News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Crews face test on Costa Concordia as weather worsens

The vast wreck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia shifted on its undersea ledge today, forcing a new suspension of rescue work and threatening plans to pump oil out to prevent environmental disaster.

Ban on subletting council homes

Council tenants who sublet their homes face prosecution and possible prison terms in a blitz on abuse of social housing. High earners could also be forced to pay the market rate for continuing to live in their council homes.

Disgraced MP jailed for expenses fiddle still has Commons pass

Jim Devine, who made £8,000 in false claims, is excused court costs because he is bankrupt

Swedish wolf hunt called off over EU threat

Sweden is to stop this year's licensed hunt for wolves due to the threat of legal action from the European Union. Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said the government decided to call off the hunt to avoid arduous legal proceedings in Brussels.

India reshuffles its reformist Environment Minister

Two years of radical reforms aimed at protecting India’s depleted environment and changing the economic and development balance came to an end today with a government reshuffle.

Video: Commons bin debate gets spicy

Shadow environment minister Jamie Reed kicks of a 'heated' debate about waste collection but we think they're a little hungry!

Land sale planned to reduce deficit

The Government is planning to sell public land worth an estimated £10bn to address a chronic housing shortage and help erode its record budget deficit. The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, is due to announce today that all government departments with significant land banks will be asked to identify, by the autumn, land suitable for sale for homes.

Elliot Morley jailed over expenses

Elliot Morley became the first former minister to be jailed for cheating his expenses when he was sentenced to 16 months today.

Inquiry looms into nuclear fuel plant

Calls for an official inquiry into the financial evidence used to justify the construction a £1.34bn nuclear fuel plant at Sellafield in Cumbria will be treated seriously, the National Audit Office has told The Independent.

Village People: In a bind over Bercow

The plot to remove the Speaker, John Bercow, still lurks in the undergrowth in the Westminster Village. His enemies are old colleagues on the Tory side who see him as a turncoat, and for whom the last straw was that famous photograph of Sally Bercow clothed only in a sheet.

Ex-minister Elliot Morley admits biggest fiddle

Former environment minister Elliot Morley today admitted being Parliament's biggest expenses cheat.

Peer's peerless preserve

A marmalade produced by Environment Minister Lord Henley has won the top prize at the World Marmalade Awards. The Tory peer's recipe, which was originally his mother's, was named Best In Show at at the annual ceremony in Cumbria over the weekend.

Flood-defence plans are submerged by Whitehall cutbacks

Several new flood-relief schemes designed to protect thousands of properties have been put on hold, because the Environment Agency's flood-defence budget was slashed by £95m, or 27 per cent, for next year.

Extra cash to combat council house fraudsters

Councils are to get an extra £19 million to oust fraudsters who unlawfully sublet council and housing association properties, the Government said today.

End of council houses for life 'will hurt needy'

Ministers faced accusations last night of penalising the needy as they sounded the death knell for the days of an automatic council house for life.

Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
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Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
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Independent Travel
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments