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.

The Sketch: Luck, judgement and old-fashioned politics

Why Danny? After David Laws we needed another Liberal as Chief Secretary and for reasons which no one has established we got Danny Alexander. Maybe his function is dinner. Maybe he's the fellow you take on the long escape march because you need something to eat halfway across the wilderness.

Union leaders and public urged to debate deficit

Politicians, trade union leaders and members of the public were invited today by the Government to engage in the debate on how to cut the budget deficit and ensure Britain lives within its means.

Tax experts warn against rushing through CGT reform

The nation's leading tax experts have warned the Treasury that it risks "unintended consequences" from rushing capital gains tax (CGT) reform.

Osborne's £6bn cuts boost approval rating

George Osborne's stock among businessmen has risen since he became Chancellor and announced plans for £6bn of public spending cuts.

Government defends £6.2bn spending cuts

The Government today defended £6.2 billion of spending cuts announced on Monday as necessary to tackle the "economic mess" inherited from Labour.

Alistair Darling to return to backbenches

Former chancellor Alistair Darling is to quit front-bench politics after more than two decades, he said today.

Andrew Grice: A coalition with the Tories comes with huge risks for Clegg

One of the ironies of being the third party is that it wanted and yet feared a hung parliament

'Tactical votes' mean good news for Brown in Scotland

Labour's share of the vote in Scotland bucked the national trend by increasing as Conservative hopes of adding to their single seat dwindled.

David Prosser: The debates are over but the real economic argument is just beginning

Outlook The European Union's economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn was careful not to plant his size 10 boots all over the British election yesterday, noting only that the "first and foremost challenge" for the winner will be to come up with "a convincing, ambitious programme of fiscal consolidation". Still, the latest economic forecasts that Mr Rehn was presenting did rather give the lie to some of the themes of this election campaign.

Donald Macintyre: The Conservatives' dilemma is even worse than Labour's

David Cameron hesitates to go on the attack, but polls may force him to

How to Win an Election, BBC4<br/>Ask the Chancellors, Channel 4

The camera that set out to discomfort our leaders has become their new best friend

The Hell-Fire Clubs, By Evelyn Lord

What does Alistair Darling have in common with Sir Francis Dashwood (1708-1781), founder of the notorious Medmenham Friars?

Civil servants to help in deadlock

Civil servants will for the first time help Britain's political parties to stitch together a post-election agreement if the general election results in a hung parliament.

David Prosser: Housing needs a boost

Outlook: Setbacks in the sector will damage confidence and could even presage the dreaded double dip in the economy as a whole

Budget fails to convince ratings agency

The Chancellor's Budget plans to reduce the fiscal deficit will not prevent a downgrade in Britain's cherished AAA sovereign debt credit rating, it emerged yesterday.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada