriculture, the sector is struggling with ever higher costs and extreme weather. Food Minister Mark Spencer explains why the wet winter could lead to food prices going up again.Plus: Punch and Judy are cleaning up their act, but will that bring an end to "Punch and Judy politics"? The Politics Of Punch And Judy Politics (04:53)Why Is Food Still So Expensive? (13:03)
  • The Exit Interviews: Edward Timpson

    01:02:51
    Matt sits down with MPs leaving Parliament at the next election to find out their highs and lows, their best and worst bosses, and the lessons they've learned from politics.Conservative Edward Timpson remembers arriving in Westminster after a by-election circus where he was characterised as a Tory toff, his achievements as a minister, and he explains why he never went into the family business.Plus: Columnists Rachel Sylvester and Libby Purves discuss whether other potential defectors will be put off following the example of Natalie Elphicke, the link between obesity and sick-not culture, and whether we're too quick to blame technology for our own failings.
  • The Prime Minister That Never Was

    48:58
    It's been 30 years since the sudden death of Labour leader John Smith, a man many expected would go on to be prime minister. Matt hears from some of the people who knew him best, including the recollections of Tony Blair, Margaret Beckett and Neil Kinnock.Plus: Columnists India Knight and James Marriott discuss Dominic Cumming's idea for a new political party, James' trip to a pro-Palestinian protest, and the ethics behind the hit show Baby Reindeer.Columnists (02:48)The Prime Minister That Never Was (23:19)
  • Focus Group: It's Like He's Evil

    49:37
    It's the Times Radio Focus Group, where Matt steps outside the Westminster bubble to hear the opinions of ordinary voters. This month it's a group who all voted for the Conservatives in 2019 but now want to vote for Labour or haven't made their mind up. They tell Matt and James Johnson of J.L. Partners that Rishi Sunak's trainers look "stupid" and Keir Starmer makes their "skin crawl". PLUS: Columnists Manveen Rana and Matthew Syed discuss whether Keir Starmer made a mistake when he welcomed the defecting MP Natalie Elphicke, and whether Matthew's manifesto for the next government will work.Columnists (03:33)Focus Group (22:29)