Mark Warburton's faith in youth has got League One leaders Brentford growing up fast

Life beyond the Premier League: He has overseen eigh victories in nine games since he replaced Uwe Rösler as manager

The Prime Minister's authority was challenged by his own backbenchers as they demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

David Cameron beats Conservative Immigration Bill rebellion – with the help of the Opposition

More than 80 backbenchers had demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Dominic Raab’s not rabid but he is dangerous

For an MP, let alone one with high-calibre experience as a government and business lawyer, Dominic Raab, first leafing busily through his papers, then shifting his position on the bench, seemed weirdly fidgety and nervous. So much so, you wondered if you should call the cops, who after all keep exhorting us: “If you see someone acting suspiciously. Don’t hesitate. Call 999.”

Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset

UK flooding: January rainfall breaks records for parts of England

… and the Met Office warns there is still more rain to come

UK weather: Whole of Britain warned to expect storms as January rainfall set to double average

Cold snap to give way to heavy rain and gale force winds on Friday

A defiant George Osborne during Treasury Questions in the House of Commons

Labour accuses Tories of planning another 'tax cut for millionaires' as George Osborne fails to rule out a cut in the top rate from 45p to 40p

George Osborne refused to rule out a cut in the top rate of tax from 45p to 40p today as the Conservatives and Labour clashed over the economy.

Vince Cable: 'There are different ways of finishing the job. Not all require the pace and scale of cuts set out by the Chancellor'

Vince Cable warns against housing bubble-linked recovery

Vince Cable has warned a housing boom could mean the economic recovery is merely a “short term bounce” in a warning shot aimed at the Liberal Democrats' Coalition partners.

Wordwatching: Field Notes from an Amateur Philologist by Julian Burnside, book review: 'The wonderful world of language, in so many words'

The Australian author of this lively collection of essays about language is an amiable guide to his subject. "Amiable" is, however, a stiff adjective to use when describing Julian Burnside, QC, who praises HW Fowler, author of A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926), and Samuel Johnson for allowing their personalities to colour their writings about words. He mocks philologists for their dryness, dismisses "cherished superstitions" that remain popular with conservative querulists and describes an attempt to ban the use of "mate" from the Australian parliament in appropriately matey style.

Only 28 per cent of respondents agreed they would be better off with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Opinion poll exclusive: Labour lead cut to one point after Tories gain on living standards

Labour’s lead over the Conservatives has dropped to just one point amid signs that the Tories are making headway in the crucial political battle over living standards, according to an opinion poll for The Independent.

Syrian refugees look out from an evacuated house in Istanbul. Hundreds of Syrian refugees will be allowed to come to Britain under new government plans

Government U-turn will see hundreds of Syrian refugees come to Britain

Hundreds of Syrian refugees will be allowed to come to Britain under plans to be announced by the Government on Wednesday.

Waving and drowning: Nigel Farage’s local council success will not carry through to the next general election

Ukip as much chance of winning European elections as finding alien life on Mars, say British public

Despite Nigel Farage's prediction that the UK Independence party will cause an “earthquake” in British politics at the European Parliament elections, Britons give Ukip as much chance of winning as finding life on Mars.

Ed Balls denied the claim that he would go beyond a 50p top tax rate

Business leaders slam Labour over 50p tax rate

Ed Balls has vowed to increase the top tax rate for high earners to 50p

Environmental folly: Cutting the domestic climate change budget is a mistake

The odds strongly favour more extreme weather, even if the Environment Secretary chooses to remain oblivious

David Cameron’s Government is spending a third less time on legislation

‘Zombie coalition has run out of things to say’ say critics

There are rumours that the Queen’s Speech has been delayed because of a lack of interesting policies to put forward in a legislative programme.

Ed Balls will tell the Fabian society that Labour 'will look at new ways of delivering public services'

'Labour will bring back 50p income tax for top earners' says Ed Balls

Shadow Chancellor would shift the burden of the deficit to the rich, raising £10bn in three years

Voices
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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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
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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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
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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'