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

Lynton Crosby played a big part in the Tories’ election win

Now Cameron aide Lynton Crosby’s links to fracking industry are explored

Lynton Crosby under more pressure following Government’s decision to abandon tobacco pledge

Nick Clegg has warned the public would not understand it if MPs were awarded a bumper pay rise

Main party leaders set to scupper moves to give MPs a bumper pay rise

Recommended increase was expected to add up to £10,000 to backbenchers' salaries in 2015

Lord Patten of Barnes has suggested that Conservative eurosceptics could be sending the party down the path to political suicide if they show they are unwilling to accept British membership of the EU in any form

Hardline Tory Eurosceptics could set the party on a route to 'political suicide,' says Lord Patten

The former European Commissioner says displays of disunity could sink Conservative chances at the next election

'Grant Shapps’ children share a bedroom because he needs the other rooms for his online aliases'

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps rebuked over benefit error

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has been rebuked by the UK's statistics watchdog for wrongly claiming that nearly one million people on incapacity benefit (IB) had dropped their claims rather than face medical checks.

Leading labour MPs Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Ed Miliband under pressure over Labour's spending plans for the 2015 election

Blairites want the party to tackle the perception that it is “soft” on benefit claimants

Why the poor wear flashier trainers

The affluent give lectures on frugality while knowing nothing of the misery of deprivation. Plus: Paul Raymond, and obliging stereotypes

Labour to vote against below-inflation rise in state benefits

Labour will adopt the high-risk strategy of voting against below-inflation rises in most state benefits in the Commons in the new year.

Double life: Grant Shapps has an alter persona, Michael Green

Are Tory ministers really so stupid that they think that leaving the blinds down is a crime?

In the idiotic claims they make about welfare claimants, the likes of Grant Shapps and George Osborne reveal how completely out of touch they are

Mark steel: Time to shut the BBC down now!

The genius of Jimmy Savile is that each day the revelations manage to get worse. By tomorrow, it will turn out he was a commander in the Provisional IRA, and on Saturday that in 1997 he used to drive a Fiat Uno haphazardly round the underpasses of Paris.

Sketch: Clegg kicks ass but Beast of Bolsover shows that dinosaurs aren't extinct

Suddenly he struck back. Could this be a new-look, kick-ass Nick Clegg in the making? As usual, the Deputy Prime Minister was attacked from both sides. It's hard to say who he annoys more – the Labour MPs who feel so betrayed, or the Tory backbenchers unable to come to terms with the burden of sharing power with the Liberal Democrats.

Double life: Grant Shapps has an alter persona, Michael Green

It's a seductive business, this hiving off aspects of your personality. Just ask Grant Shapps

The Tory co-chairman used to like being called Michael Green. And who can blame him? In the age of multiple identity, we all do it. Don't we?

Transport Secretary Justine Greening could resign from Government if David Cameron backs third Heathrow runway

The Transport Secretary Justine Greening today gave the strongest indication yet that she is backing Boris Johnson’s plan for a new hub airport near London to replace Heathrow.

Gap between house prices and salaries is widening, says report

The cost of buying a home in England has rocketed by more than three times the rate of the average salary in the space of a decade, a study found today.

Special relationship: David Cameron and Nick Clegg

Diary: David Cameron and Nick Clegg value their special relationships

Before they were united in coalition, David Cameron and Nick Clegg agreed on one thing, that the Labour government was employing too many special advisers. There is a serious case for having more, not fewer, of these political appointees who serve their ministers without being restricted by civil service rules about impartiality, despite the controversy surrounding some of them, such as Alastair Campbell or Andy Coulson. But Cameron promised to cap their numbers, while Clegg's position was that there should not be any at all, unless their salaries were paid from party funds.

Council tenants facing new rules

Thousands of high-earning council tenants could face rent hikes or eviction under government proposals being published today.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable