Steve Richards - The Independent

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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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

The future of the High Speed Rail 2 project looks in doubt as Labour prepare to stop backing it, and the Tory rebellion against it gathers momentum

HS2: The train now departing... needs to reach its destination

There is in theory a political consensus around this project. Treasure it

The caring face of Conservatism? Look no further than John Major

The former PM’s ideas offend the ideological souls who currently lead the party

The police have been exposed over plebgate. Now give Mitchell his job back

It's fortunate that the former Chief Whip recorded his police interview

Newspapers are ignoring the reality. Our press will still be free

The reaction of some newspaper executives conveys a lofty sense of power

Cameron responds to Miliband, but still keeps his options open

An opposition leader hasn’t set the agenda in such a challenging way since Thatcher

The Conservatives face a battle of ideas and are not sure how to win it

Ed Miliband has laid down an ideological challenge, and voters seem pleased

Ed Miliband promised a price freeze on heating bills at the conference

Birth of a leader: Ed Miliband boldly fleshes out policy vision in Labour Party conference speech

The risk is that Tories and their newspapers will portray what he is doing as a return to the 1970s

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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
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories