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.

Leading article: Ed Miliband: the next generation

Ed Miliband did not come to bury everything about New Labour in his conference speech in Manchester yesterday. But the new leader did come to bury the former government's most egregious mistakes. On Iraq, he admitted that "we were wrong". When it came to markets "we became naïve". On civil liberties "we seemed too casual".

Leading article: The hard work starts here

There is no rest for newly elected leaders. At the weekend, Ed Miliband scraped through in an emotionally draining contest to lead the Labour Party. But straightaway he faces two immense challenges. He must decide the composition of his Shadow Cabinet and also the strategy that he will adopt to oppose the Coalition Government over the coming years. The two challenges are inextricably connected.

Alistair Darling: 'Ed Miliband must keep Labour central'

Ed Miliband needs to keep Labour in the "centre ground of British politics" to win the next election, shadow chancellor Alistair Darling said today

Alistair Darling to attack Gordon Brown on deficit failure

Shadow chancellor Alistair Darling will launch a thinly-veiled attack on Gordon Brown today, saying Labour was defeated at the general election because it ignored the deficit.

Darling: Stubborn Brown cost Labour the election

Gordon Brown's refusal to admit to the need for spending cuts cost Labour the election, Alistair Darling suggested yesterday.

Straw backs Miliband in leadership race

David Miliband's hopes of being elected leader of the Labour Party were boosted yesterday when he was given the backing of Jack Straw.

The Third Man, By Peter Mandelson

Want an explosive insider view of New Labour? You had best wait for someone else's memoir, then…

Budget could lead to 1.3m extra job losses

The Treasury expects austerity measures in last week's Budget to drive up unemployment by as much as 1.3 million, according to leaked figures. As many as 600,000 jobs could be lost from the public sector and 700,000 from the private sector within the next five years.

Hamish McRae: The mountain that we all have to climb just got a little bit steeper

Not as bad as you thought, eh? Wait and see. Think of the next five years as a mountain that we as a country have to climb.

Public borrowing at a peak, says ONS, but tough Budget awaits

Government borrowing appears to have peaked, according to the Office for National Statistics. As George Osborne put the final touches to next week's emergency Budget yesterday, the ONS reported lower-than-expected figures for government borrowing, giving the Chancellor a handy windfall.

David Prosser: Osborne will have to look elsewhere for austerity affirmation

Outlook: A Chancellor seeking covering fire for a full-scale assault on public spending willnot find it in the OBR's pre-Budget report issued yesterday

Simon Carr: No hidden agenda? This is a big change

The Sketch: Darling demanded an apology. And they demanded more apologies, and no one apologised but everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

Government waste group meets to seek cuts

The coalition is pushing ahead with efforts to slash the deficit today after George Osborne appealed for the public to help identify where cuts can be made.

News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
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people
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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Life and Style
fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape