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in favour of the project – with the Department of Transport accused of basing  projections on “fragile numbers, out of date data and assumptions that do not reflect real life”.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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee