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Armando Iannucci: the arcane rules and rituals of parliament need radical reform

Westminster Reimagined returns for a second series of podcasts looking at how to fix our broken politics.

By Ailbhe Rea and Armando Iannucci

The legendary writer, satirist and broadcaster Armando Iannucci returns to the New Statesman podcast to co-host five more special episodes, in series two of Westminster Reimagined. In these shows, Iannucci explores parts of British public life he believes to be broken, and is joined by guests from both inside and outside Westminster to discuss how politics could be better.

In this episode, Armando and Ailbhe Rea examine the place we make laws: parliament. Is it an old boys’ club, designed to exclude normal people from being able to make sense of it?

They are joined by Anum Qaisar, the SNP’s newest Westminster MP, who speaks candidly about her experiences of racial profiling within the Westminster estate since winning the Airdrie and Shotts by-election in 2021. Also on the podcast is Emma Crewe, a professor of anthropology at SOAS who has studied the workings of the House of Commons and House of Lords.

They talk about how parliament can be hard to navigate, what’s prevented it from evolving into a modern, 21st-century legislature and why it’s still a tough place for MPs from non-traditional backgrounds.

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