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Tory fundraiser Lord Fink faces inquiry into Lords dinner for Amex clients

The Conservative Party treasurer is to face a full Parliamentary inquiry into allegations that he broke anti-sleaze rules.

Lord Malloch-Brown
Votes in last 12 months: 1
Last debate contribution: 2010
Dinners hosted this year: 1

The House of Lords exposed: 'I hope to play a much fuller role from next year...'

Radical proposals to reform the House of Lords are set to shine a light on those peers with low participation in debates or votes

Baxter (left) says: 'We got so involved in ideas there was no one else left at the party but the hostess, staring at us'

How We Met: Stephen Baxter & Terry Pratchett

Stephen Baxter, 54

Major: 'There was no question of me changing our policies'

Rupert Murdoch did try to dictate government policy on EU, says Sir John Major

Starkest evidence of political interference as ex-PM recalls threat to withdraw papers' support

DVD/Blu-ray: Curb Your Enthusiasm: Series 1-8 (18)

Larry David never really topped his first two Curb series, where his mystified mischief maker was at his most excruciating – the "beloved aunt" episode being a standout.

Listen up... and make someone's day

What small act of kindness would brighten up your day? A new YouGov poll, published by the Samaritans, discovered that 44 per cent of people across the nation say having someone listen to them would make them feel better.

Simon Kelner: You are cordially invited to sit very still and behave

Hosting a dinner party is not easy. The gut-busting hard work and the stress followed by the ingratitude of the guests – that may just be my friends – ensure it's a labour most of us don't take on regularly.

Angela Merkel insists that it is not the right time to reduce the pressure on euro members to cut their deficits

Angela Merkel under pressure to sign up to eurozone stimulus plan

European Union leaders will tonight pledge to give greater priority to securing economic growth as they increase the pressure on Germany to do more to solve the eurozone crisis.

Lisa Markwell: Why I still want people to come dine with me

Surveying the dirty dishes and streaky glasses after a midweek dinner party, it would be easy to agree with the YouGov survey announced yesterday that 40 per cent of us can't face the hassle or expense. After a dash home from work to tidy up and throw together a shepherds pie (I always forget the homespun end result comes from laborious preparation), by 10.30pm I'm wishing my guests would bugger off so I could go to bed. Then there's the clearing up ...

There was a definite fin de siècle vibe at The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker when Amol dined there

The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker, 292-294 St John Street, London EC1

What happens when you turn up at a gastropub at the last minute – in every sense?

Rebekah Brooks denies making threats to MPs

Rebekah Brooks today denied using her clout to get her own way with Government ministers.

Rebekah Brooks' meetings with party leaders: the list

This is the list of meetings with prime ministers handed to the Leveson Inquiry by Rebekah Brooks.

For the first time in a decade, 100 people on the waiting list are to be invited to gain access to to Club 33

Disney takes the Mickey with its members' club fees

You don't have to be a prince (charming or otherwise), to gain entry to Club 33, the private members' establishment at 33 Royal Street on the Disneyland estate in California, but having the deep pockets of royalty probably helps.

Heston Blumenthal has two restaurants in the top 15

It's Dinner time: Heston Blumenthal's latest hit earns a spot at the foodie top table

Chef has two restaurants in world's top 15 but Denmark's Noma wins for third year

Scarlett Johansson: 'People pry so much. I'm constantly surprised by how rude people are'

I never wanted to be a sex symbol I wanted to be a character actor. Those are the actors I mostly admire. I think women that are curvy can be pigeonholed in that bombshell thing. It's not like I actively look for sexy roles. It's not a requirement that my character be pretty and delicate. I never think about my character being sexy, unless that's written in.

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Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
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Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all