We’ve all been there, wading through the endless phone menus, queues and scripted conversations

Sean O'Grady's Best Bets

The Independent's Economics Editor turns to money matters of another kind: how to make a mint out of the election

MP calls for sunbed ban on under-18s

Teenagers are putting their health at risk by becoming sunbed addicts, MPs heard today as a bid was launched to ban under-18s from tanning salons.

When does sexual relationship cost MP's assistant a job?

Bedroom police will be needed to check up on MPs who might be having illicit affairs with their staff if the ban on employing close relatives is to be enforced fairly, the husband of a senior Labour MP said today.

Glenys Kinnock dropped from European role

Baroness accused of failing to make an impact during four-month tenure

Simon Carr: A few signs of life still flutter as again Gordon shows how it's all done

Sketch: It's an observable fact that the further politicians drift from power the nicer they become

Take away problem children, says MP

The MP for the village where brothers aged 10 and 11 tortured two young boys called today for children in some problem homes to be removed "sooner rather than later".

Helen Wilkinson: Hillary, Harriet, and a case of giving as good as you get

Both these women challenge a political culture founded, and promoted, by men

Harman versus Mandelson: the fight for Labour's future

The spat between the Prime Minister's two most senior lieutenants has real substance, reports Jonathan Brown

Not just men in grey suits: Now it's easier for women to join Tory benches, says May

Theresa May said last night it is easier for a woman to become a Tory MP today than it was when she entered Parliament in 1997.

Steve Richards: Sour grapes and failed politicians

The criticisms that women have made of the PM are all conveniently imprecise

Brown annoyed by Flint's 'window dressing' claims

Gordon Brown has admitted he was annoyed by former Europe minister Caroline Flint's barb that women were used as "window dressing" in his Cabinet.

Harman and Beckett join the attack on struggling PM

Pressure piled on Gordon Brown as allies and former colleagues speak out

Joan Smith: Frumpy outsmarts elegant in our warped politics

It was red! It was shiny! It was short! Listening to the chorus of outrage about Caroline Flint's fashion shoot in a women's magazine, I began to wonder if the former Europe minister had posed looking as sultry as Dita von Teese. In fact, as someone sniffily pointed out, she wore chain-store clothing for the photographs, which were taken some time before she resigned, to accompany an interview about her life as a politician.

Jane Merrick: The problem with women in politics..

... is the phrase "women in politics". This tricky issue has resurfaced again, today, as Caroline Flint has tried to restore some credibility with interviews on GMTV and Woman's Hour

Mark Steel: So this is New Labour's legacy...

They sacrificed all to get elected and now can't get elected to anything
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral