News According to research published by the Ministry of Justice, over a fifth of out of work benefits claimants have a criminal record

More than a fifth of out of work benefits claimants have a criminal record according to research published by the Ministry of Justice today.

MP has three family members on his staff list

When it comes to keeping your family close, Ian Liddell-Grainger, a blue-blooded distant relative of the Queen, could teach other MPs a trick or two.

Letters: The victims of drink-driving

Like Mary Ann Sieghart (Opinion, 9 August) I find it inconvenient to arrange travel for partying or visiting a remote pub. I have nostalgic memories from the pre-breathalyser days of determining that the driver for the homeward journey was whoever was least drunk.

Adverts for sex worker banned

Ministers are to ban Jobcentres from advertising for strippers, lap dancers and topless barmaids. The Employment minister, Chris Grayling, will tomorrow order government-run agencies not to offer jobs in the adult entertainment industry, after campaigners claimed that such ads validate the idea that "sexually exploitative work is an acceptable career".

New benefits system forces three-quarters of claimants back to work

A controversial new system for assessing whether the sick and disabled are capable of working has seen more than three-quarters of benefit claimants either told to get a job or abandoning their claim.

Unemployment falls with rise in part-time workers

The part-time workforce reached record levels in the three months to May as people struggled to find permanent jobs in the recession, official figures showed today.

Mark Steel: If only we were all in it together

There's already been one positive outcome of the Budget, which is the pleasure of watching Liberal Democrats squirm as they try to justify the stuff that a few weeks ago they screamed would be a disaster. Tomorrow Clegg will mutter, "Look, when we said the Tories were planning a VAT bombshell, the point we were making was this country needed a VAT bombshell and only the Tories were planning it, but they were too modest in hiding their marvellous bombshell plans, so we were trying to help them. You see."

Paul Birrell: Should we give aid to countries which execute LGBT people?

As the Gay Liberation Front celebrates being a (relatively young) 40 years old, it’s easy to forget how far we've come in such a short space of time. All of the original demands they made have been achieved in some way or another. We have legal protection, civil partnerships (if not marriage) and we have a host of LGBT role models in public life from rugby players to captains of industry. I’m sure the few hundred brave GLF [Gay Liberation Front] members never imagined they’d see much of this in their lifetime.

Jobless total getting close to 2.5 million

The scale of the jobs crisis facing the Government was underlined today when unemployment neared 2.5 million and the number of economically inactive people reached a record high of more than eight million.

Leading article: Invited to No 10

David Cameron is hosting a party at No 10 this week to celebrate Gay Pride season, as Gordon Brown did before him. And in one way this says something positive. The Conservatives, despite all Mr Cameron's efforts to bring the party into the modern world on social attitudes, still have some catching up to do. The withdrawal of the party from the centre-right bloc in the European Parliament aligned it with a coalition of right-wing parties, some of which are openly homophobic groupings. Chris Grayling's comments during the election campaign about gay couples and bed and breakfasts hardly confirmed that the party had changed. And in coalition, Mr Cameron appears to have rejected many of the progressive measures for gay equality put forward by the Liberal Democrats.

Now Cameron invites the gay community to join his coalition

The coalition Government is due to formally commit to its gay rights agenda tomorrow with the Conservatives' first ever Downing Street party for Britain's gay community.

Bid to end 'music hall joke' of safety laws

A former Cabinet Minister spoke today of his ambition to stop health and safety legislation being seen as a "music hall joke".

Government targets reform of health and safety laws

David Cameron has ordered a review of health and safety laws to tackle the "compensation culture" that has mushroomed in Britain in the past 10 years.

Father and Son, ITV1<br/>Big Brother, Channel 4

A gripping drama rises above demands for a British version of 'The Wire'. Oh, and 'Big Brother' is back
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'