Thursday morning UK news briefing: 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 DAY. To receive twice-daily briefings by email, sign up to our Front Page newsletter for free.

1. No need for new Covid restrictions as omicron hospital risk two thirds lower, No 10 told

Britain should not be subjected to further Covid restrictions, senior Government sources said on Wednesday night after the first UK real-world data revealed that people infected with omicron are up to two thirds less likely to end up in hospital.

The research, by Edinburgh University – submitted to government scientific advisers – suggests that the variant causes far milder illness than delta and that booster vaccines provide "substantial" extra protection against symptoms. Read the full story.

2. Duchess of Cambridge: Covid pandemic has made us realise how much we need each other

The separation of the pandemic has made people realise “how much we need each other”, the Duchess of Cambridge has said in a festive message celebrating Britain’s kindness and goodwill.

The Duchess, speaking ahead of the broadcast of her Westminster Abbey carol concert for community heroes, said she feels a “huge debt of gratitude” to all those who have helped one another through lockdown. Read the full story.

3. Labour accused of flip-flopping over Covid restrictions

The Labour Party has been accused of flip-flopping over Covid measures after Sir Keir Starmer said he does not want a circuit-breaker lockdown despite previously calling for one.

The Labour leader said he did not support new restrictions over the Christmas period because the current situation was "different" to previous virus waves when his party called for lockdown measures. Read the full story.

4. DUP to pressure Liz Truss to trigger ‘nuclear option’ in Brexit negotiations

The Democratic Unionist Party will heap pressure on Liz Truss to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol in the new year, The Telegraph can reveal.

The move would risk a trade war with Brussels and the Government has recently dialled down its rhetoric over the so-called “nuclear option” of unilaterally overriding parts of the protocol. Read the full story.

5. Tottenham and West Ham fans clash in ugly scenes before Spurs’ Carabao Cup quarter-final win

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United fans clashed outside the stadium before their Carabao Cup quarter-final tie.

Several clips emerged on social media of fans fighting along the Tottenham High Road with one supporter appearing to be knocked unconscious. Read the full story.

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