Forced conversions are an endemic evil

Today is Red Wednesday, when we remember those who suffer for their beliefs in different parts of the world. Christians are not alone in enduring such adversity but the evidence shows that they are, by far, the most numerous group... Read more

Vaccine success rates must be revealed

Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, says the vaccine produced by his company could be the reason why Britain is faring better than Europe when it comes to Covid. Although cases have been higher in the UK than on... Read more

The best new novels and fiction books to buy for Christmas 2021

The Zanzibari novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah, who has lived in Britain since 1968, was awarded 2021’s Nobel Prize in literature for telling just such different stories. In serious, well-researched and subtle fiction, he has been exploring the legacy of colonialism –... Read more

The Great British Bake Off 2021 final: Who will take home the trophy?

On your marks… set up your bio-secure bubble… bake! Yes, Tuesday evening at 8pm sees the grand final of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4. And with hot favourite Jürgen Krauss having left last week in a semi-final... Read more

Helena Bonham Carter to star in new drama exposing the truth about sacking of Crossroads actress

“I’m so thrilled to help tell Nolly’s long overdue and largely forgotten story. Russell’s screenplay is a work of brilliance and I hope I’ll do him and Nolly justice,” she said. Gordon played Crossroads Motel owner Meg Richardson, later Meg... Read more

The Great British Bake Off 2021 final, review: fine margins decide a nervy and emotional showdown

Sensing this occasion was all about the bakers, hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas took more of a back seat than usual in the eerily empty tent. Emotion was ramped up with heartstring-tugging messages from the bakers’ proud families. Bubbled... Read more

The stories behind Mick Rock’s five greatest shots

This classic image of the four members of Queen in a diamond formation is probably best known from the music video for Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975. But that scene was a recreation of the cover of the Queen II album... Read more

Inside the messy politics of Peppa Pig’s world

Naturally, the PM, who favours a pair of beaten up old black trainers, had a bit to say about the show being “stereotypical about Daddy pig” – noted for being unshaven, over-optimistic and generally inept. But it’s a secret to... Read more

People may have to sell their homes to pay for social care, admits Boris Johnson

The Government’s majority was slashed to 26 after 19 Tories rebelled and many more abstained on the controversial amendment, which will stop means-tested support counting towards the £86,000 cap on care costs. Critics warned that the move would cost less... Read more

Team Boris in the spotlight – what’s really happening in the No 10 inner circle

When politicians are openly ridiculed like this on primetime television, it is time to worry. And plenty of Conservatives are now openly doing just that. The problems for Johnson started three weeks ago, when a plan to try to overhaul... Read more

Labour ‘would stay neutral’ in referendum on Northern Ireland remaining in UK

Labour has been accused of being anti-unionist after the party’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary said it would not campaign for keeping the UK whole. Louise Haigh said that if the party were in government, it would stay neutral in a... Read more

‘Sad’ move to make Brit Awards gender-neutral will hurt women, says Nadine Dorries

Nadine Dorries has branded the decision to remove male and female categories at the Brit Awards “sad”, fearing that the move could have a negative impact on the representation of women. The British Phonographic Industry, which organises the awards, announced... Read more

French fishermen planning to blockade cross-Channel trade in Brexit dispute

French trawlermen are drawing up plans to blockade cross-Channel trade in an escalation in the dispute over post-Brexit fishing licences. In an effort to secure more permits to operate in UK waters, union bosses are expected to announce a campaign... Read more

The best current affairs and international politics books to buy for Christmas 2021

For many, 2021 may go down as the year where humankind proved that reports of its imminent demise were premature. As Covid vaccines started being rolled out in the new year, the pandemic threat seemed to ease. And in America,... Read more

I’ll land a by-election blow on Boris Johnson’s nanny state, says Reform UK leader

Richard Tice is to stand in the forthcoming Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election, as his Reform UK party claiming Boris Johnson misled Tory voters with a “highly-taxed, highly-regulated nanny state”. Mr Tice leads Reform UK, formerly the Brexit Party, which... Read more

Tories select councillor to contest by-election in Conservative stronghold

A councillor will contest the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election for the Conservatives as the party looks to hold on to the seat following the death of James Brokenshire. A by-election will be contested on a yet-to-be-announced date after the... Read more

Lib Dems can still spook the Tories

It is tempting to dismiss the Lib Dem conference as a political non-event. Conducted almost entirely online, it failed even to offer the party’s dwindling membership the benefits that accrue from getting together and sharing policy ideas. With just 12... Read more

Quarter of working pensioners hit by new NI tax are country’s lowest earners, analysis shows

“Loading ever more taxes on to working people and keeping people working when they deserve to retire in peace is completely the wrong approach. Labour would tax fairly, spend wisely, and get our economy firing on all cylinders, to ensure... Read more

Second home owners in Wales face soaring council tax bills after Labour-Plaid deal

Second home owners in Wales could soon see a major spike in their council tax bills after Labour signed a new deal with Welsh nationalists.  On Monday, the Labour-led Welsh government announced a co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru to overcome... Read more

All bark and bite, Nadine Dorries gives the Left as good a verbal thrashing as she gets

“My portfolio is wide and deep,” Nadine Dorries told the Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday, and if you call her touchy, she will strike you down.  The new Culture Secretary covered everything from 5G to... Read more

Once a prime minister’s authority goes, the end can be swift and brutal

There is an old Whitehall story, probably apocryphal, concerning a minister not especially well liked by his officials delivering an important policy speech to some august body. Not long into his oration he turned over a sheet of paper on... Read more

Letters of no confidence in Boris Johnson have been submitted, claim Tory MPs

There was also no public support from Downing Street for Lord Hague’s idea of creating a so-called “inner Cabinet”, as David Cameron had, to help guide Mr Johnson on major political decisions. The hunt for who was behind the quotation... Read more

Councils to be forced to care for unaccompanied migrant children

However, increased security and Covid restrictions have made traditional routes less viable for migrants, and the overall number of people to have claimed asylum in the UK in the 12 months ending this June was 31,115, a four per cent... Read more

MPs can perfectly handle second jobs

In the wake of the Paterson affair, the know-it-alls are declaring loudly that being a Member of the House of Commons and representing one’s constituents is a full time job. They may well be taking that view merely because it would... Read more

In its rush to net-zero, the West is aligning itself with Chinese human rights abuses

As the dust settles on the merry-go-round of Cop26, it is becoming very clear that the Chinese Communist Party has emerged in an even stronger position than it was in before the conference. Those Western politicians who pushed for the... Read more