Annabel Denham

Annabel Denham is deputy comment editor at the Daily Telegraph

Is Labour really a credible government-in-waiting?

How long do you give it before Labour abandon their promise of golden hellos for new teachers? Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson has insisted their proposed £2,400 welcome bonus wheeze will be fully costed, funded by a tax raid on fee-paying schools. It is not yet clear whether Labour has considered that putting private education beyond

The Bank can’t blame wages for out of control inflation

After a bruising week, perhaps Andrew Bailey could take some solace in Rishi Sunak’s interview with Laura Kuenssberg this weekend. For a start, the Prime Minister threw his support behind the Bank of England governor, after senior figures within the Conservative party accused Bailey of being ‘asleep at the wheel’. But it was also a

Ministers are addicted to intervention

This week Rishi Sunak ruled out direct government intervention to protect homeowners from impending catastrophe. It’s a welcome development – bailing out mortgage debtors would be financially ruinous and grossly unfair on renters. But just a few days ago the Prime Minister was ordering banks to shield borrowers from surging rates, and the Treasury still insists that

Starmer’s economic promises would spell disaster for the UK

Britain is paying a terrible price for two decades of fiscal incontinence. Our borrowing costs have risen to the highest amongst advanced economies. Core inflation (which excludes food and energy) is actually rising. Mortgage costs are spiking as expectations mount that interest rates will be raised once again. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has conceded he would be

‘Protect the NHS’: The nanny state is waging war on life’s pleasures

British political discourse has barely progressed since David Cameron told voters in 2010 that he represented the ‘party of’ our revered healthcare service.  Over the past few weeks we’ve heard pledges – all clearly with an election in mind – ranging from the inconsequential to the ridiculous. Tired promises about community-led treatment. Receptionists-turned-‘care navigators’. School leavers

Forget the EU: Britain’s own red tape is strangling the economy

Ministers are considering scrapping the EU Working Time Directive. The news has been met with predictable howls from the usual suspects. This is the ‘health and safety’ law which limits most people’s working hours to 48 hours a week on average, including overtime. It has long been unpopular with employers, who warn it stifles productivity

Our nanny state holds back Britain’s young

Clever people often believe that their cleverness gives them the right to control other people. Nowhere is this more manifest than in nanny state Britain.  So fixated was Public Health England on shielding us from our own bad decisions that when an infectious disease arrived on our shores the quango was woefully unprepared. Junk food advertising bans

Junior doctors’ pay demands aren’t reasonable

Is a 35 per cent pay rise reasonable? That’s the question which, rightly or wrongly, is at the heart of the junior doctors row.  We are part way through a 96-hour walkout which the NHS national medical director for England warned would cause ‘unparalleled levels of disruption’. Coming straight after the Easter weekend, coinciding with Ramadan

In defence of landlords

Whisper it millennials, but YIMBYism (Yes In My Back Yard) might be gathering momentum. Recent surveys have found more people agree than disagree that there is a housing crisis in their local area, and more would support building houses than oppose it.  They may be given the chance to do so. Last year, government announced plans to

Sadiq Khan’s green vision risks impoverishing Britain

Earlier this week, Chris Skidmore and Sadiq Khan announced they were ‘teaming up’ to defeat the politicians they believe are attempting to thwart climate action. In an article for the Guardian, the duo has put aside political differences to ‘set an example’ of what is possible. Those differences could be disputed: the Conservative member for Kingswood is further to

Who will pay for Hunt’s ‘free’ childcare hours?

People love free stuff. Why wouldn’t they? Free healthcare, free education, free childcare – what’s not to like? Expanding free childcare hours doesn’t change the fact that a full-time nursery place costs around £15,000 a year Of course, government provides nothing for free. When the economist Milton Friedman appropriated the adage ‘there’s no such thing

In defence of the supermarket

Supermarkets are once again back in the firing line. Henry Dimbleby, the Leon co-founder turned government food tsar, has blamed the current food shortages on their ‘weird culture’. When food is scarce UK supermarkets won’t raise their prices, he claimed. It leads to growers selling less here and more in Europe, exacerbating shortages. He wasn’t alone

What striking workers don’t tell you about public sector pay

You’ve got to hand it to the trade unions: they’ve done a fine job rallying the public behind industrial action that has caused widespread disruption and inconvenience. Despite train cancellations, school closures and medical appointment delays, nearly two-thirds of the British back the nurses’ walkout and close to half back the teachers’ strike. Even sizeable minorities support

Childcare is broken in the UK

The Truss administration made many missteps, but on childcare it was on the right track. Though details were lacking, the blink-and-you-miss-her prime minister was planning to rush through ‘big bang’ changes to childcare provision that would bring down costs both for parents and providers. But it has now been reported that Rishi Sunak will shelve

Water woes: who’s to blame for the shortages?

39 min listen

In this week’s episode: Who’s to blame for the water shortages? James Forsyth, The Spectator’s political editor and Ciaran Nelson from Anglian Water join us to discuss the UK’s deteriorating water supply. (0.29) Also this week: Is it time for some old-fashioned Tory state-building? Tim Stanley from the Telegraph shares his vision for a Conservative

The energy windfall tax will harm net zero

There’s no pleasing some people. Back when the government still believed windfall taxes were a terrible idea, the Scottish National Party was insisting one be imposed to help tackle the cost of living. In March, the SNP’s Stephen Flynn asked in the Commons: ‘Is it right that those who have benefitted from the pandemic… are able

The protocol is hurting Northern Ireland

With every sausage war or fish fight over the past 18 months, the chances of survival for the Northern Ireland protocol have narrowed. But the fallout from the NI Assembly elections, which saw Sinn Féin become the largest single party, has made it increasingly likely that the UK will take unilateral action to override parts of the