Deaths from alcohol misuse in England and Wales hit 20-year high in 2020

ONS figures show death rate starting to rise at beginning of first lockdown and increasing sharply each quarter Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Deaths directly attributable to alcohol misuse rose dramatically to reach a 20-year high in England and Wales as coronavirus took hold last year, possibly driven by increased consumption […]

NHS Covid jab booking site leaks people’s vaccine status

Exclusive: Health service revising its process in England as ‘shocking failure’ allows access to medical data Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage NHS Digital is revising its process for booking Covid vaccinations in England after the discovery of a “seriously shocking failure” that leaked medical data from the site. The website lets […]

Arsenal’s Aubameyang hits post twice as Villarreal reach Europa League final

Where do Arsenal go from here? It is easier to say where their travels will not be taking them. They will be confined to England for at least the next year, any realistic hope of European football in 2021-22 having been put beyond them by an astute Villarreal side that held them at arm’s length […]

Kyle Sinckler ‘gutted’ to miss out as Gatland rolls dice with Lions squad

England prop says he is ‘honestly gutted’ at shock omission Alun Wyn Jones to captain 37-man tour party in South Africa Warren Gatland has dropped a bombshell by leaving the England prop Kyle Sinckler out of his British & Irish Lions squad for the “brutal” tour of South Africa. Ireland’s captain Johnny Sexton and Wales’s […]

UK set for strongest economic growth since WWII, forecasts Bank of England

Interest rates to be kept at record low of 0.1% with GDP growth now forecast to rise at 7.25% in 2021 Britain is on track for the strongest growth since the second world war this year as it stages a faster-than-expected recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Bank of England. The Bank raised […]

Starmer promises to ‘carry the can’ as Labour braces for challenging elections

Labour leader says he will take responsibility if results go badly, as MPs warn of ‘apathy’ among voters ‘Super Thursday’ elections: what to expect in England, Scotland and Wales Keir Starmer is braced for a challenging 48 hours ahead of a bumper set of elections, as his critics prepare to seize on weaknesses in Labour’s […]

Early cancer diagnoses plummeted in England during Covid pandemic

Official figures spark fears that patients may miss out on treatment until it is too late The number of people being diagnosed with cancer early in England has plummeted during the Covid pandemic, sparking fears that many will only be treated when it is too late to save them. Official figures show a third fewer […]

‘Super Thursday’ elections: what to expect in England, Scotland and Wales

With elections taking place for parliamentary seats, councils, mayoral roles and PCCs, here’s what you need to know Scottish election 2021: a visual guide on what to expect Elections buildup – politics live On Thursday voters in every part of the UK apart from Northern Ireland go to the polls in the biggest democratic outing […]

Sam Simmonds in line for Lions call with Alun Wyn Jones set for captaincy

Simmonds to earn reward for Exeter form despite England snub Jones set to follow footsteps of Wales compatriot Warburton Sam Simmonds is expected to be named on Thursday in the British & Irish Lions squad with Warren Gatland ready to spring a surprise and hand the England exile a place on the tour of South […]

Jimmy Anderson: ‘Why should I start slowing down? There’s no reason I can’t keep going’

England’s record Test wicket-taker will be 39 this summer but says he is inspired by older players in other sports and is having no thoughts of retirement A calf niggle pushed back the intended date but, barring any last-minute hiccups, Jimmy Anderson will on Thursday begin his 22nd season for Lancashire in preparation for his […]

Popularity at school linked to age position in class – study

Research in England, Sweden and the Netherlands shows how age gaps can shape lives Forget about having the right clothes or the right attitude, being cool in school could be about being just slightly older than your peers, a study has found. Researchers surveyed more than 13,000 teenagers aged 14-15 in England, Sweden and the […]

‘This will be lovely’: care home residents in England savour the return of freedom

Simple pleasures like a trip to the seafront or feeding swans are a joy after 14 months of confinement Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A minibus trip to Scarborough’s blustery esplanade arranged by her grandson marked a first step to freedom for Phyllis Padgham after a year confined to her care […]

Local elections: Labour must take advantage of changing demographics

Analysis: party allegiances are shifting all over England and Keir Starmer has to ensure he makes the most of favourable trends Just five years ago, London was a key political battleground and County Durham was a Labour heartland. But since Boris Johnson swapped City Hall for Downing Street, those situations appear to have reversed, with […]

Sunak’s stamp duty holiday extension has merely inflamed the housing market

Throwing money at an already heated market looks nonsensical and could lose the Treasury £2bn Surprise, surprise. Presented, or so they thought, with an end-March deadline to save a few thousand pounds on stamp duty, buyers rushed to complete their house purchases. Mortgage lending in the month reached a new record. It requires no imagination […]

The Spin | Women’s cricket is in fine shape but where are the game’s lost leaders?

There is unprecedented visibility now but the sport misses the female leaders pushed away when the ECB took over in 1998 Almost three decades ago, on 1 August 1993, a 17-year-old Claire Taylor made her way through the Grace Gates for the first time. That day, she watched an England team led by Karen Smithies […]

Child marriage ‘thriving in UK’ due to legal loophole, warn rights groups

In a letter to the PM campaigners say forced marriage law fails to protect young people A legal loophole that allows 16- and 17-year-olds in England and Wales to marry with parental consent is being exploited and used to coerce young people into child marriage, campaigners have warned. More than 20 organisations have signed a […]

Non-NHS healthcare providers given £96bn in a decade, says Labour

Exclusive: Analysis reveals amount of money flowing to for-profit firms, voluntary groups and not-for-profits More than £96bn of health service funding has gone to non-NHS providers of care over the last decade, including private firms such as Virgin Care, research has revealed. The amount of money flowing out of the NHS in England to for-profit […]

Limit of 30 mourners at funerals in England to be lifted this month

While social restrictions are beginning to lift, Dominic Raab says masks may still need to be worn after 21 June Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The 30-person limit on the number of mourners who can attend funerals in England is to be lifted later this month, the government has announced, as […]

The Covid fines paint a bleak picture of pandemic policing that’s going to get worse | Micha Frazer-Carroll

As anti-racists warned, fines in England for breaking lockdown rules were given out disproportionately to BAME people When the government handed the police powers to detain and fine people under emergency coronavirus regulations last year, anti-racists warned that some communities would be disproportionately affected. I was among them – as were a cluster of grassroots […]

The Guardian view on Gavin Williamson: plans not fit for purpose | Editorial

Transforming schools into academies won’t improve them. But the education secretary appears not to have any new ideas Schools are having a hard time. Teachers and other staff, the majority of whom are unvaccinated, continue to go to work every day in crowded buildings, surrounded by children who have also not been jabbed. While Covid […]

Morris dancers and the origin of blackface | Letter

Nicholas Wall says factors such as the use of banjos, minstrel lyrics in songs and oral histories make the link between minstrelsy and border morris irrefutable It’s good to see that morris dancers have stopped blacking up (May Day morris dancers swap black face paint for blue over concerns of racism, 1 May), but it’s […]

High street shops in England and Wales repurposed as climate emergency centres

Community groups are revitalising retail units in often moribund high streets to help people and planet Dozens of familiar high street retail units across England and Wales, including Homebase, River Island and William Hill have been converted into climate emergency centres – community hubs “for the benefit of people and planet” – after changes in […]

Former Ofsted chief drafted in to help Pimlico academy head

Sir Michael Wilshaw advising London secondary after staff and students revolt over uniform and curriculum The former chief of Ofsted has been drafted in to advise the headteacher at Pimlico academy, the London secondary school at the centre of protests over allegations of race discrimination. Sir Michael Wilshaw, the former chief inspector of schools in […]

People in England urged to be patient amid reports hugging may soon be allowed

Vaccine rollout and reduction in cases means family and friends could be allowed to hug in a fortnight Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage People are being urged to remain patient before the next relaxation of Covid lockdown restrictions as there is still a possibility for coronavirus cases to “reignite”, amid reports […]

Karen Carney reveals abuse on social media led her to suicidal thoughts

Barrage of abusive messages followed comments about Leeds ‘It was relentless. I can’t even describe it … three or four days’ Karen Carney has revealed she contemplated taking her own life after receiving abuse on Twitter. The former England international described how abuse she received in December affected her mental health. Carney had praised Leeds […]

House coal and wet wood restrictions come into force in England

Wood stoves and open fires a big source of PM2.5, identified by WHO as most serious air pollutant for human health Restrictions on the sale of coal, wet wood and manufactured solid fuels that can be burned in the home have come into force in England as the government attempts to cut air pollution. Wood-burning […]

English travellers to get one-week notice of overseas rule easing as ministers play it safe

Initial green list of countries requiring no quarantine to be determined but not expected to include EU countries Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Holidaymakers and airlines could get as little as one week’s notice of the rules to allow overseas travel from England this month, as government sources insisted they would […]

Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco sues Marilyn Manson over abuse allegations

Bianco accuses musician of sexual, physical and emotional abuse after bringing her to US under false pretences The Game of Thrones actor Esme Bianco is suing Marilyn Manson, alleging sexual, physical and emotional abuse. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Bianco says Manson violated human trafficking laws by bringing her to […]

UK economy builds momentum as Covid restrictions ease

Guardian analysis shows rapid progress rolling out vaccine is fuelling boom in consumer spending UK economy rebounds as hopes grow for end to Covid crisis Ángel Gurría: overhaul of global tax system can wait no longer OECD: Biden offers ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to end tax abuse Britain’s economy is building momentum and the […]

The Guardian view on the world’s rarest stamp: obsession conquers all | Editorial

The appeal of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta may seem inexplicable, but it tells a very human story It has been described as a “shoddy-looking thing”, and like “a red-wine stain or a receipt that’s been through the wash a few times”. The item in question is a stamp, one of a kind. It is […]