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.
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
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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
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Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
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Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
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20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
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All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
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Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor