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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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General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power