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Outlook Raise a glass to Greene King. The pub and restaurant group reported a sparkling 5 per cent increase in sales over Christmas. But fill it with Cava rather than Champagne.

Rising trade gap suggests pound is starting to hit exports

Britain's trade has taken a turn for the worst, with the gap between imports and exports of goods climbing past pounds 1bn. Diane Coyle, Economics Editor, asks whether warnings of the strong pound damaging exports are coming true.

Brown wants explanation of plans for Thames chief's pay

Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, stepped into a new fat cats pay row over plans to raise the salary of Sir Robert Clarke, Thames Water chairman, at a time when his responsibilities were declining. Mr Brown said he was seeking "clarification and an explanation" of proposals to increase Sir Robert's pounds 247,000 pay packet.

Letter: Leftwinger strikes

Sir: In all my time as Press Secretary to Gordon Brown, I have never experienced such a disgraceful allegation as that made in your profile of me (Media+, 6 October). Of all the insults I have ever had thrown at me, and there have been many, to call me an Arsenal supporter is the worst. I have in fact been a Spurs supporter all my life.

Historic figurehead who could now be eclipsed

The inauguration of London's new mayor could mark the beginning of the end for Britain's most bizarre electoral system.

Senior pay awards to go ahead

Judges, senior military officers and higher civil servants have survived Labour's threat to stop the second phase of their pay rise being implemented later this year.

Football: Forest offer chair to Kenneth Clarke

Kenneth Clarke, who like Nottingham Forest recently suffered relegation, has been offered the job as chairman of Forest's holding company.

New inflation target set

The new inflation target announced by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his first Mansion House speech last night, was seen as reducing the pressure for further interest rate increases this summer, writes Diane Coyle, economics editor.

Clarke takes leadership cue from Blair

Kenneth Clarke last night made a flattering bid to imitate Tony Blair's success in modernising new Labour - with a call for "a new Conservatism."

Letter: New Butskellism

Sir: In the Fifties, the Keynesian-welfarist consensus between the Chancellor of the Exchequer, R A Butler, and the shadow Chancellor, Hugh Gaitskell, was called Butskellism. Now both the Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, and shadow Chancellor, Gordon Brown are promising no tax rises and better public services. Should we call this Clownism?

It's a question of loyalty - above all, loyalty to oneself

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Blair attacks Chancellor over pounds 14bn `black hole'

Tony Blair yesterday called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kenneth Clarke, to clarify whether or not there was a "black hole" in the Government's finances.

Ministers stand to gain pounds 4,000 bonus if they lose

If the Tories lose the election, ministers stand to gain a bonus of pounds 4,000 in their severance pay under a technicality which means they would continue in office for a few hours after polling day.

Labour fooled by the Tories, Callaghan says

The Labour leadership has become a victim of Tory brainwashing, the former prime minister James Callaghan complains in a New Statesman interview today.

HM Treasury warning: Tories harm your wealth

The average family's tax burden is to fall marginally from 35.3 per cent to 35.1 per cent of gross earnings next year - but it remains two percentage points higher than it was at the last election. It is also three points higher than in 1978-79, when Labour was last in office.

Obituary: Lord Bancroft

Ian Bancroft cared passionately about the integrity and public standing of the British civil service, of which he was head for a truncated period, between 1978 and 1981. Bancroft and Margaret Thatcher were chalk and cheese. He went to the stake on the principle of the duty of civil servants to give unpalatable advice to ministers.
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Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
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Stephen Hawking is reportedly taking steps to trademark his name
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Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
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Jim Davidson performs his comedy show at Edinburgh Festival 2014
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor