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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.”

George Mudie: The Labour MP is 'deeply worried' about Labour's election prospects

'Lacklustre' Ed Miliband staring at defeat, warns Labour MP George Mudie

Mr Mudie said he was 'deeply worried' about Labour’s election prospects

Cover-up or recent decline? Politicians lock horns over who is to blame for NHS failings

Parliament divided as Keogh report results in special measures for 11 hospitals

Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for her activism

Malala beams in reunion with friend

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban, was all smiles as she met her lifelong friend who was injured in the same attack. She met Shazia Ramzan again for the first time at Birmingham Airport.

From left: Martin Hutson (Sam Hunt), Jamie Glover (Peter Greatorex) and Charlotte Lucas (Jo Lambert) in 'If Only'

Theatre review: If Only, Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre

The best play to date about the tragicomic compromises and ignominious ironies of coalition politics is Michael Frayn's Democracy (2003) about the unstable, ill-natured, ideologically bizarre groupings on which power depended in post-war Germany.

The Confessions of Gordon Brown is at the White Bear Theatre
'I'll scrap winter fuel payouts for rich pensioners' says Ed Balls

Ed Balls: Labour would scrap Winter fuel allowance for 500,000 rich pensioners

A future Labour government would scrap the winter fuel allowance for over half a million richer pensioners, the shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls,announced today, as part of attempts to prove the party is ready to take tough spending decisions.

Gordon Brown leads the list of MPs who earn the most outside Parliament but none of the money goes to him personally

Gordon Brown leads list of MPs who earn most outside Parliament (but he does a lot of good work for charity)

MPs added to their salaries with outside earnings worth £7m last year, with 20 backbenchers making more money from other activities than from their parliamentary salaries, new research disclosed last night.

It's foolish for Labour to think that the voters have turned left

The results of last Thursday’s council elections confirm Labour's modest but steady progress since its historic general election defeat in 2010. Labour made significant advances, even though many seats being fought were in hostile territory. New leadership has begun to reinvigorate the party, and a wide-ranging policy review is underway. The Tory-led Coalition appears increasingly accident prone, and is being dragged to the right by an insurgent Ukip threat, crushing David Cameron's hopes of establishing a new brand of centrist conservatism.

Margaret Thatcher in a McDonalds branch in East Finchley

Mrs Thatcher implanted the gene of greed in Britain

That was the truly poisonous part of her legacy in this country

In the age of 24-hour news, politicians avoid unchoreographed contact with the public

David Cameron didn't want to talk to the people of Ipswich about immigration - only 'room meat'

In the age of 24-hour news, politicians avoid unchoreographed contact with the public

In this year's Budget, George Osborne showed he's committed to the illusions of a Torytopia

It used to be said that the best Chancellors are like snake oil salesman. Alas for this one, he's not too good at selling things. But will it cost him or his party?

Mobile World Congress: Smartphone industry must go back to the future

As the world's top players, minus Apple, gather in Barcelona, Gideon Spanier assesses the mood

Editorial: Inheritance tax freeze proves Osborne is not a master strategist after all

Amid the commotion over the Government's stab at solving the vexed question of social care for the elderly, one detail received less prominence than it might have. In order to fund the reforms, the inheritance tax threshold will be frozen at £325,000 until at least 2019.

From Admiral Nelson to Morecambe and Wise: A basic guide to British life for immigrants

The new citizenship handbook cuts out benefits advice and trumpets Thatcher’s legacy

Helen Mirren is about to reprise her Oscar-winning role as Elizabeth II in ‘The Audience’

Yes, Prime Ministers! New play opens up Queen's relationships with her PMs

Helen Mirren is about to reprise her Oscar-winning role as Elizabeth II in 'The Audience', a play by Peter Morgan, screenwriter of 'The Queen'. It opens in London next month. Her Majesty has seen 12 prime ministers come and go over 60 years, and the play promises to 'break the contract of silence' of her weekly audiences with each of them, from Churchill to the present day. John Rentoul offers a preview

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John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
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healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
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Other places that have held independence referendums
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Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
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Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
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Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

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A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
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peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
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Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
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It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

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Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week