We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.


On sale

25th May 2023

Price: £24.99

Select a format

Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405554343

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Westminster in the 2020s, where the business of governing is the last thing on the agenda for anyone worth their salt. In the SW1 bubble, politics moves fast, schemes are hatched and foiled – through both accident and conspiracy – within hours, and sex and power preside.

When Bobby Cliveden decides to campaign against the closure of her local mental health unit, she scarcely thought it would take her straight to the heart of the UK’s bustling political centre. She heads to London to work for her local MP, the ambitious Simon Daly, and moves in with her two old university friends, Jess, a new lobby journalist, and Eva, a junior Downing Street adviser. The three of them quickly become wrapped up in the political circus of glamorous parties, insufferable bosses and demanding workloads – and the desire to win. Beneath the headline-grabbing battle of a male-dominated leadership contest, they discover the secret, soft-skilled machinery behind so much political change at the very highest level of government: women.

Riotous and all too believable, Whips is a timely satire on politics and Party people. Watson takes us behind the doors of Number 10 and delivers a gripping tale of modern government, filled with intrigue and scandal and written with insight and verve. Whips delivers on every promise.

This audiobook edition includes an exclusive Q&A between Cleo Watson and her editor James Gurbutt, where Cleo’s extensive research for Whips, plans for Book 2, and the literary landscape for women in politics are discussed.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


Susie Goldsbrough, The Times
The red-hot political bonkbuster... a send-up of the people who run the country
Reader review
Explosive debut novel... very addictive
Reader review
Sensational... Think Jilly Cooper at her best meets West Wing meets Fifty Shades of Grey; it's utterly addictive, scandalous, and oh so shocking
Financial Times
Whips joins the ageless genre of books about the dark heart of politics
City AM
Whips is undoubtedly a page turner, but at the heart of it is also a genuinely heartwarming story of female friendship and the power of politics to do good, believe it or not. Whips revels in its own ridiculousness and is a riot because of it
Sasha Swire, New Statesman
Everything in here is real... a Jilly Cooper-style canter around that Westminster arena
Reader review
A whip smart, funny and completely absorbing book
Emily Sheffield, Evening Standard
Hilariously sexy satirical novel
Michael Deacon, The Telegraph
Part House of Cards-style thriller, part Jackie Collins-style bonkbuster... Whips is a fast-paced, darkly comic insider's insight into how our political system works (or doesn't)
Naga Munchetty, on 5Live
A tale of modern government, sex and scandal... very funny indeed
Lord Vaizey, The House Magazine
Cleo Watson has produced a humdinger of a first novel, and the sound of scores being settled makes a wonderful backdrop to a rollicking read
Reader review
A fun and scandalous romp of a read
Richard Godwin, Mail on Sunday
Whips is irresistible... a warm-hearted romp
Prospect Magazine
Filled with sex and political scandals
Charlotte Ivers, The Sunday Times
I found Whips so delightful... it is a joy to read. More than that, it is fun... The author, it is abundantly clear, is having a wonderful time. And as a result so does the reader.... the true love story is female friendship... I was more struck by how accurately it depicts the mild horror of being in one's early twenties... As I read the final page, I found myself welling up. I didn't know what to expect from Whips. I certainly wasn't expecting that
Laura Kuenssberg
A riot! A delicious mix of the high farce and low cunning of the political world. Ridiculous, revealing and impossible to put down
Max Davidson, The Mail on Sunday
[Watson] is a sprightly storyteller, and, if Westminster-watchers want some light reading for the beach, they need look no further
Lindsay Frankel, YOU Magazine
It's a riotous and raunchy romp of a book that will probably confirm a lot of what you already think goes on at the heart of Government