Simon Carr

The Independent's parliamentary sketch writer and columnist since 2000, Simon Carr was described by Tony Blair as "the most vicious sketch writer working in Britain today". "Poison," said Charles Clarke. In the 1980s he helped launch The Independent, and was a speech writer for the prime minister of New Zealand from 1992 to 1994. His working principle is "Indignation keeps us young."

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David Cameron acting like a pushy 12-year-old during PMQs

The Sketch: Cameron is omnishambolic – but Miliband is right in the thick of it as well

"It's a bit of a shambles, don't you think?" No sooner were the words out in the press gallery than Ed Miliband – quoting officials quoting The Thick Of It – called it an "omnishambles". It was a fair description of PMQs.

The Sketch: Met chief looks fit for job – unlike some officers

Our masters have their own language to keep them separate from us underpaid vulgarians

Simon Carr: The recess was over – and the Commons returned with a roar

The Sketch: What's this? George Galloway promising to bear true allegiance to her Majesty the Queen?

London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone

So who's telling the truth? City Hall contenders focus fire on trust game

The three main candidates were greeted with cheers, amused booing – and some mooing. Later on the BNP candidate registered his protest at not being on the platform. He had a very Italian accent (is the party at risk of confusing its supporters?).

The Sketch: Boris socks it to his rival, but don't cry for either of them

And Livingstone wept. When filmed watching his campaign commercials – young people saying how they needed a mayor like him – he cried such tears that they had to be knuckled away with both fists. So skilled an operator is he that he can cry out of one eye at a time so it's obviously serious in Camp Livingstone.

The Sketch: Not many laughs in this Budget, apart from pasties

In a series of sharp but civilised exchanges, Andrew Tyrie probed the Chancellor about the security of the Budget detail.

Simon Carr: Disgrace! Ker-ching! Rowdy Labour indignation as 'ashamed Dave' fails to show

Sketch: Cameron had made his shameful statement in the morning and was cowering in a feculent hole counting £50 notes

The Sketch: The big Budget surprise – Ed displays his true talent as a proper bully

Miliband got up and gave a blistering performance, cutting his finest figure yet as the Opposition leader

Prince Philip looks on as the Queen addresses both Houses of Parliament yesterday

The Sketch: The Queen's gentle dusting of humour outshone the Speaker, king of drivel

Vain, pretentious, the Speaker is in a new stage of development... he is a monarch in his own right

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Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam