News The man behind the all-important shift of David Cameron’s parting from the left to the right has been awarded an MBE.

The prime minister faced fresh accusations of cronyism after it was revealed that his hairdresser appeared in the New Year Honours List last week

'Boy Wonder' craves a return to realism

COUNTDOWN TO THE NATIONWIDE LEAGUE: Trevor Francis is back at the place where his illustrious career started, aiming to put Birmingham City back among the elite. Phil Shaw talked to him and, below, considers the prospects for each division

Minister must start to punch his weight

PARLIAMENT is not renowned as a terminus for the buck, and among the heavy responsibilities that flew through the place unimpeded last week was the old and vexed problem of boxing and its distressing habit of inflicting death and disability on the nation's sporting conscience.

Video evidence condemns Dicks

Football

Burrows quits Swansea

Frank Burrows yesterday resigned as manager of Swansea City for "personal reasons". The Second Division club have won just two of their 10 League games this season and are one point above the relegation zone.

Fry enjoys ending the slumber

When Barry Fry left Southend United for Birmingham City in late 1993 he argued that the opportunity to awake a "sleeping giant" was one he could not be expected to turn down.

Football: Blues search for new backer: Birmingham offer 'fantastic privileges' to lure an investor. Phil Shaw reports

PSST] Got a million to spare? If so, the publisher of Sport Newspapers and the owners of the Ann Summers sex shop chain would like you to get into bed with them, as it were, in the brave blue world of Birmingham City.

Glorious goals and credit without limit: Susan De Muth in bed with Karren Brady

Karren Brady, 25, is managing director of Birmingham City Football Club. She lives in the countryside outside Birmingham with her two dogs, Zoro and Mugsy.

Football: Fans Eye View / Reality outstrips fantasy

WE SOMETIMES get misty eyed at Adams Park. We reminisce about the old days, standing in the rusting old green sheds that surrounded the famous 11-foot slope that was Loakes Park. We think about the young lad who, at half-time, walked up the hospital end terrace with an enormous pole to move the hand of the decrepit clock from the 45- minute mark to zero, ready for the second half. We fondly recall losing 3-1 to Metropolitan Police in the first round of the FA Trophy. But was this Wycombe in pre-war England? Or perhaps the early Fifties? Well, it was 1989, actually.

REVIEW / Woman on the verge of the relegation zone

'WELL, tough tittie,' snapped Karren Brady, informed that some of the Birmingham City players didn't like the new pre-match uniform she had selected for them. For every item of the outfit they didn't wear their pay was to be docked, a reversal of the conventional procedure in David Sullivan's business empire, which more often rewards those who take their clothes off. He's earned enough from this simple business principle to be able to buy the British barrow- boy's favourite toy - a real working football club (though there might be some who quibble at the word 'working', given the terrifying consistency of Birmingham's scoreline).

Faootball: Birmingham struggling to go the distance: Relegation worries spoil an owner's anniversary party. Phil Shaw reports

IN MID-APRIL, Birmingham City will decamp to Warwick Races for the Bluenose Handicap, an event billed in the programme as 'a tension breaker on the eve of our last home game'. After the 2-0 defeat by Barnsley, many at St Andrew's were reluctant to back Birmingham to keep the tension running that long.

Pounds 193m value for publisher

MIDLAND Independent Newspapers, publisher of the Birmingham Post, will be valued at pounds 193m by its offer for sale, writes Alison Eadie.

Bunhill: Peace at Birmingham City football club

PEACE is in the air at Birmingham City football club. Karren Brady, fresh from her holidays, was all sweetness when Bunhill called last week about her dispute with the soon-to-be floated Midland Independent Newspapers group, which is chaired by Sir Norman Fowler.

BEST-SELLERS / Top 10 TV Fantasy Football League

----------------------------------------------------------------- TOP 10 TV FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Roy Hattersley's The Critics. . . . . . .71 points 2 Karren Brady's Blue Nose City. . . . . . 70 3 Basil Brush's PSV Boom] Boom]. . . . . . 62 4 David Baddiel's The Creator Supremes. . .58 5 Sue Johnston's Enfield Albion. . . . . . 53 6 Eddie Large's Swales Out City. . . . . . 52 7 Bob Mortimer's Beg-Tets. . . . . . . . . 52 8 Richard Littlejohn's Garrincha's Dogs. . 46 9 John Motson's Oak Lodge Albion. . . . . .43 10 Frank Skinner's Astle United. . . . . . .41 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Chart supplied by Avalon -----------------------------------------------------------------

Football: Easy start in prospect for Hamilton

BRYAN HAMILTON, Northern Ireland's new manager, should have a gentle introduction to the rigours of international competition. His side embark on their 1996 European Championship qualifying campaign with a home game against Liechtenstein on 20 April.
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all