Katy Balls

Katy Balls

Katy Balls is The Spectator’s political editor.

Coffee House Shots live: election aftermath

59 min listen

Join Fraser Nelson, Katy Balls and Kate Andrews, along with special guest Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, for a live edition of Coffee House Shots recorded earlier this week. A week on from Sir Jacob losing his seat, he declares ‘I can speak freely now’. So, why does he think the Conservatives lost the election? The team

Welcome to Whitehall Watch

14 min listen

What happens to staff in Whitehall when a government changes? In this Saturday edition of the podcast, Katy Balls is joined by Henry Newman, former adviser to Michael Gove. He now runs Whitehall Watch, a project exploring who’s up, who’s out, who’s in and what’s going down across Whitehall, the corridors of power and the

Can Labour solve our prisons crisis?

16 min listen

Justice secretary Shabana Mahmood has acknowledged that ‘our prisons are on the point of collapse’. She has announced that, from September, most prisoners serving sentences of less than four years will be released 40 per cent of the way through their sentences instead of the halfway point, which is currently the case. The policy will

Katy Balls

Starmer’s most radical prisons shake-up is still to come

When Keir Starmer gave his first Downing Street press conference last weekend, he warned that ‘tough decisions’ were coming shortly. The first of these is expected later today. The new Justice Secretary Shabana Mahmood is expected to announce plans to ease prison overcrowding in England and Wales. That plan is expected to involve prisoners being

Keir’s reformation: Labour’s radical plans

50 min listen

This week: Keir’s reformation. A week on from Labour’s victory in the UK general election, our cover piece looks ahead to the urgent issues facing Keir Starmer. If he acts fast, he can take advantage of having both a large majority and a unified party. The NHS, prisons, planning… the list goes on. But what

Katy Balls

Starmer must move fast without losing his head

When Keir Starmer’s Labour party gathered on Monday to celebrate their election victory, the difficulty was finding a big enough venue. There were so many MPs that aides had to abandon Labour’s usual meeting room on parliament’s committee corridor, and instead head for Church House, where Tony Blair met his party after the 1997 landslide.

Who will lead the Tories in opposition?

13 min listen

It’s been a big 24 hours in Tory-world as the party tries to pick itself up after last week’s defeat. We have had the first shadow cabinet meeting and the 1922 committee chairman election. Where do they go from here? And who could lead them?  James Heale speaks to Katy Balls and Fraser Nelson.  Produced

Can Labour deliver economic growth?

13 min listen

This morning, Rachel Reeves made her first speech as chancellor. She announced mandatory housing targets, promising 1.5 million homes over the next five years, as well as an end to the onshore wind ban. What else does she have in store, and can Labour deliver the growth the country needs? James Heale discusses with Katy

Katy Balls

Why MPs are braced for an ‘extremely turbulent few years’

Four days on from Keir Starmer’s landslide victory, Westminster is still soaking up the results of the general election. With the Labour leader safely ensconced in 10 Downing Street with a working majority of 181, the Tories are licking their wounds following their worst-ever defeat. The Conservatives’ greatest comfort is that they have managed to

What ‘tough decisions’ does Starmer have in mind?

How long will Keir Starmer’s honeymoon last? The Prime Minister is basking in election glory after leading his party to a landslide victory. This morning, he chaired his first cabinet – after appointing his team on Friday afternoon. Starmer used the first meeting to tell his new ministers what he expected from them, making clear

Katy Balls

The surprises in Starmer’s cabinet

15 min listen

In his first 24 hours as Prime Minister, Keir Starmer has appointed his cabinet and held a cabinet meeting. Most of his frontbench have carried over their shadow briefs, but there were a few surprise appointments too. Cindy Yu talks to Katy Balls and Times columnist Patrick Maguire. Produced by Cindy Yu.

What Keir Starmer’s first Downing Street speech reveals

Keir Starmer has given his first speech as prime minister. Labour’s seventh leader to make it to 10 Downing Street walked up the pavement to his new home to cheers from supporters and campaigners gathered on the street. He and his wife Victoria made an effort to stop, thank and hug their friends and family

Katy Balls

Labour wins by a landslide

15 min listen

Where to start with an historic election night. Keir Starmer has got his 1997 moment, winning an enormous majority. Elsewhere, eleven cabinet ministers have lost their seats, including: Grant Shapps, Gillian Keegan and Penny Mordaunt. Former prime minister Liz Truss has lost her seat, as have senior Tories Jacob Rees-Mogg and Miriam Cates. The Lib Dems have made

Katy Balls

The Sophie Winkleman Edition

29 min listen

Actress Sophie Winkleman was born in London, educated at Cambridge, and has appeared in television and film roles across both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps best known for her roles as Big Suze in Peep Show and Zoey in Two and a Half Men, she is now patron to several children’s charities.  On the episode,

Katy Balls

The Tory blame game begins

As Labour declares victory in the general election, Rishi Sunak is on course to preside over the Tories’ worst ever general election result. As the results pour in, the Conservative losses are piling up with Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan and Chief Whip Simon Hart among the senior members of Sunak’s team to

Exit poll predicts Labour landslide

12 min listen

The polls have closed and the exit poll is in. The BBC exit poll projects that Labour will win a landslide of 410 MPs and the Conservatives will be left with 131 seats. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats will win 61 seats, the SNP ten seats and Reform 13 seats. This would mean a Labour majority

Katy Balls

Labour majority of 170, says exit poll

The polls have closed and the exit poll is in. The BBC exit poll projects that Labour will win a landslide of 410 MPs and the Conservatives will be left with 131 seats. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats will win 61 seats, the SNP ten seats and Reform 13 seats. This would mean a Labour majority

Last YouGov election poll points to Tory wipeout

The final polls are rolling in ahead of voters going to the polls tomorrow. On Tuesday night, Survation published its last MRP poll of the campaign, suggesting the Tories could be left with a mere 64 Tory MPs – and Labour on 484. So, perhaps by comparison tonight’s YouGov poll will make for plesant reading

Katy Balls

Will there be an election upset on Thursday?

12 min listen

Tomorrow, voters will head to the polling booth to cast their vote in the 2024 general election. Will there be any surprises in store? So far, there has been little movement when it comes to the gap in vote share between Labour and the Tories. However, there’s still plenty of uncertainty across the parties as