Don’t rush the ban on ‘conversion therapy’

There is a public consultation closing on Friday that, should some of its recommendations be poorly implemented in law, would have damaging consequences for children. It could create a situation whereby doctors, counsellors and therapists would be deterred from exploring... Read more

Bureaucratic Britain has become addicted to permanent failure

Do you ever get the sneaking feeling that nothing really … works? Certainly, a few days of dealing with the DVLA or passport office (or indeed, any customer service recently) will have that effect. It is a Kafka-esque ordeal in... Read more

Arthur’s tragic tale shows how lockdown became an abusers’ charter

Such failings need to be exposed. But they should not distract us from the fact that, during the period Arthur was being tortured, all of society – the vital network of noticing that should have protected him – was shut... Read more

The idea that films and TV ‘glamourise’ drug use is patronising nonsense

Indeed, Farrimond sounds a lot like former US President Ronald Reagan, who gave a speech to high-school seniors in Chattanooga Tennessee about the dangers of drugs. Reagan told the kids that “drug use is still shown in a positive, upbeat... Read more

Landscapers, review: turning true crime into the most daring and dazzling drama of the year

From The Crown’s imperious monarch to a downtrodden murderer in a knitted beret. Never let it be said that Olivia Colman isn’t versatile, either in character or headwear. The actress tackles her darkest role yet in Landscapers (Sky Atlantic) and,... Read more

Bring back working from home, Nicola Sturgeon urges employers as omicron cases rise

While the SNP government has previously encouraged home working, Ms Sturgeon’s call for every business that asked staff to work from home to do so again for at least five and a half weeks was met with dismay. Liz Cameron,... Read more

Downing Street staff joked about lockdown Christmas party, leaked video reveals

On Tuesday night, government sources outside Downing Street reacted with fury to the video, which they said had tarnished the reputations of ministers who were sent out to play down the controversy in the media.  Senior Tory MPs also called... Read more

Mass house building in rural areas blamed for heaping pressure on schools and hospitals

Most rural councils believe that housing development has put schools, roads and hospitals under “excessive” pressure, according to a survey. Overly dense house building has disproportionately hit infrastructure and public services in shire and rural counties, where more than half... Read more

Priti Patel to leave migrants ‘in limbo’ by scrapping six-month deadline for asylum decisions

Asylum seekers could face longer in migration limbo as Priti Patel has refused to set a time limit for responding to their applications in her new border crackdown. The Home Secretary has laid an amendment to her Nationalities and Borders... Read more

One in 10 who worked from home experienced domestic abuse, poll finds

One in 10 people who worked from home in the Covid pandemic experienced domestic abuse, a poll has revealed. Bright Blue, a liberal conservative think tank, surveyed more than 3,000 people as part of research on the scale of domestic... Read more

Christmas work from home order being drawn up by Government

Preliminary data from South Africa has shown that people who have antibodies and protection against Covid are far less protected against omicron.  A pre-print, published online, revealed that those previously infected with the original Wuhan strain produce 41 times fewer... Read more

Every worker in New York City must have Covid-19 vaccine, declares mayor

Omicron cases have been confirmed in at least 15 US states since it was first reported in late November, with a handful reported in New York. Mr De Blasio said he was “very concerned”. He said he expects his new... Read more

Revealed: How much money your MP makes from their second job

However, the exact details of what would and would not be allowed remained unclear, with specific changes to the MPs’ code of conduct due to be made public before the end of January.  The analysis also found that Theresa May’s... Read more

Chronicle of chaos: What really went on as Foreign Office struggled to choose who to save in Afghanistan

One FCDO civil servant described a cumbersome and time-consuming legacy IT system, where sharing documents online was impossible and staff relied on borrowing each other’s logins to access information when they were not otherwise in use. It meant there was... Read more

Matt Hancock: ‘My dyslexia wasn’t spotted until university, and I’m one of the lucky ones’

As an undiagnosed dyslexic teenager, I just thought I was bad with words. I was a slow reader. Despite brilliant and inspiring teachers, I couldn’t ever envisage myself writing an article for a national newspaper. I got through school by... Read more

Government to introduce prison league tables which measure drug use and rehabilitation figures

Today, I am setting out the Government’s new strategy for prisons – to build more cells to protect the public, and reform the regime so offenders are less likely to return to a life of crime. We are lengthening prison... Read more

Top Foreign Office civil servant who was on holiday during fall of Kabul ‘should resign’

Sir Philip’s holiday attracted criticism from Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who said he had “very serious concerns” that the “ethos” of public service “isn’t being followed at the head of the organisation”. Sir Philip replied that... Read more

Afghan allies ‘left at the mercy of Taliban’ while civil servants worked from home

After a report in the Observer newspaper that emails requesting assistance were going unread, Mr Marshall said civil servants simply marked the messages as “read,” to allow Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab to claim the FCDO was clearing the backlog.... Read more

Boris Johnson: Carrie and I didn’t intervene to get Pen Farthing evacuated from Kabul

The Government is facing fresh questions over why Mr Farthing was helped to evacuate when the same whistleblower claimed just five per cent of refugees who requested assistance were helped by the Government and many have been subsequently murdered by... Read more

Looser mortgage rules will add £17,000 to price of a starter home

First-time buyers could borrow tens of thousands of pounds more if the Bank of England goes ahead with plans to loosen its lending rules. Threadneedle Street is understood to be considering relaxing affordability checks that banks make to check if... Read more

Will there be a recession? How to protect your finances

Pressure is building on the British economy. The cost of living is marching up and low interest rates mean that the value of our money is falling fast. British businesses initially thrived when lockdown restrictions were lifted, but this could... Read more

The cheapest places to retire in the UK

The second and third most expensive locations were Edinburgh and Stockport, each costing around £22,300 per year. Meanwhile, Northampton and Leicester were among the most economical places to live, as retirees needed £8,000 less at £16,200 per year.  Salisbury House... Read more

How landlords can save money when selling a rental property with this buy-to-let tax loophole

She added that HM Revenue & Customs would quickly disqualify someone from PRR if it seemed as though they had simply moved into the property to pay less tax.  Chris Etherington of RSM, another accountancy firm, said moving into a... Read more

Questor: this firm’s break-up plans make it an interesting slow-burn turnaround story

Update: Anglo-Eastern Plantations In response to a reader’s letter, this column has quickly cast its eye over Anglo Eastern Plantations, a producer of palm oil and rubber in Indonesia and Malaysia. In the stock’s favour, the balance sheet has net cash... Read more

‘Hello mum’ WhatsApp scam skyrockets, costing parents thousands

Some who have been the target of the scam but escaped have shared their experiences on social media, warning others. Others have not been so lucky, however. One mother lost close to £1,000 to a criminal gang posing as her... Read more