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Westminster Outlook Michael Fallon is Westminster's – and the world's – first land-dwelling, four-limbed octopus, his tentacles wrapped around Whitehall, circular suckers incapable of being removed from powerful ministries of state.

Sarah Sands: We love romantics. We just don't expect them to win

Recommending Michael Foot for a job on the Evening Standard, Aneurin Bevan said to its proprietor, Lord Beaverbrook: "I've got a young bloody knight errant here." The description held true. Political and journalistic opponents paid tribute to Foot last week with a mixture of wonder and exasperation. The Daily Mail's obituary was a version of the famous American epitaph for Foot's spiritual predecessor, Thomas Paine: "He had lived long, did some good and much harm."

Leading article: The Chancellor's slings and arrows can wound

Mr Darling's defence is also an attack on leadership at Number 10

No 10 urged to probe bullying claims

Conservative leader David Cameron and his Liberal Democrat counterpart Nick Clegg both called on 10 Downing Street today to look into allegations of bullying of staff.

Ruddigore, Grand Theatre, Leeds<br/>Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, Royal Festival Hall, London<br/>Jurowski/OAE, Roundhouse, London

Spared some creaking old traditions, a bright new production of a Gilbert and Sullivan oddity comes up roses

Mark Steel: Just who do you vote for given this appalling choice?

The moment you think of voting Labour, up pops the unregretful Blair

Exclusive: Vote of no confidence in Tory economic policies

Poll lead slips to 7 points as vast majority of voters say Cameron should be clearer about plans for cuts

Letters show how Brown tried to heal rift with Mowlam

PM's 'emotional' correspondence with dying MP was an attempt to end their long-standing feud

John Rentoul: Lives of Peter Mandelson

Along with Andrew Roberts, Matthew d'Ancona, Stephen Bayley, Iain Dale and John Kampfner, I was asked by Dylan Jones, editor of GQ, to write a mock obituary of Peter Mandelson for the January issue. Now that the February issue is out, I reprint my contribution here.

Bruce Anderson: All of Brown's Cabinet now want him to lose the next election

Mandelson's position is without precedent in British politics &ndash; he's choreographer-in-chief

Balls goes on attack, but Brown and Miliband now in 'cold war'

Minister defends aggressive campaign as PM's relations with Foreign Secretary hit a new low

Steve Richards: The only certainty about this plot: it will damage Labour

The madness of this move overwhelms the reason

Donald Macintyre: Will they, won't they launch a coup?

You can't find a Labour figure who doesn't believe their chances better without Brown

Steve Richards: So who said what to whom? The truth about the cuts debate

The decision to put up taxes again caused angst beyond the Treasury

Bob Ainsworth: You Ask The Questions

The Defence Secretary answers your questions, such as 'Why is our Army so poorly equipped?' and 'Do you regret voting for the Iraq war?'

Lord Browne returns to public life to chair student fees review

Lord Browne, the ex BP boss once said to be Prime Minister Tony Blair’s favourite captain of industry, returned to the public spotlight today – just two years after dramatically quitting as head of the oil giant after admitting lying to a court.

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
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Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
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Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
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Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
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The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss