Former Labour spin-doctor Damian McBride; Gordon Brown

Damian McBride: How I lied to save Gordon Brown’s job as Chancellor

Spin doctor’s book tells of gut-wrenching instant he realised that the 2005 Budget had been blown

Labour's shadow chancellor, Ed Balls

Ed Balls’ position on spending is a vote winner but we must be ready for the inevitable Tory attacks

Labour was right to warn that this Budget went “too far, too fast”

Rogue male: Damian McBride was ‘a law unto himself’ according to Ed Balls

'Ed Miliband copied into smears emails...': Damian McBride's memoirs suggest Labour leader could be 'embarrassed' by Derek Draper correspondence

Ed Miliband may have been copied in to damaging emails that were at the centre of a 2009 smear campaign orchestrated by leading Labour officials, according to senior party sources.

Yvette Cooper: I’m sure there will be a female Labour leader in future. Right now, let’s get Ed elected

Yvette Cooper interview: 'I just want to be the next Home Secretary'

With the polls showing that Ed Miliband's No 10 prospects are far from secure, Jane Merrick asks a member of his shadow Cabinet where her own ambitions lie

'It'll be anarchy': Gordon Brown discussed putting troops on the streets as banking crisis worsened, former spin doctor Damian McBride reveals

Gordon Brown considered putting troops onto the streets and enforcing a curfew as the severity of the banking crisis began to sink in, his former spin doctor has revealed.

Ex-spin-doctor Damian McBride with his boss Gordon Brown at the Labour Conference in 2008

Did Ed Miliband know what Gordon Brown’s spin doctor Damian McBride was up to?

Serialisation of memoir, which reveals smears against rivals, raises awkward questions for Labour leader

Sir John Chilcot

Andy McSmith's Diary: Ghost of Robert Maxwell haunts the Chilcot report

It seems a lifetime ago since Sir John Chilcot's stopped taking evidence for his inquiry into the origin of the Iraq War and went away to write his report. The public part of the inquiry began on 24 November 2009 and ended on 2 February 2011. Two years, two months and three weeks have since slipped by, with no firm indication yet of when we might see Sir John's conclusions. This is taking so long that even the House of Lords, a place in which time normally stands still, is showing signs of impatience.

We should have done something to get rid of Brown, says Alistair Darling

Former Chancellor's memoirs claim economic rift with PM stripped Labour Party of its credibility. Nigel Morris reports

Tom Watson: 'It has seemed like surfing a giant wave for two weeks'

The Monday Interview Tom Watson tells Martin Hickman about his role as scourge of the Murdochs, and why his battle isn't over

Matthew Norman: Don't pity Gordon – he supped from the devil's hands

Acquiescing in Sarah hosting Brooks at that Chequers pyjama party after she ran the story of Fraser's illness he found 'disgusting'? Going to her wedding?

Diary: Is Kelvin MacKenzie getting less cynical with age?

Unshakeable loyalty being the rarity it is, thank God for Kelvin MacKenzie. Kelvin marks his defection from The Sun to the Daily Mail with a paean to the boss he has forsaken, in an article headlined "Thank God for Murdoch" (and who knew he saw any distinction between the two deities?). Kelvin is overjoyed at Jeremy *unt's shock decision to permit Rupert full ownership of BSkyB, the Hulture Secretary wisely trusting his guarantees about the editorial independence of Sky News.

Silent assassin: How Ed Miliband plotted against his brother for months

A new book makes some startling claims about the way the Labour leader conducted his bid for power

Ed Balls denies role in 'coup plot'

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls today denied involvement in a plot to oust Tony Blair as Prime Minister, following the leak of a cache of private documents detailing Gordon Brown's preparations to take power.

Diary: 'Hurly' Burley's racy ladies

Though keen to work my way through all 424 pages of Kay "Hurly" Burley's debut novel First Ladies, I must confess to having been waylaid by its acknowledgements section: a revealing roll call of the company Ms Burley keeps when she's not on Sky News encouraging celebrity divorcees to blub. The erstwhile ice dancer's first two thank-yous go to fellow chick-lit authors Tasmina Perry and Kathy Lette, who obligingly provided First Ladies with pre-publication puff quotes. Lord Mandelson, too, merits Ms Burley's gratitude, and claims on the cover that she "uses her unrivalled knowledge of the worlds of politics, media and celebrity to racy effect". (Yes, Peter, but is it any good?) Also thanked profusely are former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who left office under a cloud of (alleged) dubious financial dealings; Damian McBride, who left Gordon Brown's employ when he was caught discussing whether to spread scandalous tales about the private lives of Tories; and Lord Archer, who was jailed for perjury. If you need help creating a work of fiction, I suppose there are worse people to ask.

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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

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So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
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

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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