Cost of Olympic stadium doubles

The cost of major venues at London's 2012 Olympic Games has risen dramatically over the past six months and the main stadium will be double its original burden on the taxpayer, the Government admitted yesterday.

Accused Mills awaits his verdict

Minister's estranged husband denies taking bribe from Italian Prime Minister

Recession is deep, minister admits

Britain has entered a recession that could be "deeper than any that we have known", a senior minister warned in the gloomiest government assessment of the economic turmoil ahead.

Blow to Boris as Ross quits Olympic role

Ex-Carphone boss is Mayor's fourth appointee to resign in eight months

The Sketch: A gold medal for running away from the question

A lot of us wonder what happened to Chris Langham, the funniest character in the funniest sitcom, The Thick Of It. There were personal troubles, if you remember, a little time spent in the nick. And he is repaying his debt to society by heading up the Olympic Delivery Authority. I'm sure it's him. The same long, disappointed face and plausible voice. He's adopted the stage name of John Armitt but he can't fool me.

David Ross quits as Boris's aide

The Carphone Warehouse businessman embroiled in a share-selling scandal resigned today as Olympics adviser to the Mayor of London.

Inside Lines: We'll need the bread with all these circuses coming to town

Tessa Jowell's contention that London would not have bid for the 2012 Games had the Government known then what they know now about the financial climate has been dissed by Richard Caborn, who was sports minister at the time. He said: "If you are judging by circumstances at any point then you'd never bid for anything." Caborn seems to suggest that while many sports face a winter of discontent, the bread and circuses syndrome is one reason why the nation will stage and continue to bid for numerous world events in the coming decade. Some, of course, such as the Commonwealth Games and the Twenty20 World Cup, are already secured, but bids for the football and rugby league World Cups will go ahead, he assured sports VIPs at the launch of Weber Shandwick Sport last week: "The benefits are way beyond just a straight balance sheet." Fine. Just as long as there is still enough bread in the bin for the circuses.

Gethsemane, NT Cottesloe, London

David Hare is on strong form with his latest state-of-the-nation play, but the story threads don't all tie up

Olympic work 'offers economic gold'

More than 800 companies have won £3.5bn of work in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics, new figures reveal today.

Political meddling fails to oust Moynihan

Covert attempts by the Government to unseat Lord Colin Moynihan as chairman of the British Olympic Association have failed, with the former Conservative sports minister set to be returned unopposed at the association's annual meeting on 21 October.

Developer of 2012 Olympic village condemned

The Australian construction company charged with building the Olympic Village for London 2012 has announced a 47 per cent fall in annual profits just days after walking away from a major project to redevelop the centre of Stockport.

Opening ceremony's fireworks spectacular

China has spent £22bn on hosting the Olympic Games – three times more than Athens in 2004 – and when the opening ceremony is staged here tonight no expense will be spared. Details of the event remain secret, but it will feature 15,000 performers and 29,000 firework shells.

Berlusconi's bid to have trial halted would help David Mills

Silvio Berlusconi's post-election honeymoon has come to an explosive end, with the Italian Prime Minister seeking to have the judge in his corruption trial removed, and his allies slipping in a last-minute amendment to an emergency security law which would, in effect, freeze legal proceedings against him.

Mark Steel: Has the real Gordon been replaced by a robot?

Oh no. It's got to the point where you start pitying him. Poor Gordon Brown comes on television for a press conference and you feel he's about to say, "Um, right. Er oh this is harder than it looks. I'm a bit nervous." Then his colleagues, just out of shot whisper, "Go on Gordon, you can do it – go on Gordon, read from your notes, uh-oh he's wet himself." And Tessa Jowell has to go and get a mop.

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