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.

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes