Bank Rate on hold, but markets expect May hike

The Bank of England's "emergency" policy of ultra-low interest rates marked its second birthday yesterday when the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee voted for the 24th month to leave rates on hold, and also to keep the £200bn programme of quantitative easing unchanged. The apparent calmness of policy, however, belies what the Bank admits is an "unusually wide range of views" on the MPC, which split four ways in January.

Johann Hari: Get bishops out of our law-making

Is Nick Clegg even going to abandon his atheism, and give the forces of organised religion yet more power over us?

Osborne under pressure to cut growth forecasts

The Confederation of British Industry today becomes the latest organisation to downgrade its growth forecast for the British economy, threatening the credibility of the Chancellor's predictions, the Government's prospects of reducing the fiscal deficit and higher unemployment as the economy struggles to rebalance.

Charities 'must catch up with modern world'

The internet holds the key to increasing private donations to offset council spending cuts, voluntary organisations are told

Leading article: There is nothing wise about economic inflexibility

One politician's pride cannot be allowed to drive policy; not with so many jobs at stake

Fears that UK will lose influence after huge cuts at World Service

Protests took place outside Bush House, the BBC World Service's London headquarters, yesterday in response to the news that 650 posts and five language services would be lost after a 16 per cent reduction in funding from the Foreign Office.

First Night: Twelfth Night, The Cottesloe Theatre, London

Gift of a role: Rebecca Hall stars in her father's play to mark his 80th birthday

Doris Heffer: Political secretary who formed a parliamentary double act with her husband Eric

I assert with the certainty of one who knew them both extremely well – one who worked with them and sometimes argued with them when they would give me a lift to the end of Horseferry Road on their way to their London pied-à-terre in Dolphin Square after the close of Commons business in the small hours of the morning – that without his wife Doris, Eric Heffer would probably not have become a Member of Parliament, and unquestionably not a member of the National Executive of the Labour Party, and indeed the national figure he became.

National Youth Orchestra / J&#228;rvi, Barbican Hall, London<br/>Madam Butterfly, King's Head Theatre, London

The country's rising orchestral players and their nimble conductor dance with death &ndash; and relish

Bank holds rates steady as the recovery slows sharply

The British economy barely grew in December, according to the latest estimates from the country's oldest economics research body.

The party's over but the fun's just begun

City Slicker: Edinburgh - Those in the know wait until Hogmanay's ended to go to this city. Rhiannon Batten offers ideas for new and returning visitors

Thousands set to protest against tuition fee rises

Thousands of students and lecturers up and down the country are expected to take to the streets today to demonstrate against the Government's proposals to treble university tuition fees.

The National, Brixton Academy, London

Peerless National treasures

'Manic Monday' online shoppers set to spend millions

Online shoppers are set to spend a total of £537 million today in what is predicted to be the busiest internet shopping day of the year.

Teachers fear restraint powers will bring chaos

Unions warn that unless they are given proper training, staff will be open to false claims of abuse
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee