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

Labour attacks 'Minister for Daybreak'

He is the Government’s most prolific media operators.

Communities offered £17m cash boost

Communities in England were today offered £17 million to help them take advantage of a new scheme allowing them to build facilities like family homes, shops, children's playgrounds and community halls.

Cities give thumbs down to David Cameron's elected mayors plan

David Cameron's dream of elected mayors in all major cities looked to be in tatters today.

Widespread allegations of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets

Complaints come as a senior judge warns local elections present 'enormous opportunities' for vote rigging.

George Osborne's first Budget in 2010 began the coalition's pensions reform

Julian Knight: Give everyone earlier access to their pensions

We need more rapid action to make these products more transparent

High hopes that NewBuy will fuel market recovery

Is the Government-sponsored scheme the answer to would-be buyers struggling to find affordable mortgage deposits? Chiara Cavaglieri and Julian Knight report

Julian Knight: Those born after 1979 could be stuck being a lifelong renter, so we need more tenant rights

Being born before or after 1979 is apparently key to whether you're able to afford to own your own home or not. Older than 33 and you're likely to be already on the ladder, having bought a few years ago and seen values rise in the main. Younger than 33 and it's a massive struggle to put enough of a deposit together and to earn enough to secure a sufficiently large mortgage to get on the ladder. I'm north of 33 and the other day I looked at the price of my first flat, which is currently on the market, and realised that if I only had say a 10 per cent deposit then I probably wouldn't get a mortgage high enough to buy it. This was no palace. It was a more akin to a shoebox backing onto a railway track, typical of so many first-time buyer properties in London.

There were 2,181 rough sleepers in England in 2011, up 413 from 1,768 on the same night the previous year

Rough sleeping in England up by 23 per cent

New data has revealed the number of people sleeping rough in England has risen by 23 per cent in a year.

Home scheme to help OAPs downsize announced

Elderly homeowners are to be encouraged to move into smaller properties under government-backed plans, enabling councils to rent out their homes to families.

Ban on subletting council homes

Council tenants who sublet their homes face prosecution and possible prison terms in a blitz on abuse of social housing. High earners could also be forced to pay the market rate for continuing to live in their council homes.

A study showed that homeless men are dying at an average of 47 years and homeless women at 43, in stark contrast to the average age of death for the general population, 77 years

Homeless die 30 years before the average person

Homeless people can expect to die 30 years before the average person, research has found.

Compulsory council redundancies set to increase

Compulsory redundancies in local councils are set to increase in the next few years as the spending squeeze from central government continues, a report warned today.

Minister defiant after radio spat

Enduring a live radio bust-up with John Humphrys has become a rite of passage for any ambitious minister.

Amol Rajan: A noble pledge in danger of being forgotten

Of all the injustices visited on our country's poor folk during what are now known as the boom years, none has been so grave as the rise in house prices. Today it is barely possible for the average man or woman to buy a shoebox-sized home for less than five times national median income, and in London impossible.

MPs threaten rebellion over new electoral boundaries

When MPs return to Westminster from their extended summer break today, one subject will preoccupy their thoughts. It will not be the downfall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime, the plans to reform the NHS or the changes to abortion law, all of which are on this week's Commons agenda.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003