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

Plans to scrap school building projects spark coalition uproar

The Government was battling a growing backlash from Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs and activists over moves to scrap more than 700 school building projects.

Don't let the NHS escape pain of cuts, Tories say

George Osborne is resisting pressure from Conservative MPs to end the special immunity from spending cuts he has given to the £104.1bn-a-year budget of the National Health Service.

Osborne orders departments to plan for cuts up to 40 per cent

Chancellor George Osborne has ordered Government departments to draw up plans for spending cuts of up to 40% - slashing services and axing hundreds of thousands of jobs - the Treasury said tonight.

The age of austerity is only just beginning

Britain's public services face the "longest, deepest, sustained period of spending cuts since at least the Second World War", according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Never before in peacetime has the public sector seen budgets reduced every year for six years. Some departments will face cutbacks of a third.

Michael McCarthy: The less said the better about the planet, but there are cuts to come

When we get down to the nitty-gritty of individual department budgets, we see trouble

Britain tops G8 nations in overseas aid says report

Britain is spending a larger proportion of national income on overseas aid than any other G8 nation, according to a report published ahead of this week's summit of the group of industrialised states.

The Last Banana: Dancing with the Watu, By Shelby Tucker

How a Greek tragedy befell Africa

Coalition ends 'awareness projects'

The government yesterday pulled the plug on UK-based "awareness projects" funded from the overseas aid budget. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said he was imposing an immediate freeze on new funding for projects, and was withdrawing support totalling half a million pounds from five existing schemes. Some £6.5m committed by the Department for International Development under the Labour administration to a new programme called The Global Development Engagement Fund will be suspended, said Mr Mitchell, a Conservative member of the coalition.

Devil's in a lack of detail for Osborne and friends

The Lib-Con pact gives the new Chancellor carte blanche to rip up his party's manifesto – so how will he tackle the deficit now, asks Richard Northedge

Tories 'could put climate change agreement at risk'

A historic climate change deal would be put at risk by a Conservative government because of the "injustice" of the way they would fund the battle against global warming in developing nations, David Cameron is warned today.

Business Diary: 24/04/2010

The 7,500 lost souls who didn't read small print

International development: Government promises not to cut overseas aid

The Government – like the Tory opposition – has promised not to cut its overall spending on overseas aid.

Tory party has been bought like a 'banana republic', says Huhne

Michael Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory peer, has not paid income tax on his vast overseas earnings for more than 10 years, it was revealed yesterday.

Simon Carr: 'You want to throw the cat at Brooke'

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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions