The West can’t afford disunity over Ukraine

One of the arguments advanced for electing Joe Biden as US president was that he represented a safe pair of hands after the apparent chaos of the Trump years. That argument is now in tatters. First came the botched exit... Read more

A Terrible Kindness by Jo Browning Wroe review: a moving tribute to Aberfan – but not a great novel

Aberfan is a story that Britain will, and should, find difficult to forget. A natural disaster, caused by official negligence, that took 116 children’s lives; photographs of the giant spoil-tip that swept through a Welsh primary school; schoolgirls praying on... Read more

Insomnia, panic attacks and death by drone – inside the ‘dirty work’ powering America

Early on, Press decided not to go undercover. Recently, there has been a spate of books in which writers have embedded themselves in unlovely areas of society. In the UK, James Bloodworth’s Hired (2018) saw the journalist spend six months... Read more

What Eric Zemmour actually believes – according to his books

Who is Éric Zemmour? The 63-year-old French presidential candidate has been fined again for hate speech, after comments he made last September regarding unaccompanied immigrant minors. He is currently on around 14 per cent in opinion polls, splitting the Right-wing... Read more

Belfast, review: Jamie Dornan shines in Kenneth Branagh’s tale of growing up in the Troubles

The young boy stares up at his father on the social club stage. Crooning along to ‘Everlasting Love’ in his shirtsleeves and tie, the man looks for all the world like a matinee idol. (That he’s played by Jamie Dornan... Read more

Nightmare Alley, review: not even Bradley Cooper can save Guillermo del Toro’s stiff, synthetic thriller

Early on in Nightmare Alley, when Bradley Cooper’s aspiring con artist is being schooled in the mind-reader’s devious art, his tutor (David Strathairn) gives him an indispensable piece of advice. In every move and mannerism, the seasoned swindler briefs his... Read more

10 of the best Great British gardening brands to support in 2022

This tool manufacturer traces its roots back to 1730, when a business was founded in Sheffield’s industrial heartland making sheep shears, scissors and knives. The turning point was 1865 when James Ball patented a manufacturing process to produce solid steel... Read more

M&S urges Boris Johnson to end Northern Ireland border checks

Marks & Spencer has written to Boris Johnson urging him to use new technology to end physical border checks in Northern Ireland.  In a joint letter with major suppliers, the retailer argued that frictionless trade could be achieved with software... Read more

Downing Street parties were bad for democracy, admits Sajid Javid

Mr Javid’s position suggests a hardening of government messaging on the issue, with ministers now avoiding answering questions about whether Mr Johnson should resign. On Sunday Oliver Dowden, the Conservative chairman, said the Prime Minister would not leave office, but... Read more

Boris Johnson can survive ‘partygate’ by cutting taxes and ditching ‘fluffy’ policies, says ally

His intervention cames as Tory rebels switched their attention to the Conservative whipping operation and accused whips of “blackmail” over “partygate”. William Wragg MP, a vocal critic of Mr Johnson, suggested police could be called in to deal with allegations... Read more

Germany’s governing Greens facing criminal investigation over coronavirus bonuses

Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into leaders of the German Green Party over coronavirus bonuses they paid themselves. Annalena Baerbock, the foreign minister, and Robert Habeck, the vice-chancellor and business and climate minister, are among six party members under... Read more

Ukraine crisis: Vladimir Putin is sabre-rattling at the West’s moment of maximum weakness

Nato military assistance thus far – even the short-range anti-tank missiles delivered by the UK this week – does not seriously challenge Russia’s military dominance. But the Kremlin fears it could erode its leverage if left unchecked. Even worse, from... Read more

Joe Biden plays Trump card by claiming upcoming US elections could be ‘illegitimate’

Democratic senators had attempted to scrap the filibuster, an arcane rule requiring 60 out of 100 senators to pass certain legislation, in order to advance their voting rights bill. Mr Manchin and Ms Sinema refused to support the rule change,... Read more

Boris Johnson ‘is damaged beyond recovery’ and will go, says senior Scottish Tory

His intervention came after Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, claimed rebel Tory MPs are getting “closer and closer” to the 54 letters needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson. He said the situation was a... Read more

Meet Sue Gray: The former publican who could call last orders on Boris Johnson

In the 1980s, Sue Gray briefly paused her stellar civil service career to buy a pub in “bandit country” in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. If Boris Johnson needed evidence that his inquisitor-in-chief is no pushover, then being landlady of... Read more

Chief knife-wielder David Davis proves Parliament is not just for backstabbing

The Eeyores of British politics insist dolefully that the institution of Parliament is in steady decline. Gone are the Speaker’s wigs and noteless speeches. Even the political coups seem to have lost their heft and gravitas. Once grandly named after... Read more

Boris deserves one last chance, but he may be incapable now of taking it

How surprised can we really be about Boris Johnson’s No 10 shenanigans? He has always been a rule-flouting, outrage-inducing politician – that’s why he managed to deliver Brexit, save the Conservative Party and win the biggest majority they’ve seen in a... Read more

Labour’s Rachel Reeves: It’s the wrong time to raise taxes … but I’m going after buy-to-let landlords anyway

Labour would instead fund the levy “by taxing the incomes of landlords, and those who buy and sell large quantities of financial assets, stocks and shares”, he said. But at the time the rise  was announced, Treasury sources argued that... Read more

Tory defector Christian Wakeford must call by-election, say cabinet ministers

But raising the issue in the House of Commons on Thursday, the Tory MP Joy Morrissey said there should be a debate on the “democratic mandate” in Parliament. Mr Rees-Mogg, the Commons Leader, replied: “Most of us know that we... Read more

Sue Gray finds all-important email said to confirm objections to Downing Street lockdown party

The email pushing back on Mr Reynolds’ invitation could complicate Downing Street’s defence because it suggests there was some opposition internally. However, given that the message appears to have been sent to Mr Reynolds rather than Mr Johnson, it may... Read more

We will not be silenced, vow peers who were labelled ‘bigots’ for speaking out over trans prisoners

The complaint came after Lord Blencathra proposed an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that violent and sexual offenders should be housed in prison according to their sex at birth. A member of the public complained about... Read more

War on the whips as Tory rebels threaten police action amid blackmail claims

Mr Wragg also alerted Sir Lindsay Hoyle to the allegations, with the Commons Speaker warning ministers that the claims, if proven, would amount to contempt of Parliament. Sir Lindsay later told MPs that those who work for the Government “are... Read more

Inside the Tory whips’ office: How flailing enforcers are pushing MPs away from Boris Johnson

Many blame Covid for the “disconnect” between the current crop of new MPs and their whips, with lockdown restrictions having put paid to the face-to-face interaction they might have expected upon entering Parliament two years ago. “There’s very little esprit... Read more

Want to retire at 55? Here’s how big your pension pot needs to be

Carla Morris, of Brewin Dolphin, said anyone planning to retire early would need to ensure they had made informed financial decisions, which include maximising their pension contributions and saving prudently. Those who fall short of the large pension required should... Read more

Questor: what happens if we tip a trust, but your broker will not let you buy it?

It’s hard to imagine a more frustrating experience for a reader who decides to follow one of our tips than to be told by their broker that they cannot do so because the investment in question is too “complex”. Questor... Read more