News

"Extreme" allegations that Royal Bank of Scotland tipped viable businesses into bankruptcy were described as "plausible" because of its "flawed" structure by a former deputy governor of the Bank of England yesterday.

Even Tory MPs think the economy won't get better

Conservative MPs do not share George Osborne's optimism that the economy will pick up in the second half of this year, according to a new survey.

Anthony Hilton's Week: The tax-exile hedgies cowed into seeking a sneaky return

Leona Hemsley, a New York socialite of the 1980s, is today remembered for only one thing. When indicted and subsequently jailed for tax evasion, she was quoted as having said: "Only the little people pay taxes."

Chote defends OBR record

The Treasury failed to inform its own fiscal watchdog in advance about a key plank of the Autumn Statement, according to Robert Chote, the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Chote made to defend OBR's forecasts

Head of Office for Budget Responsibility tells MPs that he was not informed about Chancellor's national infrastructure plan

MPs in cheque guarantee cards call

MPs kept up the pressure for the return of cheque guarantee cards today by suggesting that the Government could consider stepping in with legislation.

Osborne ready to overhaul Bank of England governance

The Chancellor has indicated that he is ready to overhaul governance of the Bank of England ahead of it gaining more powers over financial regulation.

Bank's Governor to face grilling over QE decision

Sir Mervyn King will be called to account before Parliament today for the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to inject £75bn into the British economy at a time when inflation is running more than double the Bank of England's target.

Julian Knight: An accidental gap year could be just what students need

Thousands of students are going to find themselves taking what I call an "accidental gap year"; namely they were set to go to university but there was no place for them this year.

David Prosser: More cheques (and balances) required

Outlook When the Payments Council decided so few people use cheques these days that it could safely announce their abolition in a few years' time, it dropped an enormous clanger. The protests were so noisy that it was forced into aU-turn – and now the Treasury Select Committee wants to see its powers reined in.

MPs criticise banks for attempting to scrap cheques

MPs are battling banks' plans to abolish cheques. A Treasury Select Committee has warned banks not to attempt to abandon cheques by stealth or deter customers from using cheques. It has also recommended that the Payments Council be brought under regulatory control to stop its "unfettered power to decide the future of cheques".

Treasury committee demands overhaul of 'poor value' PFI

An influential committee of MPs launched a stinging attack on the private finance initiative (PFI) yesterday and claimed it offered taxpayers "poor value for money".

MPs set to question role of new City watchdog

Even before it has opened for business the new City regulator is to be investigated by MPs. Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, launched an inquiry into the remit and powers of the Financial Conduct Authority yesterday.

Conservatives fear Chancellor will not meet deficit target

Growing numbers of senior Conservatives are concerned about the ability of the Chancellor to deliver the Coalition's pledge of eliminating Britain's structural deficit by 2015.

Business Diary: Roubini's reports from foreign land

Nouriel Roubini, economics' "Dr Doom", missed out on the chance to pile on the misery following Standard & Poor's' downgrade of the US economy last week, on account of being on holiday.

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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album