Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is Political Editor of The Independent on Sunday.

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Lib Dem sources revealed that Francis Maude, left, Eric Pickles, right, and other Tory ministers are trying to end the process of “check off”

Lib Dems fall out with Coalition partners over 'vindictive attack' on trade unions

Francis Maude and Eric Pickles among Tory ministers trying to end subscriptions being paid automatically from Whitehall staff salaries

Tony Blair has written a 3,000-word essay in defence of the 2003 invasion

Tony Blair: Syria conflict is to blame for current Iraq crisis

Tony Blair last night accused critics of the war in Iraq of trying to "wilfully" claim the current crisis in the country is a result of the original invasion.

Unforgiven: Liverpool fans protest in 2012 against the Hillsborough coverage in ‘The Sun’

Ed burnt by day in 'The Sun': Why attacking poor Miliband is misguided

Damned if he did, damned if he didn't. I can imagine what was going through the mind of Ed Miliband when he decided, in consultation with his press team, to pose with a picture of The Sun's World Cup giveaway paper, headlined "This is Our England". To say no would look unpatriotic, churlish and – Heaven forfend – suggest that he wasn't getting behind Roy Hodgson's England team ahead of their nervy first game in Brazil last night. But to say yes would potentially undermine his tough stance against Rupert Murdoch over phone-hacking, not to mention annoy people in Liverpool who have never forgiven The Sun for what it wrote about Hillsborough. The Labour leader was never going to win this one. But I still think he made the right decision to pose with The Sun.

The Tories want to muzzle Oxfam for speaking the simple truth

Poverty and hunger are a blight on modern Britain

Litter and dog-fouling worry British people as much as global warming

Call for 'environmental bank holiday' to focus on local problems

The Fabian Society says campaigners should switch focus from global issues like climate change and address concerns about litter and dog-fouling
David Cameron is angry over the public row between Theresa May and Michael Gove

Michael Gove forced to apologise to Theresa May after feud over Islamic extremism schools row

Jane Merrick reports on the cabinet ministers' bitter fallout over Islamic extremism in schools
Gordon Brown returns to frontline politics to join the Scottish No campaign

Gordon Brown's moral courage

In 2007, shortly before he became prime minister, Gordon Brown wrote a book entitled Courage. It was a collection of eight profiles of 20th-century figures and how they overcame adversity through bravery, but it was also an examination by the author of the very essence of courage.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Prime Minister of Denmark, (left); Jean-Claude Juncker, (centre) and Dalia Grybauskaite, the President of Lithuania (right)

Who will be the next leader of Europe?

With the frontrunner under a cloud, two women are being touted as possible choices for the next president of the Commission
Brave face: The Lib Dem leader will reiterate his party’s case to the public

'Lib Dems are the toughest party in politics': Leader Nick Clegg rouses faithful after election setbacks

The Deputy PM is struggling to sustain morale after dismal results in European and local polls last month
Theresa may speaking at the Police Federation

Cops today, country tomorrow: Theresa May is on the rise

I have two cod theories about politicians which I love trying out. The first is the optical illusion of power, in which people appear taller when in high office. I swear Tony Blair seems much shorter now than he did when prime minister; whereas I once bumped into a newly sacked member of the Shadow Cabinet who looked like he'd lost a few inches (as well as some pride). The second I'll call the ambition/fun ratio inversion, where the duller politicians are over lunch, the more powerful they are or are likely to become. I'm thinking of the gossipy back-bench Tory who never refuses wine, in contrast to the serious rising star who can be perfectly pleasant over the rabbit ragu but somehow keeps an invisible pane of glass between me and him or her. You still have to take them out, but they are hard work (political journalism is a tough life).

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