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Best of Today


Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme.


London, United Kingdom




Insight, analysis and expert debate as key policy makers are challenged on the latest news stories. From BBC Radio 4's Today programme.




PM and Chancellor to meet OBR

Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng are set to meet with the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility, known as the OBR and the country's independent forecaster, to discuss the situation. One of the reasons the markets reacted so badly to the chancellor's tax cutting plans released a week ago is that there was no accompanying economic forecast from the Office for Budget responsibility. Last night, the OBR confirmed that it was ready to produce an updated assessment of...


Truss sticks to her economic plan

Prime Minister Liz Truss says she has the right plan for the economy a day after the Bank of England made a major intervention in the financial markets in the aftermath of last week’s mini-Budget. Today’s Nick Robinson speaks to Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank, while Mishal Husain asks the Chancellor’s deputy whether things are really going to plan. (IMAGE CREDIT: REUTERS/David 'Dee' Delgado)


Market turbulence was 'self-inflicted', says Starmer

The International Monetary fund (IMF) has openly criticised the UK's plans for tax cuts, warning the measures were likely to fuel the cost-of-living crisis. In a speech on Tuesday at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, Sir Keir Starmer promised a "fresh start" for the UK pledging to invest in the NHS, green energy and "spread opportunity to all." Today's Martha Kearney discusses new government plans with the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer on the last day of the party's annual...


Has enough been done to calm the markets?

Some mortgage deals have been withdrawn by banks and building societies after a fall in the pound fuelled forecasts of a sharp rise in interest rates. The pound plunged against the dollar on Monday. It has since stabilised but there are fears about the increased costs of borrowing the UK now faces. Today's Nick Robinson spoke to Professor Sir Charlie Bean the former deputy governor for monetary policy at the bank of England and the president of queens' college, Cambridge, Mohamed Elerain....


'It gets you off the streets' - the community schemes helping kids in Liverpool

Nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel was shot and killed in her home in August, shocking Liverpool and the whole country. Olivia's killer still hasn't been found but there have been strenuous efforts to support the community to give information. Today's Martha Kearney reports from Liverpool where she has been find out about schemes in the community which are successfully stopping young people getting caught up in a life of crime in the first place.


New Met Police chief: We will root out racists and misogynists

The Metropolitan Police was placed into special measures in June by the police watchdog for the way it carries out core functions. The force has failed to record crimes, allowed delays in answering 999 calls. It has also faced a series of scandals with officers swapping racist and misogynist text messages: others photographing and swapping images of the bodies of two murdered sisters and an off duty PC abducting, raping and murdering Sarah Everard by using his police powers illegally....


Markets react to the UK's biggest tax cuts in 50 years

The pound fell to a record low against the dollar overnight as markets reacted to the UK's biggest tax cuts in 50 years. In early Asia trade, sterling fell close to $1.03 before regaining some ground to stand at about $1.07 on Monday morning, UK time. Today's Nick Robinson spoke to Mohamed El-Erian, chief economics advisor to Allianz, and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and on the Monetary Policy Committee, Sir John Gieve. (Image credit: ARSHAD ARBAB/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


Roger Federer retires

Roger Federer will call time on a career that has spanned 24 years and seen him become one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles and 103 ATP Tour titles, as well as attracting legions of fans around the world. Today’s Karthi Gnanasegaram spoke to Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Federer himself. She also hears from Team Europe captain Björn Borg and captain of the World Team John McEnroe about what happens after Federer's final match. (Image:...


Mock the Week returns with a new Prime Minister, new king and a nuclear war

The BBC Two comedy panel show Mock the Week is to end after 17 years. Many comics who featured on the show in the early stages of their careers have since become household names. Its final series airs its first episode on Friday. Today's Justin Webb speaks to comedian Dara Ó Briain, who has hosted the show since it began. (Image credit: BBC/Angst/Neil Genower)


Joyce’s Women: Mother, wife, mistress, patron and daughter

Irish writer Edna O’Brien turns her attention to the life of novelist James Joyce in a powerful new play. One hundred years since the publication of his great modern novel ‘Ulysses’, ‘Joyce’s Women’ gives voice to the female figures who were central to the writer’s life. The BBC’s Special Correspondent James Naughtie speaks to O’Brien about the production. (Image: A man holds a copy of Irish author James Joyce's 'Ulysses' on Bloomsday during a celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the...


Ai Weiwei: China wants new world order

How should the UK engage with China? Today’s Simon Jack speaks to Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and dissident who was imprisoned by his home country for 81 days in 2011. He says the West does not understand China. (Image: Simon Jack and Ai Weiwei, Credit: BBC)


Putin calls up more troops for Ukraine war

Vladimir Putin explained in a televised address why he was calling up reservists in a partial mobilisation. Today's Justin Webb and Simon Jack spoke to: BBC's Russia editor Steve Rosenberg; Sergey Markov, a former Member of the Russian State Duma for President Putin’s party; and Foreign Office Minister Gillian Keegan about what this means for the Ukraine war. (IMAGE CREDIT: Russian Presidential Press Service/Kremlin via REUTERS)


The Today Debate: What Do We Want From Our Monarchy?

Mishal Husain is joined by a panel of experts, as in front of an audience at BBC Broadcasting House, they consider what might lie ahead for King Charles III and examine the evolving role of the Royal Family. Joining Mishal for the Today Debate were BBC Special Correspondent James Naughtie; Lord Butler, who was the country’s most senior civil servant for ten years from 1988; Margaret Macmillan emeritus professor of history at the University of Toronto and of international history at the...


World leaders promise more aid to Ukraine

Prime Minister Liz Truss is meeting other world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York this week. She will promise to match Boris Johnson's rhetorical and military support for Ukraine. Today's Nick Robinson speaks to former NATO commander General Sir Richard Sherriff about the nature of providing such support. (Photo by SERGEY DOLZHENKO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)


The Queue

Over the last few days, tens of thousands have lined up to pay their respects to the Queen in Westminster Hall. Frank Cottrell-Boyce, screenwriter and novelist, wrote the now legendary Paddington sketch for the Platinum Jubilee, and the James Bond scene from the Olympics opening ceremony, both featuring performances by the Queen. We asked him to reflect on the last few days and what it tells us about ourselves. (IMAGE CREDIT: Danny/PA Wire)


The Queue: ‘We felt gratitude’

Queuing to see the Queen lying in state is now estimated to last 24 hours. But what are people experiencing in what almost resembles a modern pilgrimage. We hear from three of those who have paid their respects and Martha Kearney speaks to the Bishop of Southwark. (Image: People queue at Southwark Park to visit Britain's Queen Elizabeth lying in state following her death; Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay)


The Queen and Aberfan

On 21st October 1966, a mountain of coal waste slid onto Pantglas school in Aberfan, South Wales. 116 children and 28 adults were killed. The Queen went again and again to Aberfan - her last visit was in 2012. Today's Justin Webb spoke to one of the survivors, Jeff Edwards, the last child pulled from the rubble on that fateful day. (Image credits: Press Association, PA Wire)


Thousands queue overnight to pay respects to the Queen

The Queen is lying in state until her state funeral on Monday, with thousands queuing to file past the coffin. Today's Nick Robinson joined mourners in the queue overnight and found many of them united in a wish to honour Her Majesty’s duty and service. He also spoke to Professor David Olusoga, historian and broadcaster, as well as James Graham, the award-winning playwright and screenwriter, and Juliet Samuel, Telegraph columnist. (Image: Members of the public in the queue on the South Bank...


Ukrainians have momentum – US diplomat

President Zelensky has said Ukrainian troops have now retaken more than 6,000 sq km (2,317 sq miles) from Russian control in September, in the east and the south. The country's president also said the west must speed up deliveries of weapons to Ukraine. Today's Mishal Husain speaks to Rose Gottemoeller, a former senior US diplomat who was Deputy Secretary General of NATO from 2016 to 2019, as well as BBC Russia Editor Steve Rosenberg. (Image: Ukrainian flag in Kharkiv, Image credit: SERGEY...


Alan Garner on his Booker-shortlisted novel

British writer Alan Garner, 87, has become the oldest writer to be shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize. His book Treacle Walker is up against five novels including Claire Keegan's Small Things Like These, the shortest ever to make the cut, with 116 pages. The judges called Treacle Walker a “mysterious, beautifully written and affecting glimpse into the deep work of being human” Today’s Amol Rajan spoke to Mr Garner about his life and career – and how he felt about being nominated...