Twelve hours that left the nation dazed and confused

For those following the results as they were declared, it was as draining a night as it was for the politicians. Paul Vallely reports

Tories win over key constituencies in the North

The Conservatives made impressive gains across the north of England last night, winning key seats in Yorkshire and the North west.

Tactical voting call by Labour condemned as 'desperate'

I want every vote, says Brown, as Tories and Liberal Democrats unite to reject Peter Hain's offer of an unofficial pact

Deutsche Bahn snaps up Arriva for £1.5bn

Arriva's board is unanimously recommending a £1.5bn merger proposal from Germany's Deutsche Bahn.

Editor-At-Large: Cameron insists we're all equal. The cheek of it!

I'm always up for a party – isn't that what we Brits are really good at? Celebrating, doing things to excess, having fun. But this party Dave Cameron wants me to sign up for is strangely unappealing. For a start, what kind of guest list is operating if everyone is included? Where's the guest list? Who's entitled to access the VIP area? Oh, there isn't one. Everyone can wear what they want, bring who they like. Doesn't sound like any kind of party I've ever wanted to attend.

Shop Direct to axe 1,500 jobs

Home shopping group Shop Direct is to axe 1,500 jobs at three of its centres, union leaders were told today.

Sailing: 16-year-old girl sets out on solo global voyage

A 16-year-old has set out to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

Two remanded over stab death

Two men today appeared in court charged with the murder of a man who was stabbed in his home.

Tory councillor expelled after rape remarks

A city councillor has been expelled from the Conservative Party after making offensive remarks about rape at a meeting.

Calls over boy rapist were ignored, says judge

A judge criticised a social department today for ignoring pleas from a child psychiatrist who said an 11-year-old boy needed to be taken into care.

End of an odyssey: Boy sailor returns to harbour

Mike Perham battled 50ft waves and months of loneliness to become the youngest person to sail round the world alone

Portsmouth complete Smith signing

Portsmouth have signed Watford striker Tommy Smith on a four-year contract, for an undisclosed fee.

Scrappage plans see Nissan hire 150 staff

The Japanese car maker Nissan has raised its UK production plans by about 5 per cent and added 150 temporary workers as European scrappage schemes boost demand.

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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 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable