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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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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album