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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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain