Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Not a curate’s egg, but an ‘omelette of happiness’

Only our town halls stand in the way of an epidemic of garden castles

If the proposals are pushed through they would allow people to construct extensions and conservatories of up to 8m (26ft) on their homes

Revolt over Government proposals to allow homeowners to build big extensions leads to compromise

Minister promises revised approach to relaxation of planning law after Tory backlash

Zac Goldsmith is one of the Tory MPs on the committee which has criticised the Government's plans

Relaxation of planning policy will guarantee disputes between neighbours, warns Zac Goldsmith

Coalition planning reforms which will be voted on tonight are a “recipe for community disharmony”, a Conservative MP leading a rebellion against the changes warned today.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage in laughing mood after the by-election result in Eastleigh, Hampshire

With Ukip stealing vital Tory votes, Lib Dems reassess 2015 election strategy to target marginal seats

The Liberal Democrats are planning a wholesale reassessment of their 2015 election strategy which will see the party pour resources into about 25 Tory-held marginal seats.

More than 30 studies in three years show adverse effects of neonicotinoid pesticides

More than thirty separate scientific studies in the last three years have shown adverse effects on insects such as bees from neonicotinoids, the controversial nerve-agent pesticides, MPs have been told.

Francis Boulle: Everyone wants to be him

You too can be a winner in the game of Boulle

'Made in Chelsea' star opens up his geek's guide to successful living in SW3 for Matthew Bell

Tory rebels give PM a bloody nose in fight over EU budget

Eurosceptics defy whips and join Labour to defeat Cameron and demand cut in Brussels spending

Jamie Oliver campaigned for better school meals six years ago

Jamie Oliver welcomes school meals move

Campaigner Jamie Oliver has welcomed Parliamentary efforts to highlight concerns about school nutritional standards.

Album: Dawes, Nothing Is Wrong (Loose)

The West Coast revival continues with this splendid second album from Dawes, the Los Angeles combo who were adopted by Robbie Robertson as his backing band for recent promotional performances, presumably because he heard something natural and collective in the way they played together.

Aurum's profits and sales glitter

Aurum Holdings, the company behind the Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb jewellery chains, has posted soaring full-year profits and said the sale of the group for up to £200m "remains on track".

Britart's new wave: Who are the successors to Hirst and Emin?

London's prestigious art-college degree shows are where the gallery stars of the future are often born. Laura McLean-Ferris tours this summer's final exhibitions in search of the next generation

Zac Goldsmith attacks refusal to outlaw wild animals in circuses

The Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith today attacked his own party’s “extraordinary” refusal to outlaw wild animals in circuses.

MPs with nothing to lose vote against their parties

Record numbers of newly elected Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are rebelling – and the Whips are powerless

£200m of quality bling up for sale

The owners of Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths, the jeweller Aurum Holdings, has been put up for sale after a restructuring delivered higher full-year earnings, the company has said. Owned by the failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, Aurum has appointed Cavendish Corporate Finance to handle the sale, with a price tag of about £200m, according to sources.

Goldsmith wins high court orders

Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, his ex-wife Sheherazade and sister Jemima Khan have won High Court orders preventing the disclosure of private information, it emerged today.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore