News High ideals: Labour has built around 400 homes in each of its local authority areas since the election

Conservative councils build only half as much affordable and social housing

Government to bring in emergency bail legislation

Emergency legislation to reverse a controversial legal ruling on police bail will go through all stages in the Commons on Thursday, the leader of the House said.

The Sketch: The alternatives to Ed are so weird they make even him look good

What a state the Labour leadership is in. To give you some idea, the name of Mary Creagh gets mentioned as a leader-in-waiting. Who is she? It doesn't matter: she's wild. She makes Sarah Palin look like Geoffrey Howe.

Tories prepare to rebuild bridges after poll

Conservative ministers are preparing to rebuild bridges with Liberal Democrat colleagues after a bruising referendum campaign which has threatened to strain tensions within the coalition to breaking point.

Child heart surgery units face cuts

The number of units performing children's heart surgery in England will be cut to six or seven from 11, under NHS plans.

Westminster's movers and shakers in 2011

As the new political term begins, our parliamentary sketch writer, Simon Carr, casts his vote for the faces who'll be making the headlines this year

The Sketch: He fell from power but Hilary has ascended opposition heights

Here is Hilary Benn rocking or possibly rolling into the House on his peculiar legs. His arms are held out at the elbow like a gunfighter, he carries his big head low at one end while kicking his feet ahead at the other. Full of character, I mean. Tall, rangy, something wrong with his pelvic cradle but that adds to his battle-glamour.

David Cameron stands by 'fair' housing benefit cap

David Cameron dismissed talk of a climbdown over capping housing benefit today despite claims that the policy could drive 200,000 poor people out of major cities.

Yorkshire tykes march into Shadow Cabinet

The Cabinet under Brown resounded to Scottish voices. Nearly half of Ed Miliband's team have links to the North. Leeds-born Rachel Shields reports

Women could make up half of new Shadow Cabinet

Women are set to make up almost half of Ed Miliband's top team after he privately urged MPs to elect large numbers of female candidates to his Shadow Cabinet.

Martin Hickman: Approval is one thing, but will the public swallow GM foods?

Genetic modification isn't something that particularly vexes the public – at least for now. Research shows that public "concern" about the issue has fallen from 43 per cent in 2001 to 27 per cent in 2008.

Government reverses Labour policy with plan for badger cull

Activists claim animal's future is being sacrificed for political points

MP has three family members on his staff list

When it comes to keeping your family close, Ian Liddell-Grainger, a blue-blooded distant relative of the Queen, could teach other MPs a trick or two.

Bin tax scheme put on the scrapheap

Plans for a "pay as you throw" bin tax have been scrapped as the Government looks to reward families who recycle rubbish instead.

The Sketch: Tantrums and tiaras, but Labour have really lost their sparkle

There was a small but observable increase in tiaras in the House of Lords. It may or may not mean the return of the Cavaliers, but we've certainly witnessed a rout of the Roundheads.

David Miliband joins brother on Labour ballot paper

David Miliband today became the second contender in the race for the Labour leadership to secure the 33 nominations needed to get his name on the ballot paper.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Career Services

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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
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn