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Life in the whips’ office

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Host Ailbhe Rea takes a closer look at the shadowy world of the whips — the sinister party enforcers whose job it is to keep MPs in line.

Michael Dobbs, the creator of “House of Cards” and one-time chief of staff to Margaret Thatcher, lifts the lid on the murky world of whipping that inspired his novels and the hit TV dramas, while Jacqui Smith, a chief whip to Tony Blair, describes how she did it in the era of Blair/Brown plotting. Playwright James Graham — whose hit play “This House” brought the dark arts of the whips’ office to London’s West End — discusses the hung parliament of the 1970s, the most legendary period in whipping history, and Wendy Morton discusses her unique experience as chief whip to Liz Truss.

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