News George Osborne has been warned by local council leaders that he must hand over control of £60bn of central Government spending as they rush to sign up for his devolution agenda

Up to 30 councils have submitted bids to take control of crucial services

Members of the public would rather spend Christmas with Cameron than Ed Miliband

End-of-term poll makes mixed reading for the leaders, but the Prime Minister tops the guest list

Ed Balls insisted he 'couldn’t give a toss' about speculation he could be ousted as shadow Chancellor

'I couldn’t give a toss': Ed Balls dismisses speculation about ousting as shadow Chancellor

Ed Balls insisted on Sunday he “couldn’t give a toss” about speculation he could be ousted as shadow Chancellor.

High ideals: Labour has built around 400 homes in each of its local authority areas since the election

The great housing crisis: Labour beats Tories over new homes

Conservative councils build only half as much affordable and social housing

A rare success: Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in Philomena

Drama at the British film industry: Money trouble and a threat from China

Our position as the world's third largest film market after the US and Japan is set to be overtaken

The front pages of British newspapers report on the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela in London, England

I’d just finished DJ’ing as news broke of Nelson Mandela's death. That gave us 90 minutes...

The sheer exhilaration of producing a newspaper against a tight deadline is unique

George Osborne fails to win over corporate critics on business rates

Package of reliefs and cap on rises not strong enough to boost companies’  cash flows and investment, the Chancellor is warned

Employment: Young targeted in crackdown on ‘jobless culture’

Jobless 18- to 21-year-olds without a basic standard of English or mathematics will be denied benefits unless they return to classes to improve their skills.

Autumn Statement 2013: Income tax relief for investors participating in social SMEs

Investors buying shares or providing loans to firms carrying work for the social good are expected receive income tax relief when they invest and capital gains tax relief when they sell.

Autumn Statement 2013: Foreigners to be liable for capital gains tax on sale of UK properties

The move could take some of the heat out of the London property market

David Cameron is currently on a three day trip to China

No tax cuts until end of decade says Prime Minister with married couples set to benefit further

Prime Minister said austerity measures will remain in place past 2018 but would like to “extend” tax breaks for married couples when possible

UK construction sector growing at its fastest pace in six years

Britain's construction sector expanded at its fastest pace in six years in November, hitting its highest levels of output and employment since August 2007, according to newly released data.

Manufacturing jobs boom as growth soars

Britain's manufacturing sector grew at its strongest rate in more than three years last month and is gearing up for a hiring spree to take advantage of improved conditions across the industry, a key survey has revealed.

Boris Johnson is seen as a possible challenger to David Cameron's leadership of the Conservative Party

David Cameron brushes Boris Johnson aside over IQ comments

The Prime Minister has asserted that the London mayor was speaking for himself when he commented that some people are not clever enough to be a success

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement should have good news on the deficit and employment – even if the national debt remains disturbingly high

Things are looking up for the economy, but don't get too excited

The Chancellor's Autumn Statement should have good news on the deficit and employment – even if the national debt remains disturbingly high

The Co-op is set to review millions of pounds of loans and donations linking it to the Labour party

Labour faces 'cash crisis' as Co-op reviews ties to party in wake of Flowers scandal

Millions of pounds in loans and donations to the opposition could be in doubt as inquiry seeks to get to the bottom of the Co-op's failings

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea