Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Can Labour make lasting gains from Boris Johnson’s text messages?

Stephen Bush and Ailbhe Rea discuss the Prime Minister's texts to James Dyson and Mohammed bin Salman, and whether Keir Starmer can make his "sleaze" accusations stick.

The saga of Boris Johnson’s text messages continues. Keir Starmer attacked the Prime Minister in the Commons on Wednesday (21 April), accusing him of “sleaze” over his leaked exchanges with James Dyson and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Mr. Johnson maintains he did nothing wrong.

Now the Conservatives have launched an inquiry into who leaked the messages in the first place. The Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Sun all quote anonymous sources at No 10 who have blamed Dominic Cummings. At the time of writing, Cummings has yet to respond to the accusations.

In this episode of the New Statesman Podcast, Stephen Bush and Ailbhe Rea discuss the fallout of the leaked text messages, and whether it is an effective opposition attack line.

Then, in You Ask Us, they take your questions on whether we’re heading for a poll on a united Ireland.

Further reading

Ailbhe asks why Boris Johnson keeps making impossible promises on Northern Ireland

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

How to listen to the New Statesman podcast

1. In your browser

You can use the player above to listen in your browser right now. The New Statesman podcast publishes twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays. All episodes are published to on the day of release. Subscribers to the New Statesman can access episodes a day early, in our subscriber edition.

2. In a podcast app

The New Statesman podcast is available on all major podcast apps including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Acast, Google Podcasts, and more. Search ‘New Statesman podcast’ in your favourite podcast app, and subscribe or follow to make sure you receive episodes as soon as they publish. While you’re there, please leave a review for the podcast – it helps others find the show, which in turn makes it possible for us to keep making it.

3. On your smart speaker

If you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod smart speaker, ask it to “play the latest episode of the New Statesman podcast”. The same command also works with virtual assistants on mobile devices.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up

Topics in this article: