Robert Peston on ruffling feathers, impartiality and ‘depressing’ identity politics

Robert Peston isn’t afraid to speak truth to power: “I’ve often wondered why I have such little respect for authority”, he admits on this week’s edition of The Telegraph’s weekly Planet Normal podcast. “It is true that in a very childish way, pretty much all my professional career I have sort of got a kick out of writing or broadcasting stuff that I knew would upset quite a lot of people, and particularly powerful people.”

But for the journalist and author, ruffling feathers must not come at the cost of respectful disagreement, which he views as a dying art: “The hate that you see amongst people with these entrenched identify views, I personally find incredibly depressing.” Listen to the podcast to find out why England football manager Gareth Southgate keeps him positive, and whom he believes to be the most ambitious politician in Westminster.

Also on the show: Liam Halligan and Claire Fox dissect the Labour Party conference after Sir Keir Starmer’s eagerly-awaited “make or break” speech. Liam tells listeners why the party failed to score an open goal, while Claire accuses the leader of merely “ticking boxes”. But has his time on the conference floor left him any closer to power? Our co-hosts deliver their verdicts. Plus a poetic listener impresses our co-pilots as they delve into the Planet Normal mailbag.

Listen to Robert Peston’s full interview on Planet Normal, a weekly Telegraph podcast featuring news and views from beyond the bubble. Use the audio player above or subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your preferred podcast app.

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