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.

Labour gets jitters over 'Tory cuts' message

Ministers doubt the Prime Minister's line of attack as critics say party must accept big spending days are over

Economy suffers steepest fall in 50 years

The UK economy recorded its sharpest decline in more than 50 years during the first quarter of 2009, figures showed today.

Darling 'may strip Bank of key powers'

Chancellor Alistair Darling could strip the Bank of England of key powers amid a spat with governor Mervyn King, it was revealed today.

Steve Richards: It's time people knew how their money was being spent

Whoever wins the next election must debate public spending more openly

The 'horseshoe cabinet' where Mandelson is at PM's right hand

Brown hires spin doctor who revived Queen's image in backstage reshuffle

Cabinet presses the reform button again

Public services should be tailored to people's needs and decided at local level, under plans agreed in Downing Street

And finally... <i>The IoS</i> announces its Reshuffle Awards

After an eventful week on the political stage, John Rentoul sums up the highs and lows and hands out some deserved gongs

Cameron vows to get 'more for less'

Tory leader will rally his troops with demand for greater value for money

John Rentoul: Labour's lucky. Michael Gove's a one-off

The Tory Education spokesman scores top marks for stealing Labour's clothes with calls for educational reform

The Sketch: Beautiful, but the show should have gone on

The deeper we look into each other the fewer differences we find. Politics divides us a lot, our daily lives less so, death least of all. There's an equality there, of a sort, in the end. As General de Gaulle said to his wife at the graveside of their disabled daughter: "Come: Now she is like the others."

Andrew Grice: Wilson's jibe may return to haunt Brown

Inside Politics

New law to enforce social mobility

Poor have less chance of finding a good job than their parents, ministers admit

Andrew Grice: Role of the state is defining question for 2009

Inside Politics

Steve Richards: It's taken a crisis for Labour to rediscover its unity

To the amazement of his listeners, Brown said 'Mandelson gets it. He gets globalisation'

Row erupts over &pound;140m pensions blunder

The Government was embroiled in a blame game tonight over pensions that paid out £140 million too much

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game