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17 May 2022

Why is Boris Johnson waging a culture war? With Rory Stewart and Kim Leadbeater

Culture wars are at the heart of Boris Johnson’s attempt to cling on to power.

While polling revealed exclusively by the New Statesman suggests that voters aren’t divided on so-called culture war issues, the Johnson administration is putting them at the centre of its political project.

To understand why the Prime Minister seems intent on winning a war that doesn’t exist, Anoosh Chakelian is joined by Kim Leadbeater, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, who received an MBE last year for services to social cohesion, and Rory Stewart, senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a former Conservative MP and leadership rival to Johnson.

They discuss why everything is being cast as a culture war and the strategy’s limited success, the real-life consequences of this way of doing politics, and ultimately how we can learn to disagree better.

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[See also: Why the Tory contest is missing a Rory Stewart]

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