News

Even the room somewhere in Westminster where the historic meeting was to take place was kept secret until the last minute. Once “C”, Sir John Sawers, and his two colleagues arrived, the Intelligence and Security Committee chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind announced a time delay on the TV broadcast lest anything endangering national security should be said. Mysteriously, the man sitting immediately behind MI5’s Andrew Parker bore a passing resemblance to Nikita Khrushchev. We were, in short, all keyed up.

Pandora: 'Pumping party' plans for Tory conference

David Cameron has nailed his colours firmly to the middle-of-the-road mast, confessing a love for crowd-pleasing guitar band The Killers. Meanwhile, the party core's affection for Tony Hadley is already well documented (so fond are they of the paunchy crooner that they invited him to perform at last year's party conference gala dinner).

Blears bid to rebuild trust starts to show cracks

Former Communities Secretary has car window smashed while on campaign trail

Vandals attack Hazel Blears' car

Former cabinet minister Hazel Blears's car was attacked last night while she canvassed voters.

Brown fails to punish rebellion in the ranks

Defence Secretary's aide attacks 'bonkers' opposition to soldiers' compensation

Brave new world: Theatre enjoys a renaissance as state-of-the-nation dramas shine a light on modern Britain

Something strange is happening in the theatre this year. With unprecedented intensity, new plays are telling us about our lives in styles ranging from documentary socio-drama to great apocalyptic statements. Our fears are transformed into hopes in that process of joyful recognition peculiar to the experience of live theatre.

Ministers get 20-page guide to 140-character Twitter

It took a fastidious government document spanning 20 pages to inform ministers how to use Twitter, the microblogging tool with a limit of 140 characters.

Pandora: Blears to get serious with former Blair babe

Safely assured of her spot as Salford's Labour candidate, Hazel Blears appears poised for reinvention.

Simon Carr: Can we forget expenses and talk about something else?

Rules are a rotten way to regulate MPs' behaviour

McBride in frame for £22,000 school job

Gordon Brown's former media adviser, Damian McBride, is planning to take a job working for his old school.

The Great <i>IoS</i> Expenses Quiz: Have you been paying attention?

We know it's hard, as we hit Day 45 of the expenses saga, to follow it all. As a catch-up service, John Rentoul provides his guide to what has been learned last week, in the form of a GCSE multiple-choice test (answers at bottom of page)

Brown annoyed by Flint's 'window dressing' claims

Gordon Brown has admitted he was annoyed by former Europe minister Caroline Flint's barb that women were used as "window dressing" in his Cabinet.

Blears vows to 'rebuild' after foiling deselection bid

Hazel Blears welcomed "sensible discussions" with party members after she survived a deselection vote.

Blears faces wrath of party activists &ndash; but holds on to her job

Former communities secretary faces protests over expenses claims

Airport runway public inquiry delayed again

A public inquiry into whether a second runway should be built at Stansted Airport was today delayed for a second time, the Communities and Local Government Secretary revealed.

Letters: The perils of being disabled

The ups and downs (and the perils) of being disabled
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable