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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project