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.

Leading article: What about the workers?

The backward march of the labouring class began in Margaret Thatcher's time, if not before. In the 1960s, to be working class was the very height of fashion. After the Angry Young Men rebelled against bourgeois respectability, grammar-school boys whose parents were teachers, such as Michael Jagger, adopted the accents and poses of the workers. Then, most people were proud to describe themselves as working class, even if, increasingly, they did white-collar jobs.

Moves planned to ease women's pension fears

Ministers are planning moves to ease the pain on women in their 50s caused by the Government's decision to raise the age at which people qualify for the basic state pension.

PM scraps plans to give offenders 50 per cent sentence discounts

Plans to offer a 50 per cent sentence discount to offenders who plead guilty early will be scrapped today by David Cameron.

Christina Patterson: We can't keep paying people to be poor

It's very very hard for the people who will be poorer. But paying healthy people not to work doesn't help the healthy people

Steve Richards: The lessons that Miliband can learn from Margaret Thatcher

He has been trying too hard to please everyone. In the end, authenticity is more potent than contorted appeasement of internal and external elements

'No U-Turn on benefits cap' says Government

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith today denied the Government was preparing to dump a proposed £26,000 annual cap on benefit payments in the latest of a series of policy retreats.

Reforms 'will leave thousands of families worse off'

Hundreds of thousands of the poorest families in England will find themselves significantly worse off under the Coalition’s flagship benefit reforms, new research has found.

Foster families hit by coalition housing reforms

Withdrawal of benefit for spare bedrooms could push claimants 'into poverty' say critics

PM rejects archbishop's criticism

Claims by the Archbishop of Canterbury that the coalition Government is pushing through radical change which no-one has voted for were rejected by Prime Minister David Cameron today.

Video: Archbishop's article 'is unbalanced'

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith says the Archbishop of Canterbury's criticism of the Government was too one-sided.

Voters remain unconvinced by Miliband and Clegg

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are struggling to improve their image with voters while David Cameron remains almost twice as popular as his two rival leaders.

Leading article: A reversal that demonstrates not strength, but weakness

David Cameron seems incapable of following a reforming line on sentencing when under attack

Leading article: Live up to your own slogan, Dave

"All in this together" must count as one of the worst slogans dreamt up by supposedly intelligent people. More effectively than any lines devised by the Labour Party, it invites cynicism and draws attention to one of David Cameron and George Osborne's weak points. Namely, how hard it is to believe that these men from such fortunate backgrounds understand the hardships of people on low incomes.

Cameron criticised over record on family values

David Cameron's record on supporting marriage and the family has been criticised by a think-tank set up by his Cabinet colleague Iain Duncan Smith.

The Sketch: Lies, smears, tantrums – the new politics hasn't arrived just yet

With all of us agitating for a new politics it's remarkable how resilient the old politics is. A different voting system ain't going to change that, so don't grieve (or exult) too loudly when the results come in.

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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape