News Lynton Crosby has told ministers to stop announcing minor policies which distract from the party's core messages

Government departments have effectively been banned from promoting initiatives that are not central to the party’s key election themes of crime, the economy, immigration and welfare

Cameron: 'We have to go further and faster on reducing the deficit'

David Cameron reaffirms urgency of deficit reduction

David Cameron has said that the Government needs to go “further and faster” to bring down the deficit after the loss of Britain’s coveted AAA credit rating.

Oxfam to donate its archive to Bodlean

Oxfam is to donate its 70-year archive to Oxford University's Bodleian Libraries, it was announced today.

Editorial: A poorly disguised raid on Britain's aid budget

If David Cameron wants to up military spending he should have the courage to say so

David Cameron visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar

Foreign-aid cash could be used to pacify war zones, says David Cameron

Money earmarked for foreign aid could be switched to the Ministry of Defence in an attempt to focus more resources on bringing peace and stability to warzones, David Cameron has signalled.

Las Vegas Sands boss Sheldon Adelson

Mitt Romney's backer to build huge £18bn 'EuroVegas' resort outside Madrid

Bishops fear Sheldon Adelson’s €22bn casino will lead poor Spaniards into gambling addiction

Think tank predicts Chancellor is due to borrow £64bn more than planned by 2015

Families face further tax rises as think tank predicts more job losses

Families face further tax rises or more cuts to welfare spending because of the continuing weakness of the economy, a respected think tank warned today.

Pensioners' fuel allowance, free TV licence and bus passes at risk as Downing Street admits pledge to protect them only applies until 2015

New doubts were raised today about the future of pensioners' benefits, after Downing Street made clear that the Prime Minister's pledge to protect them applies only until the 2015 general election.

The Defence Secretary, Education Secretary, and Home Secretary, are among senior Tories arguing for another squeeze on welfare

Tensions rise as ministers press for deeper cuts to welfare

Conservative Cabinet ministers are pressing for another round of cuts in the welfare budget in an attempt to protect their own departments from the Treasury’s demand for a further £10bn of savings.

An injured Kachin Independence Army soldier is treated on Hka Ya mountain yesterday

Burmese army broke ceasefire agreed by President, say rebels

Burmese troops attacked rebel positions in north-east Kachin yesterday despite a ceasefire order from the President and an invitation to the insurgents to take part in peace talks.

Michael Appleton

Roy Hodgson advised Michael Appleton to take 'disaster shipwreck' job at Blackburn

England manager had a stint at Ewood Park

Gives overseas aid to MoD and BBC, says think-tank

A third of the money the Government spends on overseas aid should be diverted to the military budget so that Britain’s armed forces can respond better to natural catastrophes like earthquakes and tsunamis, a right-wing policy institute argues.

Death toll from Philippines typhoon reaches over 1,000

The death toll from a typhoon that devastated mountainous and coastal towns in the southern Philippines with ferocious winds and flash floods this month has risen to more than 1,000.

George Osborne goes for growth (by firing 10,000 civil servants)

Chancellor warns he will squeeze departmental budgets so he can find £5bn to boost economy

Editorial: Less aid to India must mean more sent elsewhere

Justine Greening is supposed to have told the Prime Minister, when he made her Secretary of State for International Development in September: "I didn't come into politics to distribute money to people in the Third World."

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

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Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor