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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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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 Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'