Laszlo Andor insists that France and Denmark have more generous welfare systems than the UK

Plan to cut child benefit paid to EU migrants will be vetoed, says Brussels

Laszlo Andor insists that France and Denmark have more generous welfare systems than the UK

Bingo halls struggle to get a full house: Industry leaders blame unfair tax for game's decline

The number of clubs has dropped from nearly 600 in 2005 to fewer than 400 today

Ambushed: MPs have demanded Philip Hammond allow them to question the candidate for head of defence procurement

MPs move to vet candidates for top jobs

Select committees seek wider scrutiny of applicants for leading public-sector roles and less government influence

David Cameron has been accused of being a 'Nimby' and deliberately suppressing a plan of building garden cities in a Conservative heartland

David Cameron accused of being a 'Nimby' over garden cities plan

Lib Dems say PM deliberately suppressed a plan which could see development in a Conservative heartland

Hair today: David Cameron with a bouffant style (left) and his current cut

Indyplus politics: Why hair matters so much to politicians

Few get closer to the Prime Minister than his barber, so no wonder Cameron's has been awarded with an MBE. And hair has always been big in politics, explains Andy McSmith

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Owen Paterson, Cruella de Vil of the environment

Owen Paterson yesterday lived splendidly up to his image as the Tory Cruella De Vil, draped luxuriously in the fur of culled badgers, by pointing to other countries where once-loved species were being drastically thinned out by the authorities.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Why do these troughers in ermine have a legal right to line their pockets?

The House of Lords has published details of expenses claimed by their lordships during August 2013. Since they convened for only one day that month, most peers claimed no expenses, but among the minority who did you will see – inevitably – the names of that trio of troughers in ermine, Lord Hanningfield, Lord Taylor of Warwick, and Baroness Uddin.

Andy McSmith's Diary: David Cameron tussles with ancestors, A-roads and Aziz

Given how sensitive David Cameron is to the accusation that he is a “posh boy”, he is not going to be pleased when he opens the current edition of The Spectator, in which his father-in-law, William Astor, revisits the family link to the old Profumo scandal.

The many faces of Labour leader Ed Miliband

PMQs: 50 Shades of Miliband – loud Ed is dead, red Ed is dormant. Long live quiet Ed!

A less doggish approach works well for the Labour leader. Let's hope he sticks with it

MPs accuse Government over scrapping of international aid programmes

The Government has been accused by MPs of bowing to “short-term political pressures” by deciding to scrap aid programmes to South Africa and India.

Andy McSmith's Diary: ‘Prophylactic’ Nick Clegg is no protection against Boris Johnson

Nick Clegg is David Cameron’s condom, according to the latest insult directed at the Deputy Prime Minister by London’s irrepressible Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Chancellor George Osborne. According to opinion polls, only 16 per cent of low paid voters think that the Conservative Party is on their side

Lib Dems accuse Tories of 'stealing' their policy as George Osborne prepares to approve above-inflation rise in minimum wage

The Conservatives opposed Labour's decision to bring in the minimum wage in 1999, predicting wrongly that it could cost two million jobs

Sherlock Holmes portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC series

Boris Johnson on ‘hairbrained’ Sherlock barb: ‘The BBC’s raison d’etre is to attack Conservative politicians’

The Mayor of London has responded to the television show after it portrayed him as an 'incoherent' politician responsible for 'hair-brained' schemes

The man behind the all-important shift of David Cameron’s parting from the left to the right has been awarded an MBE.

David Cameron’s hairdresser Lino Carbosiero awarded an MBE. Because he’s worth it.

The prime minister faced fresh accusations of cronyism after it was revealed that his hairdresser appeared in the New Year Honours List last week

George Osborne is said to have paid £100 an hour to be trained by a Harley Street vocal specialist during his days as shadow Chancellor

Andy McSmith's Diary: More than a little teed off with the Chancellor’s speech

George Osborne is said to have paid £100 an hour to be trained by a Harley Street vocal specialist during his days as shadow Chancellor, to help him sound weighty and authoritative. But did he get his money’s worth? After listening to the Chancellor’s speech on Monday, the Labour MP Jamie Reed seemed to think not. He tweeted: “Can someone please reintroduce Osborne to ‘t’ as a consonant? Cos I godda dell ya, that speech made me wanna scream.”

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Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

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I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

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Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past