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Once the voice of the more civilised wing of the party, the think-tank is now firmly in the Let’s Get Nasty Again tendency

Conran staff basic pay is less than £2 per hour

One of Britain's most exclusive restaurant groups pays some of its waiting staff a basic wage of less than £2 per hour, The Independent has discovered.

Protesters confront diners at London restaurant

Carluccio's restaurant in London's Canary Wharf became the focus of our campaign for fair tips last night as demonstrators threatened to bring a busy evening to a standstill.

Leading article: Minimum, as in wage

When we launched our campaign for transparency in tipping, we highlighted the way in which some establishments use customers' tips to make the wages of their staff up to the legal minimum. Our argument was that tips are tips – a compliment paid by the customer to the individual server – and that the minimum wage is what employers are legally bound to pay their staff. For tips to be used in this way defeated the whole purpose of the minimum wage. A tip should always be a little something extra.

Downing Street adds voice to chorus of support for fair tips

Downing Street signalled yesterday that it will back the campaign to ensure Britain's 231,000 waiters receive a fairer share of money left in tips.

Tipping: Your views

Leading article: Service with a sting

When you go to a restaurant and leave a tip, whether in cash or before you tap out your pin number on the card machine, you surely do so in good faith.

Tipping - the unpalatable truth

What happens to the money you leave as tips and service charges in restaurants? Is it a bonus for the staff? Does the management skim off the lion's share? Or do the waiters and waitresses take home the minimum wage, no matter how generous you are? In a special investigation, Simon Usborne reveals how you can make a difference

Revealed: how the restaurant chains pocket your tips

Britain's restaurants are creaming off millions of pounds of customers' tips to boost their profits, an investigation by The Independent has found.

Short-changed: Britain's waiters and waitresses have their say

Louise Parry, 21, Shropshire

PM pledges to do more for serving troops

Gordon Brown said the Government would do "everything in our power" to improve conditions for the armed forces after General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, compared the pay of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to that of traffic wardens.

Chancellor's pledge on compensation package details

Chancellor Alistair Darling said today that he hoped to come forward with details of the compensation package, rushed forward yesterday to avert a backbench revolt over the scrapping of the 10p tax band, in the "reasonably near future".

Who is brave enough to be a foster parent?

Children in the headlines show the urgent need for temporary homes – but there's a shortage of carers

3.8percent increase in minimum wage

From October, the national minimum wage for people over 21 will go up by an above inflation 3.8 per cent, from £5.52 to £5.73 an hour. The rises for younger workers will also exceed inflation. For 18- to 21-year-olds the rate will be £4.77, up from £4.60, while 16- to 17-year-olds will get £3.53, up from £3.40.

Rescue centres close as Coastguard staff strike

The first-ever strike by coastguards led to the closure of rescue centres across the country today.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada