Featured articles


Katy Balls

Can the Tories survive Nigel Farage?

Nigel Farage had given less than a day’s notice, yet hundreds stood ready to welcome him on Tuesday morning on the pier of Clacton-on-Sea. There was a woman with Union Jack sunglasses and a man wearing an ‘I love gas and oil’ T-shirt. More stood on the bridge above, peering down. Everyone wanted to catch

I’m a lifelong Tory. Should I vote Reform?

For more than 30 years, I have knocked on doors and dutifully recorded voting intentions. I’m sure every party has their own abbreviations but during my Tory canvassing career, ‘U’ stood for undecided. I often wondered at – and, in part, admired – those people who were genuinely open to any party. It was an

Would you dare to wear a Rolex?

‘London has become a jungle, right? Anyone with anything nice risks having it taken.’ Bobby, the manager of one of Hatton Garden’s watch shops, does business in a windowless room as far from the street as possible, watched over by a thickset guard and a couple security cameras. ‘I’m a paranoid person,’ he says, and

Have you had the school gate VAT chat?

Another day closer to the general election and I’m at my daughter’s prep school in Oxfordshire. As has come to be the norm, I’m having a ‘VAT chat’ with a fellow mother. Of course, we’ve known about Labour’s plan for months. It will lead to a likely 20 per cent rise in private-school fees. Recently,

Scotland’s religious collapse

Last week, I had a drink with a Catholic priest friend who works with young people in custody. Inevitably, our talk turned to how radically unchurched they are – not badly disposed to Christianity, just unfamiliar with much of the doctrine and almost all the forms of worship, even though many had a Catholic granny

Netanyahu thinks he’s Churchill, Israelis see Chamberlain

Aleading member of Israel’s wartime cabinet has threatened to resign should Benjamin Netanyahu fail to present a strategy for ending the war in Gaza. The liberal politician Benny Gantz, who would win an election were one held now, has given a public ultimatum. He will collapse Netanyahu’s fragile coalition if no peace plan is delivered

Tourists are the new pariahs

Think of Majorca and what do you picture? Maybe it is elegant tapas bars in the Gothic quarter of Palma, full of yachties and foodies from across the world. Maybe it is literary pilgrims trekking to the house of Robert Graves or noisy parties of Brits and Germans, squabbling over sunbeds in Magaluf. In one

The truth about Paul Hollywood

My husband and I are in New York, where everyone is talking about the approaching Trump-Biden debate. Well, I’ll be astonished if it deserves the name. True debate seems to be a thing of the past in the US as much as in the UK, with both sides of any argument (assisted dying, the Israel/Gaza

Notes on...

What war graves teach us about peace

Hugh Jones was 29 when he was killed in action. On Wednesday, the eve of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, his grave at Bayeux – and those of 22,000 Commonwealth war dead in cemeteries across Normandy – was illuminated in a vigil to these silent witnesses to the pity of war. All Commonwealth war cemeteries