Katy Balls

The sleaze row is a crisis made for Angela Rayner

Almost no MP has emerged with dignity from the sleaze debacle of the past three weeks. Boris Johnson’s botched attempt to spare Owen Paterson a 30-day suspension has badly damaged his credibility with his own party. The 2019 intake of ‘red wall’ MPs have turned on the old guard, accusing their colleagues of damaging the

Prostitutes are stigmatised because their trade is filthy

Exciting news from Durham University, which is helping its students to become ‘sex workers’. This noble institution is offering two courses in the various forms of harlotry. My only concern is that at present they do not actually offer an academic qualification in these subjects — at the very least an undergraduate degree in, say,

Why can’t we remember our first few years?

I begin this column on a train from Paris to London. Opposite me are a mother and baby. I don’t know them and will probably never see them again. The baby is nine months old and called Gabriel. A genial and relaxed child, he is grinning at me and waving his soft-toy giraffe. He’s wearing

The absurd theatre of vaccine passports

When a column highlighting under-appreciated breaking news has had absolutely no impact on the course of events (per usual), the urge to make the same point again is irresistible. In August, Public Health England released data which shows that vaccination does not appreciably guard against Covid infection and transmission and protection worked out at around

Any other business

Shell’s Dutch departure is a boost for the city of London

The scrapping of most of the eastern leg of HS2, originally planned from Birmingham to Leeds, is a news item that’s been waiting like a crowded train stuck at a vandalised signal while ministers squabbled over which cheaper substitutes might appease competing pockets of ‘red wall’ voters. Likewise the ‘Northern Power-house’ high-speed line from Manchester