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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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John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
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peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
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Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
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The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week