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

Climate change threatens poverty fight, report warns

Climate change threatens to undo years of work to tackle poverty in developing countries, a report warned today.

Ashdown appointed 'disaster tsar'

Lord Ashdown has been made the Government's "disaster tsar", with the task of improving Britain's response to humanitarian emergencies such as the Haiti earthquake.

Don't let the NHS escape pain of cuts, Tories say

George Osborne is resisting pressure from Conservative MPs to end the special immunity from spending cuts he has given to the £104.1bn-a-year budget of the National Health Service.

Osborne orders departments to plan for cuts up to 40 per cent

Chancellor George Osborne has ordered Government departments to draw up plans for spending cuts of up to 40% - slashing services and axing hundreds of thousands of jobs - the Treasury said tonight.

The age of austerity is only just beginning

Britain's public services face the "longest, deepest, sustained period of spending cuts since at least the Second World War", according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Never before in peacetime has the public sector seen budgets reduced every year for six years. Some departments will face cutbacks of a third.

Michael McCarthy: The less said the better about the planet, but there are cuts to come

When we get down to the nitty-gritty of individual department budgets, we see trouble

Britain tops G8 nations in overseas aid says report

Britain is spending a larger proportion of national income on overseas aid than any other G8 nation, according to a report published ahead of this week's summit of the group of industrialised states.

The Last Banana: Dancing with the Watu, By Shelby Tucker

How a Greek tragedy befell Africa

Coalition ends 'awareness projects'

The government yesterday pulled the plug on UK-based "awareness projects" funded from the overseas aid budget. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said he was imposing an immediate freeze on new funding for projects, and was withdrawing support totalling half a million pounds from five existing schemes. Some £6.5m committed by the Department for International Development under the Labour administration to a new programme called The Global Development Engagement Fund will be suspended, said Mr Mitchell, a Conservative member of the coalition.

Tories 'could put climate change agreement at risk'

A historic climate change deal would be put at risk by a Conservative government because of the "injustice" of the way they would fund the battle against global warming in developing nations, David Cameron is warned today.

International development: Government promises not to cut overseas aid

The Government – like the Tory opposition – has promised not to cut its overall spending on overseas aid.

Simon Carr: 'You want to throw the cat at Brooke'

First Sight

Brodeck's Report, By Philippe Claudel

Liberal hackles may rise when a former executive at Goldman Sachs publishes a polemic claiming that Africa's "cycle of dysfunction" is mainly caused by aid. But this knee-jerk reaction may be mitigated when you learn that the author is a young black woman from Zambia.

Brown throws down the gauntlet on overseas aid

PM's Spending Bill will fund development in world's poorest countries
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