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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.”

Ed Miliband has admitted to tensions with Ed Balls in the past

It's Blair-Brown Mk II: Shadow Cabinet frets over war of between Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Balls' banking-sector policy and Miliband's media performances straining relationship

Rock and Roll Politics, Assembly, George Square

Like Question Time without the annoying tub-thumping

4 August: A boy waves the GB flag as riders pass through Wellington Arch during the women's triathlon

Leading article: The welcome return of the Union Jack

The flag has been rescued from the connotations of lost Empire or unpopular Union

Blair adviser Derek Scott dies aged 65

Tony Blair's former economic adviser, who became one of earliest chroniclers of the then Prime Minister's bitter battles with Gordon Brown, has died aged 65.

The preliminary beach volleyball matches are being held at Horse Guards Parade

Boris Johnson praises Team GB for not winning too many medals

An irreverent Boris Johnson has commended the British for exhibiting the politeness of hosts by not winning too many medals in the opening days of the Olympics.

Elderly people will increasingly need to fund essential care by taking loans against their homes

Julian Knight: Planning for old age? Government

Equity-release proposals vague, insensitive and more expensive than existing council schemes

Diary: Miliband on the Wapping gang - I hope they go to jail

Ed Miliband was looking chipper as he addressed the annual press gallery lunch in the Commons yesterday. He obviously feels that his last exchange with David Cameron across the floor before MPs begin their summer break proved that he can hold his own in that bear pit. As he half admitted, that means very little outside the Westminster village but is good for the morale of his Labour MPs.

The Burden of Power: countdown to Iraq, By Alastair Campbell

Continuing confessions of a spin doctor - and the haunting spectre of suicide

Tony Blair says UK may still join Eurozone

The eurozone is doomed unless Germany agrees to underwrite the debts of struggling members, Tony Blair warned today.

Leading article: Not the way to tackle fears over immigration

Of all the tricky topics for Ed Miliband, immigration comes second only to the economy.

Ed Miliband promises new immigration measures to protect British workers

Ed Miliband today promised new measures to prevent British people being "locked out" of jobs by foreign workers, including forcing firms to declare if they employ high numbers of immigrants.

Anthony Hilton: Discomfort and excitement at Lord Mayor's banquet

Being invited to the Lord Mayor's annual banquet where he hosts the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Governor of the Bank of England has always aroused mixed feelings. On one hand there is the excitement of rubbing shoulders with the great and the good and being present in the Mansion House for one of the great set-piece occasions of the City. On the other is the sheer discomfort of the experience.

'No record' that Brown made threatening call to Murdoch

Gordon Brown claimed today that records released by the Cabinet Office confirm his repeated denials that he phoned Rupert Murdoch to declare “war” on the mogul and his media empire.

Rupert Murdoch sought Europe policy change, Sir John Major tells Leveson Inquiry

Former Conservative prime minister Sir John Major today told an inquiry into press standards that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch asked him to change policy on Europe.

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