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.

The Sketch: People as tired as Gordon Brown are usually in hospital

"I shall further have meetings today," the PM said and sat down on Jim Murphy.

Letters: Aid for Afghanistan

Aid millions for Afghanistan end up back in the US

Milburn tells PM: Don't betray Blair

Former health secretary warns party against lurching to the left

Mark Steel: It's almost heartbreaking – these people are so clueless

You can imagine Ed Balls crying out: ‘Let’s get Harriet on Britain’s Got Talent

Brown in bid to get back on front foot

PM to unveil new powers for parents as Labour rushes to condemn Blears

Simon Carr: Brown is in his bunker, with a final, inevitable crisis to come

The PM is divorced from reality. He can no longer see for himself

Cabinet 'rivals' rally to Brown's defence

Senior cabinet figures were desperately rallying around Gordon Brown yesterday, with the two men tipped as favourites to succeed Mr Brown moving to quash rumours that he could be replaced before the next election.

Blears: PM's failure to connect with voters is 'lamentable'

Cabinet minister appears to court the sack with scathing article on Gordon Brown's faltering premiership

MPs will get daily rate for 'clocking-in' at Commons

Brown's plan to replace second-home allowance runs into controversy

When will they learn? The pap who tried to tip off his victims

Emily Dugan talks to photographer Steve Back, who foresaw a Bob Quick-style scandal

Taxpayers pick up tab for inflation-busting expenses

Prime Minister urges speedy review and freezes ministers' pay as inquiry launched after details of Jacqui Smith's claims released

Government shuns Muslim Council over link with Hamas

The Government has severed relations with the country's leading Muslim organisation, saying a senior member is a supporter of Hamas, the Palestinian military organisation.

Labour's secret weapon: A revealing audience with Hazel Blears

She's the 'Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep-Cheep' of the Commons, the ballroom-dancing, motorcycle-riding MP for Salford, and an unabashed fan of New Labour. But does Hazel Blears have what it takes to lead her party? Andy McSmith met her

Cabinet infighting ‘angering Labour activists’

Labour is heading for opposition unless cabinet ministers stop manoeuvring for position, the party’s general election co-ordinator warned last night.

Hazel Blears: You ask the questions

Is this the worst recession for 100 years? And what motorbike should I buy?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture