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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before