Former head of Britain's biggest credit union declared bankrupt

Investigation into misuse of company credit card

Slump, what slump? Sales soar to £750m at Harrods

Harrods delivered record sales and an uplift in pre-tax profits last year, despite Britain going through one of the worst recessions in living memory.

Dress Code: Alison Clemency-Buddenhagen, Designer

What are you wearing right now?

An organic jersey vest with skinny black jeans and black suede ankle boots. Also a piece of red string around my wrist, which was a present from the Dali Lama for helping two Tibetan refugees.

How We Met: Mary Portas & Katharine McMahon

'I'd tease her by bringing copies of "Vogue" and saying I hadn't got "Woman's Weekly" for her'

Couple with the Midas touch open new concessions

Annoushka Ducas and John Ayton, the couple who sold Links of London for £50m two years ago, are defying the recession and opening their new jewellery concessions in 11 shops this Wednesday.

Claire Beale On Advertising: Proof that we Cannes make a difference

Last week was Cannes week. In boom time, that means that pretty much the entire London creative community with access to an expenses account decamps to the South of France for a few days of eating, drinking and messing about on yachts. In recession, it means that boasting about the size of your vessel has been replaced with boasting about the poverty of your accommodation. Some adlanders even took their tents but plenty didn't go at all.

Why I Love: A little bit of what you fancy

Laura Mercier, make-up mogul

Claire Beale on Advertising: Britain's got talent, but no winners

It wasn't a night for the Brits last Thursday. Not at all. The D&AD awards might be one of the most important dates in the British adland calendar but, when the pencils were handed out at the Round House in Camden, north London, last week, home-grown winners were rarer than the green shoots of economic recovery. Big disappointment.

Katherine Butler: Irish shopkeepers' eyes for a bargain

Dublin Notebook: My €200 gift voucher would have to be spent before barter took the place of commerce

Sam Wallace: A damned difficult day out – how Philip Brown suffered at the hands of Arsène

We will never know if Cesc Fabregas spat at the feet of Brian Horton, the assistant manager of Hull City, last Tuesday night. So, in the spirit of The Damned United film released on Friday – telling the story of Brian Clough's 44 days at Leeds United – let us fill in the historical gaps. David Peace's novel The Damned Utd is a gripping thriller written in his distinctive, quick-fire prose style. Dark and beguiling, it is much better than the film.

Harvey Nicks' profits dive

The upmarket department store Harvey Nichols has revealed it expects profits to slump by 40 per cent this financial year, as the credit crunch hits its well-heeled customers.

Bites: Just the bill and a catwalk, please

As London Fashion Week kicks off, a select group of the city’s eateries have deemed themselves “official LFW restaurants” – although it's hard to work out what the criteria are. Acorn House is on the list – no doubt due to the super-cool eco credentials of executive chef Arthur Potts-Dawson.

Ocho Blanco jelly

Serves 4

Dr Feelgood: Can polish last three weeks?

Under the microscope: 'Everlasting' nail varnish From £50

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own