Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is Political Editor of The Independent on Sunday.

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The London Marathon is this weekend

Westminster's own marathon: Sacrificing high ideals for low politics

Among the 35,000 runners in today's London Marathon are 10 MPs – six Labour and four Conservative (I don't know why there aren't any Lib Dems, but I guess you can't run in sandals, ho ho). This is the largest contingent from Parliament ever to run in the world's greatest 26.2-mile endurance race, and between them they will raise thousands of pounds for charity. Rivalries across the Commons have been suspended, with sponsorship from Labour to Tory and vice versa, including donations from George Osborne to Ed Balls and Sadiq Khan. Khan, a first-time runner in the marathon who has already raised more than £15,000 for the Evening Standard's Dispossessed Fund, tells me that, after one of the worst weeks for MPs, the cross-party support and hard work for charity shows that Westminster's politicians are not all "greedy money-grabbers".

The Department for Transport has cut funding for the Access for All programme

Funding cuts hit station access for disabled travellers

The legacy of London's Paralympic Games is in question as £18m is withheld from scheme to make more rail travel accessible

Tesco’s nut-warning labelling madness

The supermarket has gone too far by slapping a blanket 'May contain nuts' on nearly everything

What happened to Cameron’s pledge to increase the number of women in Cabinet? Replacing Maria Miller with Sajid Javid doesn’t exactly help

The Prime Minister has had plenty of time to rectify this imbalance – and he has failed

Michael Dugher, who is heading Labour’s election campaign

Labour would fast-track working-class and ethnic minority applicants to top of civil service

Higher diversity targets will be set in the party's manifesto

Two-thirds of rescued children go missing once they are back in care homes

Trafficked victims need guardians, say campaigners

Charities and peers are demanding more protection for children who are snatched from care homes

Tessa Jowell has labelled the Sure Start scheme a 'national treasure'

A Sure Start in life is essential

The first few weeks of new motherhood can be an isolating experience. Mother and baby get a knock on the door from the health visitor very early on, but these visits tail off. There are coffee mornings and breastfeeding clubs but, a lot of the time, it's just you and your baby, who seems to know more than you do about this messy business of parenthood, crying out of frustration because you keep getting it wrong.

The Conservative manifesto could include pledges to cap the number of wind farms

Britain's unpredictable weather defines the national character. It also means that onshore wind farms don't make sense

Those of us who care about the environment should give up on turbines

David Cameron knows that help with childcare costs will put a million women in the workforce
Heat Reservoir: Bewl Water at Lamberhurst, Kent, could provide a site for heat pumps

Exclusive: Renewable energy from rivers and lakes could replace gas in homes

A revolutionary system using water-sourced heat pumps is being tested on a new development

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