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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.”

Clegg admits he begged Brown not to quit while he negotiated with Cameron

Nick Clegg confirmed yesterday that he begged Gordon Brown to stay in Downing Street a little longer while he sewed up a coalition deal with David Cameron.

Lord Kinnock backs Ed Miliband for leader

Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock came out in support of Ed Miliband in the race to succeed Gordon Brown.

Yes, Prime Minister, Festival Theatre, Chichester

In the early days of a new hung parliament, the Prime Minister is beset by myriad problems: the cabinet is split, the national debt is rising, the Lancaster House convention is a catastrophe and the new oil pipeline deal with Kumranistan depends on the Turks joining the EU. There's worse to come: the pipeline deal, and a huge dollar loan, further hinges on the material whims of the Kumranistan foreign minister, a weekend guest at Chequers, being properly indulged. And his whim of choice is an under-age sexual partner for the night. "Is he gay?" asks an aide. "If only it were that simple," shoots back the PM.

Date set for new Labour leader

The result of the Labour Party leadership contest will not be determined for another four months, it was announced today.

Labour candidate Manish Sood suspended over pre-election Gordon Brown criticism

An election candidate who described Gordon Brown as the "worst Prime Minister" has been suspended from the Labour Party, he said today.

John Rentoul: This can't be postponed until September

Gordon Brown's statement this afternoon contained a double surprise

Bruce Anderson: Mistakes that cost Mr Cameron dear

If William Hague or Ken Clarke had been Shadow Chancellor, the Tory leader would have been kissing hands on Friday

Voters vent their anger on <i>Independent</i> soapbox

Voters vented their anger at Conservative jibes about Gordon Brown in Newcastle during yesterday afternoon's Independent soapbox hustings. Audience members were annoyed after Tory candidate Nick Holder quoted a Labour party member in an ill-advised joke about the prime minister's track record.

Howard Jacobson: A morality play for these muddled times

Remember that the next time you ask for honesty: you don't want to hear it

You Ask The Questions, Leaders Special

Put your questions to David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown

Leading article: More a lapse than a catastrophe

There is probably not a politician in history who has never been tempted to say what Gordon Brown said yesterday about a member of the voting public.

Clegg issues votes warning to Labour

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg today warned that he would not prop up a Labour government which had collapsed to third in the popular vote.

Tom Sutcliffe: If it was a job interview in front of the nation, the vacancy's still open

"It will disappoint you and it will disappoint many people but we have come to the end of our debating time," said Alastair Stewart, wrapping up Britain's first television leader's debate. It wasn't the first prepared line that failed to match the mood of the moment but it surely offered the biggest discrepancy between wishful thinking and hard fact.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003