Conservative chairman 'used expenses to pay her nanny'

David Cameron's problems over "Tory sleaze" deepened last night amid allegations that the Conservative Party chairman Caroline Spelman paid her nanny out of her parliamentary allowances.

Advertising: Attempts to nail political zeitgeist just don't ad up

It's 30 years since the Saatchis snatched the political initiative for the Conservatives. But the current Tory media onslaught isn't having the same effect, argues Mark Sellek

Brown appoints City PR man as chief strategist

Gordon Brown has tried to sharpen up his Downing Street operation after a trouble-hit three months by appointing the head of a public relations company as his new chief strategist.

Blair's constituency is most expensive for council tax

The local authority that covers Tony Blair's constituency has the highest council tax in England, figures published by the Government yesterday show. The annual returns from local authorities of the charges they will levy from next month show that a band D home in Sedgefield will have an annual council tax bill of £1,376, a rise of 6.4 per cent on the current financial year.

Fertility patients hit by beds crisis

HEALTH AUTHORITIES are cutting their funding for infertility treatment in order to concentrate on meeting govern- ment targets for reducing hospital waiting lists, according to a survey.

Women to be promoted in Hague shuffle

WILLIAM HAGUE is planning to promote several women to the Tory front bench in a symbolic "break with the past" designed to show voters that his party is no longer dominated by middle-aged men.

Conservative leadership contest: Contenders and their supporters

Apart from the hard-core campaigners, who have declared their support for each of the Conservative leadership candidates, there are unofficial lists of potential supporters collected by each camp.

Breaking the rules of the gentlemen's club

There is a rifle range and 11 bars but no creche. The priorities in the facilities at the House of Commons say it all.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor