Life and Style ban would only affect England

Health campaigners say ban could protect nearly half a million children who are exposed second-hand smoke every week

Tanni Grey-Thompson has been recommended as the new chair of Sport England

Peers try to block 'political' Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson

Gold medalist's welfare policy criticism blamed for delay in Sport England appointment

Margaret Thatcher's ended her days quietly, but friends say she never lost her spark

The image that the greatest number of people have of Margaret Thatcher’s declining years is that powerful screen portrayal by Meryl Streep in the 2011 film, The Iron Lady.

Conservative MP Mary Macleod

Conservative MP Mary Macleod to launch effort to end discrimination against women in the aristocracy

Conservative MP Mary Macleod is to launch a bid to end discrimination against women in the aristocracy.

Lords reject George Osborne's plan for employees to sign away their legal rights in return for receiving shares in their companies

George Osborne suffered an embarrassing rebuff last night after peers threw out his plan for employees to sign away their legal rights in return for receiving shares in their companies worth as little as £2,000.

Retirement? It's a shocking waste of a life

We should follow the example of our ancestors

Simon Read: Older people have most to fear from George Osborne

This year's Budget could prove to be the Coalition's biggest betrayal of older people yet. It's considering cutting universal pensioner benefits as a way to shrink the financial deficit.

Date set for Queen's Speech

The Queen's Speech will be on Wednesday May 8, Commons Leader Andrew Lansley said today.

Martha Lane Fox

Page 3 Profile: Martha Lane Fox, digital entrepreneur

A new venture?

Anger rises over 'secret justice' Bill

Changes to plans for some cases to be heard behind closed doors are not enough, say MPs

Claire Sweeney 'thrilled' at engagement and baby plans

Former Brookside star Claire Sweeney said she is "thrilled" after getting engaged to her toyboy fiance who is 14 years her junior and says the pair plan to tie the knot in the House of Lords.

Coalition hit by 27 rebellions this parliamentary session

The Coalition has been hit by 27 rebellions this parliamentary session – and the scale of dissent would have been higher but for the abandoning of moves to reform the House of Lords.

We’ll have to work longer and live on less in old age, warns top civil servant

The head of the Civil Service has warned that the public will have to cut costs and work for longer to fund their retirement.

Some ministers believe the Cabinet Secretary, and Sir Bob Kerslake, are under attack

Showdown in Whitehall: Sir Humphreys vs ministers

Former mandarins said to be behind attack on reforms to selection of Permanent Secretaries

Cameron urged to 'go into battle' to save City's status

David Cameron and George Osborne will today begin a rearguard action to stop the City of London's status as the world's leading financial centre being threatened by plans for banking union inside the eurozone.

UK gets set for battle to defend City from EU bank union

David Cameron and George Osborne will today begin a rearguard action to stop the City of London's status as the world's leading financial centre being threatened by plans for banking union inside the eurozone.

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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