The testing system needs a rethink

When mass testing for Covid began in 2020 there was no realistic expectation of a vaccine arriving for years. In its absence, testing was to be the main means of controlling the spread of the virus but has now become... Read more

Covid testing in tatters as Sajid Javid blames huge surge in demand

During a visit to a vaccination clinic in Milton Keynes on Wednesday, Mr Johnson urged people to get tested before attending New Year’s Eve festivities. “Everybody should enjoy New Year, but in a cautious and sensible way – take a... Read more

Shoppers face food shortages following EU border controls in new year

Households face fresh disruption to food supplies and empty shelves in supermarkets in the new year, as EU border controls come into force, industry chiefs have warned. The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) said tighter controls for animal and plant... Read more

Boris Johnson’s difficult year is nothing compared with what’s coming next

It is no secret that Boris Johnson had a torrid end to 2021: all self-inflicted, it must be said. Over the past two years the public have been remarkably tolerant, indeed forgiving of the Prime Minister. He arrived into office... Read more

Too many have cashed in on our Covid fear – and nothing will be ‘normal’ again

What do you normally do on New Year’s Eve? I ask because people tend to have traditions for these sorts of things – and, safe (as can be…) in the knowledge that no new restrictions will dispatch the wrecking ball... Read more

When it came to revealing Covid plans, Nicola Sturgeon was more big bother than Big Brother

But I cannot be the only observer who reckons this is bonkers of the first order and wonders how many pubs and other hostelries, as well as their staff, will have suffered still more financial hardship by having their lucrative... Read more

No-deal Brexit back on table if UK triggers Article 16, Liz Truss warned

The Government and the EU have been at a months-long standstill in attempts to renegotiate the protocol, which Downing Street believes has had a chilling effect on trade in the region. To keep the Irish land border open, Northern Ireland... Read more

Nicola Sturgeon ‘dithering’ over relaxation of Scotland’s Covid isolation rules

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of dithering over a relaxation of Scotland’s strict self-isolation rules after she again delayed a decision over whether to cut quarantine to seven days. The First Minister told MSPs on Wednesday that she was keen... Read more

Cut taxes in the spring to ease cost of living crisis, Tory MPs tell Boris Johnson

Marcus Fysh, the Conservative MP for Yeovil, said: “The economy is facing substantial headwinds this year, including difficult cost pressures. “Reducing the cost of employment would be preferable to going ahead with the NI rise and I would support other... Read more

Don’t mention ‘Brexit’, civil servants are told

A Whitehall style guide advises civil servants to avoid using the word “Brexit” and instead refer to “31 December 2020”. The guide says government officials should only use the word when “providing historical context”. They are instead advised to refer... Read more

Questor: a year to forget as our tips fail to make money for readers in 2021

Questor has had a dismal year. The average return on our stock tips since Jan 1 has been a loss of almost 2pc, while the market, on a comparable basis, has risen by 5.1pc. Exactly half of the 50 stocks... Read more

‘I came into a £400,000 windfall from a mystery relation’

Six cousins have come into a share of a £400,000 windfall inherited from a long-lost relative. They were beneficiaries of the surprise legacy of Jacqueline Davidson, who died alone at home in Ilford, east London, in 2019, without any known... Read more

How to reset your relationships this year

The pandemic has taken a toll on many couples, but not all have been equally affected.  The general story, which I have seen in my psychotherapist practice over recent months, is that prolonged periods of enforced time together have meant... Read more

Why it’s time to embrace ‘Plan Living With Covid’

These results have since been echoed by researchers in Edinburgh where, based on an admittedly small number of cases, researchers found a two-thirds reduction in rates of hospitalisation with omicron compared with an equivalent delta infection. Danish, UK and Israeli... Read more

The pleasure pandemic: How lockdown helped our sex lives

Pictured: Anna Hushlak and Billie Quinlan “If you were in a relationship and plodding along and distracting yourself with dinners with friends… then suddenly you’re in the four walls of your home with that person, seeing how they’re treating you,... Read more

‘I’ve known lots of people who beat cancer and lots who didn’t – you can’t get to my age and not’

On a cold winter’s day, I’m greeted at the door of Maggie’s cancer centre in West London by actress Hermione Norris. It is warm inside, very warm, and deliberately so. Chemotherapy often makes people very sensitive to the cold, so... Read more

Biden’s weakness is a danger. The West needs Britain to keep him in check

As 2022 nears, Joe Biden and his party are in political trouble. Elected largely to restore pre-Trumpian normalcy, Biden campaigned as a safe pair of hands, promising effective Covid-19 programmes, a more-complete economic recovery, and a leader who could remain... Read more

This New Year could mark the beginning of the end for Covid restrictions

Could England face further restrictions early next year? At some level the answer must be yes. After all, omicron itself was a total surprise at a time when even Sage modellers were predicting the exponential growth phase of Covid was... Read more

In north London, a radical Victorian approach has solved a very modern crisis

Most agree that Britain does not have enough homes. Among the most affected areas is south Tottenham, home to a thriving Orthodox Jewish community. It is also an area which provides hope for those of us campaigning for a traditionalist... Read more

History’s greatest whodunnit would be ruined if we solved it

The enigma of the Princes in the Tower was last year crowned History’s Greatest Mystery in a poll by BBC History Magazine. Millais’s tender painting of the two boys continues to tug at the heart strings. Now, tantalising new research... Read more

We must confront Covid’s vested interests

The Christmas and New Year period, and the Prime Minister’s refusal to implement additional restrictions during it, may mark a turning point in the Covid-19 pandemic. I certainly hope that we have finally reached the stage where policymakers stop treating... Read more

Ministers must be ready to cut the Covid isolation period

It is disappointing to learn that NHS track and trace is in some cases still wrongly telling people to isolate for 10 days. The decision by Ministers last week to reduce the mandatory self-isolation period for people who have tested... Read more

The 25 best-dressed women of 2021, aged 29 to 100

Iris Apfel’s maximalist style has nothing to do with trends and everything to do with pleasing herself. Those bold, round specs are her signature, while her neck and arms are always stacked with colourful jewellery. 2021 was a milestone for... Read more

How M&S stealthily became the UK’s number one activewear destination

If further proof were needed that we’re a nation which loves some specialised kit, the rise and rise of Marks & Spencer’s Goodmove range is it. Launched a mere two years ago, on the eve of its latest collection drop,... Read more

China calls on US to protect space station from ‘close encounters’ of the Elon Musk kind

China is calling on the United States to protect a Chinese space station and its three-member crew after Beijing complained that satellites launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX nearly struck the station. A foreign ministry spokesperson accused Washington on Tuesday of... Read more