Today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

Today’s top headlines from The Telegraph

Welcome to your early morning news briefing from The Telegraph – a round-up of the top stories we are covering on Wednesday. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. Police review leaked video of Downing Street staff joking about lockdown Christmas party

The Metropolitan Police is reviewing leaked footage in which senior Downing Street officials joked about holding a Christmas party during lockdown, four days after the alleged event took place.

Downing Street has repeatedly insisted there was no party on Friday, December 18 last year, amid a row as to whether it broke lockdown rules. Read the complete story.

2. Christmas work from home order being drawn up by Government

New work from home plans are being drawn up by the Government as Boris Johnson considers tougher measures to slow the spread of the omicron variant.

Officials working on Covid policy have carried out modelling on the economic impact of urging people to work from home over the Christmas and New Year period, The Telegraph understands. Read the complete story.

3. Foreign Office chief spent 11 days holiday during the fall of Kabul

The top civil servant in the Foreign Office was under pressure to resign on Tuesday night after he admitted he spent 11 days on holiday during the Afghan crisis.

Officials and Dominic Raab, the former foreign secretary, denied claims by a whistleblower that a “work-life balance” culture and a working from home policy had hampered the Government in its scramble to evacuate civilians from Kabul in late August. Read the complete story.

4. Countess of Wessex: Tech giants must protect children from ‘truly horrific abuse’ online

The Countess of Wessex has warned that the world is failing to protect children from “truly horrific abuse” online, as the Covid-19 lockdown made them “ever-more reliant” on virtual communication.

The Countess said the “distressing reality” of coronavirus lockdown left children exposed to “new and very dangerous threats”. Read the complete story.

5. Omicron infections surge as situations ‘double every three days’

Ministers were told on Tuesday the omicron variant of coronavirus appears to be “more transmissible” than delta, as data suggested there could be 100,000 situations a day by Christmas.

The chief Minister updated Cabinet on the fast-moving situation on Tuesday morning, saying that while it was too early to draw conclusions on the characteristics of Omicron, “early indications were that it is more transmissible than delta”. Read the complete story.

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