News

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.”

Stoke City fans

Stoke City announce free coach travel for fans attending away games

The move comes amid anger over rising prices of attending Premier League games

Cover-up or recent decline? Politicians lock horns over who is to blame for NHS failings

Parliament divided as Keogh report results in special measures for 11 hospitals

Report out today will highlight major failings across 14 NHS hospital trusts

Sir Bruce Keogh's investigation will suggest that 14 trusts had higher than average mortality rates

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate keen for return to football amid speculation over England Under-21 role

The former Middlesbrough manager is the favourite to replace Stuart Pearce

Cavendish Review: Healthcare assistants are performing the same tasks as nurses and even doctors without standardised training

Review calls for standardised training for healthcare assistants

Dentists' charges for check-ups are soaring

The price of a check-up at the dentists can vary by as much as 200 per cent depending on where you live in the country.

Erik Pieters

Stoke reveal interest in Netherlands international Erik Pieters

Chairman admits club are seeking a left-back

Caution urged over 'knee jerk reaction' to CQC watchdog reform

Ministers should not have a "knee jerk reaction" and overhaul England's health and care regulator, doctors' leaders have said.

Dr Heather Wood and Cynthia Bower

CQC storm: ‘Bullying culture’ may mean care scandals go undetected

A former inspector of the Care Quality Commission has described how criticism was quashed and ‘good people’ were forced to shut up or quit

Cynthia Bower, former chief executive of the Care Quality Commission

CQC storm: ‘I can’t believe what your people have been doing. Bloody hell’

As the revelations about the alleged CQC cover-up emerge, Emily Dugan visits its call centre

Relatives of three men killed by roadside bombs while in Snatch Land Rovers can pursue damages under the Human Rights Act

Supreme Court ruling that soldiers have the right to life even in war zones will have major ramifications for MoD

Relatives of three men killed by roadside bombs while in Snatch Land Rovers can pursue damages under the Human Rights Act

Speed cameras slash road deaths by more than a quarter, study finds

RAC data finds 800 more people would be killed or seriously injured each year without cameras

Mark Leftly: High Speed 2 is being too slow to argue its case

Outlook Sticking with trainspotting, a quick note on High Speed 2. The Independent titles have spent a long time closely examining this hugely controversial proposal that would revolutionise the rail network.

Mark Hughes

Jermaine Pennant and Rory Delap among seven players released by Stoke City

Mark Hughes was recently appointed as the new manager at the Britannia Stadium

Tory relief at Fazeley by-election result

There was relief for Tories when they defended a marginal seat in the latest council by-elections after slumping in some other contests since the May 2 main polls.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
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
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

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

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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