Skip to Content
Election Daily

Rishi manifests a comeback

plus National Insurance for the self-employed

8:21 AM GMT+1 on June 12, 2024

    Rishi Sunak's Conservative manifesto was "half-hearted" and "delusional", according to The Guardian's Martin Kettle. But then, you would expect that kind of assessment from the matcha-sipping, cronut-eating end of the political spectrum. Let's see what the right-wing press made of it. "Low Octane", "safe" and "a wasted bet" said The Times in its editorial. Hmm. Meanwhile, over at the Telegraph, political editor Ben Riley-Smith turned up to the launch at Silverstone and put it to the PM that the entire launch "won't be a game-changer". Umm, yeah.

    Anyway, print shmint, what did the real power-brokers of this year's election make of the Tory manifesto? Here is how the mightiest, most formidable and most influential news pods on the planet responded to the launch – and all the day's other happenings besides.

    The Prospect Podcast: Who better to ask how the Conservative manifesto launch went than a proper insider? Prospect's assistant editor Emily Lawford chats to Phil Collins, former Number 10 speechwriter for Tony Blair about the event. "I think it is very unlikely that the launch of the Tory party manifesto will do much to reverse the Tory fortunes", Collins says, pretty unambiguously. Lawford is also joined by Prospect's new election panel, which is a WhatsApp group of "politics nerds from across the spectrum" who have some really interesting insights into how it is all going.

    The Election Shortcut with Kate McCann: Earlier this week, The Times’ Kate McCann was at Thorpe Park for the launch of the Lib Dems manifesto. Yesterday, she was at Silverstone racing circuit to see the Conservative Party's effort. It is all adrenaline for McCann! So were there any surprises? She talks to political editor for The Sun Harry Cole who describes the launch as "bizarre". Another ringing endorsement.

    For The Many: LBC presenter Iain Dale and former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith discuss the Conservative manifesto. Plus they look at the rather unpleasant business of Nigel Farage being attacked again. They also talk Lib Dems, with Dale asking: "Have you ever met any Lib Dem candidate you've actually liked?". To which Smith responds: "No, they're really irritating. Look clean, actually quite dirty." Nice. The pair also look across the pond to Hunter Biden being convicted of three felony counts for lying on a federal firearms application about his drug taking. What a time to be alive.

    The Political Fourcast: Krishnan Guru-Murthy is joined by Conservative peer Jo Johnson, who helped write the winning Tory manifesto in 2015, so is an excellent person to discuss Sunak's current effort. Also on the show are former Labour chair and deputy leader Harriet Harman and Reform UK’s deputy leader David Bull, so a pretty good cast as usual. They ask whether Sunak promising billions in tax cuts and lower immigration is going to get him anywhere. The panel also looks at whether Farage’s party could overtake the Tories to become the opposition. Really interesting stuff.

    The Daily T: Just because we here at Podcast Rex are above all the obvious F1 metaphors that could be wrung out of Sunak's choice of Silverstone for his manifesto launch, doesn't mean everyone else is. The Daily T really goes for it, asking in their show notes "Can the Tories overtake Labour despite their pole position? Or have the Conservatives spun off into the gravel?" Hey, I get it, it was there for the taking. The Telegraph team also has bits from Michael Gove and Victoria Atkins and they look into whether Labour's gone "nanny state" mad on health with their energy drink ban.

    Off Air... with Jane and Fi: With Jane Garvey off in Yorkshire, Times Radio's Matt Chorley fills in today. Greedy, he already has his own show! He and Fi Glover chat about all the important things from wrap-around ads to shy righties and Trump.

    BBC Newscast: Adam Fleming and Chris Mason are joined by BBC economics editor Faisal Islam and Newsnight political editor Nick Watt to discuss the headline act of Sunak's manifesto: his promise to "scrap entirely the main rate of self-employed National Insurance”. That and the Conservatives' intention to "keep cutting taxes in the coming years”. Promises worth digging into, done nicely here. 

    Macrodose: More in the new Election Economics series on today's episode of Macrodose, this time with Aditya Chakrabortty, who is senior economics commentator over at the Guardian. The most interesting bit of the chat is the huge shadow that is being cast over this election and UK politics in general by Nigel Farage. Aside from the prospect of a potential Labour landslide, it feels like this is the big story that is brewing from this election.

    FT Politics: Host Lucy Fisher looks at the Tories’ manifesto promises with her FT colleagues Jim Pickard and the ever-listenable Stephen Bush. Plus, they ask whether the Lib Dems are more than just attention-grabbing stunts. Easy to forget they were part of a coalition government, helping set the national agenda not so very long ago.

    Sky News Daily, Talking Politics, Today in Focus, Coffee House Shots: Here are a few other shows asking pretty much the same question: can the Conservative Party manifesto revive Sunak's campaign? They all broadly settle on the same answer.

    The News Agents: The News Agents team are tackling the same question as that lot, but they have Home Secretary James Cleverly and Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell on the show to torment about it all.

    When It Hits the Fan: Going back a step, crisis managers and spin doctors as David Yelland and Simon Lewis look at Sunak's decision to leave the D-Day celebrations in Normandy early. They call it "arguably the biggest PR moment in British electoral history" and try to work out what would have gone on behind the scenes to allow this disaster. Insightful, valuable listening. 

    The New Statesman Podcast: Another interesting question being asked by the New Statesman. Host Hannah Barnes talks to political editor Andrew Marr about the rise of the far right in Europe and what it could mean for a Labour-led Britain.

    How To Win An Election: Just switching focus for a second, this is a great show to catch up on the state of the upcoming US presidential election. American pollster and strategist Frank Luntz comes in to chat with Peter Mandelson, Polly Mackenzie, Daniel Finkelstein and Matt Chorley about why Joe Biden is in genuine trouble. They also suggest that the Tories are facing a Canadian-style wipeout. By way of a reminder, that was the moment in 1993 when the Progressive Conservatives lost all but two seats. Crikey.

    And now for something different-ish

    Page 94: The Private Eye Podcast: Ian Hislop reveals the winner of the 2024 Paul Foot Award live from BAFTA. The award is given each year for investigative or campaigning journalism and was set up by The Guardian and Private Eye in memory of the journalist Paul Foot, who died in 2004. Spoiler: this year's winner is… Tristen Kirk from the Evening Standard! He won for his investigation into the Single Justice Procedure scandal, which is about people being prosecuted in private, sometimes with justice being handed down in just 45 seconds. "I thought someone in government would have done something about this by now" Kirk says in his acceptance speech. Now an election has been called and still nothing has been done, he notes. Kirk goes on to call for Labour to pledge in its manifesto to bring the issue to an end… if anyone from Labour HQ is listening?

    Stay in touch

    Sign up for our free newsletter