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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Artificial trees are real deal as only one in seven people may buy a real Christmas tree

Only one in seven people may buy a real Christmas tree this year, new research shows.

Will the coalition’s energy plan really mean lower bills?

Energy firms will be forced to switch all customers onto the cheapest tariffs, saving people from languishing on expensive, out-of-date deals, Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy, announced today.

Andy Coulson alleged to have conspired to bribe public officials to secure phone numbers of the Royal Family

David Cameron’s former communications director, Andy Coulson, conspired to bribe public officials to secure the phone numbers of the Royal Family, according to the charges against him announced today.

Andy Coulson (left) and Rebekah Brooks

MoD civil servant pocketed '£100k from The Sun': Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson charged with plotting to bribe public officials

A senior civil servant at the Ministry of Defence was on the payroll of the Sun for almost a decade, prosecutors claimed as they charged the former editor of Britain’s best-selling newspaper, Rebekah Brooks, and its chief reporter with plotting to bribe public officials.

Saddam Hussein was splashed across The Sun and the New York Post in 2005

Did The Sun pay bribes to get famous picture of Saddam in his pants?

News Corp refuses to deny new claims of US military payment

Newspapers accused of keeping readers in dark on press regulation

Media owners accused of using selective statistics to fight reform said to fight press reform with selective statistics

Co-op Energy plans to cut power bills by 2 per cent

Co-op Energy, which has 60,000 customers nationwide, will cut its electricity price by 2 per cent next month, making its average annual dual-fuel bill £178 cheaper than those of its rivals.

SSE defends profits surge of 40 per cent after hiking prices

The energy supplier SSE angered consumer groups yesterday by revealing a near 40 per cent surge in profits, weeks after slapping an extra £100 on fuel bills.

Troy Alstead, global chief financial officer, Starbucks (left), and Andrew Cecil, director of public policy, Amazon

Amazon under fire over accusations it 'manipulates' profits to avoid paying tax

Starbucks and Google admit to MPs they use favourable jurisdictions for their UK businesses

Sally Bercow has apologised for tweets about Lord McAlpine

Twitter users face possible lawsuits over defamatory Lord McAlpine tweets

Twitter users who wrongly suggested that Lord McAlpine was a paedophile could be sued even if they didn’t have any followers, experts said after it emerged that the former politician was considering libel action.

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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff