In this week's New Statesman podcast

The fortunes of the Lib Dems, some giggling about immersive theatre and how to cheat death as a cyclist in London.

You can get the New Statesman podcast on Fridays from newstatesman.com/podcast, through this RSS feed newstatesman.libsyn.com/rss or by subscribing in iTunes. Alternatively, you can listen using the web player embedded below.

This week, Helen Lewis, George Eaton and Rafael Behr discuss the week in politics, including the fortunes of the Lib Dems. With the party's conference starting in Glasgow this weekend, our political team assess the likely stories over the next few days, as well as the impact of the New Statesman's eye-catching interviews with key party figures Tim Farron and Jeremy Browne.

Helen and Raf are then joined by Caroline Crampton for a new segment entitled "Raf got a babysitter and went to the theatre", in which a lot of sweeping statements get made about drama in general and Punchdrunk's production of The Drowned Man in particular. Warning: contains giggling.

Finally Alex Hern interviews writer Hayley Campbell about cheating death as a cyclist. Hayley has written several great pieces for the NS in recent months (about her efforts as amateur taxidermist and why people keep banging on about comic books). She talks to Alex about her latest article, on how not to die if you ride a bike in London.

Happy listening.

Caroline Crampton is assistant editor of the New Statesman. She writes a weekly podcast column.

Getty
Show Hide image

Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

0800 7318496