John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at King's College, London, and at Queen Mary University of London. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.

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William Hague with his former special adviser, Christopher Myers

Who needs special advisers? We all do

The main problem is that the job has become a conveyor belt to selection as an MP

The Top Ten: Words In Christmas Carols That Ought To Be Revived

A special edition of one of our favourite internet memes

Prime Minister’s Questions: The next election campaign condensed in 10 minutes

The last session of the year was a summary in advance of the next five months

Daily catch-up: roundabouts, swings and a red button that must not be pressed

A guide to your travels around the internet today

Daily catch-up: a long time ago, a galaxy far, far away, and Tolkien’s distant world

Also, railway stations from a different lost world of the past

Ed Miliband has begun to believe he could be prime minster next May

The spirit of the Thirties lends Ed Miliband a withered hand

Labour's fragile lead teeters on one, toxic word, and that may not be enough to put the party into power

The Top Ten: Worst autobiography titles

This list was suggested by this magazine's editor, Mike Higgins, when he saw that Rio Ferdinand's memoir was called '#2Sides'. Ben Stanley nominated 'Auto Da Fay', by Fay Weldon, while Michael Crick nominated 'It's About A Ball', by Alan Ball, but those are both superb.

Boris Johnson has released a biography of Winston Churchill

Christmas 2014: Best books on politics

Boris Johnson can write, we know that, but his history is shaky and the text is ruined by ridiculous 'Churchill Factor' ratings out of 10, which make it read like a Cosmopolitan feature

Daily catch-up: Ed Miliband, ‘sort of clear’ about the public finances’ sea of red ink

And another lovely picture of how London used to be

Daily catch-up: Boris gets his keys jammed as the myth of NHS privatisation gets ridiculous

Plus a soothing distraction from the weather bomb and a quiz about Christianity

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Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there