Today marks a new term in Westminster – and the launch of our new daily political show.
The Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge will be on your TV screens from 7pm-8pm, Monday to Thursday.
I’ve heard a lot about politics slowing down after the rollercoaster of the last few years (and let’s face it, we all feel like our leaders have driven us upside down and around the loop at times recently).
But I think that’s a misreading of where we are. Far from slowing down, politics is about to speed up.
September marks the beginning of the long campaign for the election – an election which, if the polls are right, could produce the first change of government since 2010. Let that sink in! There are children in secondary school who have never known a world where the Conservatives are out of power.
And because of those stakes – an election that could be truly transformative – things are about to get dirty.
We know Sir Keir Starmer has ruthlessness (look at the way he dispatched Jeremy Corbyn, or those attack ads claiming Rishi Sunak doesn’t think paedophiles should go to prison.) Does Mr Sunak have the same ruthlessness? We’ll find out in the coming months.
There’s another reason that now is the right time for a daily politics show: the state of the country. Inflation has pummelled people’s finances, and the mortgage timebomb is only just beginning. Public services are under strain. Debt is over 100% of GDP. Right now, the decisions made in Number 10 really matter.
I’ve thought a lot about what the mission statement for the new programme should be.
Politics Hub will unashamedly cater for the politically engaged ahead of what will be a blockbuster year for politics both in the UK and around the world.
But we won’t be an echo chamber – you’ll hear a range of voices and stories on the show.
I also feel that at 7pm on a weeknight – when you might be settling down with a glass of wine after a day’s work – we can afford to have a bit of fun along the way.
And after six years of fronting Sky’s Sunday morning political show, I’m looking forward to watching Trevor Phillips take over the reins at 8.30am (from the sofa in my pyjamas).
Trevor and I have different styles and experiences – I’m always impressed by his thoughtful take on the big political issues – but we share a belief that what matters in political interviews is the answer – and the role of the question is just to elicit the most revealing response. In these serious political times, that matters more than ever.