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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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future