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thinkin

Is ugly money good for football?

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available.When football clubs are looking for investment, what are their options? When Newcastle United accepted a mammoth $300M investment by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund (PIF), it came with promises to bolster the club, benefit local communities and enrich the experience for fans. But should Newcastle be accepting money from a country with Saudi Arabia’s human rights record? Can national fans reconcile going to Qatar later this year with the knowledge of how labourers were exploited and died during stadium construction?Where does this leave the fans who have concerns about where the money flowing into their clubs comes from, or where the leagues turn to for partners and hosts?Is this about seeing the long term benefits to the game, the fans and their communities, or are we allowing oppressive regimes and problematic companies to ‘sportwash’ their reputations? editor and invited experts Andrew ButlerEditor and Head of Social Anthony BurnettCEO, Kick It Out Chris PaourosCo-Chair, Proud Lilywhites Dale VinceChair, Forest Green Rovers David HarrisonJournalist Florence Lloyd-HughesJournalist and broadcaster Kieran MaguirePodcaster and football finance lecturer, University of Liverpool

thinkin

Sensemaker Live: Are the Olympics doomed?

When Boris Johnson nominated Peter Cruddas to become a member of the House of Lords, the Appointment Commission that vets candidates unanimously advised against it.  But Boris Johnson, who isn’t known for playing by the rules, once again broke with tradition and became the first prime minister to ignore its recommendation. “I, Peter Lord Cruddas, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me God.”Parliament TV Three days after becoming a member of the House of Lords in 2021, the long-time Conservative donor and former co-treasurer gave half a million pounds to the party. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Lord Cruddas is now a vocal backer of Boris Johnson, who he’s stuck with through thick and thin. Here he is speaking to LBC in March: “I back Boris and guess what? I sent the party a quarter of a million pounds six weeks ago. Right at the heart of Partygate. To support the party, to support Boris.”Lord Cruddas speaking on LBC That brought the total amount he’s donated to the Conservatives since 2009 to between four and four and a half million pounds.  And when Boris Johnson was ousted as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, Lord Cruddas wasn’t just going to let it lie. *** Peter Cruddas was made co-treasurer of the Conservative Party in 2011, but was forced to resign less than a year later after the Sunday Times alleged that he was involved in cash for access. “The headlines and allegations were clear. A Conservative Party treasurer had been filmed by Sunday Times reporters posing as party donors. The paper alleged that he corruptly offered them the chance to influence Tory policy by selling access to David Cameron.”BBC News He successfully sued the paper for libel and was awarded £180,000 in damages, but that was later reduced to £50,000 when three judges allowed the paper’s appeal in relation to that central allegation – that in return for cash donations to the Conservative Party, he corruptly offered the opportunity to influence policy and gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with David Cameron and other senior ministers. Peter Cruddas fell out with the party leadership over the way he felt he was treated when the Sunday Times published its report. “The Conservative Party, by not giving me support, by not listening to my side of the story and lining up to criticise me in public, just made the whole situation a lot worse.”Lord Cruddas, BBC News But he remained a Conservative supporter and when Boris Johnson ran to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister he donated money to his campaign. He’s described the way Boris Johnson was forced to step down as a “coup”… one that “defied the will of the country and the Conservative party members,” which aren’t the kind of words the prime minister would use, in public at least, but he’s certainly made it clear that he thinks. “I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate… but as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.”Boris Johnson speaking outside No 10 in his resignation speech In his wedding speech last weekend, Boris Johnson reportedly said his removal “was the greatest stitch-up since the Bayeux Tapestry”. Here’s Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio… “I think there’s still a real state of denial, I think, in Number 10 and around the prime minister, about the nature of, you know, his expulsion from office and he still doesn’t really think he did anything wrong. He still dwells on that massive election victory in 2019.”Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio And Lord Cruddas has taken that line to the extreme.   A few weeks after Boris Johnson’s resignation, the pair went for lunch at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house.  And after that lunch, Lord Cruddas told the Telegraph… “He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can. He wants to carry on to finish the job. He wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party.” Lord Cruddas claimed they discussed his “bring back Boris” campaign, which is a petition he started calling for a vote of Tory members on whether they accept Boris Johnson’s resignation.  His claims were denied by Downing Street, which said Boris Johnson doesn’t support the campaign and “respects” the process of the leadership election.  But Lord Cruddas pressed on anyway. *** Lord Cruddas claims that his petition now has more than 14,000 signatures. The Conservative Party says it’s checked the names and fewer than half are active Conservative members, but the support for Boris Johnson amongst the party grassroots was clear at a leadership hustings in Leeds when LBC presenter Nick Ferrari questioned Rishi Sunak… “It’s reported around 14,000 members of the Conservative Party want his name back on the ballot, what would… *clapping from audience*… what would you say to them?”Nick Ferrari Boris Johnson and supporters like Lord Cruddas believe that he still has the backing of the majority of party members and many of the voters who helped deliver that huge Conservative majority in 2019. But it’s likely that the “Bring back Boris” campaign will fail, which means the prime minister will soon become a backbench Conservative MP. He might even go back to what he did before becoming prime minister – writing a lucrative column for the Daily Telegraph.  But whatever he does, it’s clear he’s not going quietly and that he could make life difficult for his successor by holding their feet to the fire on promises made in 2019, and criticising decisions they make. This episode was written by and mixed by Imy Harper.

thinkin

Fans vs Football: who owns the game?

As the pandemic-delayed Euro 2020 tournament finally gets going, what state is football in – and who now holds the power? Some of Europe’s biggest clubs tried to stage a coup during lockdown and were shamed into dropping their plans for an elite European Super League which seemed great for them and terrible for everyone else. Within 48 hours the whole thing disintegrated, the big clubs were fined and agreed to make a £13m+ ‘goodwill contribution’ to fund grassroots football initiatives across the continent. But is this all just too little too late? Have the owners of giants like Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United been thwarted for good? Is UEFA back in charge? Or have the ‘legacy fans’ who stood up for tradition finally realised their power to take back the game? And an uncomfortable question: is it just a bit hypocritical that fans who embraced the big-money Premier League two decades ago should now object to what many had predicted was an inevitable next step? Can the soul of football be revived or is it lost forever? editor David TaylorEditor and reporter

thinkin

Fans vs Football: who owns the game?

When Boris Johnson nominated Peter Cruddas to become a member of the House of Lords, the Appointment Commission that vets candidates unanimously advised against it.  But Boris Johnson, who isn’t known for playing by the rules, once again broke with tradition and became the first prime minister to ignore its recommendation. “I, Peter Lord Cruddas, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me God.”Parliament TV Three days after becoming a member of the House of Lords in 2021, the long-time Conservative donor and former co-treasurer gave half a million pounds to the party. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Lord Cruddas is now a vocal backer of Boris Johnson, who he’s stuck with through thick and thin. Here he is speaking to LBC in March: “I back Boris and guess what? I sent the party a quarter of a million pounds six weeks ago. Right at the heart of Partygate. To support the party, to support Boris.”Lord Cruddas speaking on LBC That brought the total amount he’s donated to the Conservatives since 2009 to between four and four and a half million pounds.  And when Boris Johnson was ousted as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, Lord Cruddas wasn’t just going to let it lie. *** Peter Cruddas was made co-treasurer of the Conservative Party in 2011, but was forced to resign less than a year later after the Sunday Times alleged that he was involved in cash for access. “The headlines and allegations were clear. A Conservative Party treasurer had been filmed by Sunday Times reporters posing as party donors. The paper alleged that he corruptly offered them the chance to influence Tory policy by selling access to David Cameron.”BBC News He successfully sued the paper for libel and was awarded £180,000 in damages, but that was later reduced to £50,000 when three judges allowed the paper’s appeal in relation to that central allegation – that in return for cash donations to the Conservative Party, he corruptly offered the opportunity to influence policy and gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with David Cameron and other senior ministers. Peter Cruddas fell out with the party leadership over the way he felt he was treated when the Sunday Times published its report. “The Conservative Party, by not giving me support, by not listening to my side of the story and lining up to criticise me in public, just made the whole situation a lot worse.”Lord Cruddas, BBC News But he remained a Conservative supporter and when Boris Johnson ran to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister he donated money to his campaign. He’s described the way Boris Johnson was forced to step down as a “coup”… one that “defied the will of the country and the Conservative party members,” which aren’t the kind of words the prime minister would use, in public at least, but he’s certainly made it clear that he thinks. “I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate… but as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.”Boris Johnson speaking outside No 10 in his resignation speech In his wedding speech last weekend, Boris Johnson reportedly said his removal “was the greatest stitch-up since the Bayeux Tapestry”. Here’s Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio… “I think there’s still a real state of denial, I think, in Number 10 and around the prime minister, about the nature of, you know, his expulsion from office and he still doesn’t really think he did anything wrong. He still dwells on that massive election victory in 2019.”Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio And Lord Cruddas has taken that line to the extreme.   A few weeks after Boris Johnson’s resignation, the pair went for lunch at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house.  And after that lunch, Lord Cruddas told the Telegraph… “He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can. He wants to carry on to finish the job. He wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party.” Lord Cruddas claimed they discussed his “bring back Boris” campaign, which is a petition he started calling for a vote of Tory members on whether they accept Boris Johnson’s resignation.  His claims were denied by Downing Street, which said Boris Johnson doesn’t support the campaign and “respects” the process of the leadership election.  But Lord Cruddas pressed on anyway. *** Lord Cruddas claims that his petition now has more than 14,000 signatures. The Conservative Party says it’s checked the names and fewer than half are active Conservative members, but the support for Boris Johnson amongst the party grassroots was clear at a leadership hustings in Leeds when LBC presenter Nick Ferrari questioned Rishi Sunak… “It’s reported around 14,000 members of the Conservative Party want his name back on the ballot, what would… *clapping from audience*… what would you say to them?”Nick Ferrari Boris Johnson and supporters like Lord Cruddas believe that he still has the backing of the majority of party members and many of the voters who helped deliver that huge Conservative majority in 2019. But it’s likely that the “Bring back Boris” campaign will fail, which means the prime minister will soon become a backbench Conservative MP. He might even go back to what he did before becoming prime minister – writing a lucrative column for the Daily Telegraph.  But whatever he does, it’s clear he’s not going quietly and that he could make life difficult for his successor by holding their feet to the fire on promises made in 2019, and criticising decisions they make. This episode was written by and mixed by Imy Harper.

thinkin

Sensemaker Live: Local elections – so what did we vote for?

When Boris Johnson nominated Peter Cruddas to become a member of the House of Lords, the Appointment Commission that vets candidates unanimously advised against it.  But Boris Johnson, who isn’t known for playing by the rules, once again broke with tradition and became the first prime minister to ignore its recommendation. “I, Peter Lord Cruddas, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me God.”Parliament TV Three days after becoming a member of the House of Lords in 2021, the long-time Conservative donor and former co-treasurer gave half a million pounds to the party. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Lord Cruddas is now a vocal backer of Boris Johnson, who he’s stuck with through thick and thin. Here he is speaking to LBC in March: “I back Boris and guess what? I sent the party a quarter of a million pounds six weeks ago. Right at the heart of Partygate. To support the party, to support Boris.”Lord Cruddas speaking on LBC That brought the total amount he’s donated to the Conservatives since 2009 to between four and four and a half million pounds.  And when Boris Johnson was ousted as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, Lord Cruddas wasn’t just going to let it lie. *** Peter Cruddas was made co-treasurer of the Conservative Party in 2011, but was forced to resign less than a year later after the Sunday Times alleged that he was involved in cash for access. “The headlines and allegations were clear. A Conservative Party treasurer had been filmed by Sunday Times reporters posing as party donors. The paper alleged that he corruptly offered them the chance to influence Tory policy by selling access to David Cameron.”BBC News He successfully sued the paper for libel and was awarded £180,000 in damages, but that was later reduced to £50,000 when three judges allowed the paper’s appeal in relation to that central allegation – that in return for cash donations to the Conservative Party, he corruptly offered the opportunity to influence policy and gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with David Cameron and other senior ministers. Peter Cruddas fell out with the party leadership over the way he felt he was treated when the Sunday Times published its report. “The Conservative Party, by not giving me support, by not listening to my side of the story and lining up to criticise me in public, just made the whole situation a lot worse.”Lord Cruddas, BBC News But he remained a Conservative supporter and when Boris Johnson ran to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister he donated money to his campaign. He’s described the way Boris Johnson was forced to step down as a “coup”… one that “defied the will of the country and the Conservative party members,” which aren’t the kind of words the prime minister would use, in public at least, but he’s certainly made it clear that he thinks. “I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate… but as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.”Boris Johnson speaking outside No 10 in his resignation speech In his wedding speech last weekend, Boris Johnson reportedly said his removal “was the greatest stitch-up since the Bayeux Tapestry”. Here’s Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio… “I think there’s still a real state of denial, I think, in Number 10 and around the prime minister, about the nature of, you know, his expulsion from office and he still doesn’t really think he did anything wrong. He still dwells on that massive election victory in 2019.”Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio And Lord Cruddas has taken that line to the extreme.   A few weeks after Boris Johnson’s resignation, the pair went for lunch at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house.  And after that lunch, Lord Cruddas told the Telegraph… “He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can. He wants to carry on to finish the job. He wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party.” Lord Cruddas claimed they discussed his “bring back Boris” campaign, which is a petition he started calling for a vote of Tory members on whether they accept Boris Johnson’s resignation.  His claims were denied by Downing Street, which said Boris Johnson doesn’t support the campaign and “respects” the process of the leadership election.  But Lord Cruddas pressed on anyway. *** Lord Cruddas claims that his petition now has more than 14,000 signatures. The Conservative Party says it’s checked the names and fewer than half are active Conservative members, but the support for Boris Johnson amongst the party grassroots was clear at a leadership hustings in Leeds when LBC presenter Nick Ferrari questioned Rishi Sunak… “It’s reported around 14,000 members of the Conservative Party want his name back on the ballot, what would… *clapping from audience*… what would you say to them?”Nick Ferrari Boris Johnson and supporters like Lord Cruddas believe that he still has the backing of the majority of party members and many of the voters who helped deliver that huge Conservative majority in 2019. But it’s likely that the “Bring back Boris” campaign will fail, which means the prime minister will soon become a backbench Conservative MP. He might even go back to what he did before becoming prime minister – writing a lucrative column for the Daily Telegraph.  But whatever he does, it’s clear he’s not going quietly and that he could make life difficult for his successor by holding their feet to the fire on promises made in 2019, and criticising decisions they make. This episode was written by and mixed by Imy Harper.

thinkin

Pack it in: is it time to ban rugby?

When Boris Johnson nominated Peter Cruddas to become a member of the House of Lords, the Appointment Commission that vets candidates unanimously advised against it.  But Boris Johnson, who isn’t known for playing by the rules, once again broke with tradition and became the first prime minister to ignore its recommendation. “I, Peter Lord Cruddas, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me God.”Parliament TV Three days after becoming a member of the House of Lords in 2021, the long-time Conservative donor and former co-treasurer gave half a million pounds to the party. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Lord Cruddas is now a vocal backer of Boris Johnson, who he’s stuck with through thick and thin. Here he is speaking to LBC in March: “I back Boris and guess what? I sent the party a quarter of a million pounds six weeks ago. Right at the heart of Partygate. To support the party, to support Boris.”Lord Cruddas speaking on LBC That brought the total amount he’s donated to the Conservatives since 2009 to between four and four and a half million pounds.  And when Boris Johnson was ousted as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, Lord Cruddas wasn’t just going to let it lie. *** Peter Cruddas was made co-treasurer of the Conservative Party in 2011, but was forced to resign less than a year later after the Sunday Times alleged that he was involved in cash for access. “The headlines and allegations were clear. A Conservative Party treasurer had been filmed by Sunday Times reporters posing as party donors. The paper alleged that he corruptly offered them the chance to influence Tory policy by selling access to David Cameron.”BBC News He successfully sued the paper for libel and was awarded £180,000 in damages, but that was later reduced to £50,000 when three judges allowed the paper’s appeal in relation to that central allegation – that in return for cash donations to the Conservative Party, he corruptly offered the opportunity to influence policy and gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with David Cameron and other senior ministers. Peter Cruddas fell out with the party leadership over the way he felt he was treated when the Sunday Times published its report. “The Conservative Party, by not giving me support, by not listening to my side of the story and lining up to criticise me in public, just made the whole situation a lot worse.”Lord Cruddas, BBC News But he remained a Conservative supporter and when Boris Johnson ran to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister he donated money to his campaign. He’s described the way Boris Johnson was forced to step down as a “coup”… one that “defied the will of the country and the Conservative party members,” which aren’t the kind of words the prime minister would use, in public at least, but he’s certainly made it clear that he thinks. “I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate… but as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.”Boris Johnson speaking outside No 10 in his resignation speech In his wedding speech last weekend, Boris Johnson reportedly said his removal “was the greatest stitch-up since the Bayeux Tapestry”. Here’s Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio… “I think there’s still a real state of denial, I think, in Number 10 and around the prime minister, about the nature of, you know, his expulsion from office and he still doesn’t really think he did anything wrong. He still dwells on that massive election victory in 2019.”Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio And Lord Cruddas has taken that line to the extreme.   A few weeks after Boris Johnson’s resignation, the pair went for lunch at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house.  And after that lunch, Lord Cruddas told the Telegraph… “He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can. He wants to carry on to finish the job. He wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party.” Lord Cruddas claimed they discussed his “bring back Boris” campaign, which is a petition he started calling for a vote of Tory members on whether they accept Boris Johnson’s resignation.  His claims were denied by Downing Street, which said Boris Johnson doesn’t support the campaign and “respects” the process of the leadership election.  But Lord Cruddas pressed on anyway. *** Lord Cruddas claims that his petition now has more than 14,000 signatures. The Conservative Party says it’s checked the names and fewer than half are active Conservative members, but the support for Boris Johnson amongst the party grassroots was clear at a leadership hustings in Leeds when LBC presenter Nick Ferrari questioned Rishi Sunak… “It’s reported around 14,000 members of the Conservative Party want his name back on the ballot, what would… *clapping from audience*… what would you say to them?”Nick Ferrari Boris Johnson and supporters like Lord Cruddas believe that he still has the backing of the majority of party members and many of the voters who helped deliver that huge Conservative majority in 2019. But it’s likely that the “Bring back Boris” campaign will fail, which means the prime minister will soon become a backbench Conservative MP. He might even go back to what he did before becoming prime minister – writing a lucrative column for the Daily Telegraph.  But whatever he does, it’s clear he’s not going quietly and that he could make life difficult for his successor by holding their feet to the fire on promises made in 2019, and criticising decisions they make. This episode was written by and mixed by Imy Harper.

thinkin

A ThinkIn with Nicola Adams

When Boris Johnson nominated Peter Cruddas to become a member of the House of Lords, the Appointment Commission that vets candidates unanimously advised against it.  But Boris Johnson, who isn’t known for playing by the rules, once again broke with tradition and became the first prime minister to ignore its recommendation. “I, Peter Lord Cruddas, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty the Queen, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me God.”Parliament TV Three days after becoming a member of the House of Lords in 2021, the long-time Conservative donor and former co-treasurer gave half a million pounds to the party. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Lord Cruddas is now a vocal backer of Boris Johnson, who he’s stuck with through thick and thin. Here he is speaking to LBC in March: “I back Boris and guess what? I sent the party a quarter of a million pounds six weeks ago. Right at the heart of Partygate. To support the party, to support Boris.”Lord Cruddas speaking on LBC That brought the total amount he’s donated to the Conservatives since 2009 to between four and four and a half million pounds.  And when Boris Johnson was ousted as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, Lord Cruddas wasn’t just going to let it lie. *** Peter Cruddas was made co-treasurer of the Conservative Party in 2011, but was forced to resign less than a year later after the Sunday Times alleged that he was involved in cash for access. “The headlines and allegations were clear. A Conservative Party treasurer had been filmed by Sunday Times reporters posing as party donors. The paper alleged that he corruptly offered them the chance to influence Tory policy by selling access to David Cameron.”BBC News He successfully sued the paper for libel and was awarded £180,000 in damages, but that was later reduced to £50,000 when three judges allowed the paper’s appeal in relation to that central allegation – that in return for cash donations to the Conservative Party, he corruptly offered the opportunity to influence policy and gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with David Cameron and other senior ministers. Peter Cruddas fell out with the party leadership over the way he felt he was treated when the Sunday Times published its report. “The Conservative Party, by not giving me support, by not listening to my side of the story and lining up to criticise me in public, just made the whole situation a lot worse.”Lord Cruddas, BBC News But he remained a Conservative supporter and when Boris Johnson ran to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister he donated money to his campaign. He’s described the way Boris Johnson was forced to step down as a “coup”… one that “defied the will of the country and the Conservative party members,” which aren’t the kind of words the prime minister would use, in public at least, but he’s certainly made it clear that he thinks. “I’ve tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we’re delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate… but as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.”Boris Johnson speaking outside No 10 in his resignation speech In his wedding speech last weekend, Boris Johnson reportedly said his removal “was the greatest stitch-up since the Bayeux Tapestry”. Here’s Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio… “I think there’s still a real state of denial, I think, in Number 10 and around the prime minister, about the nature of, you know, his expulsion from office and he still doesn’t really think he did anything wrong. He still dwells on that massive election victory in 2019.”Tim Montgomerie, a former special adviser to the prime minister, speaking to Times Radio And Lord Cruddas has taken that line to the extreme.   A few weeks after Boris Johnson’s resignation, the pair went for lunch at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house.  And after that lunch, Lord Cruddas told the Telegraph… “He definitely does not want to resign. He wants to carry on and he believes that, with the membership behind him, he can. He wants to carry on to finish the job. He wants to fight the next general election as leader of the Conservative Party.” Lord Cruddas claimed they discussed his “bring back Boris” campaign, which is a petition he started calling for a vote of Tory members on whether they accept Boris Johnson’s resignation.  His claims were denied by Downing Street, which said Boris Johnson doesn’t support the campaign and “respects” the process of the leadership election.  But Lord Cruddas pressed on anyway. *** Lord Cruddas claims that his petition now has more than 14,000 signatures. The Conservative Party says it’s checked the names and fewer than half are active Conservative members, but the support for Boris Johnson amongst the party grassroots was clear at a leadership hustings in Leeds when LBC presenter Nick Ferrari questioned Rishi Sunak… “It’s reported around 14,000 members of the Conservative Party want his name back on the ballot, what would… *clapping from audience*… what would you say to them?”Nick Ferrari Boris Johnson and supporters like Lord Cruddas believe that he still has the backing of the majority of party members and many of the voters who helped deliver that huge Conservative majority in 2019. But it’s likely that the “Bring back Boris” campaign will fail, which means the prime minister will soon become a backbench Conservative MP. He might even go back to what he did before becoming prime minister – writing a lucrative column for the Daily Telegraph.  But whatever he does, it’s clear he’s not going quietly and that he could make life difficult for his successor by holding their feet to the fire on promises made in 2019, and criticising decisions they make. This episode was written by and mixed by Imy Harper.

thinkin

Tortoise Festival of ThinkIns – Should men and women be paid the same in sport?

Should women and men be paid the same in sport? We’ve turned a corner in the past few years; there’s more respect for women’s sport, and much more coverage. But there isn’t – yet – anything like the money available to men. Does simple fairness demand financial parity for sportswomen at the stratospheric levels of some men’s sports? Or, with all the complaints from fans about the way money has wrecked men’s sport, is the question more complicated? If the rewards for female sports go up, and for men’s sport go down, might we see a rebalancing in everyone’s interests? Our special guests for this ThinkIn included: Tallulah Lewis, Women in Racing Chair Eddie Ramsden, Director at Lewes FC Ian Ridley, sports journalist and author  The Readout  We’ve turned a corner in the past few years; there’s more respect for women’s sport, and much more coverage. But for women, there is not anything like the money available to men. Does simple fairness demand equality? We came together to talk about the gender pay gap in professional sport, but left with a better understanding of why women’s sport is so undervalued.  The history. It’s worth thinking about the impact of the FA’s ban on women’s football (yes, really). In 1920, women’s football was more popular than men’s. Then the (all-male) FA, banned it. The lack of equality in pay, remarked one contributor, “is as a result of really low media coverage, driving really low interest and attendance, driving really low commercial interest.”  The decision makers. In the UK, nearly every major TV sports channel or Head of Sport position is held by a man. The exception is the BBC where Barbara Slater runs the show. This year, we’re being served a summer of women’s sport on the BBC. Not just the Football World Cup but the Netball World Cup, the Women’s cricket ashes and more. To create more exposure in the media, we should look at the people at the top who can spark change at the bottom. The problems start young. We were lucky to have with us teenagers from an east London secondary school – they spoke eloquently about the disparities they noticed between genders in sport in their age groups. Schools need to place equal value on boys’ and girls’ sports. At a professional level, women’s sports need to be valued equally in prize money. Two years ago, the FA increased prize money for clubs in the FA cup. They doubled it for the men – but left it the same for women. At every level female sport is dealt a dud hand. What next? The interesting question is not whether women and men should be paid the same (“of course they should!”) but how do we get to a point where women and men are paid equally as quickly as possible? The Lewes FC story – a (small) club where male and female players are paid equally is a fascinating story and worth returning to.

thinkin

Can women’s sport ever punch its commercial weight with men’s?

England’s women are World Cricket champions; the football team is on the rise and the leading women’s clubs in England are cutting a swathe through Europe; two women jockeys have just won Grade 1 races at the Cheltenham Festival. The crowds are growing but can women ever hope to command the commercial heights already scaled by the men? What is a Tortoise ThinkIn? A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. Modelled on what we call a ‘leader conference’ in the UK (or an editorial board in the US), it is a place where everyone has a seat at the table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It’s where, together, we sift through what we know to come to a clear, concise point of view. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise. Drinks from 6.00pm, starts promptly at 6.30pm. If you are late to a ThinkIn you can ‘SlinkIn’! If you would like to contribute to this ThinkIn, let us know by emailing thinkin@tortoisemedia.com We film our Thinkins so we can watch them back, edit the best bits and share them with members who weren’t there in person. Members can find their ThinkIn booking code in My Tortoise, under My Membership. The best experience to book a ThinkIn is via your app.