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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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon launches the Scottish National Party manifesto at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena

General Election 2015: If Nicola Sturgeon is such a threat, how is it she’s so popular?

For all the fury of Tory newspapers fearing the election of an administration that would not pay homage to their editors and owners, parliamentary arithmetic is set to prevail

Nicola Sturgeon is reported to have said she’d rather see “David Cameron remain as PM” (Getty)

A leader not even standing will determine the election’s outcome

Ed Miliband’s response to the rise of the SNP and Sturgeon’s prominence requires subtlety rather than a sledgehammer

The leaders' debate

TV leaders' debates: No knockout punches but a good night for balance in politics

In some respects the crowded stage stands as a rebuke to both Cameron and Miliband

9.4 million people watched the first of the three-way debates at the last election. The audience for the one on Thursday is likely to be far lower.

David Cameron needs to learn some new tricks – and fast

Everything is different about this election – apart from the message the Tories  are sending out

Labour leader Ed Miliband is interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on the Sky News/Channel 4 programme: Cameron & Miliband Live: The Battle for Number 10

TV debates: If Miliband can see off Paxman, maybe he can do the same to Cameron

Watching Thursday night’s performances, Steve Richards was struck by the Labour leader’s sense of liberation

Nervous of interviews, Miliband has staked everything on the television debates

The lack of one-on-one debates and rise of the SNP should be causing the party serious pain, but the weakness of the Tories is helping maintain a balance

Chancellor George Osborne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and their treasury team leave 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver the annual Budget statement

Budget 2015: Behold the death of Austerity Osborne – and the birth of Generosity George

However, Osborne’s ‘reforms’ will not be adequate to meet the rising demands from a growing population

Ed Miliband (left) and Nicola Sturgeon (right)

All this talk of deals and non-deals by our political leaders really does signify nothing

The problem is that leaders need to convey one message before the election and another one after, although not because they're duplicitous

Why Osborne’s assault on the state matters a lot more than the TV debates

Now the Chancellor has published his spending plans for all of us to view, there is no confusion or ambiguity

Security never drives our leaders, it just soaks up their time

May defended scrapping orders while arguing she had brought them back. Quite a contortion

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Day In a Page

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Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
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So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
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The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
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Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
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Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
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Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders