Economic prospects look up Down Under

Australia beats recession to be best performing country in advanced world

Lord Blaker: Conservative minister who was wary of the Soviet Union and opposed nuclear disarmament

Peter Blaker was a highly intelligent lawyer and former diplomat who never quite achieved the eminence in government for which his abilities seemed to fit him. He was perhaps unfortunate in the timing of his entry into politics. The Conservative defeat in 1964 was the start of a decade and a half of Labour government, broken only by Edward Heath's tenure, beginning in 1970, of three years eight months. Blaker achieved junior office under Heath but had to wait until the Conservatives returned to power to continue his ministerial career.

The book, the thief, his wife and his lover

Fraudster Bernie Madoff's mistress's memoir races up the bestseller list

Labour's £34m fundraising puts Tories in the shade

Conservatives are biggest spenders as Brown's party uses cash to pay off debts

Action à la cart: What does growing veg in a trailer have to do with saving the coastline?

Two National Trust workers on an ecological roll explain all to Emma Townshend

Balls sacks governors over £1.6m bonus payments

The entire governing body of a comprehensive school was sacked yesterday by Children's Secretary Ed Balls following a row over bonus payments to its head and senior staff.

Tory donor to 'lend' vote to another party

A major Tory donor has said he will "lend" his vote to another party at tomorrow's European elections.

Grim signal to wealth creators from tax hike

Entrepreneurs predict that investors will be scared away from Britain by the Chancellor's failure to encourage them. Margareta Pagano reports

John Bamborough: Creator of Linacre College, Oxford

John Bamborough had the rare distinction of creating a new Oxford College. A formidable figure in the University in the 1960s, he was influential in improving the University's provision for graduate students and graduate studies, and he was appointed the first Principal of Linacre House (later Linacre College) in 1962. It was the first of three new interdisciplinary colleges designed to cater for the University's growing number of graduates, and it became a model of an international and egalitarian community very different from many of the ancient colleges.

Tories face £5m black hole after launch of inquiry into Ashcroft

Company’s donations may have breached electoral law

Spencer looks to expand Icap’s corporate broking business

Michael Spencer, the chief executive of Icap who last week stepped down as chairman of Numis and sold his 12 per cent stake in the stockbroker for £16m, is looking to expand his own equity broking operations.

City tycoon in surprise exit from broker Numis

Spencer raises £16m from sale of stake he had pledged against loans

Report could hinder Marland's ECB bid

Lord Marland of Odstock may find the past coming back to haunt him in his campaign to lead English cricket into a brave new world. Upon entering the hustings yesterday to try to unseat Giles Clarke, the present chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Lord Marland claimed the current regime had systematic problems.

Mavinwood is looking for more than £30m in sale of drains fixer Ansa

Mavinwood, the AIM-listed support services group backed by former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft, is pondering the sale of drains fixer Ansa.

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