Simon Carr: Why sorry is the hardest word for Gordon

Poor old Gordon, it's because he hasn't got any manners. He could have shut this down at the beginning of the week with a little human expertise. But he thinks – and who can blame him? – that there are more important things going on, and he should be seen to be up there saving the world, not down here scragging in the media playground.

Brown 'sorry' over email slurs

Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised today over controversial emails sent by one of his closest aides.

Pandora: Nigerian scammers' latest victim...

Pandora was particularly tickled by recent tales of Jack Straw and his undignified fate at the hand of Nigerian hackers (the best part, of course, being friends' refusal to offer any money to help the destitute Straw-impersonator out, even before the knew it was a fraud).

Civil Service chief blocks McBride inquiry

Labour MPs fear further rumoured revelations may damage Brown leadership

Resigned No 10 aide committed 'serious breach'

Resigned Downing Street aide Damian McBride committed a serious breach of the special advisers' code of conduct, Whitehall's top civil servant said today.

Brown to blame over emails says Cameron

Gordon Brown bears personal responsibility for creating the sort of culture that allowed a senior Downing Street aide to consider smearing senior Tories, David Cameron said today.

John Rentoul: Told you so (sort of)

Brilliant column by Steve Richards in The Independent this morning, which tells the most damaging story yet about Damian McBride

Andrew Grice: The hardest word

Cautious optimism in the Government today that the Damian McBride "dirty tricks" affair is finally blowing over, after leading the news bulletins and dominating the front pages in Gordon Brown's Easter horribilis.

Steve Richards: This fiasco may have fatally damaged Gordon Brown’s capacity to take on the Tories

Without a clear media strategy in modern politics there is no chance of success

PM expresses regret for slurs – but no apology

Special advisers will have to sign code of conduct to avoid repeat of McBride saga

Andy McSmith: I warned them that McBride was bad news

Andy McSmith recalls his dealings with the man who has plunged Labour into crisis

Dominic Lawson: Brown is finally the victim of his own licensed assassins

Brown’s courtiers never, ever, employ arguments of substance

Leading article: A matter of character

Rather than basking in the afterglow of the G-20 summit, as he might have hoped, the Prime Minister has spent his Easter holiday writing letters. Some were personal, and properly contrite – to those, including the Conservative leader and the shadow Chancellor – who were slurred in the now notorious emails, sent by his media adviser, Damian McBride. One, to the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O'Donnell, was more of a gesture for public consumption, setting out how the code of conduct that applies to special advisers should, be tightened up.

Letters: Gordon Brown's 'national service' scheme

Brown's 'national service' scheme is badly flawed

Bruce Anderson: A crisis of law, liberty and order

Visitors from Pakistan need to be closely, though courteously, regulated
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine