Booming Boris means business as he leads the chumminess at Nato summit

A Nato summit in Brussels could only mean one thing. An awkward family photo call of the G7 leaders, spaced out like Anthony Gormley statues at weird intervals across the podiums. Remain Twitter’s finest sleuths had salivated over the footage,... Read more

The Boris and Rishi power struggle has left the Tory Party in a muddle

Is Rishi Sunak a fool or a fraud? To a great many people, it has to be one or the other after a mini-budget which seemed to be a smouldering mess of contradiction. He promises “to let people keep more... Read more

Paid to party like a Russian: the end of the stars’ oligarch gravy train

As Robbie Williams belted out his smash hit Angels, hundreds of revellers swayed and sang along. So lavishly lit and impeccably produced was Williams’ performance that he could have been on one of his sold-out arena tours. But this was... Read more

The Apprentice: the Final, review: dessert parlours or dog pyjamas? Lord Sugar didn’t seem to want either

Do dogs wear pyjamas? The Apprentice (BBC One) is a programme that sticks so closely to a formula, and contains so few surprises, that only occasionally do you wake up and think, “Hang on, what?” This was the finale, and... Read more

MPs call time on drunken staff sleeping in parliamentary offices

MPs’ staff have been drunkenly sleeping in the office after missing their trains home after nights out. Sir Charles Walker, the Conservative MP who chairs Parliament’s administration committee, said Commons security staff had recently received several reports of researchers returning... Read more

Rishi Sunak not a tax-cutting chancellor, say Tories in Spring Statement backlash

Robert Halfon, who led the campaign for a 5p cut in fuel duty, welcomed the move but added: “I am not saying it’s perfect, and they will have to do more later in the year to manage the debt that... Read more

What does the Tory Party stand for?

Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement has not benefited from closer examination. Many have pointed out that the Chancellor’s attempt to pose as a tax-cutter lacks credibility given that the tax burden is forecast to rise to near-record highs over this Parliament.... Read more

Madeleine Albright: Former US secretary of state dies aged 84

She championed Nato expansion and pushed for the transatlantic alliance to intervene in the Balkans to stop the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian muslims. Albright’s experience as a refugee prompted her to push for the United States to be a superpower... Read more

‘My 57-strong investment portfolio is an unwieldy mess – how do I fix it?’

Dan Boardman-Weston, chief investment officer at BRI Wealth Management We would suggest that Mr Bennett build a balanced portfolio that includes lower-risk assets such as cash, wealth preservation investment trusts and some infrastructure and commercial property.  We like Personal Assets... Read more

Sunak’s stealth pensions raid is a ‘brutal attack’ on 1.6 million savers

Someone purchasing a joint life inflation linked annuity at the age of 65 with £1,073,100 would receive an income of £24,137 a year before tax, according to financial planner William Burrows, of the Retirement Planning Project. Coupled with the £9,350... Read more

Landlords’ appeals against quadrupling council tax bills are ‘unwinnable’

Alan Murdie, a housing lawyer and council tax specialist, said: “From my research, there have only been a couple of cases of successful challenges.” One of these was successful only after going to the High Court, said Mr Murdie. The... Read more

Wind farms knock 8pc off house prices

There are currently 135 wind farm sites that have been approved but are awaiting construction. A further 50 are awaiting approval. Several hundred more that were previously rejected could soon be revived. Wind farms currently awaiting construction are largely concentrated... Read more

HMRC ‘unfairly’ raises interest rates for two million taxpayers

Sarah Coles of the stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown said the move was unfair and meant HMRC would make more money from those struggling to pay their bills while saving on the money it pays out for its own errors.  “For anyone... Read more

Questor: this property fund took a beating from the lockdowns but has now bounced back

The good news is that Travelodge appears to be back on its feet now and since the start of the year rents have reverted to levels agreed in the original contract.  Rent rises from inflation-linked reviews that should have taken... Read more

Over-50s dip into life savings to pay for gas bills

Over-50s have raided their pension pots to cover the cost of soaring energy bills and more expensive supermarket shops.  The Office for Budget Responsibility has dramatically revised its forecasts for tax receipts generated from people drawing money from their pensions... Read more

Meet the millionaires who made their fortune using Isas

The number of Isa millionaires at Britain’s biggest stockbroker soared by more than two thirds last year as stock markets bounced back strongly from the pandemic. Hargreaves Lansdown said 973 of its investors had built up savings pots of more... Read more

‘Green’ home improvements will cost 15pc more despite Rishi Sunak’s VAT cut

Noble Francis, of the Construction Products Association, a trade body, said: “The reduction in VAT on energy-saving materials from 5pc to 0pc merely makes a dent into the overall cost rises. This won’t make a difference in terms of the... Read more

Workers will pay more tax despite Rishi Sunak’s promise to lessen burden

A £50,000 earner will pay £107 more in National Insurance from July, despite the threshold rise. Someone on £100,000 a year will pay £733 more, while a £125,000 earner will pay £1,045 more.  These rises will wipe out much or... Read more

Mark Hix’s three-course spring menu to make this weekend

Spring arrived a bit early this year and all sorts of things have popped up ahead of their natural timing: British asparagus has been on sale in Waitrose for four weeks already. I remember going to Christchurch for a festival.... Read more

Five brilliant value wines to have with roast chicken

Red or white wine with roast chicken? For me, it’s white every time. Chicken is a relatively delicate meat and if you’re roasting the bird quite plainly, ie with just a little butter and perhaps a squeeze of lemon, its... Read more

Parkrun has become a passive-aggressive hot bed of middle-class competition

In the badlands outside Ipswich, a row has broken out over Parkrun. Kevin Ward, a 46-year-old finance director from Kesgrave, resigned from his local junior Parkrun league, where he was a director. Parkrun Central had banned dog harnesses, which enable... Read more

Who is really the Queen’s ‘favourite family member’?

Super Sophie… will have a good grasp of the loyalty rules There are certain friends who might come to your birthday party (or God forbid, your wedding) looking a lot better than you and control the room so that you end up... Read more

Britain will never be safe with Armed Forces this weak

Rishi Sunak may believe, as he stated in the Commons yesterday, that a strong economy is our best defence against Russian aggression, but the brutal reality is that the strength of our Armed Forces is the only effective guarantee of... Read more

Britain could become a tidal energy superpower

Tidal electricity generation is among the ideas listed by Boris Johnson as a way of avoiding reliance on Putin’s Russia. It is an even stronger candidate than he might have realised, holding out the promise not only of increasing our... Read more

Putin’s failures may be making future wars less likely

The renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine has, rightly, resulted in widespread condemnation and outrage by the international community. Many countries have imposed sanctions on Russia, including individual sanctions on members of the regime and oligarchs linked to President Vladimir Putin,... Read more