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Group ‘good at bidding but not  at delivery’ says PAC chairman Margaret Hodge

Athletics: Sprinters' scourge Johnson offered the baton

Michael Johnson, one of UK Athletics' arch-critics in recent years, has been approached by the UKA performance director, Dave Collins, regarding a possible advisory role.

YOU ASK THE QUESTIONS: So, Joanna Trollope, do you consider yourself to be the modern Jane Austen? Why are you obsessed with the clergy? And do you enjoy shocking your readers?

Joanna Trollope, 61, was born in Gloucestershire. A fifth-generation niece of Anthony Trollope, she read English at Oxford University, working in the Foreign Office and then as a teacher before becoming a full-time author. She wrote historical novels under a pseudonym until the publication of her first contemporary novel, The Choir, in 1987. She has written 12 contemporary novels, of which four - The Rector's Wife, A Village Affair, The Choir and Other People's Children - have been adapted for television. Her UK paperback sales total more than 6 million. Twice married, she has two daughters, and now lives alone with her dog near Cirencester, and in London.

Me And My Home: Finders keepers

Gwenda Brophy meets a couple who have created a very individual - and retro - space

Man of Leisure: Sean Collidge

Sean Collidge has a lot to answer for. His Freeport Leisure brought discount retail parks to Britain and turned shopping into a family activity. Now he has designs on shoppers in Castleford. And their reluctant menfolk...

Who's Who On The Davies Committee

Gavyn Davies

Commons Vote: Labour MPs rebel against legal aid cuts

TONY BLAIR suffered a fresh rebuff from his party's left-wing last night when 21 Labour MPs rebelled against cuts in the legal aid system.

Druids and pagans stop Seahenge being moved

A MIXED group of Druids, pagans, eco-warriors and tree lovers frustrated attempts yesterday by the Government's archaeological advisers, English Heritage, to dig up Seahenge, the 4,000-year-old tree circle recently uncovered by erosion on the Norfolk coast.

Ads: The double life of Darren from Braintree

NO 266: PETE TONG PROMO

Obituary: Steven Sykes

STEVEN SYKES is best known for his jewel-like Gethsemane Chapel at the east end of Coventry Cathedral, made during 1959-60. It was a commission from the cathedral's architect, Basil Spence, who like Sykes had served as a camouflage officer during the Second World War. Sykes's artistic career was difficult to pin down chiefly because he fitted uneasily into any neat progressive history of post-war art.

Frinton is braced for loosening of moral standards

A SMALL boy was flying his kite on the greensward as his grandfather leant on his stick and looked on admiringly. The beach huts were shut for winter and the evenly spaced wooden seats looking on to the North Sea were empty.

Letter: Useless euro

Sir: Price transparency is widely touted as a principal benefit of the euro to consumers. But are consumers so sensitive to price differentials that they will travel or purchase across borders within Euroland to take advantage of newly revealed lower prices? Hamish McRae thinks so ("The slow burn of the euro", 5 January), and also predicts the same kind of homogeneity in retailing there that we already have "from Inverness to Plymouth".

Eco-warriors dig in to defy bailiffs

BAILIFFS continued their efforts yesterday to dislodge protesters from a network of tunnels under the proposed route of the Birmingham Northern Relief Road, just as the Government confirmed start dates for several new road-building projects.

Campaigners angry at new road projects

ENVIRONMENTAL groups reacted angrily yesterday as the Government confirmed starting dates for 24 roads and details of the next stage of 13 more projects, including five to be built by private-public partnerships.

Letter: The right to work

Sir: Your series on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights included Article 23 - "Everyone has the right to work...." If this is so, why are we doing so much to eliminate jobs? It's not only the crumbling industries, but the everyday jobs from ticket collecting to directory inquiries. And this in a world where the only natural resource that is on the increase is human labour.
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own