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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2013 - the year in review: The battle for the 2015 election started two years early

This year's big political changes will shape the next eighteen months

The Royal family fulfils a need for events that bind us as a community

We love Christmas for the same reason we love the royal family. They give modern Britain a rare sense of community

For a few days we are all in this together and that’s what matters, even if our upbeat behaviour is irrational

It’s taken politicians long enough to realise the scale of the housing problem. Now, we must act quickly

Miliband has pledged to build 200,000 new homes a year by the end of the next parliament

If we truly value democratic politics, then we must say MPs deserve their pay rise

I can understand some of the disillusionment, but too much of it is baseless

Ed Balls, left, and Chancellor George Osborne, right, share a lighter moment on ‘The Andrew Marr Show’.

Autumn Statement analysis: The Tories could fight an election tomorrow. Not so, Labour...

The Labour leadership needs to add detail to its alternative journey

The Chancellor is examining the capital's buoyant property market as a potential source of extra revenue

The power of George Osborne is growing by the day

The rise of the Chancellor as such an overwhelmingly dominant figure is new

For the state to intervene in the free market would have been anathema to Osborne. How times change

For now, Osborne still has a foot in the old era of state inactivity

If you want a lesson in how to solve social mobility, try reading Harry Redknapp’s autobiography

John Major’s solution to the problem of social mobility– a grammar school in every town – made matters worse

Will politicians never learn? The Government’s Help to Buy scheme is sub-prime mortgages all over again

Cameron and George Osborne have convinced voters the global meltdown is the fault of Ed Balls

What should Ed do? Stand firm on Europe? Or let the people decide?

Whenever Miliband follows his convictions he becomes stronger, not weaker

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Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London