Mark Leftly

Mark Leftly is Associate business editor for The Independent

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The Prime Minister hopes that by relaxing its visa rules Britain will become a more attractive destination

Super-fast visa service to attract rich tourists

Government aims scheme at India, Middle East and China

Exclusive: Network Rail summons contractor to explain series of serious accidents

Head of BAM quizzed on plans to improve safety on the tracks

Yarl’s Wood can hold around 400 women and children facing deportation

Serco faces fresh allegations over its running of Yarl's Wood detention centre

Outsourcing company is again in the spotlight after accusations of charging for mental health assessments that did not occur
Network Rail is blamed for the rise in signalling errors and equipment failures

Train delays are the worst for seven years

Network Rail says that an increase in passenger numbers is partly to blame for the company's poor punctuality record

Outsourcing cannot be surgically removed. But it can be reformed

Westminster Outlook

Mark Leftly: Work capability testing is a tough job – so call in the Greatest to do it

Westminster Outlook Over 10 years, the 20 project team names used on The Apprentice have included “Phoenix”, the reborn bird of Greek mythology whose golden-red feathers shone so brightly as to emit pure sunlight, and “Apollo”, the son of Zeus and the God of truth.

Treasury rebuked by EU over hidden nuclear costs

George Osborne’s department did not integrate the costs of waste storage

The £21.4bn-budget first phase, between London and Birmingham, reduces the journey time to 49 minutes, and is due for completion by 2026

High Speed 2 railway would cost one-third less if built in France, says mastermind behind project

Sir David Higgins is set to give little detail on costs in his report on the second phase of HS2

Labour has set a target of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020

Labour and banks plan house-building funds

Labour wants a 'help to build' scheme if it wins the general election next year

Filing a divorce petition under Chris Grayling’s plan would have cost £750

Grayling shelves plan to double the fee for getting a divorce

The much criticised proposal would have seen the cost rise from £410 to £750

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Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones