Conservative MPs start voting in the first round ballot to see who will take over from Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister - 4 women and 4 men ,after the candidates were reduced to eight contenders. Some of the policy areas being debated are familiar: tax, immigration and our relationship with the EU. Some are less so and quite new to the political battlefield as defining issues for the candidates, such as what do each of them think constitutes being a woman. It is also striking that the political ghost of one woman is being invoked left, right and centre - Margaret Thatcher. Emma talks to Mrs Thatcher's former private secretary, Caroline Slocock. We also talk to Ella Robertson McKay the National Chair of the Conservative Young Women - which is made up of women under the age of 35. She reveals the results of a poll of their membership which asked who they want to be Prime Minister.
Cases of Covid have been rising rapidly in the UK in recent weeks and new data in a report out today from the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee shows that by the end of May 2022 nearly three million adults in England are unvaccinated. While overall uptake has been high, it has been low with particular groups - including pregnant women and some ethnic minorities. We talk to Marian Knight, Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health at Oxford University.
Obvious evidence of child sex crimes in Telford was ignored for generations leading to more than 1,000 girls being abused, an inquiry has found. Agencies blamed children for the abuse they suffered, not the perpetrators, and exploitation was not investigated because of "nervousness about race". Chairman Tom Crowther QC said the abuse had thrived unchecked for decades. His report makes 47 recommendations for improvement by agencies involved. West Mercia Police has apologised "unequivocally" for past events as has Telford & Wrekin Council. Emma talks to Richard Scorer, a solicitor with Slater and Gordon who has represented many victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
In 2019 we asked our listeners ‘Have you had an abortion? How did you feel about it then and how do you feel about it now?’ 5 women told us about their personal experience of having an abortion. Today, a woman we are calling Clare remembers getting on the bus in her school uniform to access an abortion more than 30 years ago.
When ‘Lady Unchained’ was 21, she was sentenced to two and a half years in prison following a fight in a club when trying to protect her sister. Picking up the pen to survive in prison, she began to write and perform poetry. Since her release, Lady Unchained has made it her mission to become an advocate for life after prison - a poet, performer, award winning broadcaster. She is the Founder and Creative Director of Unchained Poetry, an artistic platform for artists with lived experience of the criminal justice system, and runs poetry workshops in prisons and in Women Centres. We speak to her as she releases her debut poetry book: ‘Behind Bars: On punishment, prison & release’, a culmination of her work during and after prison.