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Revelling in the latest growth figures, George Osborne lifted Balls-baiting to a new plane. He was asked an unusually long list of super-friendly questions by euphoric Tory backbenchers. Ones that in the secret dreams of the MPs involved, invite the answer: “Yes. My honourable friend has absolutely hit the nail on the head with that spiffing question correctly mentioning our long-term economic plan, allowing me to lay into the Opposition, and qualifying him for early promotion.”

Nici Marx: Voters are looking for smart, not smug

Advice to the leaders

Brown-must-go blogger Ellie Gellard now backs PM

A young Labour supporter who helped launch the party's manifesto explained today why she criticised Gordon Brown in a blog written two years ago.

Leading article: A less than convincing manifesto for a fourth term

The Labour Party is trapped by its ambiguous record in office

Andrew Grice: The last PMQs show

The last session of Prime Minister's Questions of this parliament and, the Tories were keen to remind us, possibly Gordon Brown's last as Prime Minister.

Sean O'Grady: Latest economic forecasts present a win win situation for Brown

Good news for Gordon Brown. Bad news for Gordon Brown. It’s all the same as far as the economy is concerned.

Election 2010: the campaign in pictures

It was no surprise when Gordon Brown stepped out in front of 10 Downing St, flanked by his cabinet, to announce the general election on 6 May.

Leading article: Things can only get better

For Government ministers fearful of their future after the election, Tony Blair's return to the domestic fray yesterday must have been heartening. Not that even his most fervent admirers could believe that this master of the optimistic vision and the self-deprecating humour could turn the election single-handed.

Broonland: the Last Days of Gordon Brown, By Christopher Harvie

As adepts of Photoshop endlessly elide the pores of party-leader portraits, and the creaking, shrieking merry-go-round of the general election picks up speed, the citizens deserve nothing less than robust political biography with their cornflakes. This is exactly what Christopher Harvie's Broonland provides, in a capacious critique of this most complex of modern British politicians - whose "last days" may not, even yet, be near.

Simon Carr: You can go too far in cursing

Now when Brown is accused of anything, it improves his reputation

Lords to rule on whether PFI aimed to hide liabilities off balance sheet

The Lords' economic affairs committee will announce its verdict on the Private Finance Initiative on Wednesday.

Andrew Grice: 'Not Blair' survives Iraq grilling

When he took over as Prime Minister in 2007, some allies of Gordon Brown spoke privately of his "not Blair" strategy.

Andrew Grice: Peer dominates PMQs shock

No Gordon Brown at Prime Minister's Questions today. Tories are accusing him of "ducking out" but Downing Street insists he must attend the official ceremony to mark the start of the state visit by South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.

MPs call for debate on new assisted suicide guidelines

Fresh guidelines on assisting suicide could open a "new back door" to euthanasia, the Commons heard today.

323 seek seats for Gordon Brown's Iraq inquiry appearance

More than 300 people applied for public seats for Gordon Brown's appearance next month before the Iraq Inquiry, it was disclosed today.

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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
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones