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Including two return East Coast train tickets to York and free entry to 30 top attractions

Principles 'should replace MPs' expenses rules'

Tight expenses rules for MPs should be abandoned in favour of a set of "principles" and scrutiny by voters, the watchdog in charge of the regime suggested today.

How the Devil came down to Ambridge

'Archers' editor Vanessa Whitburn has cooked-up something especially shocking for the soap's 60th anniversary show tonight. Mike Higgins is braced for the worst

Parliament may open to diners

Members of the public will be able to dine like an MP at evenings and weekends under plans to open up Parliament's grand dining rooms to generate millions of pounds in revenue.

Howard Jacobson: Why I'm damned if I'll bleed a radiator

My father was a man of the sort James May laments. He could paint, he could wire, but hatches were his passion

David Flatman: It's such a shame that players prefer watching telly to a night on the tiles

From the Front Row: I accept the days of sinking 20 pints are gone but it's so sad that the social side of the game is now such a letdown

Soldier took own life after break-down of marriage

A soldier killed himself just weeks into a tour of Iraq after his marriage to a fellow serving officer broke down following a string of difficulties, an inquest heard today.

Loves, The Glasshouse, Canal Square, Browning Street, Birmingham

It's a miracle, given the punning potential of its name, that no other national newspaper reviewer has visited Loves Restaurant in Birmingham since it opened a year ago. I can hardly bear to look up and see what the headline-writer has come up with. Loves means never having to say you're sorry? I'll do anything for Loves? How do I love Loves – let me count the ways?

Chalk talk: Careers lesson - new role models urgently needed

A sign of the times, maybe. A visiting dignitary was touring a primary school in the North-east and asked a young pupil what he wanted to be when he grew up. "I want to be an uncle," the lad said firmly.

Harriet Walker: Feminism didn't make us fatter

In the great evolutionary scale of blame, women and fat people pretty much vie for pole position. There isn't much that can't be laid at the feet of the ladies and the layabouts. Imagine, then, the extent to which blame culture has eaten itself with the recent declaration that fat people are women's fault. In her latest book Kitchenella, food writer Rose Prince attributes our current obesity epidemic to the women who left their stoves 40 years ago to make something beyond someone else's dinner. In other words, feminists created fatties.

Last Night's TV: Help! My House Is Falling Down / Channel 4 <br/>Domesday / BBC2

Just another brick in the wall

City stalwart Crispin Odey backs launch of upmarket grocery shop

An upmarket grocer backed by the hedge fund manager Crispin Odey will open its first shop in London tomorrow and has plans to become a nationwide chain.

Sebastian Horsley: Dandy, bohemian and denizen of Soho whose life was his greatest artwork

If Sebastian Horsley hadn't existed it's doubtful anyone would have had the nerve to invent him.

Roux at Parliament Square RICS, Parliament Square, London SW1

There are tough times ahead, but Roux at Parliament Square is more classy coalition than culinary compromise

Stay the night: Odette en Ville, Brussels

This boutique hotel is not to all tastes, but things are seldom black and white, says Adrian Mourby

The phone rings... 'There's been another murder'

In part two of our series, Mark Hughes sees the murder squad detectives scramble into action when news of a crime breaks
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015