Universities asked to explain ‘disadvantaged’ criteria for offers

Universities will be asked to explain how they judge whether someone is “disadvantaged” by the higher education regulator. The Office for Students is preparing to launch a consultation next week on new requirements for university “access and participation” plans which ask universities to explain measures they use to give more offers to poorer pupils. John … Read more

Think twice before letting your dog stick its head out the car window

Dogs should be banned from sticking their heads out of the car window, a major insurer has suggested. New research by Direct Line Pet Insurance found two in five dog owners who drive with their pets risk major fines by not always keeping them secure in the vehicle. Almost half – 47 per cent – … Read more

Armed Forces to grow thanks to £52bn spending boost

Mr Wallace continued: “Without the change, we were heading to below 2 per cent. But on current forecast, that’s roughly a defense budget of £100 billion in 2029-30. We’re currently on £48 billion. So that’s the difference. In eight years, that’s a huge amount. “What we have to work through is how we get there. … Read more

Liz Truss plans to cut taxes further in the new year

Those familiar with discussions say the Treasury believes lifting the lifetime allowance on pension pots could encourage doctors, police officers and highly paid nurses to remain in work. Under the current system, savers are forced into paying 55 per cent tax on pension pots valued at more than £1 million, prompting many to retire instead … Read more

Police catch people-smuggling gang behind 50 Channel crossings

A people-smuggling gang behind 50 Channel crossings carrying 2,000 migrants has been caught by French police. Officers seized more than a dozen boats and 700 life jackets in raids that also uncovered a “factory” supplying nautical equipment. The ring, based in Lille, a northern French city about 60 miles from Calais, and run by Iraqi … Read more

Roman Abramovich ‘played key part’ in release of Aiden Aslin and prisoners of war in Russia

Roman Abramovich, the former owner of Chelsea Football Club, “played a key part” in securing the release of five British prisoners of the war in Ukraine. The Russian, 55, welcomed John Harding, Shaun Pinner, Aiden Aslin, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill onto a jet flying them from Russia to Saudi Arabia. He gave each of … Read more

King Charles chooses France for first state visit after bonding with Macron

The “soft power” of the Royal family has always been exploited as a diplomatic tool, and the Foreign Office wants to capitalize on its popularity in the wake of the Queen’s funeral, which was watched by billions worldwide. Mr Macron delivered one of the most memorable tributes to the late Queen from any world leader … Read more

Liz Truss and Emmanuel Macron meeting could herald cautious reset of Anglo-French relations

Mr Macron’s stance towards Russia has moved closer to Britain’s as it became clear his efforts of diplomacy towards Putin had failed. After the discovery of mass graves in Russian-occupied Izyum last week, Mr Macron warned there could be “no peace without justice”. France, like Britain, has bolstered Europe’s eastern flank with troops and sent … Read more

Secret UK and Albania talks on illegal migrants exposed by Iranian hack

The internal documents published on the Telegram channel include email correspondence in February 2022 between Gledis Nano, Albania’s then director of police, and Alastair King-Smith, the UK ambassador to Albania. It is among a cache of 1,400 hacked and leaked emails involving Mr Nano. In one email, the police chief thanks Mr King-Smith for his … Read more

Joe Biden says monarch ‘reminded me of my mother’ as he visits coffin

More than 10,000 military staff are to perform their “last duty” to the Queen during her state funeral, the Chief of the Defense Staff has said. Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said “enormous” planning for the service at Westminster Abbey on Monday has gone on “for a very long time”, and told of how military chiefs … Read more