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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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Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style