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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.

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
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David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
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Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
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New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
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A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
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Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
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The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
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Panama
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments