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.

Bank of England policymaker Kate Barker steps down

Bank of England rate setter Kate Barker is to step down from the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) after nine years, it was announced today.

Brown to launch campaign with pitch to middle classes

PM's set-piece speech in Coventry will lay out themes for general election

David Prosser: Darling's Budget bonus

Outlook So how much extra cash can Alistair Darling count on from the super-tax on banking bonuses as he prepares next month's pre-election Budget? And should the fact that he is on target to raise much more than was originally envisaged (remember, the Chancellor told us the tax would raise £550m) be regarded as good news or bad?

Barclays reports profits up 92% to £11.6 billion

Banking giant Barclays posted record annual profits of £11.6 billion for 2009 today as its two most senior bosses turned down bonuses for the second year in a row.

City bonuses soar despite super tax

eFinancialCareers finds payouts up 40 per cent

McBride scandal could have been avoided

Gordon Brown could have avoided one of the worst spin scandals in Downing Street history.

David Prosser: Osborne and Darling talk tough on debt

Outlook On one point at least, Gordon Brown and David Cameron must sympathise with each other: it's hard work reassuring voters you're not about to slash spending and raise taxes when your Chancellor (or shadow Chancellor) keeps banging on about doing more to cut the deficit.

Mark Steel: Just who do you vote for given this appalling choice?

The moment you think of voting Labour, up pops the unregretful Blair

Darling 'confident but cautious' over recovery

Chancellor Alistair Darling said today that he was "confident but cautious" that Britain was on the path to a sustained economic recovery.

Cameron will 'act early' to slash deficit

But Tory leader says public spending cuts in 2010 may not be 'extensive'

Bank chief raps 'inflated' bonus culture

The head of the UK's biggest bank hit out at the "inflated" bonus culture today and predicted smaller payouts for the industry in future.

Return to growth will help Brown

Prime Minister will claim credit for blunting impact of recession

UK 'could impose US-style banks levy'

The UK could still impose a US-style levy on banks to recoup money from the taxpayer bailout, City minister Lord Myners suggested today.

Andrew Grice: Labour is desperate to prove it can still change

The card symbolised a time for change, the most powerful message in politics

David Prosser: Britain's bonds are selling like hot cakes

Outlook So much for Britain's lack of creditworthiness. The Debt Management Office yesterday staged its first sale of gilts in 2010, auctioning £4bn of short-term government borrowing. With Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, this week warning that it plans to trim its exposure to the UK this year given its view that we are 80 per cent likely to see a credit rating downgrade, no doubt investors were few and far between? Well, no, actually. Total bids during the auction totalled £10bn.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen