Martin Hickman

Following stints with Reuters and the Press Association, Martin Hickman joined The Independent as a news editor in 2001. He became the Consumer Affairs Correspondent in September 2005 and has run the paper's trenchant campaigns on packaging, bank charges and factory-farmed chicken. He writes on subjects as diverse as food, finance, energy and fashion. With Tom Watson, he is author of a new book on the phone hacking scandal, Dial M for Murdoch - News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain.

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According to a Which? survey on household appliances, German company Miele was rated the best in seven of nine categories

German company Miele dominates Which? survey on Britain's best home appliances

Who makes the best vacuum cleaners, fridge-freezers, ovens and washing machines? A single German company – Miele, according to Britain’s biggest consumer group.

105 adults come forward to report sexual abuse in investigation into paedophilia at North Wales care home

Investigation is looking into previously undetected paedophilia in the 1970s and 80s

A cuddly victory: Furbies push iPad down the Dear Santa list

A talking cuddly electronic pet is the toy most wanted by children this Christmas, judging by the letters posted to Santa Claus.

The Metropolitan Police stressed that Operation Fairbank was a 'scoping exercise'

Scotland Yard investigating allegations senior politicians abused children in the 1980s and used 'connections' to escape justice

Metropolitan Police's child abuse investigation team have interviewed several adults who claim that they were sexually assaulted as children by MPs in a paedophile ring

Parents 'should drink alcohol less in front of their children' says report

Parents should drink less in front of their children if they want to prevent their offspring becoming binge drinkers, a new report suggests today.

Marks and Spencer still the older woman's favourite but Zara wins battle of the high street - says survey by ex-M&S boss

Marks & Spencer may be the country’s biggest clothing retailer but women prefer Zara, according to a survey by a company headed by one of M&S’s former bosses, Sir Stuart Rose.

Electronics firms fined £1.1bn for fixing prices of TVs and computers

Companies including Philips, LG Electronics and Panasonic artificially set prices according to the European Commission 

Australian radio presenters trick staff at Duchess of Cambridge's hospital into giving details of her condition

The 2Day FM presenters phoned the hospital pretending to be the Queen

A Royal Mail worker handles mail at a sorting office

Postal workers could block half of Britain's mail as dispute over monopoly on home delivery escalates

Postal workers could block the delivery of half the nation’s mail in an escalating dispute over the first challenge to the Royal Mail’s historic monopoly on home delivery, union leaders are warning tonight.

MPs have a chance to “redeem themselves” by implementing Lord Leveson’s recommendations on the press, a victim of gutter journalism, Gerry McCann, said yesterday

Gerry McCann calls on MPs to redeem themselves by reforming press

Exclusive interview: Father of missing girl criticises Cameron’s rejection of proposal for legal underpinning

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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all