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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.

Blairites attack Brown over book

RELATIONS between the Prime Minister's office and the Chancellor's closest aides were at a new low last night amid reports of a bitter attack on the Chancellor by Tony Blair's close supporters.

Brown book fuels fresh bitterness

Gordon Brown's critics were yesterday rejoicing that the Chancellor's friends had again indicated his bitterness over Tony Blair's decision to snatch the party leadership from his grasp in 1994. Anthony Bevins unravels the differences refreshed by a new biography.

The Things That Shaped Our Year: The Triumph Of The Spin Doctor

From the death of Diana to the birth of Dolly, and from the rise of Bridget Jones to the fall of the Spice Girls - our writers choose the 10 people and events which made 1997 so special

Tony and Gordon: the continuing saga of a beautiful friendship

Political relationships

A sad old Day at the House

Thomas Creevey: His Diary

Comment: Gobbledegook that leaves Labour a free hand

Nearly 40 years ago, when the Conservatives were in power and Harold Macmillan was prime minister, there occurred one of several great Tory defence disasters. On this occasion it was the cancellation of the Blue Streak missile. The cartoonist Vicky showed Macmillan, got up as Supermac, saying: "Ha, ha! This puts old Gaitskell in an awful dilemma."

Column One: No sugar for Tories in spin doctors' medicine

Forget the victories of Greg Rusedski or the award of the Nobel prize for Literature to iconoclast Dario Fo, the biggest winners this week have been the Labour party's spin doctors.

TV bosses cut bias claim

Threat of legal action by the BBC over an allegation of political bias by a senior executive forced the independent company Scottish Television to carry out cuts to a fly-on-the-wall documentary on Gordon Brown screened last night.

Letter: Leftwinger strikes

Sir: In all my time as Press Secretary to Gordon Brown, I have never experienced such a disgraceful allegation as that made in your profile of me (Media+, 6 October). Of all the insults I have ever had thrown at me, and there have been many, to call me an Arsenal supporter is the worst. I have in fact been a Spurs supporter all my life.

Media: If Gordon Brown looks good, buy Charlie a drink

Charlie Whelan is the man who spins press coverage for the Chancellor of the Exchequer and he's doing very well. How can you tell? Because we've been sold Brown's policies, we like his fiancee and, thanks to Charlie, he's even knocking Blair off the front page when he needs to. Kim Sengupta enters Labour's fiercest internal market.

Outlook: City gossip that raises wider issues

Gordon Brown's press spokesman, Charlie Whelan, seems to have a particular liking for the expression "load of old bollocks" so had he not been in Brighton with more important matters on his mind, he would have been in his element yesterday fielding questions about a story that appeared in one of our rivals, The Times. On this occasion he would have been right. The story concerned the FT 's apparent scoop last Friday about a shift in government policy on EMU.

TV eye on spin doctor's art

A new fly-on-the wall documentary lays bare the Government's manipulation of the media, and explains how Labour's spin-doctoring helped the party win the election.

Treasury morale 'hits bottom'

Increased workload and exclusion from the levers of power has left the Chancellor's civil servants with a post-electoral hangover

Swing time with the sultans of spin

John Rentoul hears gossip from Bobby's gang: Campaign 1997: how the General Election was won and lost by Nicholas Jones

Thomas Creevey His Diary: Hague learns to talk proper

William Hague, it seems, did not learn to speak proper English at Wath upon Dearne comprehensive school, South Yorkshire. He is to have elocution lessons. Those flat Tyke vowels may be all right back 'ome i' Richmond, but Central Office chiefs believe the Boy Prodigy must sound more authoritative, more like a Conservative Party leader who could win an election and run the country.
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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The man who hunts giants

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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