News French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

Ayrault asks his ministers to stop using English words in their work

Estate agents lose claim for £1.41m Lakshmi Mittal commission

Three of Britain's top estate agents came away from the High Court empty handed today after losing their claim for £1.41 million commission on the sale of one of the most prestigious properties in London.

MPs bow out: Honourable members? There were some...

While almost no one was spotless, not all of our MPs deserve to be remembered just for the expenses scandal. Nina Lakhani salutes the hard-workers who won't be standing for re-election

Mary Dejevsky: Don't believe the killjoys of London 2012

Now here's a riddle for the holiday weekend: what's on time, on budget and in Britain? The answer, improbable, but correct, is the 2012 London Olympics. Yet still the nay-sayers persist, grumbling away about how the site will never be complete in time, how the costs have already spiralled out of control, and how the city – their city – will be a nightmare for the duration.

120m high and very, very red: the best seat at the Olympic Games

The capital's own version of the Eiffel Tower, 120 metres high and visible from outside London, has been chosen as the monument to mark and tower over the 2012 Olympic Games.

'Mind boggling' artwork that will tower over London

Plans for what will become Britain's largest piece of public art were today unveiled by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Pressure on Hague over his role in Ashcroft's peerage

Mandelson fails in bid for official investigation into peer's non-dom tax status but row continues to rage

'Climate emails hacked by spies'

Interception bore hallmarks of foreign intelligence agency, says expert

Will Davos be a damp squib?

There'll be no Obama, Brown or Bono at next week's economic forum, but does it matter?

Magilton denies headbutt on Buzsaky but faces sack

Assistants walk out on QPR in support of manager as clash with player escalates

League offers Briatore chance to make case

Flavio Briatore has been given the chance to argue his case after the Football League delayed making a decision on whether the co-owner of Queen's Park Rangers has contravened its "fit and proper person" test.

Briatore in line of fire as League gets tough

Disgraced F1 boss likely to be thrown out of football in 'fit and proper person' crackdown with Notts County and Leeds also under scrutiny

The Football Rich List 2009

QPR shareholder Lakshmi Mittal is the wealthiest man in British football, according to the 2009 FourFourTwo.com Rich List.

Dinner at the Carlton: The New Tory power brokers

Exclusive: Margareta Pagano reveals the guest list for the Conservatives’ premier political dinner last week which gives a fascinating snapshot of the movers and shakers getting ready for their turn to influence Downing Street

Steady on, says Cable, as big home tax unravels

Lib Dem leaders face accusations of launching half-finished proposals

Lib Dems plan tax on £1m homes

Vince Cable today announced plans to clobber the wealthiest homeowners as part of a massive Liberal Democrat tax-raid on the rich.

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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 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future