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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
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What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
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Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
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Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

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Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
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Climate change key in Syrian conflict

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