Simon Carr: Ebdon won his elite place though he failed the exam

Sketch: If independent schools are 55 times more likely to get their pupils into Oxbridge - what happens if all schools are made independent?
The new head of Offa, Les Ebdon, will have to ensure higher fees do not deter poor students from going to university

Tory attempts to block universities tsar 'disgraceful', say critics

The man in line to become become the new university access watchdog has been treated "disgracefully" by Tory MPs, colleagues said yesterday.

Hester: Decided to forgo bonus

Cable plans 30 per cent pay cuts for failing private sector bosses

Executives at Britain's biggest PLCs could lose up to 30 per cent of basic pay for not doing their jobs properly under unprecedented government plans to crackdown on City fat cats.

Professor Les Ebdon, vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire University

Tories veto Cable's choice for university watchdog

MPs' committee divided over selection of opponent of fees regime

Simon Carr: It's transparent – the pay divide will not be bridged

Sketch: And what of Vince's plan to rein in executive pay? Transparency, exhortation and workers on the remuneration committees

Leading article: Ethical capitalism must start with shareholders

The Prime Minister will achieve little by appealing to executives themselves

Leading article: Just talking about 'fat cat' pay is not enough

Fairness is said to be at the heart of the Coalition's economic recovery strategy. So it is only fair to acknowledge that David Cameron put his finger on the right issue when he proclaimed yesterday that things are unfair at the top. The growing disparity between the top 10 per cent and those at the bottom of British society makes a mockery of Chancellor George Osborne's suggestions that "we are all in this together".

Simon Carr: Our money will be safe by the next parliament – a sort of Neverland for MPs

Sketch: Vince had a look of morose satisfaction, but with George championing it and Balls opposing it, it was no Lib Dem victory

Leading article: In bank reform, 'in full' must mean exactly that

There was as much politics as economics and finance about the Business Secretary's pre-announcement yesterday that the Government is to implement the recommendations of the Vickers commission on banking in their entirety. In the aftermath of the Prime Minister's refusal to sign up to European Union reforms of the eurozone, Liberal Democrat ministers, from Nick Clegg downwards, have had an uphill struggle to claim they still have a voice in the Coalition. Add the details, revealed in this newspaper last week, of the banks' intensive lobbying of the Treasury in the run-up to today's official verdict, and some of the thinking behind what the Business Secretary said yesterday becomes clear.

Petrobras president Jose Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo

Outrage at UK's $1bn loan deal with Brazil oil giant

Ministers have reneged on coalition promise to champion British firms investing in clean energy, say Greenpeace and WWF

The Business Secretary, Vince Cable

No. 10 changes its tone over lobbyists

Policy influenced 'where we think they have legitimate concerns'

Lord Bell, the beleaguered chairman of Chime Communications, parent company of Bell Pottinger, is pictured last night outside the lobbying company's Mayfair offices

Revelations: How lobbyists' tentacles spread throughout the Government

Senior executives at Bell Pottinger claimed they could arrange meetings with the Business Secretary's special adviser on behalf of a client.

Cable's review to tackle 'cross-pollination' of boardroom pay

If employees sat on the committees that set bosses' pay, we might see a diminution in their remuneration packages, suggests Richard Northedge

The Lib Dem leader will face pressure from his party's grassroots after agreeing to further cuts

Clegg's backing for extra cuts provokes Lib Dem outrage

Nick Clegg is facing a Liberal Democrat rebellion after endorsing another two years of public spending cuts following the next general election.

Bankers can't 'point a gun' at economy, says Clegg

Nick Clegg warned bankers they would never again be able to "point a gun" at the British economy, as he fuelled a dispute inside the Coalition Government over bank reform.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
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Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
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George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links