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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.

Mandelson to become EU aide for Cook

PETER MANDELSON is to take on a new role as an unofficial adviser to Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, to help him to strengthen Britain's links with European Union partners.

Straw's red card system attacked

THE INFLUENCE of footballing terminology on all areas of British life continued apace when the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, announced that "red and yellow cards" are to be shown to offenders who breach their community sentences.

Whelan leaves Treasury to become chat-show host

CHARLIE WHELAN, Gordon Brown's spin-doctor finally department Whitehall last night to start a new career as a chat show host on BBC Radio Five Live.

What's wrong with vindictive wives?

I HAVE read with incredulity the rubbish, mostly written by fortysomething men up to no good I am sure, that has followed in the wake of the book by Margaret Cook (dump the surname - Margaret) about her marriage to Robin Cook, and the ignoble end at Heathrow airport of that period of her life. It is personal, they say - vindictive, vengeful and embittered.

Information debate: Spinning `won't stop'

THE PROBLEM of spin- doctoring will "never completely go away", Jack Cunningham, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said yesterday amid growing concern about the influence of press aides such as Alastair Campbell.

PM's Question Time: Labour woes `made NHS crisis worse'

WILLIAM HAGUE claimed yesterday the past weeks of turmoil within the Government had been a "disgrace" that had directly affected the crisis in the NHS.

Coming out as a Mondeo man

For the new aristocrats in the media this nice car, slightly lacking in poke, represents `them out there'

Labour In Turmoil: Cunningham `spent cash on private jets'

LABOUR WAS embroiled in a new row over ministerial spending yesterday as Jack Cunningham, the Cabinet Office enforcer, was accused of wasting taxpayer's money on travelling in private jets to meetings.

Our top story of the day: new sets please, we're British

Channel 4 News C4 Newsnight BBC2

Parents told to do times tables

Labour's unhappy new year: Government tries to turn attention from Cabinet feuds to core domestic issues

Say 'Keynes' if you are opposed to Blair

ONE OF the mistakes people make about Mr Tony Blair is to look at his face rather than attend to his language. This is why, in an age dominated by television, he has so far been such a successful politician. His response to the resignations of Mr Peter Mandelson, Mr Geoffrey Robinson and Mr Charlie Whelan has been one of truculence mitigated by insouciance.

News monkey; A simian slant on last week's news

t HOSPITAL CRISIS. The NHS is either coping perfectly well with the winter rush or falling apart at the seams, your point of view largely depending on whether you're Frank Dobson or everybody else. In what amounts to a kind of millennium bug dry-run, a flu outbreak combined with a record shortage of nurses has led to some hospitals asking relatives to nurse their own kin. If the shortage gets any worse the NHS may have to rethink its official resistance to the hiring of crazy people who think they are nurses.

Sir Peter's pale head rolls at the feet of Queen Cherie

What sort of ghastly error can you mean? Explain yourself, my enigmatic Queen

Blair: `My ministers are united'

TONY BLAIR sought yesterday to reassert his authority over his feuding Cabinet and to put his New Labour project back on course by reaffirming his strong personal alliance with the Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

There's nothing journalists love more than flexing their muscles

Run enough stories and eventually there will be a reaction. This reaction, of course, vindicates the stories
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor