News Over 200,000 people have contacted their council for help following the last cut to benefits, however councils cannot keep up with the demand

Authorities had been forced to dip into funds allocated to other services to cope with the surge in numbers of households appealing for help

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Does Philip Davies really believe tattoos are a burden on the state?

In the often unintelligible acronym- and jargon-crazed world of Work and Pensions Questions, no-one could accuse the right-wing Tory Philip Davies of not telling it like he thinks it is.

Delays to welfare reform sees single parents lose up to £60 a week

The DWP said In Work Credits created a perverse incentive not to work as they were only open to claimants once they had been on benefits for a year

Chris Bryant forced to back down over claim Tesco and Next use cheap migrant workers

Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant has backed down from his blunt claim that the supermarket giant Tesco had undercut the wages of its British employees by recruiting from eastern Europe.

Jim Messina masterminded Barack Obama’s successful campaign to retain office

Cameron's new star advisor Jim Messina accused of involvement in 'the most homophobic political advert in US history'

The allegations date back to Messina's time as chief of staff to Max Baucus

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Poetry corner or much ado about nothing...?

The gentleman appreciates beauty in many spheres of human endeavour

UKBA staff failed to check thousands of tip-offs about overseas students

UK Border Agency staff failed to check thousands of tip-offs about overseas students including whether they had actually enrolled on courses, a report said today.

Nadine Dorries returns from I'm A Celebrity to face the wrath of Chief Whip Sir George Young

Our diarist on the frosty welcome awaiting the return of the native

Editorial: Publish, or be damned

When it comes to the Leveson Inquiry, David Cameron is full of warm words. Yesterday's Prime Minister's Questions was no exception. For all that Labour's Steve Rotherham tried to goad him, Mr Cameron was full of reassurances about the need for proper regulation of the press and reminders that it was he who had set up the probe in the first place.

The Prime Minister lost his cool in the Commons

Angry Cameron breaks protocol in refusing to tell MPs about emails to Rebekah Brooks

David Cameron is under pressure to release private emails exchanged with Rebekah Brooks that he has withheld from the Leveson Inquiry, after extraordinary scenes in the House of Commons in which he refused to answer a question on the issue.

Pressure grows on David Cameron to release 'secret' Rebekah Brooks emails

Labour says Downing Street must show there is no cover-up over News Corp messages

Mississippi church barred black couple from marrying

Mississippi's Governor has described the refusal by a predominantly white church to allow a black couple to get married there as "unfortunate".

250 foreign criminals escape deportation

The Home Office allowed 250 foreign criminals who should have been deported at the end of their prison sentences to stay in Britain without their cases being considered by a court, it was reported today.

The Sketch: Ed Miliband has improved so much, he has gone from hopeless to ridiculous

"Isn't it stupid that," the Tory lady began – and then stopped. What a world of possibilities opened up for us. What is stupid is the Government hasn't offered free puppies to all children under five. No wonder their reputation for competence is shot.

Commons to investigate hacking 'lies'

The Commons standards watchdog has been asked to examine claims that three former News International executives lied to MPs examining the phone-hacking scandal.

Vaizey row over 'Britain bigger than Morocco' statement

A Government minister was urged to “recognise the importance of geography” today after claiming Britain was bigger than Morocco.

Career Services

Day In a Page

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