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

In the end, I was still her mother

When Claire Hart was murdered, her natural mother hadn't seen her for eight years. The case raises questions about the rights of natural parents, however unfit

'The pervasive control mechanism diminishes MPs' self-confidence'

Andrew Mackinlay, the Labour MP for Thurrock, explains why he challenged Tony Blair to let his own MPs speak their minds

Labour MPs revolt against the party line

LABOUR fear and loathing of the Government machine broke out yesterday after the whips went too far in the drive to control MPs.

Blair chided by Labour MP

THE choreography of the Commons, with Labour MPs tamely dancing to the tune of ministers and whips, was attacked by a brave government backbencher last night.

Sketch: Questionable tactics of the Labour whips

ANDREW MACKINLAY (Labour, Independent, Thurrock) should be canonised, knighted, awarded a Nobel Prize, given free tickets to every World Cup match and granted the freedom of the Palace of Westminster.

Body named as mother of abandoned boy

POLICE confirmed yesterday that a body found in the River Thames at Rainham, Essex, last Friday was that of a woman who disappeared last month.

Civil servants block pardons for First World War deserters

MINISTRY of Defence officials are locked in battle with ministers over demands for pardons to be issued to more than 300 soldiers who were shot for desertion and cowardice in the First World War.

Revelations: Phill Jupitus: The jacket fitted. Now I was James Dean

The time: Autumn 1993

pounds 7.5m heroin found in van

DRUGS investigators believe they have broken a smuggling ring worth millions of pounds.

Property: `Private, keep out' may be good advice

Having your own road may appeal, but it may also be a big headache, says Fiona Brandhorst.

Fears for mother after baby is found abandoned beside riverbank

POLICE believe the mother of a baby found abandoned at a riverside yacht club may have drowned after swimming in the unseasonally warm water.

Motoring: Car retailers go into superdrive

Shopping isn't what it used to be. Instead of popping down the local high street to see the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, we simply do a one-stop shop at Tesco. The used car business would rather like it if we did the same. Pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap. James Ruppert finds out if theory matches reality.

Investment Column: CSC thrives in out-of town sites

Shoppers may not be flocking to the high street but results from Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) suggest they are heading for out-of-town shopping centres in droves.

Food: First catch your anchovies

Annie Bell will go to any lengths for a Swedish-style Sunday supper. Photograph by Patrice de Villiers
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral