News Iain Duncan Smith blamed civil servants for not giving him the full picture of teething problems of universal credit

Iain Duncan Smith has suggested being on benefits is a form of slavery and he is like abolitionist William Wilberforce through his introduction of welfare reforms.

Members of the armed forces who live with their parents will be regarded as occupying their room while away on operations

Armed forces personnel exempt from Government's 'bedroom tax'

Labour claimed the controversial "bedroom tax" was unravelling after the Government exempted foster carers and parents of armed forces personnel from housing benefit deductions if they have spare rooms.

Disabled exempted from ‘bedroom tax’

Parents with severely disabled children who are unable to share a room with their siblings are to be exempt from the Government’s under-occupation penalty, or so-called bedroom tax.

Tudor blood-red: Hilary Mantel

Kate Middleton needs more friends like Hilary Mantel

This was a venom-free cri de coeur, as anyone who read it would have spotted

Britain's Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith

Government brings in trouble-shooter to get its Universal Credit benefits programme on track before launch

Government takes action after flagship programme is hit by death of IT head and other staff problems

Matthew Norman on Monday: IDS gives Britain's jobless the doubts of his benefits

Concerns that the Government is secretly operating a positive-discrimination scheme, whereby the possessor of a double-figure IQ is randomly selected for the Cabinet, were assuaged yesterday.

Tom Peck rearranges the toiletries at the Deptford store

Slave labour or an honest quid? What it’s really like at Poundland

The discount chain has taken the heat for a government jobs scheme that didn’t work, but is it really that bad? Tom Peck tried it for a day

More policies, Ed Miliband, you've misunderstood history

By the start of 1997,  New Labour had already put down firm foundations

Cait Reilly speaks to the media after she won a Court of Appeal ruling that a Government flagship back-to-work scheme requiring her to work for free at a Poundland discount store was unlawful

Government's flagship work scheme in crisis after Poundland 'slavery' case ruling

The Government has suffered an embarrassing setback when the Appeal Court upheld a 24-year-old graduate’s claim that its back-to-work schemes were legally flawed.

Cait Reilly speaks to the media after she won a Court of Appeal ruling that a Government flagship back-to-work scheme requiring her to work for free at a Poundland discount store was unlawful

Poundland ruling: Back-to-work schemes in disarray as no-pay placements judged unlawful

Claimants 'can demand return of lost benefits over failure to comply'

Cabinet at war as ministers fight local hospital closures

Senior cabinet ministers have come out against plans to close hospital wards in their constituencies, in an apparent challenge to Department of Health plans to rationalise the NHS.

Government pledge extra pension benefit to women

About 750,000 women will receive an extra £9 a week in state pension under plans for a new £144-a-week flat-rate payment, the Government will pledge today.

Top Tories fear a return to 'nasty party' image

Rhetoric about benefit "scroungers" and "skivers" used by the Conservatives will be toned down after a backlash from their own ministers and MPs, who fear the attacks could revive the Tories' image as "the nasty party".

The Sketch: Two balding blokes and the battle of the Bill

Two balding men who look remarkably alike went head-to-head in the Commons today, trading statistics and insults with a pleasing symmetry.

Most benefits up 20 per cent since 2007

Iain Duncan Smith’s campaign to show how the welfare system discourages claimants from working was backed up yesterday with newly published figures from his department about how different groups have fared under the recession.

IDS’s rebirth is one of the wonders of the age

Widely mocked in the past, the current Work and Pensions Secretary has been tasked with carrying out the Tories' loathsome welfare reforms

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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin