News Lynton Crosby has told ministers to stop announcing minor policies which distract from the party's core messages

Government departments have effectively been banned from promoting initiatives that are not central to the party’s key election themes of crime, the economy, immigration and welfare

Chancellor George Osborne

George Osborne will be forced to cut NHS and pension budgets, think tank warns

Chancellor George Osborne will be forced to abandon the Government ring fence-around the NHS and pension budgets and further cut public spending if he is to keep pledge not to raise taxes after the 2015 election, a leading think tank has said.

Somalia: Five police wounded in bombing by Islamists

Al-Shabaab says it used remote-controlled bomb

The limits of the cuts are being reached

Rules of state spending are being reconsidered

The limits of the cuts are being reached – and now nowhere is safe from the axe

Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review in the House of Commons this afternoon

Most public spending reviews create winners and losers. But there are no winners today

When George Osborne spoke today he evidently felt he was responding to the public mood. How long will that mood last?

Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review in the House of Commons this afternoon

Spending Review: George Osborne announces sweeping cuts to benefits and public sector pay while promising investment to boost economic growth

Chancellor also announced £300bn of new capital spending projects by the end of the decade  - including the largest programme of road building in 50 years

'The clock is ticking': Chancellor George Osborne

George Osborne’s threat to ministers: Cut now, or face worse to come

There is growing speculation that spending on schools will be squeezed by £1bn, even though it is officially one of three 'ring-fenced' budgets along with health and overseas aid

George Osborne sounded warnings ahead of 26 June deadline

George Osborne sounds 'star chamber' threat to ministers who fail to deliver cuts

Chancellor has demanded £11.5bn in spending reductions, with most Whitehall departments required to find savings of up to 10%

Education Secretary Michal Gove had previously seen his schools budget effectively protected

‘Ring-fenced’ schools budget at risk in next round of £11bn cuts

The schools budget is under threat as the Treasury seeks another £11.5bn of cuts despite David Cameron’s previous promises to protect the funding.

Now trim an extra £2.5bn! Osborne spells out Budget cuts to pay for infrastructure projects

Whitehall departments are to face fresh spending cuts over the next two years, with the money saved spent on infrastructure projects, Chancellor George Osborne told a pre-Budget meeting of the Cabinet today.

Cameron: 'We have to go further and faster on reducing the deficit'

David Cameron reaffirms urgency of deficit reduction

David Cameron has said that the Government needs to go “further and faster” to bring down the deficit after the loss of Britain’s coveted AAA credit rating.

Oxfam to donate its archive to Bodlean

Oxfam is to donate its 70-year archive to Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries, it was announced today.

Editorial: A poorly disguised raid on Britain's aid budget

If David Cameron wants to up military spending he should have the courage to say so

David Cameron visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar

Foreign-aid cash could be used to pacify war zones, says David Cameron

Money earmarked for foreign aid could be switched to the Ministry of Defence in an attempt to focus more resources on bringing peace and stability to warzones, David Cameron has signalled.

Pensioners' fuel allowance, free TV licence and bus passes at risk as Downing Street admits pledge to protect them only applies until 2015

New doubts were raised today about the future of pensioners' benefits, after Downing Street made clear that the Prime Minister's pledge to protect them applies only until the 2015 general election.

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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor