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How can we make government work more effectively? What are Brexit and the current political tumult doing to our institutions? Is Britain's Constitution able to withstand the strains of 21st Century social, political and technical change? What needs to change in our system of government – and how can we change it? Find out in the weekly podcast from Britain’s leading governmental think tank, where we analyse the latest events in politics and explain what they mean. Every week on INSIDE BRIEFI ...
 
The world is changing in ways scarcely imaginable only a few months ago. As government reconfigures itself to deal with new challenges, the IfG will continue to bring together politicians, senior civil servants, academics, analysts and experts – wherever they’re located – for penetrating virtual debate and discussion on an unpredictable era for governments across the world. From the way the centre of government handles a crisis – on top of an ambitious agenda – to policy making and successfu ...
 
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show series
 
A Red Wall MP has defected to Labour, and David David has publicly called for the PM to go. But we’re still waiting for Sue Gray’s report, and Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister. LBC’s IAIN DALE joins us to discuss the past few days in Parliament, and the bigger questions about what could come next. “The way that Boris Johnson has diminished the…
 
The government's Subsidy Control Bill sets out how the UK will replace EU state aid rules, but will this deliver a post-Brexit dividend, and how will the UK's system change how subsidies are offered? With the bill having passed through the House of Commons and set to be scrutinised in the House of Lords, this Institute for Government panel explored…
 
Boris Johnson makes an uncharacteristic apology to the House for No.10’s lockdown garden party – but is the PM reaching for a narrow legalistic self-justification when the court of public opinion has already passed its verdict? What can the Sue Grey Report uncover about the culture of Downing Street? And will anyone carry the can for this apparent …
 
The government's Subsidy Control Bill sets out how the UK will replace EU state aid rules, but will this deliver a post-Brexit dividend, and how will the UK's system change how subsidies are offered?With the bill having passed through the House of Commons and set to be scrutinised in the House of Lords, this Institute for Government panel will expl…
 
As 2022 kicks off with rising inflation, soaring energy bills and taxes set to increase, what sort of state is Britain’s economy in - and how bad are things for the Government? Another issue is levelling up, is it the answer to the Number 10’s problems? And as Liz Truss takes over the Brexit reigns, how will she be different to Lord Frost? The FT’s…
 
We look back on a tumultuous year in politics, from the Owen Paterson debacle to the endless Christmas party scandals, from the shame of Afghanistan to Lord Frost melting away. Has Boris Johnson’s approach of muddling through at the last minute run out of road? And will he try to reassert control by amping up conflict with the EU? Plus what’s comin…
 
We’ve all had quite enough reality for another year. So the IfG podcast team escape back into the worlds of fiction and fantasy to discover what they can teach us about governing. Which power struggle at the heart of Succession has echoes of the government’s attitude to Parliament? Does the idyllic world of Peppa Pig offer a template for modern gov…
 
A seismic North Shropshire by-election result rocks the Johnson government, handing a seat that’s been almost exclusively Conservative for 200 years to the Lib Dems. Can the Prime Minister put an end to his scandals and self-inflicted troubles – or are we looking at the beginning of the end for Boris Johnson? Plus, scientific advice from Chris Whit…
 
Nearly a year on from the end of the Brexit transition period, Jill Rutter, James Kane, Jess Sargeant and Joe Marshall from the IfG’s Brexit team plus UK in a Changing Europe’s Professor Anand Menon look back at how the UK is adjusting to life outside the EU and what to look out for in the UK-EU relationship in the year ahead. The Northern Ireland …
 
Two years ago, Boris Johnson was elected on a promise to ‘get Brexit done’ and ‘level up’ the UK. Then Covid-19 struck and dominated government time, energy and resources. But with the worst of the crisis now passed, and with the UK having left the EU, where will ministers turn their attention in the second half of the parliament – and is the Gover…
 
The UK’s two decade-long campaign in Afghanistan ended this summer with the withdrawal of British troops and diplomatic personnel from Kabul. A mission that began with the overthrow of the Taliban ended with the Taliban returning to power. What did the UK’s 20-year stay in Afghanistan accomplish? Should politicians or the military take the blame fo…
 
Having introduced a legally binding target to achieve net zero by 2050 and with the Environment Act – designed to enforce UK environmental standards – now on the statute book, the UK government is proud of its green achievements. But does the UK’s post-Brexit independent trade policy live up to its domestic environmental commitments? Earlier this y…
 
The Institute for Government was delighted to welcome John Pullinger, Chair of the Electoral Commission, who was in conversation with Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute for Government. With voter ID, political party funding, and the abuse of candidates all in the spotlight, is enough being done to inspire the confidence of voters, parties an…
 
Having introduced a legally binding target to achieve net zero by 2050 and with the Environment Act – designed to enforce UK environmental standards – now on the statute book, the UK government is proud of its green achievements. But does the UK’s post-Brexit independent trade policy live up to its domestic environmental commitments?Earlier this ye…
 
Two years ago, Boris Johnson was elected on a promise to ‘get Brexit done’ and ‘level up’ the UK. Then Covid-19 struck and dominated government time, energy and resources. But with the worst of the crisis now passed, and with the UK having left the EU, where will ministers turn their attention in the second half of the parliament – and is the gover…
 
After a week of denying that any party took place at Downing Street last Christmas, Boris Johnson has asked Cabinet Secretary Simon Case to investigate. We discuss the row, the response, and what comes next. In the midst of all of this, the PM announced Plan B Covid measures for England. What do they mean in practice? And in other developments, a F…
 
The UK’s two decade-long campaign in Afghanistan ended this summer with the withdrawal of British troops and diplomatic personnel from Kabul. A mission that began with the overthrow of the Taliban ended with the Taliban returning to power.What did the UK’s 20-year stay in Afghanistan accomplish? Should politicians or the military take the blame for…
 
Having 'taken back control’ of the UK border after Brexit, the government has ended free movement of people and introduced a new points-based immigration system. But 10 months on, the UK labour market is under pressure, with a combination of Covid-19, Brexit, and other structural forces causing widespread shortages of workers. To what extent has th…
 
What does it mean to be a member of parliament? What do people expect from their elected representatives? And how much have these expectations changed in recent years? The row about MPs’ second jobs has triggered a discussion about what MPs are for and what their priorities should be. From representing constituents and dealing with casework to scru…
 
As part of our ongoing series of events on devolution and the Union, the Institute for Government was delighted to welcome John Swinney MSP, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland. What is the state of the relationship between the UK and Scottish governments? How well is devolution working for Scotland? What are the current tensions in the devolved …
 
As part of our ongoing series of events on the future of devolution across the UK, the Institute for Government was delighted to welcome Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and leader of the West Midlands Combined Authority. Six months after his re-election to a second term in office, Andy Street – who was in conversation with Akash Paun, Senio…
 
Better use of data is key to more effective government. Across government, teams are doing fascinating work with data. But those projects don’t get the attention they deserve.At this month's event, the 25th in our series, the speakers presented their work in an exciting, quickfire format. Each speaker had eight minutes, followed by eight minutes of…
 
The Institute for Government was delighted to welcome John Pullinger, Chair of the Electoral Commission, who was in conversation with Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute for Government.With voter ID, political party funding, and the abuse of candidates all in the spotlight, is enough being done to inspire the confidence of voters, parties and…
 
When Angela Rayner stood up to set out her vision for restoring trust in public life, news broke that Keir Starmer had started to reshuffle his team. Was it a conspiracy, a cock-up, or something in-between? ELENI COUREA, political reporter at The Times who broke the reshuffle story, joins to discuss Labour’s internal politics, and the new-look Shad…
 
The Institute for Government was pleased to welcome the Rt Hon Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow First Secretary of State, to deliver a keynote speech setting out how Labour would reform the systems that govern standards in public life. She was then in conversation with Bronwen…
 
What does it mean to be a member of parliament? What do people expect from their elected representatives? And how much have these expectations changed in recent years?The row about MPs’ second jobs has triggered a discussion about what MPs are for and what their priorities should be. From representing constituents and dealing with casework to scrut…
 
The use of data has been at the forefront of the government’s handling of Brexit shocks and the Covid-crisis. But how can data best be used to address government priorities such as net zero, “levelling up”, and tackling the social and economic scarring from the pandemic?This IfG event discussed how improvements can be made to the way governments id…
 
The Prime Minister’s speech to the CBI, in which he enthused about Peppa Pig and lost his place for 20 excruciating seconds, has caused concern in Government. Is all ok inside Number 10, or was this just the PM being himself? It’s not all plain sailing in the Commons either, as the Government suffered a big rebellion over plans to reform social car…
 
Having 'taken back control’ of the UK border after Brexit, the government has ended free movement of people and introduced a new points-based immigration system.But 10 months on, the UK labour market is under pressure, with a combination of Covid-19, Brexit, and other structural forces causing widespread shortages of workers.To what extent has the …
 
How we are taxed will be crucial to how government pays for net zero. It can use the tax system to incentivise sustainable choices by businesses and consumers as well as disincentivise harmful ones. But government revenues will also fall as people and businesses adapt their behaviour to reduce carbon emissions, with the shift to electric vehicles s…
 
As Boris Johnson struggles to shake off questions about standards and MPs’ second jobs, what’s the latest in the never-ending row gripping Westminster? Also how did the Government scramble supplies of PPE during the pandemic peak? The data has been released so we take a closer look. And John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland gave a talk at…
 
