My fellow Tories must calm down – mid-term wobbles are very normal

Some days you wake up wondering if you’ve taken a step back in time. This week Peter Duncan, the former Galloway MP, called for the Scottish Conservatives to divorce themselves from the UK party, reform as another, different, centre-Right grouping... Read more

Absenteeism is crippling Britain

With Christmas and New Year falling at a weekend, the festive break has been extended a few days into January but today should see a mass return to the office. However, because of the rapid spread of the omicron variant,... Read more

Attenborough’s Wonder of Song, review: forget Taylor Swift, listen to the lyrebirds

It’s been a while since a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square. To hear one in Britain these days, unless you’re very fortunate, you will need to go online. Or, like David Attenborough in Attenborough’s Wonder of Song (BBC One), you... Read more

Four Lives, review: quite simply as good as true-crime TV drama gets

In a sea of police dramas, Four Lives (BBC One) stands out. That’s because the police are the villains, rather than the heroes. It is a true-life drama about the botched investigation into Stephen Port, a serial killer who murdered... Read more

Covid outbreak rules too strict, say care homes, as residents denied visitors for up to a month

Care homes have called for Covid outbreak criteria to be changed, as residents are denied visitors for up to a month because of just two cases. Government guidance states an outbreak in a home is defined as “two or more... Read more

Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: More vulnerable children to be protected during lockdown school closures

Emma Tustin was found guilty of the “wicked and evil” murder of Arthur last month, while Thomas Hughes, his father, was convicted of his manslaughter. When Arthur died, he had more than 130 areas of bruising on his body, which... Read more

Hire more middle-aged officers if you are serious about diversity, police told

If police forces are to be truly diverse and represent the communities they serve, they should recruit more middle-aged officers, a senior police leader has suggested. According to the latest Home Office data, just one per cent of officers in... Read more

Sturgeon urged to lift Scotland’s Covid curbs, as just one omicron patient in intensive care

Sandesh Gulhane, the health spokesman for the Scottish Tories, called on Ms Sturgeon to urgently bring Scotland’s self-isolation rules into line with the rest of the UK. “This new data shows that despite rising case numbers, very severe illness does... Read more

Stick to Plan B but brace for pressure on NHS, says Boris Johnson

However, Mr Hopson said it was “very clear that the NHS in the rest of the country outside London is now coming under the significant pressure that London has been encountering”. Official figures showed that in the past seven days,... Read more

‘Super stranded’ patients take up 3,000 more NHS hospital beds in a year

Over the past week, the total number of Covid cases in hospital has risen further, to 14,210. However, the numbers requiring ventilation has remained stable, with 769 such cases in England, compared with more than 2,000 in 2020. Caroline Abrahams,... Read more

Bitter row as sugar tax millions diverted away from fighting childhood obesity

The Government has quietly abandoned a promise to spend millions of pounds in revenue from the sugar tax on fighting childhood obesity. When the levy on soft drinks was introduced, ministers promised to spend “every penny” on children’s health and... Read more

The best way to invest an inheritance: stocks, pension or paying off the mortgage?

Receiving an inheritance can be a pivotal moment in life and it is common to feel pressure to do the “right” thing with the money. Gaining a lump sum can be a good trigger to reorder your finances for the... Read more

‘TSB refused to refund me after I was scammed, despite its fraud refund guarantee’

Sally says: Readers who turned to my column on Boxing Day will have seen my review of the most common complaints I investigated in 2021. I am sure it will not have surprised a soul that scams topped my case... Read more

Dear Richard: ‘Is it too late for me to make a difference in the world?’

Dear Richard, I have a happy home life and a reasonably stimulating job in finance. During the depths of Covid we bunkered down, working from home, shopping online, cocooned in our own world. This autumn I have been back in... Read more

Did you get a metal detector for Christmas? Here’s what to do next…

So, on Christmas Day, you unwrapped your metal detector – the one you’ve wanted since you were 13. Now what? Surely it’s only a matter of time before you find a seventh-century Anglo-Saxon ship – like Basil Brown, the amateur... Read more

How to feed your gut to lose weight and fight illness

A diet that lets you eat more I’m not promoting a fully vegan diet, because research doesn’t necessarily support that from a health perspective. I’m not even suggesting you should go vegetarian. What the evidence suggests is that we could... Read more

‘It took a car crash for me to turn my health around’

Rajiv Bajekal, 60, is a spine surgeon and lifestyle medicine practitioner and lives in Middlesex  I was driving to a friend’s house a few days before Christmas, four years ago, with my wife asleep next to me, when I nearly... Read more

What every woman needs to know about DES, the miscarriage drug being linked with breast cancer

DES, which was given as pills, creams and vaginal suppositories, is classified as an endocrine disrupting chemical, one of a number of substances that interfere with the endocrine system that controls the release of hormones in the body.  It was... Read more

Everyone needs a new year’s resolution swap list – here’s how to cheat the system

You swap for… buying all the gear in preparation, especially the after swimming wear (Dryrobe, Wylding boiler suit, etc.), packing it all in the back of the car, and keeping an eagle eye on tides, wind etc.   You want to…... Read more

Tory Britain is no place to run a business

It’s past time the Tories reclaimed their self-appointed title as the Party of Business. Their website may proudly declare they want Britain to be the best country in the world to start and grow a company but their actions indicate... Read more

Tories must stop fetishising the ‘Red Wall’

The New Year media narrative is being hotly pursued, and it does not provide comfortable reading for the prime minister. The latest ominous findings were revealed in a poll of Red Wall seats captured by the Conservatives last time round.... Read more

2022 must be the year we restore Britain’s common sense

So, farewell 2021 — or was it 2020 all over again? Amid the perpetual purgatory of the pandemic, it feels as if time has been forcibly paused: we stand powerless in the path of sweeping government restrictions, constantly reminded of... Read more

Gen Z’s obsession with feelings only makes them more miserable

How are you feeling today? And don’t give me a stock British response. I want to know how you’re really feeling. What the reading on your colour-coded emotional thermometer was from the moment you woke up. Were you dispirited, perhaps,... Read more

I used to love school. But now I’m dreading going back

Why are people so upset about teenagers having to wear masks in classrooms? It’s just a bit of cloth, and if it makes teachers feel safer, then what’s the harm? That’s the line I keep seeing on social media (usually... Read more

Masks in schools are as pointless as they are cruel

Happy new year! I’m afraid I didn’t come down with omicron this Christmas, despite my best efforts (what I’d give to be banned from the office, preferably for life). From the accounts of friends, the disease is now about as... Read more