News A defiant George Osborne during Treasury Questions in the House of Commons

George Osborne refused to rule out a cut in the top rate of tax from 45p to 40p today as the Conservatives and Labour clashed over the economy.

Brown makes early overture to Lib Dems

PM to announce constitutional reform package designed to woo Clegg's party in the event of a hung parliament

Oil prices up as motorists face record petrol charges

The price of oil crept up yesterday on the first day of trading since upbeat US job numbers last Friday. However, the jump is likely to put further pressure on petrol prices in the UK as motorists prepare for near-record prices at the pumps.

David Cameron demands inquiry into lobbying row

David Cameron stepped up demands today for a "brief but comprehensive" inquiry into the Government lobbying row.

Cameron demands probe into 'shocking' lobbying claims

David Cameron demanded an investigation today into "shocking" claims made by senior Labour MPs who were filmed apparently offering their expertise for cash.

Conform or close, head of food agency tells dirty cafés

Restaurants with poor hygiene standards face rigorous repeat inspections

Michael Gove: Deep red is the new black as Labour reverts to its old ways

What is striking about today's Labour Party is that it hasn't evolved along the path set by Tony Blair, absorbing its more progressive characteristics and developing them further. Instead, under the guise of "moving on" from Blair, the Labour Party has in fact regressed. Under Gordon Brown, Labour has retreated into its traditional comfort zones, ditching the most modernising aspects of the Blair years and going back to many of the failed dogmas of the 1970s and 1980s. The spirit of Seventies socialist nostalgia has re-captured the Labour Party, and it can be found in all those key areas that Blair first recognised had to change.

Adonis warns Unite over strike threat to BA's future

Lord Adonis yesterday became the first senior Labour minister to publicly criticise the Unite trade union, saying the move was "totally unjustified", not just because of the damage to passengers but "the threat it poses to the future of one of our great companies".

Leading article: The politics of pet projects

The Conservatives' accusation that Labour is engaging in a "scorched earth" policy by locking government into contracts that will be expensive and difficult to break after the next election is a little too dramatic. The flurry of pre-election Government activity that we report today seems more likely to be designed to protect various pet projects, rather than to waste public money (not least because Labour ministers have not entirely given up on the hope of remaining in office after the election).

US boosted by stronger employment figures

Lower-than-expected job-loss figures in the United States yesterday gave the American economy a fillip and provided world stock markets with a boost.

'What would Michael Foot have been like as Prime Minister? I believe he would have led a successful Labour government'

Michael Foot, the great bibliophile – for thus I will remember him, rather than as parliamentary orator or sometime leader of the Labour Party – began one of the most fascinating essays in the English language, his essay on Beaverbrook entitled "The Case for Beelzebub", thus:

US economy continues to slow

The pace of job losses in the US economy continued to ease last month, with private sector employers axing 20,000 jobs in February, compared to 60,000 in January.

Andrew Grice: Don't bank on Cameron ditching sofa government

Inside Politics

Politicians are no strangers to the law

Despite what the public thinks of its politicians, it is very rare for an MP to be convicted of an offence serious enough to draw a prison sentence. The last sitting MP to go to jail was John Stonehouse, below, more than 30 years ago.

Minister regrets £42,000 expenses row

Local government minister Barbara Follett described the expenses scandal as a "sad and sorry episode" today after being ordered to repay more than £40,000.

Cameron to cut seats in Commons by 10 per cent

Constituency boundary review designed to give Tories second victory, claims Labour
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
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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
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam