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Dozens of streets across the West End will be closed to traffic from April to the end of September to turn them into alfresco dining boulevards. Westminster council bosses have decided to repeat last summer’s scheme when a total of 60 roads - including 17 in Soho alone - were transformed through temporary closures and pavement widening. Our consume…
 
Facebook's vice-president for northern Europe, Steve Hatch, joins the show to discuss the social media giant's role in both helping the UK ease out of lockdown, and prepare for life after it. We talk about how the company's adapted to the global pandemic, including ramping up its efforts to tackle disinformation using lessons learned from the 2016 …
 
Schools and safely reuniting with loved ones are being prioritised in England's road map out of lockdown. Mr Johnson's been detailing his “cautious” approach for easing coronavirus restrictions in a speech to Parliament, confirming the reopening of schools on March 8 and the easing of some social restrictions. Our education editor Anna Davis says t…
 
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family. Prince Harry and Meghan initially stepped back from their roles as senior working royals in March 2020 in a quest for personal and financial freedom and now live in Montecito, California. We speak to royal observer Vict…
 
Talks have started between Britain and Greece which could pave the way for holidays this summer in the Mediterranean country. Greek tourism minister Harry Theoharis has revealed preliminary discussions are taking place including on “vaccine passports”. Our Deputy political editor Nicholas Cecil says Athens has been impressed by the UK's vaccine rol…
 
The boss of Easyjet, Johan Lundgren, sits down with the Evening Standard's Susannah Butter to explain how he thinks the UK's airlines can get off the ground again after nearly a year of pandemic restrictions. Right now, it's far from clear whether people will be allowed to travel this summer, and Mr Lundgren is calling for clarity on how lockdown w…
 
The government's hoping rapid coronavirus tests, being trialled at Porton Down, will allow Britain’s devastated entertainment and events industry to reopen in the summer. But our arts correspondent Rob Dex says venue managers and west end producers are only giving the plan a "cautious" welcome. There are concerns about the accuracy of the tests, ho…
 
Our political editor Joe Murphy tells us the government’s fears of a new, as yet unknown, coronavirus mutation are behind its “timid” approach to lifting lockdown. Despite pressure from some MPs in his own party, Boris Johnson’s resisting demands to speed up the process saying the way out “will be “cautious but irreversible”.We hear how that’s caus…
 
The Democrats have rested their case against Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, now the defence begins. After three days of evidence, including the showing of emotive previously unseen footage of the Capitol Hill riots, Rep. Jamie Raskin asked the chamber “what is impeachable conduct if not this?” The former president’s legal team is now…
 
Matt Hancock says he booked a summer holiday to Cornwall “months ago” but admits there’s “uncertainty” about whether he, or anyone else, will actually be able to make any trips. Our deputy political editor, Nicholas Cecil, says the Health Secretary’s linking the success of the vaccine roll-out to whether lockdown restrictions will be lifted in time…
 
Stephen Manderson, aka Professor Green, is a big advocate for opening up the conversation around mental health, having presented documentaries on everything from suicide to child poverty. On this episode of the Leader podcast Evening Standard columnist Jimi Famurewa, sits down with Stephen to talk about the profound effect the pandemic is having on…
 
Democrats have set the stage for a historic battle in the Senate as Donald Trump faces allegations he “betrayed the American people” and is guilty of the “most grievous constitutional crime ever committed by a president”. We’re joined by UCL lecturer in politics and international relations Dr Julie Norman, who guides us through what will happen as …
 
The Evening Standard’s political editor Joe Murphy joins us to explain the concerns over the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, as the Prime Minister says he says he has “every confidence” in the jab. It comes after a study of around 2,000 people suggested it only offers minimal protection against mild disease of the variant and, due to the yo…
 
Health editor Ross Lydall joins us to explain how two major milestones in the fight against coronavirus are about to converge on a single day.1.5 million people from London’s most at risk groups should have been vaccinated by February 15, which is also the day the government will start putting UK arrivals into quarantine hotels. But those strict bo…
 
London Mayor Sadiq Khan tells us how the coronavirus pandemic has “exposed the institutional racism” in the city, with BAME communities hardest hit by the infection. In an interview with Ayesha Hazarika, he describes how he recognised something was wrong as he wrote letters to grieving families and realised so many names were from ethnic minority b…
 
London’s public health director, Professor Kevin Fenton, reveals the findings of his study into the spread of coronavirus in London through the pandemic so far. He’s discovered that the capital’s Asian community was hardest hit in the second wave of the infection’s spread, and in this special edition of the podcast he explains why that may have hap…
 
Political reporter Sophia Sleigh joins the podcast as scientists warn there may be other versions of coronavirus emerging. The Government’s former chief scientific adviser has said he is "more worried" about the South American covid variant than the one from South Africa. Professor Sir Mark Walport, who held the top advisory post from 2013 to 2017,…
 
Political editor Joe Murphy’s back on the podcast as it’s revealed the more contagious ‘South Africa’ variant of coronavirus has been found in parts of London and Sussex. More than 100 cases have been discovered so far and surge testing is underway in eight postcodes, with everyone over the age of 16 being encouraged to get one whether they’re show…
 
Our deputy political editor Nicholas Cecil joins us as the EU dramatically ramps up a vaccines row with demands jabs made in the UK are sent to them. It follows European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen demanding AstraZeneca publish its contract with the EU to deliver 300 million doses. The company’s done that, with redactions, but Nichola…
 
We’ve all struggled with being confined to our homes for the past year. But what has it been like for Carrie and Boris? Freddy Gray joins the podcast to talk about the inside scoops he picked up for his article on life behind Britain’s most famous door for the Evening Standard. Learn all about the cabin fever, opaque political machinations and Rish…
 
A special edition of the Leader looking at the decisions made by the government and others that have taken the UK past the 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths figure. Adapted from an Evening Standard article by Jonathan Prynn, we use interviews and archives to piece together what happened over the last 12 months and where things went wrong.From face…
 
After vaccination minister Nadhim Zahawi advised millions of us to delay booking a summer holiday, the Leader podcast speaks to travel consultant Paul Charles about the state of the industry. He tells us there is “no plan” from the government to help a sector already struggling after last season was cancelled by Covid, and predicts more airlines an…
 
The Evening Standard’s political editor Joe Murphy tells us what the government’s planning with proposed ‘quarantine hotels’. Under plans being decided by ministers over the next 24 hours, some travellers will be put on buses and driven directly to isolation centres where they’ll stay for 10 days. Joe says there are divisions within the government …
 
To mark the launch of our YoungLondonSOS campaign, we’re joined by investigations editor David Cohen whose reporting has revealed how badly the pandemic has affected schoolchildren. 500,000 teenagers and children who had no mental health problems before the lockdowns will now need support in 2021 – that’s on top of the 1 in 6 already identified by …
 
The top speechwriter for the Obama administration, Cody Keenan, says he would give Amanda Gorman a job at the White House after astonishing the world with her inauguration poem.The 22-year-old’s “The Hill We Climb” was a highlight of the ceremony marking the start of Joe Biden’s presidency, and has been hailed by critics for its themes of unity and…
 
Evening Standard columnist Ayesha Hazarika says new US vice president, Kamala Harris, “represents the two things Donald Trump hates the most: women and people of colour”. She tells the Leader podcast, the Trump administration was “founded on racism” and Ms Harris’s arrival at the White House is “karmic justice” for four years of turbulence. It come…
 
The Evening Standard’s editor-in-chief, George Osborne says the Republican party will never allow Donald Trump to run for the White House again. Speaking to our columnist Philip Collins, he says Mr Trump has been “unique,” testing the US constitution and the country’s democratic process to its limits. He predicts the GOP will “shut out” the tycoon …
 
The Evening Standard’s political editor, Joe Murphy, tells us why London may have turned a corner in the battle against coronavirus. We’ve learned case numbers for the infection are now falling in every one of the capital’s boroughs, in some cases up to 30 percent. But Joe also warns that, despite the good news, hospitals are still packed with reco…
 
An Evening Standard investigation has revealed half a million under-18s who previously showed no signs of mental health issues are now facing problems, due to the lockdowns caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Investigations editor David Cohen joins us to talk about his findings, which also show A&E wards are seeing increasing numbers of ado…
 
The Evening Standard's Nicholas Cecil joins the show as pressure grows on the government to send more vaccine doses to London. It's emerged the city's delivered just one tenth of the jabs nationally, which mayor Sadiq Khan says has him "hugely concerned". But there appears to be hope on the horizon, with hospital admissions dropping and infections …
 
Health editor Ross Lydall joins the podcast as the Evening Standard reveals London’s getting fewer doses of coronavirus vaccine per head than other areas of the country. t’s down to a “fair share” system that’s distributing the Oxford and Pfizer doses equally between primary care networks. London has the highest infection rates in the UK, but is lo…
 
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