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Aidan Burley, the Tory MP who bought a Nazi uniform for a friend to wear at a stag party, is presumably relieved by the conclusions of a report by Lord Gold, a Tory peer who was asked by the party to look into the affair. He concluded Mr Burley “is not a bad man, still less a racist or an anti-Semite” but he is stupid.

The Gamal, By Ciarán Collins. Bloomsbury Circus, £12.99

"Once upon a time," begins Ciarán Collins' debut novel, "there were two lovers called Sinéad and James." She is a local girl from a poor Catholic family where her home life is troubled and her parents abusive, while James is the son of a well-off Protestant couple who move to the area to renovate an old castle.

The Sketch: How ethical activity and processing propriety can make one forgetful...

There is a Director of Propriety and Ethics for the Government. Is she busy? Are her days full of ethical activity, does she process much propriety?

Brown 'scrapped 10p tax band to woo Murdoch'

Gordon Brown was so "obsessed" with trying to win the support of Rupert Murdoch while he was Prime Minister that he drew up his tax policies to appeal to the media magnate, according to a book published tomorrow.

Yes, Prime Minister: Why we will never be without spin doctors

David Cameron will be hoping that his new advisor, Craig Oliver, attracts fewer headlines than his predecessor.

Mandelson: The Real PM? London Film Festival

A spotlight on the Prince of Darkness

Diary: A new phase opens in Labour's civil war

Neatly timed for the publication of the 127th book about the first instalment (Jonathan Powell's), the Labour Civil War Mark II began at the weekend. Leading the neo-Blairite cavaliers was Peter Hyman, the Mr Tony adviser turned inner-city Mr Chips and Newsnight sage, who deflected any suspicions about his friend David Miliband's sense of entitlement by accusing Little Ed of "stealing his brother's crown". Ed's victory was a "catastrophe" for Labour, says Peter.

Don't back me for leader, Miliband urged Blair

David Miliband appealed to Tony Blair not to issue a public declaration of support in his battle to become the next Labour leader, fearing it could damage rather than boost his prospects in the contest, The Independent can reveal.

Diary: Time to get real, Jamie

Apart from the odd lard-chomping American telling him just where he could put his recent healthy eating campaign, Jamie Oliver's culinary empire has continued to expand with little trouble. Yet I hear Oliver could have his work cut out convincing some potentially troublesome natives in St Albans, where he's just bought The Bell pub – nostalgically renowned among local romantics, I'm told, for its trademark aroma of "stale lager and cheap perfume".

Pariah! Reaction to 'The Third Man'

His controversial return to the front benches two years ago helped to shore up Gordon Brown's government and finally won him the admiration of his party. Now Peter Mandelson has thrown it all away – for money

Sound and fury, but little dynamite so far in the Mandelson memoirs

In April 2008, Lord Mandelson began gathering material for his memoirs. After trawling through his private papers, he was almost breathless with excitement as he told friends: "It's a goldmine. You can't imagine what I have found."

Mandelson memoir sparks Labour Party infighting

Senior Labour figures pleaded for calm yesterday as the imminent publication of Peter Mandelson's memoirs, The Third Man, provoked a fresh round of party infighting.

Matthew Norman: The ghouls, the narcissist and top jobs at CNN

With questions raised about the ghoulishness with which the media covered Raoul Moat's final days, a word of praise for two leaders of this frantic festival of broadcast Americana. Kay Burley, the Walter Cronkite du jour who so skillfully downplayed the horrors of 9/11 ("If you're just joining us, the entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated ..."), added to her portfolio of triumphs on Sky News. She asked a criminologist: "Living rough for a narcissist must be tricky?" Well, it must. So hard to find a full length mirror. Speaking of narcissism, hats off to John Inverdale. With so sensitive a breaking story, what you really want at the helm is the sports guy, and John's transition from sipping Pimm's with Boris Becker at Wimbledon to spearheading Radio 5 Live's midday show was seamless. Watching the live feed from Rothbury, he touched on the paradox that, in the midst of all the horror, it looked so sleepily picturesque. "It's almost," he said, "like a scene from Midsomer Murders." He lost it for a bit after that, the sound of blood whooshing to his cheeks clearly audible, but recovered his sangfroid so well that he is said to be CNN's top target this autumn.

Mandelson blamed for Labour's election 'disaster'

Lord Mandelson was today blamed for the "disaster" of Labour's general election campaign by one of Gordon Brown's closest allies.

Labour leadership race hots up as Burnham accuses rivals of smear

Andy Burnham, a contender for the leadership of the Labour Party, has accused supporters of a rival camp of conducting "malicious briefing" in the hope of getting him to throw in the towel. His remarks are the first public sign of mutual antagonism in a leadership contest that has been marked by restrained language up to now.

Andy McSmith: A union in name only: why ballot blunders threaten Unite's resolve

Our writer finds members despondent at leaders' mistakes
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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen