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


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.
Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game