Boris and Rishi are failing our Armed Forces

Putin’s criminal invasion of Ukraine has changed everything. It is a moment as significant as the fall of the Berlin Wall or the terror attacks on 11 September 2001. The geo-political settlement forged at the end of the Cold War has been shattered.... Read more

What is the point of Keir Starmer?

Whatever his faults, nobody can claim that Sir Keir Starmer had the easiest start as Labour leader. He’s had to deal with the reputational damage of Corbynism, then a pandemic during which people’s faith in government skyrocketed, followed by the... Read more

If he captures Odessa, Putin will dominate the Black Sea

Kyiv has great resonance in both Ukrainian and Russian culture, as the capital of medieval Rus, a city still adorned with Byzantine frescoes and mosaics in the style of Constantinople, or, as it came to be known, Tsargrad, “the city... Read more

The world can’t ignore Russia’s use of rape as a weapon of war

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, reports of conflict-related sexual violence have started to emerge. One woman described how two Russian soldiers broke into her house, in a village near Kyiv. After killing her husband, they raped her while her four-year old... Read more

The BBC’s working-class quota demeans us all: real change takes time

Now, I have no axe to grind when it comes to inclusion and diversification, and I have, on occasion, among friends, been known to partake of mild wokery (although, to clarify, I never inhale). I believe most of our institutions... Read more

Conservatives should be seeking to keep taxes down

In the Commons yesterday Boris Johnson reasserted his commitment to tax cuts. Yet this month, the taxes of millions of earners will go up, partly through the freezing of income allowances. But one of the most insidious increases will come... Read more

Priti Patel’s underling gives off a ‘computer says maybe’ vibe in face of Ukrainian visa complaints

“This is Kafkaesque! What on earth is going on?” shrieked Yvette Cooper.  The eve of parliamentary recess beckoned, but the shadow home secretary had squeezed in a last-minute urgent question on the issuing of visas to Ukrainians. And she addressed... Read more

The German economic miracle no longer exists

It is a surreal situation. The ECB is still conducting quantitative easing and holding rates at an historic low of minus 0.5pc, severely damaging the business model of the German savings and cooperative banks.  These provide 90pc of total credit... Read more

The public have lost faith in our NHS religion

Are we starting to fall out of love with the NHS? Time was when it was considered heresy to even ask such a question. In 1992, Nigel Lawson observed that “the NHS is the closest thing the English have to... Read more

I used to hate public speaking. Now I’ve learned the key to confidence, I rather enjoy it

Apparently, throughout life, levels of confidence typically follow a bell curve, rising during late teens, peaking in middle age and declining after 60. I tell you straight: if you plotted mine, the pattern would look more like a polygraph test... Read more

Mark Hix’s spring menu of beetroot salad, braised oxtail and apple coupe

When it comes to hosting, dinner or lunch menus should be thought out and not left until the day itself. I usually prepare things a few days in advance so there’s no last-minute rushing around, then you can relax and... Read more

‘I was adopted at six months – and used social media to find my birth mum in Chile’

The first time I saw Ximena, I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I was on a call to my cousin Katy, who lives next door, and she suggested we Face-Timed. It was mayhem, with Ximena crying, and my kids... Read more

The unlikely mother-of-six behind Audrey Hepburn’s favourite shoes

Later, the label’s leopard-print coats and strong-shouldered suits call to mind an Italianate Alexis Carrington. ‘She had very good taste, but in a sober way – which was fitting for that era,’ says Leonardo of her wardrobe in the 1970s... Read more

Three cosy outfit formulas now that it’s cold again

The clocks have gone forward but with temperatures plunging to mid-January levels, it feels as if our wardrobes have gone backwards. As April begins, there is snow on the ground in parts of Britain – and I can’t be the... Read more

Straight shooter, 81, gives up Las Vegas retirement to teach Ukrainian ex-models how to handle an AK-47

Yulia Kharaba, 22, decided to attend the course because she wanted to “do what I can to protect Ukraine”.  Before the war, she was leading cultural excursions in Europe. Now she is learning how to accurately shoot and load ammunition... Read more

Thursday evening UK news briefing: Race to beat price hikes tomorrow

Household budgets will be further squeezed from tomorrow by a raft of price and tax rises.  Sir Keir Starmer accused the Conservatives of a “pathetic” response to the cost-of-living crisis as he put it at the heart of Labour’s local... Read more

Ukraine afternoon briefing: Five developments as Liz Truss urges China not to back Russian invasion

Good evening. Britain’s Foreign Secretary has urged China not to support Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine. Liz Truss, on a visit to India today, also called for tougher sanctions on Russian banks, the closing of access to ports, and tackling... Read more

Used as ‘cannon fodder’, the young Russians sent to their deaths in Ukraine

All the men in Alexander Bakharev’s family were soldiers – and he wanted to follow in their footsteps. Aged 18, he was drafted into the army, then continued his service.  There was only a year’s age difference between him and... Read more

Sticky wicket for Imran Khan as no-confidence debate gets underway

He has also been wounded by defections from his ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. “The prime minister is as good as gone,” the influential English-language Dawn newspaper said in an editorial on the front page of its website. Mr Khan... Read more

Australian journalist Cheng Lei tried behind closed doors as relations with China worsen

China’s legal system can be opaque, with courts posting a 99.9 per cent conviction rate.  Trials in China don’t have a prosecution and defence making arguments before a judge and jury. Instead, they are presided over by a judge who... Read more

UN helicopter shot down in DRC as fears mount of a proxy war

“Most people fled as soon as the attack started,” she said. “There is a risk of children being separated from their families, a risk of opportunistic rape and sexual abuse and a risk of theft as people are stopped at... Read more

Joe Biden hits out at ‘dangerous, un-American’ anti-trans laws

Republican state lawmakers have filed more than 160 anti-LGBT bills in 2022, according to Freedom for All Americans, a non-profit organisation. Some 92 of those target trans people, including measures to restrict access to healthcare or single sex sports. Florida has... Read more

Bruce Willis needed ‘earwig’ to remember scripts as concerns grew over mental decline

On the set of ‘White Elephant’ one crew member told the Los Angeles Times: “It was less of an annoyance and more like: ‘How do we not make Bruce look bad?’ “Someone would give him a line and he didn’t... Read more

Nato-style security for Ukraine not on table for peace talks, says Dominic Raab

Britain will not give Nato-style security guarantees to Ukraine to secure a peace settlement, Dominic Raab said on Wednesday, despite a request from Ukrainian negotiators. The Deputy Prime Minister said the UK would not act “unilaterally” to offer such assurances,... Read more

Ramzan Kadyrov’s boast about fighting in Ukraine is shot down by his own social media post

The leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya has foiled his own attempt to appear as though he is in Ukraine by posting a photo of himself at a petrol station outlet that only exists in Russia.  Well before Russia... Read more