Wednesday evening UK news briefing: Covid testing victory for holidaymakers

Meanwhile, asymptomatic people in England who test positive for Covid-19 on a lateral flow device will no longer need confirmatory PCR tests from next Tuesday.  The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed that the change, described as a “temporary” measure,... Read more

Michael Gove’s ‘only mistress was politics’, says estranged wife Sarah Vine

Michael Gove’s “only mistress was politics”, his estranged wife has said, as she addressed speculation about why their marriage ended. Sarah Vine set out why the couple had agreed to separate after they announced last July that they were in... Read more

Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Chancellor to abandon rise in National Insurance amid cost of living crunch

The 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance will cost middle-earning households around £300 a year and much more for richer households, according to analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank. On Wednesday, Boris Johnson faced calls from his backbenchers... Read more

Discount plan for millions of ‘fuel poor’ households struggling with energy bills

A series of senior Tory MPs have voiced concerns about a cost of living squeeze coming in April, when energy bills are set to soar just as a planned National Insurance tax rise is due to come into force. Meanwhile... Read more

Boris’s total conversion to Brownism on tax is a betrayal of Middle England

If Boris Johnson, king of the Brexiteers, slayer of the Red Wall and supposed neo-populist extraordinaire, can’t even cut VAT on fuel, what hope is there for his brand of Toryism? Forget about any kind of recovery after the woes... Read more

How to get a Government-approved day two test

Regardless of their vaccination status, all travellers entering the UK must take a day 2 test.  From 4am on January 9, this can be a lateral flow test instead of a more costly PCR test and the need to self-isolate... Read more

Swabbing nose and throat for lateral flow tests more accurate than nose-only samples

Lateral flows tests are poorer at detecting coronavirus if users only swab their nose, results show. Since last summer, the Government has been providing test kits that no longer require people to swab their tonsils. But in recent months, many... Read more

PCR vs LFT: Lateral flows can cut Covid isolation but could leave one in 10 with false positive

The move to scrap confirmatory PCR checks for people who test positive for Covid with a lateral flow has reignited the debate about which test is best. Undoubtedly, allowing people to self-isolate from the first day they test positive by... Read more

Holiday bookings bonanza beckons as Covid day two PCR tests scrapped

Travel firms prepared for a surge in demand for winter sun and ski holidays on Wednesday as Boris Johnson scrapped PCR and pre-departure tests in a move that will save families hundreds of pounds. The Prime Minister lifted all the... Read more

Encore performance of PMQs panto was the perfect remedy for post-Christmas hangover

Past Covid outbreaks may have dimmed the panto lights across Britain over Christmas, but PMQs provided some consolation for those of us who were still feeling the loss of our annual brush with Widow Twankey, Baron Hardup and Fleshcreep.  The... Read more

Hundreds of care homes not accepting new residents amid omicron variant fears

Sam Monaghan, the chief executive of MHA, which has closed 62 of its 89 homes to new admissions because of Department of Health and Social Care guidelines around outbreaks, said: “The current rules around outbreaks mean that care homes find... Read more

Strikes threatened over Priti Patel’s plan to use jet skis to push migrant boats back to France

The PCS, which represents around 80 per cent of Border Force officials, and Care4Calais, a refugee charity, announced on Wednesday that they were taking the Home Office to court over the policy and had filed an application for a judicial... Read more

Supermarkets face uncertain year after a bumper Christmas

Separately, analysts have questioned the likelihood of speedy grocery delivery apps providing huge competition ahead, despite securing hundreds of millions of pounds to aggressively expand internationally in recent months. Shore Capital said it expected the “bubble to pop” while Jefferies... Read more

Strict Covid curbs ‘less effective’, admits Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s isolation rules relaxed

Strict limits on attendance at large events in Scotland, including football matches, were imposed on Boxing Day. Theatres across the country have also had to close their doors. However, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that the virus was “more widespread now... Read more

Questor: a recovering company in an unwisely shunned sector is our stock tip of the year

Medtronic, listed in America but legally based in Ireland, may not be a household name but its products play a big part in the lives of those who suffer from a range of common chronic conditions from diabetes to heart... Read more

Nationwide customers face payment delays for third time in a fortnight

Nationwide customers face a fresh round of payment delays just two weeks after being blocked from transferring money over Christmas. Yesterday payments to customer bank accounts were delayed as a result of an “extremely high volume of transactions”, meaning many... Read more

Easy ways to save money in 2022: top tips to improve your finances

5) Don’t forget to haggle Even once you’ve been given an offer by a company for goods or services, that may not be their cheapest price. If you’ve found a cheaper deal online you can use that as a bargaining... Read more

‘I can’t afford to send both kids to university – can I ask my son to pay for his sister?’

Dear Moral Money, We have two children who are now young adults. We wanted to avoid them being burdened by the repayment costs of student loans. We have been able to afford to pay for the tuition and accommodation of... Read more

Thousands risk losing their homes as bank repossession ban ends

Tens of thousands of homeowners face eviction after banks ended a Christmas ban on repossessions. Mortgage lenders had collectively agreed not to repossess any homes over the festive period, but this moratorium has now lifted and evictions will once again... Read more

First-time buyers now face some uncomfortable home truths

“At the top end of the market, we have seen more people looking to miss out a rung of the ladder and move into larger properties than they would have looked at 10 years ago,” says Clacy. Many of those... Read more

Sony confirms its drive to join the electric car business

Sony has revealed its second electric car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and confirmed that it intends to get into the transportation business with a new mobility division. The Vision-S 02 is a pure electric SUV,... Read more

The 5 best classic cars to buy in 2022 for less than £2,000

Prices of the classic Volvo 240 are now well and truly on the rise, but buyers haven’t cottoned on to its successor, the 740, in quite the same way just yet. It won’t be long before they do, though, so... Read more

Inside the battle for the most desirable beach huts in Britain

The picnics may be a little better – back then he says you were lucky to get a ham and pickle sandwich – but otherwise the pleasures of the beach remain the same as in his childhood: a morning swim... Read more

How households can help protect the environment in 2022

Use refillable containers Single-use plastic is an ever-growing problem – 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every day in the UK. One commercial response is to sell water in cans and cartons. But these aren’t actually any better for the environment. ... Read more

‘Healthy’ mushroom beer – a craft beer too far?

Mushroom beer might sound crazy if you start from a position of “I brew beer. What new ingredient can I throw in the mash tun today?” But if your starting point is “I’m passionate about the benefits of functional mushrooms.... Read more