The new Covid restrictions are sad and depressing – and must be temporary

It was difficult to listen to Boris Johnson’s press conference on Covid without a sinking heart. Just as the UK was normalising again after the catastrophe of the past 18 months, we have abruptly been returned to a world of... Read more

The Stephen Sondheim I knew: Cameron Mackintosh, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more remember

Stephen was my best teacher in musical theatre. His notes were very concise and specific and he could sometimes be harsh. He told me once not to slide up to the note, that I wasn’t doing my cabaret act. Another... Read more

Keira Knightley: ‘It’s impossible to be liked by everyone’

Keira met her husband at a mutual friend’s dinner party in 2011, and they married two years later in Mazan, Provence, where she owns a farmhouse (and accompanying vineyards and olive groves). She wore a strapless Chanel couture dress (which... Read more

Strictly Come Dancing 2021: week 10, live – John Whaite is back on top with a fiery Argentine tango

Every week, the judges have commented on Stephenson’s speed and energy, so how would he cope with a slow waltz? Pretty well, in fact. This was by far his most controlled dance and, for once, there were no crazy costumes... Read more

Government agrees funding for academic to investigate MPs who challenge China

The Government has agreed to pay more than £80,000 for an academic to write a thesis expected to accuse MPs of spreading “moral panic” about China. The taxpayers’ money will support the researcher to criticise the China Research Group (CRG)... Read more

Boris Johnson orders return to face masks and isolation to slow omicron variant

Prof Whitty warned: “There is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccine escape with this variant.” Face coverings will become mandatory in shops and on public transport once again, after a previous legal requirement... Read more

‘Woke’ speakers critical of Boris Johnson banned from Whitehall 

Civil servants have been banned from inviting “woke” speakers who criticise Boris Johnson’s policies to address internal events in Whitehall, a leaked memo reveals. An “official-sensitive” email circulated across Whitehall warned that invitations should not be issued to individuals who... Read more

Eastern leg of HS2 scrapped before formal value for money analysis was calculated

Critics of the scheme believe the new calculation could result in an official assessment showing for the first time that the scheme offers “poor” value-for-money, after the last assessment, in 2020, concluded that it had dropped from “medium” to “low”... Read more

Peerages should be awarded on points rather than nepotism, urges Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption tsar

Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption tsar has called for a points-based honours system, to sever the perceived link between political donations and peerages. In a paper to be published this week, John Penrose proposes an overhaul of the current honours regime so... Read more

British researchers to be given ‘safety net’ after EU funding fails to materialise

British researchers left in limbo over EU funding that has failed to materialise will be given a “safety net” by the Government this week, with a pledge by ministers to guarantee the money owed to them by Brussels. George Freeman,... Read more

Letters: Is it Britain or France that is exploiting the migrant tragedy for political ends?

SIR – I was surprised to read that Marks & Spencer has permission from Westminster City Council to demolish its fine Art Deco Marble Arch store (report, November 26). Why are we allowing our cities to become so ugly? Soon... Read more

Eric Zemmour pictured giving the finger to member of public on promotional tour

Mr Zemmour, who has been likened to Donald Trump for his populist politics and controversial statements, said Marseille had been “disintegrated by immigration” and that if nothing was done the whole of France would, in an initial phase, come to... Read more

Forced isolation for contacts of people who test positive for omicron – even if they are fully-vaccinated

Many fully-vaccinated people could be asked to start self-isolating within the next 24 hours as officials examine positive Covid-19 swabs for the omicron variant. Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that contacts of those who test positive for the new mutation... Read more

‘People just won’t be able to live’: Tory supporters voice concerns before bellwether by-election

“There is a fundamental elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, and that’s the fact that the population is just spiralling out of control,” said Derrick, the sales manager in Bexley. “We’re a small, piddly little island... Read more

First-time buyer mortgage rates drop to 2019 prices

It began in the run up to an anticipated Bank Rate rise by the Bank of England earlier this month, which ultimately failed to materialise, but continued even after Threadneedle Street maintained its historically low rate of 0.1pc. “Lenders probably... Read more

‘I’m homeless at 73’: property sellers left in the lurch after law firm goes Awol

Desperate home buyers have been trapped for months in property purchase purgatory, leading to deals breaking down and people being left homeless. Two weeks ago a “security incident” at the country’s biggest conveyancing firm, the Simplify Group, halted property exchanges... Read more

Thousands of families face surprise inheritance tax bills

A £2m estate five years ago would be worth £2.8m today due to house price and stock market growth, according to advisers Lycetts Financial Services.  The death tax bill for a married couple would now cost £460,000, up from £400,000... Read more

‘I earn £4,000 a month raiding high-end charity shops’

Depop, a website bought by the American e-commerce business Etsy earlier this year, acts as both a marketplace and as a social media site, with sellers amassing thousands of followers. Others use Vinted, the second-most popular site in Britain. Items... Read more

Why you should fight back against plans to force your pension into ‘green’ stocks

Savita Subramanian of Bank of America warned that these “extreme inflows” might create a market bubble. The MSCI World ESG Leaders index has returned four percentage points more than the standard global index over five years, potentially leaving “green” investors... Read more

Hotel-drive packages: posh hotels that include a driving experience

Robinson is happy to show interested guests around his collection, kept in a tidy farm building beside Headlam Hall. Alongside his father’s Series 3 Jaguar E-Type Roadster sits a racing TVR, a Series I Land Rover and a 1976 Porsche... Read more

Ask the expert: ‘Will an SUV be safer for my daughter than a regular hatchback?’

Alex Robbins is contributing editor at Telegraph Cars where, as well as responding to readers’ queries, he also contributes reviews of new and used cars, together with articles on buying and selling.  His knowledge of the used car market informs... Read more

Tony Dron: 29 August 1946 – 16 November 2021

“Wanna race?” I was sitting at traffic lights on the A240 Kingston Road in Surrey one summer evening in the late 1980s, homeward bound from my junior staff role in the Fast Lane magazine office. I can’t remember what I... Read more

13 quick tips for cleaning your house

This week, I want to share with you my tips for using what you probably already have in your kitchen – and not necessarily in your cleaning cupboard either – to get everything sparkling. I’m a huge fan of finding... Read more

‘We blamed ourselves’: Paddy and Christine McGuinness on their children’s autism

Long before they had children, on the rare occasion Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine went out for dinner, after looking at the menu she would ask him to order for her. “I used to feel like the overbearing partner, saying... Read more

The best red wines to buy for Christmas 2021

Hollick The Bard Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra 2017  Australia (13.5%, Seven Cellars, Brighton, £12.95; Vineyards of Sherborne, Dorset, £12) This is a beautifully structured wine, all cedar and cassis. Try it if you like claret. Taste the Difference Barossa Cabernet Merlot 2019 ... Read more