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in favour of the project – with the Department of Transport accused of basing  projections on “fragile numbers, out of date data and assumptions that do not reflect real life”.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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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
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Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Far-right organisation has defended its actions on Facebook

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The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
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The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
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Liam and Zayn of One Direction play with a chimpanzee on the set of their new video for 'Steal My Girl'
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Animal welfare charities have urged the boy band to cut the scenes

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peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
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One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker