How to get ready for government

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With opposition parties starting to dream about life in Whitehall as the next election looms, host Aggie Chambre takes a look at how politicians actually prepare for government. 

She hears from the key players involved in the 2010 election — the last time opposition parties came to power. The former Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell, then the most senior civil servant in the country, recalls an eyebrow-raising chat with David Cameron when he was leader of the opposition. Former Tory minister Nick Boles reveals some disastrous first meetings between shadow ministers and civil servants during preparatory talks. Another ex civil servant, Una O’Brien, recalls awkward moments when her ministerial bosses spotted her headed to private talks with their opposite numbers. And former Lib Dem Minister David Laws reveals his fear of walking up Downing Street for the first time.  

Meanwhile the Institute for Government’s Emma Norris, POLITICO’s Dan Bloom and former Labour adviser Matt Lavender set out what Keir Starmer’s party is doing right now to try to prepare for power.