Mark Leftly

Mark Leftly is Associate business editor for The Independent

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Some experts believe service outsourcing to private firms has reduced access to HIV testing

Late diagnosis of HIV blamed on Coalition's health reforms

Fragmented sexual health services mean slower testing and more Aids deaths, say specialists
Crewe has been selected over Stoke-on-Trent for the second phase of the HS2 railway

HS2: Crewe to get green light as major station on rail-link's northerly route

The second phase of the railway should run through Crewe rather than Stoke-on-Trent, the chairman of HS2, Sir David Higgins, will confirm next month.

Mark Leftly: If UK universities want collaborations with business, they should ask for less

Westminster Outlook As the sheep graze quietly on the north bank of the River Elbe, the bars of the baroque old town on the other side of the river will be buzzing this weekend with professors enjoying a few steins of the local Waldschlösschen brew.

Mark Leftly: It gets knocked down but G4S keeps getting up again

Westminster Outlook I should have known that I’d get little change out of a Labour shadow minister who, leaning against the bar after a long day at the party’s annual conference this week, ordered a Diet Coke rather than a sharpener.

Mark Leftly: A case of gridlock coming up for Freedom of Information

Westminster Outlook The justice minister Simon Hughes wants to extend Freedom of Information laws to include companies that are in effect monopolies and provide public services. National Grid, which owns and runs the electricity-transmission network in England and Wales, is the obvious example.

Exclusive: Starbucks beware - union leader seeks jail terms for overseas tax avoiders

UK sales fell last year in the wake of revelations that it paid only £8.6m in tax

Labour Party Conference: Delegates ask - why is G4S guarding us?

Senior Labour MPs, including members of the shadow cabinet, are dismayed that G4S is providing security at the party conference this week.

Broken pledge: Clegg says Tory rebels defied coalition contract

Nick Clegg should do deal with the Tories over devolution, says former Lib Dem minister Sir Nick Harvey

Lib Dems might support Cameron in return for more power for the regions

It’s estimated that incorrectly issued fines are worth around £30m annually

Drivers may be able to reclaim millions in unfair parking fines

Ticket disputes should have been handled by local authorities and not their private contractors, tribunal rules

Lost in translation: it’s time that outsourcers were brought to justice

Answering his mobile phone, one grouchy Scottish MP moaned last week that secession was overshadowing crises in Syria and Iraq: “You want to talk about the referendum don’t you? I was just about to leave the house and go campaigning [for a No to independence].  I’m having to do this while the world goes to hell in a handbasket.”

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Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker