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

Diary: One more resignation to go, Gary

This column's sympathy goes out to the many unfortunate journalists losing their jobs at the News of the World – but particularly Gary Lineker. For while many hacks are justifiably upset by events, Lineker will be deprived not only of his column, but also of the chance to submit another principled letter of resignation. The ex-footballer relinquished his role with the Mail on Sunday when its Lord Triesman sting put England's 2018 World Cup bid in jeopardy. "The actions of the Mail on Sunday... have undermined the bid to bring the World Cup to England," he said at the time. And he was said to have been considering his role at NotW before yesterday's announcement, fearing that his reputation might be tarnished by association with the paper. (I am, of course, still awaiting Lineker's principled resignation from his estimated £1.5m-a-year job at Match of the Day, after the BBC broadcast Panorama's FIFA investigation in November: a programme widely credited with, er, undermining the bid to bring the World Cup to England. Ho hum.)

Chris Bryant: NoW closure bid to protect Rebekah Brooks

The MP who secured this week's dramatic parliamentary debate into the phone hacking scandal claimed the closure of the News of the World was an attempt to protect News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

The Sketch: Backbenchers feast for a day on lying, cheating, thieving and bribing

What a victory for the back benches – if it turns out to be a victory. The Commons, incredibly, may have done something in a timely way to change the course of events. How can Jeremy Hunt wave through the BSkyB deal now? How can he face the Commons after that lot yesterday, and say he has no power to stop the Murdoch takeover?

Murdoch empire in crisis

Families of war dead added to reported hacking victims as Prime Minister bows to pressure for public inquiry

Millions of medical records lost by the NHS

Millions of personal medical records have been lost by NHS trusts and hospitals, in the latest of a long series of data breaches which include staff losing laptops and memory sticks, and in one case faxing details of patients’ operations to the wrong number.

Met confirms it is considering new inquiry into 'NOTW'

News International faces the threat of a new police inquiry into allegations of illegal newsgathering techniques after Scotland Yard revealed it is considering a full criminal inquiry into the activities of a disgraced private eye who supplied the News of the World.

Police in dock over phone-hacking as Prescott wins judicial review

Scotland Yard will finally have to answer claims that for five years it deliberately played down the scale of the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World, after Lord Prescott won the right to challenge police in the High Court over their failure to inform him and others that they were potential victims of voicemail interception.

Jude Law among lead hacking cases

Actor Jude Law's claim was named today as one of the lead cases in the News of the World phone-hacking litigation.

Government return for shamed David Laws?

Senior coalition figures were holding out the prospect of a return to government for David Laws tonight despite a damning verdict on his expenses claims.

Diary: Morrissey disgruntled again

As this column reported a mere fortnight ago, the terminally disgruntled Morrissey (né Smith) rained on the royal wedding parade, telling Radio 4's Front Row that the Windsors were "benefit scroungers and nothing else. I don't believe they serve any purpose whatsoever". The glum one has since released a rare statement via his website accusing the BBC of "Iranian censorship" for having "chopped and cropped" the interview, and thus "confiscated" his opinions. Morrissey, it seems, was especially irate that the media all but ignored the death of punk musician Poly Styrene in favour of "blubbering praise" for Kate Middleton. Warming to his Middle Eastern theme, he controversially went on: "The message is clear: What you achieve in life means nothing compared to what you are born into. Is this Syria?? [sic]"

Tea on the terrace at the Commons? MPs do their bit for struggling economy

The trials of Charles I, Sir Thomas More and Guy Fawkes took place there, and King Henry VIII is reputed to have honed his tennis skills in its wide open spaces. Now Westminster Hall, the only surviving medieval remnant of the Houses of Parliament, is to be transformed into a venue for hire at £25,000 a night.

MP: Teach girls virtues of virginity

Teenage girls would be given lessons at school on the benefits of abstaining from under-age sex under a Bill presented to the Commons yesterday.

Marr's approach to super-injunction: carry on and pretend it doesn't exist

Cahal Milmo on the presenter's first show since outing himself

Call for police chief to quit over meeting with ex-'NOTW' editor

John Yates, the senior police officer embroiled in the phone hacking affair, yesterday faced a call to step down after he told MPs that there was no reason for him to reveal a recent social engagement with a former senior executive at the News of the World.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

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Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment