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Britain after the Pandemic by John Rentoul

John Rentoul, Chief Political Commentator, The Independent

Date/Time: Tuesday 12 October 2021, 5.30pm

Venue: This is an online event

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Hosted by Dr Martin Farr

The coronavirus has shifted several assumptions about Britain. On the economy, it was suddenly possible for the state to act as employer of last resort at a cost in borrowed money that was beyond the Labour Party’s wildest dreams in its manifestos of 2017 and 2019. The pandemic leaves a backlog of demand for the NHS that will take several years and many more billions to clear. Has the centre of political gravity tilted towards the high spending, high borrowing, ‘overwhelming might of the British state’, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak put it?


John Rentoul has been a reporter for the BBC, the New Statesman, and The Independent, for which he has been Chief Political Commentator since 2016. He has been a visiting professor in contemporary history, first at Queen Mary, and now King’s College, London. He has written books on inequality, individualism, and political language in Britain, and several books on Tony Blair. He is a regular broadcaster, and a prolific Tweeter.

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.