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.

George (left) and Jeffrey (right) Osborne

'It's not going very well, this new friendship': George Osborne turns down duet with soul musician Jeffrey...

The Chancellor has rebuffed advances from his namesake after President Obama's G8 mix-up

Best-selling author Iain Banks

Final Iain Banks book The Quarry published as writers prepare tribute at Edinburgh International Book Festival

Crime writers Ian Rankin and Val McDermid will pay tribute to the late Iain Banks at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

William Hague

William Hague: Law-abiding Britons have nothing to fear from GCHQ

The Foreign Secretary will appear before the House of Commons tomorrow to try to allay concerns about the Prism spy scheme which enables the USA’s spy agency to mine data from Facebook and other web companies

The inquiry into Shuart Hall's (pictured) crimes will be separate from the one into Jimmy Savile's

BBC launches 'freestanding investigation' into behaviour of disgraced ex-star Stuart Hall

The inquiry will be separate from Dame Janet Smith's investigation into Jimmy Savile's crimes

BBC will not hold separate inquiry on Hall

There will not be a separate inquiry into how the disgraced broadcaster Stuart Hall was able to abuse his victims while working at the BBC, the chairman of the Corporation's trust has said. Lord Patten said instead a review into the Jimmy Savile scandal by Dame Janet Smith would also investigate how Hall – who has admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls during the 1960s, 70s and 80s – gained access to his victims.

Boris Johnson's encounter with the zip wire ahead of London 2012

Should've kept it zipped? Boris Johnson admits bumbling self-deprecation is a 'cunning device'

Boris Johnson has gone on record to say that his bumbling self-deprecatory persona is a “cunning device” he uses to get people to trust him.

Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the Labour Party, on the BBC's Andrew Marr show this morning

Labour promise welfare changes with emphasis on contributory principle

Shadow ministers Liam Byrne and Harriet Harman says 'work should pay'

Boris Johnson (right) has lauded Eddie Mair (left) for the tough TV grilling he gave him on Sunday

Eddie Mair rubbishes reports he's up for Jeremy Paxman's Newsnight job

Broadcaster Eddie Mair has dismissed reports that he could be in line for Jeremy Paxman's Newsnight job following his gruelling inquisition of Boris Johnson.

Boris looks human among Westminster waxworks

The Mayor took his grilling by Eddie Mair with the kind of grace few MPs possess

Boris Johnson (right) has lauded Eddie Mair (left) for the tough TV grilling he gave him on Sunday
Boris Johnson (right) has lauded Eddie Mair (left) for the tough TV grilling he gave him on Sunday

Boris Johnson puts his troubles behind him after Eddie Mair grilling – as his father Stanley launches war of words on BBC

Stanley Johnson calls interview with his son a ‘disgusting piece of journalism

Boris Johnson seen immediately after his interview with Eddie Mair

Fearless Eddie Mair skewers Boris in display that could make him a star

The Mayor of London usually escapes tough questioning with his buffoonery

Move will be a major boost to the UK’s elderly population

Good news for elderly: major pension and care reforms brought forward by George Osborne ahead of Budget

Better than expected news for the families of the elderly who need to go into care

Cable warns Hammond to cut Trident not welfare

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, today declared himself a member of the so-called “National Union of Ministers” vehemently opposing cuts to their departmental budgets.

Andrew Marr edited 'The Independent' between 1996 and 1998

Andrew Marr leaves hospital following stroke

Broadcaster and journalist Andrew Marr, 53, has left hospital two months after suffering a stroke.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all