Brian Paddick: One person is not enough to oversee the police

This week, the Lords will consider the Government's proposals for directly elected crime and police commissioners – one person in each police force area who will set police budgets and priorities, and hire and fire chief constables. Lib Dem peers are threatening to delay the policy, putting down an amendment that will require pilot schemes before full implementation. Former commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, cross-benchers such as Lords Imbert, Condon and Stevens can be expected to speak against the proposals, arguing they will undermine the operational independence of chief constables. As a former senior police officer, I believe opposition to the Government's proposals are right but for the wrong reasons.

MPs and celebrities urged to stand for top police jobs

First elections for new commissioners next May

How Prescott became a key figure in long battle for truth

John Prescott has long condemned Scotland Yard's handling of the original investigation into hacking carried out by a private investigator working for the News of the World.

Police 'kettling' under fire as May refuses to rule out water cannon

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has refused to rule out the use of water cannon for the first time in Britain if future student demonstrations result in further violence.

Paul Vallely: Minorities do not have a pecking order

New figures about homosexuality are irrelevant: gender, race and faith groups deserve equal treatment, large or small

Brian Paddick: I'm British, but had to travel to Norway to get married

I fell in love with a Norwegian man and was able to marry him in an intensely emotional ceremony in Oslo in January 2009.

Lib Dems back gay marriage motion

The Government will "listen very carefully" to Liberal Democrat demands for gay marriage to be legalised, equalities minister Lynne Featherstone said today.

Confused: The Liberal Democrat party disciples who can no longer enjoy the comforts of failure

From national treasure to hate figure of the left, the Deputy Prime Minister must allay colleague's worries this week.

Sienna Miller set to sue 'News of the World' over phone hacking

The actress Sienna Miller is poised to become the latest litigant to join a growing queue of high-profile figures seeking damages from the publishers of the News of the World newspaper over the illegal hacking of voicemail messages.

Action launched over News of the World hacking row

The shadow Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant and former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick officially issued judicial review proceedings over the newspaper phone-hacking row yesterday.

Brian Paddick: Officers on restricted duties should be employed as civilians

It has always been an issue in the police service that those on "light duties" were taking the plum jobs, working 9-5 in a warm, dry office while their colleagues risked life, limb and pneumonia on the streets in all weathers. Yet the problem has become more acute in recent years.

Memories of the day London came under attack

On the anniversary of the July 7 bombings, <i>The Independent</i> speaks to those caught up in the carnage...

Brian Paddick: There are possible explanations for the Kirk Reid case

Following the conviction of the serial sex attacker Kirk Reid, Commander Mark Simmons, who was in charge of rape investigation at the Met at the time, said there was “no explanation” for what the trial judge described as “years of inadequate [police] work”. Well I believe there are possible explanations.

Chris Bryant: No way to appoint our noble lords

With an additional 180 peers the Chamber would have nearly 900 membersand the extra cost would come in at approximately &pound;30.2m a year (at &pound;168,000 per peer pa)

Election night coverage: Channel 4 did comedy while ITV's efforts were just laughable

It began with an unprecedented third-party surge, with Channel 4 opening its campaign for the couch-potato vote 55 minutes before the two established parties – BBC and ITV – even got into the game. There would be, the announcer promised, "very strong language and adult humour", not something that had ever been delivered by the traditional coverage, and it was rapidly clear that the Alternative Election Night really did have fresh policies to offer.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

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
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own