News High five: Obama and Cameron playing table tennis at the Globe Academy School in London 2011

The 'special relationship' is stronger than it’s ever been

Nick Clegg, right, and his wife Miriam, centre, on a visit to the Spanish town of Olmedo

Sun, sea, sand... and the eyes of the world upon you

The traditionally precarious holiday season for the nation’s leading politicians is once more upon us.

Mary Macleod

At last – equality in the aristocracy: After a change in royal succession rules, blue-blood daughters' hopes are up

Controversial proposals to allow first-born girls to inherit aristocratic titles look likely to be given the green light after senior cabinet sources indicated the move would not be opposed by the Government.

Plain cigarette packaging: Labour urges Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood to intervene over Lynton Crosby 'lobbying'

Labour have attempted to ratchet up the pressure on Britain’s most senior civil servant to intervene in the row over allegations that the Conservatives’ election guru used his position to lobby ministers on behalf of private clients.

David Cameron dodges Lynton Crosby tobacco lobbying question as links to private health firms are revealed

David Cameron was facing fresh questions about his election guru Lynton Crosby after it emerged the lobbyist's firm advised a private health alliance at the time of the Government's controversial NHS reforms.

More allotments are being sold off by councils

Allotment-holders take legal action against Eric Pickles

Legal action launched over decision to allow sale of sites

Grant Cameron, Suneet Jeerh and Karl Williams were arrested during a holiday in Dubai last year

Three Britons jailed in Dubai drugs case pardoned in amnesty for Ramadan

Three British men who were jailed for drug offences in Dubai earlier this year have been pardoned under a United Arab Emirates amnesty for Ramadan, according to the legal rights charity Reprieve.

Olympic volunteers pose in front of the National Gallery before the victory parade

Volunteer numbers receive Olympic boost

The steady decline in Britain’s volunteer culture was dramatically halted by the Olympic and Paralympic Games as thousands both formally and informally offered to help others for the first time, an official review has revealed.

Tony Blair slaps down David Cameron over lobbying claims

Tony Blair has slapped down David Cameron for suggesting that the former prime minister used his position to lobby him – possibly for private clients.

The Prime Minister with Lynton Crosby in April last year

Smoke, but no fire: Labour should stop banging on about Lynton Crosby

The median voter has no idea who this supposed magician might be

Lynton Crosby, the Conservatives’ election strategist

Smoking gun? David Cameron dodges Lynton Crosby cigarette packaging controversy question

Tory strategist’s links to cigarette giant pile pressure on PM after  tobacco policy U-turn

Britain last week postponed plans to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes

Tobacco industry told Government it was too early to tell if plain cigarette packaging would work – six months later ministers agreed

A major tobacco firm told the Government it was too early to assess whether selling cigarettes in plain packets would deter smokers – six months before ministers deployed the same argument.

Government in fresh bid to outlaw hardline Islamists

Efforts to outlaw the Hizb ut-Tahrir group have foundered as it does not advocate terrorism

Simon Read: Education about finance must be engaging for kids

The Prime Minister this week confirmed that financial education will be compulsory in English schools from September 2014.

Iain Duncan Smith is facing criticism that Universal Credit leaves some families worse off

Working families will be ‘worse off’ under Universal Credit scheme

Some working families will be worse off under Iain Duncan Smith's flagship Universal Credit - even though it was intended to encourage people back into work, according to research published today.

The Foreign Secretary referred to Cathy Jamieson MP as a 'stupid woman'

William Hague calls Labour MP Cathy Jamieson a 'stupid woman' during Prime Minister's Questions

Conservatives risk becoming embroiled in another misogyny row

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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence