Will “gamblegate” scandal obliterate the Tories Forever? Plus last few days of the election with Liz Bates | Crooked Media
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June 28, 2024
Pod Save the UK
Will “gamblegate” scandal obliterate the Tories Forever? Plus last few days of the election with Liz Bates

In This Episode

With just one week to go until the election, Rishi Sunak’s chances of avoiding a landslide defeat might have just got slimmer – all thanks to “gamble-gate”. 


Nish and Coco are joined by political correspondent Liz Bates to discuss the betting scandal plaguing the government. Sunak vowed to lead the world in “standards of decency” but has been very slow to act. Might this mean a complete wipeout for them?


But that’s not all the scandals this week. Education secretary Gillian Keegan has repeatedly used a claim about children being taught there are “72 genders” to back up government plans to ban schools from talking about gender identity. Nish, Coco and Liz investigate her so-called sources.


And from politicians playing Minecraft to the Reform UK Party singing the Spice Girls, the WTF moments are multiplying. Nish, Coco and Liz dissect their favourites from the week.


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Liz Bates, Political Correspondent, Sky News


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Reform UK








Coco Khan Rishi Sunak’s election gamble is not paying off. From a quickly deleted advert warning voters not to bet on Labour to a betting scandal that’s engulfed his own party.


Nish Kumar I put a bet on myself using the F-word several times in this episode. I’m Nish Kumar.


Coco Khan And I’m Coco Khan and this is Pod Save the UK.


Nish Kumar With one week to go until polling day. We’ll be discussing Gamble Gate, the return of ugly culture wars, looking back on the campaign and.


Coco Khan To chew through it all with us. We’re joined by political correspondent and friend of the show, Liz Bates. Lizzie B to the girls. But first.


Clip We are conducting inquiries, as I say at the moment, in parallel, because I don’t have details of the Gambling Commission’s inquiries are independent. It’s not a case of they might have acted and now we think Williams has admitted it again. There are very serious independent investigations. He’s let you down, hasn’t he? There are very serious independent investigations being conducted, including by the police. And that’s why it’s not appropriate for me to provide a running commentary on that.


Nish Kumar That was Rishi Sunak, the man with, I think, the least fun job in the Western world. On ITV news, discussing the revelation that members of the Conservative Party have been embroiled in a gambling scandal at the time of recording, at least 15 Tories are involved in allegedly placing bets around the timing of the UK general election, in what has to be the dumbest way the Conservative Party could have blown up its own political campaign. Two of them were candidates running in the election Craig Williams and Laura Saunders. The Tories dragged their feet taking action initially, but those two candidates have now been deselected. Craig Williams is said to be Sue next closest parliamentary aide. The remaining three, and Nick Mason, who’s the Conservative party’s chief data officer, campaign director Tony Lee and Russell George, a conservative member of the Senate, the Welsh shadow cabinet. Earlier this week, Sunak said that he’s not aware of any further allegations, which. Well, it’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of the state of the Tories right now. And if I had to put money on anything, it’s that I’ve had to rerecord the number that I just said and we’ve had to digitally insert it into what I’ve just said. So I’ve no idea what that total is. It’s it’s at time of recording. Insert number here.


Coco Khan Hi Liz.


Liz Bates Hiya.


Coco Khan We have not caught up with you for a few weeks. Last time we spoke, the idea of National service had been just floated. Since then, we’ve had the D-Day disaster and the betting scandal. It’d be awful, isn’t it?


Liz Bates Yeah. I mean, I actually thought the the betting scandal, I thought, you know, it’s going to be one guy.


Coco Khan Yeah. Yeah.


Liz Bates It’s still terrible end on a scandal. Just to remind everybody that this is a party that has been totally scandal ridden. Absolutely. You know, gutted in terms of any kind of integrity. And then surely it’s a one off. No. Yeah. No, no, they’ve all been doing it.


Coco Khan Do you know what. When I see Rishi Sunak these days and I for clarity when I say I feel sorry for him, it’s like a very fleeting thought. But it always reminds me of, during that book Jon Ronson did. So you’ve been publicly shamed and, you know, it sort of focuses on people that suddenly like, endure a moment of national or even international notoriety for something stupid that they’ve done, like he is the pinnacle of that. Obviously, it’s deserved the, public shaming of him. But I had this thought where I was like, where can this man go in the Western world? I know where.


Nish Kumar My favorite thing about this is that the reason this all started is that Craig Williams was reported to the Gambling Commission by Ladbrokes, which is the gambling company, which means the Conservative Party’s ethics have now stoop so low. Yeah, that they are able to be lectured on ethics by the gambling industry. Just what do you think? They can’t get any lower. They limbo under a low bar. They set themselves. One of the big issues is that Sue Knight came into government vowing to put an end to sleaze. And he actually said this, which even as I’m reading it, feels like a joke. He said that we would lead the world in standards of integrity, decency and leadership.


Liz Bates But he didn’t say in which way.


Coco Khan It’s interesting because I’ve seen a couple of tweets from, political correspondent saying that, you know, in the grand scheme of things, people have been always between themselves talking about when do you think the election will be? When do you think the election will be? Some of them might have put a bet on it. You know, it’s not that big of a deal. And in a way I could kind of see that argument. But then the other side of it, it’s just like, oh, come on, have some common sense about what’s appropriate and not appropriate. And I think that that is why the scandal has gotten so big, because it epitomizes everything that the public hates. It shows a lack of common sense into like people’s standards of decency.


Liz Bates I think it’s important not to conflate the two things together, which is if you were in the room when Rishi Sunak was like, right, okay, we’re going to call a general election tomorrow. And then you went off to the bookies and put some money on it. That is bad. That is having no integrity. If you, you know, are working in politics, talking about it a lot, thinking about it is loads of rumors going around. You have a punt on it and you get it right. That’s okay. Yeah, that is actually okay. So I think it’s important to draw a distinction between those two things.


Coco Khan I would actually disagree with you, Liz. I think that like maybe it is okay, but just any amount of thinking about how it would land with the public, I think you’d come to the conclusion like, oh, it might look off.


Liz Bates And yeah, but I just think it’s important not to water down what the what people did, which was the absolute. The worst thing was if you really did have access to privileged information and you use that to enrich yourself, of course that is really bad. And it also, I think, especially in this election campaign, probably for a lot of people, encapsulates in their minds what the conservatives have been doing for a long time, which is using that power, using that privilege to personally enrich themselves.


Nish Kumar Well, that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? Right? Because this sits very comfortably in a story that the public essentially has fixed in its mind about the Conservative Party. Right. This is another link in the chain that includes private contracts, going to friends of the Conservative Party for delivering PPE to the government through the pandemic. It just joins another link in the chain with all the partygate scandals. Michael Gove I mean someone who I imagine is it his real job these days, especially now that he’s leaving politics is just going to be freelance backstabbing, just he’s available. If you have someone that you want to have stabbed in the back. Michael Gove is now just at large and available to do that for you. He’s just.


Liz Bates Doing it. His personal life. It’s just like sending the family events, just stabbing family members in the back for fun. He can’t stop himself.


Nish Kumar He came out this week and said, it looks like it’s one rule for them and one rule for us. That’s the most potentially damaging thing that was damaging at the time. Partygate and is damaging here. Even a conservative peer, Lord Frost, tweeted. We got there in the end. But why did it take so long to come to a decision that seemed so necessary right from the start? That’s the problem, isn’t it? Needs that. Sunak’s the one thing Sunak has tried to, impress upon the public is that he is distinct from his immediate predecessors.


Liz Bates Yeah, and I think this particular scandal kind of gets to the heart of probably what is going on generally with Rishi Sunak and has throughout his premiership, which is he’s been unlucky. This was not his fault. He didn’t do this, but then he didn’t deal with it in a way, that lives up to those standards that he set for himself. Why did it take so long to suspend them? It made me think as well of the Frank Hester.


Nish Kumar Yeah.


Liz Bates Diane Abbott comment. Why didn’t he give that money back?


Coco Khan Yeah.


Nish Kumar Yeah.


You know, you condemn it, but then he he always it takes him too long. And sometimes he doesn’t get to those standards of integrity.


Coco Khan And it’s always a surprise from him that that people are annoyed. He thought, wow. Can’t believe everyone’s so annoyed about this. I can’t believe this is I get this, he’s tetchy. Me you know, he he cannot understand why the members of the general public would find this annoying. And that’s the disconnect, isn’t it? It embodies the disconnect between them and people’s actual like values and what they think is important in terms of dignity. We did mention last week that polling suggests that Craig Williams might have been one of the only Tories left in Wales. This might mean a complete wipe out for them there.


Nish Kumar They keep using this word that doesn’t actually make any political sense, but they keep saying there’s going to be a supermajority for the Labour Party.


Liz Bates The conservatives are so against that word. But I know.


Nish Kumar It’s so stupid, but it doesn’t. There’s this consistent idea that, you know, we’re going to be delivering essentially a one party state. What I would say is whose fault is that? Like, actually, whose fault is that? Because they keep the Conservative Party keeps telling us that the public is not enthused by Keir Starmer. And there’s a lot of polling to suggest that the public is not enthused by Keir Starmer. Right. So then whose fault is it? It is. Rama is such an uninspiring leader, which, many of us think he is. Whose fault is it that he’s able he he’s potentially able to turn the country to one, but it’s entirely the fault of the Conservative Party.


Liz Bates And I also think there’s a, there’s a kind of when you start to unpick the idea around all don’t get don’t let Labour have a supermajority because they’ll what likely deliver their manifesto.


Nish Kumar On Sunday, Sky news reported the Gambling Commission was investigating many more people, that was currently public and was asking betting firms to provide details of all bets over 20 pounds on the election date. Since then, one police officer has been placed under investigation and more information has come out that a further five police officers placed bets. The police.


Coco Khan I know.


Nish Kumar Behaving unethically.


Liz Bates I cannot believe it.


Nish Kumar Is nothing sacred in this country anymore. Here’s the thing I want to ask you. Because when D-Day happened, when day two to day to day happened. A lot of the journalism at the time was saying, well, this is his Gillian Duffy moment. This is, you know, this is the single moment of failure that will forever be used to encapsulate the entire campaign. And credit to Rishi Sunak for diversifying his portfolio. A failure is this appointment that he’s going.


Coco Khan Oh, so I’m like, just obsessed with the detail that it’s that’s over 20 pounds. You know, for the cheapskates that did a fiver you say don’t worry.


Liz Bates Yeah, I worry, but no you’re right, it’s he. Every time it’s like, hold my beer I’ve got something. Something worse is coming for sure. I don’t know. Is he going.


Nish Kumar To cheat his pants? Then wipe is also the crown jewels. Like I’m genuinely like I’m struggling to.


Coco Khan It’s going to be like, you know. Do you remember that Super Bowl where Justin Timberlake accidentally pulled off Janet Jackson? Yeah. It will be like that with a member of the royal family.


Liz Bates Yeah.


Coco Khan It’ll be like he’s going to grab a miller from.


Liz Bates The King’s crotch or something.


Coco Khan But hey, that’s not it for scandals this week. Cast your mind back to the week the election was called. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan delivered up a steaming bowl of wet soup, trying to explain the evidence behind the government’s new guidance to ban schools from talking about gender identity. The government claimed, in their words, that the contested ideology of gender was being taught to kids. Here’s a quick refresher of Keegan speaking to the BBC’s Charlie State.


Clip So the evidence is think things like, you know, choosing lots of different, sort of genders and, identities and saying, which ones of these are gender identities, the gender, the spectrum. You know, the sort of it can be a spectrum. It’s fluid. You can have different genders on different days or different. The 72 of them, that kind of thing. Yes. There has been evidence that. Was taught that was taught by a teacher in a classroom. We’ve we’ve received we’ve received evidence of with those slides to say that they’ve been taught in classrooms.


Nish Kumar It’s I mean, that is hard to listen to. Like, you sort of just having to, like, dull your ears to try and make any sense out of it whatsoever. But we did talk about this at the time. Keegan and even Rishi Sunak were parroting this line that there were 72 genders being taught in schools, which has been dismissed as untrue. At the time, a barrister called Sam Fowles wanted to get even further to the bottom of this, so he put in a Freedom of Information request to the Department for education. He stated please disclose all evidence held of a school or schools in the UK, teaching that there are 72 genders. Now, a few weeks later, the Department of Education replied and it’s a doozy. That response begins following a search of the department’s paper and electronic records. I have established that the information you requested is not held by this department, but it continues. The department does not systematically collect information on what is taught by schools. However, the Secretary of State was made aware of the well-documented concerns about externally produced resources in this area that have been designed for use in the classroom. He then cited two reports as sources. The first is called asleep at the wheel, published by the Policy Exchange, and the second is from the New Social Covenant called What is being Taught in Relationship and Sex Education in Our Schools. The department says these reports, and I quote, contain examples of materials that schools are encouraged to use when teaching about gender and sexual orientation.


Coco Khan So let’s let’s begin by just talking about Keegan’s claims that she’d seen this evidence honestly, when she was she said gender. So many times a part of me thought that the 72 genders was just the amount of time she said it. You know, to me, like this, that’s their evidence. They just say it 72 times. But if the Department for education doesn’t have anything that backs this up, where could it have come from?


Liz Bates Well, it sounds a bit like it’s been made up, isn’t it? I mean, I’m no.


Coco Khan I don’t know. I’m no.


Liz Bates Detective. That sounds a little bit made up to me. And I’m also slightly disturbed by the name New Social Covenant.


Nish Kumar Yeah. An organization founded by two conservative MPs, Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, who have. And it says here they have long held traditionalist beliefs.


Coco Khan Because a nice way to put it is.


Nish Kumar Yeah, if somebody tells me that there’s a room full of traditionalists, I think I’m about to get racially abused. Like that. That’s just me. That’s just me.


Liz Bates Nish, that’s just their traditions. Please be tolerant.


Coco Khan Yeah.


Liz Bates Of their traditions.


Nish Kumar I’m sorry, Liz, but you were saying.


Liz Bates It was like certainly there’s no there’s no source the department can identify, which suggests that it’s true.


Nish Kumar It’s an incredible thing. So just just to clarify, the two organizations that we’ve mentioned, Policy Exchange, are a right wing think tank that the transparency website who funds you ranks at the lowest possible grade of transparency. One of their donors we do know about is Exxon Mobil, who are a large fuel company. So it might not surprise you that the think tank has also helped draft laws targeting climate activists. The, author of the report, asleep at the Wheel, Lottie Moore, is also a self-confessed gender critic.


Coco Khan And speaking of self-confessed gender critics, we have Miriam Cates. We were talking about the, traditionalists earlier from the new Social Covenant unit. So in 2021, Cates warned schools in parliament against inviting leading LGBTQ rights charities Stonewall and Mermaids to provide counseling services as they teach. And, she said, dangerous and contested extreme ideologies that don’t have a basis in science.


Nish Kumar But what we’re getting at here is these are not truly independent sources. It’s very concerning that there’s no evidence for the claims the government has made on 72 genders. And the evidence that they’re citing when talking about gender ideology being taught in schools is developed by two, very compromised sources. Now, look, we did actually ask the Department for education to comment on this. They said they could not provide an on the record statement for us and could only provide further background information, which continued to quote a survey done from the Policy Exchange, one of the right wing think tanks we mentioned. Earlier.


Coco Khan So one of our listeners, Dante Elkington, got in touch with us and said, I’m a teacher at a special needs school and I’m a transgender man. It’s such a shame that the education secretary is plucking this misleading and just plain wrong information, with no evidence of accountability. I have found that my students are so open minded and accepting, willing to understand in a way that does not bother me and have shown me such support. It reminds me of how wonderful children are and that there is hope for the future of trans care. We should also look at how Labour have weighed in on this. Just this week, they have failed to commit to withdrawing the draft guidance if they came into power. On Monday, Keir Starmer said no, I’m not in favor of ideology being taught in our schools on gender. And over the weekend, shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson commented on the issue to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.


Clip Would you ditch the ban on teaching the concept of gender identity? There are trans people within society and that their existence should be recognized publicly. They have no. This is this drifts, I think, sometimes into a slightly bizarre conversation. There are trans people. They have a right for their existence to be recognized. Many people, many trans people, are vulnerable and are deserving of support. Alongside that, we’ve got to make sure that schools have got clear guidance about how best to support children and young people that are experiencing distress and issues around their wellbeing.


Coco Khan I was just so glad to hear a politician just say trans people exist and they have a right to dignity, like if this is such an obvious thing to say, but it hasn’t been said the conservative press, they are declaring that Labour has a woman problem. I mean, is this actually a political problem for Labour? Do you think this could actually lose them votes? This is an actual issue.


Nish Kumar I mean, one vote to do it is a high priority for is JK Rowling. Who in an Op-Ed in The times said that she would struggle to vote for Labour. And Labour has been going sort of above and beyond to try and appease her. Wes Streeting has called her remarks depressing, and the shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, has offered Rowling a meeting ahead of the general election. I do find that very strange that that’s being offered. As you know, J.K. Rowling is an author of books and is not an expert on any of these subjects. Beyond having a very active Twitter profile. It feels oligarch adjacent. If you’re if you’re that wealthy that you can just demand and have the party acquiesce to your demands, to just have a meeting to talk about something that’s got your goat. It does feel quite strange to me. In other news, Labour have recommitted to simplifying gender recognition certificate, and we did speak about this briefly in our special episode with Freddie McConnell and Abigail Thorne. Check it out if you haven’t already.




Nish Kumar So it really is one week to go until we all get out and cast our votes. Yes, you. We’re talking to you specifically. And over this whole election. We’ve had an amazing amount of messages and questions from all of you listening and watching. First of all, thank you for getting in touch. And given that we only have seven days remaining, we thought we’d spend some time delving into the mailbag. Hearing from all of you with the help of Liz and maybe answering a question or two. So first off, Joseph Gander has said a question that is twisting my melon. First of all, Joseph, congratulations on your Madchester efforts. Why have Labour and the Lib Dems not signed a non-aggression pact? I would expect this arrangement could likely put the Lib Dems into a position, the Tories into the boondocks and the country could start dragging the Overton window back towards the center. Surely. Well, Joseph, see, the reports of the ft. Chris Cook reported earlier this week that an analysis of Labour’s campaign sites show them backing off in Lib Dem target seats. Liz, do we think this is something that is in. We spoke to Neil Lawson, who talked a lot on a previous episode, about how in 1997 there was a sort of semi-formal non-aggression pact between, Tony Blair’s Labour Party and Paddy Ashdown Democrats. Is do you think that there is some is there something happening here?


Liz Bates Yeah. For sure. But it it’s so the reason that there’s no formal, pact between Labour, the Lib Dems to get rid of the Tories. So, you know, one of them stands back in one seat, and, you know, vice versa is because it’s just not democratic. That just wouldn’t be fair to people that wanted to, you know, vote for either party if they literally formally, you know, withdrew candidates or totally withdrew support or whatever, or endorsed another candidate from another party. But it all happens quite naturally. And I’ve been to a lot of byelections where, you know, especially recently, where, you know, one of the party’s liberal Democrats or Labour could beat the conservatives. And they just you can tell that one is absolutely throwing resources at the election. And they’ve got, you know, hundreds of activists, they’re knocking on doors and they’ve got loads of literature, etc.. And the other party is not doing that so much. You even find it. Well, I went to the Selby, an ANC byelection. Yeah. Well, the Tories were defeated there by Labour and spoke. You could tell there that there was there was one area that was a Liberal Democrat area that they needed to work it quite hard for the general election because it was going to go into a different seat, the general election, because boundary changes. Labour hadn’t bothered to campaign in that area. So they basically done the whole bit where all the Labour support was, and then they left the other bit to the Liberal Democrats to give them a fair run at it for the general. So it’s even kind of it gets down to like a micro level like that occasionally they kind of end up fighting each other because neither one will back off. But mostly, it sort of happens quite naturally.


Nish Kumar The only people I feel sorry for in this are the cannon fodder candidates. Those are the people. The people I feel really sorry for. It’s whoever the Labour candidates or Liberal Democrat candidates are. It it everywhere. They’re clearly on the results.


Coco Khan You know, my mate, his mum. This is only a councilor level, but she’s the cannon fodder candidate for the party. I’m like, she’s just. She knows what her job is. She’s like, I’m here to lose, but I’m here to show that we have a presence of respect. If you are cannon fodder.


Nish Kumar People always ask me, genuinely ask me if I would go into politics. And I was like, no, of course I’m profoundly underqualified. But we finally found a job. You get qualified for politics. We finally found a place where I could conceivably run. That is, as a cannon for the candidate


Liz Bates Professional loser. Nish Kumar.


Nish Kumar I could just I could just write off the next 20 years of my career. I just go election to election, different constituencies. Just being the candidate that takes your vote.


Coco Khan So next up, we have a question from Joel. They say, why haven’t we talked more about government corruption and fraud during the election? With how much money has been wasted and committed to fraudulent things, the PPE scandal, the SNP corruption? What do you think? Do you think that if we talked about that, we would drum up some money to, like, plug holes in social care and potholes and stuff?


Liz Bates Well, yeah. I mean, first of all, he wrote in to say that. Joe, Joe, I love you. Okay? I agree with you. We should hang out because that’s that is literally what I mean. That is what genuinely keeps me apart from my baby and my various mental health issues.


Coco Khan And your, Michael Gove blanket you told you earlier.


Liz Bates Yes, I do have a Michael Gove blanket, but I think we should move on quite quickly. From that. But which I don’t sleep under, I should say.


Nish Kumar Thank God you clarified that.


Liz Bates I should say and it was, it was a gift. I didn’t buy it myself. Yeah. For me, one of the biggest things, you know, that happened during last government was that fraud? Yeah. What was it, 2020? That is just in fraud that we’re not talking about the dodgy PPE contracts, the PPE that never worked, the handing contracts, teammates. That’s totally separate. There was billions. Lost in fraud by a system designed by our government. That money. What? Where is this? Where is the plan to recoup that money? And more than that, where? Why aren’t these people in prison? Yeah. That is. That’s a crime. I was thinking back on it this morning and thinking, do you remember the, the London riots? Yeah. Yes. I mean, those kids were like, their feet did touch the floor. They were straight through the straight through the courts. A lot of them. First offenses, you know, no hesitation. It was like a crime has happened. You know, we need to make sure that that will never happen again. What? Where is the same plan?


Nish Kumar Yeah.


Liz Bates We have been robbed. We have literally been robbed. The people who robbed us are walking amongst us. And. And why haven’t we discussed it?


Coco Khan It’s so funny. You mentioned the London riots. It because that’s been a criticism of Keir Starmer, right? He was Director of Public Prosecutions at that time. And you know, I can’t believe Keir Starmer of all people hasn’t taken this line.


Liz Bates Yeah. I mean is this very.


Coco Khan Relevant for him to take.


Liz Bates It easy. It’s you know, I don’t understand why it isn’t front and center of somebodies, election campaign. Because especially because it comes up time and time again when you do the focus groups, one of the things that voters say, and to, people campaigning on the doorstep is what, one of the reasons that trust has been corroded so much in British politics, and the reason that people don’t trust politicians is because of all that stuff that went on. You know, it was a case of, you know, it’s a time of national emergency. So we had to relax the rules. And, you know, we expected that people in public life would act in the right way. And some of them did not. They literally committed. They just took money illegally from the state, from us. And there has been no discussion on how how are we going to get that back?


Nish Kumar Yes, that’s a very good question, Joe. And apparently Liz wants to hang out with you.


Liz Bates So yes, do get in touch.


Nish Kumar Liliana got in touch to ask. This will be my first election. I’m old enough to vote in, and I’d love some insight on policies on disability payments. Conservatives have caused me a lot of anxiety with how they’ve been talking about Pip payments, and as it is something that enables me to live, I want to pick the party that will protect this the best. Can we, speak to that based on the manifestos? Do we know anything specific?


Coco Khan Well, I mean, I think the first thing to say is, like, Lillian, is anxiety about the conservatives is completely fair. They have essentially pledged to cut payments, to the tune of around 12 billion pounds a year. So I think that’s that is a fair anxiety to have. And the conservatives were also seeking to tighten the work capability assessment, which would, basically see more disabled people declared fit to work. As for the other parties, I mean, with with Labour, I mean, I don’t know how you feel about it, Liz, but there was some really good murmurs coming from the Labour Party last year. One of the things they committed to was the United Nations Convention on Rights for, people with disabilities. They talked about reforming the assessment. And actually, when it came to the manifesto, it was all a lot of that was absent. Now, obviously, the manifesto is often absent. That’s the sort of theme of the manifesto, because they don’t want to show their cards. But I completely understand why that would be, anxiety inducing.


Liz Bates I mean, the manifesto was just to kind of play it safe manifesto. They don’t want to put anything in that manifesto, that people can question where the money’s going to come from. Because that’s just a constant problem for the Labour Party. So I think it’d be interesting to see what they do in government. But no, no concrete, promises on that. And I think as a system, it’s been messed with by various governments over many years, and there’s probably a case for, a serious kind of reassessment and reform of it. What we do now, of course, is liberal Democrats Ed Davey has put at the center of his I mean, this isn’t a, a kind of detailed policy announcement, but he has put care and including cafe, his disabled son at the center of that policy platform. So I think, certainly they they’re prioritizing it.


Coco Khan So I talked earlier about how like Labour, didn’t mention that UN convention, the Liberal Democrats did mention it. They also talked about increasing the hourly rate of care for formal carers. They talk about the introduction of free care for disabled people at home. Other things that, you know, relate to this is, of course, like scrapping the bedroom tax, which, you know, disproportionately affects people with disabilities. They also talked about, replacing sanctions with incentives. Again, that tends to affect people with disabilities and improving Pip assessments. Improving is again, quite vague, but all of that is a bit closer in the right direction. And then of course you’ve got the greens. They seem to come out quite good on this. They talk about restoring the value of disability benefits with an immediate uplift of 5%. They want to reform the intrusive tests, free personal care again. But you always have that thing with the Greens being like, well, you’re not going to get in though, isn’t it? So? And the same with the Lib Dems. So I don’t think we can answer your question about who’s the best on this, but. The good news is, is that like there are parties talking about it. And we talked about a progressive alliance on this podcast about, you know, the left of the Labour Party working with the Lib Dems and the Greens. So there’s some hope there that at least those other parties are putting it front and center, even if maybe not as robustly as you really need.


Liz Bates I think again, though, it’s one of those things that when you look back at the coverage of the election campaign, there are so many different areas where you could go back and say, you know, there hasn’t been a kind of sensible, detailed policy discussion. Yeah, we can’t come to the end of it and say, okay, we really know where everybody stands. So as a disabled person, you can very easily choose which party to vote for because you know which one is going to support you best. And I think that’s a, you know, I think we can blame generally the kind of political system, but also, you know, the journalistic coverage as well. I think, I think we there’s more to do on there.


Nish Kumar I also think, this is almost a separate issue that we, ironically, don’t really even have time to get into. But the absence of the conversation about the climate in this election is so. Extraordinary, like it’s extraordinary, you know, these extreme weather events happening all over the world. It it feels it feels absolutely unfathomable to me. The lack of scrutiny about the different parties climate policies is I just think that, you know, it’s I it’s one of those things where you sort of go the only plus side of this is that, people, this won’t be something people look back on historically because there will be no history, because everyone will be dead. That’s the that’s the only. The only silver lining to this is we won’t be judged by future generations because they’ll be too busy fighting in a road war. Like I think in 2019, channel four did actually try to have a specific climate focused debate, which Boris Johnson obviously famously did not turn up for, and was replaced by a steadily melting ice sculpture, which actually ended up making more sense and violating fewer lockdown regulations than the actual man himself. But the void in our political conversation about the most pressing issue facing this planet is absolutely.


Coco Khan It’s all of like an easy for me to sit here on my lovely a blue velvet sofa and talk about. There’s a lack of joined up thinking, but like, you know, climate effects, health outcomes. You know, we talked about the Lib Dems in their manifesto and yes, it does sound quite good. But that’s you know, they don’t talk about universal credit. Lots of people with health issues need to get universal credit. And they’re not talking about the uplift there. So you know it’s like it’s it’s small pieces of the puzzle. And I think we can agree that all of them are not quite quite doing it. And yeah, it’s quite healthy.


Liz Bates You feel like underwater. Yeah. Oh.


Coco Khan Or if you don’t have good housing which is full of black Maori. So then you have to talk about housing as well, you know. Yeah.


Liz Bates I mean we literally in that film don’t look up.


Nish Kumar Yeah. Yeah.


Liz Bates That’s that’s where we’re heading. Because you I mean it’s just you just it’s so difficult to get into in British politics because as soon as you start to talk about net zero or whatever, there’s always someone that’s like, put one about the potholes and you like honey, the potholes not going to be there.


Coco Khan Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Liz Bates Everything’s going to be on fire.


Coco Khan All right, listeners, so you might have remembered that once upon a time, British Labour Member of Parliament David Lammy was on Pod Save the UK.


Nish Kumar Well, he’s back at it this time on our sister podcast Pod Save the World, to co-host with Ben Rhodes.


Coco Khan The episode just dropped yesterday and they talked all about the upcoming British elections and how a Labour foreign policy would address the world’s most pressing issues, like Israel and Gaza, Russia and Ukraine, and the rise of the far right.


Nish Kumar Head over to the Pod Save the World feed to listen now.




Nish Kumar And now to close out the show, we’re bringing you one more round of funny moments, the maddest and weirdest stories from the last week of the campaign.


Coco Khan So first up, we have party leaders recording themselves playing the online game Minecraft in an effort to appeal to Gen Z voters. Nigel Farage blows up Rishi Sunak’s home. Sunak kills a chicken with a chainsaw. And here’s Keir Starmer installing a trapdoor in Farage’s online pub.


Clip Nigel has been going around griefing both mine and Rishi spaces on the server. I believe it’s high time we put a stop to this once and for all. So some of you may be wondering how I plan on getting my revenge. Well, let me show you. I’ve actually taken the liberty to locate Nigel’s favorite spot on the server, which is this little pub you can see here. And before you will start asking, no, this is not the same one where that girl hilariously threw a milkshake over him. So, as you can see here, I’ve set up a trap door powered by these pressure plates. When he walks through the door, he will fall all the way down into this pit. And I’ve actually prepared a nice little surprise for him when he gets down there. So let’s wait for him to get on line and see what happens.


Nish Kumar Of course, that video, which seems too good to be true, is absolutely too good to be true. It is 100% fake. It’s a deepfake made using AI to mimic a person’s voice and facial features. But they were convincing enough to get a mention on BBC’s News Night.


Clip And it’s interesting to see this election, the amount the parties have invested in TikTok and campaigning there, and Nigel Farage again doing these Minecraft videos as well. You know, this is a much more diffuse media market than there was. Lots of people get their news from social media.


Nish Kumar I would just urge people at all times, just check your so just watch it really closely because if you do, you can see that there is no way what Keir Starmer is saying in that video can be coming out of his mouth.


Coco Khan So next up, here’s Nick Robinson whipping out a burger during his Green Party election interview with Adrian Ramsay. That’s right, a meaty burger.


Clip And to be fair, the UK Climate Change Committee, which advises all government talks about it, the need for us to eat less meat in our diet. Cutting the amount, they say, by a fifth in a decade, by a third by 2050. Now what that means to most people watching this program is in here. 2.5 billion of these burgers are eaten every year in the UK. Are you saying that to save the climate, we’ve got to ban the burger. We’ve got to make burgers a heck of a lot more expensive? No. Neither of those proposals are in our manifesto. What is in our manifesto is supporting our farmers to produce far more food. But just what you put in an election sales document arguing that the Greens have always argued for eating less meat. So in the end, would it have to be more expensive? As I say, that’s not a policy that’s in our manifesto, and our manifesto is about what we want to put forward for this next five years.


Nish Kumar Just for the benefit of people listening to the show. Nick Robinson, who’s conducting that interview with Adrian Ramsay. That shuffling you could hear was the sound of him producing a beef burger, opening it and waving it around.


Coco Khan An unmarked box I noticed.


Nish Kumar Unmarked box he he was holding. You know, when I said, we need to have more conversations about the climate, I think we might need to have less conversation. I.


Liz Bates I’m interested in the thought. Who suggested that? Because there’s so many things that you talk about in political discussions, like, why was it just the that one thing that they will and we need to show it because no one’s going to really know. No one’s going to be able to imagine a beef burger. Like, I just don’t get the thought process behind it. Also, if you going to do it, just go full, just get like a big sausage in his face. Don’t go half assed.


Coco Khan There was definitely a part of me that thought that because he was waft, there was a wafting of the burger. Right. Sort of a part of me always going to eat the burger and be like delicious burger as you start, like narrating its juices or something. And I think what he wanted was to provoke some sort of disgust or provoke some sort of outrage reaction from some, like obviously clearly some caricatured idea about what a vegan is doing to me, that vegans aren’t just like at the sight of any meat. Well, what they have to like, leave the building. That’s not what happens.


Liz Bates Can I mean, controversially, I’m going to say maybe more political interview should just have just props. Things like you talking about sewage, you just like. And this I got this turd. What do you think of this, Well, like you talking about, I brought a child with me to talk about education. Tell this child that you’re going to cut the education budget.


Coco Khan Do you know what I think that might be effective. Yeah, that might be actually quite good. But anyway, we’re a we’re not.


Nish Kumar I think that is one of the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Like, like, I really feel like we’re all being very polite here. Obviously, I would never. I am not comparing. Nick Robinson is a fantastic, brilliant political interviewer. That is one of the stupidest fucking things I’ve ever seen in my goddamn life. That is the sort of thing that when I see a conversation about the climate, involve a judge. Analyst waving a beef burger in a politician’s face that makes me think we deserve apocalypse.


Liz Bates It’s a it’s almost as well. Like they the way that they’d imagined it was. He was going to wave in his face and Agent Ramsay was going to get, you know just slapped it out of his hand.


Coco Khan So for this next WTF, we’re returning to the gambling scandal, but this time it’s one of Labour’s candidates and it’s not quite what you think. No. Betting on the election date?


Nish Kumar No, it was a Labour candidate who bet on himself losing his own seat. Kevin Craig is Labour’s candidate for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, which is a safe Tory seat. He puts a bet against himself that he would lose it, even though he’s suspended by Labour and also under investigation, his name will still appear on the ballot paper. Kevin Craig apologized for what he described as a huge mistake. This is pretty different from what we’re talking about with the conservative betting scandal.


Liz Bates It’s like, well, saying you don’t really want to conflate the whole, you know, the whole thing together. It’s probably not okay, because he does have a tiny bit of power over whether he will probably lose that seat’s 23,000 conservative majority. My assumption when I heard it was, oh, he’s put a bet on himself to lose so that if he, by some miracle wins, he’ll be happy. If he loses, which he probably does, he’ll be like, oh, well, I won £50 or whatever. He came out in a statement, said I was going to give the money to charity.


Nish Kumar Yeah.


Liz Bates Which is what he said. So let’s go with that. We could all look at that seat and be like, this guy’s probably going to lose.


Coco Khan And now, last but not least, here’s Paul Thomas, the Reform Party candidate for Maidstone and Malling, giving the Spice Girls a bad name on the campaign trail.


Clip I’ll tell you all I want. What I really, really want. I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want. I want a reform win.


Nish Kumar That’s. That’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.


Coco Khan You’re having a bad day today. You’re saying that a lot.


Nish Kumar I’m having a bad day. I say, Nick Robinson, I have a burger to make a point about climate change. And I see a man I don’t even know.


Coco Khan To have a bus. What? What we will.


Nish Kumar See. And what I don’t understand is I’ve never seen someone lack rhythm in speech. I didn’t think I actually didn’t think that was possible.


Coco Khan Yeah.


Nish Kumar I didn’t think it was possible to betray a lack of rhythm just in by speaking the lyrics to a song.


Coco Khan So let’s describe it for the for the listeners. We have a reform candidate going on to a stage, a top of something. Yeah. To say tasty. What we want, really, really want. He sort of jiggles around a bit, like, you know, a dad at a disco, and then it’s like, oh, you know, summon up a beloved song and then adding a bit of racism at the end, you know, that’s that’s sort of what he’s doing there.


Liz Bates It’s just so deadpan. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Do you think he’s going to come up to a climax and it’s just a reform win?


Coco Khan Yeah.


Liz Bates Okay.


Coco Khan But you know what that means.


Liz Bates You built me up a little bit and then you really let me down at the end.


Coco Khan Well, I know it would be a better song. Stop right now. Thank you very much. I need somebody with a human touch. Not this guy.


Liz Bates My daughter. Listeners. And he did quite a rhythmical dance. It was enjoyable.


Coco Khan I was also going to go for Who Do You Think you are? But then actually, that song goes into like, you know.


Liz Bates Else has a really long who would have about to go back to business.


Coco Khan Because, you know, it goes into you have got to swing it, shake it, move it, make us. Oh, I don’t want him to do that.


Nish Kumar What the hell is this show devolved to?


Coco Khan Sorry. You got the girls here.


Nish Kumar You two


Coco Khan Lizzy B for the girls. You know what I mean.


Nish Kumar I feel like I’m on a head nod.


Liz Bates You are welcome.


Coco Khan And that’s it for the show. Thank you Liz Bates. Thank you for joining us.


Nish Kumar That’s the end of our coverage of the election.


Coco Khan Yes.


Liz Bates End on a high.


Coco Khan Listeners and viewers, do join us on Sunday for a chat with a rather famous ex Tory. Rory Stewart is joining us on the couch. We want to hear your thoughts. Email us at PSUK@ReducedListening.Co.Uk or drop us a voice note on WhatsApp. Our number is 07494 933444. Internationally that’s +44 7494 933444.


Nish Kumar Don’t forget to follow Apple TV UK on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and you can find us on YouTube. Catch full episodes and highlights from us there in color and everything. You can drop us a review if you like.


Coco Khan Pod Save The UK is a reduced listing production for Crooked Media.


Nish Kumar Thanks to producer Mae Robson, senior producer James Tinesdale and digital producer Alex Bishop.


Coco Khan Video editing is by David Kaplovitz and our theme music is by Vasilis Fotopouos.


Nish Kumar Thanks to our engineer Hannah Stewart.


Coco Khan The executive producers are Anoushka Sharma, Dan Jackson and Madeleine Herringer with additional support from Ari Schwartz.


Nish Kumar Remember to hit subscribe for new shows on Thursdays on Amazon, Spotify or Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts.