News The more modern town of Salford, where the latest investment of the English Cities Fund is expected to be announced

Could Britain’s chronic housing shortage be solved by using insurers’ assets? Jamie Dunkley and Russell Lynch report

Experts warn of a ‘notably strong’ property market and the creation of a new bubble

A bubble? No, this is a toxic housing crisis

The problem is, speeches won't build you a home - and neither will politicians

Labour MP Nick Brown's Christmas Card takes aim at Cameron, Rebekah Brooks, Grant Shapps (and a horse)

A Labour MP’s Christmas card has taken aim at Conservative Chairman Grant Shapp’s post on Buzzfeed with a tongue-in cheek design.

Old ties: Ed Miliband talks to former group Co-op chairman Len Wardle in Downing Street in 2010

Exclusive: Ed Miliband says David Cameron's Tories in the gutter as 2015 election strategist Lynton Crosby pushes party towards the politics of division

Labour fears dirtiest Conservative campaign in 20 years, as Attorney General withdraws attack on Pakistani community

Crispin Blunt has survived an attempt by worthies in his local party to get rid of him

Andy McSmith's Diary: Is the revolt against Crispin Blunt by his local party because he's gay? Yes and no

Some local ladies were offended by the way that Blunt’s marriage ended

The Home Secretary, Theresa May

Theresa May: BBC are destroying local newspapers

Home Secretary attacks broadcaster's ability to subsidise online coverage

Andy McSmith's Diary: Defenders of the vulnerable - salute the Commons’ dullest committee

In an obscure corner of the parliamentary process sits a committee called the Statutory Instruments Joint Committee.

Conservative party Co-Chairman Grant Shapps delivers his speech in the main hall on the first day of the Conservative Party Conference

Tory Party Conference Sketch: At conference, even Thatcher’s ghost gets a standing ovation

Daringly, the Conservative conference started with its inspirational highlight, Thatcher: the movie – a nostalgia vehicle which brought the audience to their feet in what may prove the one unequivocally enthusiastic standing ovation of the week. The iconic images included Mrs T be-goggled and all in white in the turret of a Challenger tank: a 20th century Boadicea as played by Isadora Duncan. Or the lady at her shimmering sexiest at a 1976 meeting in Finchley: “I stand before you in my red star chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up and my fair hair gently waved, the iron lady of the western world.” By this point you had begun to fear for the pulse rate of older party representatives.

Tories unveil £400m cash boost to extend controversial cancer drugs fund

Controversial drugs scheme to be extended despite criticism from doctors

Michael Gove has given his opinion in the energy price debate

Michael Gove says Ed Miliband right to attack energy companies

After Ed Miliband's price freeze pledge, David Cameron agrees action is needed to reduce the cost of energy

David Cameron benefits on welfare at Labour’s expense

Only 14 per cent think Ed Miliband could stop payments spiralling out of control, says poll

Frank Field: The former Welfare minister said the 'tax' was the most vicious since the poll tax

Tenants may beat ‘bedroom tax’ with new bathrooms

Hundreds of people who could fall victim to the “bedroom tax” are to benefit from new plans to convert spare bedrooms into bathrooms.

Jim Messina masterminded Barack Obama’s successful campaign to retain office

Cameron's new star advisor Jim Messina accused of involvement in 'the most homophobic political advert in US history'

The allegations date back to Messina's time as chief of staff to Max Baucus

The Tory chairman’s comments angered unions

We need to make it easier for firms to sack workers, claims Conservative chairman Grant Shapps

“There should be a way of saying to people ‘thank you very much, it hasn’t worked out but here’s a decent package for you to move on from this role,’” says top Tory

New benefit cap could be lowered by £6,000 a year if deemed a success, according to Treasury sources

Comments come as benefit claimants have amount they can claim capped at £500 a week for the first time

The Australian government has proposed these 'plain-packaged' cigarettes, which would be a world-first. Doctors in Britain have condemned the British government's delay in introducing similar plain packaging for tobacco products

Australian health minister Tanya Plibersek adds fuel to Lynton Crosby row over cigarette packaging

Australia’s Health Minister has accused the UK Government of dropping plans to introduce blank cigarette packaging due to pressure from tobacco companies and one of their former lobbyists now working for the Conservatives.

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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss