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Dharmender Singh Phangurha was a prospective Labour MEP whose promising political career was cut tragically short in a Taliban suicide attack at a restaurant in Kabul. Del Singh, as he was better known, was one of two Britons killed along with 19 others, including senior UN officials, US workers, eight Afghan dignitaries and members of staff of the popular restaurant, La Taverna du Liban, in what was described as the "deadliest violence against foreign civilians" in Afghanistan since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

The care of children is a front-runner on Labour’s 2015 ‘pledge card’

Exclusive: Labour moves towards promise for free childcare for all preschoolers

IPPR report proposes a shift in spending away from Gordon Brown’s flagship tax credits

Ed Miliband and fam play it safe; Nick and Miriam Clegg's children livened up their parents' dull, homely image

Trump card

The festive family selfie is the Christmas card of choice for all three party leaders this year, but they each had their own take. There was one clear winner, says Andy McSmith

Ed Balls faced sustained heckling from the Tory back benches during his response to George Osborne's Autumn Statement

Faced with sustained heckling from the enemy, Ed Balls fluffs lines

Ed Balls endured a torrid time in the Commons as he accused George Osborne of resorting to “smoke and mirrors” to cover up a record of economic failure.

Nick Clegg has challenged the big energy companies to 'come clean'

Government in £300m energy bill rebate

The Government is reportedly planning a £300m rebate to help with the rising cost of energy bills.

Cameron's party is perceived by a majority of the public to only represent the interests of the rich

Most voters see Tories as 'party of the rich'

Results also highlight dangerous 'gender gap' facing party

The Co-op is set to review millions of pounds of loans and donations linking it to the Labour party

Labour faces 'cash crisis' as Co-op reviews ties to party in wake of Flowers scandal

Millions of pounds in loans and donations to the opposition could be in doubt as inquiry seeks to get to the bottom of the Co-op's failings

Former Co-op Bank chair Paul Flowers investigated for expenses claims and suspended from drug charity

Ed Miliband defends Labour's dealing with bank and Mr Flowers, saying party acted with 'utmost integrity'

Paul Flowers was questioned my MPs over the Co-operative Bank's losses on 6 November

PMQs review: High on Flowers power, David Cameron wipes the floor with Ed

Every one of Miliband’s six questions was cut off at the knees

Paul Flowers was questioned my MPs over the Co-operative Bank's losses on 6 November

City to probe how Co-op came to grief with Rev Paul Flowers as police search the former chairman's home over drugs allegations

Prime Minister David Cameron attacks Labour links as Vince Cable reviews scandal-hit bank’s mutual status

Crispin Blunt has survived an attempt by worthies in his local party to get rid of him

Andy McSmith's Diary: Is the revolt against Crispin Blunt by his local party because he's gay? Yes and no

Some local ladies were offended by the way that Blunt’s marriage ended

Jim Armitage: Neat wriggle, and megaprofits for megawatts can continue

Outlook Didn't they do well? Energy companies have long loathed the green levies, mostly put on them by the previous government.

Will Labour reverse the privatisation of the NHS? I want to believe it...

Allowing in for-profit companies is the worst way to better our care

Nick Clegg accuses Tories and Labour of cooling on green issues in age of austerity

Nick Clegg will today accuse David Cameron of abandoning the green agenda he once championed as he claims  the Liberal Democrats are now the only mainstream party that gives priority to the environment.

The reason Labour's lead is shrinking? It's losing battle to keep hold of voters gained from Lib Dems after formation of Coalition

The Independent 'poll of polls' suggests 'lost' supporters are mainly switching to Green Party or Ukip

Jim Armitage: We're warming to Ed as energy prices climb

Outlook Brrr… the first chilly day of the year yesterday was possibly not the best one for SSE to raise its bills by more than 8 per cent.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness