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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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