Tory MPs have put down a marker

Is the omicron variant of Covid more benign than the strains to which we have hitherto been exposed? All the evidence so far suggests the effects are mild yet that is based almost entirely on data from overseas. There is... Read more

The National Cyber Strategy will keep UK safe and prosperous

The UK is one of the world’s digital pioneers, a leader in reimagining and developing a future enabled by technology. During the pandemic, we have seen this in our resilience and readiness to adapt, as our lives have gone online... Read more

Britain doesn’t need a foreign court to uphold its ancient liberties

You’ve got to give ministers top marks for irony for opening a debate about freedom just as our personal liberties are being curtailed. In a foreword to his long-promised proposals for a new Bill of Rights, Dominic Raab, the Justice... Read more

Tory rebellion makes clear that the real epidemic is one of fear

“Wow” — that’s what one MP exclaimed when the vote on vaccine passports was declared. I said something more Anglo-Saxon. The Government threw everything at winning Tuesday’s anti-Covid motions – Labour had its back. And even the omicron variant did... Read more

The Tory grassroots will never forgive Boris

The other day, Theresa May slunk into the Commons slightly late. I watched as a female MP, who’d made the mistake of sitting in her usual seat, hastily jumped up and scuttled away, mouthing apologies. It echoed that scene in... Read more

Tuesday evening UK news briefing: The Tory Covid rebels

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to limit their socialising to three households before and after Christmas to help combat the omicron variant.  In a statement at the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish First Minister warned that omicron cases were... Read more

Boris Johnson stays away from North Shropshire by-election amid fears of deeply embarrassing defeat

Boris Johnson has avoided campaigning in North Shropshire for a fortnight ahead of Thursday’s by-election, amid fears the Conservatives could face a deeply embarrassing defeat. The Prime Minister has not returned to the Conservative safe seat, which the Tories held... Read more

I’ll shield our soldiers against human rights claims on battlefield, says Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab has pledged to protect UK Armed Forces from human rights claims over campaigns they mount abroad. In a consultation document on his new British bill of rights, Mr Raab, the Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, said he... Read more

First glimpse inside UK’s new White House-style crisis Situation Centre

The American Situation Room, located in the basement of the West Wing, is a 5,543 sq ft conference room run by security officials that monitors and deals with domestic and overseas crises. Secure, advanced communications equipment allows on-the-ground information to... Read more

UK demands changes to Northern Ireland Protocol so businesses can get Covid support

British negotiators will demand on Wednesday that the EU changes Northern Ireland Protocol subsidy rules so businesses can benefit from coronavirus state support. The UK has to request EU authorisation for Covid support loans to Northern Ireland, which, under the... Read more

How almost 100 Tory MPs dealt Boris Johnson the most bruising rebellion of his premiership

Meanwhile, Mark Harper, a former chief whip, accused ministers of “scaring people witless”, while Sir Desmond Swayne accused the Government of creating a “ministry of fear” and abandoning “any principle of social democracy”. Future leadership challenge has ‘got to be... Read more

Shaun Bailey quits London Assembly role after he was photographed at a party last December

It comes as a senior official was found to have told staff to leave No 10 through the back door on the night Boris Johnson hosted a Downing Street quiz last Christmas in another apparent breach of lockdown rules. In... Read more

French tycoon’s BT stake-building triggers national security alert

The Government has previously stepped in to ban Chinese tech giant Huawei from building the UK’s 5G networks, while ministers are reviewing Nvidia’s $40bn takeover of British chipmaker Arm. However, the Government’s warning over BT marks a rare defensive intervention... Read more

Dominic Raab rattled after claiming 250 people in hospital with omicron, then admitting it’s just 10

Dominic Raab has caused confusion by wrongly saying there were 250 people in hospital with omicron when the latest figure was just 10. The Deputy Prime Minister appeared rattled when he issued a correction to the statistics for England after twice... Read more

Full list of Tory rebels who opposed No 10’s Covid pass plan

Some Tory MPs opposed all of the measures, including work-from-home measures and the use of face coverings in most indoor venues. Ben Bradley, the MP for the Red Wall constituency of Mansfield, who was elected in 2019, said last week: “I cannot... Read more

Why living near a royal property could increase your house price value by 63pc

Becky Fatemi, of estate agency Rokstone, said royal neighbourhoods were not only steeped in history, but were also aesthetically pleasing, which usually pushed up price tags.  “The likes of Bridgerton and The Crown have reignited a sense of British patronage... Read more

‘I can’t get a refund on my cancelled Elton John concert ticket’

Since Lloyds Bank was the issuer of the card, I felt it should be the organisation charged with untangling your problem. On my instigation, it went back through its records and before long found the missing £340 and finally refunded... Read more

Questor: is BAT a massive value trap or an absolute steal?

The formidable hedge fund and activist investor Elliott, which has a stake of more than 10pc, has yet to say anything, at least publicly. Those of a nervous disposition may like to sell enough shares to cover the cost of... Read more

‘One simple mistake with my pension cost me £117k’

Billions of pounds are lost to poor pension transfer advice each year, as savers are given unsuitable guidance or lured into overly risky investments.  In many cases, victims of bad advice have no knowledge of the financial damage caused. Dave... Read more

‘I turned a crumbling £98k cottage into a £325k dream home’

Luke Thomas transformed a dark, dilapidated and unloved cottage in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, into a light-filled home with the help of a £65,000 loan – and a lot of creative endeavour. Born and raised in the town, in south-west Wales, Luke had walked... Read more

‘I have a final salary pension and £100k in savings – how can I reduce my tax liability?’

Dear Kate, I’m lucky enough to have a final salary scheme with a previous employer. I’m expecting this to pay out a guaranteed pension of around £35,000 a year plus a tax-free lump sum of around £200,000 when I reach... Read more

Government’s landmark fix to free homeowners from cladding scandal proved pointless

A spokesman for End Our Cladding Scandal, a campaign group for affected leaseholders, said: “There remains insufficient independent evidence that buildings under 18m are inherently safe… the Government must stop hiding from the true scale of this crisis.” The Government’s... Read more

The best places to live with good secondary schools – and where teenagers won’t get bored

“There is a massive supply problem. I have worked here for 16 years and it is the lowest I have ever known,” said Ms Hauton. Back in 2007, when the market was equally as busy, her office had 200 homes... Read more

Electric car revolution will stay stuck in the slow lane without more charging competition

Last year the Government said it wanted there to be at least six ultra-rapid charging points at every motorway service area in the UK by 2023 (with some sites having 10 or 12). Under the Government’s own definition, ultra-rapid charging... Read more

‘We’ve accidentally become a nuclear family – and I hate it’

They say there’s no use crying over spilt milk, but there is when you’re clearing away upturned cereal bowls so the kitchen table can be transformed into a desk. I know because I’ve been there, done it, and cried the... Read more