News New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police

Deal raises fears of 'creeping privatisation' of the police

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has offered to run the line for free to allow Parliament time to debate the issue

Virgin plans legal fight for West Coast train line

Richard Branson’s lawyers want a judicial review after contract awarded to FirstGroup

Sir Richard Branson offers to temporarily run the West Coast Main Line for free

Sir Richard Branson today offered to run the West Coast Main Line for free to allow Parliament time to scrutinise an "outrageous" decision to award the franchise to rival FirstGroup.

Virgin Trains won the West Coast franchise in 1997 but FirstGroup’s £5.5bn bid is more than double Virgin’s existing payment

Celebrities including Lord Sugar and Jamie Oliver back u-turn on Virgin Trains decision

Celebrities are backing a campaign to force a U-turn on the Government's decision to strip Virgin Trains of its West Coast main line franchise.

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin wants all 12 slots out of Heathrow that BA was forced to give up when it took over BMI

Branson reaches for the sky as he bounces back from rail snub

Virgin boss to end British Airways' monopoly with new short-haul service

One man went to Mo: Sir Richard Branson was quick off the mark

Paul Vallely: Euston, we have a problem

There are only two ways to make more money from the railways - increase fares or cut staff

Lucy Tobin: It looks like the end of the line for Virgin Trains

Bob Crow described the franchise as a 'one-way ticket to the bank' for Sir Richard

What the Sunday papers said...

The Independent on Sunday: Government explores reforms of visa regime

Branson squares up to Walsh in European battle

Virgin Atlantic poised to appeal the EU decision to allow IAG's purchase of Bmi to pass so easily

Lloyds investors count the cost of cut-price Co-Op deal

Shareholders in the Lloyds Banking Group took a further blow yesterday when the company offloaded 632 of its branches to the Co-op – for £1.25bn less than it once hoped.

Dance to Brussels tune for Universal

Universal Music is set to submit a raft of concessions to the European Commission today as the world's biggest record label strives to win permission for its £1.2bn takeover of EMI.

Northern Rock was sold to Virgin Money, owned by Richard Branson, last year. The sale was controversial: by injecting a subsidiary into the bank, Virgin was able to realise millions of pounds. Effectively, it part paid for Northern Rock with cash it was able to take out of the bank

Sir Richard Branson eyes Virgin Records deal

Sir Richard Branson is considering buying back Virgin Records more than 40 years after founding the business that spawned his empire.

Transport Salaried Staffs Association rail union calls off strike ballot

A union has called off a ballot which could have led to strikes by railway workers during the Olympics after a Government plea for the Games not to be disrupted by industrial action.

Branson confirms he'll be aboard first Virgin space flight

With typical flair, Sir Richard Branson today announced that he and his children will be the first passengers when the Virgin Galactic space tourism programme begins.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
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Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

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Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

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Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone