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
footballHe started just four months ago
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
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Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect