Steve Richards

Established as one of the most influential political commentators in the country, Steve Richards became The Independent’s chief political commentator in 2000 having been political editor of the New Statesman. He presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.

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Jack Straw meets journalists as he arrives at Millbank Studios to carry out interviews over the cash for access scandal

There's a cure for the lobbying problem reignited by Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind sting, but you won't want to hear it

The talent pool for the big jobs in government is narrow enough as it is

Yes we can: David Axelrod, centre, tries out his campaign slogans on Ed Miliband and Tristram Hunt

Believer: My Forty Years in Politics by David Axelrod, book review: Miliband's great hope

David Axelrod's memoir reveals how he engineered Obama's election wins. His attempt to do the same for the Labour leader is proving more of a challenge, says Steve Richards
Ed Miliband has a moderate, expedient approach to the deficit, but evidently he is not enthused

Only when Ed Miliband is shaking things up is he at ease with leadership

Ed Miliband’s authentic public voice is that of the insurgent

Vallehermoso and Roque Cano

La Gomera, Canary Islands: Whistle while you walk

Communication once took an unusual form on little La Gomera. Today, paths make things easier, says Steve Richards

David Cameron and Ed Miliband attend the Queen's Speech on 4 June 2014

Where are the leaders who cast a spell? Neither Cameron nor Miliband have that quality

If you’re not strong, at least appear to be strong

When asked about reform in general, David Cameron insists that he is about “giving power away from the centre to the users of public services” (PA)

Reform is the watchword, right across the political spectrum. But what does it mean?

From Education to the NHS, the debate is framed in terms that are far too simplistic

Supporters of the radical left-wing party Syriza celebrate in Athens after its convincing election victory (PA)

Where does power lie? The question that ties us to Athens

The election in Greece was about power, where it lies and who wields it, voters refused to accept that control lay with the European Central Bank and Angela Merkel alone

Supporters of New Democracy wave Greek flags during Antonis Samaras pre-election speech.

Greece elections: Where does power lie? This is the question that ties the UK to Athens

Many voters have been motivated by a sense of powerlessness in both countries

John Major on his soapbox in 1992. Such an approach still counts

Do not adjust your TV. This election will be decided on the doorstep

There will be no uniform national swing but a hundred different local swings

Neil Kinnock welcomed Ed Miliband as Labour leader

Don’t mistake Ed Miliband for Neil Kinnock — he is in a far better place

The Tories are failing to win the battle of ideas, while the tide is moving increasingly in Miliband's favour

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Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?