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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.”

Woman jailed after torturing 15-year-old boy by forcing him to lick up his blood and drink his own urine

A woman who tortured a teenage boy by making him drink his own urine and lick up his blood has been sentenced to four years in prison.

The Rev Reginald Dean today

110 not out! Britain's oldest man

Emily Dugan meets Reverend Reginald Dean and hears him lament the decline of cricket

Norwich manager Chris Hughton hopes to upset his old club Spurs

Stoke are role models for aspiring teams says Norwich manager Chris Hughton

Norwich manager Chris Hughton insists Stoke are the perfect role model for any aspiring top-flight team like his own.

Council leader Mohammed Pervez

A year at the sharp end: How Stoke was cut to shreds

With one in four on benefits and a community relying on its council, how would a £36m spending cut work? David Nath spent a year in a place where the Big Society is still just an idea

Branston Pickle will be sold to a Japanese firm in a deal worth £92.5 million

The £90m pickle: Branston sold to Japan firm

One of the nation's favourite sandwich fillers, Branston Pickle, is to be sold to a Japanese firm in a deal worth £92.5 million.

Queen Mary’s will be taken over by a mental health foundation trust, Oxleas, and land sold off to pay the debts

One NHS trust in five is in bad financial trouble – and Department of Health is failing to plan for bankruptcies

Only urgent, radical action will prevent failures, warns Public Accounts Committee

An illustration of HS2

£1.3bn for those living on high-speed rail route is 'attempt to buy off critics'

Opponents of high-speed link between London and Birmingham condemn new compensation deal

Swedish Lapland Reindeer: 'neither like chicken, nor as gamey as I had imagined – there were hints, but only that'

On The Menu: Swedish Lapland reindeer; Llama snacks; Time Out's Eating & Drinking Awards; Qcumber; Vinoteca

This week I've been eating... Swedish Lapland reindeer

An illustration of HS2

Government promises a top-up for HS2 compensation payouts

Compensation measures for residents affected by the London-Birmingham HS2 high-speed rail project will go “significantly beyond statutory requirements”, the Government promised today.

Victory for families as dead Iraq soldiers' relatives told they can sue Government for negligence

The families of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq can now claim for damages for negligence against the Government, senior judges said in a 'landmark' ruling today.

A view of the facilities at St George's Park

An Oxbridge of football, for coaches rather than players

Over £100m has been spent on St George's Park but, Sam Wallace finds, the academy is about developing coaches, not players

England can have no more excuses for international failure

England skipper Steven Gerrard has admitted there will be no more excuses for national failure following the move into St George's Park.

The Potter's Hand By AN Wilson

An epic novel of the Wedgwood dynasty reveals the hearts of all but one man: Josiah himself

Dressage superstar Lee Pearson one step closer to being crowned Team GB’s greatest ever Paralympian

Dressage superstar Lee Pearson is one step closer to being crowned Great Britain’s greatest ever Paralympian after finishing top of his class in the Team test at Greenwich – but only just after what he dubbed a “rider error”.

<p>1. Legoland, Berkshire </p>
<p>Adult £44.40, child £35.40, legoland.co.uk</p>
<p>Legoland boasts 150 acres of parkland and 50-plus rides and attractions. Don't miss the Lego Star Wars Miniland Experience.</p>

The 10 Best theme parks

Hold on tight!

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Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor