News George Osborne is said to have paid £100 an hour to be trained by a Harley Street vocal specialist during his days as shadow Chancellor

George Osborne is said to have paid £100 an hour to be trained by a Harley Street vocal specialist during his days as shadow Chancellor, to help him sound weighty and authoritative. But did he get his money’s worth? After listening to the Chancellor’s speech on Monday, the Labour MP Jamie Reed seemed to think not. He tweeted: “Can someone please reintroduce Osborne to ‘t’ as a consonant? Cos I godda dell ya, that speech made me wanna scream.”

Buyers flock to view 'shabby' Morpeth house

It is described as 'shabby', 'unremarkable' and 'in dire need of updating', but an end of terrace house in Northumberland has drawn an unusual level of interest thanks to a refreshingly honest 'warts and all' description from estate agents.

'Drunk tanks' and minimum prices to help Britain sober up

David Cameron will today give his support to the use of "drunk tanks" – mobile police cells to hold intoxicated revellers until they sober up.

Darlington have a 25,000 capacity stadium

Darlington saved for the short term

Darlington have been saved from liquidation at the eleventh hour after a rescue group pledged £50,000 to ensure their survival for the next three games.

Darlington have a 25,000 capacity stadium

Darlington administrators sack all players and coaching staff

The administrators of Darlington today made all the club's playing and coaching staff redundant with immediate effect.

Jack Colback has signed a two-year extension

Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback signs new deal

Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has been rewarded for his early-season form with a two-year contract extension.

Dog bite judge will not face action

A Crown Court judge who stormed out of court after being convicted of failing to control her dangerous dog will not face disciplinary action.

High-speed rail decision delayed

The Government today confirmed that it would be delaying an announcement on whether to go ahead with the HS2 high-speed rail project.

Student Loans office evacuated

Police have launched an inquiry after a Student Loans Company office had to be evacuated when a member of staff opened an envelope and white powder came out.

Richard Darlington: Don’t promise what you can’t deliver on immigration

Before the election, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said immigration was out of control; afterwards, they said they would cut it dramatically. Neither was true.

Woman, 77, found murdered

A murder investigation is under way after a 77-year-old woman was found dead, police said.

North braced for floods

The north of England was braced for serious damage last night as heavy and intense rain caused localised flooding, blocked drains and prompted hundreds of calls to emergency services.

Northern England put on flood alert

A large swathe of northern England was put on flood alert today as a heavy band of rain threatened to cause disruption.

Gateshead to host 2013 European Team Championships

The north-east town saw off Braunschweig, Bydgoszcz and Ostrava to host European athletics' flagship team event for the first time after staging its predecessor, the SPAR European Cup, in 1989 and 2000.

Quakers head for revival meeting at Wembley

After years of darkness, the FA Trophy final offers light to Darlington fans such as Stephen Brenkley

'Suicidal tendencies' warning over mephedrone

A coroner warned today about the dangers of the drug mephedrone after two young men who were discovered hanging were later found to have taken it.

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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
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent