How did we get here? Explaining the news

40 Episodes

By: 5 News

How did we get here? Join Andy Bell as he explains the world’s biggest news stories through interviews with politicians, experts and analysts.

Autumn Budget 2021: What to expect, according to IFS Director Paul Johnson

The Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies has all you need to know to be ready for Rishi Sunak's Budget and Spending Review at the end of the month. Will taxes go up again? Is there any money left for anyone else after Sajid Javid has got the lion's share? And in what kind of state has Covid left the UK’s public finances? Andy Bell speaks to British economist, Paul Johnson CBE to find out. How Did We Get Here? Explaining the News is a podcast from 5 News. Join Andy Bell as he explains the world's biggest news st...

What’s next for the Tories? Former minister David Gauke discusses the Conservative Party’s future

As the Conservatives gather for their annual conference, what does the Party stand for anymore? We "uncork the Gauke" to hear from the man who was a Treasury minister for six years. Little more than two years ago David Gauke was in the cabinet - but now he's no longer even a member of the Conservative Party. He tells Andy Bell that he believes Tony Blair's Labour government was more focused on wealth creation than this one, and that Boris Johnson is still putting up trade barriers that make life harder for businesses. How Did We Get Here? Explaining the...

Bitcoin explained: what are cryptocurrencies and how do they work?

You’ve probably heard of bitcoin - but do you know what that is, and how it works? Cryptocurrencies have emerged as one of the most captivating, yet head-scratching forms of investment in the word. They skyrocket in value. They crash. And, their fans claim, they’ll change the world. As El Salvador becomes the first government to demand everyone accept them as payment, it’s perhaps time we start paying attention. Should we start worrying about them, or should we be buying them? Andy Bell speaks to economist and author, Linda Yueh, to help make sense of it all. How Di...

Talking Covid-19 with Dr Nathalie MacDermott: What has changed and what can we expect next?

No one could have foreseen the journey ahead of us. The effects of Covid-19 have touched every aspect of our way of life. But are we capable of living with the consequences and can government adapt? In February 2020, Andy Bell spoke with NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Paediatrics (Infectious Diseases) at King's College London, Dr Nathalie MacDermott about the 'strange' coronavirus which was just beginning to cause harm around the world. 16 months later, Andy Bell has gone back to Dr MacDermott to talk about what has happened since then and what we can expect next. In this episode, Dr MacDermott...

Russia and Britain: Are we already in conflict?

Vladimir Putin has accused the UK and US of “provocation” following the incident involving HMS Defender. Last week, The Royal Navy warship was shadowed by Russian vessels and buzzed by jets as it sailed through the disputed waters around Crimea near the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol. The Russian president claimed there was US involvement in the operation, with an American plane sent to monitor Moscow’s response. Moscow claimed that warning shots were fired by Russian vessels at the destroyer as it passed through the contested part of the Black Sea on June 23 – an assertion dismissed by the UK G...

G7 Summit: What actually happens behind the scenes?

The G7, also known as the Group of Seven, is an international organisation made up of the world's seven largest advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The member country holding the G7 presidency, currently the UK, is responsible for organising and hosting the year's annual summit. This year the event will take place in the Cornish seaside resort of Carbis Bay between the 11th and 13th of June for what will be the 47th summit. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hosting the event but, how does the host government make one...

Is the Labour Party dying? Jon Cruddas MP discusses Sir Keir Starmer's future after Hartlepool loss

Jon Cruddas has thought and worried about Labour losing touch with its traditional voters probably more than any other MP. He first had to confront the threat of the BNP taking those voters more than a decade ago in Dagenham and he's been worrying about it ever since. His commitment and integrity to Labour was reflected in the fact he won the most first preference votes in the contest to be Deputy Leader in 2007, and he's preferred to influence policy rather than take roles in the Shadow Cabinet. He was asked by Ed Miliband to set out how Labour could...

Money, Power and Scandal in Public Life: Is there corruption in the UK Government? A 5 News Podcast

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing mounting pressure over the funding of the refurbishment to his Downing Street flat, just weeks after former Prime Minister David Cameron was questioned over a lobbying row to do with his work with Greensill Capital. There is an avalanche of headlines and questions surrounding politician's honesty in public life - is this just an inevitable messiness of money colliding with power? Or is it corruption in the UK's highest office? Dr Hannah White OBE is currently the Deputy Director at the Institute for Government with extensive knowledge of Westminster and Whitehall based on over...

Will Scotland's election threaten the existence of the UK? | 5 News

As Scotland gears up to vote for a new parliament, is it also heading for another independence referendum? Just seven years after the "once in a generation" event, will the existence of the UK be soon on the line if Scots are asked again to say Yes or No to Scottish independence? Andy Bell speaks with Mandy Rhodes, Managing-Editor of Holyrood Magazine and a long-term observer of Scotland's political scene. How did we get here? Explaining the news is a podcast from 5 News. Join Andy Bell as he explains the world's biggest news stories through interviews with politicians, experts, and...

Race and Ethnic Disparities: Black GP says review is "shocking and disappointing" on health outcomes

A landmark race report has said it “rejects the common view” that ethnic minorities in the UK have worse health outcomes than the white population. The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities review claims that for some key health metrics, including life expectancy and overall mortality, ethnic minority groups had better outcomes than the white majority population. The report, commissioned in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, says this evidence “clearly suggests” ethnicity is not the “major driver” of health inequalities in the UK. Instead, it suggests that deprivation, geography and differential exposure to key risk factors, including obesity, smo...

What is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and how will it change UK policing? | 5 News

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a series of Government proposals for major changes to crime and justice legislation that will effect the way police can act in England and Wales. One part of the legislation covers the measures police can put in place for protests. It comes at a time when questions have been raised about police tactics during the Covid pandemic, resulting in multiple nights of 'Kill the Bill' protests, with some turning violent in Bristol. Distressing scenes on Clapham Common surrounding a vigil for Sarah Everard made many question the way police handled the event...

Britain's Drug Epidemic: How high-quality drugs targetted vulnerable groups after years of austerity

Two years ago the Government commissioned an independent review by Professor Dame Carol Black looking into Britain's drug epidemic. They wanted to know how big the issue was, why it was happening and how to break the drug cycle. Dame Carol Black will be handing her recommendations to the Government in April, including proposals for prevention, treatment and recovery. She spoke with Andy Bell ahead of the release date for her independent review, in tandem Channel 5 News' #BreakingBritainsDrugCycle investigation. Her overlook is that the drug epidemic is "pretty bad" in the UK, due to a perfect storm of high-quality drugs...

Post-Brexit: Has the exit deal from the EU left the UK worse off? |5 News Podcast with Raoul Ruparel

Since leaving the European Union, many industries in the United Kingdom have experienced challenges in the way they operate whether through supply and demand or through importing or exporting. Government voices say there were always going to be 'teething problems', but have we gone past that point and the problems are here to stay? Raoul Ruparel was the Special Adviser to Theresa May on Europe and had a key role in the Department for Exiting the EU. He was involved in the original Brexit conversations with the EU, attempting to build a relationship that would provide a formal agreement that...

Rishi Sunak's post-Covid budget: Former Government economist reveals the hidden winners (and losers)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced his post-Covid Spring budget and in general, has received a good reaction from Westminster and the public - but who misses out in the Chancellor's spending? And who will pay for the Government's £400bn+ of fiscal support? Economist Miatta Fahnbulleh is the Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation, a British think-tank promoting "social, economic and environmental justice". She has worked in government under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Miatta hopes the Government can #BuildBackBetter from the pandemic - a chance to take a fresh look at the economy and build a greener t...

Could a British astronaut land on the moon or Mars? UK Space Agency director reveals future plans

The American space agency (NASA) has successfully landed its Perseverance rover on Mars and started to receive images back from the red planet. It's the second robot NASA has managed to land on Mars, following in the wheel-tracks of Curiosity which landed in 2012 - so how does the UK shape up in the space race? Dr Alice Bunn is the International Director at the UK Space Agency, responsible capturing the wider societal benefits of space programmes and harnessing the inspirational effect of space for skills and education. She speaks to Andy Bell about Britain's plans for space exploration, the likelihood...

Can British farmers prosper post-Brexit or will new regulations drive up the price of food? | 5 News

Brexit, Covid and the prolonged wait for a trade deal with the EU - British farmers are teetering on the edge of a new world for agriculture, with a changing landscape and a drive for sustainability. But will they prosper? Or struggle without further government intervention? Minette Batters became the first woman to be president of the National Farmers Union (NFU) in 2018, after serving as the vice-president from 2014-2018. She is a tenant farmer of 300 acres and was co-founder of campaigns 'Ladies in Beef' and the 'Great British Beef Week'. In her role as NFU president, Minette Batters has agreed...

Why is Britain so far ahead with vaccinations and is mixing vaccines safe? | A 5 News Podcast

As a number of vaccines are rolled out across the United Kingdom at rapid pace, many are lining up to receive their first dose. Financial forecasters predict the UK economy will "rebound strongly" because of the speed at which the vaccine is being administered and the UK's vaccine minister has declared the nation is "getting safer every day". Reassuring news, but with it comes conspiracy theorists who believe that Covid-19 is a myth and that vaccines pose a dangerous threat to those who receive them. Professor Stephen Evans is a professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and...

Frontline nurses explain how the US reached 400,000 deaths before any other country | 5 News Podcast

The United States has reached 400,000 deaths during the coronavirus cases, way more than any other country in the world, on Donald Trump's last day as President. His replacement, Joe Biden, has said he will make tackling the pandemic the priority and knows his role will firmly be as crisis management for his first 100 days. However, those fighting the virus on America's frontlines in the hospitals have said the administration has been behind every step of the way. Identical twins Jim and Joe Gentile have been working as nurses in the healthcare system for over 40 years each - they say they've...

NHS frontline worker says “the end is not in sight” until mid-May | A 5 News Podcast

The Prime Minister has once again put the country into a national lockdown in a desperate attempt to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed. As conspiracy theorists question the numbers, NHS frontline staff have been fighting the coronavirus relentlessly since it came to our shores and they say now they are operating at over their full capacity - and they're concerned that the peak of the current still hasn't arrived. Dr Zudin Puthucheary is an experienced intensive care consultant at the Royal London hospital, he speaks to Andy Bell from his role as a council member at the Intensive Care...

Boris Johnson: "Strong possibility" of no-deal Brexit after failed dinner talks | A 5 News Podcast

As time runs out for the United Kingdom to reach a deal with the European Union over how it leaves the single market, Prime Minister Johnson travelled to Brussels to meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in hope of a breakthrough. Professor Catherine Barnard is a senior tutor of EU law and Employment Law at the University of Cambridge; she's also a senior fellow for The UK in a Changing Europe, a thinktank conducting independent research on Brexit and UK-EU relations. Catherine tells Andy that the future of relations post-Brexit are looking 'gloomy' as we enter the...

What will cities look like after the Covid vaccine? House prices, workplaces and the high street

As the UK becomes the first country in the world to authorise a Covid-19 vaccine, what will Britain look like after the coronavirus pandemic? The outbreak has seen a massive change in the economic landscape of the four nations, with most businesses relying upon a remote workforce and many companies closing altogether as we see further big losses to the high street and in the hospitality industry. Also if you can work from home - why pay the big bucks to live in the city? Polly Mackenzie is the Chief Exec of Demos, Britain's leading independent, cross-party think tank which...

Is The Crown on Netflix accurate? Historian analyses what they got wrong about the Royal Family.

Netflix has released the 4th series of The Crown, a drama chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times. It's portrayals of Her Majesty the Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher and many more, have been celebrated thanks to the A-li But, as the series starts to catch up with recent memory, many are questioning just how accurate the storylines are. Historian and broadcaster Hugo Vickers says the show is littered with inaccuracies, and that he takes joy in spotting them. He tells Andy Bell that he is worried that many watching the series...

This is how Donald Trump could still remain US President through legal challenges | A 5 News Podcast

The results of the US Election have been called across the world, announcing Joe Biden officially as President-Elect. However, President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede, insisting that various attempts at electoral fraud have changed the outcome of the vote - he says he can prove it in court. Carol Laham is a constitutional lawyer and political campaigns expert, she spoke with Andy Bell from her home in Chevy Chase, explaining on what grounds Donald Trump could bring a case.

Is winning in Florida the key to becoming President? Donald Trump and Joe Biden both visit Tampa

Florida has backed the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1996 - but what makes the state the most likely to elect a leader? President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden have both made Florida a battleground in the final few days of the election campaign. The area is known as a swing-state and the Trump campaign has been keen to target voters in what the President refers to as his 'home state'. Dr Susan MacManus is a political analyst at the University of South Florida, she was born and raised just outside Tampa and spoke to Andy...

David Lammy on Black Lives Matter, George Floyd and why pulling statues down won't change history

Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy served as a Minister for Culture in Tony Blair's government and has always spoken proudly about his black British background. David has commented on Britain's history of slavery and has been vocal over the Windrush scandal which affected a generation of people who were born British subjects and had made Britain their homes. He tells Andy Bell that these things should be taught in schools to help society change the culture around race and educate people on Britain's colonial history. He believes that year on year things are progressing, but that more needs to be...

President Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden: Who won the first debate? | A 5 News Podcast

The US presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden was eagerly awaited around the world - but did it deliver? Laura Schwartz served as an adviser to the President during the Clinton administration, she also served as a senior advisor to the 2004 Presidential campaign of former Senator John Kerry. She speaks with Andy Bell about the bad-tempered TV stand-off and sets out the pathway that each candidate will now have to walk to find themselves sitting in the White House. How did we get here? Explaining the news is a podcast from 5 News. Join Andy Bell...

The rise of fake news: How disinformation is winning elections and spreading hate | A 5 News Podcast

How do we monitor and tackle fake news, hate speech and extremism on the internet? And what happens when the messages being promoted start to have an effect on elections, protests, or government policy for fighting the Covid pandemic? Chloe Colliver leads the Digital Research Unit at the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, a specialist team that analyses malign influence campaigns online - from debates over postal voting in elections to spreading false information about how the Covid pandemic began - Chloe's team spots the false information and tries to do something about it. Chloe shares her insight into the rapid...

Coronavirus: Here's how the UK Government can avoid a second wave and a second lockdown | 5 News

The rate of coronavirus infection in the UK is rapdily increasing and the UK government is having to decide on which measures it will bring in. Currently vast areas of the north of England, and Wales, have local lockdown restrictions in place, but the data shows it hasn't currently had an immediate impact on the spread of Covid-19. Prof Christina Pagel sits on the Independent SAGE committee, where she collates and analyses various data, from testing to hospitalisation, and offers informed comment and guidance while holding the Government to account over it's handling of the pandemic. She is a mathematician...

Could UK Government's Brexit tactics break international law AND the union? | A 5 News Podcast

Officially the UK is no longer a member of the EU, Brexit happened on 31st January, in theory the two sides are trying to find an agreement that covers everything from trade to fishing, immigration to security. But what chance of a deal when the EU is accusing the UK government of breaking its word over the divorce deal signed in January. Boris Johnson says he's sticking to his plans to change the Withdrawal Agreement, but Brussels says he must drop it or any deal is off. Is it a battle over principle or just brinkmanship? Anand Menon is one...

The rise of Cyber Crime: How can you protect your data and privacy? | A 5 News Podcast

As data becomes more valuable than oil - how are we able to protect ourselves and our nations from would-be hackers and cybercriminals? Dr Jessica Barker is a co-founder of the Cyber Security company, Cygenta, and author of 'Confident Cyber Security'. She specialises in the human nature of cybersecurity and discusses the level of targeted cybercrimes on individuals. Dr Barker talks to Andy Bell about cybersecurity ranging from the daily assault on personal inboxes to state-on-state threats. How did we get here? Explaining the news is a podcast from 5 News. Join Andy Bell as he explains the world's biggest news...

Can Lebanon recover from the Port of Beirut explosion and who is really to blame? | A 5 News Podcast

On Tuesday 4th August 2020, the city of Beirut was devastated by a catastrophic explosion. The blast killed over a hundred people, injuring thousands and leaving many more homeless. A large fire had broken out in the Port of Beirut and as it spread from warehouse to warehouse a small explosion was witnessed, before what were seemingly fireworks being lit by the flames. Moments later there was a large explosion, which formed a mushroom cloud in the air and sent a shockwave through the city and surrounding area. Lebanon's President, Michel Aoun, has said the source of the explosion was 2,750 tonnes...

The man Russia wants dead: Bill Browder warns of Russian interference in the UK | A 5 News Podcast

Bill Browder is an American-born British financier who in the 90s was one of the largest foreign portfolio investors in Russia during a period of mass privatisation after the fall of the Soviet Union - he says the change from communism to capitalism was ruled by "the law of the jungle". After a decade of business deals in Russia, Bill Browder was blacklisted by the Russian government as a "threat to national security" and denied entry to the country. He says this came because he had exposed corruption and corporate malfeasance in partly state-owned companies. It put him on the...

Former Health Secretary says UK has made mistakes on COVID, and warns of a second wave in Winter

Jeremy Hunt served as the UK's Health Secretary for six years before being made Foreign Secretary in 2018. He then ran against Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party's leadership contest, exactly a year to the day before this interview with Andy Bell. Mr. Hunt now serves as the Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee, where recently he has been analysing the response of the Government to the coronavirus pandemic. The former Health Secretary admits that the scientific advice given to the British government at the start of the outbreak was wrong - and was partly based on work...

Will Donald Trump get reelected in 2020 campaign? Washington Post Chief Dan Balz | A 5 News Podcast

U.S. President Donald Trump was first elected as the 45th U.S. President in 2016 after beating Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign. Since then his approval ratings have been up and down, but heading into 2020 Donald Trump's supporters would have been confident that he could win reelection because the economy seemed strong and unemployment was at its lowest rate - but since then a lot has happened. President Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. has been seen as "exceedingly negative" says Washington Post's Chief Correspondent Dan Balz. He comments that Donald Trump is "at odds...

Can the UK economy bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic? | A 5 News Podcast

Boris Johnson has declared his plan for the UK to 'build back better and bolder' after the COVID pandemic to help the economy recover. The Prime Minister pledged an initial £5 billion as part of a 'new deal' to be used to accelerate infrastructure projects as he promised to 'build, build, build'. But can the Government emerge from the crisis without having to levy the cost on the public who are already experiencing financial struggles from the crisis? Economist Miatta Fahnbulleh is the Chief Executive of the New Economics Foundation, a British think-tank promoting "social, economic and environmental justice". She has w...

From Jesus Christ to Harvey Weinstein, historian explains how Christianity shaped the western world

Historian and author Tom Holland's latest work 'Dominion' concludes that without Christianity the Western world wouldn't be what it is today. Not many books can start with St Paul and end with Harvey Weinstein but that's what Tom Holland does with Dominion: the Making of the Western Mind. From human rights to sexual morality, the historian says we have forgotten how Christianity has shaped what we now think of as western civilisation. Without the dominant influence of the followers of one man in Palestine two thousand years ago, he claims, the ideas and values we take for granted simply wouldn't...

Will Boris Johnson get Brexit done in time? UK Prime Minister only has 6 months left to get a deal

Four years on since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on the 23rd of June 2016, is the UK Government any closer to actually leaving? Both Boris Johnson and his EU counterparts have agreed that there will not be an extension to the transition period beyond December 2020, giving the UK just 6 more months to agree on a deal or leave without one. Raoul Ruparel was the Special Adviser to Theresa May on Europe and had a key role in the Department for Exiting the EU. He believes the Government should have negotiated a conditional extension period with the...

Is the UK a racist country? Boris Johnson says no, Black Lives Matter protesters disagree | 5 News

The death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in police custody in the US sparked protests across the world. In the UK, the Black Lives Matter movement organised marches up and down the country with one notably ending with the statue of Edward Colston, a slave trader, being pulled down and dumped in Bristol Harbour. It was clear that people weren't just protesting alongside the US counterparts, but were raising their own historic grievances here in the UK. It led Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson to state that the UK was not a racist country, however, many activists, historians...

What will world diplomacy look like post-COVID-19? UK Foreign Affairs Chair on "protecting our home"

The coronavirus pandemic has hit countries around the world with each government having to quickly create a strategy to combat the spread of the virus. Many countries have followed guidance from the World Health Organisation but there hasn't been a consistent global effort to fight COVID-19. Each country and government has faced their own challenges in their own way, so will this lead to a change in rhetoric for global diplomacy after the pandemic is contained? Andy Bell speaks with Tom Tugendhat MP, the Chairman of the UK's Foreign Affairs Committee, who thinks foreign policy has never been more important...

Coronavirus in the NHS: Surgeon describes night shifts amid COVID outbreak | 5 News

Across the UK, the NHS has had to rapidly change its approach to healthcare in order to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, both for its patients and its staff. Dr. Zoe Barber is a General Surgeon in a hospital in South Wales, she is also a mother, and her partner also works in the NHS. Since the outbreak hit the UK her normal work has been turned upside down, and so has her home life. She speaks to Andy Bell about working night shifts, the strain on her family and their fears of a second, or even a third, wave...