As part of our ongoing series of events on devolution and the Union, the Institute for Government was delighted to welcome John Swinney MSP, the Deputy First Minister of Scotland.What is the state of the relationship between the UK and Scottish governments? How well is devolution working for Scotland? What are the current tensions in the devolved s…
 
As part of our ongoing series of events on the future of devolution across the UK, the Institute for Government was delighted to welcome Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and leader of the West Midlands Combined Authority.Six months after his re-election to a second term in office, Andy Street – who was in conversation with Akash Paun, Senior…
 
As the Owen Paterson mess unspools to expose Geoffrey Cox’s novel approach to working from home and much more, has the Government set off a multi-polar controversy it can’t control? Did Boris Johnson do himself any favours by refusing to face the Commons in contrition? And how does it play outside Westminster when someone on £80,000 a year claims t…
 
Better use of data is key to more effective government. Across government, teams are doing fascinating work with data. But those projects don’t get the attention they deserve.At this month's event, the 24th in our series, the speakers presented their work in an exciting, quickfire format. Each speaker had eight minutes, followed by eight minutes of…
 
In the past year, the public appointments process has been in the public eye with allegations of politicisation. The process is much misunderstood and there is widespread uncertainty about the balance between the principles of fair and open competition and decision making by ministers. Is that balance now under threat? And what other roles should b…
 
The UK government has faced criticism over its approach to standards, but it is not the only government around the world – or even within the UK – grappling with these questions.With other governments taking different approaches to setting and upholding rules for standards in public life, this panel discussion will explore what the UK can learn abo…
 
Various codes of conduct and constitutional guides – including the ministerial code – set standards for those in public life. However, events throughout 2021 have raised questions about whether the rules, and the various bodies that enforce them, are robust enough to uphold expected standards of behaviour. So how can the various standards watchdogs…
 
In a series of unforced errors, the Government first whips its MPs to rescind the suspension of OWEN PATERSON MP for lobbying and rethink the entire Commons standards process… then suffers a rebellion and a roasting in the press… and then reverses their decision entirely. How damaging is this episode? And is there a case for reforming the system? P…
 
The Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) is an independent body which advises the prime minister on arrangements for upholding ethical standards of conduct across public life. The committee’s latest review, Standards Matter 2, has been examining the institutions, processes and structures in place to support high standards of conduct.Followi…
 
From targeted social media campaigns during elections to the introduction of the Covid-19 test and trace app, questions about our data – and how it is used – are at the heart of political decision making and debate. With Elizabeth Denham’s five-year term as Information Commissioner ending on 31 October, this Institute for Government event looked ba…
 
The Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto promised an ambitious plan for connecting towns and cities by road and rail and supporting electric vehicles, cycling and walking. But what evidence will the government use to shape its transport strategy and how can it ensure the system is customer-focused? How has England’s transport network held up under t…
 
The Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto promised an ambitious plan for connecting towns and cities by road and rail and supporting electric vehicles, cycling and walking. But what evidence will the government use to shape its transport strategy and how can it ensure the system is customer-focused? How has England’s transport network held up under t…
 
On 27 October, Rishi Sunak presented his third budget and the first multiyear spending review since 2015. Now the dust has settled, what did we learn? Why was the fiscal windfall so large? How did the chancellor choose to spend it? Was there evidence of a Brexit dividend? Did the spending review settlements meet the needs of public services? Can go…
 
From targeted social media campaigns during elections to the introduction of the Covid-19 test and trace app, questions about our data – and how it is used – are at the heart of political decision making and debate.With Elizabeth Denham’s five-year term as information commissioner ending on 31 October, this Institute for Government event looked bac…
 
Fuelled by a Twix and a can of Sprite, Chancellor Rishi Sunak finally set out his budget and multi-year spending review on Wednesday, we take a look at his plans will mean for Britain’s economy. Also, COVID hasn’t gone away, but what would the introduction of plan B look like? Is the public ready for it? And COP26 begins at the weekend. MO HUSSEIN,…
 
As Theresa May’s chief of staff from 2017 to 2019, Gavin Barwell had a front row seat for the Brexit dramas, deals and deadlines that defined May’s premiership. Brought into Number 10 after May lost her majority at the 2017 general election, Barwell battled alongside the former prime minister through meaningful votes, cabinet resignations and momen…
 
As the World Health Organization’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, Dr David Nabarro has played a leading role in the international response to the pandemic. In conversation with Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute for Government, he will discuss the international community’s handling of the crisis – from the initial outbreak in early 2020, to publ…
 
With a week to go until Rishi Sunak sets out his multi-year spending review, the chancellor faces difficult decisions about how to fund public services. The pandemic has hit services hard. Children have lost hours of learning, waiting times for court cases are longer, and a backlog for operations has built up. So what spending choices must Sunak ma…
 
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