Working to make government more effective

Ministers Reflect

Interviews with former ministers on the realities of the role and how to be effective in government.

Our Ministers Reflect series of interviews includes more than 150 conversations with former ministers from the UK and devolved governments. They discuss the reality of being a minister, reflect on what they wish they had known about the job before they began, and offer advice to new ministers taking on the role.

Our interviews are regularly used by civil servants, policy makers and academics to inform their work.

Explore all interviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 156
15 AUG 2023 Interview

Chloe Smith

Chloe Smith talks about serving as constitution minister under three different PMs, her time in the Truss government, and ministerial maternity cover.

17 JUL 2023 Interview

Anne Milton

Anne Milton discusses pastoral support for MPs, whipping during the coalition years and working with opposition whips.

04 JUL 2023 Interview

Hilary Armstrong

Baroness Armstrong discusses handling contentious legislation, the welfare of MPs and influencing reshuffles.

03 JUL 2023 Interview

Patrick McLoughlin

Lord McLoughlin reflects on his long experience of government, how the whips manage parliament and dealing with crises as transport secretary.

21 JUN 2023 Interview

Brandon Lewis

Sir Brandon Lewis discusses the benefit of local government experience, the challenges of the Home Office and his time as Northern Ireland secretary.

07 JUN 2023 Interview

Lord Bethell

Lord Bethell discusses being in DHSC during Covid, the importance of experts in government and 'hating' leaving office

05 JUN 2023 Interview

Robert Buckland

Robert Buckland discusses Brexit’s impact on the law officer role, the end of the Truss government, and managing the courts system in Covid.

10 MAY 2023 Interview

Douglas Alexander

Douglas Alexander discusses becoming a minister, dealing with crises, and running DfID.

10 MAY 2023 Interview

Hilary Benn

Hilary Benn talks about international development and moving into opposition.

10 MAY 2023 Interview

Helen Liddell

Baroness Liddell discusses entering government in 1997, the challenges of running the Scotland Office and transitioning from government to diplomacy.