Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

The Progressive Britain podcast

We have an unpopular view here at Progress. We think that the beliefs of the centre-left are as important and relevant now as they have ever been. On Brexit, Trump, Syria, automation, the gig economy and the housing crisis, progressive values have so much to offer.

Each week we invite a guest to thrash out a key issue of the day. We also like to give out free Progress merchandise (including our famous Progress mug).

Subscribe now via iTunesacastPlayerFM and Soundcloud to be part of the conversation.

Past guests have included: Chuka Umunna MP, Andrew Adonis, Jess Phillips MP and Ayesha Hazarika.

Extra: Episode 45 review

Conor Pope and Henna Shah discuss the best books – politics and otherwise – to read on the beach.

Want to recommend us a book? Email us at

45. Getting women into power

Since 1997, the number of women councillors in the country has barely risen, falling far behind the proportion of female MPs. How do we improve that? Conor Pope asks Katie Curtis and leader of Waltham Forest Clare Coghill. They also discuss what new polling means for the debate around Brexit.


Extra: Episode 44 review

Will the Tories have the principles to hold Boris to account for his comments on the burqa? Could it trigger a proper investigation into Islamophobia in the Tory party? And is Jean-Luc Melenchon a crank? Conor Pope and Henna Shah discuss.


44. The last summer as we know it?

Brexit could increase the cost of European holidays by 31 per cent, cost thousands of jobs, and take a billion pounds out of the exchequer in lost tax revenue. Conor Pope speaks to Richard Angell, Henna Shah and the Seasonal Businesses in Travel organisation’s Charles Owen about the risks to the holiday economy.

Extra: Episode 43 review

What does Tommy Robinson’s release from jail mean for the far right? How different is British fascism to five years ago? And what were your first protests? Conor Pope and Henna Shah discuss.

Further reading:

How to beat Farage if he comes back

Let’s remember the role Labour activists played in beating the BNP

43. Fighting fascism: The rise of the far-right

Conor Pope speaks to Richard Angell, Henna Shah and Hope Not Hate’s Gurinder Singh Josan about how the far right diversified its tactics, the use of terror, the alliance of Ukip and Steve Bannon, and why we still have reason to hope.

Further reading:

Why public libraries are still essential in 2018

How the digital skills divide must be stopped

42. Can we make law good?

Jo Maugham QC talks to Conor Pope, Richard Angell and Henna Shah about his work at the Good Law Project, trying to enact progressive change through the courts – and how he might get a £1bn for the country’s coffers.

Further reading:

Extra: Episode 41 review

Conor Pope and Henna Shah discuss the latest general election that never was, Ian Paisley’s apology, and Labour’s antisemitism definition.

Further reading:

Join the Jewish Labour Movement

Learn about the centre-left NEC candidates

Why this week makes a People’s Vote more likely

41. Voter ID: rigging the system?

The trials forcing voters to bring identification with them to polling stations could start reversing the rising turnout levels in British general elections. So what should we do about it? The Electoral Reform Society’s Darren Hughes speaks to Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Henna Shah.

Further reading:

UK’s voter ID trial in local elections could be illegal

‘It’s a warning shot’: Experts say ICO’s fine to Facebook signals seriousness of its GDPR enforcement

Here’s why posters replacing white actors with black actors appeared in London

Extra: Episode 40 review

How should the last few days have played out for Theresa May? Can you remember exactly who has resigned? What does it all mean for Trump’s visit? And does the relative success of the England football team actually have a wider cultural impact on the country? Conor Pope and Sam Bright discuss a quiet week.

Further reading:

Chris Leslie says this week has merely seen the deckchairs rearranged on HMS Brexit

The Women’s March sends a message to world leaders everywhere that women will not back down, writes Bex Bailey

How the psychology of the England football team could change your life

‘It was all a dream’ – Raheem Sterling’s story in his own words

40. HMS Brexit on the rocks 

Following a dramatic day of resignations from the Tory frontbench, Alison McGovern joins Sam Bright and Stephanie Lloyd to discuss the fall out and what this means for Brexit.

Further reading:

Sign up to the LabourSay.EU campaign

Chris Leslie MP on why today shows we need a People’s Vote

Extra: Episode 39 review

Richard Angell and Stephanie Lloyd reflect on their different experiences of attending Pride marches all over the country ahead of London Pride this weekend, as well as discussing the issues from this week’s show. Hosted by Conor Pope.

Further reading:

We cannot be complacent in the campaign for LGBT rights, writes Richard Angell

Progress Pride reception celebrates England win

39. Pride and PrEPudice: why being out on the streets still matters

Is pride a parade or a protest? What is PrEP, and what is the prejudice around it? Richard Angell and Katie Curtis talk to Peter Kyle MP, patron of LGBT Labour, and Greg Owen, founder of founder of and part of a recent BBC documentary about the availability of HIV drugs on the NHS.

Further reading/viewing:

Trans Rights: The next frontier for equality – Progressive Britain talks to Heather Peto

The People vs The NHS: Who Gets the Drugs? Greg Owen’s BBC documentary on PrEP

Find out more about the campaign at

Find out more about the School Diversity Week

Join LGBT Labour

Extra: Episode 38 review

Conor Pope and Sam Bright look ahead to the 70th anniversary of the NHS, discuss why the health service is so important to British identity, and whether the sunshine makes people more politically active.

38. Happy birthday? NHS at 70

The NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary next week. How has it changed, what has stayed the same, and what challenges does the service face for the next 70 years? Conor Pope, Richard Angell and Alison McGovern discuss that with Karin Smyth, a former NHS manager and MP for Bristol South.

Further reading:

Karin Smyth writes that social class persists as a key determinant for life expectancy and good health

Mental health services should be top of the government’s agenda, writes Kirsten Kurt-Elli

Brexit’s impact on the NHS is already proving devastating, says Ben Bradshaw

Extra: Episode 37 review

Why care means so much more than policy, when meaningful votes are not meaningful votes, when rebels are not rebellious, and supporting LabourSay.EU to give members a voice on Brexit. Conor Pope and Richard Angell discuss the week in British politics.

Further reading:

Sign up to support LabourSay.EU here

37. Neglect: The sixth giant

The idea was missing from the founding of the welfare state, but how do we now build a care system fit for the 21st century? Alex Smith, founder of the Cares Family, and Mary Wimbury, chief executive of Care Forum Wales, join Richard Angell and Alison McGovern to discuss the future of care services.

You can also subscribe to the Progressive Britain podcast on iTunes here.

Further reading:

Alex Smith essay: What does it take to improve a place?

TUC’s Matt Dykes says a fundamental rethink is needed on social care

Passing up the chance to beat the Tories on Brexit makes no sense, writes Mary Wimbury

Extra: Episode 36 review

Parliament’s big Brexit votes: what do they all mean? Conor Pope and Richard Angell look at the legislative repercussions versus the political repercussions, and discuss whether the lack of a Tory rebellion means single market membership is dead in the water.

Further reading:

Sign up to the campaign to give Labour members a say on Brexit at LabourSay.EU

Progress editorial: How we pick apart the hard Brexit coalition

36. Back to the Commons: how this week will shape Brexit

How big is this week in parliament? Bridget Phillipson joins Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Richard Angell to chat about Brexit.

In part one, they discuss the Tories’ lack of trade plans, and how a Trump-Trudeau tariff war affects Theresa May. In part two, they focus on the EU Withdrawal bill, how the whips will act, and what all the amendments mean.

Extra: Episode 35 review

Barack Obama won re-election in 2012 on a message of hope – so how do we cultivate progressive messages for conservatives? Conor Pope, Stephanie Lloyd and Sam Bright discuss after chatting with Amelia Showalter, the Obama campaign’s head of digital analytics, this week.

We also find out what Progressive Britain listeners think of online voting.

Further reading:

How we won the US 2012 election – Sam Bright speaks to Amelia Showalter

35. Phoning in democracy: how technology can improve participation

Can new technology be harnessed to get more people involved in politics and our democratic process? And has the internet dragged political debate into the gutter? Conor Pope, Stephanie Lloyd and Sam Bright speak to Webroots Democracy’s Areeq Chowdhury about how opening up political system and regulating the online platforms could be the way forward.

Further listening:

Progressive Britain LIVE: Alison McGovern and Wes Streeting debate the whether new technology is progressive

Big tech: Rafael Behr on whether it is realistic to try and hold big internet companies to account

AI equality: Hannah Miller joins to discuss how innovation is opening up new avenues for tackling inequality

Further reading:

Areeq Chowdhury for the Fabian Society on bring politics online

Maisie Borrows on how Estonia is harnessing technology

The ‘fourth industrial revolution’ must be democratised, says Liam Byrne MP

Extra: Episode 34 review

Conor Pope and Stephanie Lloyd look at populism in the news, Kardashians in the White House and women in the boardrooms.

Further reading:

NEC candidates urge Labour to support equal marriage in Northern Ireland

34. Is liberal democracy dying?

Yascha Mounk speaks to Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Richard Angell about why the number of democracies in the world is falling – and whether Trump, Brexit and populism spells the end for liberal democracies the world over.

Further reading:

Claudia Chwalisz reviews Yascha Mounk’s The People vs Democracy for Progress

How populist uprisings come bring about the end of liberal democracy – Yascha Mounk in the Guardian

Michael Ignatieff on enemies vs adversaries

Extra: Episode 33 review

Richard Angell speaks to activists supporting the Repeal the Eighth campaign in Ireland, and discusses the final days of the vote with Conor Pope and Stephanie Lloyd.

33. Repealing the eighth: Will pro-choice prevail in Ireland?

Ahead of this week’s referendum in Ireland on whether to repeal the country’s anti-abortion legislation, Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Stephanie Lloyd talk to writer and activist Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin about the campaign, as well as the effects of using referendums to determine social reform.

Further reading:

Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin on why conservative messaging is key to the repeal campaign

Charlotte Norton on the need for reform in Northern Ireland

Estelle Hart on the danger of the ongoing ‘conscientious objection’ bill in the UK parliament

Sian Norris on the coming battle to liberalise abortion in Britain

Clare Murphy on decriminalising abortion in the UK

Extra: Episode 32 review

Conor Pope and Richard Angell reflect on Tessa Jowell’s contribution to centre-left politics, and look at Labour’s evolving position on the European Economic Area.

Further reading:

Robert Philpot pays tribute to his old boss, Tessa Jowell

32. A custom-made deal for Britain?

Could Tory splits over the customs union give progressives the opportunity to set the agenda – and what would that look like? Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Richard Angell discuss that – as well as the new LabourSay campaign to give members a say on Brexit at conference – with Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds.

You can also download the episode on iTunes here.

Further reading:

Sign up to the campaign to give Labour members a say on Brexit at LabourSay.EU

‘She liked people, and they liked her in return’ – Robert Philpot on Tessa Jowell

Will Dry on why we need a People’s Vote

The New European Podcast

Extra: Episode 31 review 

Want Labour members to have a say on the party’s Brexit policy? Conor Pope and Stephanie Lloyd discuss Progress annual conference 2018 and the launch of the LabourSay campaign.

Further reading:

Sign up for the campaign to give Labour members a say on Brexit at LabourSay.EU

The crucible of our hope – Alison McGovern’s opening remarks to Progress annual conference

The new route to power – Alastair Campbell’s keynote speech

Moving Labour forward together again – Wes Streeting’s speech on where Labour goes next 

Missed it? Listen back to Progress conference here

Progressive Britain episode on antisemitism with Marlon Solomon

North-east MPs call for referendum on final terms of Brexit

Scottish Labour MPs say they will back EEA in parliament

31. LIVE SPECIAL: What’s it like to be a Labour activist? 

John O’Farrell talks to Alison McGovern and Conor Pope about decades of campaigning for the Labour party and his memoirs of being an activist, Things Can Only Get Better and his new book, Things Can Only Get Worse?.

You can also download the episode on iTunes here.

Further reading:

Buy Things Can Only Get Worse? here

Sophie Francis-Cansfield reviews Things Can Only Get Worse? for Progress magazine

Extra: Episode 30 review

Election time! Get your first analysis of the results (kind of), as Conor Pope and Richard Angell react to the feedback from the show on trans rights, and look ahead to this weekend’s Progress annual conference – with a special live recording of the podcast.

Don’t forget to leave your question for next guest John O’Farrell as an iTunes review.

Find out more about the Progress conference here.

Missing a mug? Send your name and address to to let us know.

30: Trans rights: The next frontier for equality

Richard Angell and Stephanie Lloyd speak to trans rights activist and Labour NEC candidate Heather Peto about her experiences of discrimination, making the law fairer, and Tom Daley’s Commonwealth comments.

Further reading:

Join LGBT Labour’s Trans Allies Network

UNISON: How to be a good trans ally

Stonewall research on experiences of trans people

Sign the petition for every nation and region to have a representative on Labour’s NEC

Extra: Episode 29 review

Richard Angell and Sam Bright discuss new power movements, Kanye West’s newfound love for Donald Trump, and the Windrush scandal.

Further reading:

Who has new power? Check out the new power compass

Afghanistan: a deportation scandal waiting to happen

Subscribe to our daily roundup email

Buy New Power

29. How new power is changing politics

Alison McGovern and Richard Angell talk to Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms about the grassroots, internet-driven movements that are now shaping politics.

Further reading:

Buy New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms

The New Power website

David Brooks reviews New Power for the New York Times

Sam Bright interviews Obama’s digital chief, Amelia Showalter

Girl Scouts choose transgender girls over $100,000 donation

Extra: Episode 28 review

Richard Angell, Henna Shah and Joe Farnworth respond to listeners’ comments on this week’s podcast about antisemitism. Plus, we discuss the antisemitism debate in Parliament and the underappreciated accomplishments of James Chuter Ede.

Further reading:

Jay Stoll on tracing his family’s Holocaust history

Transcript of the Commons debate on antisemitism

Richard Angell explains why antisemitism training should only be offered to those who show remorse

Joan Ryan MP on why we cannot continue to tolerate antisemitism in the Labour party

28. Enough is enough: sorting Labour’s antisemitism problem

Actor and spoken word artist Marlon Soloman discusses with Richard Angell and Stephanie Lloyd the nature of Labour’s antisemitism predicament, what the new establishment could do about it if they were minded and showing solidarity with Britain’s Jewish community.

Further reading:

To see Marlon’s show head to for your discounted ticket for Progress annual conference

Howard Jacobson the hurt is causes jewish people when they are accused of lying about antisemitism

The International Holocaust Remembrance Centre’s working definition of antisemitism

Swastika Chic – Jen Gerber writes about leftwing antisemitism for Progress magazine in 2004

Richard Angell on how Labour could start stamping out antisemitism

Forget the lizards: David Icke is dangerous and we should take him seriously, writes Marlon Soloman

David Hirsh on the ‘Livingstone Forumulation’

Those who call out antisemitism in Labour do not find it easy – the experience in Peterborough

The Canary’s coverage of the antisemitism issue (Twitter)

Jon Lansman speaks to Novara Media (YouTube)

Agitpod’s antisemitism episode with Owen Jones and Ellie Mae O’Hagen (Podcast)

Extra: Episode 27 review

Conor Pope and Richard Angell respond to listener’s comments about Seni’s law, as well as the Good Friday agreement and meeting Mo Mowlam.

Further reading:

Sign the petition to support Seni’s law

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood on over a year without government in Northern Ireland

Irish Labour leader Brendan Howlin on how a hard Brexit will damage the border

Peter Hain on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement

Listen to the special Progressive Britain episode with Jonathan Powell

27. Seni’s law: reforming mental health provision

Steve Reed joins Conor Pope, Richard Angell and Henna Shah to discuss why he is pushing for a change in the law around the use of force in mental health services, as well as the upcoming local elections.

Further reading:

Sign the petition to support Seni’s law

Rory Weal on why Seni’s law is so important 

Six progressive wins we can achieve in 2018

Extra: Episode 26 review

Conor Pope, Stephanie Lloyd and Sam Bright discuss fully automated luxury social democracy, universal basic income and going to Mars. Includes 2008’s best indie cultural references.

Further reading:

Liam Byrne on democratising the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ 

Chris Yiu on embracing automation

Hannah Miller on what artificial intelligence has to offer the battle against inequality

James Bloodworth on how low-paid workers are being exploited by new technology

26. Artificial intelligence: a new way to tackle inequality

Innovation in automation and AI is opening up a world of possibilities for new ways of tackling inequality – especially in filling infrastructure gaps in developing countries. Hannah Miller explains to Conor Pope, Richard Angell and Sam Bright what potential is already being realised.

Extra: Episode 25 review

This week’s podcast looked at the power of political speeches. Monday’s rally against antisemitism in the Labour party saw a number of moving speeches from Labour MPs – Conor Pope, Richard Angell and Stephanie Lloyd discuss what they saw, and why a big speech from Jeremy Corbyn might be just what he needs to do.

Further reading:

Richard Angell’s 10 immediate actions Labour should take against antisemitism

Ruth Smeeth says concerns about antisemitism can no longer be ignored

“We will not be silenced” – Labour Against Antisemitism’s open letter to Jeremy Corbyn

25. Political oratory: a lost art?

Philip Collins joins Conor Pope and Richard Angell to discuss what made him interested in the craft of political speeches, how he became a speechwriter, and what makes Jeremy Corbyn a surprisingly good orator.

Further reading:

Buy Philip Collins’ book, When They Go Low, We Go High

Paul Richards reviews the book for Progress magazine

Full text of Keir Hardie’s ‘sunshine of socialism’ speech

Extra: Episode 24 review

Conor Pope and Richard Angell discuss Alison McGovern and Wes Streeting’s debate on automation, and look back on Progress Political Weekend 2018.

 24. LIVE SPECIAL: Should progressives embrace the fourth industrial revolution?

Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Wes Streeting debate whether automation should be championed or feared in this special live show from Progress Political Weekend 2018.

Also: discover the most obscene election slogan in history and test your political knowledge against the two parliamentarians.

Further reading:

‘We, Robots’ – Alison McGovern on new technology

Lauren Crowley on making innovation work for workers

Too gig to fail? Wes Streeting on the excess of the gig economy

Extra: Episode 23 review

Conor Pope and Richard Angell on how we talk about mental health, the effects of inequality – and Shakespeare – as they respond to listeners’ feedback.

 23. Mental health: parity of esteem?

Conor Pope is joined by Alison McGovern MP, Luciana Berger MP and mental health professional Joanne Harding to discuss whether we are getting better at talking about mental health, and what effect that is having on treatment. Do we need more integration or less? Just what is parity of esteem? Plus: what exactly is the point of the spring statement?

Further reading:

Support the Labour Campaign for Mental Health

Luciana Berger on Jeremy Hunt’s mental health workforce plan

Joanne Harding on the struggle for parity

Liz Dobres on the Tories’ empty words

Find out more about the Time to Change Charter

Extra: Episode 22 review

Conor Pope, Richard Angell and Katie Curtis discuss free movement, ID cards, what we can learn from Estonia, whether Pinochet led to Brexit and International Women’s Day 2018.

Further reading:

Fundraiser for Barbara Castle statue

Conor Pope on why adopting ID cards is the way forward

Richard Angell’s 10 reforms to keep us in the single market

Conor Pope on Labour’s immigration divides 

Maisie Borrows on using blockchain at the border

Rosie Corrigan on celebrating generations of feminists

 22. Free movement: can it be changed?

The only possible way to stay in the single market is to win over public support for freedom of movement. So what changes can be made within free movement to give us more control over our borders? And is reform to free movement a pipe dream?

Conor Pope, Alison McGovern and Richard Angell are joined by Pat McFadden to discuss whether it’s possible to win over voters.

Further reading:

Pat McFadden’s Marshall plan for the working class

James Bloodworth on labour market reforms

Richard Angell’s 10 reforms to keep us in the single market

Henna Shah on the immigration culture war

Progress editorial: We need to cut off the options that allow our opponents to disguise their prejudices as caring about inequality

Extra: Episode 21 review

Conor Pope and Sam Bright discuss how Facebook is more social media than social democracy, who to listen to on the Irish border question, and what kind of knitwear to buy to keep out the cold – as well as revealing the answer to this week’s pub quiz question.

Further reading:

Sam Bright on why it’s time to unfriend Facebook

Irish Labour leader Brendan Howlin on what the only solution for the Irish border is 

Special: In conversation with. . . Jonathan Powell

Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to Tony Blair in No 10, talks to Alison McGovern MP about Brexit and the Irish border. Powell played a unique role in the peace process, helping to negotiate the Good Friday Agreement and the return of power-sharing government to Northern Ireland. As Brexit developments begin to put those achievements in doubt, Powell offers his expert analysis to find a way through the looming crisis.

Speaking on 28 February 2018, this podcast was originally a live event for members of the Progress Thousand Club. If you wish to join the Progress Thousand Club for invitations to exclusive events such as this, you can sign up here:

 21. Big tech

Conor Pope, Alison McGovern, Rafael Behr and Sam Bright discuss how innovation in technology has changed the way political campaigns are run, what the ‘new basics’ are for an online campaign and whether it is realistic to try and hold big tech companies accountable for what they publish.

Further reading:

Technology can change the world, says Chi Onwurah

Embracing technology is the key to social justice, says Anthony Painter

Sadiq Khan’s focus on technology will be a winner for London

Extra: Episode 20 review

Conor Pope and Stephanie Lloyd look at the lack of development in education policy, reminisce about the 2010 student protests, respond to listeners’ comments and reveal some exclusive future plans…

Further reading:

How (not) to solve a problem like education, by Jack May

Joe Vinson says the Tories are pushing students into poverty

 20. Diversity: How to reach out in divided times

June Sarpong joins Conor Pope, Richard Angell and Henna Shah to discuss why we need to improve diversity in society’s structures, what it means to be a pro-Europe campaigner as Brexit hits, and being woke.

Further reading:

June Sarpong in Progress magazine on why we need diversity inclusion goals

June Sarpong on why Brexit is not inevitable

AncestrDNA’s #EuroPartOfMe campaign

Why you should back foreign aid if you’re concerned about immigration

Buy Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration

Extra: Episode 19 review

Conor Pope and Richard Angell chat about Stella Creasy’s PFI campaign, just what Boris Johnson means by a ‘liberal’ Brexit, and reply to listeners’ comments.

Further reading:

Keir Bradwell on Boris Johnson’s speech

Kate Dearden on how trade unions should respond to changing working conditions

Join the Labour Campaign for the Single Market

19. A new economy

There is a consensus that the old economic model does not work, but not an agreement about what should replace it. Stella Creasy MP talks to Conor Pope and Stephanie Lloyd about PFI, while the IPPR’s Tom Kibasi and and Labour in the City’s Allen Simpson discuss what economic justice and consensus might look like in this new era.

Further reading:

Stella Creasy on how PFI is bankrupting Britain

Tom Kibasi on a eulogy for Britain’s economic model

Jack May on public-private partnerships post-Carillon

Join Stella Creasy’s PFI campaign

Extra: Episode 18 review

Should the suffragettes be pardoned? Is the centenary of some women getting the vote really worth celebrating? And what is the problem with that Telegraph front page? Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope respond to listeners’ comments.

Further reading:

Jane Merrick on #MeToo

Henna Shah interviews Jacqui Smith

Jessica Asato on why domestic violence should be treated as a public health epidemic

18. Women’s refuges: a future at risk

Jess Phillips talks to Alison McGovern, Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope about how changes to the way women’s refuges are funded is putting their future at risk, whether the government is serious about keeping them open, and if there has been a shift in the way society thinks about abuse.

Further reading:

Harriet Harman on how much work there is to be done for women’s rights

Jess Phillips on how budget cuts disproportionately affect women

The After Eight game, in pictures 

Charities and projects to support:


Women’s Aid

Galop, the LGBT+ anti-violence charity

Karen Ingala Smith’s Counting Dead Women project

Extra: Episode 17 review

Richard Angell and Conor Pope discuss the latest in local government, baby leave for MPs and dish out prizes to listeners.

Further reading:

Sarah Hayward on Claire Kober’s resignation in Haringey

MPs back efforts to overturn ’18th Century’ baby leave by allowing proxy votes for new parents

Harriet Harman: It’s 35 years too late for me, but MPs must get baby leave

17. The local issue: what does 2018 have in store for local government?

With how to run a council hitting the news and the LGA Labour conference coming up, Southwark council leader Peter John and former Camden council leader Sarah Hayward talk to Richard Angell and Conor Pope about Haringey, the ‘Preston model’ and cuts to local services.

Further reading:

Labour council leaders hit back at NEC effort to change Haringey council policy

Estelle Hart on the Nuala O’Loan’s private member’s bill

Special: In conversation with. . . Hilary Benn

Alison McGovern talks to chair of the Brexit select committee Hilary Benn about Doc Marten boots, that Syria speech and, of course, Brexit, in a live recording of a Progress “in conversation”’ event from 22 January 2018. To find out more about Progress events, visit

Extra: Episode 16 Review

Richard Angell and Conor Pope discuss families in politics, and reveal the details about two special upcoming shows.

16. Parenting, politics and parliament

New Zealand’s Labour prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she will be having a baby in the summer. So how easy is it to juggle parenting with politics?

Labour MP Darren Jones recently brought his newborn daughter into the UK parliament for a three-line whip on Brexit – he speaks to to Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope about that, as well as the Boris bridge to France.

Further reading:

Sign the petition for extended maternity leave for mothers of premature babies

Yvette Cooper on rewriting the rules for having a baby in office

Extra: Episode 15 Review

Can Labour sharpen up to make its Brexit stance clearer? Will Emmanuel Macron be the man to help the party do it? And what was the big deal with the Labour NEC this week? Richard Angell and Conor Pope respond to listeners on the back of the week’s events.

Further reading:

The Left Foot Forward Polling on Labour’s Brexit position

Labour MPs defy Corbyn to vote on the single market

More details on Ann Black’s replacement on the NEC disputes committee

Will Macron bring Britain back into the EU?

15. A progressive Britain? How the centre-left is winning

More people in the UK say they share the values of the Labour party than the Tories. What does that mean for the kind of platform Labour should stand on, what should it mean for our electoral expectations and, most importantly, what does that mean for the country? Plus: is Mrs Brown’s Boys tearing the nation apart? Conor Pope discusses all that with Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Fabian Society deputy general secretary Olivia Bailey.

Further reading:

Mrs Brown’s Britain

Olivia Bailey and Andrew Harrop on the next electoral mountain for Labour

Labour is winning the battle of ideas

Extra: Episode Fourteen Review

Richard Angell and Conor Pope discuss the latest crisis in the NHS, the shambolic Tory reshuffle and the single market – as well as responding to listeners’ comments and revealing which unpopular Conservative minister used to be a Labour party member…

Further reading:

Five ways to get a face-to-face meeting with your MP on Brexit

After this reshuffle, it’s clear Theresa May can’t detoxify the Tories

Why talk of a ‘winter crisis’ in the NHS is misleading

14. Year of the Brexit

Chuka Umunna joins Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope to discuss how 2018 will decide the outcome of Brexit, and what progressives at home can do to change it. The panel also debate whether Donald Trump will be impeached, the likelihood of an alien invasion, and old school soul.

Five things people can do on Brexit:

– Go to see your MP during one of their surgeries

– Email your MP

– Sign-up to the Open Britain and Labour for the Single Market campaigns

– Join Progress and campaign with us

– Write a stinging Brexit rebuke on the Progress website. Send a 200-word pitch to Conor Pope:

Further reading:

Chuka Umunna and Kate Osamor present new year music show on Mi-Soul 

War, terror and aliens: what Britain expects from 2018

Report on understanding the Leave vote (pdf)

Special Extra: Episode Thirteen Review

Andrew Adonis joins Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope to discuss the past few weeks in British politics, including his explosive resignation, the government’s ideological mishandling of the railways, Brexit, and Clement Attlee’s birthday.

Further reading:

Lord Adonis is the political heavyweight Labour needs to stop Brexit

The New Yorker’s praise for Clement Attlee, a model for our times

“Brexit is a populist and nationalist spasm” – Lord Adonis’ resignation letter in full

Tony Blair: 2018 is the year the fate of Brexit will be decided

13. 2018 Preview: What’s going to happen?

A 2018 election? Theresa May still in No 10? Who will win Love Island? Richard Angell, Stephanie Lloyd, and Conor Pope consult the spirits of election campaigns yet to come for their predictions for the year ahead.

Extra: Progressive Review of the Year Special

Who are the progressives of the year? Alison McGovern, Richard Angell, Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope discuss the progressives who got things done in 2017 – but can you beat them in the surprise end of year quiz?

Further reading:

Charlotte Norton on Stella Creasy and abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Ealing Council bans anti-choice demos outside abortion clinics

The women of LabourToo write on the need to cultivate the courage to listen

How Liverpool is integrating health and social care

Robert Philpot on how Doug Jones could be the turning point for the Republicans

Felicity Slater on whether Macron can deliver the change France desires

Forget the lizards, Marlon Solomon says David Icke is dangerous

The Jewish Labour Movement’s Ella Rose writes on breaking through the bagel belt 

Seema Malhotra on the promise of Britain


12. Boxing Day Special

Ayesha Hazarika joins Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope to pull crackers, drink prosecco, argue over the best Christmas songs of all time and discuss the political high points of 2017. May include Neil Kinnock impressions.

Further listening:

Fairytale of New York by the Pogues 

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love 

O Come All Ye Faithful

Extra: Episode 11 review

Dropping Beveridge not bombs – what did readers make of using policy documents as war propaganda? How can we regain trust in the north? And if Barry White was a centre-left Labour party member, it might sound a little something like this… Richard Angell and Conor Pope are back to respond to listeners’ comments.

Further reading:

Nicholas Timmins biography of the welfare state

Chris Renwick’s book on the beginning of the welfare state

Paul Williams and Phil Wilson on the triple whammy about to hit the north-east

11. The Beveridge anniversary: still relevant?

The 75th anniversary of the publication of the Beveridge report, which laid the foundations for the welfare state, has just passed. On its first release, it was met with the kind of acclaim rarely given to policy documents, but how does it stand up to the challenges of 2018? Are the ‘five giants’ still relevant? Welfare expert Nicholas Timmins sits down with Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope to discuss.

Further reading:

Nicholas Timmins writes on the Beveridge anniversary for Progress

Read all of the essays about society’s ‘giant evils’ from the December issue of Progress

Buy Nicholas Timmins updated version of The Five Giants: A Biography of the Welfare State

Extra: Episode 10 review

The government’s Brexit defeat, a referendum in Northern Ireland, cuts to early years, and Estonia’s world leading sector – Richard Angell and Conor Pope look back over the week in politics.

Further reading:

Labour’s plan for Northern Ireland vote on gay marriage

Spending on early years cut by £650m

Former Estonia PM Toomas Hendrik Ilves receives World Leader in Cybersecurity Award

How the Tory rebellion could push May towards a softer Brexit

10. Brexit talks: a Christmas fudge?

Theresa May looked to have pulled it out of the bag when an initial Brexit deal was announced with the EU last week. But is all as it seems? Eloise Todd and Alison McGovern tell Progressive Britain listeners that not it is not as much of a step forward as some believe. Richard Angell talks to Manchester mayor Andy Burnham about his plans for a crowdsourced digital Manchester, while as a new Star Wars film comes out, Conor Pope asks: what links Nye Bevan to Return of the Jedi?

Further reading:

Eloise Todd explains how to stop a no-deal Brexit

Richard Angell visits Andy Burnham’s digital summit

Conor Pope visits Luke Skywalker’s house

Left Foot Forward reveals exclusive polling showing people want MPs to have a proper say on a final Brexit deal

Heidi Alexander on how the general election changed the nature of the Brexit debate

Robert Philpot on last week’s Brexit developments

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 9 review

Peter Kellner’s essay has started a debate about productivity – are the statistics or the facts on the ground to blame? Richard Angell and Stephanie Lloyd take in your feedback and we learn who the last chancellor to drink alcohol at the despatch box was.

Further reading

Peter Kellner’s essay: Productivity is fine. Let’s count and tax it better

December 2017 Progress magazine

Listener Toby Dickinson shares his ‘banker podcast’: The Bombshell

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

9. Productivity: nothing to fear?

Is productivity really a problem for thew British economy – or is it simply the way we look at it that is the issue? Peter Kellner thinks so, and Richard Angell interviews him on his new essay for Progress magazine, while Alison McGovern, Stephanie Lloyd and Conor Pope discuss podcasts for popstars, feminists, football fans and wrestlers.

Further reading:

Peter Kellner’s long read on why productivity isn’t the issue

Other recommended podcast from the Progressive Britain podcast team:

Alison recommends The Anfield Wrap, the Economist and Financial Times’ podcasts

Stephanie recommends Late Night Women’s Hour and Table Manners

Conor recommends the Totally Football League Show and the (family friendly) Steve Austin Show

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 8 Review

Conor Pope and Richard Angell discuss how the real picture of George Osborne’s legacy as chancellor can only be seen further down the line, the infiltration of the Progressive Britain podcast into the UK’s university system, and Cypriot first division football.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

8. Wealth inequality: shaking those assets

Inequality is not just caused through how much people earn, but how much wealth they own besides. Tackling that is a cause close to Liz Kendall’s heart. She joins Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope on the Progressive Britain podcast to discuss what can be done about it.

Further reading:

Who gains? The Tories’ capital gains tax cut reveals their true colours, writes Liz Kendall MP

Co-invest in people’s futures Tackling the causes of poverty can help to address asset inequality, argues chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Julia Unwin

Equality in ownership Housebuilding and taxes must come centre stage, writes professor of public policy and director of the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath Nick Pearce

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 7 Review

Budget fallout! Richard Angell and Conor Pope look at Philip Hammond’s plans, and reveal the winner of the Progressive Britain reality TV contest.

