News Ed Balls denied the claim that he would go beyond a 50p top tax rate

Ed Balls has vowed to increase the top tax rate for high earners to 50p

Robert Halfon is described as one of the best campaigners in Parliament

We’re not posh: Tories rebrand party to win friends in the North

Conservatives aim to shed ‘rich’ image in bid to win over crucial voters outside the South East

Justin Welby, pictured, accused Lord Freud of getting his facts wrong on food banks and benefits

Justin Welby: Food banks users ‘aren’t scroungers’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised Conservative ministers for dividing the nation to justify their welfare reforms

Labour brand George Osborne and Vince Cable 'weak' as key reforms to banking system are thrown out

Ministers reject several recommendations of the commission set up to prevent future bailouts

Do the maths: Critics say the Department for Education has failed to respond to rising birth rates

Revealed: The real shortage of school places

Rise in birth rate in the UK has put primary schools under pressure to meet demand

George Osborne praised Eric Pickles, pictured, as

Eric Pickles' Communities Department - charged with getting local council budgets under control - fined for £217m unauthorised overdraft

Margaret Hodge describes department finances as 'a shocking example of incompetence'

Mark Leftly: Osbornism - one small step for the man, one giant leap for the economy... ideally

Outlook As an economic paradigm, Osbornism has reached maturity: the theory has taken a long time to craft but it has now developed to such an extent that its full force has been unleashed in practice.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The cuts were bad, but the jokes that accompanied them were even worse

Dr Osborne did not say the economy was  ‘healing’ but ‘moving out of intensive care’

Mark Leftly: We have every right to know about the banks' £27bn black hole

Outlook One of the stranger questions raised after the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) revealed that five of the country's biggest lenders have a £27bn black hole in their balance sheets was whether or not the gap should have been disclosed at all.

The average weekly bonus in the financial sector was £143 in April

New banker bonus boom: Payouts leapt 64% to new record when Chancellor George Osborne cut top-rate tax to 45p in April

Disclosure provokes anger with Labour accusing David Cameron of giving a 'massive tax cut' to millionaires

Ed Miliband accused the Prime Minister of 'dragging his feet on banking reform'

'PM is dragging his feet on bank reform': Labour on attack as bonuses leap to record level

Labour accuse Cameron of giving 'massive tax cut' to millionaires at a time when ordinary families are seeing their incomes shrink

Army job cuts: 4,480 soldiers made redundant by MoD

Government is attempting to cut number of regulars from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2018

A policeman and a protester outside Bilderberg venue

Cost of policing Bilderberg conference was £1.3m

The cost of policing the Bilderberg conference – a meeting of politicians, academics and business leaders – in Hertfordshire last week was more than £1m, the Home Office has revealed.

Welfare for the wealthy must be tackled before the government makes any further benefit cuts, Nick Clegg said

We must tackle welfare for the wealthy before cutting benefits for the poor, says Nick Clegg

Welfare for the wealthy must be tackled before the government makes any further benefit cuts, Nick Clegg said on Sunday.

Leading Army officers warn that Government spending cuts to the Armed Forces may be 'dangerous'

Chief of General Staff General Sir Peter Wall and shadow Defence Minister Kevan Jones among those urging caution over savings to be laid out in the 2015/16 spending review

Labour's shadow chancellor, Ed Balls

Ed Balls: Labour would cap state pension if it returned to power

Shadow chancellor sets challenge to George Osborne, who is due to announce a cap on the welfare bill this month

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us