As MPs are spooked by omicron, Boris Johnson is social distancing…from democracy

Why is the Health Secretary giving this update, asked the Speaker, and not the Prime Minister? Well, Boris Johnson did pop up at a vaccine centre earlier that day, looking like death – the hair, particularly stressed, resembled a Polynesian... Read more

Lockdown is coming, and the surging costs now threaten to overwhelm us

Amid this fresh uncertainty, one thing is clear: we cannot go on living like this. As a majority-vaccinated country, we cannot go on suffering the permanent threat of lockdown restrictions, for fear the health service could be overwhelmed. We cannot... Read more

The Golden Globes’ bid for respectability has failed

When it comes to their TV awards, the Globes usually get an easier ride from industry-watchers, perhaps because TV’s such a sprawling wilderness, no one watches everything, and they can get away with nominating whoever they like. The only shows... Read more

David Baddiel: Social Media, Anger and Us, review – this documentary became a self-indulgent gripe 

Remember when Friends Reunited was the limit of our social networking? Where the biggest pitfall was the temptation to rekindle an affair with the person you snogged at the sixth form disco? Now we’re living “in an age of anger”,... Read more

Monday evening UK news briefing: Try again tomorrow, says NHS as booster jab booking website overwhelmed

The Prime Minister also declined to rule out bringing in new tougher Covid-19 restrictions before Christmas.  Answering questions at a vaccination centre this morning, Mr Johnson said that omicron could make up the majority of new Covid cases in London... Read more

Up to a quarter of No 10 ministerial aides on resignation watch ahead of Covid votes

We will not surrender basic liberties and freedoms lightly By Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset On Wednesday last week at 11.45am, it was quietly reported online that the Prime Minister had set out Plan B – not that Parliament... Read more

One million Covid booster vaccines a day in race to avoid new year lockdown

The risk that hospital beds will be overwhelmed with cases of Covid-19 is one of the key metrics that is used by the Government’s medical advisers when they advise ministers on whether more coronavirus restrictions are needed. The UK was... Read more

Introducing voter ID risks removing ‘crucial’ trust, MPs warn

Plans to introduce voter identification risks removing “crucial” trust from the democratic system,  a cross-party group of MPs has said. The Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) is urging the Government to stop the passage of the Elections... Read more

Former Conservative donor to pump further £5m into Laurence Fox’s Reclaim Party

Mr Hosking gave £350,000 to Tory candidates ahead of the 2017 election, but later said he had been “taken in” by the party on Europe and would give a six-figure sum to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party ahead of its 2019... Read more

Boris Johnson refuses to rule out tougher Covid restrictions before Christmas

However, there was confusion on Monday morning over whether he meant jabs would have to be administered by Jan 1 or simply scheduled by the year’s end. The NHS booking centre for arranging a third jab crashed on Sunday night,... Read more

Frustration, confusion, chaos: Day one of Boris Johnson’s war on omicron

Ten people, said Mr Javid, were in hospital in England with omicron. “At this point in time I can’t confirm a death,” he added. By 10am, Boris Johnson was arriving at the Stow Health Vaccination Centre in Westminster, close to... Read more

Proof of booster jabs will be needed for Covid passports, says Sajid Javid

Spot checks allowed Venue owners may be allowed to carry out “spot checks” rather than oversee 100 per cent checks on entry in a significant loosening of the rules. Venues will need to prove it is “not reasonably possible to... Read more

Boris Johnson: I broke no Covid rules over Downing Street quiz night

Boris Johnson has insisted he “broke no rules” after being pictured hosting a quiz night in Number 10, as Tory MPs said on Monday night that the Cabinet Secretary must be given time to conduct a “thorough” investigation. On Monday,... Read more

Tory whips scramble to curb backbench revolt against Covid vaccine passports

The plan is expected to pass despite the Tory backlash because Labour has said it will support it. Under the Government’s proposals, from 6am on Wednesday people will need to show proof of two jabs or a negative lateral flow... Read more

Investors ignore omicron and pile into electric car companies

Rather than retreating to safe stocks as inflation hit its highest level in a decade and the omicron variant appeared in South Africa, investors piled into racy technology and electric vehicle stocks. Freetrade, a stockbroker with 1.1 million customers, said four of... Read more

How to supercharge your pension when you hit 50

Personal Assets was able to provide investors with a safety buffer as the pandemic pulled the rug out from under the market in March last year. This was thanks to a healthy mix of American tech leaders, gold, consumer stocks... Read more

‘Can I put my house into trust so the council pays my care fees?’

Clearly this is an evidence-based test of what was reasonably foreseeable at the time the gift was made, as well as what the motivations were. In practice this means any person gifting their home into trust should record a contemporaneous... Read more

Can’t afford to make your home energy efficient? Get ready for your mortgage rate to rise

Mortgage lenders’ push to offer lower rates to more environmentally friendly properties risks “eco privilege” among homebuyers, experts have warned. Lenders incentivise borrowers to make eco improvements with lower rates and cashback deals, while others offer an advance to fund... Read more

‘Council still hasn’t refunded my £3,000 fire door payment’

Sally says: I took up your case with Haringey Council, which after some to-ing and fro-ing called you to apologise for the delay and issued the repayment. Despite me asking several times if any interest would be added for the... Read more

Money Makeover: ‘How do I pass on my £2m estate without paying inheritance tax?’

Sky-high inheritance tax bills catch out countless families every year and thousands more will face surprise charges in future because tax bands have been frozen. Planning ahead can shield your heirs from paying the dreaded death duties, but inheritance planning... Read more

The 5 best classic cars to buy in 2021 for less than £2,000

Prices of the classic Volvo 240 are now well and truly on the rise, but buyers haven’t cottoned on to its successor, the 740, in quite the same way just yet. It won’t be long before they do, though, so... Read more

Eight ways to make a breakdown safe and bearable

Vehicle breakdowns can be disruptive and dangerous. With road traffic accidents accounting for 13% of all deaths in the UK – 60% of which occur on country roads – and with the much-debated “smart” motorways tragically taking 38 lives in... Read more

Diana Henry’s brilliant alternative festive desserts to a Christmas pudding in 2021

When I was at primary school, I used to go home with my friend Mandy – she lived just across the road – for a drink of squash before walking back to my house. Mandy’s mum seemed to revel in... Read more

The reason behind Britain’s ‘alarming’ spike in dairy allergies

The number of babies receiving treatment for cow’s milk allergies has rocketed in recent years, to such an extent that it has alarmed researchers.  “The amount of formula [for babies with a cow’s milk allergy] being prescribed is way higher... Read more

My wife loves our new friends, but they bore the pants off me

It was only when the third lockdown was lifted, and life between variants returned to a kind of normal, that I realised just how comfortable I’d become with it, how contentedly accustomed I’d grown to an absence of socialising. My... Read more