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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz