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 opens first British shop but postpones website launch

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

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

In The Spotlight: Scott Wheway

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
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
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
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing