News

The firm carrying out the Government’s controversial “fitness for work” tests on disabled benefit claimants is a “disgrace” and should be stripped of its contract, Labour will say on Monday.

John, 9, Duwayne, 13, Jade, 10, Jayden, 5, Jesse, 6, and Jack Philpott, 7, all died after a blaze was started deliberately at the family's semi-detached house in Allenton, Derby
The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith

'Bedroom tax': now Duncan Smith offers concessions to foster carers and armed forces' parents

Foster carers and parents of serving armed forces personnel will be exempted from welfare deductions if they have spare rooms, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced.

The Sketch: Two balding blokes and the battle of the Bill

Two balding men who look remarkably alike went head-to-head in the Commons today, trading statistics and insults with a pleasing symmetry.

Labour defends plans to deprive the long-term unemployed of benefits if they refuse to take job offer

Labour today defended its plans to deprive the long-term unemployed of their benefits if they refuse to take up the offer of a “guaranteed” job.

Most benefits up 20 per cent since 2007

Iain Duncan Smith’s campaign to show how the welfare system discourages claimants from working was backed up yesterday with newly published figures from his department about how different groups have fared under the recession.

Government's Work Programme only helps one person in three find a job

The Government will today order private firms running its schemes to help the jobless find work to “raise their game” as official figures show its £5bn Work Programme has made a disappointing start.

Student Liam Byrne 'fortunate' to survive parachute failure

A student who ended up stuck in a tree after falling 3,000ft (914m) when his canopy failed to open on his very first parachute jump was “very fortunate”, firefighters have said.

Labour leadership disowns threat to OAP benefits

The Labour leadership slapped down a shadow minister last night who suggested that a Miliband government could target universal benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and free bus passes for pensioners.

Labour leader Ed Miliband aims to take the North of England

Local elections: Labour hopes to gain if it's a dismal night for Lib Dems

While Ed Miliband aims to take the north of England, expectations are low for Nick Clegg's party

Cameron 'knew nothing' of investigation into A4e

Warnings that police were investigating fraud allegations involving Emma Harrison's company were not passed to David Cameron before he appointed her as his "families tsar", Downing Street said yesterday.

Mary Ann Sieghart: How austerity is changing us

Instead of seeking gratification by going shopping, we are achieving it by finding new ways of saving money

Lords may ambush plans to limit benefits

Plans to impose an annual limit on benefit payments could be ambushed in the House of Lords following a warning from within Whitehall that the move risked making 40,000 families homeless.

Labour must 'learn from the past but not live in it', says Liam Byrne

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said Labour would need policies for a different economy, welfare state and form of government

True colours? Is Blue Labour the way forward for the left?

In the Westminster village, the talk is of 'Blue Labour'. But does this nascent ideology offer a real way forward for the left, asks Amol Rajan – or is it just another empty political buzz-phrase?

Experts wary despite jobless unemployment drop

Unemployment fell in the first three months of the year but economists today warned the broader picture fuelled concern for the future of the labour market.

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Day In a Page

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The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
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How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
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Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
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Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
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Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
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Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
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Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

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A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
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Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

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From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
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Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash