Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is Political Editor of The Independent on Sunday.

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George Osborne has gone on the 5:2 diet, fasting for two days a week

MPs on a power trip, girls and the Princess Syndrome, women in politics and a-mazing generations

There's an awful phrase politicians use all the time to describe voters: "ordinary people". As though we citizens of Britain lead bland, dull, unsatisfying lives in our pebble-dashed Keep-the-Aspidistra-Flying homes, our net curtains filtering the incandescence and excitement of Westminster. Occasionally, our ordinariness is punctuated by the extraordinary – a sinkhole in Hemel Hempstead, or an earthquake in Barnstaple; then it's back to bland. It isn't true, of course, because we are all extraordinary. But I suspect that many (though not all) MPs like to repeat the "ordinary people" mantra to differentiate themselves from constituents – they don't like to be called out of touch, but they like to feel it. The power trip is understandable: many thousands of people have chosen this person to represent them.

Despite some politicians fears, it appears there has been no great influx into the UK

No influx of migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria, survey of airlines and coach companies finds

The predicted influx of workers from Romania and Bulgaria following the lifting of immigration restrictions has failed to materialise, a survey of airlines and coach companies has found.

A recent report recommended that the oil and gas industry’s regulator be moved to Aberdeen from London

North Sea oil investment could be at risk if Scotland votes for independence, warns David Cameron ahead of Aberdeen cabinet meeting

PM says investment would be stronger if industry stays British

Brit Awards 2014: Mastercard's 'tweets for tickets' debacle

PR professionals are employed to push for favours in exchange for freebies; it's up to the journalists to say 'no'

It’s the norm to denigrate Gordon Brown. But the former PM doesn’t deserve it

It is as if Westminster has become collectively deaf out of sheer loathing

Flooding and our craze for paving, at home with the Murdochs and politics and pancakes

If your home is flooded, the past few weeks have been nothing but misery. Stinking sewage has pumped its way into sitting rooms. Floodwater has lapped around your sofa and, even when the waters subside, the cost of repair and returning your property into a home again is going to be high. I have nothing but sympathy for the victims of the floods. But, while we bandy around accusations about who is to blame, whether climate change is happening and whether politicians have done enough to help those affected, we need to look at how other countries cope and then take a long, hard look at ourselves.

The majority of the British public do not think that Cameron and his ministers have got a grip on the flooding crisis

Poll shows Opposition's fortunes rise with floodwater levels

Six out of ten voters think the Government has failed to get a grip on the flooding crisis, a poll for The Independent on Sunday reveals today.

David Cameron: hedge fund bosses donated £38m to Tories

Hedge fund chiefs donate £1.3m to Tory party in just 12 weeks

Hedge fund chiefs have donated £1.32m to the Conservative Party in the space of only three months, official figures revealed yesterday.

Free childcare helps mothers of young children to earn again

Mothers priced out of the UK workforce by high childcare costs

The situation puts Britain behind the rest of the industrialised world in helping women with families back into paid work

Emily Maitlis has started a Twitter storm over her interview with Spike Jonze

Emily Maitlis tweets her anger after 'Newsnight' grilling by Hollywood director Spike Jonze

After grudgingly admitting she was 'moved' by his film 'Her', the presenter bites back on social media

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit