News The scene outside Shenfield station this morning, after a 44-year-old City worker was shot in the leg on his way into London

Police are appealing for witnesses after a balaclava-wearing gunman fled from the scene

The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Radical thinking could back new towns with pension funds

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan dumped out of UK Championship after shock defeat to Stuart Bingham

The 'Rocket' pocketed two centuries but was still lost 6-4

Vandals cause £1m in damage to wealthy MP's estate

Attack allegedly occurred just hours after Mr Benyon was told he had been sacked as Government minister

Jeremy Hunt has said that there is a 'clear link' between the healthcare watchdog's failure to report and pressure from Mr Burnham's department in 2009

Jeremy Hunt stands firm after Andy Burnham issues legal threat over NHS 'cover up' row

The opposition party says the Health Secretary has engaged in a baseless smear campaign against shadow minister Andy Burnham

The 3D sign announcing 'Welcome to Bournemouth'

'Welcome to Bournemouth': The £76,000 question - where are we?

After the unveiling of a grandiose 3D sign announcing “Welcome to Bournemouth” on a footbridge over the A338, the town’s council confidently declared that it would “promote a sense of arrival for our visitors”.

Sam Faiers has been criticised by domestic abuse charity ManKind for suggesting 'everyone slaps their boyfriend when they deserve it'

Reality TV show TOWIE slammed by domestic abuse charity after Sam Faiers admits to pushing and slapping Joey Essex

'Everyone slaps their boyfriend once, when they deserve it,' she said

Lord Heseltine

Andy McSmith's Diary: Dry eyes for Lord Heseltine?

The news that Margaret Thatcher’s old nemesis, Michael Heseltine, will be at her funeral is an excuse to replay the story that the Tory MP Conor Burns told the Commons a couple of years ago.

MPs urge Cameron to speed up EU vote

More than 100 Conservative MPs challenged David Cameron yesterday to accelerate his promise to hold a referendum on loosening Britain's ties with the European Union.

HARRY POTTER: The House of Lords, too, is a Chamber of Secrets

Peer film review – it's the House of Lords cinema

It seems that Tory and Lib Dem party managers have come up with an ingenious way of making tired peers stay late for crunch votes in the House of Lords.

Jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball dies

Jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball died in hospital this morning where he was being treated for pneumonia, his manager said.

Crews tackle the blaze at Little Warley, near Brentwood

World's biggest chip pan fire: 160,000 litres of cooking oil sends cloud of smoke over Essex

65 firefighters with fifteen appliances tackle blaze with a pall that can be seen for miles

'Completely unacceptable': Essex hospital warned by health regulator over care of children

Out of date medicines were found by the Care Quality Commission inspectors - a visit triggered by several serious clinical incidents including the death of a little girl following a suspected drug error

Sorry! The hospice where employee threatened to withhold care in planning row

A hospice has apologised after a member of staff threatened to withhold care from a member of the public in a row over a planning application.

The Emperor's New Clothes (21/10/12)

Surely His Majesty Elect is entitled to confide in our ministers? No, says David Randall – there's jam to bottle

PC admits careless driving over 'devastating' crash

A police officer whose "irresponsible driving" left a colleague with severe brain damage has admitted careless driving.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there