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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk