‘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 […]

That creaking sound? It’s the United Kingdom starting to break apart | George Monbiot

Westminster’s self-serving rule is bolstering the cause of independence across the union. Democracy will be the winner Any residual argument for Scotland to stay within the United Kingdom meets its counter-argument in Boris Johnson. Westminster politics has always been the preserve of a remote enclave, on average massively richer and more privileged than those they […]

We’re all hoping for a holiday. But will we enjoy it? | Adrian Chiles

From summer in Croatia to walking across Wales, I’ve loved planning and remembering my breaks. It’s the experience itself that’s usually a letdown A lot of us are spending an awful lot of time worrying about whether we will get to go on holiday this year. A foreign holiday is spoken of almost as a […]

Wales’s Rob Page plans to sound out Chris Coleman for Euro 2020 advice

Euro 2016 assistant Kit Symons joins backroom team Page will lead team at Euros in Ryan Giggs’s absence Rob Page has said he would be foolish not to reach out to Chris Coleman before leading Wales at the European Championship. Coleman guided the country to the Euro 2016 semi-finals and on Wednesday his former assistant […]

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 […]

Tears and bear hugs as Wales lifts ban on having a cwtch

‘A wonderful day’: friends and families finally able to enjoy a cuddle after months of abstention Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Some were accompanied with laughter, others with tears. There were shy, tentative cuddles but also great bear-sized hugs. After long months of abstention, families and friends across Wales were finally […]

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 […]

The end of lockdown: exactly how much freedom will we have?

Next month, life is scheduled to return to some sort of normal. However, say scientists, some restrictions may need to remain Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage On 21 June England is scheduled to be released from the final curtailments of national lockdown, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland planning to follow […]

Far-right terror suspects arrested in Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Wales

Counter-terrorist police detain three men, one woman and a teenage boy in planned raids Police have arrested five people in areas across West Yorkshire, Wiltshire and north Wales as part of a counter-terrorism operation. The “pre-planned” arrests were part of an investigation into far-right terrorism led by Counter Terrorism Policing North East, police said. Continue […]

Welsh man who killed wife will not have five-year sentence increased

Labour MP Harriet Harman says she was surprised by decision after court of appeal ruling in case of Anthony Williams A man who strangled his wife to death five days into the first UK lockdown will not have his sentence increased, the court of appeal has ruled. Anthony Williams, 70, strangled his wife, Ruth, 67, […]

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 […]

‘Snowdon’ may have its own beauty, but Yr Wyddfa is the name I’ll be using | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Language is political, and the English suppression of local placenames should be resisted in Wales, just as in Ireland It has been well over a year now since I last laid eyes on Yr Wyddfa, the mountain that presided over my childhood, and which the English call Snowdon. I could draw the shape of that […]

This is the first Welsh Senedd election since devolution has come of age | Laura McAllister

Covid has elevated decisions made by the Welsh parliament to matters of life or death – but this should still be Labour’s election to lose Devolution is Wales’s dirty little secret, with no election generating a turnout of over 50%, affecting the Senedd’s credibility and legitimacy. But Covid may have changed that, with the pandemic […]

‘History speeds up’: independence takes centre stage in Welsh elections

What was once a side-issue has become key after the experience of the Covid crisis On the corner of an ordinary street of terraced houses in the Rhondda valley, south Wales, Adam Price was to be found contemplating the possibility of quite extraordinary change. “History speeds up at certain junctures,” said Price, the leader of […]

Anthony Hopkins posts video from Wales after Oscars triumph

Winner of best actor award pays tribute to fellow nominee Chadwick Boseman, who died in August Sir Anthony Hopkins has paid tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman in a short video from the Welsh countryside, in which he expressed his surprise at winning this year’s best actor Oscar. Unusually, the best actor winner was the […]

10 of the best pubs in Wales with outdoor space

Welsh pubs reopen their outdoor areas from 26 April, so it’s time to savour the country’s fine drinks, food and views Best beer terrace in Wales? Quite possibly. Looking out over Carmarthen Bay, the broad alfresco area sits on a lovely stretch of the Wales Coast Path between Amroth and Saundersfoot, in the south-east corner […]

‘Citizens’ juries’ deliver climate crisis verdict to Westminster

Four expert-advised panels across UK agree cost of reaching net zero must not fall on low- and middle-income households Katie Lloyd signed up last year to join a cross-section of people in her area of south Wales to learn more about the climate crisis and agree ways to reduce carbon emissions. The impact of the […]

‘We were determined Covid wouldn’t finish us off’: the Welsh choir who sang through the pandemic

The Dunvant Male Choir has endured world wars, industrial decline and mining disasters. How would it handle rehearsals on Zoom? Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, their faces pop up: Norman, Nigel, Alan, Dai and the others. It’s become second nature to close the door at 6.30pm, click the Zoom link, check if everyone’s well, ask […]

Highs of 18C forecast for parts of UK as dry weather continues

Forecast should maintain trend of what has been one of the driest Aprils on record Most of the UK can look forward to a dry and sunny weekend as daytime temperatures in some areas are forecast to reach 18C (64F), the Met Office has said. Chilly conditions on Saturday morning are due to make way […]

Ryan Giggs charged with domestic violence offences

Former Manchester United player and Wales manager to appear at magistrates court next week The former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs has been charged with domestic violence offences after police were called to his home in Salford last year. Giggs, 47, has been charged with one count of coercive and controlling behaviour between December 2017 […]

Welsh government accused of ‘playing politics’ by speeding up lockdown easing

Opponents say first minister, Mark Drakeford, is making capital out of timing of announcements during election campaign The easing of the lockdown in Wales is being accelerated, with a range of indoor activities for adults and children to be allowed earlier than expected and a date set for when pubs, bars, cafes and restaurant could […]

The Guardian view on poverty and crime: speaking truth to Priti Patel | Editorial

The bluntness of the departing Merseyside police chief Andy Cooke was refreshing. Reducing inequality would help reduce law-breaking “Why do people get involved in crime and serious crime? It’s because the opportunities to make money elsewhere aren’t there for them.” Such opinions are frequently derided as the fancies of a liberal left disconnected from the […]

Book sales jump a third in first week of bookshops reopening in England and Wales

Booksellers report giddy customers browsing and smelling books, with 3.7m print books shifted in first week after lockdown Booksellers have reported their customers “acting like kids in a sweet shop”, with print sales jumping a third in the first week of bookshops opening their doors after lockdown. Related: Readers on the bookshops they miss most: […]

Wetherspoon’s to reopen dozens more pubs as lockdown eases

Chain to reopen 44 sites in England, 60 in Scotland and 32 in Wales on 26 April, and three in Northern Ireland on 30 April Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The pub group JD Wetherspoon will reopen another wave of pubs in England on 26 April, along with venues in Scotland […]

‘As soon as I picked up the ball I just loved it’: Wales winger Jaz Joyce on her journey to representing the nation

As she takes the field for the Women’s Six Nations, Jasmine Joyce reflects on fulfilling her childhood dream of playing for Wales and the path towards professionalism in the women’s game Jasmine Joyce – known as “Jaz” by all – is a sure starter in most people’s Women’s Six Nations fantasy teams. The Bristol Bears […]

Primark owner to hand back £72m in furlough funds after record sales

Associated British Foods says more than half the stores broke their own sales records after reopening Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The owner of Primark is to hand back £72m in furlough payments to the UK government after record sales at its newly reopened stores in England and Wales last week […]

Home ownership unaffordable despite 95% mortgages, analysis shows

Many single thirtysomethings will still find large parts of England and Wales too expensive to buy The government’s scheme to turn generation rent into generation buy will not help single thirtysomethings get on the property ladder in much of England and Wales, Guardian analysis has found. The mortgage guarantee scheme, which came into effect on […]

Wales to ease Covid restrictions on outdoor mixing and hospitality

Six people from any households can meet outdoors from Saturday and hospitality can reopen outside from next Monday Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Six people will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday and outdoor hospitality will be allowed to open from next Monday, the Welsh government has announced. […]

‘Most expensive isn’t necessarily best’: how to buy running shoes online

Even shopping from home, you don’t have to settle for footwear that’s too big, too small, too cushioned or not cushioned enough Although non-essential shops in England and Wales are allowed to reopen, some things remain easier to buy than others. Take running shoes, for instance: finding the right pair usually involves spending hours in […]

Tell us about the closed shops that you’ll miss

Non-essential shops have re-opened in England and Wales, with some exceptions. What are the stores you’ll miss? Non-essential shops in England and Wales have now re-opened, but not all stores have been able to weather the pandemic, and some will remain closed for good. Cath Kidston, Thorntons and Tophop, for example, have already announced they […]