Ed Miliband has argued that the package could not go ahead during the biggest cost of living crisis for a generation

PMQs: Miliband gives tour-de-force demonstration of how not to do it

A growing economy is bad news for Ed's 'cost of living crisis'

Prisoners serving less than a year should be allowed to vote, says Parliamentary committee

Prisoners serving sentences of 12 months or less should be given the vote, the Government is today told by an all-party parliamentary committee.

Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly insisted that the task of clearing the deficit is not completed

Voters prefer growth to higher wages: Poll suggests Conservatives have won the argument over the economy

The competing visions of the two main parties will be a crucial battleground at the 2015 election

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: A straight answer from Boris? You might as well ask Jeeves

Having improbably suggested that he might turn to writing romantic fiction after stepping down as Mayor of London, rather than something more humdrum like becoming leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson was asked to cite a model. Cleverly, he mentioned Rosie M Banks, who was herself a fictional character (of PG Wodehouse’s). This is a prototypical Boris answer, underlining the riskiness of taking him at face value. Did “No, I will not be an MP in 2015,” really mean no? Or could he yet still be dragged unwillingly to a safe seat?

Boris Johnson's term as Mayor of London runs out in 2016

Boris Johnson rules out standing as a Conservative MP - for now

Mayor of London’s comment come after protracted speculation he is plotting a return to Westminster at the next election

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Would sir like a waffa-thin reform?

Sometimes Nick Clegg  is so forthright that – endearingly – he  frightens even himself

CCTV live broadcasting footage shows an image (right) of China's first lunar rover transmitted back to the control centre in Beijing after it landed on the moon

Millions in aid to China criticised as ambitious space programme is announced

Figures seen by a newspaper show the UK distributed £27.4 million to the country last year

Research suggests that young Britons are significantly more pro-European than older generations and fear that leaving the EU would jeopardise their job prospects at home and on the Continent

Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows

Younger voters view free movement within the EU as a ‘two-way street’

Flight path: Yes to Heathrow expansion; no to Boris Johnson’s Estuary hub

Revealed: Take-off for controversial Heathrow expansion as David Cameron faces anger of Lib Dems, London Mayor, and his own party

Two of the shortlisted options in Davies report on airports out this week favours third (and fourth?) runway

School citizenship pack ‘spreads Tory propaganda’

Labour has accused the Conservatives of spreading propaganda in schools by distributing campaign material under the guise of an educational “citizenship and democracy pack”.

Members of the public would rather spend Christmas with Cameron than Ed Miliband

End-of-term poll makes mixed reading for the leaders, but the Prime Minister tops the guest list

Gang culture: Significant falls in recorded knife and gun crime give hope, but 'things are still tough'

Ministers today claimed that an initiative set up to tackle gang culture in the wake of the 2011 riots was "working" with significant falls in recorded knife and gun crime.

Labour MP Nick Brown's Christmas Card takes aim at Cameron, Rebekah Brooks, Grant Shapps (and a horse)

A Labour MP’s Christmas card has taken aim at Conservative Chairman Grant Shapp’s post on Buzzfeed with a tongue-in cheek design.

Private security giants G4S and Serco have been stripped of all responsibilities for electronically tagging criminals in the wake of allegations that the firms overcharged taxpayers.

G4S and Serco lose tagging contracts after overcharging scandal

Monitoring contracts will be handed over to rival Capita on an interim basis

David Cameron is a fan of Mumford & Sons, apparently

David Cameron's top Christmas album is 'Babel' by Mumford and Sons

The prime minister is a fan of the folk-pop band

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching