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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk