Having signed the trade deal with Australia, Global Britain is just getting started

Tonight, Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan and I have signed the trade deal between the United Kingdom and Australia — the first comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that the UK has negotiated entirely from scratch since leaving the European Union, and... Read more

The era of cheap money is coming to an end

With inflation surging out of control, the Bank of England had little choice but to raise interest rates. The scale of the increase is trivial at 0.15 per cent, mortgage rates will remain at historically low levels and borrowers will... Read more

Is the extraterrestrial Chris Whitty writing his own policy on omicron? The truth is out there…

It’s beginning to look a lot like the “new normal”. Certainly in Portcullis House, anyway, where no fewer than three public health experts were dialling in virtually to update the health select committee on the latest situation with the omicron... Read more

Boris Johnson’s embrace of the Big Brother state goes well beyond Covid

My eldest son turns 14 this month, approaching the troublesome part of his teens. He’d best watch his step. If he performs a drunken prank that sufficiently displeases the home secretary of the day, then he or she can strip... Read more

Thursday evening UK news briefing: How to profit from the interest rate rise

Sam Peckinpah’s most controversial film took his obsession with toxic masculinity to extremes. Alexander Larman reveals how it pushed his stars to breaking point Read the full story Sport briefing: Wolff fears Hamilton couldn quit F1 Mercedes team principal Toto... Read more

Rishi Sunak cuts short California trip amid criticism over lack of support for omicron-hit firms

Mr Sunak is due to arrive back in the UK on Friday. Small firms ‘facing the disruption of a tidal wave of omicron’ Pub and restaurant bosses on Thursday piled pressure on the Treasury to provide support, warning the situation... Read more

Police launch investigation into Tory HQ Christmas party attended by Shaun Bailey

The Metropolitan Police will make contact with two people who attended a gathering at the Conservative Party HQ in London on December 14 2020 in relation to alleged breaches of coronavirus regulations.  The Met Police said it was aware of... Read more

Chris Whitty is ‘running the show’ on Covid policy, complain Tory MPs

CMO put Britain ‘into effective lockdown’ A series of angry interventions by Tory MPs followed in the Commons. Steve Brine, a former health minister, said: “At a stroke the Chief Medical officer changed government policy and put this country, certainly... Read more

Planet Normal: We’re seeing lockdown by stealth

The country is not in lockdown by name, but according to Telegraph columnist Liam Halligan, it’s not far off lockdown by nature. “To call these restrictions as we have them now “no cost” or “non-draconian” is completely mad. It’s not... Read more

Letters: Are Conservatives starting to take back control of their party from the Prime Minister?

Undelivered post SIR – My area of Surrey has received no post for nearly three weeks because our postman is off sick and there is no replacement. Royal Mail does not appear to be taking on extra Christmas staff to... Read more

Professor Chris Whitty: You can go to a party… if that is your priority this Christmas

Prof Whitty also said that ministers were attempting to balance the economic, social and health impacts of restrictions, and that the Government may change their advice if vaccine effectiveness turned out to be less than hoped. But he said that... Read more

‘I’m investing my grandchildren’s Isas badly – how do I rescue them?’

Starting a savings account for a child and contributing regularly is one of the most powerful financial gifts someone can give. The magic of compounding returns means that even a modest sum every month has the power to turn into... Read more

Five ways to turbocharge your pension in your 60s

Life can often shift gears when people enter their 60s, whether it slows down in retirement or speeds up with grand plans for travel. Those nearing 65 should have a clear idea of when they plan to retire and how... Read more

Interest rate rises will be worst blow to first-time buyers since financial crisis

Existing homeowners will also be shielded from hikes because they have gained equity. A buyer who purchased in 2016 has increased their equity from £21,780 to £83,060, whereas first-time buyers are simply more priced out. This means they have the... Read more

Millions missing out on working from home tax relief – here’s how to claim

Millions of workers have failed to claim work from home tax breaks introduced during the pandemic, in spite of new guidance to avoid offices as omicron spreads.  So far this tax year just 1.6 million people have claimed the new... Read more

Questor: a top team, booming sector and 8pc discount – this rare opportunity won’t last long

“The potential for the technology sector is huge. It continues to reshape established industries and in many cases it is a ‘winner takes all’ scenario, resulting in massive rewards for the dominant companies.” It added that the wide discount –... Read more

The nine places the property market boom completely missed

The markets are an example of what happens to property values when an economy is hammered and does not receive the kind of financial support, such as the furlough scheme, that kept the country afloat during the worst of the... Read more

‘Age doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese’: meet the 70-somethings who refuse to retire

Cornwall resident Derek Myers, 70, is also feeling more energetic that he expected to at retirement age. He planned to wind down at 60 after a career in exports, but instead set up a consultancy. He’s not even the oldest... Read more

What the increase in interest rates means for house prices and mortgages

As inflation continues well above the Bank’s target rate of 2pc, the Office for Budget Responsibility, the Treasury’s official forecaster, expects that the Bank Rate will rise to 0.75pc by the end of 2023. This would trigger a 13pc year-on-year... Read more

How savers can profit from the interest rate rise

Savers hoping for a substantial jump in the rates paid by easy-access and fixed-rate accounts or cash Isas after today’s Bank Rate rise will be disappointed – but there are still ways to profit from the Bank of England’s move.... Read more

Millions of homeowners face mortgage rate rises

Nationwide, Britain’s biggest building society, also said tracker mortgages would rise from February but said it was “considering what impact this announcement would mean for savers” and would announce further details in due course. Its standard variable rate could also... Read more

Why the Jaguar S-Type is a guaranteed future classic

It’s a car that may seem easy to dismiss today. One that seems little more than an anachronistic blip on Jaguar’s CV, but don’t be too hasty to think that. Despite the naysayers, that styling is aging quite nicely, and... Read more

The UK’s most reliable cars revealed – and the least reliable

Each car is given a reliability score ranging from minus 100 for the highly unreliable motor from hell, to 100 for a dream car that never goes wrong.  So that the results weren’t skewed by very low volume car makers,... Read more

Dear Prue: ‘How can I reverse the gentle decline in quality of my husband’s presents?’

Dear Prue,  Over the past few years I have noticed that each Christmas my husband’s gift to me has been more and more modest. When the children were small, of course, it was all about them, and we’d exchange a... Read more

7 Covid Christmas dilemmas – and how we hope to get through them

There’s a great new addition to the daily routine this Christmas. As well as the usual – get up, switch the tree lights on, draw the curtains, cry for 20 minutes, open the latest advent calendar door – you turn... Read more