News John Lewis at Westfield shopping centre

John Lewis has decided against closing its final salary pension scheme, leaving it as one of the only retailers in the country that still offers new staff the gold-plated retirement payouts more commonly associated with politicians and civil servants.

Caroline Flint, the shadow Energy Secretary

Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint accuses the 'big six' energy firms of over-charging

Caroline Flint, the shadow Energy Secretary, threw down the gauntlet to the big six energy companies yesterday, accusing them of over-charging customers and challenging them to close down their retail arms if they were unhappy with their profits.

Supporters of Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hold his posters in Tahrir square in Cairo, on the third anniversary of Egypt's uprising

BG Group shares plunge after Egypt turmoil hits profits

Egypt accounts for nearly a fifth of group's production

The rise in the cost of groceries has contributed to the rise in people using food banks, such as this one in Poplar

Britain ‘put profits of banks ahead of EU curbs on food speculators’

The Government has been accused of protecting corporate profits at the expense of the world’s poorest people by trying to block European Union reforms to curb food speculation.

A volunteer puts together a parcel of food at a Food Bank in Brixton, south London

UK ‘has some of the highest and most volatile food prices’, claims Oxfam

Britons face some of the highest and most volatile food prices in Western Europe, according to research published today.

The biggest contribution to the fall in the inflation rate came from a decline in the price of groceries

Fall in inflation fuels hopes of rise in living standards

Pay increases now more likely to outstrip cost of living growth as CPI rate sinks to 2 per cent

Inflation fell to the Bank of England's target of 2 per cent for the first time in over four years in December.

Inflation hits Bank of England's target of 2% in December

CPI rate fell to 2 per cent in December for the first time in over four years

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney

Bank of England to hold interest rates at record lows

The Bank of England will hold interest rates at record lows once more today, amid speculation it will have to change the threshold for considering a hike in the cost of borrowing within months.

Sales on Oxford Street in the run-up to Christmas reveal retailers' worries

Shop inflation hits record low after Christmas discounts

Shop prices fell at their fastest rate on record in December, in a sign of intense competition on the high street over the crucial Christmas trading period.

Electricity pylons in the Languedoc, France in Villejust, near Paris

Exclusive: A giant European network of electricity interconnectors is solution to high energy prices, says climate change minister

Ed Davey believes a continent-wide network of underground electricity cables could slash bills

The increase means fares are rising three times faster than wages for many commuters

Rail fare rises: Commuters take a hit as ticket prices increase three times faster than wages

Campaigners have used the latest price increase to warn that by 2018 the Government will be 'making a profit from passengers'

A pre-election rate hike could actually improve David Cameron's chances of staying in Downing Street, rather than damaging them, as has been widely thought.

Interest rate rise would make more people 'better off', poll finds - and could help David Cameron to stay in Downing Street

More people believe they would be helped than harmed by a rise in interest rates, according to a new survey.

UK inflation falls to a 4-year low at 2.1% in November

The lowest inflation for four years added to the UK’s economic purple patch yesterday, following strong quarterly growth and and declining unemployment in boosting the nation’s recovery prospects next year.

Half of UK firms expect to create jobs next year, according to CBI report

More than half of the UK’s businesses expect to create new jobs over the next year, though real wages will continue to fall, a new report has found.

The music video for Ylvis's

'The Fox' goes viral again, this time as a Christmas light show

Jay Perkins's festive rendition of the YouTube hit has attracted over 250,000 views in just two days

Carney is learning fast after his less than happy start

The governor is taking a judgement about the appropriate level of the price of a major asset class

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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape