Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is Political Editor of The Independent on Sunday.

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Ed Miliband meets the troops in Camp Bastion in Afghanistan

Labour promises anti-abuse law for armed forces

Verbally abusing or discriminating against members of the Armed Forces will be made illegal in the first year of a Labour government, Ed Miliband pledged yesterday as he visited British troops in Afghanistan.

Drunken offenders will be offered cautions in exchange for staying sober

Labour pours cold water on plan to curb drinkers

Pilot scheme for drunken offenders branded 'pathetic' after only six people manage to complete the programme by staying off alcohol for four weeks

Not just the states: Anti-Putin protesters in Vilnius, Lithuania last week

Scotch broth becomes more savoury as Yes campaign grows

The power of positivity is its most potent weapon. Alex Salmond paints a picture of a bright future

Willot also called for headhunting companies to provide details of how many women they place on shortlists for City jobs

Jenny Willott: 'Free childcare from 12 months should be our aim... and Lord Rennard is a nice guy'

Jane Merrick talks to the minister for women and employment

A sugar tax won’t lead to a sweet sigh of relief on obesity

Food taxes place too much of the blame on the consumer

Endorsed: Ed Miliband at the party conference yesterday

Ed Miliband gains backing from Lord Owen as Labour approves reforms

Once a fierce critic of the party he walked out on in 1981, David Owen senses that changes in Labour’s relationship with the unions may now suit his political direction

Missing out: The new childcare scheme approved by George Osborne (above) has a loophole that penalises poorer families

Poorest families to miss out on £1,000 a year for help with childcare under voucher system

Government’s flagship proposal risks short-changing the very people it is intended to support

Ishak Ayiris will start at Eton in September

Privilege in education, all funds lead to London, trial trailers the loaded question of children

‘Isn’t it down to the Government to have sharper elbows on behalf of all children across the state school system?’

Sex education is key if the teenage pregnancy rate is to continue to fall

Whoever you credit for this welcome news, one policy remains vital

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

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?