Cameron under pressure over treasurer

Tory leader David Cameron is facing calls to condemn his party's treasurer, Michael Spencer, after he used shares in Numis, a stockbroking firm he chairs, as security against a loan without informing the firm.

Tory treasurer pledged Numis shares against loans

Spencer reveals loan deal that should have been disclosed to market

Paedophile had 200,000 sex pictures

A paedophile who amassed more than 200,000 computer images and thousands of videos of children being sexually abused was sent to jail indefinitely yesterday.

Maurice Stonefrost: GLC's last Director General who outwitted the Tory government

Maurice Stonefrost was Britain's leading practitioner of local government finance and the last Director General of the Greater London Council. He was a pioneer in seeking to enhance the role and qualifications of accountants, ensuring that their education and training fitted them to act as financial managers and not just technical bookkeepers.

Third man guilty of biker murder

A third member of a motorcycle gang was found guilty today of the murder of a Hell's Angel.

Eastbourne to provide playground for the elderly

A seaside town with a reputation as a retirement haven could become the next area in Britain to provide older residents with an outdoor playground, it was revealed today.

Spowart to 'put up or shut up' on mystery bid for HBOS

Jim Spowart, the founder of Intelligent Finance who is fronting a mystery bid for HBOS, has said he will put up or shut up on any offer this week.

Stricken councils advised by Tory treasurer's firm

The local authorities facing the largest losses from the collapse of the Icelandic banks were all advised by the same company. Kent, Norfolk, Dorset and Hertfordshire county councils and Nottingham City Council and the borough of Barnet all paid for the services of Butlers, which is owned by the treasurer of the Tory party, Michael Spencer, who has a fortune of £1bn.

Leading article: Local authorities cannot duck their responsibilities

Icelandic insolvencies pose serious questions about council priorities

Being a school bursar isn't just about money - it's a serious management role

'You have to be a bit of a juggler'

Betty Wainwright: Wife and muse of A. Wainwright

Alfred Wainwright dreamed about Betty, long before he ever met her, and long before he became the Blessed Wainwright, sage of Kendal and writer of the best-selling, best-loved guides to the Lake District fells.

Struggle for survival in Labour heartland

A deprived and neglected part of Glasgow, where a man who lives to be 55 can consider himself lucky, has suddenly found the outside world is very interested in what its people think, because it is the scene of a by-election which, some think, could deliver the final, fatal blow to Gordon Brown's premiership.

Hutton leads Cabinet calls for immediate pledge to freeze duty

Senior members of the Cabinet have warned Alistair Darling that he must make an immediate pledge to freeze fuel duty to respond to public concern about spiralling petrol prices, The Independent has been told.

Advertising guru steps in to help D-Day heroes return to Normandy

The frenetic and fashionable world of advertising may seem far removed from the struggles of the elderly veterans of D-Day – but one of Britain's most successful media and marketing gurus has brought them a step closer together.

Gloucester 8, Bath 6 : Simpson-Daniel's score seals top spot

Back's brief spurt of speed settles a West Country slug-fest and pulls the plug on Bath's hopes of a Rec semi-final
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick