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

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
News
news
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people
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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower