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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Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

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Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

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Mark Hix's summery soups

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Tim Sherwood column

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Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

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Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

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