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

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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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