News

Former staff of a development quango were sent for patchwork, pottery and jewellery-making lessons at taxpayers’ expense, an investigation has found.

Travel challenge: New year celebrations in the French Alps

Every week, we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a festive holiday over New Year's Eve at a French ski resort. Prices are per person, based on two departing together on 26 December for one week. Lift passes and ski equipment hire are not included in the prices quoted.

At least 17 school staff earn more than PM

At least 17 school leaders across England received pay packets worth more than £150,000 last year, a new analysis of figures shows.

At least 17 heads topped £150,000 package

At least 17 school leaders across England received pay packets worth more than £150,000 last year, a new analysis of figures showed today.

'Essex Man' returns to the Tory fold

The Conservatives scored a crucial victory over Labour as "Basildon man" flocked back into the Tory fold, electing Stephen Metcalfe.

Best Buy's man has Britain's electricals giants in his sights

In The Spotlight: Scott Wheway

Best Buy opens first British shop but postpones website launch

Arrival of US electricals superstore chain forces competitor Currys to raise its game

Best Buy to open first UK store in Essex next week

The US electricals giant Best Buy is to open its first UK store a few weeks early for the bank holiday, as it bids to take on rivals Currys and Comet.

BNP official ousted after claims of coup bid against Griffin

Police called in after party leadership becomes concerned about 'threats to chairman's safety'

Watchdog tells 12 NHS flagship hospitals to raise standards

Labour's 'gold-standard' trusts make up more than half of commission's hit list

12 NHS foundation trusts ordered to improve

A dozen of the country's supposed flagship NHS trusts were today told to improve or face action from health care regulators.

Simon Carr: The truth won't get you anywhere in politics

My suspicion is that even fellow travellers take every single little thing sceptically

Rough diamonds: The Smith twins take their fight to Westminster

A couple of cockney head teachers who run special schools in Essex have high expectations if the Tories get into power.

Business Diary: Doug didn't want to join the gang anyway

Does Doug Williams, head of the Centre for Economic and Business Research, feel snubbed? He wasn't asked to sign any of the letters dispatched by groups of economists last week on spending cuts, but wants it known he would have said no if he had been. "The fact that a number of Nobel Prize winners have signed such letters says more about the low quality of people receiving Nobel prizes than the credibility of the letters," Doug adds.

Jeremy Laurance: Transparency alone will not prevent deaths

The NHS is going through a torrid time. The death of baby Ebony Rose McCall-Comley means more bad headlines, only days after the shocking report on conditions at Basildon and Thurrock NHS Trust, the sacking of the chairman of Colchester NHS Trust and the sudden resignation of Baroness Young, chair of the NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission.

NHS watchdog more reliable, says minister

The Government defended the NHS regulator today after a report found a raft of underperforming hospitals and consistently high death rates.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee