Keir Starmer’s foreign policy lacks substance

The Conservatives are in trouble. Their current unpopularity might pass, but Keir Starmer could soon become prime minister if Tory fortunes do not improve. For that reason, we ought to study his foreign policy in detail, as in office he... Read more

Ukraine can still hold its ground

We may be about to witness the largest set piece battle in Europe since the Second World War, and perhaps the greatest carnage in most of our lifetimes. Since terminating offensive operations against Kiev, Russian forces have been redeploying, reconstituting,... Read more

Lazy Britain is now addicted to mediocrity

The education system has never been in better shape. The labour market is operating at peak performance. And given that the world has never been more peaceful, it is hardly surprising that our diplomats are concentrating on their yoga classes... Read more

Vladimir Putin now faces a 1905-style national humiliation

The sinking of the flag ship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet provoked a sense of deja vu among military historians. Prior to the demise of the Moskva, the last time the Russian Navy suffered a comparable blow was at the... Read more

Naming a park after Diane Abbott may delight the Left…but there’s one small problem

It isn’t enough to remove all memorials to those involved in the slave trade. We must remove all memorials to those related to those involved in the slave trade, too. A Labour council in London is considering new names for... Read more

Whitehall must return to work

More than two years after it began, for the great majority of people the pandemic is over. There are still thousands contracting Covid every day but for the vast majority the effect is small, no worse than a cold. For... Read more

As a former English teacher I’m shocked at the BBC reading list

“Put that book down, you’ll ruin your eyes!” Or so my mother warned me every day of my childhood (at night, I used to read secretly in bed, the pages illuminated by the Lucozade glow of the streetlight), and how... Read more

Why Harry and Meghan must not be allowed to overshadow the Queen’s Jubilee

Ninety-six years ago on Thursday April 21, at 2.40am in the morning, in a house in Mayfair, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born to the then Duke and Duchess of York. The baby girl was not supposed to become one of... Read more

Not even the Queen’s Jubilee is safe from BBC preaching

BBC Arts and The Reading Agency have produced “The Big Jubilee Read”. They have selected 70 works of British and Commonwealth fiction to honour the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, ten for each decade of her reign. Of the 70 authors featured,... Read more

The UK’s poshest sheds

Up in Manchester, meanwhile, Tim Denton, a furniture designer, made his own to please himself. The exterior of his studio is clad in unusually shaped shingles inspired by a trip to Chile. Garden room fervour hasn’t hit ­Manchester quite like... Read more

Why I joined the ranks of midlife men turning to tweakments and tried Botox

So, where had the 62-year-old Cowell gone wrong? It was a fate I was keen to avoid, though I was keener still to rid myself of my lockdown frown. Jeremy Langmead, author of Vain Glorious: A Shameless Guide for Men Who... Read more

Love the clothes in Anatomy of a Scandal? Here’s your chance to own them

It has been touted as the most stylish show on TV, and certainly no-one who has devoured it in one sitting – or even rationed themselves – would disagree that the clothes in Anatomy of a Scandal, Netflix’ latest binge-fest,... Read more

Decoding the messages in Meghan’s £38,000 Invictus Games wardrobe

While Prince Harry was busy supporting the Invictus Games, his wife was equally busy with a side hustle of her own – one not quite so worthy of cause as her husband’s, but which is equally dear to her heart.... Read more

How to update your home with fresh paint and colour for spring 2022

The USP of the Heritage range is that it’s luxurious yet wipeable, and more practical than most matt finishes. Marianne suggests using it in a relaxed and grown-up setting like a bedroom or living room, ‘any room in which you want... Read more

I threw away all of my clothes, and discovered my true style in the process

Ellie Nap Dress, £115, Hill House I started slowly, buying outfits as I needed them. When my brother-in-law hosted a birthday lunch in December, I nearly froze in a long, floral dress and ankle boots; cue a dash to Zara... Read more

Libyan PM: We can cover the Russian oil shortfall … for a price

The newest claimant to be prime minister of Libya has said that his country could help make up the shortfall of Russian oil if the West helps the country recover from years of war. Fathi Bashagha, 59, was declared prime... Read more

Tuesday evening UK news briefing: How Russia’s race to take the Donbas may give Ukraine the edge

The advance comes amid reports that Russian-backed separatists are dropping “bunker-busting bombs” as they storm the last remaining holdout of Ukrainian forces in Mariupol. Soldiers are zoning in on the Azovstal metallurgical plant in the besieged port city, whose network... Read more

Macron’s chest-baring photoshoot shows he-vage is back

There he was, lilac shirt slashed open to the naval, drawing the curtain back on a leather thong necklace and fuzzy, tanned barrel chest. Comments ranged from “It’s a strong look!” to “HELLA-SEXY! I’m flying to Greece immediately!” – making... Read more

Cult of Imran Khan lives on as supporters call for resignation of army chief

But a string of failures by Mr Khan’s government slowly persuaded the military they had made a mistake. A weak economy inherited by the PTI has got worse in the past three years and inflation has started to soar. Such... Read more

Poppy farmers face uncertain future as Taliban cracks down on opium trade

The main goal may be to persuade farmers from planting the crop for next year. If the ban is genuine, experience from 2000 shows that an interruption in supply may not hit drug addicts further down the supply chain immediately,... Read more

Mystery strain of hepatitis first detected in UK children found in Europe and US

A mysterious strain of hepatitis, first detected in UK children, has been recorded in four more European countries and the US, the EU health agency said on Tuesday. On Friday, the World Health Organization said it was monitoring 84 cases... Read more

Emmanuel Macron’s father: The French are ungrateful after all my son has done for them

Whilst he was very close to his late grandmother, Emmanuel Macron is said to be distant from both his parents, who are separated, reportedly speaking to them three or four times a year. His father said that the last time... Read more

US mask ruling causes confusion for travellers as Joe Biden’s flagship covid policy falls apart

The latest ruling comes months after the Supreme Court voted down Mr Biden’s plans to make large companies require that all their staff are vaccinated or masked and tested weekly.  The President’s popularity has plummeted to the joint lowest level... Read more

Ukraine evening briefing: Five developments as UN calls for Holy Week ceasefire

Good evening. UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday proposed a four-day “humanitarian pause” in Ukraine to coincide with Orthodox Christians’ Holy Week. Guterres added that the Easter period should be a moment to “unite around saving lives”.  Elsewhere, the US President... Read more

Ukraine morning briefing: Five developments as Britain prepares to send armoured missile launchers to Ukraine

Good morning. Russian forces have launched their anticipated offensive in eastern Ukraine, attempting to push through defences along almost the entire front line early on Tuesday in what Ukrainian officials described as the second phase of the war. Volodymyr Zelensky,... Read more