News

All the talk has been of cabinet reshuffles in the run-up to the party conference season – but now it looks like they may be delayed until after it is over.

First Night: 10 O'Clock Live, Channel 4

They had the big stories, but where were the big laughs?

Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson quits 'for family reasons'

Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson dramatically quit the Labour front bench tonight 'for personal reasons to do with my family'.

Matthew Norman: Let's hope Alan Johnson doesn't get asked about stamp duty

The mood music at which Johnners can excel is important. But you can't make music of any kind without knowing the individual notes

The Sketch: Bean counters must not count on the fact we understand their 'plight'

Bob Diamond, the banana who runs Barclays, must have promised himself to be as boring as possible in front of the Treasury Select Committee. He succeeded spectacularly with one lapse. His answer to all questions contained a mix and match of the following: resolution and recovery process with capital rules on the architectural changes of the integrated universal banking model going forward. It's a fridge magnet game and the winner gets £100m. Well done, Bob. All that good work went to nought with his observation that bankers should stop apologising for the crash. That met with a united response. Maybe he'll turn down his bonus.

Johnson admits he does not know NI rate

The shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, was forced to admit yesterday he did not know what the UK's national insurance tax rate was, an admission seized upon as his latest public slip-up.

Leading article: The big trade unions show their regressive side

The two biggest parties are divided on the merits of electoral reform, which is a healthy sign

Andrew Grice: If Barack Obama can win electionon small donations, why can't Ed?

The expenses scandal left politicians reluctant to make the case for more taxpayer support

Alan Johnson: 'There's no point regretting things you said as a joke'

The Monday Interview: Did Alan Johnson really need a primer on economics when he was made Shadow Chancellor? The 'best leader Labour never had' reveals the truth to Christina Patterson

John Rentoul: The man who could have changed it all

Alan Johnson ducked his chance to be leader of his party, and David Cameron was the lucky beneficiary

Leading article: A lesson in the realities of coalition politics

What is most remarkable is how unremarkable these Lib Dem complaints are

Osborne embarrassed by calls to draw up a 'Plan B'

Senior officials have called for contingency plans to be drawn up in case the Government's economic strategy is blown off course by the crisis in the eurozone, it emerged yesterday.

Exclusion of scientists from drugs council 'worrying'

Government plans which could potentially see no scientists sitting on its drugs advisory council are "worrying", campaigners said today.

Brown 'lurches from disaster to disaster', said ambassador

A scathing assessment of Gordon Brown's "abysmal track record" by American officials based in London has been revealed in the latest leaks of US diplomatic cables.

Leading article: It's too soon to say if Britain is back on track

In his autumn statement to MPs yesterday, George Osborne went as far as saying that Britain's economic recovery is "on track" and that "the plan is working". The Chancellor deserves top marks for self-confidence. But he knows full well that it is too soon to be so certain.

Village People: Ed has a different view of the 'S word'

"Yes, I am a socialist, I'm not embarrassed about it," Ed Miliband declared yesterday on 5 Live.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on