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The party would also add more than £100 a week to match the minimum wage

Lord Mandelson warns Ed Miliband and Ed Balls over Labour's links with unions

Former Business Secretary also said the party needed to spell out a clear economic message

Tony Benn admits in his latest memoir: “I’ve been so obsessed with myself all the time ... but I’m just not interesting”

From ‘bossy boots’ to Benn – and Ann Widdecombe too: Political books for Christmas

Farewell, then, to the unequal opposites of the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Benn. Charles Moore’s biography of old bossy-boots, Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol 1: Not For Turning (Allen Lane, £30), is solidly definitive, with new letters that add colour if not character. I would still recommend John Campbell’s two-volume biography (2000 and 2003) for a more accessible account. Updated with Gillian Shepherd, The Real Iron Lady: Working With Margaret Thatcher (Biteback, £16.99): a quirky collection of reminiscences of life on Team Thatcher.

The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

National Gallery unveils 'uncompromising' portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

Oil painting is a dramatic close-up of the former Labour leader

Prince Charles in a right royal selfie

Photo features the Prince of Wales looking a tad confused by it all

Camp Delta which is part of the U.S. military prison for 'enemy combatants' in Guantanamo Bay - Sir Peter Gibson's investigation looked into whether the Government should have done more to obtain the release of UK nationals locked up at the Guantanamo Bay

Gibson report: British role in al-Qa'ida renditions exposed

MI6 agents in Afghanistan were told they were not obliged to intervene if they witnessed suspected terrorists being harmed by their American captors, an official inquiry into allegations Britain was complicit in torture has disclosed.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Ed Miliband breaches the spin doctors’ rules - he does good on the quiet

Ed Miliband has breached a basic rule of politics, which is that if you do good, make sure people know. For some years he has spent part of each Christmas Day delivering lunches on behalf of a charity, and will do again next Wednesday.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The last PMQs before Christmas. Thank goodness it comes round only once a year

Ah, the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the year. MPs always find it impossible not to overdo the festive references, as though they had just been given uniquely privileged inside information that Christmas was only a week away. There is the frankly obsequious kind, such as Therese Coffey’s: “Thank you for calling me, Mr Speaker, and a merry Christmas to you and your family. The people of Suffolk have enjoyed a cracker of a Christmas present with the excellent news on the A14 [not becoming a toll road]...” Then there is the beseeching, as in her fellow Tory Stewart Jackson’s: “Will the Prime Minister give an early Christmas present to Peterborough people by giving his personal support to our bid for a university technical college.”

British surgeon Dr Abbas Khan was imprisoned in Syria for over a year

Family of 'murdered' doctor Abbas Khan fight for return of his body from Syria

Relatives criticise Foreign Office for lack of action

Ed Miliband has argued that the package could not go ahead during the biggest cost of living crisis for a generation

PMQs: Miliband gives tour-de-force demonstration of how not to do it

A growing economy is bad news for Ed's 'cost of living crisis'

UK border control at Heathrow Airport

David Cameron rushes in curbs on the rights of migrants to claim benefits to head off backbench revolt

Rebel Tory MPs are demanding that Britain defy the EU by delaying the introduction of the 'right to work' for Romanians and Bulgarians

Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly insisted that the task of clearing the deficit is not completed

Voters prefer growth to higher wages: Poll suggests Conservatives have won the argument over the economy

The competing visions of the two main parties will be a crucial battleground at the 2015 election

Andy McSmith's Diary: A Christmas-card character mash-up from Parliament

Most Christmas cards from MPs are worthy, if dull, but one or two try to break away and do something notable, usually landing their senders in trouble in the process.

Boris Johnson's term as Mayor of London runs out in 2016

Boris Johnson rules out standing as a Conservative MP - for now

Mayor of London’s comment come after protracted speculation he is plotting a return to Westminster at the next election

French troops patrol in a street of the Muslim PK-5 district in Bangui

EU divided over French plea for CAR military aid

No direct pledges of military intervention in Central African Republic after Brussels meeting

Nick Clegg has accused Theresa May of 'illegal' plans to limit EU migrants

Nick Clegg accuses Theresa May of ‘illegal’ plans to cap EU immigration

Leaked Home Office paper suggests lower-skilled workers would only be allowed to take up jobs suffering shortages in the UK

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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence