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The Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London. Women account for only 23 per cent of MPs

Women underrepresented at all levels in British politics

Britain is lagging behind Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar and Kyrgyzstan in its efforts to increase the number of women in politics, a damning report reveals today.

Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found

Old boy's club still dominates public life, according to major new report

A “cosy club” of people educated at private schools and Oxbridge still dominates politics, the judiciary and media, and locks out talented people from more modest backgrounds, according to Government advisers.

EXCLUSIVE: Overcharging by outsourcing giant Serco costs NHS millions

Outsourcing giant Serco is embroiled in a fresh misuse of public funds scandal after a company it set up overcharged NHS hospitals millions of pounds, The Independent can reveal.

Gerald Howarth

Tory MP Gerald Howarth says Enoch Powell 'was right' in notorious Rivers of Blood speech

Former defence minister says arrival of so many non-Christians has 'presented a challenge'

Authorities failing in hunt for 'most wanted' tax dodgers who owe HMRC £844m

Campaign that publicly identified those sought has seen results, but many have fled abroad

The LMA estimate an extra 130,000 primary places will be needed by 2017/18

Schools forced into desperate measures to deal with £1bn budget black hole

A school has been forced to turn a roof into a playground as councils take desperate measures to cope with a £1bn-plus black hole in their education budgets, local authority leaders warn today.

John Bercow is facing a revolt over his decision to appoint Carol Mills

John Bercow's bid to appoint Australian to top Commons job goes off the rails

The crisis over Commons Speaker John Bercow’s choice for a top parliamentary job has deepened after both Downing Street and the current incumbent raised doubts over his handling of the selection.

Alex Salmond at Ferguson Shipbuilders with union and yard officials

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond celebrates fightback but still faces upstream battle towards referendum

First Minister must tackle five issues to ensure Scotland votes Yes

Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
Shoppers on Uxbridge High Street seemed immune to the BoJo brand

What Uxbridge and South Ruislip voters think of Boris Johnson

The London mayor has confirmed his application to be the Tory candidate for the constituency in 2015

Chancellor George Osborne claimed HMRC was 'collecting twice as much' tax as before

George Osborne accused of lying to Parliament on his 'hard line' against corporate tax avoiders

The Chancellor told MPs that HMRC was “collecting twice as much [tax] as before”

The Prime Minister is focused on a 'patient and resolute' response to the 'generational challenge' posed by Isis, according to Downing Street

David Cameron: We won't treat Brits travelling to Syria and Iraq as potential Isis terrorists

69 suspected extremists have been arrested so far this year

The man confessed to arranging dates through social media

Foreign Office's £92,000 spend on social media training revealed after White House burning 'joke' backfires on diplomats

Consular staff, press officers, managers and politicians have been trained

Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court

Rewrite privacy laws to keep up with technology, says Britain's top judge

Lord Neuberger also said he supports televised trials

Farage to target between 20 and 30 seats at next year's election

Ukip 'reveals list of 12 seats' it plans to target in general election – and nine of them are Tory

Party is hoping to win between three and five seats in next year's election

Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
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Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
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In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
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Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis Stinchcombe, of Broad Plain Boys' Club in Bristol, by a Banksy artwork, titled 'Mobile Lovers', where the sale and handover have been completed at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, where it was on display to the public.
artHuge price will help to keep a 120-year-old youth club in Bristol open
Life and Style
Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, dropped out of Stanford University just before graduation to develop his app
techAnd yes, it is quite a lot
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
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Kate Bush performs her comeback gigs at The Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London
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peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?