News New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

Holidaymakers braced for Jamaica hurricane

British holidaymakers on Jamaica were braced for the arrival of Tropical Storm Sandy which is expected to reach hurricane force when it reaches the Caribbean island later today.

Get me out of here: Edinburgh, Saint Lucia, South Africa

Now... Edinburgh by train gets one-third cheaper when you book East Coast advance fares through the capital's official website, Winterinedinburgh.com before 2 Nov. It covers travel from London King's Cross (from £23 return), York and Newcastle from 12 Nov to 20 Dec and again from 3-11 Jan.

Tories out to banish memory of Mensch

Our diarist on the pickle in which Mensch's departure has left the Corby Tories, why jokes fall flat in Westminster, and a novel case of parliamentary expenses

James Moore: Branson looking set for a double delight on the railways and at the bank

Outlook: It's consumers who are going to feel the migraine on the West Coast Main Line
Patrick McLoughlin confirmed The Independent’s report about department staff cuts

Long-term West Coast deal may not be settled until 2016

Virgin asked to keep running line until new contest can be held after franchise fiasco

From cuts to crash? The story of the West Coast rail fiasco

Rail operator Virgin has been asked to continue running the troubled West Coast Main Line for another few months. Here's how the story unfolded.

Felix Baumgartner; the Red Bull Air Race; Red Bull's wingsuit flyers

Sponsorship: The colour of money

As Red Bull prepares to send a man into the stratosphere, Simon Usborne examines its extreme-sports business plan

Kate Mingay: The civil servant is one of three DfT employees suspended over the West Coast rail fiasco

Transport official suspended over rail fiasco is ex-Goldman banker

Kate Mingay ran team responsible for finance model in bidding process for West Coast line

Margaret Hodge: Public Accounts Committee chairman says the controls are not strict enough

Margaret Hodge demands civil service changes amid West Coast main line rail fiasco

A senior MP today demanded sweeping changes to the civil service amid the West Coast main line rail fiasco.

Editorial: A fiasco, but there is light at the end of the tunnel

The debacle over the West Coast Main Line raises questions of accountability in Whitehall

FirstGroup sure on West Coast

FirstGroup is preparing to take over the West Coast rail franchise on 9 December, dismissing Virgin Trains' hopes of retaining its grip on the lucrative line, the transport group insisted yesterday.

JK Rowling will not abandon home planet

Not only is IV's favourite taxpayer loyal to her country, she's also loyal to Earth.

JK Rowling turned down £2 million trip to space

JK Rowling has claimed that she created a cosmic vacancy when she turned down a trip on a spaceship.

Jeremy Hunt and privatisation are no recipe for saving the NHS - but try telling the Blairites that

The appointment of the new Secretary of State for Health should be a warning for all; we must learn from our former mistakes before privatising our national institution.

Virgin Trains to mount last-ditch legal challenge over West Coast main line

Virgin Trains is to mount a last-ditch legal challenge to try to hold on to its lucrative West Coast main line franchise.

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Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
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peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
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booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
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Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
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Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
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Independent Travel
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Prices correct as of 21 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital