Oliver Wright

Oliver Wright is Whitehall Editor of The Independent.

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Ukip leader Nigel Farage campaigns in Rochester on the day of the by-election

Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat

Turnout of 50 per cent returns Reckless - but this time for Farage's party

Dominic Cummings, pictured here with Michael Gove has said most MPs are completely unsuited to becoming ministers

Most MPs make poor ministers, says Michael Gove's former adviser Dominic Cummings

Mr Cummings painted an unflattering picture of the Government machine

Ukip candidate Mark Reckless talks to reporters in Hoo, near Rochester

Rochester by-election: Battle of Medway turns into a war of words as Ukip brands Tories 'BNP-lite'

Tories branded ‘BNP-lite’ as migration defines Rochester by-election build-up

Mark Reckless warns long-term EU migrants 'could be told to leave Britain' if Ukip gets into government

Rochester by-election: Mark Reckless warns that long-term EU migrants 'could be told to leave Britain' if Ukip gets into government

Former Tory MP said some EU migrants would only be allowed to stay for a transitional period

Charm offensive or offensive charm? John Hayes, transport minister, spent just 1 hour and 17 minutes in Rochester

Rochester by-election: Boris nowhere to be seen as Tories appear briefly to fight Ukip

London Mayor told to stay away as constituency was to be home to his airport, but many Tories make a flying visit

Professor George Watson

Top Cambridge don leaves £1m legacy to Lib Dems

Former colleague of C S Lewis gave the party its biggest donation for nearly a decade

Britain First is using the image on hats, hoodies, T-shirts and poll leaflets

Police launch copyright inquiry into Britain First for using the Queen’s crown without permission

BNP offshoot is using the image on hats, hoodies and poll leaflets

Cameron would be prepared for 'new cold war' with Russia if Putin continues on 'current path' with Ukraine

Prime Minister says solution is not one Britain seeks, but he will continue to up pressure on Putin

A pioneering plan to save the health service £1 billion a year by keeping patients out of hospital has been branded a 'shambles' after the Government’s spending watchdog found at best it would save less than a third of the amount projected at best

NHS facing £700m black hole over failing Better Care Fund

National Audit Office claims plans based on “optimism rather than evidence”

Labour has hired a self-employed betting expert to be its general election data guru

Labour hires the ‘British Nate Silver’ as election data guru

Ian Warren correctly predicted the results of the 2008 and 2012 US elections

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Day In a Page

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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick