Each week, Sam and Ayesha bring the biggest, trickiest and most difficult political issues into focus and through incisive questioning, insider stories and fresh perspectives find, challenge and shape the ideas, messages and policies that can not only win an election, but create real, lasting, change in government.

Rather than just sitting back and luxuriating in commentary or ideological daydreams, The Power Test jumps into the arena and creates a practical testing ground – where people, policies and positioning meet political reality – all with a purpose to help create a practical plan and path towards real change.

A source of energy, hope and focus for everyone who believes that Britain desperately deserves a better government, the podcast brings us all together, across and beyond the usual party lines and political divisions, to actually do something about making change a reality and create an agenda and plan for government that can win and really change Britain for the better.

About the hosts


Ayesha is a renowned columnist and broadcaster who hosts the weekend drivetime show on Times Radio and edits The Londoner, the Evening Standard’s Daily Diary section.

Having started her career as a stand-up comedian, she then took the natural diversion into politics as a special adviser to Labour Party leaders Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband.

A regular political pundit in print and on TV and radio news programmes, Ayesha also appears on comedy shows such as Have I Got News For You (BBC), The News Quiz (BBC Radio 4) and Matt Forde’s Unspun (Dave).

She continues to perform stand-up and has brought highly successful shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and elsewhere in recent years.

For Ayesha’s full biography and details visit https://noelgay.com/client/ayesha-hazarika/

Follow Ayesha on Twitter at @ayeshahazarika


Sam is a senior fellow at the Institute for Government and a senior adviser to the Ark Schools network.

A former CEO of Education Partnerships Group and executive director at Teach First, he worked at the Department for Education under the Conservative-led coalition government as a senior policy adviser to Michael Gove between 2010 and 2013.

In 2021, Sam set up a highly successful Substack platform called “Comment is Freed” where he and his dad – the renowned military historian, Lawrence Freedman – share in-depth ideas and reactions to politics, policy and events.

For Sam’s full biography and details of Comment is Freed visit https://samf.substack.com/

Follow Sam on Twitter at @Samfr

The Power Test Team

Tempo & Talker

Tempo & Talker is an independent production company established in 2019 that creates compelling audio content for leading broadcasters, renowned institutions and established brands. It helps organisations realise audio projects, from crafting an idea through to promotion and distribution.

It works with a team of talented and professional producers, editors, researchers, composers, and sound designers for a range of clients including the BBC, Economist and the RSA (Royal Society of Arts).

For details about Tempo & Talker visit https://www.tempotalker.com/

The Political Power Works

The Political Power Works is a group of people with experience in politics and policy, brought together by a deep frustration about the state of our country today. We aren’t part of any faction or single organisation but share a deep belief and hope in the importance of politics to do good stuff for wide benefit combined with a hard-headed view about how it can and should be done.

The team includes Charlotte Aldritt, Flo Hutchings, Ben Lucas, Catherine Mayer and Ed Owen.

Registered as The Political Power Works Ltd
in England and Wales with Company Number 14693425 
at 15 Holywell Row, London EC2A 4XA

Our Supporters

The Power Test podcast is only being produced because of the generous support of a wide range of people and organisations. Particular thanks goes to our start-up funders, including the Centre for Progressive Policy, David Kogan, Laura Kinsella Foundation and the Institute for Global Change.

And finally

A massive thanks for the brilliant Jim Godfrey who composed and produced the music for the podcast. You can follow him on Instagram at @jimgodfreymusic