Home Office blunders shame this country

What is wrong with the Home Office? It is hard to imagine a more dysfunctional Whitehall department; and yet listening to the hapless Kevin Foster, a junior minister, in the Commons yesterday everything is hunky-dory when it comes to dealing... Read more

Virtue-signalling MPs could hardly have made a bigger mess of our energy policy

We could hardly have made a bigger pig’s ear of our domestic energy policy had we tried. The crisis in Ukraine has exposed the flaws, mistakes and downright complacency that has been evident for years to everyone except politicians desperate... Read more

How Tom Odell’s Another Love became an unlikely anthem for Ukraine

When Sussex-born singer Tom Odell wrote the song Another Love a decade ago, he couldn’t have known it would play a role in boosting morale during a devastating war in Europe 10 years hence. But Odell’s song has, somewhat surprisingly,... Read more

Boris Johnson looks again at fracking amid energy supply crisis

The European Commission on Tuesday published plans to cut EU demand for Russian gas by two-thirds and make Europe “independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030”.  Germany in particular is reliant on Russian oil and gas, with its new Chancellor Olaf... Read more

UK faces paying Brussels billions after ECJ ruling on Chinese shoe scam

The UK faces a bill from Brussels of up to €2.7bn after the European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that Britain failed to stop a cheap Chinese shoes scam. Luxembourg Judges agreed with the European Commission that the UK... Read more

Lord Chidgey, Liberal Democrat who captured Eastleigh from the Tories in a spectacular by-election victory – obituary

With John Major’s government in trouble, the Lib Dems threw everything into the by-election campaign. Chidgey’s margin of victory would have been even greater had not Labour’s vote held solid, polling day coming less than a month after the death... Read more

Grant Shapps ‘impounds’ private jet linked to Roman Abramovich’s oligarch friend

Mr Shvidler made his £1.5 billion fortune during the privatisation of Russian industry and is said to maintain a close connection to Mr Abramovich. In 2008, the pair reportedly bought three houses in Snowmass Village, Colorado, for nearly £50 million.... Read more

Moldova braces for ‘spectrum of threats’ as Russia bids to seize south of Ukraine

Many Ukrainian refugees are unlikely to stay in Moldova, which is one of Europe’s poorest countries. Chisinau estimates that approximately 100,000 Ukrainians have already moved onto neighbouring Romania, from where they can disperse around the European Union. In the backstreets... Read more

Germany rejects boycott of Russian oil and gas as it will leave millions without heat

But oil and gas exports, the mainstay of the Russian economy, are exempt from the sanctions. They were worth a combined total of $235.5 billion (£179 billion) last year and experts fear they may be enough to pay for the... Read more

War in Ukraine makes European recession almost inevitable

Of all the arguments, this third one is the weakest. Even with the emerging cost of living squeeze, it may have been right a month ago. Though if the heat needs taking out of the economy, it would seem to... Read more

Nicola Sturgeon’s opposition to North Sea oil and gas ‘reckless in light of Kremlin threats’

However, only 56 per cent of electricity used in Scotland was from renewables in 2020, with the rest generated by nuclear and gas plants. Only 6.4 per cent of heat demand came from renewables last year, missing Ms Sturgeon’s 11... Read more

Foreign Office leak: Aid cuts harmed women and girls the most

Cuts to international aid being implemented by Liz Truss disproportionately affected women and girls, despite her flagship policy to lift them out of poverty, leaked Foreign Office documents have revealed. Last year, the Foreign Secretary, who is also the women... Read more

Theresa May: Women who work from home risk ‘losing out’ in their careers

A culture of working from home means that women risk “losing out” against men, Theresa May has warned. The former prime minister welcomed the right to request flexible working but cautioned that “out of sight can be out of mind” if... Read more

Boris Johnson appoints fellow Old Etonian Peter Wilson as new principal private secretary

Mr Reynolds sent an email to staff inviting them to a “bring your own booze” gathering in the Downing Street garden in May 2020. Number 10 has argued that it was a work event and did not break Covid rules. ... Read more

John Bercow banned from Parliament after inquiry brands him ‘serial bully’

John Bercow has been banned from Parliament for life after being found to be a “serial bully” and a liar. An independent inquiry upheld 21 allegations against the former Commons speaker by three former members of staff, who was found... Read more

How to invest during choppy stock markets in 2022

“The UK market is also likely to gain from inflation and incoming interest rate rises,” he said. “This is because there are a lot of commodity, energy and bank stocks.”  Banks’ profit margins typically improve when interest rates rise, because... Read more

Are you financially secure for retirement? Take a midlife MOT

How to test your finances First, you should find out how financially vulnerable or secure you are. Start by putting your current finances under the microscope. Most of us know roughly how much cash we have left in our bank... Read more

How to beat UK inflation and make your pension pot last a lifetime

Millions of pensioners will feel the squeeze as bills rise sharply and the cost of living rockets, but they should not turn to their pension to increase their income.  Rising inflation can wipe years of retirement income off pension pots... Read more

England’s best small cities for families, landlords and downsizers in 2022

For great schools but lower prices, Lichfield in Staffordshire ranks highly. Here, homes cost that cost roughly half those in St Albans, at £322,437. It has become newly popular with Londoners. Five years ago, the average buyer in Lichfield came... Read more

Questor: Despite the range of threats facing Vistry, much of the risk is already priced in

Best of all, the valuation suggests that a lot of bad news is already factored into the share price. Vistry trades on only seven times forecast earnings, with a predicted yield of 7.5pc for 2022. That yield is underpinned by... Read more

Savers have £5bn sitting in ‘rip-off’ investment funds

Laith Khalaf of stock brokers AJ Bell said customers were being “ripped off”. “If you’re paying an annual charge of over 1pc for a basic tracker fund, then you’re being ripped off, because similar funds are available for a fraction... Read more

Easy ways to boost your pension pot before the tax year ends

Partner’s and children’s pension allowances You could also think about paying into your partner’s pension. The usual tax relief limits apply – they get relief on your contributions and any other personal contributions up to the greater of 100pc of... Read more

Living standards face ‘biggest fall since the 70s’ as household incomes will drop 4pc

The think tank called on the Government to do more to cushion the burden of rising energy bills. Levies that increase electricity bills by around £170 a year could be removed from consumer bills and instead be funded by general... Read more

Banks hit panic button and pull mortgage deals

Karen Noye, of advice firm Quilter, said affordable mortgage had become “increasingly hard to find”. This would only continue as Britain grappled with the economic consequences of war in Europe and higher energy costs pushed up inflation. “Given the heightened... Read more

The top 10 most fuel-efficient new cars you can buy in 2022

One way around skyrocketing fuel prices is, of course, to buy an electric car. But they still don’t work for everyone just yet – so if you need to stick with petrol or diesel for the time being, what options... Read more