The parsimony of the past is a rebuke to today’s state spendthrifts

An extra 20 minutes of spending on the NHS, perhaps? A couple of days of the furlough scheme? Another “eat-out-to-help out” week when we all get a half-price pizza? A climate summit or two, or Netflix vouchers for every teenager... Read more

The country needs stability not delay

The decision of the Metropolitan Police to investigate allegations of lockdown rule-breaking in Downing Street was a long time coming. That it was announced just minutes before the Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, was due to appear before a Greater London... Read more

Ominous prospect of war dwarfs a diet of champagne and nibbles

Because that’s a party, said Labour, not a legitimate business – though I have to tell them that for those of us who hate parties, every birthday feels like a work event. The PM is innocent until proven guilty, countered... Read more

If Boris survives this mess, he needs to start governing as a Conservative

In the old silent movies, the hero used to extricate himself from his predicament accompanied by the words “with one bound he was free”. The phrase could serve as the political motto of Boris Johnson, dubbed the Great Houdini for... Read more

Why Taylor Swift is the woman the music industry needs

First, Albarn. What was he thinking? He was asked by LA Times’ pop music critic Mikael Wood about an upcoming concert that would feature just him, a piano and a string section. The musician said that stripped-back concerts are hard... Read more

Mystery over Glasgow art school fire and the ‘lone figure’ who watched as it went up in flames

“We share the frustration that many will feel that the exact cause of the fire has not been identified,” Penny Macbeth, director of the art school, and Kristen Bennie, interim chairman of the board of governors, said in a statement.... Read more

Blackwell’s book advert called notorious anti-Semitic forgery ‘interesting’ and ‘possibly genuine’

Following pressure from the Jewish community, the bookseller changed the synopsis on its website from saying: “We neither support nor deny its message, we simply make it available for those who wish a copy” to: “Not all documents that change... Read more

Disney on thin ice as Peter Dinklage criticises ‘dwarfist’ Snow White remake

The planned remake of Snow White follows a string of successful live-action adaptations of animated classics produced by Disney, including Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. But Dinklage’s comments have been backed by charities, as the revival of a story... Read more

Without America, All Creatures Great and Small may never have been born

Whether it’s the dizzying effects of the Marvel universe, or the high-stakes family affairs of Succession, American TV has never shied away from drama. So the news that the gentle All Creatures Great and Small reboot is a ratings juggernaut... Read more

The Gilded Age, review: Julian Fellowes delivers his best TV drama since Downton

Julian Fellowes’s long-awaited new series is a gritty take on life in a council block in Luton. Just kidding! The Gilded Age (Sky Atlantic) is, obviously, a lavish period drama featuring beautiful frocks and heavy curtains and characters who say... Read more

Boris Johnson kept Cabinet in the dark about Met Police investigation into ‘partygate’

Boris Johnson left his Cabinet ignorant of the Metropolitan Police investigation launched into parties at Downing Street, it has emerged.  The Prime Minister convened his most senior colleagues on Tuesday morning for the weekly Cabinet meeting, but kept them in... Read more

Government wants court battle with BBC over spy story to be kept secret

The Government is seeking to keep secret its court battle with the BBC over plans by the broadcaster to allegedly identify a spy working overseas. Suella Braverman, the Attorney General, will apply on Wednesday for the hearings into its injunction... Read more

Explained: What the law says about Covid fixed penalty notices

What is a fixed penalty notice? Fixed penalty notices (FPNs) have been issued to people who have broken Covid restrictions in England. FPNs are an enforcement tool, which allow people to pay a penalty instead of being prosecuted and potentially... Read more

Pressure on Boris Johnson to release full Sue Gray ‘partygate’ report

On Tuesday, Mr Johnson’s fightback – dubbed “Operation Save Boris” – was in full swing, as he met more than a dozen Tory MPs one-on-one for meetings aimed at winning their backing. A string of supportive Tory MPs claimed ousting... Read more

The ‘no nonsense’ Met police officers leading Downing Street parties probe

The officer in overall charge of the “partygate” investigation is one of the Met’s toughest operators who has led the force’s response to a string of thorny issues including stop and search and violence against women and girls. Deputy Assistant... Read more

Is Angela Rayner a new ‘Boris’ in the making?

Stepping out on Sunday in leopard-print boots, it is a photograph that brings new meaning to the idea that Angela Rayner is “on manoeuvres”. The image of Labour’s deputy leader, one of its most recognisable rising stars, emerging from her... Read more

Covid rules broken in ‘most homes’, claims MP defending Boris Johnson over partygate

Conservative whips are said to be telling MPs that they should instead focus on the escalating situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, and have argued that the party should not replace its leader before a major international crisis. Nato members have... Read more

Inside Kharkiv, the Ukrainian border city that could be the first target of Russian invaders

Last week, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, warned that Kharkiv could be the first city to be invaded by Vladimir Putin’s forces. The city, which has a million inhabitants, sits just 15 miles away from the Russian border. Mr Zelensky’s remarks... Read more

Doug Beattie: Ulster Unionist leader to stay despite ‘horrendous and horrific’ tweets

Doug Beattie, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, came under heavy pressure to stand down after facing accusations of misogyny and racism over the content of “horrendous” tweets posted before he entered political life. However, Mr Beattie said on... Read more

Downing Street parties: The Met decides to finally investigate – Cressida Dick’s statement in full

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police confirmed on Tuesday that Scotland Yard was now investigating a number of alleged parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.  Separate to the Sue Gray inquiry, these relate to potential criminal breaches of the Covid-19... Read more

The 1922 coup: How influential Tory backbenchers are mobilising against Boris Johnson

Executive committee members  Sir Graham Brady Described the Government’s Covid measures as a “disastrous assault on liberty” and voted against vaccine passports in December 2021. Warned the rising cost of living was a major worry for voters. Remained schtum on... Read more

Met Police were wary of a high-stakes pursuit of the PM … but then the evidence became impossible to ignore

Almost two months on, Boris Johnson finds himself at the centre of a criminal investigation after Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, decided she could no longer overlook the ever-growing mound of allegations that shows no sign of abating.... Read more

Boris Johnson attended lockdown birthday party for less than 10 minutes, says No 10

Boris Johnson attended a birthday party thrown in his honour in Downing Street during the first Covid lockdown, despite social gatherings indoors being banned. The event took place around 2pm on June 19 2020, with a birthday cake presented to... Read more

Timeline: All the government parties during lockdown and what Covid rules were in force at the time

A picture emerged in December 2021 showing the Prime Minister, his wife and about 15 members of staff enjoying wine and cheese in the garden of Downing Street. Number 10, Mr Johnson and Dominic Raab all claimed this was a... Read more

Britain will send troops to defend Europe if Russia invades Ukraine, says Boris Johnson

Emmanuel Macron, the French President, will speak with Mr Putin on Friday. He held talks with Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, over EU sanctions against Moscow in Berlin on Tuesday. Both leaders called for de-escalation. The EU has threatened massive... Read more