News

Industrial action involving two unions is threatened in the coming weeks

London Underground 'reduced to chaos'

London Underground travellers suffered fresh delays and disruption today because of cracked and defective rails, continuing a week of "chaos" on the Tube.

Tube maintenance staff vote for industrial action

Maintenance workers on London Underground have voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike in a row over cuts, it was announced today.

Most MPs 'would fail proposed union ballot test'

Only 38 MPs would have been able to take up their seats in Parliament under balloting restrictions on unions being called for by business leaders, according to a new study today.

Mayor urged to hold Tube strike talks

London's mayor was urged today to cancel his trip to next week's Conservative Party conference and hold talks to avert another 24-hour Tube strike which will cause travel chaos.

Leading article: A leader for the post-New Labour age

Ed Miliband secured the Labour leadership by the narrowest of margins, and his first instinct was, rightly, to extend a hand to the 49.35 per cent of the party that had preferred his brother. But the early messages he sought to convey went beyond a simple effort to unite the party around him. He said much that Labour, and the country at large, needed to hear.

Tube strike hopes hit by talks row

Hopes of averting fresh strikes by thousands of London Underground workers were hit today when union leaders were accused of refusing to attend new peace talks.

Unions urged to resume talks in Tube row

London Underground urged union leaders today to resume peace talks aimed at averting fresh strikes by Tube workers in a row over job losses.

Andreas Whittam Smith: Pay up, pay up and play the game

Reckless banking and tax avoidance have characteristics in common. Both depend upon finding barely legal ways round the rules

The Sketch: Vince banks on a bit of mulish miserableness to really wow them

"People say I'm miserable," Vince said, to laughter. "But this is my happy face." I had forgotten how useful it is, that thing he has on the front of his head. Such an unpromising arrangement of features: a mouth like a mule's and the guarded, pain-filled eyes. It could play one of the tramps in Waiting for Godot.

Clegg defends Cable over attack on City 'gamblers'

Vince Cable stepped up his attack on the City of London with a searing attack on "spivs and gamblers" in the Square Mile whose greed had taken the economy to the edge of disaster.

The Sketch: Harriet could have unified Labour like no Miliband will ever do

To a chorus of "Ahhhhh"s, Harriet told the House: "One more question before I go..." It was her last appearance at PMQs as Labour deputy. "She's the third Labour leader I've had to face," the PM said. "And she's by far the most popular." More Ahhhhs, and some from the gallery. We're absurdly sentimental up there.

Steve Richards: The need for distance from the unions

What always happens in relation to public spending is that, when specific areas are examined, various, unlikely figures, find that they are wary of cuts

Union to ballot rail staff over assault rise

Workers at a leading rail company are to be balloted for industrial action after claiming there had been an upsurge in assaults on staff, it was announced today.

Tube strikes hinder London commuters

Commuters in London faced difficult journeys to and from work today as the first in a series of Tube strikes got under way. Maintenance staff on the Jubilee and Northern lines began a 24-hour walkout at 7pm last night in protest at a below-inflation pay offer.

More Tube strike dates announced

The threat of disruption to Tube passengers in London increased today when another strike was announced, heightening fears of travel chaos in the capital in the coming months.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

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Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

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24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

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How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

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Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

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'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
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Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

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Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran