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
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness