News Under the Mental Health Act, police can take anyone they suspect to be mentally ill and a potential danger to themselves or others to a “place of safety”, which can mean a police station

Almost 700 children detained under the Mental Health Act have been put in police cells over the last two years

‘Bedroom tax’ stokes rise in benefit claims for housing hardship

Councils were faced with a four-fold rise in applications for a housing hardship fund in the month after the so-called “bedroom tax” was introduced, figures show.

Prince Charles' letters to stay secret, but judge condemns ministerial veto

The Attorney General Dominic Grieve blocked the publication of letters from the Prince of Wales to MPs

'Dead' woman wakes up as her organs are about to be harvested

Woman had been pronounced dead by medical staff and parents had agreed to donate her organs

Judges uphold block on Prince Charles letters to Government ministers

Three High Court judges have refused to overturn a decision blocking the disclosure of correspondence written by the Prince of Wales to Government ministers, as they believe it could undermine his ability to fulfil his duties as King.

MPs with children to get higher expenses, says Ipsa

MPs with children have been given permission to claim higher expenses. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said it was allowing almost 150 MPs to claim more in order to rent larger properties and pay for children’s travel.

The CNC recently stepped up the number of officers guarding the Sellafield plant in Cumbria

Safety fears over elite police officers drunk on duty at UK’s nuclear sites

Police officers with the elite force that guards Britain’s nuclear power stations have been caught drunk, using drugs, misusing firearms and also accused of sexual harassment and assault.

Ministers consider ban on face-down restraint in mental hospitals

Ministers will consider a ban on the use of face-down restraint in English mental health hospitals after new figures that show nearly 40,000 incidents of physical restraint were recorded in just one year.

Unhappy Mondays: It's the day of the week when muggers steal the most phones

It is the most miserable day of the week, a return to reality from the elation of the weekend. To compound Monday’s reputation problem, new figures indicate it is also the day when people are most likely to have their mobile phone stolen – with skint thieves who have spent their funds over the weekend to blame.

Tobacco lobby told Government: branding ban will cost you millions

Department of Health civil servants met lobbyists from the cigarette manufacturer Imperial Tobacco before the Government shelved proposals to introduce plain packaging laws this week, it can be revealed.

Thousands of children in care go missing every year

Nearly 3,000 children placed in care were repeatedly running away last year, with one able to go missing a total of 67 times in twelve months, figures released today reveal. The news raises fears about the vulnerability of children to child sex grooming gangs preying on the care system, such as those which operated in Rotherham and Rochdale.

Oxbridge favours October babies

Children born in the month of October are 30 per cent more likely to become Oxbridge undergraduates than those born in July, it was revealed yesterday.

Churchill Room Bar at the Houses of Parliament terrace

It's thirsty work being an MP, as their bar bills reveal

Was there really a time when you could walk into your local boozer, order three pints of Youngs for you and your mates, and settle up with the words, “Put it on the slate, Charlie”? Did we dream that you could run up wine and whisky bills on credit? No we didn’t – but it seems there’s only one place in the UK where, today, a request for credit is not met by a smack in the mouth. It’s the House of Commons.

Oxford twice as likely to give top spaces to whites

Ethnic minority applicants to some of the most competitive courses at Oxford University can be up to half as likely to gain places as white students – despite having the same top A-level grades.

MPs in the House of Commons

Poll: ‘How to be an MP’ is the most withdrawn book from House of Commons, but which title would you most recommend our politicians?

There was good news for our columnist Owen Jones in the disclosure of MPs' most borrowed books from the House of Commons library; his Chavs makes the Top 10. Also included on the hot list, more worryingly, were How to be an MP and How Parliament Works.

Editorial: An alarming spike in snooping

Few would dispute that the Government should work hard to pursue tax dodgers. And in such lean times as these, a crackdown can only be all the more welcome. After all, with nearly £7bn thought to be slipping through the net each year, there is much to be gained for the yawning public purse. But even so large a prize does not give the taxman carte blanche in his methods, and evidence of a sharp spike in snooping by the authorities is still cause for alarm, however worthy the cause.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there