Voices

Both sides know that the top rate of income tax is mainly symbolic

Julian Knight: Strewth! The Barmy Army's wonga needs a boost well before 2014

Just back from Australia, after watching our boys trounce the home team in the Ashes, an immensely happy event, particularly as I was there four years ago when the Aussies humiliated us five-zip.

Leading article: Ed Balls is Labour's accidental gain

Ed Miliband is a lucky politician. At some minor cost to his personal authority, he has accidentally managed to strengthen Labour's collective leadership.

They're back! Power couple go on the attack

Restored to politics' centre stage, Yvette Cooper hits out at control orders while her husband, Ed Balls, guns for the Chancellor

Johnson bodyguard probed over 'affair with wife'

Alan Johnson's ex-bodyguard is facing disciplinary action over allegations that he had an affair with the former shadow chancellor's wife.

Five key questions for Ed Balls

He hasn’t been putting himself around for interviews yet, but in preparation for when that moment comes here are five questions for anyone who bumps into the shadow chancellor over the next few days.

The Sketch: The Speaker could be more indiscriminate in his barking and biting

A torrid few days for the Speaker, and maybe we've learnt something about him we didn't know before. He has a temper. It was probably obvious to you, as obvious as him walking around with a black and white bull terrier. I've only just noticed it – and what a magnificent specimen it is!

Steve Richards: Miliband made a mistake. Now it has been corrected

To mark this down as a victory for the Labour left is wrong. Balls does not easily fit the caricature of 'Red Ed Two'

Former 'Blair Babe' rises to key Labour post

Yvette Cooper is one of the most powerful women in British politics and was once tipped to become Labour's first female prime minister.

Simon Carr: House teaches the Met a thing or two about going on the attack

Why not route demonstrators through the parks rather than down Whitehall past visible symbols of authority?

Nick Clegg urges Lib Dems to reunite after fees split

Nick Clegg today appealed to the Liberal Democrats to move on from their divisions over tuition fees and re-unite to help the party deliver on its priorities in the coalition.

Simon Carr: Timely gaffe provides welcome distraction from tuition fees vote

Sketch: However, ministers who abstain won't get a hospital – they'll find their jobs given to their PPS

New powers to tackle domestic violence

a scheme to remove brutal partners from the family home has been saved following protests that scrapping it would worsen the plight of women already suffering serious abuse.

May plans to cut student visas by up to 120,000

The number of visas issued to foreign students will be cut by up to 120,000 in an effort to achieve David Cameron's pledge of a dramatic fall in immigration.

The Sketch: A tale of two Eds – Balls' loss turns out to be Miliband's gain

You must have noticed Ed Balls working at his reinvention. It's "new balls please" in the shadow Home Office. For years he was the sorcerer's apprentice, the imp who mixed the phials of poison for his boss Brown. He handled Damian McBride, he stoked the loathing for Tony Blair. And he could win almost any fight because there were two of him.

Diary: The paper with teeth

* The News of the World seemed both inspired and confused on the octogenarian dental front. The paper collects Headline of the Week for "Gum And Get It", and Backhanded Compliment of the Decade for this contradictory reference: "Sheila, who looks a lot younger than she is and still has nearly all her own teeth ..." Genius.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links