The UK Independence Party has more reason than any other to complain about the British election system: despite winning 900,000 votes at the last general election it has no MPs. In the European Parliament, which is elected by proportional representation, the party has a dozen MEPs.
Westminster Abbey is to honour two former prime ministers from the 1970s with memorial stones.
Sir Tom Cowie spent 45 years building up the business which became, to his disgust, "Arriva" buses, and after parting with it in 1993, set out to conquer the world again with a metal-importation warehousing enterprise set in his native Sunderland's old shipyards that now encompasses China and Singapore. Leadership fascinated him, and his judgment proved wrong only in an affair close to his heart, the fortunes of Sunderland football club, to which, while chairman from 1980-86 he disastrously appointed Lawrie McMenemy as manager. McMenemy left in 1987 and the Black Cats were relegated for the first time to the Third Division.
Everywhere Mat Snow looks, he sees people in jeans and North Face jackets. Why are we dressed to depress? It's our duty to be flamboyant in times of recession, he argues – not a nation of black-clad Calvinists
His long-awaited book – out tomorrow – is set to follow an age-old template. Promise everything, reveal very little
Cameron the milk kleptomaniac, Dave the dairy cutter? Journalists would have struggled to devise a sobriquet as damaging as Thatcher the milk snatcher for the current Conservative leader, but David Cameron was taking no chances on acquiring a nickname yesterday when he strangled a plan by one of his ministers to abolish free milk for nursery children.
Ted Heath is remarkable among 20th-century prime ministers in that he held office for less than four years (1970-1974), during which practically everything he tried to do failed dismally. Yet by the single act of taking Britain into the European Community, he left a more decisive legacy than many PMs who enjoyed far longer terms.
The idea that Gordon Brown might stay in Downing Street at the head of the second-largest party is preposterous. In any event, the Labour Party is facing an abyss which make such thoughts irrelevant
Because of the unprecedented public discord between the Bank of England and the Treasury, breaking the usual conventions and giving the impression that financial regulation in the UK is a mess and the governor lacks confidence in the Government. The Bank and the Financial Services Authority have also clashed, though all sides deny they are engaged in a "turf war", and seek only faith, hope – and clarity. The intervention of the Conservatives "on the side of the Bank" also threatens to jeopardise the Bank's cherished image as a stoutly independent organisation free from political interference.
As the Lib Dems prepare to mark the ex-leader's 80th birthday, David Randall recalls his bizarre fall
Andrew Rowe was an intelligent and independent-minded Conservative who represented Mid Kent in Parliament from 1983 to 1987 and then fought and won the newly created and much more marginal seat of Faversham and Mid Kent despite the Labour landslide in 1997. He belonged to One Nation, The Tory Reform Group and Conservative Mainstream and found himself even more out of tune with William Hague’s Conservative Party than he had been with Margaret Thatcher’s. The nearest he came to office was his period as a PPS, first to Richard Needham from 1992-94, and then to Earl Ferrers (1994-95). A staunch Europhile, he had earlier acted as Edward Heath’s parliamentary aide (1984-87).
Until 1940, it did not matter much what the British prime minister and the US president thought of each other. But war made Winston Churchill's uneasy friendship with Franklin D Roosevelt the world's most important political partnership. In December 1941, five days after the attack on Pearl Harbour, Churchill set out by battleship, across an ocean patrolled by German submarines, to be the first British prime minister to spend the night in the White House. Eight storm-tossed days later, he was paid a compliment Gordon Brown would die for. President Roosevelt – who was disabled – was waiting to greet him at the quayside. During his month-long stay Churchill got the Americans to agree that defeating Nazi Germany should be top priority, ahead of the war with Japan. But the relationship was to be fraught with tension. When Roosevelt died in 1945, Churchill did not trouble himself to go to the funeral.