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.

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.

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

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.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
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Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
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Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
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Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
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Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
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Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?