News

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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Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
News
Clare Balding
peopleClare Balding on how women's football is shaking up sport
Sport
Lewis Hamtilon and pole-sitter Nico Rosberg
SportShould F1's most aggressive driver curb his instincts in title decider?
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
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Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin