Colman triumphs as Favourite wins big

Period comedy The Favourite was the big winner at last night’s Bafta awards, claiming seven awards including best actress for Olivia Colman’s portrayal as a grumpy Queen Anne. However, but best picture and best director both went to Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, setting him up for Oscar success.

May replies to Corbyn’s Brexit letter

Theresa May has replied to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s letter setting out his ideas for a Brexit deal, one of which is membership of a permanent customs union. Although she does not explicitly reject any of his five demands, the prime minister effectively rules them out by not lending them her support, according to The Guardian.

Prince Philip ‘may stop prosecution’ over crash

Prince Philip’s decision to give up his driving licence will be taken into account by prosecutors who are deciding whether to take him to court over a car accident in which he was involved last month, the Crown Prosecution Service says. It was reported on Saturday that the 97-year-old Royal has voluntarily returned his licence and given up driving.

Addiction budgets cut as admissions soar

More than half of all local authorities in England have cut their budgets for alcohol and drug treatment, even though admissions to hospital for related problems are soaring. The data was released under a freedom of information request from Labour MP Liam Byrne, chair of the cross-party group for children of alcoholics. Byrne said the budget cuts would be proved a “false economy”.

Scrap GCSEs, says former Tory minister

The chair of the Education Select Committee, former Tory minister Robert Halfon, has said that GCSEs are pointless and should be scrapped. Halfon proposes replacing A-levels with a mix of academic subjects and vocational qualifications examined at age 18 in a baccalaureate. Head teachers’ leader Geoff Barton says the ideas have “merit”.

Two dead after police chase on A40

A man and a woman were killed last night when a car being chased by police responding to reports of a burglary smashed into a coach while driving on the wrong side of the road in west London. The Met Police said officers did not follow the pair’s vehicle when it moved onto the wrong side of the carriageway on the A40 near Acton during the high-speed pursuit.

Women dominate at Grammy Awards

As the Baftas were handed out in the UK yesterday, the US was discovering who had won music’s most prestigious awards. A total of 31 female artists, including Dua Lipa, walked away with Grammys this year, compared with 17 in 2017. Grammys president Neil Portnow made a contrite speech apologising for saying last year that women needed to “step up” if they were to triumph.

Undersea drones close in on Shackleton ship

Submersible drones are getting closer to the last known position of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship Endurance, which the polar explorer and his team were forced to abandon in 1915 after it became stuck in Antarctic ice and then sank. A British-led expedition is sending drones equipped with sonar down into the Weddell Sea to search for the missing vessel.

Japanese fed up with ‘obligation chocolates’

Japanese women are planning to sabotage a tradition whereby they have to buy chocolates for male co-workers on Valentine’s Day in order to avoid giving offence. A new survey by a Tokyo store found that only 35% of women intend to give “giri choco”, or “obligation chocolates”, to colleagues – with 60% instead planning to buy some as a treat for themselves.

Briefing: why energy prices are about to rise

Millions of UK households will see on average a £117 rise in energy bills from April after regulator Ofgem announced an increase in its price cap on default tariffs.

Introduced in January at £1,137, the cap will rise by £117 for customers on default tariffs, including standard variable tariffs on 1 April.

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