Desmond Tutu leaves an extraordinary legacy

The tributes paid to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, whose death was announced yesterday, highlight the extraordinary contribution he made to the fight against the evils of apartheid in South Africa. They also illustrate the significant role he played in the process... Read more

In 2021, the Tories surrendered the country to the medical-socialist state

It’s funny: I’ve done a lot this year (bought a flat, bought a dog, published a book), yet it’s felt like one of the worst I can remember, as if I’m running hard and getting nowhere. Covid’s to blame, but... Read more

Around the World in 80 Days, episodes 1 and 2 review: a fun story that needed far fewer changes

“I was hoping for a little more colour.” The words of Abigail Fix in Around the World in 80 Days (BBC One) after she asked Phileas Fogg why he believed he could circumnavigate the globe, and Fogg gave some dull... Read more

Death in Paradise Christmas special, review: a half-hearted attempt at festive cheer

The blurb for the Death in Paradise special (BBC One) promised “a ray of Caribbean sunshine this Christmas time”. I’ve seen more sunshine on a wet weekend in Hull. Pity this episode’s guest star, Juliet Stevenson, who must have packed... Read more

A Very British Scandal, review: a poor attempt at redeeming a truly unlikeable person

But there isn’t a single sympathetic note. Margaret is a spoiled, scheming, pathological liar. At some level, she is the product of her upbringing: an indulgent father and an uncaring mother. But all that can really be said in her... Read more

Exclusive: Lockdown may have sent would-be terrorists on ‘dark journey’ to radicalisation, warns Damian Hinds

“The three countries that I mentioned to you have physical human capability, they have a big cyber presence, they’re able to deploy at scale,” Mr Hinds says. “They can run, and do run, information ops and are involved in multiple... Read more

Schools plan to send home whole year groups as Covid fears mount

By Sunday evening, no recall of Parliament had been announced. Similarly, no urgent meeting of the Cabinet to discuss tightening the Covid rules had been called. Government insiders continue to say it is possible no new Covid restrictions for England... Read more

Politicians should be ashamed of their opposition to fracking

Here is something odd, however. While gas prices are soaring in Europe, in the US they have barely moved. Measured by oil barrel equivalent, US gas is at slightly over $70, compared with more than $220 on this side of... Read more

Parliament repairs could force MPs out of the building for 20 years

A refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament could force MPs out of the Palace of Westminster for two decades. Under the restoration plan the cost of repairs to the Commons and the Lords could reach £14 billion, exceeding the original... Read more

Boxing Day hunts outfox opponents as councils waste money on ‘politically motivated’ bans

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Thankfully, in more cases than not, councillors have rejected these pointless motions, but others have seen it as an opportunity for a bit of political grandstanding. “Of course, you can’t ‘ban’... Read more

Questor: tell me, Santa – will the long awaited stock market crash finally come in 2022?

Moreover, a range of stocks continue to trade on very modest valuations. Industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, or which have not been obvious beneficiaries of a shift towards online and sustainability growth trends, could deliver recoveries... Read more

Rules relaxed on who can take out a 40-year mortgage

Home buyers who fix their mortgage for four decades can now borrow seven times their salary, including those earning below average salaries.  Habito, a lender, has relaxed its borrowing rules for customers who earn more than £25,000 when applying for... Read more

‘I still get royalties from Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’

Brenda Lee, 77, is the American singer who found fame in 1960 with I’m Sorry. She has sold more than 100 million records and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree has become a Christmas standard. She has had 19 UK Top... Read more

The great escape: where Londoners fled to during the pandemic

Those selling up in the capital favoured Dartford in Kent as their top destination, followed by Wokingham in Berkshire and Epping Forest in Essex.  Meanwhile, Londoners made up the highest share of first-time buyers in St Albans. This demographic also... Read more

How MotoGP’s new young marvel ‘grew up’ to make championship history

Quartararo openly wears his emotions, and 2020 saw plenty of histrionics, whether it was missing a qualification lap attempt or frustration with results or Yamaha’s mechanical woes. He was brilliant, cocky, fresh but also bonkers, and the campaign ultimately wilted.... Read more

Twixmas was invented by women. Why? So finally, we can switch off

If you’re reading this in loungewear, prone on the sofa surrounded by wilfully esoteric Christmas treats and only a hazy idea of what day it is, then congratulations: you have successfully segued into Twixmas. This is that unique, safe space... Read more

Dear Richard: ‘I’m still grieving for my husband, but my children want me to celebrate’

Dear Richard,  My husband died shortly after Christmas last year. It wasn’t Covid-19 but the pressures on the NHS arising from the pandemic did impact on the care he received: it was not a peaceful or a dignified end, and... Read more

Can a vanilla inhaler trick my brain into quitting sugar?

Dr Nicole Avena, an associate professor of neuroscience who studies sugar’s effects on the brain at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says such gadgets could work in principle. “Smell and taste are linked for sure, but you would have... Read more

I’ve had Christmas migraines for years – but the pandemic has made them worse

My migraines started with a vengeance in my 40s. It is not usual for them to start in midlife, but the headaches I had been suffering since my 20s, I now realise, were probably low-level migraines, that have steadily got... Read more

Why we can’t resist an aristocracy sex scandal

John Julius Norwich once said to me about his father Duff Cooper, who married Lady Diana Manners (and who was friends with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor): “My Papa had an extremely good reputation for womanising.” It was expected,... Read more

Liz Truss, like Mrs Thatcher before her, has shown the reforming power of a Tory convert

What do Margaret Thatcher and Liz Truss have in common? Many of the comparisons being made between the two are rather lazy. All politicians are shaped by the times they live in, and the post-crash, post-Brexit, post-pandemic world is a... Read more

Britain’s USSR sympathisers are ignoring the regime’s horrors

On Christmas Day, thirty years ago, a fabulous present was given to the people of Russia. Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics declared: “I hereby discontinue my activities at the post of President of the USSR.”... Read more

Israel is the best thing to happen to Christians in the Holy Land for centuries

Every year at Christmas, some Christian prelate warns of the fate of Christians in the Holy Land. This year it was Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem Hosam Naoum, who warned of an “unprecedented and urgent”... Read more

Britain is still a Christian country

For the rectors, vicars and parish priests who will finally slump, exhausted, over their Christmas lunch today after a round of Midnight Masses and morning services, it will be a moment of cheer. The pews will have been fuller than... Read more

Our New Year’s resolution should be to stop cancelling dead white men

Growing up Jewish and a girl, I was immersed in a cultural inheritance created almost entirely by people either unlike me, or opposed to me: Christian men, of which a fair number were anti-Semites and sexists. But does that mean... Read more