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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.”

The FSA identified six key factors in the failure of RBS, most significantly its weak capital position and over-reliance on risky short-term funding in wholesale markets

FSA admits inadequacy in dealing with failing banks

Political pressure from senior Labour politicians – including the now shadow Chancellor Ed Balls – was partly responsible for the failure to regulate the Royal Bank of Scotland in the years leading to the banking crash, a critical report concluded yesterday.

Ed Balls said in 2006 that nothing should put at risk a light-touch regulatory regime

Labour was behind failure to regulate RBS, FSA report says

Pressure from last government was partly responsible for hands-off approach, review claims

Leading article: A petition – and a pardon – that should be granted

The e-petition has become that rare thing: a popular government initiative. The latest one calls for the computer pioneer and decoder Alan Turing to be pardoned and have his gross-indecency conviction quashed. The former may be simpler than the latter.

Leading article: Time to lay the ghosts of Labour's economic past

When the Opposition might expect a double-digit poll lead, Labour is barely ahead
David Cameron

Andrew Grice: Plenty of talk about cracking down on lobbying – but still there's no action

The political parties may talk tough – but they are happy to take the lobbyists' money

BBC's Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson

Matthew Norman on Monday: Pity poor old Clarkson, his mind is simply not in top gear

Sorry to you all if what follows seems even more nonsensical than usual, and riven by inexplicable lapses in ... Where the hell were we? Ah yes. Apologies but, as The Mail on Sunday reported, "There were growing concerns yesterday about Jeremy Clarkson's state of mind," and truth be told I haven't had a wink for fretting about him. Perhaps it's the lack of sleep, but after a long and sensationally undistinguished career observing the media, I can't remember a more heinous case of persecution for a harmless Wildean thrust.

The Sketch: High-pitched Cameron flustered by Labour's farmyard noises

Yesterday I worried the Sketch was a bit lofty about the House of Commons' economic debate. The Labour front bench was arguing in sign language, the signs were rude, and the Sketch shuddered, perhaps a little delicately. The signs got ruder yesterday, if Tory reports are true.

Let Not the Waves of the Sea, By Simon Stephenson

I interviewed Simon Stephenson for the British Medical Journal in 2003. Recently qualified as a medical doctor, he had just made a short film, but what impressed me most were his unpublished short stories. It would have taken a catastrophe to crush his irrepressible joie de vivre.

Ed Miliband declares 'new centre ground'

Ed Miliband has declared a "new centre ground" in politics after Tony Blair warned that the Labour Party should not lurch to the left.

Video: Miliband: 'The Blair-Brown era is over'

Labour leader Ed Miliband says the era of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is "ancient history".

Gordon Brown earns £62,000 for a speech

Gordon Brown has earned hundreds of thousands of pounds from speeches and a book deal since leaving Downing Street, according to the register of MPs' interests.

Finance planning role for Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown has landed a plum job at the World Economic Forum (WEF), the influential network of businessmen, politicians, economists and academics that holds its annual meeting in Davos.

Letter from the editor: Facing the public

There are dangers associated with meeting your public. Just ask Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown: there’s a Mrs Duffy waiting everywhere to handbag you.

Gordon Brown's nemesis turns fire on Clegg in full view of media

Yesterday was supposed to be a "good news" day for Nick Clegg as he announced the Government's £450m regional growth fund to safeguard 100,000 jobs.

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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
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue