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Plus: Batley & Spen is no Hartlepool. LibDems eye Chesham & Amersham. And: will the West Ham variant hit Europe?
Plus: Don’t let the serialisation put you off Alan Duncan’s diaries – it’s the insights into being a Foreign Office minister that really shine.
Plus: The ascent of Truss. Christmas Covid rules unravel. And: I wish readers the compliments of the season and a Happy New Year.
Plus: three winners from recent events. First, Liz Truss. Second, NHS England. And third, the under-promoted Nadhim Zahawi.
McDonnell wanted a state-run pharmaceutical industry. So now we will never know how it would got on with producing Covid vaccines.
Plus: that Cabinet reshuffle. Promote Malthouse, Mordaunt and Kwarteng. And get them out and about in the media.
Plus: The new Downing Street regime is a breath of fresh air. And: back pain is no laughing matter.
The fact, however, that he has won five million more votes than he did in 2016 does tell us that we cannot write him off as an aberration.
Plus: After the kidnapping of this Christian girl, we should cut off aid to Pakistan. And: Muslims must face up the fact that terror is claimed in their name.
Plus: Free school meals, Pointless Celebrities, Bower’s book And: “Did the honourable lady just call me scum?” Your chance to drink to that.
Plus: Macron has closed Paris at night. Merkel is pondering tougher restrictions. So don’t blame Johnson as though our situation were unique.
Plus: virtual conferences are the way of the future. America’s vice-presidential debate worked. And: Fox deserved better from his WTO campaign.
Plus: If Johnson goes soon, it will be of his volition. And: these presidential debates are a train crash for America.
Plus: Johnson’s future. When I went to a party with a shotgun and live cartridges. And: am I Diane Abbott’s maternal grandmother?
Plus: Publishing diaries – do you keep in all the salacious details, or take some out to avoid upsetting people? Sasha Swire takes route one.