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.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
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The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
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Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
newsJohn Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
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Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
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Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
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Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes