A crackdown on government profligacy is urgently needed

There is to be a concerted effort to rein in Whitehall profligacy, we are told, and not before time. Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, are…

Sleazegate has a sting in the tail for Boris Johnson

One of the unfortunate consequences of the Government’s mishandling of the sleaze scandal is that it overshadowed legitimate concerns about the system for investigating MPs. The vilification…

Snog whoever you wish at Christmas, says Sajid Javid

Mr Javid was forced to clarify official advice on the issue on Thursday, insisting that it was up to individuals who they embraced.  “I’ll certainly be kissing…

‘I come from a family of mavericks’: Max Denison-Pender on painting Boris’s nurse and an erupting volcano

All but one of Iceland’s professional drone fliers turned down the proposal, then after lugging an easel up the slopes of the volcano “for miles through all…

Wednesday morning UK news briefing: Covid rules until March

The row erupted as Dr Jenny Harries, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, suggested people should avoid socialising in the run-up to Christmas. Associate…

The PC brigade cancelled Christmas long before Covid did, Boris

Whenever Boris Johnson expresses “absolute confidence”, the heart sinks. As we know, the PM’s “absolute confidence” – usually accompanied by the slamming down of a fist and…

Who would bet on Boris saving Christmas after last year’s fiasco?

Those who are well-practised at letting people down while evading ferocious blame tend to be good at choosing their moments. Boris Johnson seems to have pinpointed late…

The new Covid restrictions are sad and depressing – and must be temporary

It was difficult to listen to Boris Johnson’s press conference on Covid without a sinking heart. Just as the UK was normalising again after the catastrophe of…

Boris Johnson orders return to face masks and isolation to slow omicron variant

Prof Whitty warned: “There is a reasonable chance that at least there will be some degree of vaccine escape with this variant.” Face coverings will become mandatory…

Six things celebrities do to prove they’re ‘normal’

In Rod’s video there’s nothing going on that wasn’t going on in our own kitchen at the weekend, or the one before that. It rings true down…

Don’t listen to the gloomsters. Cop26 was a British success

The debate over Cop26 has prompted an explosion of talking heads, and the synergy between two groups of them is particularly curious. The radical wing of the…

Leave Boris alone – baffling mask rules are stifling theatre’s comeback

Andrew Lloyd Webber has stated this week that low levels of mask-wearing in theatres poses a problem and that he’d like to introduce compulsory face-masks at his…

Callow Cabinet Secretary blamed as Boris Johnson’s popularity hits all-time low

Boris Johnson is understood to be personally taking the blame for recent problems and senior Downing Street figures believe that criticism of Mr Case and other key…

Whitehall points finger at youngest-ever Cabinet Secretary as Prime Minister’s popularity hits all-time low

Boris Johnson is understood to be personally taking the blame for recent problems and senior Downing Street figures believe that criticism of Mr Case and other key…

The Prime Minister appears to be burned out. Perhaps we expect too much of him

“Well, Devil, what have you got to say for yourself?” “Prime Minister! A great honour to see you here. Do you want the good or the bad…

Once a prime minister’s authority goes, the end can be swift and brutal

There is an old Whitehall story, probably apocryphal, concerning a minister not especially well liked by his officials delivering an important policy speech to some august body….

Calm down about Boris, Tories. He’s still going to win the next election

As a Labour Party member of 34 years’ standing (I left in 2018), I have always been just a little envious of the Conservative Party’s ruthlessness. This…

This is the moment to go for economic growth

The slogan for the CBI’s annual conference is the deliberately uncontentious “Seize the Moment”, though it is not clear which moment is to be seized. Is it…

Johnson’s contempt for business makes Labour look like a reasonable alternative

Enter Keir Starmer, who appears more than happy to fill the widening gap Johnson is creating between himself and the business community. While the Tories work to…

Sir David Amess funeral: MP’s family pleads for unity as mourners gather in Southend

Sir David’s family have requested that donations are made to the charities that he supported as an alternative to flowers or other tributes. These include The Dog’s…

Sir David Amess: Cabinet ministers ‘broke down in tears’ when Boris Johnson announced MP’s killing

Several cabinet ministers “broke down in tears” when they were told about the death of Sir David Amess, Boris Johnson has said ahead of the late politician’s…

The Government’s new rail plan makes a mockery of ‘levelling up’

As such, a railway billed as the solution to “levelling up” could make regional imbalances even worse – particularly now the Birmingham to Leeds branch has been…