Boris needs a hand with the computers on his first day in the job

The first day in a new job is always stressful. But when you are in charge of a £11bn budget covering buses, the Tube, police and fire services for one of the greatest cities in the world, you can be forgiven for having a few first-day nerves.

Inside Lines: Boris may offer Hoey key Olympics role

Boris Johnson will need more than a little help from his friends, among them the one-time Labour sports minister Kate Hoey, to navigate the inevitably stormy waters of the Olympics over the next four years. Hoey confirmed to us last night that she will be advising the Tory London mayor on Olympics and sport "on a non-partisan basis", adding: "The kind of thing I will be doing is what has been missing from the running of London." It is even possible the feisty Hoey may be Boris's nominee on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, which would be ironic for a Government which treated her so shabbily. Johnson will also rely heavily on advice from the able shadow sports minister Hugh Robertson and Richard Ottaway, Tory MP for Croydon South, who is vice-president of the Parliamentary Olympic Group. The government will be concerned that Labour's influence on the Olympic project is dissipated with the exit of Ken Livingstone, but 2012 chief Seb Coe says: "We congratulate Boris and owe much to Ken for his vision but remain strictly neutral on Olympic issues."

Labour launches offensive to stop 'high-risk' Boris becoming Mayor

Labour is portraying Boris Johnson as "high risk" and "a joke" as it launches a last-ditch blitz aimed at preventing him becoming Mayor of London next week.

Pandora: George sings Billy's praises (like Dave)

Billy Bragg has found an unlikely fan in George Osborne. The former left-wing firebrand and the Shadow Chancellor both appeared as guests on Andrew Marr's Sunday AM show last weekend. Once the cameras stopped rolling, the pair exchanged pleasantries about Bragg's song "A New England".

Pandora: Silvio and Tessa's reunion

The return to Italian politics of the billionaire media tycoon, Silvio Berlusconi, provides many banana skins for our Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell. In August, she will appear in place of Gordon Brown at the opening of the Beijing Games. Jowell could find herself in awkward photos beside the Italian premier, who faces corruption charges for allegedly bribing her estranged husband, the corporate lawyer David Mills (Jowell, remember, saved her job by separating from Mills). If convicted, both men could face jail.

Charles Clarke lines up southern 'stalking horses' to challenge Brown's leadership

Former home secretary said to be collecting names of MPs in anticipation of a revolt against the PM if Labour does badly in 1 May local elections

Labour asks for Lib Dem help to beat Johnson

Labour is trying to forge an informal "Lib-Lab pact" to head off the prospect of a victory by the Tory candidate Boris Johnson over Ken Livingstone in the election for London mayor.

Philip Hensher: Banning Boris-ing is a waste of time

Large numbers of folk tales, not just Rumpelstiltskin, attest to the primitive power invested in a man's name. There is a terrific power and intimacy involved in the act of naming. Not so very long ago, it was quite a rare thing for most people to use forenames routinely. Respectable old ladies could know each other for years without venturing onto first-name terms; both my grandmothers would have died rather than call their best friends anything other than "Mrs Jones" or "Mrs Smith".

Premiership set to ban players from England

The great stand-off: Clubs refuse to play ball with All Black game

Anti-sleaze watchdogs face axe in shake-up

Anti-sleaze watchdogs who have criticised Tony Blair or caused trouble for the Government face abolition under plans being considered in Whitehall.

Cover Stories: BookExpoAmerica; Arianna Huffington and others

BookExpoAmerica, in Washington this week, is bigger by far than its London counterpart and really does feel like a fair. Just watching booksellers filling carts with proofs and waiting in line for a signed copy (sometimes with an eye solely on ebay) is a sight to behold. Both fairs are owned by Reed Exhibitions and, fresh from his victory in London over Frankfurt, its director Alistair Burtenshaw was taking larger US bookings for Earls Court next spring. Politicians were signing copies of manifestos: among them Gary Hart, one of many presidential candidates undone by an inability to keep his trousers done up. Edward Kennedy had a kids' book on the workings of Washington. And Illinois senator Barack Obama (above), tipped as a future Democratic contender, has written about race, hope and inheritance in the US.

Greg Dyke on Broadcasting

There must be a better way to run the Corporation than this

Matthew Norman's Media Diary

Here's a great idea for a board game

Cabinet at war over smoking ban

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Panama
Languedoc Roussillon
Marrakesh & the Atlas Mountains
Bruges
The Jura Mountains
Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian Coast
Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week