Money

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

MPs ‘losing public trust’ over lobbying, says Commons sleaze watchdog

MPs are undermining public trust in democracy by failing to back tighter controls on lobbying, Parliament’s official sleaze watchdog has warned.

James Moore: Tyrie should carry out his pledge to tackle lobbying without further delay

Outlook When does lobbying become undue influence? Sir Mervyn King certainly appears to feel that the activities of the banks have been straying into the territory of the latter when it comes to their battling against the Bank of England's demands that they hold more capital.

Turkey protests: This genie should not be tricked back into its bottle

The state is realising only now that these youths are not calling for chaos, but for inclusion

Clegg says he is prepared to consider new legislation to remove 'crooks' from the Lords

Nick Clegg aims to clear Lords of lazy peers and 'crooks'

After three years of delay, the Coalition is promising a statutory register of lobbyists

Commons Speaker John Bercow

Lobbying scandal latest: Speaker John Bercow limits release of new Commons passes

Commons Speaker John Bercow today suspended the issuing of new Commons passes to staff working for all-party parliamentary groups amid concerns they are being used as a vehicle for political lobbying at Westminster.

Forget Government plans on lobbying reform, here’s to the same old sleaze and scandal

It is more than two years since The Independent first began campaigning for lobbying reform. Now, after yet more grubby scandals that undermine public faith in political institutions, the Government finally announced it would act.

Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate, left, allegedly offered to ask questions and host events for paying clients. He denies the allegations. Lord Cunningham, right, allegedly offered to introduce reporters to senior figures for £12,000 a month. Denies any wrongdoing but has been suspended pending an investigation

Labour Party suspends peers Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate and Lord Cunningham in new cash-for-questions scandal

Reporters posing as lobbyists filmed peers ‘offering to sell parliamentary influence’

Mind games: Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi and David Cross

Arrested Development returns but can the new episodes on Netflix capture the show's deadpan glory days?

The cult TV sitcom returns to our screens this week after seven years away but will it be as good as the much-loved original episodes, asks Sarah Hughes, and will that longed-for movie ever happen?

Tobacco lobby told Government: branding ban will cost you millions

Department of Health civil servants met lobbyists from the cigarette manufacturer Imperial Tobacco before the Government shelved proposals to introduce plain packaging laws this week, it can be revealed.

Ben Chu: Cheap clothes and tax dodging

Outlook The lethal collapse of a building in Bangladesh, where workers were churning out cheap clothes for retailers such as Primark, has prompted scrutiny of the supply chains of some of our big retailers.

Double Negative gets positive about quality TV

Britain's biggest movie visual-effects (VFX) company made a significant move into quality television yesterday as a direct result of George Osborne's decision to give the sector tax breaks.

Ban lifted on pro-paedophilia group in The Netherlands

A Dutch appeals court has lifted a ban on an organisation which lobbies for the legalisation of sex between adults and children, after finding that the group was not breaking any laws in The Netherlands.

Chimes up: Jed Wallace (in the air) celebrates his goal

The Calvin Report on Portsmouth 2 Coventry City 0: Pompey win debtors' derby while both teams await higher judgment

The courts will soon decide the future of Portsmouth and Coventry, rivals joined in uncertainty

US assault weapons ban dropped by Senate

President Barack Obama's assault weapons ban lay in tatters last night after being dropped from the Senate gun control bill.

Sir Alex Ferguson looks on as Wayne Rooney comes on as a sub

Letter from the Editor: Leveson should blow whistle on those who manipulate the news

Sir Alex Ferguson has barred the Independent from his Carrington press conferences after a report by one our writers detailed his fall-out with Rooney

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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
Spain
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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