New Articles Waving and drowning: Nigel Farage’s local council success will not carry through to the next general election

Despite Nigel Farage's prediction that the UK Independence party will cause an “earthquake” in British politics at the European Parliament elections, Britons give Ukip as much chance of winning as finding life on Mars.

Michael Bywater: My brain can't handle voting reform

Like everyone else, I was planning on sculling down to the polling station on 5 May and voting one way or the other in the AV referendum. Which way? "Yes", probably, with "No" as my second choice. It sends a message to the politicians: you're up there because we're down here. And we can change things. It may not be the ideal change but it opens the door.

The business on...Ian Bull, Chief financial officer, Ladbrokes

A new man in the back office?

That's right. Mr Bull was appointed to the top finance job at Ladbrokes yesterday – he succeeds Brian Wallace, who announced he would step down from the bookmaker earlier this year.

Labrokes unable to agree 888 takeover

Ladbrokes has admitted that talks over a possible takeover of its online rival 888 have ended after the two companies failed to agree a price.

888 denies link to Ladbrokes talks as chief executive Gigi Levy steps down

Gigi Levy, the chief executive of online gaming company 888, is stepping down "to pursue other interests" after six years in the top job.

Alterian boss quits on profits slump

The chief executive of Alterian has left the marketing software group after it warned on profits yesterday. Analysts believe it is now more vulnerable to a takeover approach.

Market Report: Victrex benefits from takeover spotlight

The prospect of Victrex becoming a bid target was highlighted yesterday as positive broker comments helped the high-tech plastics company to surge up the mid-tier index.

Market Report: Ladbrokes urged to join in sector consolidation

Investors betting on Ladbrokes yesterday failed to bank any major winnings despite suggestions that the group should enter into a tie-up with the forthcoming merger between PartyGaming and the Austrian company bwin.

Clarke 'did not nod off' during Budget

An official has denied Labour accusations that Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke nodded off as George Osborne delivered his Budget.

Johnson hopes National test will get to the bottom of Tidal Bay

An intriguing contender with a superb Aintree record was confirmed in the mix yesterday for next month's Grand National, though his tilt at the John Smith's-sponsored prize could hardly be termed no-nonsense. Five days ago Tidal Bay finished sixth in the Gold Cup, albeit 23 lengths behind the winner Long Run. As is his style, he was almost tailed off early but once he had condescended to put his racing head on, nothing stayed on up the finishing hill more strongly.

Big Bucks secures third World Hurdle

The incomparable Big Buck's stretched his unbeaten record to 11 races when securing a third consecutive Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The City Diary: Who's really pulling the strings?

My old friend Ed Balls has accused Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, of being "drawn into the political arena" over the Government's deficit-reduction strategy.

Investment Column: Ladbrokes remains a solid long-term bet

Cable & Wireless Worldwide; Umeco

888 takeover talks continue

The internet gambling firm 888 Holdings said takeover talks with Ladbrokes were still ongoing yesterday as it bolstered its negotiating position with strong final-quarter sales. The company, which offers casino, poker and sport betting, said an announcement regarding a potential deal with the bookmaker would be made when appropriate – following reports that discussions had hit difficulties over price. 888 posted an 18 per cent increase in operating income to $71m (£44m) in the final quarter of 2010.

The City Diary: Oil firm seeks lawyers – must enjoy hard work

Fancy a career at America's least favourite oil group? BP is searching for a clutch of lawyers to join it in Texas – the scene of one of the group's most infamous disasters, which killed 15 workers and injured many more in 2005.

Suddenly it seems being Big does not look too clever

All of a sudden, the big country is a troubled dominion. There was a brazen incursion at Punchestown yesterday where Big Zeb succumbed to an astonishing blitz of winners for Willie Mullins, and even Big Buck's no longer looks quite so invulnerable. Nobody, certainly, should be making too many assumptions on behalf of the four champions returning to the Cheltenham Festival in March. Ladbrokes are now offering just 4-1 that none of Big Buck's, Big Zeb, Binocular and Imperial Commander manages to retain his crown; and 125-1 that all four can do so.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

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'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

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Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

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Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

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Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

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In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

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