Mark Leftly

Mark Leftly is Associate business editor for The Independent

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Westminster Outlook: A wafer-thin ‘no’ vote and Scotland will be condemned to living in limbo

A “yes” vote in the independence referendum would be a terrible outcome for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Make no mistake, the rest of the UK would fall into recession, reopening the deep, freshly stitched wounds of the financial crisis, while business for far too long believed the line in Westminster that a vote to leave the Union was borderline impossible.

Photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence were published on the internet

Celebrity photos leak: Lib Dems pledge a digital bill of rights to protect privacy in its election manifesto

Move comes after nude photographs of celebrities were stolen and published on the internet
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary

Mark Leftly: Probation bidders may make a profit, but they’ll never be popular

The crisis is too great to subdue quickly or, indeed, profitably, in most of the CRCs

Mark Carne is the chief executive of Network Rail

Exclusive: Anger as rail chiefs cut board out of more spending decisions

Mark Carne has delegated approval for projects and contract awards worth up to £750m from the board to the executive committee

Mark Leftly: You hold constructive talks and then you cough up £224m

Westminster Outlook It emerged this week that the Massachusetts-based Raytheon has won a drawn-out legal fight with the Home Office. 

Mark Leftly: The tax guns will fall silent when American experts man our defences

Westminster Outlook Kevan Jones was one very unhappy Labour MP last Saturday. The shadow armed forces minister had just read our scoop that the US engineering giants Bechtel and CH2M Hill had won the critically important contracts to manage vast chunks of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S). This is the Ministry of Defence agency that has a £14bn budget to buy all the military’s kit, from surveillance systems to submarine-hunting helicopters.

Nursery places are hard to come by in many areas

Coalition 'way off track' on pledge to boost childcare

Almost 1.3 million under-fives live in areas with too few places, charity survey finds
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron

Boris Johnson would walk it at general election, says poll

The London mayor is considering standing in Uxbridge and South Ruislip next year
Will Ed Miliband promise to freeze rail fares?

Freeze rail fares and win votes, unions tell Ed Miliband

There are fears the Coalition will agree to prices being raised by as much as 5.6 per cent from January
Chris Grayling, Minister of State for Employment

Chris Grayling is accused of 'murdering the probation service'

Friends say probation officer Sarah Kane, who ended her own life, was stressed by the reforms
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Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie