Annabel Denham

Annabel Denham is deputy comment editor at the Daily Telegraph

When will Boris face up to the real challenges facing Britain?

It’s rarely a good sign when, moments after a major set piece event such as yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, the government’s PR machine kicks into overdrive to defend it. Though Labour’s claims that Boris Johnson isn’t doing enough to support squeezed households were wearyingly predictable, the Tory narrative about turbocharging the economy and slashing EU red

The nanny state is making us poorer

As household budgets face their worst squeeze for decades, one wonders whether the public health establishment feels any remorse for their role in driving up the cost of living. The kinds of taxes – on food, alcohol, tobacco, and soft drinks – that nanny statists have dedicated entire careers toward delivering are proven to have taken a

Why does the City still use quotas?

It sometimes feels like every regulatory body in Britain today misuses its influence to advance progressive causes. A welcome exception is the Financial Conduct Authority, which last week decided to allow firms to choose whether they use sex or gender as the definition of ‘woman’ for reporting on their representation on corporate boards. It is

Why are councils blocking homes for Ukrainian refugees?

Over the course of three days in September 1939, 1.5 million evacuees were sent to rural locations across Britain considered to be safe from the impending war. In a staggering logistical feat facilitated by thousands of volunteer helpers – from teachers to railway staff – children were swiftly relocated, with gas masks around their necks,

From fracking to net zero: ten energy myths busted

This week we will find out how government intends to end any UK reliance on Russian energy and tackle rising household bills. While the war in Ukraine has brought the problems with our energy policy into sharp relief, it has highlighted issues that have been decades in the making. The government’s long-awaited ‘energy independence plan’

Stop attacking billionaires

The $5.79 trillion budget plan Joe Biden submitted to Congress yesterday was more notable for what it didn’t include, rather than what it did. There were no line items on the environment or education – key pillars of his ‘Build Back Better’ agenda – but it did call for a new minimum tax requiring ‘billionaires’

Does anyone still believe in low taxes?

Speculation over which taxes the Chancellor will slash or, more likely, hike at tomorrow’s spring statement seems to have settled on two areas. First, a cut to fuel duty and, second, an increase in National Insurance thresholds, a way of tweaking the already announced tax hike to reduce the burden on the poorest.  On the first

Can Britain afford to spend more on defence?

With rumours swirling that the Ministry of Defence will see its budget boosted in next week’s spring statement it’s hard not to wonder: was Donald Trump right? The former President repeatedly criticised Nato members in Europe for not contributing enough to support the alliance, relying instead on the US to shoulder the burden. And while

The problem with International Women’s Day

Am I the only one wondering how long it’ll be before the organisers of International Women’s Day are forced to rename their campaign? How, depending on what they mean by ‘women’, it’ll need to be called ‘International People-with-a-cervix Day’ or ‘International People-who-identify-as-a-woman Day?’ Quite what the founders – a group of American workers who back

Britain is paying the price for its fracking panic

Between 1980 and 2005, the UK produced more energy than it needed. Today, we import more than a third of our energy and over half of our natural gas. Households are facing an increase in their annual tax bills from £1,500 to an eye-watering £3,000. While the Business Secretary may have tweeted this week that

How much did the Covid crisis cost?

The true cost of Covid cannot be quantified only in death rates or GDP figures. Though it could have been far worse, the pandemic nonetheless inflicted a deeper wound on our society than any productivity calculus can measure. But as legal domestic restrictions end, and the economic fallout from months of stringent controls is increasingly

It’s time for Rishi Sunak to become a low-tax Tory

This week marks two years since Rishi Sunak was thrust from relative obscurity into the political spotlight as Chancellor of the Exchequer. After less than a month in post, he delivered his first Budget. Weeks later, Britain was in lockdown. How has the ‘Covid Chancellor’ fared in the intervening period? When he was splashing taxpayer

The cost of online safety

Few people in Britain will have heard of the draft Online Safety Bill. Fewer still will oppose it. Protecting children against harm and exploitation online is an entirely rational goal in modern-day society. And when the Culture Secretary is boldly promising, as Nadine Dorries did at the weekend, to ‘bring order to the online world’

Is Boris really serious about Brexit?

As the partygate furore rages on, Boris Johnson is retreating towards familiar territory: Brexit. A policy blitz is underway this week and the issue that guided him to power in 2019 has come first, with the announcement of a new Brexit Freedoms Bill. It will be brought forward to mark the two-year anniversary since we

Is Labour ready to become the party of business?

While the Tories limp from one scandal to the next, an opportunity has opened up for Labour when it comes to courting business. Although it’s unlikely many voters elected Boris Johnson into office because they trusted his moral compass they did at least think he would deliver on his promise of sunlit uplands. But two

How to fix the BBC licence fee

Nadine Dorries came out fighting over the weekend to declare it was time to discuss new ways to fund and sell the ‘great British content’ produced by the BBC. But it turned out she had little in the way of ammunition once she reached the Commons yesterday. There will be a two-year freeze in the

A windfall tax on energy firms is a mistake

Is it time for a windfall tax on energy companies? Judging by a poll during the first lockdown – which found more than half of the UK public would welcome an additional tax on businesses that had thrived because of the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic – it would be a popular measure. A windfall

How well is Brexit going?

Twelve months after a comprehensive trade deal was signed with the EU, where are we now? How has the UK performed? Even arch Remainer Andrew Adonis admitted last year that ‘the UK government clearly did a better job than the EU in procuring vaccine supplies and putting in place urgent industrial production’. Yet so far

Should businesses receive more Covid support?

As government considers whether to lock us down once again, should it put economic support for businesses affected back on the table? The combination of Plan B and Boris Johnson’s insistence that we modify our social behaviour has led to empty cinemas, ghost trains, cancelled gigs and ‘postponed’ Christmas parties. Just as the economy was

How many will disobey another lockdown?

Ministers may claim that ever-tightening Covid rules are proportionate and reasonable, but if enough members of the public disagree, then the government could have a real problem on its hands. Non-compliance to another lockdown wouldn’t need to be rampant: if even 10 per cent decide not to adhere it could blow a hole in lockdown’s effectiveness.