Further reading:

Alison McGovern’s five tests for the budget

Emma Burnell says that the housing crisis is caused by the Tories’ blind faith in a broken market

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Budget 2017 special – Alison McGovern’s 10 things to watch

Alison McGovern gives you everything you need to know ahead of this week’s budget, from growth to child poverty, to the spectre of Brexit, in this special extra episode of the Progressive Britain podcast.

Tired of listening? You can find out what Alison’s 10 things to watch in the budget are the old-fashioned way, by reading it here.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

7. Budget week: what to expect

Will Philip Hammond’s budget set out a course for post-Brexit Britain? What is the golden rule for a good budget? And was it free owls that got the Japanese economy out of its 1990s rut? Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope are joined by Labour in the City’s Allen Simpson to talk economics and reality TV.

Further reading:

Alison McGovern has 10 things to watch out for in this week’s budget.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode 6 Review

Why is Labour not further ahead in the polls – and why is it so high in the polls? Can the party change its tuition fees stance? Can robots beat Dejan Lovren? Who is the Barry White of the centre-left? Richard Angell and Conor Pope answer listeners’ questions, and warn of the impending Bolsover-Huddersfield war.

Further reading:

Katy Balls on how Theresa May is still trusted on the economy.

Passers-by ‘afraid’ to speak to homeless.

Can idea from Finland cut UK’s homelessness problem?

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

6. Homelessness: the no-housing crisis

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham speaks to Richard Angell about his plans to tackle rough sleeping, while Alison McGovern tells Conor Pope why we shouldn’t be worried about robots taking our jobs.

Further reading:

Alison McGovern on technology and the Turing test

Andy Burnham’s homelessness fund

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode Five Review

Can May go on? Where were you when Trump won? Who is the special guest on next week’s show? And what is the big Bolsover v Huddersfield debate that is raging among our listeners all about? Conor Pope is joined by Stephanie Lloyd to discuss the week and dish out some prizes.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

5. Revolution: The march of the millennials

Young people have dumbfounded election experts by coming out to vote and backing Labour in enormous numbers in this year’s general election. But are they really radicals? And does this new movement mean the voting age should be reduced? Joining Conor Pope and Richard Angell to discuss is Open Labour’s Jade Azim.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Subscribe to the podcast here.

Further reading:

Extra: Episode Four Review

Can listening to this podcast help you with your degree? And what does Hollywood moviestar Chris Pratt make of the British centre-left? Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through listeners’ feedback, and choose the winner of this week’s political pub quiz question.

Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge.

4. Harassment: the unreported scandal

Sexism has become front page news. Revelations of systemic abuse and harassment in all walks of life have put the subject in the spotlight. Politicians from all parties and all levels are expected to be implicated – but the issue, and what drives it, is nothing new. What can be done to help solve it? How pervasive is the problem, and how does it manifest itself?

Alison McGovern MP and Conor Pope are joined by Thangam Debbonaire MP and Rachael Saunders to discuss the way forward.

Further reading:

Extra: Episode Three Review

Good news for progressives from around the world, Tory absenteeism in Parliament and moving the Commons to Chester: it’s the Progressive Britain review show. Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through this week’s listeners’ feedback, and choose the winner of the tickets to James Graham’s play Labour of Love.

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge. Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

3. Possible or desirable: is Article 50 revocable?

Alison McGovern, Richard Angell and Conor Pope are joined by Labour peer Roger Liddle to find out whether Article 50 can be revoked – and whether it should – as well at working out what to do with Westminster.

You can watch Roger’s viral anti-Brexit speech here.

Subscribe to the podcast here and leave us a review for the chance to win two tickets to see Labour of Love in the West End. Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Extra: Episode Two Review

New Zealand, new centrist parties and yet more student politics: Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through this week’s listeners’ feedback, and choose the winner of Hillary Clinton’s memoir.

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge. Get in touch: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

2. Universal discredit: can they get it right?

Alison McGovern MP, Richard Angell and Conor Pope are joined by Catherine McKinnell MP and David Finch to discuss whether Universal Credit can be salvaged, and how WhatsApp has changed politics.

Enter the competition to win a copy of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election memoir at: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Subscribe to the podcast here and send us a screenshot to win a special Hugh Gaitskell badge.

Extra: Episode One Review

Covering Brexit, student politics and even Hugh Gaitskell, Richard Angell and Conor Pope go through listeners’ correspondence and reveal the winner of the ‘centrist dad‘ T-shirt.

Get your ‘fight, fight, fight again’ badge by sending a picture of you subscribed to the podcast to: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

1. The single market: could we stay?

Alison McGovern MP, Richard Angell and Conor Pope discuss the practicalities of retaining single market membership post-Brexit, and their own ‘Theresa May moments’.

Enter the competition to win the hottest new moderate merchandise at: @ProgressOnline | /ProgressLabour | @ProgressOnline |

Further reading:

The Progressive Britain Podcast: Trailer

Where does the centre-left belong in the modern world? Alison McGovern MP – soon to be joined by Richard Angell and Conor Pope – introduces the Progressive Britain Podcast.


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