News Ed Balls denied the claim that he would go beyond a 50p top tax rate

Ed Balls could consider increasing the top rate of tax to 55p or even 60p if he became Chancellor, former Trade minister Digby Jones claimed today.

Mark Leftly: British business must make contingency plans in case the Scots decide to go their own way

Westminster Outlook: North of the border, BAE builds an array of warships for the Ministry of Defence

Funeral for a friend: Helen Heraty, who lost her partner during the filming of ‘Storyville: Hotel Folly – Folie a Deux’

Grace Dent on TV: Storyville: Hotel Folly – Folie a deux, BBC4

This was like being slowly televisually strangled, but I couldn't turn it off

David Cameron has ruled out going head-to-head on television with Alex Salmond

Scottish independence referendum: David Cameron rules out TV debate with Alex Salmond

PM accuses First Minister of a 'diversionary tactic'

Douglas Oakervee has been chairman of HS2 since March 2012

Exclusive: ‘Captain Invisible’ goes missing in inaction - HS2 chief takes three months off with torn calf muscle

Douglas Oakervee has been accused of rarely publicly defending the high-speed rail link since its cost spiralled by around £10bn earlier this summer

HS2

£43billion HS2 'will not help regions', warns Public Accounts Committee report

The controversial High Speed Two (HS2) rail project has received one of its most damning assessments yet – just days after the Prime Minister called for a fightback in favour of the project – with the Department of Transport accused of basing  projections on “fragile numbers, out of date data and assumptions that do not reflect real life”.

Labour threatens to withdraw support for HS2 rail project

Labour has threatened to withdraw support for the HS2 rail project if the bill rises above £50 billion.

The estimated cost of the HS2 rail link continues to rise

The wrong side of the tracks: Lobbyists for HS2 rail line funded by the taxpayer

Campaigners against the expensive project accuse the coalition of 'underhand misuse' of money

Miliband has been compared to Attlee by Blunkett: 'fantastic leader, not the most vibrant'

David Blunkett compares Ed Miliband to Clement Attlee: ‘Fantastic leader, not the most vibrant’

Former Home Secretary, backed by ex-Chancellor, expresses concern about Labour’s public appeal

Labour leader Ed Miliband; former minister Chris Mullin

Ed Miliband urged to bring back ‘grown-ups’ to Labour front bench

Move could help counter claims made by ministers that economic crisis was caused by previous Labour government

Ian Grieve as The Leader in the Confessions of Gordon Brown.

Edinburgh 2013 review: The Confessions of Gordon Brown, Pleasance Courtyard

“One year mair, one year less,” rumbles Gordon Brown, thinking back to the homespun sayings of his hometown of Kirkcaldy - this one a somewhat cynical birthday greeting.

Number of long-term jobless hits 20-year high – and most haven’t worked for two years

Figures reveal nearly a million people have been out of work for more than a year

Ed Balls compared Mr Osborne to the character Bungle from the long-running programme Rainbow

Ed Balls inspired by children's TV show Rainbow in attack on the Chancellor

Ed Balls drew inspiration from children’s television to heap ridicule on the “failing Chancellor” George Osborne over his plans for spending cuts.

David Miliband embraces Ed after his leadership win

'David doing this will be good for our relationship': Ed Miliband’s farewell to brother David he beat to become Labour leader

Ed Miliband tells Andrew Grice he regrets that David is New York-bound, and does not rule out a comeback

In this year's Budget, George Osborne showed he's committed to the illusions of a Torytopia

It used to be said that the best Chancellors are like snake oil salesman. Alas for this one, he's not too good at selling things. But will it cost him or his party?

The Sketch: A distinct shortage of AAA metaphors as George Osborne still blames Labour for economic woes

It may be that most of the Tory backbenchers who are really perturbed by George Osborne’s dogged pursuit of Plan A simply failed to turn up for his ritual session in the noisy parliamentary equivalent of the stocks to which Ed Balls subjected him today. But they left the field clear for awe-inspiringly repetitive variations on a theme, that Labour was still exclusively to blame for the trouble we’re in. Including the “humiliation” as Balls put it, of losing a Triple A credit rating the “downgraded” Chancellor had once so prized.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor