David Cameron’s Government is spending a third less time on legislation

‘Zombie coalition has run out of things to say’ say critics

There are rumours that the Queen’s Speech has been delayed because of a lack of interesting policies to put forward in a legislative programme.

Politics and religion: Labour should target Muslims, survey finds, Conservatives Jews and Lib Dems... Buddhists

Among Christians, Anglicans are the most consistently authoritarian and conservative, while Catholics are more likely to be left-wing

Warning over climbdown on pension fees

Savers will be offered pensions “with expensive, and confusing fees”, following a dramatic climbdown by the pensions minister, Steve Webb, over charges.

RAF Croughton is a relay base for listening stations

Exclusive: Peers call for proper scrutiny of American military bases in UK used for drone strikes and mass spying

Britain's oversight of US bases ‘in urgent need of revision’

Architects object to 'garden city' solution to crisis

Government proposals to build a fresh wave of garden cities have been criticised by architects who claim new development should focus on existing sites.

Architects object to 'garden city' solution to crisis

Government proposals to build a fresh wave of garden cities have been criticised by architects who claim new development should focus on existing sites.

A Bedroom Tax protest outside the SNP Autumn Conference in October 2013; nine months after its introduction, the policy is still dividing opinions

The 'bedroom tax' remains one of the most divisive of Coalition policies

Labour has pledged to abolish the scheme

Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock

Son of Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock charged with assaulting photographer following sexual harassment claims against his father

Mike Hancock was suspended from the party this week following leak of unpublished report into his conduct

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nigel Farage might want to catch up on his reading - of his own party's manifesto

I try hard not to insult people on air. For you I’m going to make an exception

A Syrian woman with her baby at Syria's border with Turkey

Syrian crisis: Peers put Cameron under pressure to 'heed the call' and take in refugees

The pressure on David Cameron to allow hundreds of Syrian refugees to come to Britain is increasing, with 55 members of the House of Lords urging him to sign up to a United Nations programme.

Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock

Lib Dem crisis: Mike Hancock's son arrested after allegedly punching photographer

Hancock Snr has been suspended from the party after claim of sexual assault

Syrian refugees walk among tents at Karkamis' refugee camp near the town of Gaziantep, south of Turkey

David Cameron set for U-turn over UK sanctuary for most vulnerable Syria refugees following plea by aid agencies

David Cameron opened the door yesterday for Britain to give sanctuary to some of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees trapped in appalling conditions in neighbouring countries.

Theresa May has remained elusive on the question of what happens to the terror suspects when their restrictions are lifted in the coming days

Out of control: The verdict on May’s terror suspect policy

Measures hailed three years ago as vital to public safety are deemed now to have no ‘practical utility’

Chalk Talk: Are champions ready for the challenge?

Off to the North of England education conference – the traditional curtain raiser of the year.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The S-word prompts an unseemly bout of consensus

MPs can be quite good at raising something without actually mentioning it. “As the Deputy Prime Minister knows, sorry is still the hardest word to say,” Labour’s Michael McCann said, misquoting Elton John in a preamble to a question which had nothing to with That Lib Dem Crisis.

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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'