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
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen