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.

Geoffrey Spence appointed as new head of Infrastructure UK

Geoffrey Spence, a personal economic adviser to then chancellor Alistair Darling during the banking crisis, has been appointed to head up the Treasury body that oversees the UK’s infrastructure plan.

Leading article: The least of Ed Miliband's problems

Ed Miliband's decision to end elections to Labour's Shadow Cabinet is not his "Clause IV moment", as some have suggested.

Miliband leader speech draft leaked

A difficult week for Ed Miliband was capped today as Labour was hit with more embarrassing leaks.

Leading article: Protest has a role in fairness

It is in the nature of protest marches that they tend to be a reaction to decisions that have already been taken and are most unlikely to be reversed. Thus it was on the Day of Action in 1980, the People's March for Jobs in 1981 and 1983, the CND march against Polaris in October 1983 and, yes, even though the House of Commons had yet to go through the formal motions, the march against the Iraq war in February 2003.

Sean O'Grady: Also-ran has so far confounded all his critics

Only a short but eventful year ago, George Osborne was no one's idea of a chancellor. He routinely trailed Vince Cable and Alistair Darling in polls of the City, the public and business for competence. Mervyn King told the US ambassador he was worried by his lack of experience. Peter Mandelson identified poor George as the Tories' "weakest link"; dark rumours circulated that he would be replaced by the apparently full-of-mojo William Hague.

Leading article: A warning that needs to be heeded

When he succeeded Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2007, Alistair Darling was expecting a relatively quiet time at the Treasury. In the event, he was plunged into the most severe financial crisis since the First World War. Yet Mr Darling came out of the nightmare with his reputation enhanced.

Alistair Darling: We were two hours from the cashpoints running dry

The former Chancellor tells Andrew Grice how close we came to financial chaos – and why Osborne could push us back to the brink

Leading article: Economic contraction will have political consequences

Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, is on the verge of being able to claim vindication

Labour to 'pull together' after Johnson departure

Labour's shadow cabinet will "pull together" and leave behind the problems of the past following Alan Johnson's decision to quit frontline politics, Douglas Alexander has said.

The Sketch: Cameron won the bonus points and Eddie was left crouching

Ok, he's stopped touching his face. That's an improvement, it shows progress. At this rate he'll be ready to be prime minister when Sam Miliband comes of age (and pips his father to the vote while uncle David laughs).

Top banks sign up to tax code

The 15 biggest banks operating in the UK have adopted a Government code of practice on reducing tax avoidance, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said yesterday.

Tom Watson MP criticises coalition tax u-turn on videogames

A Labour MP has accused the Coalition of putting jobs at risk in the videogame sector following its decision earlier this year to cancel proposed tax relief for the industry.

Tax rise adds £450m to 2011 holiday bill

Next month's increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) will add £450m to the cost of holidays in 2011, according to Virgin Atlantic. The third increase in as many years will add £240 to the cost of a four-person holiday to the US, a 33 per cent rise from 2009.

Cuts will hit the poorest harder, claims think-tank

Coalition claims that the spending review was fair were dealt a heavy blow today when a leading economics think-tank insisted the cuts would hit the poorest harder than most of the better off.

Johnson urges tougher taxes on banks to boost public finances

Alan Johnson has said banks should be forced to pay another £3.5bn in tax to help avoid some of the huge cuts to public spending to be unveiled by the Coalition Government tomorrow.

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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent