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When the CBI director-general, John Cridland, took the top job at the UK’s biggest business lobbying group in February 2011, his ambition was to find a fitting new home for the organisation: in his words, a “modest palace of glass and steel”.

Boris Johnson's encounter with a zip wire this week only served to prove how adept the London Mayor is at defying political gravity

Boris Johnson dismisses PM ambitions

Boris Johnson has dismissed talk of him becoming the next prime minister as he joked: “How could anybody elect a prat who gets stuck in a zip wire?”

Games turn into winner for John Lewis

John Lewis's London stores have seen a dramatic turnaround in sales as the Olympic Games progressed through the past week.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (right) hopes that Team GB's gold medals will help boost trade

London 2012: Ministers and businesses hope medal success will aid economy

Both ministers and businesses are hoping that Team GB's success at the Olympics will help boost the economy.   

London 2012: Olympic boost to retailers and tourism new figures show

The Olympics is proving a boost to retailing and tourism, it was announced today.

Mr Brainwash: Banksy's street-art protégé and his latest brainwave

The master of hype arrives in London for a blockbuster new show. Matilda Battersby meets him

Growth slow at Standard Chartered

Slowing growth in India and China saw Standard Chartered produce its slowest increase in first-half profits for a decade.

London tourism struggles during Olympics

London's tourism industry is struggling to compete with the impact of the Olympic Games, which has left the host city a “ghost town”, businesses said today.

Presents; shopping on Oxford Street

London 2012: Olympic Games rush fear hits London's West End shops

Retailers hoping for an Olympics boost appear to have suffered an early drop in business as visitors stay away from central London due to fears of overcrowding.

Northern Rock was sold to Virgin Money, owned by Richard Branson, last year. The sale was controversial: by injecting a subsidiary into the bank, Virgin was able to realise millions of pounds. Effectively, it part paid for Northern Rock with cash it was able to take out of the bank

Sir Richard Branson eyes Virgin Records deal

Sir Richard Branson is considering buying back Virgin Records more than 40 years after founding the business that spawned his empire.

Rock of ages: The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park in 1969

Rolling Stones hint at tour ahead of 50th anniversary celebration

Mick Jagger may rethink the words he sang more than 45 years ago — "What a drag it is getting old."

Ed Miliband unveils Labour's 'new' signing Tony Blair

At the Arsenal stadium, Blair joins team Miliband – but not all supporters will be cheering

Eva Rausing was found dead at her London home

Fatal attraction: did drugs cause tragedy for super-rich family?

The couple met in a rehab clinic in America while they were still in their twenties

Cutbacks see scaled down London Gay Pride

A funding shortage has resulted in a scaled down version of London's Gay Pride event taking place today.

The now derelict Battersea Power Station

Chelsea plans for Battersea Power Station stadium extinguished

Chelsea's hopes of moving to Battersea Power Station have been extinguished after a Malaysian consortium completed a £400million purchase of the London landmark.

Mankowitz's still-life images go on show for the first time next week in London

Stones snapper rust-see show

The rock photographer Gered Mankowitz is better known for photographing The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Jimi Hendrix than he is for snapping rusty padlocks and corroding cameras. But on the quiet, he has been collecting rusty objects for 14 years and photographing them as they decay.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital