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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.”

Protesters in London demand that Sir David Nicholson go

Sir David Nicholson: The man they couldn't hang

The decision to back the NHS chief is morally wrong, and has lost the coalition a rare opportunity to gain trust on health

Winterbottom prepares for the 1962 World Cup

Walter Winterbottom: The great guru born 100 years ago today

He shaped England's international game in ways that are still being felt today, as a new book reveals

Staffordshire terriers: the case for the defence after 14 year-old girl Jade Anderson was savaged to death

We recommend people do their research properly, but Staffordshire terriers are not particularly hard work

Patient groups tonight attacked plans to radically scale back inspections of hospitals believed to be performing well

Patients attack plan to reduce inspections of
best hospitals

Families of those who died in the Mid Staffs scandal fear the new regime might not pick up poor care

Bart Simpson faces Mr Burns in court - but this is real-life Warwick, not Springfield

Judge Mr Recorder Burns gives company director Barton Simpson community order for attempting to board flight with antique hand gun

Stafford Hospital, where the trust has been the focus of controversy

Former nurse at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital admits twice recording dead patient as 'asleep'

A nurse has admitted twice recording a deceased patient as ‘asleep’ in the opening of a hearing into the conduct of two staff nurses at scandal-ridden Mid Staffordshire Hospital.

Heart patients will be able to check their surgeon's track record

Patients waiting for heart surgery will be able to check the track record of cardiac surgeons and their hospitals on-line before their operation, the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery said yesterday.

Recaptured murder suspect John Anslow to appear in court after arrest in Cyprus

Anslow was one of five charged with murder of businessman in 2010

Fugitive murder suspect John Anslow extradited to UK after arrest in Cyprus

Anslow was one of five charged with murder of businessman in 2010

Stafford Hospital, where hundreds of patients are thought to have died needlessly in a four-year period

Twins 'died after morphine error' at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital

Premature twins born at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital died after receiving an overdose of morphine administered in error, a disciplinary hearing has been told.

Stafford nurse refused to lift 'naughty little monkey', tribunal told

A senior nurse in a scandal-hit hospital told a seriously ill elderly woman patient she was a “naughty little monkey” and refused to help lift her from a wheelchair on to a bed, a tribunal heard today.

Bolton NHS Foundation chief steps aside over deaths attributed to septicaemia

A hospital chief executive has stepped aside after an investigation revealed an unusually high number of deaths were classified as due to septicaemia.

Jeremy Hunt has warned senior NHS executives there will be “consequences” if they have wrongly gagged a former manager from speaking out about concerns over patient safety

Jeremy Hunt writes letters to every NHS Trust as he steps up pressure over whistleblower 'gags'

Jeremy Hunt stepped up pressure on NHS bosses to end the use of legal gags on whistleblowers today but faced calls for an independent inquiry into his own department's involvement.

'There will be consequences': Jeremy Hunt warns senior NHS executives over Gary Walker gagging order

Jeremy Hunt has warned senior NHS executives there will be “consequences” if they have wrongly gagged a former manager from speaking out about concerns over patient safety.

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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
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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
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
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all