Podcast: Has the UK covid response been hobbled by cronyism?

Rachel Reeves, the MP for Leeds West, has questioned why £2bn of coronavirus contracts were handed to Tory allies. 

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Rachel Reeves, the shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has made an intervention calling for an end to the government's "outsourcing obsession". She's accused the government of handing £2bn of coronavirus contracts to Conservative friends and donors and wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on faulty equipment that can’t be used.

Ailbhe Rea has interviewed Ms. Reeves exclusively for the New Statesman, and on this episode of the podcast Ailbhe joins Stephen Bush and Anoosh Chakelian to discuss the cronyism controversy, and the former shadow work and pensions secretary's return to the front benches. Then, in You Ask Us, they clear up some of the confusion surrounding factionalism and in-fighting within the Scottish National Party.

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Send us your questions for future episodes at youaskus.co.uk.

Further reading:

Read Ailbhe's interview with Rachel Reeves here.

Stephen argues that the apparent polling surge for the Green party matters more for the Liberal Democrats than the Labour party.

James Meadway writes that long-term Covid could mean long-term Conservative rule.

If you're in the mood for more audio from the New Statesman, listen to World Review, a weekly global affairs podcast from our international editor Jeremy Cliffe in Berlin and our US editor Emily Tamkin in Washington, DC.

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