‘I stopped working to care for my mother, Diana Rigg, before she died’

The pandemic has seen many of us deal with intense relationships like never before, as we’ve bubbled with our relatives and looked out for friends. And actress Rachael Stirling is no different. In the past two years, she pivoted from... Read more

How to be a container gardener all year round and experiment with plants, colours and styles

I do general watering either early in the morning, or at dusk, both very special times in the garden, and judge the amount by the look of the plant, rather than by routine. During bouts of very hot weather, I... Read more

China is cracking under the weight of zero Covid 

After Vladimir Putin’s shooting himself in the foot with his bungled invasion of Ukraine, President Xi Jinping’s sudden lock down  of 25 million people in Shanghai looks like an equally ill-conceived, arrogant decision. Despite the harsh controls, social media accounts... Read more

Nato weakness has left the gates open for a chemical attack 

Allegations by Ukrainian forces that Russia launched a chemical attack on soldiers and civilians in Mariupol on Monday are under investigation. If it is confirmed, how will Nato react? President Biden has declared chemical weapons a red line. He said in... Read more

The BBC must end its addiction to divisive racial politics

The BBC is at it again, exposing a bias rooted in Left-wing politics imported from the United States. This time it has told parents to “check their bias” if their children only have white friends. One of the assumptions made... Read more

We can’t keep turning a blind eye to Islamist extremism

Following the verdict in Ali Harbi Ali’s trial on Monday, we must all now acknowledge what was clear from the outset: the murder of my friend and colleague Sir David Amess was an act of terrorism. More specifically, it was... Read more

We are all angry, but the Prime Minister must stay

The cost-of-living crisis requires similarly calm leadership. With the clear and present danger of stagflation, we need to revisit the support we give. It is time to look again at the imposition of the National Insurance rise, which is hitting... Read more

The spectre of stagflation is haunting Britain once again

As in France, rapidly rising prices and sluggish growth have conspired to create the conditions for increasingly fractious politics here in the UK. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the economy expanded by just 0.1 per cent... Read more

There’s no chance of him doing the honourable thing, but Boris must go

That there is a debate about whether Boris Johnson can continue in office – after being fined for breaking lockdown laws; attending events he variously denied existed, expressed anger about, or excused with implausible explanations; and having been shown to... Read more

Is it time for Boris Johnson to resign?

Against: Er, everyone broke the rules anyway. Time to move on! Boris is saving Ukraine and there’s a cost of living crisis, so now is not the time for a change at the top. For: No, everyone did NOT break... Read more

The Rothschilds’ Exbury Gardens is a perfect example of the super-rich doing good

Lionel was nothing like the super-rich of today, who know nothing of horticulture but just import fully grown trees and use giant diggers to construct a wood in a fortnight. Lionel employed 150 men for 10 years to get the conditions... Read more

The best DIY spring decor updates for every room of the house

A quicker fix is to give your kitchen floor an update with a runner. Ruggable’s runners are inexpensive, starting from £79, and come in the form of a rug pad that clings to the floor and a patterned cover that... Read more

Would you spend £300 on a hairdryer?

Hair is everything. Fleabag knew it, Jennifer Aniston built her early career on it and Chris Rock got slapped for making a joke about it. As Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote in her hit show: “We wish it wasn’t, so we could... Read more

The £22.50 viral M&S trousers that women of all ages are desperate to get hold of

Linen Rich Wide Leg Trousers, £22.50, Marks & Spencer They’re comfortable too, with an adjustable drawstring waist, because, like the rest of us, who have endured lockdowns over the past two years, there are members of Gen-Z who no longer... Read more

How to decorate your home in time for the long Easter weekend

Alex Fox, a stylist from John Lewis’s home department, points out that decorating for Easter can be more fun than decorating at Christmas, as there is less seasonal pressure attached to the event. “You can do as little or as... Read more

Tuesday evening UK news briefing: ‘Partygate’ fines – what happens now

Downing Street has confirmed the Met Police have issued the fine to Mr Johnson over the gathering of staff in the Cabinet Room at a surprise birthday celebration for him.  The Chancellor has admitted attending that event while Mrs Johnson... Read more

Britney Spears announces she is pregnant months after winning conservatorship battle

Britney Spears has announced she is pregnant with her third child, months after the end of a strict conservatorship which she claims forced her to use birth control. The pop star, 40, announced she is expecting a baby with fiancé... Read more

UK watered down requirements for overseas nurses in ‘supercharged’ recruitment drive

In the six months to September 2021 nearly half of people joining the UK nursing register came from abroad: almost 11,000 were trained overseas compared to 13,000 who trained in the UK.  This number could even exceed 20,000 in this... Read more

US orders non-essential embassy staff to leave Shanghai amid Covid chaos

Some residents have resorted to bartering or paying over the odds for food as the lockdown grinds on. One said she paid 400 yuan ($63) for a box of instant noodles and a soda, adding: “I’m just trying to stock... Read more

Rescuers dig for survivors after storm Megi brings landslides to Philippines

Cano said the hilly region of corn, rice and coconut farms was prone to landslides, but they were usually small and not fatal. In the hardest-hit province of Leyte, 36 people died and 26 were missing due to landslides, according... Read more

Why Disneyland Paris was almost built in Norfolk – and how wine saved it from ruin

Three decades can go by in a flash. Today (April 12) marks a precise 30 years since the opening of Disneyland Paris (disneylandparis.com) – the French-accented off-shoot of the American Dream that has become a bright dot on the Gallic... Read more

Travel to Cyprus: latest Covid rules and advice as its outdoor mask mandate is finally scrapped

Cyprus has taken a firm stance when it comes to Covid-19 protocols, but those rules are slowly easing. Testing for fully vaccinated and recently recovered arrivals from the UK has been scrapped, while from April 18 unvaccinated visitors will only... Read more

The 10 commandments you must obey when ordering coffee in Italy

I once met an Italian who didn’t drink coffee. He made light of the fact, but you could see that he was tired of having to explain his disability every time some new acquaintance uttered the standard Italian greeting: “Prendiamo... Read more

The best luxury hotels in New York to book right now

From the marble-floored foyer, with its smart, navy-clad staff to the lounge-style Club Room, filled with art, sculptures and books, there’s a restrained, old-world glamour to The Lowell, perhaps more reminiscent of Paris than New York, its blush-pink entrance even... Read more

The 20 best family holidays abroad for 2022

How to do it: Red Savannah (01242 787800; redsavannah.com) has several beautiful gulets for charter, sleeping up to 20; while Blue Cruise (020 8968 7770; bluecruise.co.uk) offers affordable shared cruises Entry requirements? Entry without testing for the fully vaccinated and under-12s;... Read more