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Revelling in the latest growth figures, George Osborne lifted Balls-baiting to a new plane. He was asked an unusually long list of super-friendly questions by euphoric Tory backbenchers. Ones that in the secret dreams of the MPs involved, invite the answer: “Yes. My honourable friend has absolutely hit the nail on the head with that spiffing question correctly mentioning our long-term economic plan, allowing me to lay into the Opposition, and qualifying him for early promotion.”

Under the proposals, patients will only be transferred to other wards if it is absolutely necessary

Welcome to the hospital of the future: New management structures, revolutionary medical training and a 'buck-stops-here' culture

A landmark report by the Royal College of Physicians in response to the NHS crisis has outlined 50 measures to modernise the service to cope with the demands of an ageing population, but critics question if there is the political will or money to make it a reality

Just 5 per cent of officers are from an ethnic-minority background

Retired general to lead inquiry into police chiefs

The Association of Chief Police Officers faces an independent reveiw

Tributes to cyclist after road death

Garry Hobson, 68, died on arrival at hospital after being struck by a car

NHS hospitals to be offered 'gold standard' mark on care for elderly patients following Mid Staffs scandal

Hospital wards are to be awarded “gold standard” stamps of approval by the Royal College of Physicians if they can prove they are meeting high standards in caring for the elderly.

Stoke football match ends with fan violence and 23 arrests

Local derby between Port Vale and Wolves sees home fans throwing missiles at police officers and smashing up a marked squad car

The scandal-hit Stafford Hospital

Scandal-hit Stafford health trust to be prosecuted over death of diabetic patient who was not given insulin

Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust was subject to major inquiry that reported catastrophic care failings between 2005 and 2009

Publican blames 'weak ankles' as he breaks foot in charity bungee jump

A pub landlord who broke his foot in three places during a 200ft charity bungee jump thinks his injuries could be down to "weak ankles".

Green MP Caroline Lucas is arrested near Balcombe during the anti-fracking protests

Green MP Caroline Lucas arrested as anti-fracking protests reach fever pitch

First day of ‘mass civil disobedience’ sees shows of dissent at Balcombe and related sites

Kelly Jones of Stereophonics

Stereophonics' Kelly Jones reveals film plans

Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones has revealed more plans for a film he has written.

Review, chaired by President Obama’s former advisor on health Professor Don Berwick, contained glowing praise for 'the vast majority' of NHS staff

Berwick report: Danger of understaffed NHS wards can no longer be ignored after Mid Staffs scandal, Jeremy Hunt warned

Review says NHS staff responsible for 'recklessness or wilful neglect' of patient safety should face jail

Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for presiding over staff cuts

Jeremy Hunt urged to set NHS safe staffing levels after Mid Staffs scandal

New report on patient safety likely to increase pressure on Health Secretary over cuts

The Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust went into administration in April

Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust 'should be dissolved'

Administrators said that the trust’s Stafford Hospital and Cannock Hospital would remain open

Stolen personal details of 400,000 witnesses and defendants at Salford Magistrates Court found for sale on eBay

The £1,200 server was returned but police found insufficient evidence to find the thief

MoD awards £45m battlefield radios contract

A new multimillion-pound contract for the maintenance of British troops' battlefield radios will secure hundreds of defence jobs across the country, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

Mid-Staffs nursing chief: I’m not to blame

Janice Harry tells hearing that the word 'nursing' in her job title was 'misleading'

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

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Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
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Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect