London mayoral rivals Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone clash on Tube strike

Rivals for the job of London Mayor clashed today over a planned strike by Tube workers amid fading hopes of averting the industrial action.

Lord Brett: Trade union leader and politician who fought for workers' rights around the world

Bill Brett was a large man in every sense. Tall, with a vibrant character and a reputation for forthrightness, he rose from being a railway clerk to lead the workers group at the International Labour Organisation, the UN body for employment standards, where he led the fight against the worst forms of child labour. Having spent years fighting for workers' rights, Brett, always an active member of the Labour Party, would go on to become a junior minister in Gordon Brown's Labour government, one of his responsibilities being to introduce the controversial identity card.

Brendan Barder spoke at the St Pancras Hospital picket in London

TUC set for first female general secretary as Brendan Barber announces retirement

The TUC looks set to appoint its first ever female general secretary after Brendan Barber announced that he is to retire from the role at the end of the year.

La Scala pays €6m more in taxes than it gets in public funding

La Scala chief's anger over lack of state funding for the arts

The artistic director of La Scala has warned that the celebrated opera house is "dangerously close" to privatisation, as public funding for the arts continues to dry up.

Tube maintenance workers to go on 72 hour strike

Workers who maintain and upgrade Tube lines on London Underground are to strike for 72 hours next week in a dispute over pensions and benefits.

Tube maintenance staff to go on strike, says RMT

Workers who maintain and upgrade Tube lines on London Underground have voted to go on strike in a dispute over pensions and benefits.

BBC journalists face strike ballot

Journalists and technicians working for the BBC in Wales are to be balloted for strikes in a row over the dismissal of a producer.

Phillip Blond: Electing the Lords would undermine its value

It would be the greatest extension of executive power since Charles I dissolved Parliament

Protect your pension and retirement plans from Osborne's tax grab

Careful planning can help alleviate the Chancellor's decision to freeze and then abolish the higher personal allowance for the over-65s. By Julian Knight

Deal ends Heathrow Express strike

A dispute over disciplinary action against two workers on the Heathrow Express has been resolved, ending the threat of fresh strikes.

Hundreds of London Underground maintenance workers are set to be balloted for strikes

'Strings' attached to Olympic pay offer says RMT

Union leaders today accused London Underground of attempting to impose new "strings" over an Olympic pay deal for Tube staff after talks collapsed.

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe

Guilty – of watching a film on the Arab Spring in Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Six activists fear long jail sentences for alleged attempt to inspire uprising. Alex Duval Smith reports in Harare

Heathrow Express workers to strike

Workers on the Heathrow Express are to stage a fresh wave of strikes in a continuing dispute over disciplinary action against two rail workers.

Shivered, Southwark Playhouse, London

When some artists affect to say the unsayable, the result is simply unspeakable. To listen to some folk, you might run away with the idea that Philip Ridley - renaissance man of the East End and master of the sawn-off baroque - is just a sensationalising miserabilist out to exploit and maximise everything that is morally and viscerally gross and triple-X rated.

Eric Ollerenshaw said that Conservatives were not seen as 'being like one of us' in the North

Top Tory: Our party is white, posh, male and far too Southern

Party 'must address image in the North'

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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
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week