Mark Leftly

Mark Leftly is Associate business editor for The Independent

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Nick Clegg has told BBC’s Sunday Politics programme that he will be too busy to take on Oliver Coppard, the Labour candidate, in a live television debate

Election 2015: Nick Clegg branded a 'hypocrite' over his refusal to take part in televised debate

The Deputy Prime Minister, who today launches the Lib Dem's election campaign, avoids taking on his Labour constituency rival in a live BBC encounter next month

MPs condemn secrecy at ExCel arms fair amid torture trade fears

MPs fear that some exhibitors at the world’s biggest arms fair, to be held in London in September, could try to use the event to promote the sale of instruments of torture.

Phoenix Africa: A boxer, a grandee and an ex-soldier seek $27m for rice-producing business in Sierra Leone

Exclusive: It is the main staple of the country's diet but most of it is imported - at an estimated cost to the economy of at least $350m a year

The four-day biennial event at ExCel in east London attracts about 1,500 exhibitors including major defence groups such as BAE Systems, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin

Torture trade comes to town: MPs condemn secrecy at ExCel arms fair

Last year the event was used to advertise illegal torture devices such as leg irons and electric batons

MP Stella Creasy's push for better regulation of payday loans companies was a signature success in this Parliament
McCann has gone further than Ed Miliband and dismissed the possibility of any Scottish Labour deal with the SNP

'No deal with SNP' says chair of Scottish Labour MPs, Michael McCann

McCann said Miliband had made Labour’s position on any SNP deal 'clear'

The number of scientific services staff has been cut by 18 per cent since 2010

Cuts in forensics teams damages fight against crime, survey finds

Leicestershire police was found to have 50 scientific services staff against 86 in 2010, while Northumbria was down from 76 to 52

The wreckage of the helicopter that crashed in 2013

Police denied access to black box crash data over concerns that pilots will be less co-operative

Investigators say pilots might be tempted to cover up vital flight information which could help make flying safer, fearing their mistakes might be made public

The fallout from Right to Buy over the past 30 years means there is a now a chronic shortage in local authority housing

Tory minister promises to take on councils who try to thwart Government's 'reinvigorated' right-to-buy policy

Local authorities fear they might be left with little housing stock, so have transferred ownership to legally distinct, wholly owned companies

Conservative party members on the hustings in Rochester

Countdown to the election: Conservatives charge in to reclaim Rochester and Strood from Ukip

Cabinet ministers are making repeated visits to the Kent seat won by Tory defector Mark Reckless in last year’s by-election

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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions