Crisis control at Tory HQ: Politics Weekly podcast | Politics

As the number of people in the UK confirmed to have coronavirus increased to 85 on Wednesday, Boris Johnson sought to reassure the public. He launched the government’s coronavirus action plan, which he said was aimed at covering “all eventualities”.

This week, the panel asks whether we should feel reassured or alarmed by the government’s approach – and whether Boris Johnson could have done more, sooner, to show he was on top of the situation.

Coronavirus won’t be the only battle on the government’s plate, as we saw from the explosive resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam, the Home Office’s most senior civil servant, over bullying allegations. Rutnam plans to sue the government for unfair dismissal, accusing the home secretary, Priti Patel, of being involved in a “vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign” against him.

So how will the Tories manage what are crises of their own doing as well as unforeseen events? Heather Stewart is joined by the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, Andrew Gimson, a contributing editor for ConservativeHome and author, and the comedian and podcast host Matt Forde.

The panel also discuss which of the Labour leadership candidates will lend themselves better to comedic impressions, and the Guardian’s Paul Owen breaks down what happened on Super Tuesday in the US.

Let us know what you think of the podcast: send your feedback to [email protected]

Priti Patel and Boris Johnson on 4 March.

Photograph: House of Commons/PA

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