Despite the prominence of Conservative supporters in the awards list, David Cameron's party has insisted the process of deciding honours remains independent

David Cameron accused of cronyism over New Year Honours list

Award recipients include long-serving MPs and Tory party donors

An aerial view of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, circa 1960 - According to the Financial Times the Prime Ministe has dropped his support to build a new generation of garden cities

Cameron accused of dropping support for garden cities for fear of a backlash from 'nimbys'

Meanwhile, demand for new housing grew by 25 per cent in 2013

The Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling

Tories plan human rights laws overhaul in coming year

Pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights completely is still being considered, says Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Renewal says that millions of people have been priced out of the housing market and that the 300,000 homes a year target should include allowing local authorities to build more social housing

Building new homes to trump Labour is key to winning the election, Tories told

The Conservatives are being urged to trump Labour by promising to build 300,000 new homes a year, in an attempt to shed their “party of the rich” image.

What’s wrong with the Tories? Why aren’t they being more optimistic?

Voters will turn away if they keep hearing sneers and grumbles from Cameron and co

2013 - the year in review: Politics as usual, though we lost Margaret Thatcher and gained Adam Afriyie

At Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, Osborne shed a tear, as if a human being lurked below that calculating exterior

The immigration issue is overshadowing the spirit of optimism which once defined Cameron's Conservatism

There is a danger that the buzz and momentum around that initial modernisation is being lost

David Cameron visits a house in which was raided by Immigration officers on 18 December. The Prime Minister has been urged to tone down his language when talking about immigration as it is believed to alienate voters

David Cameron urged to soften tone on immigration

Conservative modernisers have urged David Cameron to tone down his harsh language on immigration and welfare because they believe it is alienating voters.

Addicted to debt: The UK recovery is under way, and it is fuelled by the same disastrous borrowing as before

The bad news contained within the good is that our recovery is déjà vu all over again

Nigel Farage smokes a cigarette and drinks a pint of beer as he takes a break in a pub during the by-election campaign for Eastleigh, Hampshire

Editor's Letter: In which I defend giving Mr Farage a weekly column

The Independent's founders were determined that we should be of no party or faction

A third of gay voters now back Tories, poll finds

Tory support among the gay community has soared since David Cameron backed same-sex marriage, according to a poll.

Andrew Marr (left) and Vince Cable appearing on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show - the Business Secretary accused the Conservatives of 'panicking' about immigration because the party is under pressure from UKIP

Vince Cable likens Conservative 'panic' over immigration to Enoch Powell's notorious 'rivers of blood' speech

Coalition tensions boiled over as the Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister Vince Cable likened Conservative “panic” about Romanian and Bulgarian migration to Enoch Powell’s notorious “rivers of blood” speech.

Many of the tributes focused on people’s fondness for the unique timbre of David Coleman's voice

Farewell to 'the voice of BBC Sport': Sports stars lead the tributes to legendary commentator David Coleman who has died aged 87

His rapt commentary has gripped sports fans for almost 50 years, but last night it was the man behind the microphone who was centre of attention as tributes flowed in for David Coleman, the veteran broadcaster who has died aged 87.

Roberts in 2009; he spoke vigorously in the House of Lords on Welsh affairs

Lord Roberts of Conwy: Politician

Conservative who served Welsh interests for nearly 30 years despite the indifference and hostility of his own party

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The last PMQs before Christmas. Thank goodness it comes round only once a year

Ah, the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the year. MPs always find it impossible not to overdo the festive references, as though they had just been given uniquely privileged inside information that Christmas was only a week away. There is the frankly obsequious kind, such as Therese Coffey’s: “Thank you for calling me, Mr Speaker, and a merry Christmas to you and your family. The people of Suffolk have enjoyed a cracker of a Christmas present with the excellent news on the A14 [not becoming a toll road]...” Then there is the beseeching, as in her fellow Tory Stewart Jackson’s: “Will the Prime Minister give an early Christmas present to Peterborough people by giving his personal support to our bid for a university technical college.”

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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
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The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
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Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
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UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

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Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own