A fiscal misstep

One of the perversities of the current period of elevated inflation is that the Government is set to benefit financially. A phenomenon known as “fiscal drag” will mean more people are required to pay higher rates of tax than they... Read more

Why Erich von Däniken still believes that God was an astronaut

“Hello,” says the brisk and slightly accented voice on the telephone. “I’m Erich von Däniken.”  I can feel a little shiver of excitement pass through my body – and then back in time, to 14-year-old me, entranced by a garish... Read more

Screw, review: Porridge played straight in new likeable prison drama

Viewers of last year’s BBC prison drama, Time, will have come away with the impression that life behind bars is hideous. Channel 4’s Screw takes a different approach. It’s pitched at the midpoint between Time and Porridge. Bad things almost... Read more

The Apprentice, review: cheer up, telly’s festival of idiocy is back

Somewhere in Britain there is a factory assembling candidates for The Apprentice (BBC One). The women are banded together in their block-colour dresses, like a packet of felt tip pens, and the men are programmed with ridiculous sayings:  “My friends... Read more

Like it or not, Banksy rules the art world’s political roost

Banksy has the platform (and in cases like his sneezing Covid rats spray-stencilled inside a London tube carriage, he has the train, too) but what exactly are his politics? At first glance, they look like a rag-bag of right-on “anti”... Read more

Novak Djokovic: Boris Johnson praises Australia’s tough stance on Covid vaccines

Asked about the controversy, Mr Johnson said on Thursday: “It’s a matter for Australia and their friendly government. That’s a matter for them, but clearly I share very strongly their view of the Australian authorities that it’s a very good... Read more

Thursday evening UK news briefing: Boris Johnson intervenes over Novak Djokovic

Boris Johnson has backed the Australian government in its decision to refuse entry to Djokovic because he is unvaccinated, as Downing Street urged sports stars to accept a jab.  The Prime Minister said he shared the view of the “friendly”... Read more

Ministers back MP’s campaign for national anthem to be played on BBC One every night

Mr Philp replied that ministers “fully support the singing of the national anthem, Her Majesty the Queen, and other expressions of patriotism, including the flying of the Union Jack”. “The more that we hear the national anthem sung, frankly, the... Read more

Trust people to make decisions, Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Nicola Sturgeon after failed Covid crackdown

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde board said only people with a “very urgent or life-threatening condition” should attend as all its A&E facilities were “operating well over normal capacity”. Mr Yousaf warned “this is going to be an extremely... Read more

All Covid tests for travel could be removed, suggests Grant Shapps

Surge in bookings EasyJet reported that it had seen a boost of almost 200 per cent in UK bookings following the Government’s lifting of restrictions. It said more easyJet flights were on sale from London Gatwick than ever before, with... Read more

Competition chief regarded as barrier to post-Brexit reforms steps down

The boss of Britain’s competition regulator is to resign amid frustration among ministers that he has not sought to take advantage of Brexit. Andrea Coscelli, who has led the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) since 2016, will leave the post... Read more

Despite what you’ve heard, I didn’t load the gun for the Capitol Hill attack

Gatehouse weaves his American tale around the alleged “murder” of Vincent Foster, the deputy White House counsel and Hillary Clinton’s former law partner, found dead in a Virginia park in 1993 in what was quickly ruled a suicide. Now, there... Read more

Djokovic’s predicament may well be politics at play … but many believe it serves him right

Djokovic is due to spend the next three days in his hotel room in Melbourne until a court case on Monday that will decide his fate. His lawyers have brought an injunction to prevent what would have been Djokovic’s immediate... Read more

Why some people keep getting Covid – and others never at all

As a result, we shouldn’t be surprised that some are more prone to catching viruses than others. We can see this happening in real-time in the laboratory. Researchers at Oxford University and Imperial College London are currently carrying out “challenge... Read more

Working from home creates new crisis for high street retailers

The gloomier picture was echoed by the British Chambers of Commerce, which released separate figures late on Wednesday showing that the UK’s economic recovery slowed in the final quarter of the year. Only 45pc of companies responding to its survey... Read more

Ghislaine Maxwell and the complicated love life of a she-devil

The two main loves – and diabolical influences – of Ghislaine Maxwell’s life are now so well-documented in the grisly account of her downfall from society darling to prison convict, that you would have to be an Inuit or an... Read more

Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre could give victim impact statement at Ghislaine Maxwell sentencing

“At the sentencing, I anticipate that there will be a lot of testimony from many, many other women who were not able to be heard at the trial, who will come forward and bring information about their suffering at the... Read more

Novak Djokovic is a useful distraction from Australia’s Zero Covid failure

A tennis star is an unlikely target for a politician, but these are hard times for Scott Morrison. His approval rating is plummeting, he needs a good fight and fate seems to have handed him the perfect enemy. The unvaccinated... Read more

Russian submarine collided with Royal Navy warship in North Atlantic

Commander Tom Sharpe, the former frigate captain, told The Telegraph that the “Russian threat to our national undersea communications is real, on our doorstep and ever increasing”.  “It’s hard to overstate the effect a major disruption of it would cause,”... Read more

Stonewall gets £1.2m in taxpayer cash as Foreign Office accused of ‘propping up’ charity

The accounts to March 2021, which cover a period of 18 months, show that the charity received £1,249,363 in grants from public bodies. This is a near-67 per cent increase on the £748,295 they received in their previous accounts, which... Read more

Care home 14-day Covid isolation rule under review amid fears it fuels bed-blocking

The rule vastly differs from current guidance for positive Covid cases in the community, who now only have to isolate for seven days if they have two negative lateral flow tests. Care home leaders have also called for the Covid... Read more

Arm investigates suspicious payments at Chinese joint venture

One of Britain’s biggest technology companies is investigating suspicious payments to senior executives at its Chinese joint venture, presenting a potential complication to its $40bn (£30bn) takeover by a US rival. Cambridge-based microchip maker Arm said that “allegations related to... Read more

Boris Johnson in ‘wallpaper for access’ row over Lord Brownlow’s plans for exhibition

Boris Johnson agreed to consider proposals for a new festival in private messages with a Tory donor who helped fund the redecoration of his Downing Street flat, it has emerged. Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row, who originally provided funds as... Read more

One million to be pulled into higher rate of tax

An increase in national insurance of 1.25 percentage points will kick in in the same month, costing the average worker £255 a year. Mr Johnson, the IFS director, said: “If you are someone on average earnings who is going to... Read more

‘Kick in the teeth’ for families as Nationwide raises mortgage rates further than Bank of England

Families are facing the “year of the squeeze” with inflation exceeding 5pc, the highest in a decade, taxes rising from April, energy costs spiralling and the costs of goods and services reaching fresh highs.  Jonathan Harris, of mortgage broker Forensic Property... Read more