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

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?